Between work, family obligations, and the occasional weekly hangout with the guys, finding time to meet all of your health and fitness goals can prove to be quite challenging. Compound those events with the conflicting ideas concerning optimal workout times, meal frequency, and other factors and the whole idea of building muscle becomes a confusing mess. To help simplify the process, we’ve laid out a step-by-step game plan to your ideal muscle-building day. Follow the steps below to set yourself up for success in achieving your dream physique.

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1. Hydrate

After spending six to eight hours horizontal in bed, your body is likely dehydrated. Taking into account that 75% of muscle tissue is water, the lack of hydration can really put a damper on your muscle-building abilities. Replenish the water you missed out on overnight with a tall glass first thing in the morning - before your first cup of coffee. 

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2. Eat a high-quality breakfast

While the intermittent fasting craze has taken off as of late, breakfast is still an important meal especially for guys looking to build muscle. Your muscles likely aren't breaking down from lack of nutrition after only six to eight hours without food, but a solid breakfast is one of the best ways to get a jumpstart on proper fueling for the day and curb cravings. Plus, most guys have more time in the morning to focus on eating properly (provided you don't miss your first alarm). Start with a high-protein breakfast including a few sources of dietary fat. Finish the meal with another large glass of water.