Strong Nut

Building Muscle

Strong Nut

Welcome to the page I have affectionately called the “Strong Nut.” This page is dedicated to those “Health Nuts” looking to build muscle and make some serious gains. With how social media and technology has given us access to an uncontrollable amount of information, it is easy to get lost or mixed up when looking into going about things. It’s true there are ways to make some serious gains and do it fast. However, if you are not doing the basic foundations along with it, you are missing out on some serious potential mass accumulation. So here are the things every serious builder must do in order lay that very foundation.

Set Your Goals…

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The first thing is you need to set goals and make a plan of what you want out of building mass. How big do you want to get? I looked for people with great bodies. For my inspirational figure I chose Dwayne Johnson. The Rock was huge during that time, and I had huge respect for Dwayne as a person who not only is a great actor, but also singer, dancer, and all around great remodel. I knew I didn’t want to be a huge muscle head, but I wanted to be able to have power with flexibility and agility. Knowing this is what is going to motivate you. You now have that final goal…that look you want. Now you need to research and go about how you want to get it. There are many routes to take, and some are much better than others. It takes good research, possibly a trainer and/or nutritionist, and preferably a lifting buddy to get you there and hold you accountable. I’ve even seen people now-a-days using phone apps…which brings me to my next point.

Tech isn’t always best…

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Here me out before you get upset!!! Lately, I’ve being seeing tons of people…usually newbies…using all kinds of apps and tech for workouts. They come and go and never really get the results they are looking for. They take a ton of breaks going through their workout apps and lose crucial time getting results. They are lost to the most basic and crucial components of building mass and getting muscle and it totally shows. Don’t get me wrong, not all technology is bad. I think things like Heart Rate Monitors are totally fine. Some apps will help people get started into a routine, and some of them do succeed over time. However, they would have done it much faster if they just knew even the basics and stopped relying so much on technology. If you want to save time and get the results you need faster, get rid of the apps and leave the technology in the locker room. You will then be focused on the routine ahead and not waste any time getting there. There are a lot of basic stuff people today no longer think of, or are actively practicing, which is costing them huge gains. These seemingly basic things are extremely simple, yet if one of them are not being utilized properly, it is the difference between success and failure. They are also the most common mistakes you see missed when people are wondering why they are plateauing or just not getting the numbers they are expecting.

Drink lots of water…

It’s a well-known fact that our bodies need water. The interesting thing is that as important as water is, it is the most common missing element we fail to offer our bodies on a daily basis…let alone our workouts. Often times we find ourselves supplementing water with juice or flavored liquids that advertise to give better results and hydration than water. Though these can be excellent for supplementation, it will never be able to replace the full benefit that simple H2O will provide for your body…mainly for the simple fact that our bodies were built to consume and absorb it. It’s free and hydrates the body the way God intended. You need water in your body the same way a car needs oil and coolant for the engine. Without water you will overheat and damage your body quickly, and also create long-term damage further down the road. If that doesn’t concern you than maybe the fact that you won’t get as good of results in your muscle building regimen will. Because our body types and sizes are all different, I recommend drinking half your body weight in ounces to ensure proper hydration and effective workout results. If you haven’t been drinking enough water yet, you will find you are getting more energy and feeling better than you ever did before…so drink up, cause it’s free, it’s everywhere, and it works!!!

EAT…

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If you want to support large solid muscles, you need to eat! Take your body weight and multiply it by 15-17 calories and that is roughly where you want to start for calorie intake. When I started to lift weights with the goal of massing up I weighed 230 pounds at 6’6”. That means I needed to consume at least 3,400 calories a day. If you are consuming the calculated amount and no change in weight is occurring you can increase your intake by 10% more, or it could mean you are doing far too much cardio. Remember, quality fuel produces quality results. If you are driving a high-performance vehicle, you’re not going to but dirty cheap gas in the tank…you would use premium gas or higher performing fuel and oil to produce the best results and take care of the car. Why should your body be any different?!

Protein and carbs or bust…

Strong Nut Proteins and Carbs

Protein is vital to building and maintaining muscle, and carbs will produce the energy needed to fuel your brain and body to make that muscle. When it comes to these vital components you want to look for as minimally processed foods as possible. For instance, a healthy helping of rice, quinoa, or potatoes will benefit you more than a small pile of noodles. Supplementing where you can is also vital in ensuring that your body is getting all the protein and energy it needs. There are a lot of products out there and some are really good, and others can be horrible for you and full of extra fillers and things that could adversely affect desired results. It is important to do research and investigate the supplements you are thinking of taking before you put them into your body. When introducing protein into the body, the best time is right after your workout. This is when your body is screaming for nourishment. Any delay for too long could cause the body to cannibalize itself and attack your muscle. If you can bring a shaker and some powder, you can get the better results than the guy who waits to drive home or showers after the workout first.

