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Becoming Herculean: A How-To Guide on Gaining Muscle

Becoming Herculean: A How-To Guide on Gaining Muscle

Ah, muscles; nothing could possibly be more manly in this world. If you're like most men, it's pretty likely that you've toyed with the idea of having colossally large arms as a symbol of your heroic strength. Not everyone knows how to gain more muscle definition, and that's only natural. In some cases – especially for hardgainers – it's tough enough to gain that revered muscle definition many of us adore. Note: the definition of a hardgainer is someone who has a difficult time putting on muscle over the period of six weeks despite bodybuilding exercises and weightlifting. If you feel this applies to you, then read on!

If you've noticed that those bulky muscles you're fantasizing about haven't yet come to fruition, we've got a few tricks up our sleeves. This how-to guide will help you to achieve better muscle definition as you're wearing your fitness shorts so that you can wave goodbye to your dreaded hardgainer days. Are you ready for incredible muscles that can't be beat?! If you are, then put on your best bodybuilding outfit, because we've got the important details that'll help you get bulkier!

1. Get stronger by lifting heavier weights.

You might be thinking, "Oh, well, duh!" But seriously, get yourself started on heavier weights. Don't become comfortable with your current workout settings: go harder. Unless it's your first week back at the gym, you're going to want to gradually increase the weight of your workout machinery. More strength will result in more muscle. That's because you need more muscle to handle heavier weights. We're sure you've heard the saying, "No pain, no gain." Well, it's true. You'll feel a bit of soreness at first, but it's definitely worth it in the long run. At the same time, don't overdo it. If you don't think you can handle it at first, ease into it. Eventually, your body will adapt.

2. Eat more!

It's rare in this day and age – especially for people in the United States, where two out of every three American men are considered obese – to hear the phrase, "Eat more!" In this case, we mean it. Go ahead, eat another plate. You'll not only enjoy it, but you'll be able to focus on turning that food into muscle mass down the road. Believe it or not, if you're trying to build more muscle, you can eat a grand total of (drum roll please…) three thousand whopping calories. Yes, you read that correctly! Just make sure you don't sit around all day with that many calories in your belly, because then it can turn into love handles…not muscular triceps.

When you eat, make sure it's packed with protein. How much protein? One gram per pound of body weight a day should suffice. High-protein foods include eggs, lentil, quinoa, turkey, and almonds. You'll want to eat five to six times a day, too. That's because the more you eat, the faster your metabolism will be. It'll also provide you with the strength you need to build those gigantic muscles!

Speaking of eating more, you're going to drink more water as well. When you go to the gym, make sure to bring a water bottle with you.

3. Consult with a fitness expert.

If you've done your research but you still feel a bit unsure of how to go about gaining more muscle, your best bet is to speak with a fitness expert such as a personal trainer just in case. Besides, we're all unique snowflakes, so your body might need more attention. The transition to becoming a muscular stud won't happen overnight, so you'd benefit tremendously from speaking with someone who can work with your personal goals. He or she can teach you about how many calories you should be eating a day, which workout routines are ideal for you, and so on. Plus, a one-on-one expert never hurt anybody!

4. Set realistic expectations.

Don't compare yourself to others. It might be hard not to become focused on looking like a celebrity, but that type of effort takes a tremendous amount of time. Besides, celebrities get paid to look good. They're given a ton of time each day to work out and build that muscle. This might seem obvious, but many of us tend to get disheartened at the thought that results are far away, when in reality, they're not. It just takes time, effort, and patience. You'll reach your goals as long as you stay strong, which will start to show in your muscles!

5. Focus on compound exercises.

What is a compound exercise, you might ask? In its simplest explanation, it's an exercise that works out multiple areas of the body. Some great examples of compound exercises include the following:

  • Squats with the use of dumbbells or barbells
  • Leg press
  • Push-ups
  • Barbell bench press
  • Dumbbell bench press
  • Military press
  • Shoulder press
  • Lunges

That's just a general idea. However, squats seem to be at the very top of the compound exercise list, considering they work out your quads, abs, hamstrings, and calves. If you're looking forward to gaining that muscle mass, then make sure to include squats in your regimen.

6. Consider supplements.

There are many supplements out there that can help you gain muscle naturally. Here are just a few:

  • Creatine. This is actually produced naturally in your body. When you take it as a supplement, it can help you perform better while you exercise and can lead to stronger muscle mass over time.
  • Protein supplements. If you're worried that you're not eating enough protein, then supplements can help. In order to gain muscle, you need to consume more protein that your body is capable of breaking down. Even if you are eating enough protein, having more of it can help you to build muscle.
  • Beta-alanine. In addition to creatine, beta-alanine (an amino acid) can help you to improve your workout at the gym by increasing performance. It reduces fatigue as well, which helps you to focus on gaining the muscle you're looking for. This is especially true if you've had a long day at work and need a way to wake up a bit!

Gaining muscle is all about the hustle! Make sure that you have time to dedicate toward your muscle goals. Don't forget to rest between days as you work out, because your body needs to recover before it can produce more muscle. Before you know it, you'll become a regular Hercules. Once you do, don't forget to flex your stuff!

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