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Find out what exercise program you can start to practice, both in and out of the gym, to increase your muscle gains and bulk up in a matter of weeks.
Whether you want to be a competitive bodybuilder, or just feel the need to add some mass to your frame to enhance your physique, or improve your sporting performance, building muscle is a process that requires hard work, dedication, and patience.  

What you eat is equally as important as how hard you train. Lifting weights causes tiny micro tears in the muscle fibers. While this may sound detrimental, it’s a necessary process for building muscle. Your body will rebuild these tiny tears, bigger and stronger than they were before, which leads to an increase in muscle size. However, it can only do this if you’re providing it with fuel – in this case, food.

The first thing you need to look at is your calorie intake. Your body needs a certain amount of calories to function on a daily basis, but when you’re aiming to bulk up, it needs even more calories for the repair process, and for hormone production.

It’s impossible to precisely calculate your exact calorie intake, but you can get a good idea of what you need to build muscle.

Take your body-weight in pounds, and multiply it by 18. That’s the number of calories you should eat every day to build muscle. Make sure you stick to this for two weeks, then reassess your progress. If you’ve gained less than one pound, add in a further 300 calories per day. If you’ve gained more than two pounds, it’s likely that you’re adding not only muscle, but some fat too, so reduce your daily intake by 300.

The next issue to address is your macronutrient rations – proteins, carbohydrates and fats.

Protein intake should be set at roughly two grams per kilogram of bodyweight, or, to make it easier – one gram per pound. Athletes and bodybuilders require a great deal more protein than a sedentary person, so this figure provides ample, without being excessive. Aim to get your protein from meat, fish, eggs, dairy products, and protein supplements.

Eat a high amount of carbs on your training days, and less on your rest days. On training days, aim for two grams per pound of body-weight, and on rest days, one gram per pound. Carbs from oats, bread, pasta, rice, fruits and vegetables are all good choices.

Finally, fats should make up the rest of your calories, so that you meet your ideal calorie intake. Get your fats from oily fish and red meat, nuts, seeds, oils and avocado.

The last aspect to consider is one which is often overlooked – rest.

Most people fail to realize the importance of getting adequate rest between gym sessions. However, if you try and do extra training, spend lots of time moving around, get stressed out, or don’t get enough sleep, you give your body more to cope with, making it harder to build muscle.

You don’t need to turn into a lazy slob who never gets off the couch, but you shouldn’t exert yourself too much outside of the gym. Make sure you get at least seven hours of good quality sleep each night, and keep your cardiovascular activity to a minimum. The odd run, swim or bike ride is fine, and can benefit your general health, but training for a marathon, or playing soccer for two hours every single day will not help your muscle building progress.