Gain a pound of muscle in a week – Yes, it’s possible

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Been trying to gain muscle weight for months without results? Ready to call it quits and blame your failures on genetics? Chances are you've just been doing it all wrong.

Let's check out the facts and move on to some simple tips you may not have been aware of.

The problem

Based on large-scale studies, nutritionists at Miami Research have found that a high proportion of man attempting to build muscle mass struggle greatly (yes, it's not just you!). Their major finding, however, is that the reasons behind the disappointment involve very incorrect ways of eating and exercising, some of which have been popularized online without any scientific evidence.

Here is what you can do to avoid the pitfalls – and gain as much as a pound of size WEEKLY.

Get your proteins right

The fact that protein is the key to building muscle is well known, and correct. However, in getting your protein right, your body can be an enemy – it is constantly stealing your protein reserves for other uses, like making hormones, leaving insufficient protein for muscle building.

The only proven solution to this is, in the words of Dr. Michael Houston, a professor of nutrition at Virginia Tech University, "build and store new proteins faster than your body breaks down old proteins."

How? Keep taking one gram of protein per pound of body weight, as is typically suggested, but divide your remaining daily calories between the other two types of macronutrients: carbohydrates and fats. In numbers (attested by the NSCA): Make about 15% of your daily caloric intake from protein, 55% from carbs, and 30% from fats, roughly of course, and observe the results.

Forget the myth of cutting calories

Cutting calories is the tip of any newbie in your gym but is in most cases counterproductive. In addition to adequate protein, you do need more calories (your protein shake also means more calories). Ask your nutritionist about the proper formula depending on your own body.

The results should become visible after as little as one week if the balance is appropriate. If you fail to see results after several weeks, something is likely to be wrong; increase calorie intake by a few hundred (again, nutritionist consultations will help).

Prepare properly – Shake it up!

You may think that the frequency and intensity of the workout is the key, but that's wrong as well. Proper preparation has been shown to have a dramatic effect on workout and muscle building results.

The secret is in your pre-exercise shake. A good quantity of amino acids and carbohydrates in the shake you drink before working out is found to increase protein synthesis. In numbers: try and go for around 6 grams of essential amino acids and 35 grams of carbohydrates. The ideal amount is about 20 grams (or one scoop of whey powder) of protein taken in before exercise. The shakes taken after exercise are not found to have the same effect.

Follow these tips, and you are likely to see your workout results in ONE week. We'll be happy to see your before and after pics!

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