Let’s be realistic to gain muscle and lose belly fat you will have to exercise, rethink your eating habits and of course get sweaty.
You can however, optimize your workouts by working out smarter and not harder. Today I will go over some simple rules to follow when embarking on your fitness journey. Remember not one of these suggestions will be the sole reason for getting you in great shape, but by following these simple rules you will be in the fitness fast lane!
Top 17 Tips to Build Muscle Fast
#1 The Food Pyramid Lies to Us
Ever seen the food pyramid in school? Well, it comes down to the lies about dietary recommendations, and how that pyramid is bogus.It’s actually not the best guidance when you are trying to put on lean muscle and shed fat. The problem with the old school food pyramid is it has too many refined carbohydrates, is very low in protein and fat. Below I will showcase a much more effective “food pyramid” for us Gym Junkies. Also, remember you must be consuming the correct fats and you can even Eat Fat to Burn Fat.
Nuts and Avocado- stick between 1-2 servings a day
Fats and Oils- stick between 2-4 servings a day
Fruits- stick between 2-4 servings a day
Starchy Foods- stick between 2-4 servings a day
Low Starch Vegetables- stick between 3-4 servings a day
Protein Foods- stick between 4-8 servings a day
#2 Go Green or Go Home
Research has suggested that by consuming more greens you are less likely to fatigue.How to get more vegetables in your diet, simple when you read all the benefits. This is especially important if you are an athlete seeking to have an effective game.
I know eating green is always not the best tasting but there are some recipes you can make that will make it tasty to the palate. You can always add some greens to your protein shake, throw some frozen berries in their and some almond milk and blend it up! If you need some healthier smoothie ideas you can check out my smoothie guide for a very low price.
#3 Suns out Guns Out
Well sort of, but not to show everyone how in shape you are but rather to get vitamin D. A recent study suggested that over 75% of Americans are vitamin D deficient and this can drastically impair your athletic performance. You want to get at least a minimum of 500 IU a day. If you happen to have fair skin you can always consume vitamin D orally in a pill form.
#4 Protein in Doses
If you’re trying to gain lean muscle mass it’s much more effective to consume protein six times a day versus 3 times a day. The will also help balance blood sugar throughout the day and cause you to hit less “peaks and valleys”. I would also suggest consuming whey protein as it is absorbed the fastest in your body. At the end of the day, you need to ask yourself how much daily protein do you need to build muscle, because your activity level has a lot to do with it.
#5 Why the Gym Junkies Whey?
Different types of protein are better for different things. However, the reason Gym Junkies invested in whey protein is because it digests the fastest out of the protein family. Whey protein will also help control cravings all day research suggests. Whey Protein will also assist you in replenishing the nutrients you lost from your workout and help you build lean muscle. It’s also important to remember based on your sex protein affects your body differently and choosing the best protein powder women might be different when choosing for men.
#6 Full body Workouts for Strength
Remember if your going for strength how many times you workout and how hard you workout will both be contributing factors. Remember finding the perfect workout plan is not always easy and you will need to play with different options.Also, you can burn more calories quicker if you do a full body workout; try to do a full body workout 3-5 times a week. Make sure you’re hitting your muscle group anywhere between 10-15 times during the duration of the week.
#7 Pump More Iron
When targeting your primary muscle group you can try to focus on secondary muscle groups as well. For example, if your squatting you can pretend to push down on the floor, by doing this you will activate your gluteus more.I hear people say do squats really work, and yea they do for this exact reason. .
Same goes for bench press up and try bending the bar as this will work out your upper back and create a much more stable platform when benching. This will also assist you in building more power for your lifts.
#8 Lift Something Awkward
Barbells and dumbbells don’t really pertain to everyday life. An example of this is holding your child or even grocery bags during the day. So try to do something in the gym that helps your functional strength as well, try lifting a medicine ball, kettlebell or a sandbag. A great website to check out for some of these exercises is Anthony DiLuglios artofstrength.com.
#9 Blast Your Core
Doing a hundred of sit-ups will not give you a six-pack, I wish it were that easy. You’re going to have to get creative when it comes to blasting your core, and do rotations, leg lifts, table tops and a host of other things if you want a ripped midsection. Remember when you’re doing a sit up or a crunch your only moving in one range of motion. Mix it up and hit different angles, reps, and weight. For great core workouts check out the blog post I wrote on how to get ripped in 10 minutes a day.
#10 Run In Burst
I enjoy running a lot, and to avoid plateaus I will constantly mix my runs up, with different elevation, incline, pace or even environment. By doing this, I am always keeping my body guessing what’s next. It’s also important to make sure your form is good and study the proper running form.
If you’re someone that prefers running inside and have the AC blasting, then trying bumping the incline up by 3% to mimic the calories you would burn outside. Also, remember interval running is more effective than long steady cardio when it comes to burning calories.
#11 Drink More H20
You will burn more calories if you consume more water every day, 16oz to be exact.Studies show that drinking water can raise your metabolism a whopping 30%, that’s a big difference. Remember water is the most optimal choice for gym junkies, so drink up!
#12 Don’t Stay Stationary
Moving around is your friend, even if it means you’re up doing the laundry. If you’re in walking/biking distance to the store or neighbors house make the extra effort not to drive. By making these changes, you could burn up to an additional 2,000 calories a week. Remember you can always multi-task and walk in talk at the same time.
#13 Sleep More and Consume Less
If you’re not getting good sleep and you’re consistently getting less than 7 hours it could lead to overeating. It also releases your hungry hormone Cortisol and makes it hard to control eating habits. It’s important to remember your bodies need sufficient rest in order to perform in their most optimal state.
#14 Power Verses Strength
Often people confuse these, as they are very different. Power is the ability to exert strength quickly. For example box jumps, vertical jumps, cleans or medicine ball slams. To increase your power, you can incorporate some of those exercises before a lifting routine.
#15 The Road to Recovery
It’s important to treat recovery as a separate workout, because of its great effects on your body. Also you will as gain muscle much faster by doing this. So make time during the week for recovery such as foam roll, or even yoga. You can also check out my recent blog post on how yoga can help you build muscle mass.
#16 More Activities Between Sets
I am the king of making the most use of my time, and actually there is a huge benefit when it comes to weight lifting. For example in between sets I will drop down and do table tops, or do body weight squats or pushups.
Workout smarter not harder…
Not only am I burning more calories by doing this but I am also avoiding injury as well. So keep moving in the gym, don’t be one of those gym junkies that exercises their mouth in between sets.
#17 Practice Your Agility
To perform at your most optimal capacity, you will want to practice agility, speed, and quickness. If you’re an athlete this is even more important as most sports are “stop and go” . A good example of this is to set up cones in a square and do many variations of short sprints.
You can improve our agility by improving the component parts of agility such as, strength, speed, balance, and coordination.
By following these simple rules, your workouts should improve significantly. Remember to incorporate as many of these as possible; just focusing on one will not cut it. It’s all about working out smarter and not harder with your gym time; always make the most of it. Remember to sign up for FREE fitness tips here, and you will also get notifications on when I publish more articles during the week.
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Very true, water is the one that I struggle with. If it increases metabolism by 30% then I am in!
Haha right! I always try to have a water bottle accessible at all times for this reason…