How To Build Muscle: The Definitive Guide

Written by Mehdi

Internet & magazines are full of misinformation & myths on how to build muscle. Countless methods promise results some struggle to achieve.

If you don’t get results, you’re using ineffective methods. Which is a shame. Not getting results is the chief reason you end up quitting.

It’s easy to build muscle the natural way. But you have to know how. These 10 tips will help you – How to Build Muscle: The Definitive Guide.

1. Get Stronger.
Strength training builds muscle. The stronger you are, the stronger you’ll look. Check out the Beginner Strength Training Program if you don’t know where to start. It takes 3 x 30 mins a week.

2. Use Free Weights.
Free weights are your best tool to get stronger. Free weights are:

  • Efficient. Work more muscles, learn you to balance & control the bar.
  • Safe. Work your body through natural motions, not fixed ones.
  • Versatile. Plenty of exercises with one barbell. Great for home gyms.

Start with an empty barbell to avoid injuries. Add weight gradually. Read articles on exercise technique & get Starting Strength.

3. Train Your Legs.
Don’t lose your time training abs, chest & biceps only. You need to train your whole body, especially the legs. If you could do only one exercise, it would be the Squat.

4. Eat.
Food speeds up recovery & builds muscle. Eat at least your body-weight in lbs x 18 calories. Eat every 3 hours. Eat post workout.

Strength training burns calories. You’ll need to eat more to keep your current body-weight. Never starve yourself to death. Even if you want to build muscle while losing fat.

5. Eat Healthy.
Limit junk food & alcohol consumption to once or twice a week. Eat healthy the rest of the time, you need:

  • Vitamins & Minerals. All kind of veggies & fruits.
  • Whole Grain Carbs. Brown rice, bread, pasta, oatmeal.
  • Healthy Fats. Fish oil, saturated fat, flax seeds, olive oil.
  • Fiber. Green veggies, flax seeds, whole grains.

Go for whole food. Use multi-vitamins & fish oil supplements if you want. It doesn’t need to be expensive, you can eat healthy while keeping it cheap.

6. Drink Water.
Strength training causes water loss. Drink water to avoid dehydration & help muscle recovery. One gallon a day will do.

7. Get Protein.
Proteins are the muscle building blocks. You need protein for recovery & to build muscle. Plenty of sources you can choose from:

  • Meat. Beef, pork, lamb, deer, buffalo, ?
  • Eggs. Eat the yolk, it’s full of vitamins.
  • Poultry. Chicken, turkey, duck, ?
  • Fish. Tuna, salmon, sardines, mackerel, ?
  • Dairy. Milk, cheese, cottage cheese, yogurt, ?
  • Whey. Not necessary but easy for post workout shakes.

Eat at least 1g protein/body-weight in lbs daily. Feel free to experiment with higher protein intakes.

8. Rest.
Muscles grow after your workout, not during. Give your muscles time to recover & grow.

  • Don’t Train Daily. Keep one day rest between two workouts.
  • Sleep. 8 hours of sleep on average should be enough.

9. Plan Ahead.
Career, business, family, friends, hobbies, etc. All will interfere with your goal to build muscle. Plan ahead:

  • Free Time. Train early in the morning or directly after work.
  • Prepare. Prepare your food for work, prepare your gym bag.
  • Shop. Go to the grocery store, get the food you need to build muscle.

Build a lifestyle that helps you achieving your goals. Build the exercise habit.

10. Persist.
Don’t believe the hype. It takes time to build muscle. If you’re a beginner: at least 2 months to see serious change. Measure your muscle gains & keep a training log to keep yourself motivated.

The only thing that will prevent you achieving success is you. Persist.

28 thoughts on “How To Build Muscle: The Definitive Guide

  1. Czar

    This is by far the BEST article on building muscle I’ve ever come across. Every other muscle building website is full of marketing garbage! Thank you very much. Keep up the good work.

  2. The Gain Weight and Build Muscle Expert

    I agree, this guide is a great weapon to have in your armoury for building muscle. It really does help you understand all the bull that is circling the bodybuilding industry today, but there is also a lot of other things you need to know to get that body you desire.

