If you had a choice, which would you prefer – a pasty, flabby, saggy, overweight body, or a lean, toned, muscular and slim body instead? You’d almost certain choose the latter, and so would we. We all have dreams and aspirations of building a physique we can be truly proud of, yet unfortunately not all of us will realise these goals and dreams. We may spend hours upon hours in the gym, as well as far too much of our hard earned money on healthy foods and nutritional supplements as well, but the simple fact remains that if you’re not exactly sure about what you’re doing in the gym, or even in the kitchen for that matter, you simply won’t see the progress that you should be seeing. Pretty much all of us would prefer to burn fat and build muscle simultaneously, and with a little know-how and a little help and advice from trained experts, we can do just that. If you’re looking to bulk up and slim down for this year’s summer, here are a few of the best exercises and dietary and training tips to help you gain muscle fast.
When people talk about building muscle, they immediately picture heavy barbells, dumbbells, and cast-iron plates alongside complex looking pieces of machinery and equipment. Whilst these are all extremely effective tools when it comes to building muscle, they’re not the only tools at our disposal when it comes to building muscle. Over the years, numerous studies have revealed that bodyweight resistance exercises have proven time and time again to be extremely effective at building lean muscle mass, as well as for increasing overall body strength too. Even if you have access to a gym kitted out with the heaviest weights and the most hi-tech and sophisticated pieces of equipment known to man, you should still ensure that you incorporate bodyweight exercises into your everyday routine. Exercises such as push ups, sit ups, Hindu squats, and pull ups are extremely effective at building muscle and should be included as part of your training program.
Compound exercises are fantastic for building muscle mass because they work more than one muscle group simultaneously. Deadlifts for example, are great examples of compound exercises because they work the hamstrings, as well as the lower and middle back as well. Working more than one muscle group per exercise means that you’re inadvertently doing more than you realise. Most free weight exercises are compound exercises, although pull ups and chin ups are also great examples of compound exercises, and they use nothing more than your own bodyweight. Typically these exercises will work all parts of your back, as well as your biceps and your traps as well.
While compound movements are still very beneficial when it comes to building muscle, so too are isolation exercises as well. Most machine-based exercises are isolation exercises and they’re perfect for really singling out lagging body parts or body parts that you really want to bring up and improve upon. Say you have a muscular back, broad muscular shoulders, and large arms and legs, but a weaker looking chest, by really isolating your chest with various exercises, you can quickly add lean muscle mass and definition to it.
Consume plenty of protein
If you’re looking to bulk up and build muscle, protein is absolutely essential, and there are no ifs or buts about it. Protein can be found in meats, eggs, dairy produce, and seafood as well as in various plant-based sources as well. For added convenience, protein is now widely available in a variety of different powdered supplement blends, with whey protein proving to be the most popular. If you’re trying to bulk up, you will need to be consuming at least 1.5 grams of protein, per pound of bodyweight. That means that if you weigh 200lbs, you will need to be consuming at least 300 grams of protein each day. Make sure you spread your meals out evenly, and to make the entire process easier, think about using a good quality protein powder supplement.
Get your post-workout nutrition on point
We simply cannot stress just how important this last tip is, yet unfortunately people still don’t tend to take it seriously. Your post-workout meal is the most important meal of the day and you must ensure you get it right. Most people will again simply consume a protein shake as this is more convenient than tucking into a plate of chicken, sweet potato and broccoli as soon as you finish your training session. When we exercise, glycogen and fuel within our muscles begins to deplete, and our muscle tissues actually tear and become damaged. We build muscle when we rest, providing we have the right nutrients. For optimal results, consume a protein source, an amino acid source such as glutamine powder, and a simple sugar source such as an orange or Satsuma. The protein and amino acids will fuel the muscles and initiate growth and repair via protein synthesis. The simple sugar source will create an insulin spike which allows the muscles, or rather the cells within the muscles, to absorb more nutrients, thus getting more natural goodness inside of them. If you do consume a post-workout shake, always mix it with water as water absorbs far quicker than milk.