The best muscle building advices from the personal trainer and gym owner, Mathias Zachau If I asked you what the key to building muscle was, what would you say? I’d probably answer something like protein, or pre-workout. You’d probably answer something similar. But, of course, we’d both be wrong.
We recently had the pleasure of hanging out with Mathias Zachau, owner of Kraftsport Kliniken and a personal trainer to boot. Here’s what he said the key is:
“The absolute most important thing to build muscle is to make progress. That goes under the principle of Progressive Overload, where you continuously add weight or reps. Then, you also need to make sure you get enough protein. When you train, you break down your muscle, so they can become even stronger and protein is the building block which ensures the breakdown is smaller than the recovery.”

There you have it. Progress.

And beyond being the key to muscle building, it’s the key to motivation. One of the things I love about weightlifting is the fact that you compete against yourself. And because you’re only competing with yourself, you’re only ever trying to be better than your best – and that’s motivating!

There is of course, more to building muscle than lifting slightly heavier or doing more reps. And it’s the more challenging part: diet. How do you eat?

“I’d say you need to be high in both protein & carbs, yet still include fat as well. The carbs make sure you perform when you train and the protein ensures your recovery…Many people are afraid of carbs, which is sad because you really need it to perform well. Especially after working out it’s crucial to eat carbs. Carbs will make you recover quicker and faster recovery means faster results!”

Carbs are included! But it’s all about careful ratios, muscle goals, and individual size. For this, Zachau recommends using an app like Lifesum.

“…when following someone else’s workout program, it won’t be tailored to you and you won’t grow as efficiently…I like that Lifesum takes into consideration whether you’re a man or woman, your height, your current weight, how active lifestyle you have and how much you work out. It makes it easier.”

Okay so you know what to do and what to eat, now to the question we all want the answer to. How long does it take for the results to show up?

Ready for it? 8-12 weeks! That’s not a bad input to output time! And that’s just the physical results, Zachau says you’ll feel it a lot sooner.

Curious about building muscle? Try one of Lifesum’s high protein plans. You’ll get a list of high-protein foods and recipes, and all the tips to start a muscle-building lifestyle.

Mathias Zachau is the founder of Kraftsport Kliniken in Gothenburg, Sweden. 

Femi A-Williams is a health and fitness convert trying to reconcile a healthy lifestyle and a happy food life. She is 80% whole grain and 20% donut.

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