Do's and Don'ts: Building Lean Muscle

Here’s a new word of the day: Hypertrophy. Hypertrophy, more popularly known as muscle growth, is a specific technique to grow muscles rather than shed or reduce fat.

Besides your fitness routine and healthy diet, your metabolic rate, age, weight, and gender play an important role in the way you build muscle.

There are three basic elements for growing muscles:

  • Mechanical tension
  • Muscle damage
  • Metabolic stress

If your fitness goals have to do with building muscle mass instead of losing weight, simple do’s and don’ts can help guide you in the right direction towards muscle building.

Do’s and Don’ts for Building Muscles

Learn more about what to do and what not to do when it comes to building muscle.

Do Make Protein A Priority

When it comes to muscle building, protein is your best friend. Proteins contain amino acids that are the building blocks of muscles and therefore promote muscle building. Try to aim at consuming about one to eight grams of protein per pound of body weight.

Don’t Eat Too Many Protein Bars

While protein is important for your muscle building diet, try not to get all of your protein from protein bars. Some of these bars are high in sugar and don’t have the same effect as healthier alternatives.

Try to get your proteins from the following sources instead:

  • Chicken
  • Turkey
  • Beans
  • Quinoa 

Do Create Metabolic Muscle Stress

By performing sets at the right duration, you can create metabolic stress that promotes hypertrophic growth. The number of sets you do matters. Your muscles need to experience a load for a certain amount of time, alternating between fast and slow repetitions.

Don’t Limit Your Rep Ranges

You need to lift a moderate weight for six to 12 reps in order to boost muscle gain. Training at every rep range will help you increase your strength for lower rep ranges and enhance endurance at higher rep ranges.

Do Lift Weights of Different Sizes

Challenge your body to lift weights that you aren’t accustomed to. It is recommended to do lower-rep strength training for a month along with higher-rep endurance workouts.

By continuously challenging and switching up your muscle building routine, you will be well on your way towards building muscle.

Don’t Spend All Your Time on Cardio

Cardio exercises are great for burning fat, however, since you are building muscle, you might want to direct your focus away from cardio exercises and focus on strengthening workouts instead.

Cardio workouts use up a lot of calories for tissue repair which counteracts muscle building in the process. Save your energy and put your strength towards weight training or other strengthening exercises to reach your muscle building goals.

Do Drink Plenty of Fluids

Drinking lots of water and staying hydrated is extremely important for muscle growth and to maintain your general health. By drinking water regularly, you also have the ability to boost your training levels and reach optimal performance during your workouts.

Don’t Allow Yourself to Be Dehydrated

Avoid alcohol and other substances that are known to dehydrate the body. Dehydration can lead to headaches and fatigue which can hinder your performance at the gym.

Sometimes, dehydration can make one think that they are hungry instead of thirsty, therefore, drinking water throughout the day can help you stop overeating and curb your unnecessary food cravings.

Reach Your Muscle Building Goals Effectively

This preliminary guide is here to help you stay on track with your muscle building goals. While you have a set exercise routine and work towards your overall fitness, make sure to take rest days in between your workouts in order for your muscles to repair and become stronger.

Neglecting the importance of rest days can expose you to harmful injuries which will not only cause discomfort but could also keep you out of the muscle building game during the period of recovery.

Quick FAQs

1. How many reps should you do per day to build muscle?

About eight to 12 reps will help you build muscle and strength.

2. How many calories should you consume when you are trying to build muscle?

when it comes to building muscles, your weight, gender, and metabolism play a big role in the muscle building process. If you are looking to estimate how many calories you need to consume to promote muscle mass, multiply your total body weight in pounds by 15 – 17 calories.


The Do’s and Don’ts of Building Lean Muscle | MyFitnessPal. (2018, May 10). Retrieved from
Jackman, R. (n.d.). Retrieved from
Dos and Don’ts in Muscle Gain Nutrition. (n.d.). Retrieved from