Do This Every Day to Build More Muscle
Check out my client Mihail’s transformation where he lost a whole bunch of fat
Hitting the gym isn’t all it takes to optimize muscle growth. What you do with your diet and what you do before and after your workout is equally as important, if not more important.
What Can I Do To Build Muscle?
The key to muscle growth is consistency. By mastering the correct muscle-building habits and repeating them on a daily basis you can create a routine that’s guaranteed to continue delivering muscle growth for a long time.
Today I want to give you guys a list of what you should be doing consistently to build more muscle.
Before we jump into the more obvious things, I want to start with some exciting research about the effects of eating olives.
Now make no mistake; it’s much more vital for you to ensure that you have your basics down, like staying in a calorie surplus and getting enough protein. But eating olives can’t really hurt you. In fact, many people don’t realize that eating them daily may help promote muscle growth.
For example, Italian researchers recruited a group of people between 18 and 65 to eat a dozen green olives every day for 30 days.(1)
At the end of the 30 days, the participants dropped an average of 1.7% body fat while gaining over 2% lean muscle mass. This equated to an average of a little more than 2 pounds of muscle growth while still burning fat.
It might not sound like much, but it is significant and impressive. Why? Well, because the people involved in the study didn’t make any other dietary or exercise changes besides consuming 12 olives per day.
Initially, it was assumed that olives benefit muscle growth due to their anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. This is because everyone in the study experienced a reduction in interleukin-6—a factor used to rate inflammation throughout the body. They also experienced a decline in free radicals. But, both of these things can happen just by eating more fruits and vegetables in general.
The more likely thing that led to body composition improvements was a compound known as oleuropein, found in high levels in olives and olive oil. Although more research is needed to confirm this, current studies on animals indicate the encouraging anabolic and anti-catabolic effects of oleuropein.(2)
Besides, taking in 50 to 70 extra calories eating 12 olives per day will not be bad for you. So feel free to try that, or you can also replace cooking oils like canola, corn, and sunflower oil with extra virgin olive oil.
#2: Consume More Cholesterol in Your Diet
Another thing that most people don’t know is that consuming more cholesterol daily can benefit muscle growth.
In fact, most people believe that dietary cholesterol is bad and that it causes heart disease, but that’s actually not true.
There’s no link between cholesterol intake and heart disease.(3) But if you lift weights, cholesterol is actually beneficial because it can aid muscle growth.
One study specifically found a dose-response relationship between cholesterol intake and lean body mass.(4) Higher cholesterol intakes were associated with more muscle mass.
As you can see in the graph, the more cholesterol they ate, the more muscle they gained. (5) And the participants kept protein and fat intake the same they only changed cholesterol intake.
This study’s limiting factor is that most participants were older, but this isn’t the only study showing higher cholesterol intakes improving muscle growth. Several other studies also indicate the same. (6)
The likely reason why cholesterol has this effect is that it supports membrane viscosity, muscle repair, lipid raft formation, and the production of anabolic hormones like testosterone. (7)
Now, keep in mind you don’t have to go out of your way to consume tons of cholesterol. There comes the point where more isn’t better… and consuming lots of cholesterol might mean that you’ll have fewer calories available to eat other nutritious foods.
But to build muscle, it is beneficial to consume one or more servings of cholesterol-rich food daily, such as eggs, beef, or dairy.
Now the next thing you should do every day, I’ve mentioned—eat enough calories.
Guys, this is the most important thing to do. It should be at the top of your priority ladder.
The only reason that I didn’t start with this first is that many of you already know about it. But at the same time, many of you are not actually following through and eating enough calories to build muscle.
When you don’t eat enough calories, you risk losing muscle.
However, when you’re in a calorie surplus, you boost hormones like testosterone, IGF-1, and mTOR while lowering cortisol. This combined effect leads to more muscle protein synthesis and less muscle protein breakdown, necessary for muscle gain.
