How to Build Muscle with Fitstream

Track your progress, stay motivated and transform your body.

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A Simple Guide to Build More Muscle

You're off to a good start and you've got a goal - to build more muscle.

Firstly, let's cover off the hard and fast rules of muscle building to get rid of common misconceptions and set expectations early;

Muscle Building Facts and Rules

  • Muscle fibre quantity, make-up and shape is determined by genetics. You can't change this.
  • Muscle size and strength is up to you.
  • Building muscle ultimately comes down to two things; the food you eat and your physical activity (otherwise known as diet and exercise).
  • Take in more calories that you use and you'll get bigger.
  • Take in fewer calories than you use and you'll get smaller.
  • Eat at your maintenance level of calories and you'll stay the same.
  • With good genetics, healthy diet and adequate sleep you can probably gain around twenty pounds of muscle in your first year training. It will half each year after that!

Now that we're on the same page, here are our four simple steps to building muscle.

Four Simple Steps to Building More Muscle

Fix Your Diet

Your diet is the single most important factor when it comes to your health and body composition. There are two main diet goals for building muscle;

  1. Take in enough vitamins, minerals and proteins to support good health
  2. Limiting your calorie intake to allow for building muscle

A good place for beginners to start is to track your current diet with a food journal to help you understand and control your food intake.

Diet Tips for Building Muscle

  • Cut out processed junk and eat whole, natural foods
  • Quit drinking juices or soda and start drinking water instead
  • Cravings are natural but they will go with time
  • It doesn’t matter how much exercise you’re doing, if your diet / calorie intake isn’t right for your goals (see rules above!) then your body won’t build muscle or burn fat
  • To work out how many calories you need, calculate your Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE) and adjust this based on your goal (to build muscle eat more than your TDEE) Read more about this in our Beginner’s Fitness Guide

Train to Build Muscle

Now that your diet is in check, exercise is your tool to prompt the body to build more muscle. The most effective way to build muscle is with weight training and we recommend starting out with a reputable program designed for beginners. Most beginner routines propose training 2-3 times per week, with low repetition sets of compound exercises and adding weight each week as you get stronger.

Muscle Building Training Tips

  • Train compound movements (exercises involving two+ joints e.g. Squats) that recruit the most muscle mass, rather than isolation exercises (single joint e.g. bicep curls).
  • Lift heavy weights, aiming for a weight your can only lift 5-10 times. This signals the body to stimulate muscle growth.
  • Increase the weight each week to constantly challenge the body.
  • Never sacrifice form or control for numbers.
  • Stick with it and give your program time to work.

Rest and Recovery

You’re eating right and training like a beast, now it’s time for the third part of the equation - rest and recovery. If you neglect this component you won’t make the gains you could have and you put yourself at risk of burning out.

  • To maximise muscle growth you should be getting at least 7-8 hours of seep each night.
  • Avoid training the same muscle group too soon and leave around 48 hours of time for repair.
  • The foam roller is your friend and will quicken recovery times and reduce muscle soreness (read our foam roller guide)

Track Your Progress

Change happens slowly and incrementally and it can be difficult to miss. Capture your progress using the Fitstream health and fitness journal to stay motivated and see just how far you’ve come.

We believe in tracking metrics that really matter and reflect how your body is actually changing. With Fitstream you can record body measurements, take before and after photos, and write journal entries to document those personal experiments and discover just what works for you.

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