Secrets to Gaining One Pound of Muscle a Week

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How to Gain One Pound of Muscle a Week

Maybe you've had sand kicked in your face or maybe you are a man who has lost one too many attainable women to guys that are more buffed. Or maybe you've read so much about weight-loss that actually admitting that you want to gain weight is now a societal taboo. Whatever the reason might be if you want to bulk up and you want it now. Well the answer is to make sure that you follow these 10 principles to pack on as much as a pound of good quality muscle each week.

1. Maximize Muscle Building

The more protein your body stores in a process called protein synthesis, the larger your muscles will grow. But your body is constantly depleting its protein reserves for various other uses like making hormones, for instance. The result is that there is less protein available for muscle building. In order to counteract this you need to build and store new proteins faster than your body breaks down old proteins.

2. Eat Meat

You should shoot for about 1g of protein per pound of body weight, which is roughly the maximum amount your body can use in a day. For example, a 160-pound man should consume 160g of protein a day. This is the amount he would get from an 8-ounce chicken breast, 1 cup of cottage cheese, a roast-beef sandwich, two eggs, a glass of milk, and 2 ounces of peanuts. Then split the rest of your daily calories equally between carbohydrates and fats.

3. Eat More

Together with the above mentioned carbs and fats and the adequate protein requirement you also need to add more calories. Use the following formula to calculate the amount of calories you need to take in daily in order to gain 1 pound a week. Give yourself 2 weeks for results to start showing up on the bathroom scale. If you haven't gained by then, increase your calories by another 500 a day.


A. Your weight in pounds
B. Multiply A by 12 to get your basic calorie needs
C. Multiply B by 1. 6 to estimate you’re resting metabolic rate (calories burnt without factoring in exercise)
D. Strength training: multiply the number of minutes you train with weights per week by 5
E. Aerobic training: multiply the number of minutes per week that you run, cycle, and play sports by 8
F. Add D and E, then divide by 7
G. Add C and F to get your daily calorie needs
H. Add 500 to G. This is your estimated daily calorie needs to gain 1 pound a week

4. Work Your Biggest Muscles

If you're a beginner, just about any workout will be intense enough to increase protein synthesis. But if you've been lifting for a while, you'll build the most muscle quickest if you focus on the large muscle groups, like the chest, neck, and legs. Add squats, dead-lifts, pull-ups, bent-over rows, bench presses, dips, and military presses to your workout. Do 2 or 3 sets of 8 to 12 repetitions, with about 60 seconds rest between sets.

5. Have a Protein Drink

Weight lifters who drank a smoothie containing amino acids and carbohydrates before working out increased their protein synthesis more than lifters who drank the same shake after exercising, (according to a study at the University of Texas). The smoothie contained 6g of essential amino acids which are the main muscle-building blocks of protein plus 35g of carbohydrates. Since exercise increases blood flow to your working tissues, drinking a carbohydrate-protein mixture before your workout may lead to greater uptake of the amino acids in your muscles.

For your protein shake you will need about 10 to 20g of protein, usually about one scoop of a whey protein powder. If you can't handle protein drinks, you can also get the same nutrients from a sandwich made with 4 ounces of deli turkey and one slice of American cheese on a whole wheat bread. But a smoothie is better if you drink one 30 to 60 minutes before your workout.

6. Lift Every Other Day (NOT Every Day)

Give your muscles a break by following a full-body workout with a day of rest. Studies show that a challenging weight workout increases protein synthesis for up to 48 hours immediately after your exercise session. Always remember that your muscles grow when you're resting, not when you're working out.

7. Get Carbs After Your Workout

You'll rebuild muscle faster on your rest days if you feed your body carbohydrates that it needs which is something that research has now conclusively shown to be true. But you also need to be careful to avoid too much fat-gain. Post-workout meals with carbs increase your insulin levels, which in turn, slows the rate of protein breakdown. Have a banana, a sports brink, or a peanut butter sandwich.

8. Eat Every 3 Hours

If you don't eat often enough you will limit the rate at which your body builds new proteins. To solve this problem take the number of calories you need in a day (calculated previously in #3) and divide by 6. That's roughly the amount of calories you should eat at each meal. Make sure you consume some protein, which should be around 20g-every 3 hours.

9. Make One Snack Ice Cream

Have a bowl of ice cream (any kind) 2 hours after your workout. According to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, this snack triggers a surge of insulin better than most foods do. And that'll put a damper on post-workout protein breakdown.

10. Have Milk Before Bed

Eat a combination of carbs and protein 30 minutes before you go to bed. The calories are more likely to stick with you during sleep and reduce protein breakdown in your muscles. Try a cup of raisin bran with skim milk or a cup of cottage cheese and a small bowl of fruit. Eat again as soon as you wake up.

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Disclaimer: This information is for entertainment purposes only. We strongly recommend that you consult a physician before beginning any exercise program. is not a licensed medical care provider. The reader should understand that participating in any exercise program can result in physical injury and agrees to do so at his own risk. The findings and opinions of authors expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily state or reflect those of

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