The Ultimate Muscle Building Guide: For Beginners

by Benjamin Bunting BA(Hons) PGCert

Ben Bunting BA(Hons) PGCert Sports and Exercise Nutrition Level 2 Strength and Conditioning CoachWritten by Ben Bunting: BA, PGCert. (Sport & Exercise Nutrition) // British Army Physical Training Instructor // S&C Coach.

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You're ready to get serious about your gains. Our muscle-building guide will help you!

With your daily dose of Military Muscle you can start building muscle and get the testosterone flowing. 

Why stop at that? 

Here at Military Muscle, we want you to achieve your goals and get the best possible results. 

Our Ultimate Muscle Building guide will help you get started with your muscle building journey by providing helpful tips on diet, exercises and lifestyle modifications. 

Muscle Building Guide

This guide is divided into three sections that all work together to help you build muscle. 

  1. Diet
  2. Exercise
  3. Changes in Lifestyle

Let's get started! 

1. Diet

Our muscle-building guide begins with the foundation of bodybuilding: a healthy diet. 

You will need to consume more calories when bulking up. To do it effectively, you need to go beyond simply 'eating food'. 

The right foods, the correct nutrients, and the fact that you are in charge of what you eat all help to promote significant muscle gain. 

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Discover how to maximize your bodybuilding potential by understanding the diet you eat. 

Get Your Calorie Intake Right

According to research, in order to gain muscle mass you must increase your daily caloric intake by between 15-20%. 

To calculate how many calories you should add each day, you must first determine your daily maintenance intake. 

Find out how many calories you should consume each day

Step 1

Calculate your Basal Metabolic rate (BMR), which is how much energy you body requires when it's at rest. 

The Harris-Benedict Formula is a popular method to calculate this. It uses height, weight, and age. 

For Men 

BMR = (66 x 13.7 kg + 5 cm x the height) ‚Äď (6.8 years x the age)¬†

The Women's Agenda 

BMR = 6.55 + 9.6 x the weight in kilograms + (1.8 cm x the height in centimeters) - (4.7% x your age in years). 

Step 2 

You can then use your level of activity to calculate your caloric burn for your lifestyle. 

Multiply your BMR (if you are sedentary) by 1.2 if you do minimal to no exercise.

You can multiply your BMR with 1.375 if you are only lightly active one to three times a week.

Actively moderate - If your BMR is 1.55, multiply it by three or five days of moderate exercise per week.

Very Active - If your BMR is 1.725, then you are very active.

Multiply your BMR (Body Mass Index) by 1.9 if you are extra active.

When bulking up, add 15-20% to your daily maintenance calories. 

What to Eat

You will need more calories, but you should focus on the foods that support muscle growth. 

It's crucial to have the right diet if you want to achieve your goals. It's important to find the right balance of macronutrients, including protein, carbohydrates and fat. 

Three macronutrients

The ratio of macros should remain the same, whether you are bulking up or cutting. 

Protein = 30-35% 

Carbohydrates are 45-60% of the total diet

 Fat = 15-30%[1] 

Lean Protein

You should increase your caloric intake between 15-20% when you are bulking up. For the best muscle-building results, add 1,2-2g per kilogram of weight to your meals [2]. 

You can achieve rapid muscle growth by consuming protein.

This product helps to stop unhealthy sugar cravings, and it also contains refined carbohydrates for a healthy diet that is essential for quick and healthy muscle growth.

This product boosts your energy for better endurance, and you can build muscle longer.

This hormone suppresses your appetite by increasing hormones that reduce ghrelin, the hunger hormone.

You can burn more calories by thermogenesis through the digestion and metabolism of protein (carbohydrates are 5-10% and fat is 0-3%), so that you lose excess body fat while gaining muscle mass [3]. 

Protein food sources:

  • Meats such as skinless turkey breasts, chicken breasts and pork medallions.
  • Fish like salmon, seabass and prawns
  • Eggs
  • Cashews, walnuts flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds and other nuts.
  • Beans such as lentils, peas and black beans
  • Low-fat dairy

Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates, your body's primary source of energy are essential to your ability to lift weights efficiently. 

You'll lose energy if you drastically reduce your carbohydrate intake. This is most commpnly recognised when people 'hit the wall' during exercise, particularly long bouts of endurance activity like running a marathon. 

Two types of carbohydrates are available: 

  1. Simple carbohydrates that provide quick energy
  2. Complex carbohydrates release energy more slowly 

Complex carbohydrates provide more energy for endurance than simple carbohydrate alternatives. 

