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  • Writer's pictureSam Trotta

Three Easy Strategies to Start Building Muscle Today

In my last post, I talked about three key reasons why you might want to build muscle - even if you have no desire to look like a bodybuilder or have your biceps bulging from your blouse.

Two key takeaways from that post:

  1. Building muscle has numerous health and longevity benefits from building muscle that will help you thrive for as long as possible.

  2. If you are worried at all about getting "too bulky", go ahead and build some muscle anyway. In fact, do your best to get bulky - and all the best in that endeavour. Believe me, even when focused on building bulk in massive quantities, it is much harder to do than you might think.

In this post, since I've seamlessly sold you on the health, longevity and lifestyle benefits of building a little more muscle on your frame, I am going to share three easy ways that you can get started doing so today.

First, eat some more protein. You might have noticed this point as a recurring theme in my posts. Well, there is a solid reason for that: eating adequate protein is essential to a healthy, thriving physical body. According to leading researchers in the nutrition / health space, such as Dr. Donald Layman and Dr. Gabrielle Lyon, aim for approximately 1 gram of protein per pound of "ideal" body weight per day. (The discussion of ideal body weight will be for another blog. Just know two things - you and no one but you derives that ideal weight; and, the figure has nothing to do with looking a certain way unless you want it to)

You can opt for animal or plant-based protein sources. In either case, make sure your choices take the total caloric impact of food into account to avoid unintended overnourishment (my favourite way of saying "eating too much"). Also do your best to make sure your protein consumption is spread throughout the day.

Next, exercise (harder). I put the term "harder" in parentheses so I could address two groups of people with this point. For those who do not exercise at all, exercising to any degree with some level of vigour will result in that "newbie" muscle growth. Combined with the other elements of muscle-building in this post, that novelty of exercise stimulus is a darn-near guarantee for some muscle growth.

The second group of exercisers to be addressed here are those who are currently exercising, just maybe not as hard as they could. With the exception of a minority percentage of people, most people who exercise are not even close to working to their available, safe capacity (and I emphasize safe here - exercise-based injuries are the worst).

In Toronto, there are so many ways and places that you can exercise. Some ways are simply more effective than others for building muscle. A good personal trainer can show you the best routes for you to accomplish your muscle-building goals while keeping you in the gym. This is an investment that will pay you back in multiples. At Striation 6, personal training starts for as little as $35 per session, with the caveat that we will do our best to match you with the Exercise Professional that best suits your needs.

Lastly for today, exercise less often. This last point might seem counterintuitive. Most people have the bias that for every exercise goal, more exercise is better. Truth: it depends on the person and what is actually happening in their exercise efforts.

For many adamant exercisers, particularly women, it might be that you are simply exercising too much to facilitate muscle growth. With good quality exercise to promote muscle growth, the body requires recovery. Stop me if you've heard this one, but rest and recovery is where muscle growth actually happens. For most people, three good quality, appropriately intense sessions per week is plenty to facilitate muscle building.

Email me if you have any questions about this topic!

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