Having a hard time building that glorious muscular body you’re after? If you’re working hard but not getting results you may just need a few tweaks. Follow these “tweak tips” and you can gain 10lbs of muscle within a couple of months!
Work Muscle Groups
The human body naturally uses several muscles at once to perform everyday tasks (IE lifting a box). Therefore, it is now believed that exercises that work entire muscle groups rather than the traditional isolated muscle are better for you. Studies have shown that it also builds muscle faster.
A suspension gym is a great tool for total body workouts. You are constantly having to keep your balance, so your core and stabilizer muscles are engaged no matter what exercise you are doing. Some Muscle-Group Exercises include: dips, deadlifts, farmer’s walks, kettlebell swings, military presses, and pull-ups. When weight lifting, use a weight that you can get through your whole set but have difficulty on the last rep. Increase the weight when you can do every rep of each set without trouble.
Train Hard but Learn to Chill
Though you may think that it makes sense to work out everyday in order to gain serious muscle, it may actually have a counter-effect. Working out breaks down your muscles. You actually build (or rebuild) muscle while you are resting. Make sure to take a day off after every 1 or 2 workouts and to get enough sleep. The half hour to an hour immediately after your workout is prime time to feed your body the nutrients it needs for muscle growth and recovery. Choose the right foods and supplements to maximize your results.
Here are our suggestions:
Eat Your Protein!
Protein is made up of amino acids, which are the main building blocks of muscle. Make sure to eat about 28 grams (or about the size of your fist) of protein at every meal, and especially after a workout. For a quick fix a protein shake is a great alternative to meat, eggs, nuts, etc. Research shows that whey protein is the best for building muscle.
Don’t forget about the Carbs and Fats
Though protein plays a key role in the muscle building process, carbs and fats are just as important, so don’t neglect them. I’m talking HEALTHY carbs and fats! Stick with fruits and veggies and healthy fats like avocados, nuts, and fatty fish. Not eating enough carbs will cause your body to breakdown and burn muscle for energy. Which will cause you to lose muscle! Healthy fats will go a long way in helping produce energy for your intense workouts, and also helps produce testosterone, which is a muscle-building hormone.
Remember that70-to-80% of your muscles are made up of water so stay well hydrated. Drinking water can actually make your muscles look fuller and helps you work out with more intensity.
FISH OIL/OMEGA 3
Fish oil is great for a healthy heart and brain, but it has also been found to help gain muscle and burn fat. Try odorless fish oils or ones that are flavored (IE lemon) to avoid fishy after taste. Stick to brands that have a higher EPA/DHA levels like ones that contain Omega 3. Benefits of Omega 3 are: reduced Inflammation, reduced soreness from training, lowers cholesterol, prevents cancer, heart disease and depression.
Naturally found in the body, creatine gives you added strength and short bursts of energy to help you get the most out of your workout. In addition, creatine draws water into your muscles, which makes them swell (with water) causing them to look larger almost immediately. Make sure you buy pure creatine monohydrate, as some creatine powders have been known to be mixed with some harmful chemicals. For best results start with taking about 10-20 grams a day for up to a week and then back off to about 5g a day. Remember to drink plenty of water while on creatine as it has been known to cause dehydration.
L-glutamine is an amino-acid that is very important to intestinal health and the immune system. L-glutamine triggers human growth hormone production and therefore helps speed the healing process of muscles. It also decreases fatigue and helps burn fat.
BRANCHED-CHAIN AMINO ACIDS
Isoleucine, leucine and valine are branched-chain amino acids or BCAA’s. They make up 35% of the amino-acids in muscle tissue. BCAA’s are susceptible to being burned for energy while training, therefore it is important to replace them in order to allow muscles to grow. Branched chain amino-acids give you more energy, decrease muscle soreness, quicken the recovery process and stops muscles from breaking down.
Remember that supplements are meant as a “help-hand” to your muscle building process. You will not get anywhere if you don’t have proper nutrition, rest, and TRAIN HARD!
Read Food and Exercise: What to eat before and after a Workout for more great suggestions.