Healthy methods to gain muscle mass

Healthy methods to gain muscle mass
Healthy methods to gain muscle mass


Regardless of how we choose to train, it is important to realize why we chose exactly these fitness principles and methods. In this article I want to describe some of the basic rules for healthy gain of muscle mass.

Keep calorie surplus!

The most important rule to start gaining mass is to be in a calorie surplus (intake more calories than you burn). If you want to gain quality muscle mass with minimal fat accumulation, it is necessary to keep track of your daily caloric intake. What I recommend is to start with a surplus of about 10% of calories needed to maintain weight. In case you gain too slowly, and you want to improve your results, you can increase the surplus, but after passing the limit of 25%, a lot of fat will begin to accrue.

Training program for gaining muscle mass

I've seen a lot of people to train in various ways. Some prefer to do 4-6 reps per set, while others reach 12-15, etc., but where is the truth and which approach will ensure a breakthrough? I encourage you to exercise no more than 45-50 minutes, trying to include both exercise types. Why? When you train with sets to failure with between 4-8 reps you stimulate synthesis of testosterone, and when you make 12-15 or more reps you stimulate the synthesis of growth hormone.

Bench press example:

  • First set: 10 reps
  • Second set: 8 reps
  • Third set: 5-6 reps (to failure)
  • Pumping set: 15 reps (to failure)

This stimulates both hormones and you will have maximum muscle fibers tearing and recovery.

There are things that you have to comply, as a kind of exercises, number of sets, length of breaks etc., but for them I will talk shortly. I have tried many different programs, but I'm most happy with basic exercises because they are multi-joint exercises that load multiple muscle groups simultaneously, which supports good development. Try to do one set to failure in every exercise and rest no more than 60-90 seconds between sets and exercises.

Meal plan for gaining muscle mass

Since each person is an individual, I can’t give a specific diet to increase muscle mass that works equally well for everyone. But I'll share some of the most important principles that you must comply

  • Never skip breakfast
  • Eat no less than 4 times a day
  • Maintain positive caloric balance
  • In workout days make before- (2h) and after-workout meals (1h).
  • Even if you don’t gain much fat strive to obtain quality calories from foods such as meat, rice, peas, fruits, etc.
  • Try not to consume fast carbohydrates before bedtime, because they suppress the synthesis of growth hormone
  • Always consume fast carbohydrates after training in combination with quick protein to stop the catabolic (breakdown) processes and switch to anabolic (building) processes.

Supplements for gaining muscle mass

There are all sorts of dietary supplements that you can use to increase muscle mass, but the most important are BCAA, glutamine, whey protein, common complex amino acids, vitamins and minerals and others.

If you still wander between the fitness equipment and are not familiar with the sport, it is good to start with the use of vitamins, minerals and amino acids because as a beginner you have not yet used the potential of your body and you have a lot of scope for development. Take vitamins and minerals in the morning after breakfast and include good fats in this meal so you can digest the fat-soluble vitamins. Many people use common complex amino acids only to help the recovery process and drink them before and after training. My advice is to take them 1 hour before or after meals, three times daily, because they help for more efficient absorption of food, but also help the recovery.

In the next training stage you can also add other supplements like glutamine, BCAA, whey protein, etc. These supplements promote muscle recovery and increase muscle mass. You can take the protein with the morning breakfast, before and after training. For those who can’t afford such consumption - it is important to include protein intake after exercise in combination with fast carbohydrates (like banana) for better absorption. If you want to further enhance recovery it’s appropriate to include glutamine and BCAA. First drink 5 grams of glutamine after training and 10 grams on an empty stomach at bedtime. If you can afford, you can also include 5 grams before training. BCAA is drank during the workout, but I use it only when I’m cleaning, because there is not enough energy in the muscles during this period and you can easily overload them fast.

Не забравяйте добавките са просто допълнение към разнообразното хранене и тренировките. Ако хранителният ви режим и тренировъчният план не са структурирани правилно, няма как да очаквате оптимални резултати, независимо какви хранителни добавки приемате.

Remember, supplements are simply an addition to a varied diet and training. If your diet and exercise plan are not structured properly, you can’t expect optimal results, no matter what supplements you are taking.




Strahil Ivanov

Thank you for visiting, the most popular fitness blog in Bulgaria. My name is Strahil Ivanov and I am a professional fitness trainer and nutrition consultant. What is my mission? To help you transform your body and enjoy the life you deserve. With my blog, articles and videos I was able to reach thousands of people across the globe. Want to be the next one to trust me?