On top of that, a calorie surplus that includes carbs that help you lift heavier and perform better by filling up your muscle glycogen stores.
Just keep in mind that you only need a small calorie surplus to optimize muscle growth. Anything above that small surplus will just get stored as fat.
A 10% calorie surplus is a good guideline to start with. So, if your maintenance level is at 2,500 calories, a 10% increase gives you 2,750 calories per day. And you can always raise it later as long as you’re not gaining fat.
If you’re naturally lean, you can start with a 15% increase instead of 10.
On the other hand, if you’re someone that struggles with losing body fat, you have to be more careful. I’d recommend starting with the 10% because you’ll be more likely to store the excess calories as fat instead of using them for building muscle. This is because having higher levels of body fat lowers testosterone and impairs carbohydrate tolerance. (8)
#4: Spread Protein Intake Out Evenly Between Meals
Let’s move on to something else that you might not know, and that’s how you should do your best to spread out your protein intake evenly throughout the day for maximum growth.
While intermittent fasting is excellent for fat loss, and even though you can build muscle while fasting, it is not the best way to build muscle.
You should definitely avoid the more restrictive fasting methods like the Warrior Diet and Omad. That’s because eating only one or two meals per day is not the best strategy to maximize muscle growth. It becomes much more challenging to consume enough calories.
Studies show that spreading protein out evenly throughout the day gives you an edge when it comes to building muscle.
In fact, in a systematic review, leading sports scientists recommend that to maximize muscle growth, you should spread your protein intake between a minimum of four meals. In each meal, aim for around 0.4g of protein per kilogram. This is roughly 0.18 grams of protein per pound.(9)
Spreading your protein out evenly is more beneficial for muscle growth because it’ll help keep your amino acid levels elevated, ensuring that your body always has access to raw muscle-building material.
In addition to the systematic review, another study looked at the differences in protein synthesis rates between groups having an even protein distribution for each meal versus a skewed protein distribution.(10) The even protein distribution led to higher amounts of protein synthesis, making it a better choice for muscle growth. And other studies also support these findings.(11)
Of course, not only do you want to spread your protein intake out evenly, but you also want to make sure that you’re eating enough total protein every day.
Since muscle growth is all about generating more amino acids within a muscle than the amount that is broken down, you cannot build muscle without eating enough protein every day.
According to research, you only need about 0.73 grams of protein per pound of body weight when you’re in a calorie surplus. The evidence shows you don’t need more unless you’re in a calorie deficit.(12),(13)
#5: Take Creatine Supplements
It is always better to get protein from food rather than supplements.
Still, one supplement that you can take daily to boost muscle growth is creatine.
Creatine is as good as it gets when it comes to natural muscle-building supplements – that’s according to a meta-analysis published in the Journal of Physiology.(14)
Even compared to over 250 natural muscle-building supplements, creatine had the most beneficial effect on muscle growth.(15)
Now, it’s important to note that not everyone reacts the same to creatine.
But all in all, creatine is a top supplement for natural lifters, especially if you want to gain size. This is because creatine enhances cellular muscle hydration, making you appear bigger by increasing your muscles’ water retention.
Creatine also supports energy production during high-intensity exercise. This means you can train your muscles more effectively at the gym and lift heavier weights for more reps.
For example, research shows that “the average increase in weightlifting performance after creatine supplementation can be 14% greater than the average increase from taking a placebo instead”(16). In other words, in this study, taking creatine led to 14% more strength gains than not taking it.
Now, if you’re still not impressed, another meta-analysis found that creatine supplementation increased lean body mass by an average of 2.2%.(17)
So, if you want to enhance muscle mass and gym performance, go ahead and supplement with creatine daily. It’s cheap, safe, effective, and you only need 5 grams of creatine monohydrate per day to reap the benefits.
Finally, the last and perhaps most overlooked thing you definitely want to do every day is get enough sleep.