  3. Chris

    not very specific. Thats a basic guide to staying healthy..
    To get larger muscles you do endurance training, like 50 10lb curls instead of 4 50lb curls. This causes your muscles to fill up with fluid, which contains all the fuel the cells need.
    The drawback is that while ur muscles last a lot longer they become a bit weaker.
    When you do strength training the other thing happens. You actually form new actin and myosin proteins needed for muscle contraction. This increases strength but does not increase muscle size as much. If you did strength training and had comparable muscle size to that who practices endurance training then you would be incredibly strong compared to the other person.
    The drawback is that although you can lift heavy stuff and push harder you can only hold it for a limited period of times while the endurance trainer could probably keep pushing for hours.
    Generally endurance is preferred in real life as long as your strength is a little bit more than your body weight. But always remember that if you do strength training you probably will be able to overpower a guy with much larger muscles than you.

  4. Alex

    Please correct section 5. on healthy fats: saturated fats are not the healthty ones. Healthy fats are unsaturated and poly-unsaturated fats.

  5. nicko H

    I work out, i have used diff vitamins and proteins and other crap but the only way i built muscles was the hard work, follow the steps in this article and trust me you will get there where u want to be. One thing though eat healthy and eat every few hrs dont dont eat untill you’re full just eat often.

  6. Erol

    I use a Muscle Building program based on natural ways.

    Gives very good results and costs less effort and money ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. tim

    I was a little skeptical when i first read about the Dr. Max Powers HGH Spray ( I found it at, since I’m not a huge fan adding to much “unknown” to my diet.

    After using 1 bottle i exploded in energy. I had some problems increasing muscle and bulking up on my biceps and chest for a few months, but after taking this for 3 weeks i increased my lift by 30%, more intensity, more focus and just an overall good felling day around.

    I have had no real side effects. The only thing i might mention is that you can get a aggressive a little easier than before. But if you use it in the gym or to work out and not on your fellow people, then i wouldn’t worry about it. Ohh, and yes, blood is pumping all day long, which can have the side effect of your “little friend” turning active at times you might not want him to ๐Ÿ™‚ I do recommend the Dr. Max Powers HGH spray to those looking for a healthy way to increase their strength

  8. Magik TMagik T

    I’ve been into nutrition supplements since I met Emergen-C and FizzIt/Zip Fizz, and various multi-vitamins. Several members of my family are body builders and health nuts. My sister recommended the Dr. Max Powers Anabolic Stack to me.

    First off, I got the Dr Max Anabolic Stack for $99 at a local GNC store (with membership). I was surprised I could get the same stuff at their own website for only $60!!

    I usually take just one pack a day with a very tall glass of water after breakfast. You definitely will want to take this with food and PLENTY of water. One thing you will notice after taking this, your body will want water and lots of it. Throughout the entire day I feel a noticeable rise in energy as if I had a really dark cup of coffee.

    I recommend just one pack per day due to the insane percentage of vitamins and nutrients. One of the responses I get taking this stuff is that your body will pass most of this stuff through your system without absorbing it. This opinion is debatable from my research online. Through my own testing with an increase in Vitamin C intake: I haven’t been sick for 6+ months. I used to take sick leave on a monthly basis…

    After a week of taking this supplement I noticed my energy levels were much higher and my workout results increased. Running several miles for a quick exercise is now easier than ever. I’m guessing each user’s results will differ.

    I recommend taking this early in the day after a big breakfast. Drink plenty of fluids! Also, unless you are working out for hours and hours, fitness trainers I know recommend just 1 pack per day.

  9. javier

    what happes If your working out in the night ? Is it a good thing or a bad thing. Is this healthy for my self or not.?

    thank you

  10. moon815

    This is a nice introductory guide, I recently tried using steroids after finding a great place to buy steroids online. I am really feeling the benefits, although I good workout system and diet are of course still essential.

  11. muscle building guide

    Great site you have here but I was wanting to know if you knew of any user discussion forums that cover the same topics talked about here? I’d really love to be a part of community where I can get opinions from other experienced people that share the same interest. If you have any suggestions, please let me know. Kudos!

  12. Bodybuilding

    Building muscle is really pretty easy, To keep it simple, just workout, have a high protein diet and add some bodybuilding supplements and you’re on you way to an awesome physique.

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