4 Easy Steps to Gaining Your First 10 lbs of Muscle

4 easy steps to gaining your first 10 lbs of muscle

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Building Muscle Tones Your Body

Being a beginner exerciser can be incredibly intimidating; there is so much misinformation! You’ll read one article telling you to do high reps for muscle building, and other saying low reps is the way to go. It’s sensory overload! In this article, you’ll learn four basic tips that will show you step-by-step how to build your first 10lbs of muscle. Let’s dive in.

How to Gain Your First 10lbs of Muscle

Tip #1 | Start Strength Training

Want to build muscle? You need to get strong—there’s simply no way around this. So how do you get strong? You need to lift weights. If you’re an at-home exerciser, you may need to invest in some equipment like dumbbells to get started.

Progressive overload is the key to making consistent, long-term progression. But what is progressive overload?

Progressive overload is the gradual increase of stress placed on the body.

The easiest way to achieve progressive overload is to add weight to the bar or pick up heavier weights. As a beginner, this can be done every single session! So pick your favorite strength training routine and get to it!

You need to train each muscle group a minimum of 2x per week to see any consistent strength gains because your muscles need to stay challenged. This also maximizes the window for protein synthesis (the process where your muscles are repaired). So, yes, those rest days matter!

Useful resources:

4 Simple Tips for Gaining Your First 10lbs of MuscleTip #2 | Correct Nutrition

Proper nutrition aids protein synthesis and enhances recovery. In order to build muscle, you need to be eating either at maintenance calories or in a slight surplus. Both options have their select pros and cons.

Eating at maintenance is beneficial because it allows you to recomposition (build muscle and lose fat simultaneously). The cost? It’s much slower.

On the other hand, lean bulking is much faster. A lean bulk involves eating more calories than your body burns through energy expenditure. This is beneficial because it aids the process of muscle growth. The only caveat is that you gain additional fat, which needs to be lost later on if your goal is to slim down.

Keep in mind with lean bulking, however, that the idea is not to fill your face with sugary snacks; while you are eating more calories than you expend, these are meant to be good quality calories that come from wholesome and nutritious foods. As such, you won’t see excessive weight gain or have any health concerns related to an imbalance in your body.

The choice is yours.

How do you know the number of calories you need to invest in a day to maintain your present weight, you ask? Calculate your TDEE (total daily energy expenditure).

You need this figure to calculate your maintenance calories, and as a baseline for your lean bulking phase (so you don’t start eating for two by accident!).

Once you have this number, all you need to do is:

  1. Add +200 calories per day to gain weight.
  2. Eat the same number of calories for recomposition.

Click here for a handy TDEE calculator. Enter your gender, age, height, weight, and activity levels, and then calculate. Boom! It’s that easy.

Useful resources:

Tip #3 | Use the right supplements for a 5% boost

It’s easy to fall victim to the supplement hype. Keep in mind that most of us don’t need supplements at all. If you want an added edge, they may be the thing for you. But before you reach for your hard-earned cash, let’s look at the best (and worst) supplements.

The best:

#1 Creatine monohydrate

Creatine is the most effective supplement on the market for building muscle. It has had over 500 studies conducted on it—300 of them have specifically tested its efficacy for building muscle.

A whopping 70% of studies reported positive ergogenic benefits to take creatine. That’s a fancy way of saying it increases physical performance. It is also worth checking creatine monohydrate supplements.

But how does creatine work? Creatine is naturally produced in the body, through a process known as cellular respiration. It helps form the energy molecule ATP (adenosine triphosphate), which provides fuel for the muscles during exercise.

By saturating the muscle cells with an excess supply of creatine, you can see a 5–15% increase in strength. Research has also shown that creatine is beneficial for building muscle faster.

The Worst:

#2 Testosterone boosters

Supplement companies claim that testosterone boosters can raise testosterone levels and help you build more muscle. Unfortunately, this isn’t true. Its main ingredients (Terrestris Tribulus, ZMA, and D-aspartic acid) are virtually worthless. Research has also shown that small fluctuations in hormone levels aren’t beneficial for muscle growth.

Useful resources:

Tip #4 | Use Pareto’s 80/20 Rule

Pareto’s principle states that 80% of your results come from 20% of the activities you do.

This advice is simple, but it’s damn effective. It helps provide perspective on the things you should be doing and, alternatively, the things you should avoid.

Here’s the 80/20 principle in action:

For nutrition: Stop wasting your time on the latest fad diets, such as Paleo and Keto, and focus on energy balance instead (calories in vs calories out).

For muscle building: Focus on progressive overload and proper recovery—ignore 99% of the supplements on the market, and don’t buy into the ‘get fit quick’ programs.

Useful resources:

Paleo vs Keto


Follow the 4 tips outlined in this article and you will build your first 10lbs of muscle effortlessly. Now it’s over to you!

Which tip has helped you the most? Let us know in the comments below.

Marcus has been training for six years and has developed an extensive knowledge of strength and conditioning as well as weight loss. He runs www.mindtomusclefitness.com; a site that gives simple, science-based tips for natural bodybuilders. He also offers personal training.
Marcus Borg
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4 Easy Steps to Gaining Your First 10 lbs of Muscle