A common use for organic whey protein is to supply the body with the additional resources it needs to build muscle. So what should you do to help you build muscle most effectively?
How much protein should you take?
As a rough guide, to help you build muscle you can use this formula to work out how much protein you should be taking. Simply measure your body weight in pounds and then multiply that number by 1.5 to 2 to calculate the number of grams of protein you need to consume each day.
So for example, if you weigh 75 kgs, that’s rought 165 pounds.So the number of grams of protein you should be eating each day is 165 x 1.5 = 248 or up to 165 x 2 = 330.
However you should also take into consideration your body fat percentage. If this is over 10% then you might want to revise this number down, as your additional fat may make this number too high. Remember we are focussing on building muscle so you need to take into account whether your body fat amount is making your weight in pounds figure too high.
What’s in your food?
Another aspect to consider is the actual amount of protein that you are taking in your food. For example, a 140g serving of chicken (uncooked) is rich in protein. But it’s not all protein. Of that 140 grams, you will only get 43g of protein. So you’ll need over 7 servings of 140g of chicken to reach a daily target protein intake of 330g. Of course you don’t have to eat this all in one go! But you do have to consider how the different ways of cooking this chicken will affect the final amount of protein in your meal.
Something else to look at is your protein powder. Again, just because it is called protein powder, doesn’t mean it’s 100% protein! If you look at the nutritional facts label for Jarrow Formulas Organic Whey Protein Vanilla 1 lb, you will see that a 23g serving size contains 17g of protein.
When should you take your protein powder?
To get the best results from your training, you should aim to take your protein powder shake around 20-30 minutes after your workout. This will introduce the protein into your bloodstream to be provided to the muscles just when they need it. So then they can be repaired and grow in size, building your muscles with good quality protein.
Bearing in mind the amount of protein to take in a day, as mentioned above, you should look to eat protein regularly throughout the day anyway. This will ensure you have enough protein available for your body’s day-to-day needs as well as the additional protein required after your workout. You should aim to get most of your daily protein intake from your food, but you can supplement this with protein shakes if required, to help boost the quantity.
What types of exercise should you do?
To answer this question would take a lot longer than there is space for in this article, but as a quick guide, you should do the following.
- Focus on compound exercises, which use more than one group of muscles at a time. The best of these are squats, deadlifts, pull ups, bench press, military press, rows, hammer curls. There are more, and many varieties within these so try them all.
- Focus on a different body part each day. This ensures that each part is targetted fully on its day, and is given enough time to rest before its next session. A typical three day split would be: Day 1: Back and biceps; Day 2: Legs and abs; Day3: Chest and triceps. (Day 4: Rest).
- Do each exercise for three sets, aiming to reach 10-12 reps within each set. You should aim to go to failure, or close to failure in each set. So adjust the weight accordingly.Once you have some proficiency with the exercises, you can switch to doing heavier weights and aiming for 6-8 reps each set. Experiment with alternating between heavy and normal rep ranges each time you work each body part. This will activate the muscle fibres in the best way to help them build size and strength.
- Use free weights (barbells, dumbells etc.) rather than machines. This uses additional supplemental muscles to help stabilise the movement, which helps them build in size too. It creates more muscle size overall and a fuller, more natural look. Not all exercises can use free weights so don’t sweat it, just make sure you focus on the free weights first.
- Variety. Do different exercises, in a different order, on different days. Mix it up so the muscles don’t become over familiar with particular types of movements.
Hopefully following this basic guide will set you on your way to packing on a good amount of muscle.