No matter what new bulk program you hear about, the reality is when it comes to building muscle mass there are three critical components that can’t be ignored. On top of that, your testosterone levels (the male hormone that gives us characteristics like strength, muscle, low body fat, energy and confidence) plays a role in all of them. Check out the article below for the three timeless keys to building muscle and how testosterone plays a crucial role in each of them.
1 – Diet
When it comes to building muscle the quality and volume of food you eat will determine just how big you get. When you are trying to lose fat, you need to consume a calorie deficit. Similarly, when trying to gain muscle you need to consume a calorie surplus. After all, you need nutrients left over to form the building blocks of that muscle mass you are looking to add. In nominal terms, you should aim for no more than 500 calories surplus per day. That means you will gain roughly 1 pound per week. Any more than that and chances are you will just be putting on fat.
In terms of the composition of your diet, you first want to make sure you are getting at least 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight. The rest of your calories should come from both high quality complex carbs and healthy dietary fat. Carbs will help give your body the building blocks it needs to put on muscle. Dietary fat will help regulate hormone levels. Also, given how dense it is, the calories from dietary fat will make it easier to achieve your calorie surplus goal.
Try to avoid consuming all of your calories in just 3 meals. Instead, split it up over 5-8 meals. This will ensure your body gets a steady stream of nutrients. Also, it reduces the likeliness of over-eating at one of your meals which will could result in fat gain. In terms of protein sources, try to mix it up from foods like chicken breast, ground beef, steak, eggs, cottage cheese, tuna, greek yogurt and whey protein isolate. This will ensure you get a variety of nutrients and that you don’t get tired of eating any one particularly food.
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Eating a clean, well-balanced diet will help ensure your testosterone levels remain high. This is important because, depending on your t-levels, your body might be more likely to build muscle instead of fat. You see, men with high testosterone levels tend to build muscle rather than store fat. Often it’s testosterone production that makes the difference between gaining muscle and fat even if your training and calorie surplus doesn’t change. Make sure you consume plenty of foods that boost testosterone such as monounsaturated fat, saturated fat and cholesterol.
2 – Resistance Training
The seconds most important factor when it comes to building muscle is your resistance training program. Simply put, two guys can have identical genetics and diets but end up with wildly different results depending on how they train. If you want to get big, you need to lift heavy. The most effective way to do that is with compound, multi-joint exercises such as the deadlift, squat, bench press and row. These movements will pack on slabs of muscle quickly. Resist the temptation to do tons of isolation exercises. Although these exercises are easier to perform they are nowhere near as effective at building mass as the compound lifts.
Another reason compound exercises are so important is that they have been shown to boost testosterone levels. There is an old joke in the bodybuilding community that goes: If you want to build a bigger chest – squat! The testosterone-boosting effects of the multi-joint exercises will carry over to all training days. That means you will see faster results from exercises like the dumbbell curl and leg extensions.
Testosterone levels play a crucial role in determining just how strong you are. Of course, the stronger you are the more you can lift, which results in superior muscle growth. As you can see, increasing your testosterone levels can have a compound effect. Higher t-levels means more strength, which in turn means you can squat and deadlift more. The increase in your compound lift results in even greater testosterone production, and so on. If you aren’t doing any compound exercises you are going to want to change that ASAP.
3 – Rest
A lot of guys think that their muscles grow in the gym. After all, they look and feel a lot bigger, right? Well, as it turns out that pumped-up feeling you get in the gym is simply blood rushing into the muscle in order to help you perform the exercise more effectively. You probably also noticed the muscle shrinks back down a couple hours later. This is the result of blood leaving the muscle to other areas of the body where it is needed.
The truth is that your muscle grow during the recovery period – where your body repairs muscle tissue and makes it stronger and larger in order to handle the stress being thrown at it. Your body actually does the most recovery work, as well as the most testosterone production, when sleeping. That means if you are constantly cutting your sleep short you can expect subpar results. Make sure you get at least 8 hours of sleep per night so that your body has the optimal amount of time to produce testosterone and rebuild muscle tissue.
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As you can see, testosterone plays a crucial role when it comes to building muscle. In fact, if your testosterone levels are low you will struggle to make gains no matter how strong your diet and training program are. That’s why we recommend people take a testosterone booster. These products use natural ingredients that are scientifically proven to boost testosterone production. As a result, you can expect faster gains and quicker recovery without having to worry about putting on body fat. Click here to check out our dedicated testosterone booster page to learn more about what these products can do for you.