What is the key to muscle growth? Muscle growth — sometimes known as hypertrophy — is the development of mass, density, shape, and function of muscle cells. This adaptation allows the muscle to meet exercise/function-induced stress. If I keep lifting weights at the gym, shouldn’t that increase my muscle mass? There are two components to muscle growth; the first one is intensity in your workout, and the second component is your calorie intake. Yes, what you put in your body will make or break your muscle gains. They go hand in hand.

Realistically, it doesn’t make sense to work out hard and then go out and eat fast food for dinner most nights. The caloric intake for even one meal at a fast food restaurant is your entire day’s calories. Speaking of calories, there is a certain number of calories that you need to build muscle. See below to get the answer.

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How many calories do you need to build muscle?

In order to find this number start by multiplying your total body weight in pounds by 15-17 calories. Then, if you find you are not gaining any weight at a considerable rate after a couple of weeks, bump this up by about 10% more. Of these calories, you should be aiming for at least one gram of protein per pound of body weight. This calculation makes it specific to each person. Make sure to adjust based on preference and how your body reacts after the first few weeks. If your body doesn’t have a lot of fat than your body will start burning muscle instead.

Increasing the intensity of your workout will build muscle

When a team of scientists compared studies that investigated training muscle groups once, twice or three times a week, they concluded that “the major muscle groups should be trained at least twice a week” to maximize growth. Not enough working out of the specific muscle and on the contrary overdoing it will downgrade your production of this muscle. Two days a week at an increased intensity with 4 to 6 reps will help build muscle. The lower reps will allow you to exceed your intensity level for the entire workout. Go harder, not longer in your biweekly workout and add a CrazyMass Bulking Stack to reach your muscle building goals faster!

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1-2-3 Punch

To sum it up, combining the two techniques listed above is the key to building muscle. Watching your calorie intake based on your weight as well as going as hard as you can with minimum reps will allow you to maintain your muscle growth. Water intake is the final factor you need to keep in mind. Water is like oxygen to your muscle fibers. The recommended intake of water for healthy muscles is 16 ounces for every 8 hours. If you’re not a fan of water, try squeezing a lemon in your water for extra flavor. I also keep my water in an insulated cup, so it stays cold longer. Combine these three techniques to maintain your muscle building journey.