Building Lean Muscle, Part 1: Mindset

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Every offseason, many athletes are determined to figure out the quickest way to gain muscle. That’s when athletes are looking to bulk up, gain strength, and build a new body to improve their physical prowess and performance in their sport.

As a result, many athletes look for a diet that will help them gain muscle and a workout program that will complement it. Because of the increased interest in nutrition among athletes, I thought it would be helpful to outline the steps required to safely and realistically build lean muscle.

This post is the first in a 10-part series that will get published over the next few weeks, and it focuses on the first step in developing a successful muscle-building strategy: getting your mindset in order.

1. Mindset                                    

The first step is ensuring your mindset is correct. One major mistake that far too many people make is not adopting the proper mindset and then falling off the bandwagon before they even get started. 

Remember, everything that you do on a day-to-day basis is going to influence whether you’re successful with safe muscle gain, so you need to be sure you’re on track. 

Let’s look at a few things that you must do to mentally prepare yourself to learn the fastest way to gain weight and follow your game plan through to success. 

2. Set Specific Goals 

The very first must-do if you’re going to have success is to set some concrete goals. How much muscle do you want to gain? Don’t generalize here – be specific as this is what will ensure that you follow through and see results. 

Those who don’t outline what it is they want to achieve are going to have a hard time figuring out the right direction to take with their diet to put on muscle along with their workout program. 

3. Prepare To Have Some Patience 

Next, be prepared to have some patience. Building muscle isn’t going to take place overnight, so if you don’t prepare for the journey ahead, you’re wasting your time. 

Far too many people expect results in one to two weeks and then lose interest when that doesn’t happen. 

Most average athletes can build about 1-3 pounds of muscle per month depending on how well their diet for muscle gaining is set up and how hard they’re working. 

If you expect to gain 10 pounds in a month, you’re going to be disappointed. 

4. Understand The Meaning Of Hard Work 

Another thing you must do to get in the right frame of mind for success is to understand the meaning of hard work. 

Think muscle gain comes easy? 

Think again. If you’re one of those individuals who’s always looking for the latest quick-fix that promises rapid results with little effort, you still will be disappointed. 

Nothing short of a proper diet to put on muscle, along with constant effort in the weight room is going to get you the progress you seek. 

The sooner you can accept this and be prepared to put in effort going forward, the sooner you’ll be on track. 

5. Avoid Comparisons 

Another thing that you should be doing to avoid getting stuck in a negative frame of mind as you move along is to prevent using comparisons.

Do not compare the results that you’re seeing with other people. Remember, they don’t have your body – you do, and everyone’s body is unique and different. Just because one person builds muscle at an individual rate does not mean you will, as well. 

The more you compare, the more likely you are to run into disappointment. 

6. Get Committed 

Finally, work on getting committed. Preparing yourself mentally to work towards this goal for at least a few months, if not six months to a year, if you do have the significant muscle to build. 

If you can get your mindset focused on the longer-term right from the start, you won’t be expecting results immediately, and this can help you stay focused the entire time. 

Furthermore, you’ll want to implement critical motivational strategies as well, such as journaling, taking progress pictures, as well as having a workout and diet support buddy or partner who you can turn to when you are struggling. 

Closing Remarks

So there you have it: some critical points to be aware of and cover if you want to achieve safe muscle gain while meeting your body weight goals. Please continue reading for my next installment, in which I go over the specifics of designing a muscle-building diet based on your unique caloric and energy requirements.

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