In general, men exercise for two main reasons – to get rid of unwanted, excess fat and to build muscle mass. While each of these goals needs to be approached in their own individual way, the end result is the same – a fit, healthier body. While a low-calorie diet and cardio workouts are going to help you shed the pounds, the best ways for men to build muscles require nearly the opposite. A healthy diet, high in protein and the right amount of carbohydrates combined with an intensive and muscularly exhausting workout routine will allow you to bulk up. For someone just beginning to put on muscle mass, you will start seeing improvements in no time at all.
Fuel the Fire
It is said that a healthy, muscular body begins in the kitchen and that is by far one of the truest statements in the fitness world. Unless you’re an Olympic athlete, it is highly unlikely that you will be exercising and burning enough calories on a regular basis to justify eating whatever you feel like. While professional swimmers have been known to consume 12,000 calories a day in order to have the energy they need, this is overload for the normal person – even if they are healthy calories.
It is important to recognize that there is not one dietary plan that will be right for everyone. You need to identify your weight, relative body mass, fitness goals and energy needs in order to find the ideal diet for you. One of the best ways for men to build muscles is through a high protein, moderate carbohydrate and low-fat diet. While fat is needed by our body to support its basic functions, too much fat will do little besides adding girth to your belly.
Carbohydrates are essential to anybody trying to put on muscle mass. While not directly responsible for muscle growth, carbohydrates provide our bodies with the energy that it needs to be able to make it through our day to day activities. Even more important is the fact that our bodies need energy from the carbohydrates to handle the intense workouts that most people building muscle follow. If you’re taking in too few carbohydrates you will find that your body and muscles tire very quickly during your routine.
Build with Protein
Protein is one of the basic ingredients that our body needs to develop muscle. Unless you are eating and drinking nothing besides protein bars and shakes, most people do not need to worry about consuming too much protein on a daily basis. In fact, most men find that consuming enough protein daily to reach their muscle goals is a challenge in itself. Meats such as chicken and turkey which are high in protein but low in fat are a great, delicious way to increase your protein intake. Meat-free options include peanut butter (which contains moderate levels of fat, but at least unsaturated fat is the healthier of the fat options), cottage cheese, tofu and beans.
Once you have a healthy, sufficient diet in place you can focus on your muscle building routines. Don’t simply sign up for a gym, go in and just hit the machines that you’re familiar with. Find a workout routine that focuses on your body shape and muscle goals. The best ways for men to build muscles vary from person to person. A professional bodybuilder will need a vastly different routine than a 150-pound beginning would want to follow. There are countless routines online that you can follow, and many gyms offer consultants and trainers which can help build a workout routine that is specifically designed for you with your goals in mind.