Why is it So Hard to Build Muscle and Stay Fit?

Why is it So Hard to Build Muscle and Stay Fit?

So you have decided that you are tired of feeling like the skinny guy in the room. You know that you can head to the gym and finally get going on that workout program that you have wanted to start for the past few years. Do you want to build up, bulk, up, add up to a bigger, strong you? To make the commitment to get in shape is a big one; when you do it, take it to the next level and create a full proof plan for success.

There is a fine line between bulking up and adding muscle mass to your frame. Anyone can bulk up – just head to the buffet every night for the next two weeks, and you should notice some considerable “bulking,” although this will probably not be in the areas that you were hoping for. Ensuring that you are working muscles to add mass and tone, and not just adding in calories that build up fat isn’t a complicated process, but it does take some work, and some research to better understand what you can do to meet your goals.

Instead of the buffet table route, why not try a few of these tips to increase your mass, while gaining lean muscle and losing some of that fat. By adding some specific workout routines and plans, and modifying your diet, you can make a significant increase to your size, health and fitness level in just one short month. What you choose to do is up to you, but making a choice to become stronger and leaner seems like an easy choice for most people.

How to build muscle

To start, you need to do one simple thing – lift more weight, and lift heavier weight in short bursts of time. If you are new to the concept of lifting, then start with the biggest muscles in your body – you will quickly notice the changes, and it is a great way to boost your motivation to keep going, and it will build a good foundation for adding specific muscle group exercises later.

For most men, heading to the gym and jumping from machine to machine just won’t build the mass you are looking for. To gain lean muscle mass, try working out large muscles or muscle groups hard, one time a week. By doing this you will automatically bulk up, but you will also give the body the much needed break time in between workouts that it needs to recover.

There are multiple workout programs that allow for intense muscle growth. By building on one area at a time, the muscles do not put themselves into an “overuse” pattern, which would actually have the reverse affect that you are searching for – to ensure that does not happen, track each workout so you give the muscle groups that have been worked out plenty of time to recover.


If you have already been working out, adding weight and repetition to your workout is the key to success. With each set, increase your workload to the pressure point of maxing out. Short breaks and heavier weights will lead you to success. Remember that rest is important for all levels of fitness, and moving back to a muscle group too soon can put all of your hard work in danger.

A muscle building diet plan example

If you think that you can bulk up without making any changes to what you eat, then you are wrong. Muscle building and diet go hand in hand, and unless you add more to your diet, and more of the right things, you will not see the gains that you want. Although a healthy balanced diet full of stacked nutrition is important, for this type of bulking up, protein will be the key to your success.

It is important to understand what protein does for you, and why you need to take it. Protein is the compound in our body that is composed of one or more chains of amino acids – these acids build structural components in our body, which build tissues such as muscle, hair and collagen (freeonlinedictionary.com). Since your goal is to build up muscle, you will need to add protein in to your diet to increase the body’s ability to build muscle mass.

Add That Protein Shake – For most men, this involves drinking a protein shake about 30 minutes prior to any workout. Although there are some simple foods that you can eat that will have a similar protein makeup (i.e. meat or egg sandwich, etc.), most men find it easier to do some research and find what protein drink they can stomach and use as their building block during this process.

By adding in the boost of protein prior to your workout, you prepare your body for the work it is getting ready to do, and you give yourself the optimum ability to build that mass.

Think Meat – Adding more lean meats and protein-enriched foods to your general diet will also help your body to build more mass. Foods rich in protein such as cottage cheese, nuts, lean meats like chicken or fish, and eggs can all help to enrich your diet load throughout the day. The goal is to roughly add in 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight.

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Make sure that you are not loading all of your calories with protein only – your body needs to balance out the protein intake with fruits and vegetables, along with carbohydrates, to ensure that you have the proper nutrients when building muscle.

Adding calories, but not fat – It is important that when you are adding in more exercise, that you prepare your body for the workout. If you add in protein but do not add in additional calories, your body will be burning a lot without having anything in reserve to build up. Make sure that you match your exercise program with appropriate calories to give your body the best advantage to build size.

To do this, eat smart. Avoid foods filled with sugar, high amounts of chemicals and additives, and large doses of caffeine. Foods with high fat and high sodium should also be avoided. Instead choose foods that are naturally rich in vitamins and minerals, and that have protein and fiber within them. Here are some suggestions for some muscle building snacks:

Protein bars – there are hundreds of choices depending and depending on the brand, these can be full of fat so be careful. Having protein bars with you as a quick snack is a good choice for a pick me up throughout the day.
Fresh fruit and vegetables – Easy to carry with you, easy to eat, and an easy way to pack in vitamins that may be missing in your diet.
Yogurt – This is a good source of protein as well, yogurt along with additions of fruit, granola, and raisins or nuts, is another easy way to add in some good for you calories without breaking the diet.
Nuts – These small but powerful snack items are a great way to add in taste without adding a lot of calories. Be aware of how many of what kind you eat each day as some have more protein than others.
Eating a smart diet takes some time; it is important to learn to read labels and to find that balance between healthy, smart, protein packed calories, and empty calories that may give you energy, but won’t give you the necessary fuel to build muscles fast.

Lose the Fat, Build the Muscle

Now that you understand the basics of how your workout will look, and you can see the correlation between your diet and your fitness level, where do you begin? How do you translate the information about nutrition, diet and muscle building to the actual making it happen?

Start with a definitive plan.

Get organized – For the next 30 days, block off the days and times you will be working out.

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Make sure you give yourself enough time to get in a good solid weight day (60 minutes is a good place to start). When you plan your workouts as if they are as important as any other important appointment, you are more likely to keep your gym time open, and schedule other things around your workouts.

Prepare your meals – Instead of just “winging it” with your diet plan, get yourself set up with either ready-made meals, healthy snacks, or a good protein shake program so that you are not guessing at what you are eating. It is important to know what you are putting in your body every day, just like it is important to know what exercises you are doing and how many calories you are burning during a workout.

Develop a plan – Working out large muscle group paired with smaller muscle group will give your body multiple things to work on in a workout, but also give your body break time to heal between workouts. For example, lifting your chest, and pairing it with your triceps will work a large and small muscle group. The next workout day you could work out legs, involving squats and leg presses paired with calf raises.

Any way that you decide to complete your workout, the ultimate goal is to build up muscle as fast as you can. Breaking down your workouts into pieces, and working each muscle group individually – focusing completely on that pairing during the workout – will give you quick results. It is important to keep a good log of how many repetitions at what weight you are doing so that you can compare notes each time you move back to a muscle grouping. This will ensure that you are pushing yourself each time you work out, and will give you the incentive to most past your prior functional level to hit a new height at each session.

Whether your goal is to reduce the fat and get fit, or is truly to add some muscle mass to your frame, following these tips can make a huge impact towards changing your body style. Following an organized plan of weight training, maximizing your workouts, ensuring rest for muscle groups and changing your diet can make all the difference in a workout plan.

Focusing on muscle building snacks throughout the day can keep your body ready for a workout any time – ensuring that you are ready for your workout, and focused on your goals will bring decent results.

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