Play hard sleep hard…

Sleeping and getting adequate rest can be the difference between achieving your goals or backsliding. Not getting enough sleep can have adverse effects on your health, risk bodily harm and injury, and cause you to fail to produce the desired muscle growth you are going for. This is the time your body uses to burn stored energy and calories to heal and grow muscle tissue, and prepare your body for the next day. With enough sleep you will feel great and be charged to take on the next day and stay focused at work and in the gym. Often times your muscles are going to be really soar and you need to push yourself to climb up that hill. If you are not well rested, that hill will seem more like a mountain and is often times where people will end up failing. I recommend getting 7 ½ to 9 hours of sleep. Too much will make you groggy and tired, and too little will make you groggy and weak.

Lay a Foundation…

Make yourself solid from the inside out and ensure a healthy rock-solid body to fit any demigod. Stay away from the weights to start off, and keep your beginning workout routines using basic bodily movements. It may sound like I’m telling you to go play in the kiddie pool, but many people do not realize how much resistance your arms, legs, and core of your body actually can create. Too often people jump into weight lifting regimens that put the body into shock and create joint and muscle damage instead of great results. Your stabilizer muscles in your core, hips, and shoulders need to be strong enough to develop and handle the work your larger muscles will be doing. Exercises with rotational movements, lifting and chopping are great. This is where your high intensity workouts come in handy. You need to crawl before you can walk, and if you’re not able to handle the simple weight of your own body, you have no business lifting weights yet. Push-ups, sit-ups, and squats are great simple exercises that can also be increased by doing high intensity workouts like burpees. Resistance bands and medicine balls can help create more force once those basic exercises get easier. Once a couple weeks go by you can begin to introduce weights such as kettlebells, dumbbells. Higher reps and fewer sets are what the goal is. You want to aim for numbers like 12 or 15 in two sets. You want more cardio into the mix as well, because it will strengthen your heart, lungs, and stabilizer muscles for what’s ahead. I can’t stress enough the need to stretch. Stretch before and after workouts if you can. Heck, I do a stretch routine right after getting out of bed. This will give you better results and faster muscle growth from your workouts and also allow you to have movement with your new big bod. If you practice laying this foundation, you will be solid from the inside out!

 

8 Comments

  1. I have just finished reading your article about building muscle, and I must say you have hit it on the head!
    All to often people overlook just how important resting is to your recovery phase.
    Do you have any suggestions on supplements that can aid in mass building?
    Cheers,
    Brendon

    • Thanks for commenting!!! It really depends on how intense your workouts are and what specifically you are looking for. If you are supplementing with regular multi-vitamins, I believe personally we get all we need with a healthy balanced diet. In fact, we as a society already eat a lot of carbs, protein, and calories to support some pretty intense workouts. Many studies and research out there has discovered this to be true. However, if you are doing some pretty advanced weight training and high intensity workouts, you then would definitely want to utilize whey protein and creatine. However, you want the clean stuff when it comes to protein…watch the carbs that are loaded in them cause too much can have poorer results for your body and be a waste of money. I will be doing some product reviews and recommendations in the future for specific products you want utilize!

  2. You see, there’s my biggest problem, lack of sleep. It’s hard to get enough rest with so many things going on. I figure that’s why I take so long to recover from injury. The other thing I’m definitely guilty of is not drinking enough water. You get busy and only remember when you’re dying of thirst.

    • Thank for your comment! I have two little ones and another on the way, so I definitely can relate to the sleep struggle. When we sleep, our body uses that time to heal. If you lack sleep you can often notice you can catch colds and get sick more often, and soar muscles an pinched nerves become more common as well. I too struggled with the whole water intake issue as well…most people do. I bought a huge water bottle and take it with me to work. I just take it wherever I go and constantly sip out of it…lol…my wife carries a 1 gallon drink bottle if you can imagine that. But she says ever since she started doing it, her energy level skyrocketed which is a big deal for an expectant mother in her third trimester. You go a lot further in the gym as well, and your skin even looks a heck of a lot better too if you can do it. 

  3. Hi Bruce,

    Great post! You certainly have nailed it with the sleep and lack of correct food. I have just injured my back in gym and its a pain not being able to get back there for a while. I am riding a bike and doing non weight bearing exercises but miss it.

    Any tips on a good supplement to assist with injuries? Specifically back?

    Cheers man,

    Kev

    • There are some light exercises that would support a bad back and help you get back into the game. As for supplementing, protein powders will help the muscles around your back, and depending on your injury, you may want to stop with the exercising completely and just stretch often at least twice a day. For over the counter pain and back spasm issues I recommend two Acetaminophen an two ibuprofen. Depending on your size you may be able to go up to three pills of each. They do not counteract with one another and so you can double or even triple the pain relief power and help those muscles relax as well. Be sure to consume with food to protect your stomach, and as always,j consult a doctor first. I do not know your medical history and am not a licensed doctor. Thanks for your response, I will think of you in my next post for exercises to help strengthen a bad back!!! Cheers!

  4. Great stuff. I have been working out for many years and agree with your advice. I have been doing intermittent fasting for a few years and found it very helpful. What is your view on IF?

    • Glad you like the post. Intermittent fasting is actually really healthy. Many studies show that fasting (the right way) will reboot your body, cleanse toxins, and give your metabolism a jolt. Totally for it!

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