When it comes to building muscle, 30 days might not seem like a lot of time, but you can make a transformation in that time provided you have the discipline. Weight training is part of this process, but you also have to pay strict attention to your eating habits. If you fail to feed your body the correct nutrients, you'll compromise your energy levels and not give your muscles what they need for growth.
Include enough protein in your diet. Consume 0.6 to 0.9 g of protein per pound of body weight every day. For example, if you weigh 160 lbs., aim for 96 g to 144 g of protein daily. Get this from healthy sources such as eggs, fish, chicken breasts, turkey breasts, venison, protein powder, lean beef and bison.
Adjust the timing of your meals to keep your muscles supplied with nutrients and your body supplied with fuel. Eat a meal balanced with protein and complex carbs as soon as you wake up, and eat small meals every two to three hours. Yogurt with berries and flax seeds is a breakfast example. Baked salmon with steamed Brussels sprouts and brown rice is an evening meal example.
Hydrate your muscles by drinking lots of water throughout the day. The Institute of Medicine recommends that women get about 90 oz. of water a day and men get about 120 oz. Avoid high intake of nutritionally empty, high-calorie beverages, such as soft drinks, lemonade, sweetened teas, sugary dessert coffees and alcohol.
Perform weight training exercises that will help you build muscle the quickest. Stick with multijoint, or compound, exercises, which work more than one muscle at a time. Chest presses, lunge and presses, snatches, dips, squats and deadlifts are all examples. Make sure you move through a full range of motion with your exercises, and do not use momentum. Lift the weights steadily and lower them slowly.
Lift heavy weights, and work out with a spotter for assistance. Aim for a resistance that will allow you only eight to 12 reps with good form. This will ensure that you max out your muscles with all of your exercises. Aim for three to five sets, and take 60-second rest breaks between sets.
Rest adequately between workouts and at night. Take one to two days off between your weight-training sessions, and get enough sleep. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that adults get seven to nine hours of sleep a night. This will ensure that your muscles have time to recover and grow and that your body gets the rest it needs for optimal energy levels.