Setting Realistic Goals: Muscle Growth
This entry was posted on August 18, 2018.
What are realistic goals for muscle growth?
Many people set themselves up to fail from day one by setting unrealistic and/or unobtainable goals. If you set realistic goals that allow you to make small gains but on a regular basis will result in an overall happier outlook on progression in the gym and ultimately increase your chances of reaching your end muscle growth goals.
Use the following bullet points as a guide:
- Check that you diet is in order before attempting a growth phase/bulk.
- Set up a meal plan for at least four meals per day (plus two protein shakes) therefore six meals per day. The focus here is on protein, but don’t forget to keep the carbohydrates and fats in check.
- Learn and know your food groups. Know what you should be eating and when you should be eating it. E.g. carbs should primarily be around your training time; pre, intra and post workout.
- Counting calories is the only fool proof way of knowing if you are consuming enough food and of the right macronutrients. The simple fact is that in order to gain muscle and weight, you have to consume more calories than your body needs to remain as is.
- Realise that as your body grows, so does your caloric intake as your base calorie levels will be higher, therefore more calories will be required to remain in a caloric surplus.
- Realise that you typically will need to consume 300 to 500 calories more than what your body requires each day in order to grow. You can of course consume more, but I wouldn’t recommend this as it will also lead to fat gain.
- A realistic muscle growth target for a natural bodybuilder would be 1-2 lbs weekly.
- Even over eating of clean food to hit your calorie and macronutrient targets will lead to fat gain.
- Along with your diet, you should set yourself targets in the gym. For example, if on week one you are bench pressing 80kg, then by week three, I would expect 85kg if you are eating properly. If you use the correct technique under full control and using the full range of movement and also continually increase the weight, this will put more stress on your muscles, resulting in muscle growth.
- Leaner what exercises are bet for mass building – compound movements. The three main ones are bench press, squat and deadlift.
- Know that the optimal rep range is 8-12.
- Understanding that you break down muscle in the gym and grow through rest and food.
- The golden rule is that consistency is key. That is consistency with training, diet and rest!
- Realise that you will not turn into an IFBB pro in a month or even a year, although you will be able to add at least 10kg of lean body mass (LBM) in a year if you stick to your goals and follow the above.