Diet, strength training are major steps to help you build muscle

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Looking to build muscle?

Building muscle is often a goal for many of us.

Some of us would like to build muscle to achieve a particular physique, while others just want to get stronger.

Whatever your goal, this column will help you achieve it.

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Krista Stevens, Health Columnist

Benefits of building muscle

Why would anyone want to build muscle? Well, building muscle has many different benefits. Let’s dive into some of those benefits here!

The first benefit of building muscle is an increase in metabolic rate.

The more muscle you have, the higher your resting metabolic rate will be. Muscle cells in our body use energy while fat cells store energy.

This means that when you increase the amount of muscle you have, you also increase the amount of energy your body uses.

This means that even when you sleep, you will burn fat!

Overall, building muscle increases your metabolic rate, which causes your body to burn more fat.

The second benefit of building muscle is that it reduces the risk of injury.

As we age, we tend to have less muscle mass. The more muscular we are, generally, the stronger we are, which usually means there is a decrease in the number of injuries we have.

The third benefit of building muscle is an increase in self-esteem.

Anything that makes us feel better about ourselves improves self-esteem.

There have been numerous studies that prove that exercise increases confidence and decreases self-doubt, anxiety, and depression.

I know that after working out, I always feel happier and more confident, which makes me want to keep doing it!

How to build muscle?

Building muscle is actually not as difficult as many people think!

Let’s discuss the importance of diet. Diet is key when you want to build muscle. The first piece of advice I would give you is to make sure you are eating enough.

Often we don’t eat enough food, which hinders our progress. To gain weight, you have to be in a calorie surplus.

This means that we consume more calories than we burn. Some people call this a bulk step.

If your goal is to maintain your weight, but also to increase your muscle mass, you can try increasing your protein intake rather than your calories.

As we exercise, we make micro tears in our muscles.

In order to repair these tears and build muscle, our bodies need protein.

According to the National Academy of Sports Medicine nutrition course, we should consume 0.36g of protein per pound of body weight.

So, for example, if you weigh 150 pounds, you would multiply 150 x 0.36g, which would require 54g of protein per day to build muscle.

Reaching your protein goal will help you feel less sore because your muscles can be repaired, and it will also help you grow! I don’t always hit my protein goals for the day, but I do my best by eating protein-rich foods.

If you’re also struggling to eat enough protein, you can always use a protein supplement, like whey or casein protein powder.

The next tip for those who want to build muscle is to start weightlifting.

While cardio is great for many reasons, it won’t help you build muscle.

Start by increasing your training volume.

This means that you increase the amount of weight you use per set for your exercises, as well as the number of reps you do.

Volume can also count as undervoltage time. So the takeaway is to gradually increase the amount of weight you use, increase the number of reps/sets you would typically do, and also increase time under tension, which means these exercises are more slow and controlled.

Overall, building muscle takes time. Learn to enjoy the journey!

Try adding some of these suggestions to your workouts and remember to stay consistent. You can also try taking progress photos.

Often we don’t even realize the results we are getting because we see ourselves in the mirror every day.

Taking progress photos will allow you to see the progress you’ve made over time.

It’s time to go grow up!

Krista Stevens is a graduate of the University of Florida. To learn more, see:

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