While some men and women still stay away from weights in favour of cardio, there are endless benefits to growing lean muscle, including an increased metabolism, improved athleticism, and of course a more sculpted physique. If you’re invested in growing your glutes, carving out a strong core or getting sculpted arms, read on for five ways to see better muscle gains.
It takes time!!
Unlike fat loss, gaining muscle is a lot more difficult process. Muscle requires more calories to stay alive than fat. Therefore, your body does not really want to add more of something that will inevitably use up more vital fuel. This is a natural survival instinct built into our bodies. The key with this is to be patient and also to be consistent in your actions to building more muscle. I see a lot of people who end up getting frustrated with the slow progress and start trying new things in the hope of seeing results. The sad reality is these actions will most definitely lead to failure.
Like I mentioned above, your body requires more calories to build and maintain lean tissue. One other component to building muscle is heavy weight training – these types of sessions tend to tear muscle fibers which then encourages growth. It is vital that you are getting adequate protein and calories in, in order to allow this growth to occur. More so than fat loss, it is important to monitor your daily calories and macros (protein, carbs and fats) to make sure you are hitting the right numbers and not wasting your time.
Less is more
There is a massive myth in the fitness industry regarding working out. A lot of us believe (or in some cases, we are led to believe) that in order to get results we need to do more exercise. This is complete and utter nonsense. You should never judge the quality of a workout based on time, rather intensity. When it comes to building muscle, intensity, in the form of heavy strength training is vital. Because the intensity is so high, you require less of it and more rest and recovery so your body can repair itself and subsequently add lean tissue. For some reason, we humans feel we need to constantly be doing something in order to see results, and in the process we completely overlook the importance of rest. Think of it this way – if you break a limb, are you encouraged by your doctor to do more of what caused the injury in the first place, in order for it to get better as soon as possible? Of course not, you are advised to rest and isolate the limb until better.
Making sure you get the most gains out of your training is all about how you prepare. Warming up with a routine that includes moves that’ll fire up the muscles you’re training is a great way to make sure your muscles get the maximum impact of your routine. If your focus is on growing your glutes for instance, start every workout with a glute activating routine that ensures your glutes are limber before you lift. By performing this routine during your warm-up you are increasing blood flow into the muscles your working, thereby allowing them to engage more during the workout.
Plan and record your workouts
One thing that still baffles me is the amount of people who attend large commercial gyms or even perform home workouts with little or no plan in mind. It’s like deciding you want to go on holidays but leaving it up to faith that the resort and flights will be booked and your bags packed. It’s ridiculous!! You should ALWAYS plan your workouts in advance, and if attending a large commercial gym – record your workouts. By this I mean writing down your lifts (weight, reps and sets) so that each day you workout, you are aiming to be stronger than the previous day.
To your health and fitness,