However, they aren't as readily available for your muscles to use as fuel than simple carbs, ths is why you may find teams consuming sugary foods/drinks during breaks in a game.

For optimum performance, complex carbs should be consumed at least 2-3 hours prior to your exercise. 

We recommend Complex Carbs for a long workout in the gym or in the field.

Some sources of complaex carbohydrates include: 

  • Oats
  • Brown rice, whole grain bread and pasta
  • Lentils and beans are legumes.
  • Bananas, strawberries, and blueberries are all fruits.
  • Sweet potatoes, broccoli and cabbage are all vegetables.

It's important to keep in mind that the type of carbohydrates you consume can have a huge impact on your ability to exercise. 

Fats

For healthy muscle development, it is essential to consume good fats. Increased intake of healthy fats increases testosterone, which in turn encourages the production of growth hormones and amino acids that are key components of your muscle mass [5]. 

Cutting out all fats from your diet could have a negative impact on your growth. By adding omega-3-fatty acids to your diet, you can maintain strength and muscle mass. 

We recommend the following foods enriched with unsaturated fats ‚ÄĒ monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats:¬†

  • Eggs
  • Salmon, tuna, and tilapia are high-omega-3 seafood [7].
  • Soybeans
  • Cottage cheese
  • Peanuts
  • Tofu
  • Milk

What to avoid

If you are looking to gain muscle quickly, it is important to know what to eliminate from your diet. 

Not only does alcohol contain a high amount of sugar, but it has also been shown to affect your body's function - particularly in the area of protein processing. If you want to get the maximum benefit from the nutrients that build muscle, you should avoid alcohol [8].

Avoid foods high in heavily refined sugars. These types of sugars added to your diet can cause digestive problems and hydration issues, as well as causing severe crashes that can hinder workouts.

Examples of these popular foods include:

  • Cakes
  • Cookies
  • Sweet rolls, pastries, doughnuts

The exception is if you need a quick influx of easily accessible carbohydrates such as carb loading prior to a race, such as a marathon, bicycle ride, triathlon etc. 

These sugars will be used for energy and not 'unused' which can be stored as fat. Popular options for athletes are soft/jelly candies which can be easily digested, particularly on ther move.

Deep-fried food is a prime example of bad fats that can lead to heart disease, inflammation and mood swings. All these things will affect your ability to grow muscle and perform during your workout. 

Examples are:

  • Chips
  • Fries
  • Pizzas
  • Fried chicken

2. Exercise

Exercise is the second key in our guide to muscle growth. 

When it comes to exercises for bodybuilding, it can be hard to know where you should start. 

We've compiled some of the top tips for building muscle when you first start out to ensure you get great results. 

Resistance training

Lifting weights is one of the best ways to gain lean muscle mass. It increases strength, endurance, and fitness, all at once [10].

Weightlifting is also effective at reducing fat, so that you can develop lean muscle throughout your entire body [11]. 

Find out more testosterone-boosting weight-lifting exercises here.

Compound Exercises

While isolation exercises like leg extensions or biceps rows can help build muscle by focusing on areas you have missed, and targeting imbalanced muscle groups, we think compound exercise is the key to efficient muscle development. 

Squats are a great way to start weightlifting. Deadlifts, bench presses, and squats all involve several joint movements. 

By engaging multiple muscles simultaneously, they can boost testosterone levels and increase muscle mass. This will help you gain strength faster.

You can save time by performing sets of exercises such as squats or clean and presses. These movements use several joints, so you will be able to hit the muscle groups in a shorter time.

Perfecting your form can improve your daily function. You do compound exercises every day, from shopping to petting your dog.

Great movements include: 

  • Squats
  • Bench Press
  • Pull-ups
  • Planks
  • Deadlifts

Use the'reps and rest' cycle

It has been shown that a cycle of reps followed by rest will help you increase your stamina, and maximize results. 

It is important to continue reps until your form becomes unmanageable and you feel your muscles fail.

It is possible to accelerate muscle growth by pushing the muscle fibers damaged in your muscles. 

Weightlifters are advised to aim between 6-12 reps for each set. Start with the minimum to prevent injury. 

Rest for 60 to 90 seconds only. 

Keep Challenging Yourself

Keep your exercises challenging, whether you want massive muscle mass fast, or a lean and muscular body. 

Military Muscle will help you bulk up faster with a diet and exercise program that targets muscle. The nutrients included in Military Muscle help your body recover more quickly, and improve your strength...this leads to maximum muscle development. 

However, as you become more familiar with your routine, it may slow down your progress. 

For the best results, it is important to challenge your muscles and keep the stimulus for muscle growth. 

