When I was a young man, I was very naïve about the whole muscle-building process. I thought that investing in a set of 20 kg dumbbells and working out in my bedroom 3 or 4 times a week would be enough to build a strong, muscular physique.
Admittedly, I did gain some muscle and was certainly a little more toned, but I now look back and realise that I could have built a much better physique if I knew then what I know now.
So if you are between 18 and 21 years old (or around that age give or take a few years), here are some useful tips that you might want to take on board if you are looking to build some serious muscle mass:
Go Easy On The Alcohol
If you are studying at college or university, as many people do at this age, then you will probably be interested in having lots of fun with your friends, which invariably involves the consumption of alcohol (in countries where it is legal to drink alcohol under the age of 21).
There is nothing necessarily wrong with that as these will be some of the best years of your life, but if you are serious about building muscle, you will have to learn to cut back quite considerably (or give up alcohol altogether). That’s because alcohol is a lot of empty calories that will simply add a few inches to your waistline in the long run.
Ditch The Junk Food
Many students will live off junk food during their college years, and may well enjoy a few late-night kebabs, for example, at the end of a night out, but once again this will just end up making you fat. Therefore you may well get big, but you will be flabby instead of ripped and muscular.
Consume High Protein Foods
A lot of people don’t really realize the importance of a healthy high-protein diet when they first start working out, but protein is your best friend when trying to build muscle.
Therefore it is a good idea to load up on high protein foods such as chicken, beef, fish, eggs and nuts, for example, as soon as you start training for the first time.
Take Protein Supplements
In addition to eating a high protein diet, you might also want to take protein supplements as well if you are unable to get all of your protein requirements just from your diet.
This is quite an expensive option for many young people because they may well be living on a tight budget, but it will deliver results if your budget permits.
Join A Gym
As I mentioned earlier, I started off training with a set of dumbbells in my room, but for greater results you really need to join a decent gym if you want to gain some serious muscle.
That’s because a gym will have much heavier dumbbells for a start, but in addition, they will also have barbells, weight benches and a range of strength training equipment that will enable you to strengthen large muscle groups, such as squat racks, pull-up bars, dip stations and weight machines.
Focus On Strength Training
When you first join a gym, it can be quite good fun testing out all of the cardio equipment, such as the treadmills, exercise bikes, rowing machines and elliptical trainers.
However whilst it is always a good idea to do some cardio work during the week, you should try to focus more on strength training than cardio if you are looking to promote muscle growth. I’m not just talking about exercises that work your arms either, because you should do plenty of large compound exercises such as squats and deadlifts to strengthen your whole body.
The final thing you need to do is to stay focused. People of all ages struggle to stay motivated and will end up quitting the gym at some stage, but it is even harder when you are between 18 and 21 because you have so many exciting things going on in your life.
However if you can stay focused and make sure that you are sticking to a high-protein diet and training regularly in the gym, you will inevitably achieve your goal of developing a bigger and stronger physique.