One goal that many clients name as a top priority is: “I want to put on some size!” These guys want to get bigger, stronger, and more muscular without getting fat. The good news is that you can gain size without looking ungainly or bloated.  Here are my four strategies that can help you gain quality lean muscle!

1. You have got to eat to build muscle mass. According to sports nutritionist, Craig Stevenson, you should eat at least 21 calories per pound of goal body weight. If you weigh 175 pounds and you want to gain 10 lbs. of muscle, you need to start eating 3885 calories today (185 x 21 = 3885). Also, you need to increase your protein intake by 1.45 grams per pound of goal body weight. Again, if your goal is to be 185 pounds, you will need to eat at least 250 grams of protein per day.

2. Make your workouts shorter, yet more intense, lasting under an hour. A super workout will increase your testosterone and human growth hormone levels, and that is what you want. But somewhere into your workout, about 60 minutes or so, another hormone, cortisol, kicks in and as you fatigue, this is the stuff that actually breaks down muscle tissue. In summary, shorten your workouts, increase your intensity and make each rep of each set count.

3. Go into the gym with a plan. If you have 45 minutes, make sure you know what you are going to do ahead of time. I recommend focusing upon two muscle groups per workout. If your biceps are lagging don’t do them at the same time you do back since you utilize biceps when you do back anyway. You will not be able to give them 100%. Know your muscles, have a varied routine for each group, and know what body parts to work together. For example, if you do a heavy back and chest routine on Monday then work your legs on Wednesday. That way your arms and shoulders will have ample time to recover by Friday when you will blast them.

4. Learn the importance of rest between sets during your workouts and make sure you give yourself ample time for rest and recovery between training sessions. Most trainers suggest 30-90 seconds of rest between sets. Others suggest as long as three minutes rest between sets of heavy compound movement exercises like dead lifts, squats and bench presses. By rest I don’t mean dropping to the floor or playing on your phone. Between sets move around, catch your breath, stretch, and drinking water. As far as rest between workouts, give each muscle group from 48 to 72 hours to recover, depending upon the intensity of the previous workout.

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Tom Bonanti is a personal trainer and licensed massage therapist (MA40288) with his own one on one training studio in Ft. Lauderdale Contact Tom with questions regarding fitness and nutrition or call to schedule a free fitness intake massage (954) 557-1119.