You can always gain by changing your routine. 

If you find it easier to gain weight, try adding on weekly.

Increase your repetitions in each workout for maximum muscle growth

Mix up your workouts to keep you on top of things.

You can try isotonic exercise which include crunches and donkey-kicks, try to  also include squats, pushups, and tricep dips.

Exercises like glute bridge, planking, warrior pose, and boat pose are isometric and refer to movements that are static. 

3. Changes in Lifestyle

We've provided you with a few tips to help you build muscle. 

Military Muscle and a healthy diet combined with muscle-building exercise routines will give you a solid foundation to begin making gains. 

Other lifestyle modifications can also contribute to healthy muscle development. 

Sleep and recovery 

If you are increasing your physical activity, it is unlikely that falling asleep will be a problem. If you already have a busy schedule, your bulking up regime could end up reducing the sleep that you get. 

Therefore, don't compromise your sleep! 

A good night's sleep is associated with an increase in muscle mass of 40%. 

Don't sacrifice your bedtime to accommodate a new schedule. 

Our bodies can recover physically and mentally from the days activities when we sleep. Human Growth Hormone is at its most active when we are asleep.

It processes our muscle growth and recovery. If we don't allow it to work, your gains could be significantly limited. 

You'll also be more susceptible to mood swings and fatigue, which will affect your performance [15]. 

Adults need at least seven hours of sleep per night in order to function effectively.

Stay Hydrated

Staying hydrated is key to helping your muscles grow. 

Water makes up 80% of the muscles, so dehydration can affect your ability to flex and move them correctly [17]. This will also impact your athletic performance. 

Dehydration can also affect your memory, mood, and focus, which will have an adverse effect on the workout you do[18]. You won't be able to achieve what you want. 

Drink at least 2 liters of water a day to keep hydrated [19] but you can increase it if your exercise routine is intense. 

Reduce Your Stress

Stress is inevitable for everyone. Stress can have an adverse effect on muscle growth. 

Stress affects everyone differently [20]. But an increase in the hormone cortisol, which is also known as stress hormone, could lead to: 

  • The tension in your muscles can restrict functionality, and reduce muscle growth.
  • Arousal of appetite - this could lead to overeating or cravings for junk foods
  • Slower metabolism: halting your entire body and stopping muscle growth [21]

Low mood, lack of motivation, and a reduced cognitive performance can affect your ability to exercise.

Stress can be reduced by eating healthier, getting more exercise and sleeping enough.

To-do list to check off tasks as they are completed. Our muscle-building guide can help you to reduce the stress of planning.

Being outside, whether you're hiking or golfing, or going to the beach is an excellent way to relax.

Avoid a hangover by minimizing alcohol consumption

Take up relaxing activities such as reading, music listening, yoga, or meditation for a healthy mind. 

Bottom line

You can integrate the new Military Muscle muscle building regime easily into your daily life while maximizing its potential. 

You'll gain: 

  • Real muscle growth
  • Strengthening your muscles
  • Body fat reduction
  • Feel better?
  • Self-esteem that is unbeatable

You're ready to go! 

You will make SERIOUS gains on your journey of muscle-building!

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References

[1] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24864135/

[2] https://journals.lww.com/acsm-msse/Fulltext/2016/03000/Nutrition_and_Athletic_Performance.25.aspx

[3] https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/10-reasons-to-eat-more-protein

[4] https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/322963#carbohydrates

[5] https://www.mindbodygreen.com/articles/fat-will-help-you-get-in-the-best-shape-of-your-life-heres-how

[6] https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/26-muscle-building-foods

[7] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25285409/

[8] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3922864/

[9] https://www.livestrong.com/article/519831-is-sugar-bad-for-muscle-growth/

[10] https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00421-013-2586-y

[11] https://www.healthline.com/health/fitness-exercise/why-i-lift-heavy

[12] https://www.healthline.com/health/fitness-exercise/compound-exercises

[13] https://www.healthline.com/health/fitness-exercise/rest-pause#benefits

[14] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21550729/

[15] https://www.issaonline.com/blog/index.cfm/2018/does-lack-of-sleep-hinder-muscle-growth

[16] https://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/behar12.htm

[17] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4562569/

[18] https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/british-journal-of-nutrition/article/mild-dehydration-impairs-cognitive-performance-and-mood-of-men/3388AB36B8DF73E844C9AD19271A75BF/core-reader

[19] https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/drinking-water-helps-with-weight-loss#section4

[20] https://www.healthline.com/health/stress/effects-on-body#1

[21] https://www.healthline.com/health/stress/stress-and-weight-gain#stress-on-the-body