Building Muscle Mass: The Essentials You Need to Know

Are you tired of going to the gym and not gaining any muscle? Building muscle isn't as easy as people make it out to be. It requires a good understanding of how your body and metabolism functions. It isn't a result of just going to the gym and eating whatever you want. There must be a perfect balance between your nutrition and workout regime for you to see results and for these results to last. In this article, you will find accurate information on how to build muscle mass through diet and exercise, and boost your results.

You Are What You Eat

an assortment of plates with different meals

You can't expect great results if you are not watching your diet. To build muscle, you need to promote anabolism in your body. Anabolism is a metabolic state in which your body has enough calories to build new tissues and store nutrients. Getting to this state is the only way to increase your muscle mass and to do so you must have a caloric surplus. This means that you will have to eat a little more than what you usually do. Now, don't go crazy on the burgers and pizzas. Stuffing calories like crazy will help you gain muscle but it will also make you gain a lot of fat, which will be hard to shred afterward [1].

The best way to build muscle while not gaining much fat is to do it slowly and progressively. As previously stated, you should eat more calories than you burn daily. An adequate caloric surplus is around 200-400 calories a day on top of your daily recommended caloric intake. People who are just starting in weight training can consume more calories since it is easier for them to build muscle. However, if you have been training for a while now, you should stick to this range. It is important to fill your diet with healthy carbohydrates such as sweet potatoes, oatmeal and brown rice. These are the foods that will fuel your workouts and make you train at the level that you need to build muscle [2].

Focus On Weight Training

man lifting a barbell over his head

If you want to build muscle mass, then strength training is a must. Cardio is great for your overall health and to burn fat but, when it comes to getting those biceps you want, weights will be your ally. When you first go to a gym, it can be pretty intimidating. There are lots of machines and weights and you sometimes don't know where to start. On top of that, there is a lot of controversy amongst gym-goers in regards to which are better: free weights or machines (cables). The truth is that both are great to increase your strength and muscle mass. However, free weights have shown some advantage because they make you use your stabilizing muscles, while the machines do some of the work for you [3].

If you are trying to get the best results possible, you should stick to compound exercises. An example of these exercises is the barbell squat. In this exercise, you may think that you are using just your leg muscles to stand up, but the truth is that you are using many muscles, such as your core. Because more than one muscle group is being used in a barbell squat, this makes it a compound exercise. In the long run, these compound exercises are the ones that truly change your physique. At first, start with a few compound exercises, but as you get stronger, start adding new ones and even isolation exercises to target those muscles that you feel are not growing as much as the rest of your body [4].

Sometimes You Just Need An Extra Push

man working out infront of a Tosi 4 Person Full Spectrum Infrared Sauna while a woman sits inside

If you are looking for some help, you could try infrared saunas. They've been all the rage lately and even celebrities are using them! An infrared sauna uses infrared waves to heat your body. It has all the benefits of a regular sauna plus everything that infrared therapy has to offer, which has shown immense promise for muscle building [5].

One of the most important benefits to note about infrared saunas is that they help improve your sleep. Rest is an extremely important requirement for muscle growth. You need to have enough sleep (7-9 daily hours) to have optimal gains. The reasoning behind this is that during deep sleep, the natural growth hormone is released. Growth hormone is responsible for recovering your body and is able to register when muscles have been under heavy stress, such as from workouts. This hormone makes them grow so that they can withstand subsequent sessions [6].

Infrared therapy has also been proven to increase athletic endurance and performance. This means that your workouts can be more intense, and as a result, you'll end up with better results [7].

Building muscle mass can be easy for some and hard for others. It's just a matter of figuring out what works for your body type. The best way to approach building muscle is to do it naturally, avoid implementing drug usage, even if you feel you've plateaued. Try natural techniques first, like an infrared sauna, which has been scientifically proven to help you reach higher athletic goals.

Develop Muscles The Right Way: Eat Nutrient-dense foods (e.g. lean protein, healthy carbs), surplus of 200-300 calories a day, free weight training with compound movements, implement infrared sauna post workouts


[1] Spendlove J, Mitchell L, Gifford J, Hackett D, Slater G, Cobley S, O'Connor H. (2015). "Dietary Intake of Competitive Bodybuilders.", National Center for Biotechnological Information, July. 2015,

[2] Ethier J. "The Best Science-Based Diet To Build Lean Muscle (10 Studies).", Built With Science,

[3] Laskowski Ed. (2018) "For weight training, is it better to use free weights or machine weights?", Mayo Clinic, October 9, 2018,

[4] Kamb S. (2020). "The Ultimate Guide to Building Muscle Fast (Training & Workouts).", Nerd Fitness, January 1, 2020,

[5] Hussain Joy, Cohen Marc. (2018). "Clinical Effects of Regular Dry Sauna Bathing: A Systematic Review.", National Center for Biotechnological Information, April 24, 2018,

[6] Lu Man, Flanagan Jack, Langley Ries, Hay Michael, Perry Jo. (2019). "Targeting growth hormone function: strategies and therapeutic applications.", Nature, February 8, 2019,

[7] Mero Antti, Tornberg Jaakko, Mantykoski Mari, Puurtinen Risto. (2015). "Effects of far-infrared sauna bathing on recovery from strength and endurance training sessions in men.", National Center for Biotechnological Information, July 7, 2015,