By Hakeem Alexander
(Exercising Your Mind) The best way to gain muscle is through sensible resistance training, and a logical nutritional program. What this means is either to resist gravity by using your body weight to do calisthenics like pull-ups, push-ups, squats, and crunches; or to use external weights or weight machines, that are graded to have specific weights for you to lift or pull against the force of gravity.
Next, you must eat a logical balance of foods containing enough carbohydrates and fats to refuel what was spent, and sufficient proteins to build, rebuild or repair muscle fibers that have been exercised.
The National Academy of Sports Medicine or (NASM) recommends 9-12 repetitions for 3 sets at about 70-75% of your max with 45-90 seconds rest between sets for a muscular hypertrophy (growth) adaptation to develop. Your max is how much you can lift only once in correct form. So if you can only lift 100lbs bench press, then 70-75lbs is the intensity you may use.
NASM also recommends a certain tempo for each repetition. For example a bicep curl should be curled in, or the concentric motion last for 2 seconds; the pause or isometric part 2 seconds; and the release or eccentric motion for 4 seconds. This slow pace has been experimented with for muscle growth over other tempos.
Nutritionally, it is probably best to eat within 45 minutes to 2 hours after your workout and eat only until you feel satisfied but not stuffed full. Then, when you feel hungry again, eat of course, until you are satisfied and do so as much as you are comfortable but not excessively.
It is best to eat carbs rich foods because they are stored as energy recovering glycogen rather than too much fat or protein because they don’t get stored as glycogen. Eating the carbs will prevent muscle from being broken down to replenish energy needs.The ratio could generally be 50-75% carbs, 10-30% fat and 15-30% protein for most people.
Sleep well. Missing this key step can seriously derail your muscle building efforts. 6 to 9 hours is best. If not consecutively then take frequent naps to get the rest you need.