We all know that sleep is crucial for health and well-being. But few people realize that getting enough of it helps you grow muscle much faster. And not getting enough sleep makes it exponentially more challenging to grow.
To illustrate this, we have a study that looked at how sleep deprivation affected muscle protein synthesis.(18)
In the study, men were divided into 2 groups. One group was allowed to sleep the full 8 hours per night, while the other group was limited to only 4 hours in bed per night.
Biopsies from the quadricep were taken before and after the study to see how the two different sleep patterns impacted muscle mass. And the researchers found that muscle protein synthesis was reduced in the group that experienced sleep restriction.(19)
So, if you want to build muscle faster, make sure to get enough sleep every day.
There you have it, guys; those are the things you should be doing every day. The most important ones for muscle growth are maintaining a calorie surplus, getting enough protein, and getting enough sleep.
Aside from everything else that I already mentioned, you need to also progressively overload your workouts by lifting heavier weights or performing more reps. In this post, I didn’t say that you really shouldn’t work out every day. But, you should leave at least one day off to allow your muscles and your central nervous system to recover.
I hope this has helped you out, and I hope you learned something new.
Also, suppose you’re looking for a simplified approach to building muscle or burning fat. In that case, I can tell you I’ve gone through it myself, and I’ve helped thousands of people at my coaching centers in New Jersey as well as thousands more online.
So if you want a streamlined, proven system that comes with a full workout plan, a video exercise library, a customizable diet plan, a recipe book, and an accountability coach to mentor and guide you, click the link below.
1. Italian researchers recruited 23 people between the ages of 18 and 65 to eat a dozen green olives a day for 30 days
2. Animal research found that oleuropein has promising anabolic and anti-catabolic effects.
3. Research shows that there’s no link between cholesterol intake and heart disease.
4. A case in point: one study had 49 older adults follow a 12-week strength training plan with nutritional guidelines.
5. The more cholesterol they ate, the more muscle they gained. (See figure 1A below)
6. That isn’t the only study that shows higher cholesterol intakes improve muscle growth. Several other studies indicate the same.
7 Cholesterol aids membrane viscosity, muscle repair, lipid raft formation, and the production of anabolic hormones like testosterone.
8. Carrying more fat makes your body more likely to store the excess calories as fat instead of using it for muscle growth, which is because higher body fat reduces testosterone, increases chronic inflammation, and lowers carb tolerance.
9. “To maximize anabolism one should consume protein at a target intake of 0.4 g/kg/meal across a minimum of four meals”
10. A 2015 study from McMaster University looked at protein synthesis differences between a 25-25-25-25% protein distribution and a skewed 7-17-72-4% distribution. The even 25-25-25-25% won.
11. Even protein distribution leads to higher muscle protein synthesis rates.
12. A 2018 meta-analysis looked at how much protein that you need to optimize muscle growth.
13. 0.73g of protein per lb of bodyweight is the ideal. (See figure 5 below).
14. When it comes to natural muscle-building supplements, creatine is as good as it gets. That’s what a meta-analysis published in the Journal of Physiology noted.
15. For the analysis, researchers from Iowa State University analyzed the literature on natural muscle-building supplements and found that creatine had the most beneficial effect on muscle growth.
16. “The average increase in weightlifting performance (maximal repetitions at a given percent of maximal strength) following creatine supplementation plus resistance training was 14% greater than the average increase in weightlifting performance following placebo ingestion during resistance training (26 vs. 12%).”
17. “LBM had an average increase of 2.2”
18. One study looked at how sleep deprivation impacted muscle protein synthesis – a marker of muscle growth and maintenance.
19. “MyoPS is acutely reduced by sleep restriction.”
* Body fat percentage dropped, on average, by 1.7% while muscle mass increased by 2.09% (by eating olives daily):
** For example, a 12-week study compared muscle and strength gains among resistance-trained athletes who consumed either a small or a moderate calorie deficit.
*** See figure 1, look at the “FM” section.