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Muscle development is a rather demanding task. In order to get your muscles in great condition, you'll have to work a lot. Hours of exercising and big changes in diet are just some of the things you'll have to do to get the results you want to achieve. Here is a list of ways in which you can enhance your muscle development.
Set clear goals
No matter what you want to achieve, setting clear goals should be the first step you’re taking. The same goes for enhancing your muscle development. When you know what you’re going for, it’s easier to make it happen. The best thing is that you’ll spend less time trying to achieve it and the results will be more than satisfying. Once you know the precise direction in which you want to go, you can focus on how to get there.
When it comes to enhancing muscle development, you can try and approach it differently. Namely, your goal should be to get stronger, instead of gaining pounds of muscle. This may not sound very logical, but it actually is. Once your strength is increased, your body’s ability to recruit muscle fibers improves. This means that the muscles that make a difference in your physique looks will be more improved immediately. Since the strength training makes the fiber more tangible and concrete, getting the muscles defined won’t be a problem. Once you seriously start getting stronger, you’re going to love your muscles’ response to this change. All you need to succeed are clear goals, strong will, and a bit of patience.
Increase your training volume
In order to grow muscles more effectively, you are supposed to increase your training volume. If you aren't familiar with this term, now is the best time to learn it. The term training volume refers to the number of reps multiplied by the number of sets. This is the number one feature that you should pay attention to when it comes to hypertrophy. Hypertrophy is term used for growing muscle.
The best way to grow muscle efficiently is to go lower in weight. You might have to go even lower than you think. Since training during hypertrophy makes the intensity drop to somewhere between 50 and 75 percent, the maximum weight will be much lower. If you want to get the volume your muscles need to grow, you should consider performing each of your lifts for three to six sets. The sets should be about 10 to 20 reps. This way, you'll develop your muscles much faster than usual.
Work each muscle 2-3 times per week
If you want the best results possible, you should do everything right. When it comes to bodybuilding programs and muscle growth, there is one problem. The problem is the way in which the programs are planned. Namely, they are split up in such a way that they hit each individual body part once a week. What this means is that there must always be a long period between workouts for a particular muscle group. For instance, you could switch from lifting weight three times a week to full-body workouts. This way, you’ll do the entire body in each session.
The important change that this will bring into your routine is that you’ll work on each muscle three times a week and, naturally, the results will be much better. You could perform three sets per muscle group. If you’re training more times a week, you can always adapt the sets to your routine and make the most of your training. In order to achieve strength even more rapidly, you can increase the frequency with which you’re working the muscles. Once you start getting stronger, you’ll start growing muscles more rapidly too. The main thing you shouldn’t forget is to keep the volume low and you’ll have no trouble while enhancing your muscle development.
Pay attention to the eccentric phase
Lifting weights consist of a concentric and eccentric phase. The concentric phase is the hard one, while the eccentric phase is the easy one. An instance of the eccentric phase would be lowering into a squat. On the other hand, the concentric action would be returning to standing. What may come as a surprise is that the eccentric phase is actually more important when it comes to muscle development. Since the eccentric work is the one that triggers hypertrophy, you should definitely focus more on this part of your training.
There are two things you could do to increase the amount of eccentric action during your workout. The first one would be to slow down the eccentric phase of all of the exercises you're performing. The second one would be to integrate some eccentric-only variations into your usual workout routine. While the first solution is rather simple, you may be clueless when it comes to doing the second one. If you have no ideas about how to do so, don't worry. The simplest thing you could do is change the way you do the squats. If you want to make squats eccentric-only, the only thing you should do is lower to the floor and that's it. The exercise should just end there. The one thing you shouldn’t forget is that you should increase the weight you’re using substantially.
Decrease the rest intervals
Of course, you have to have between-set rest intervals. The only problem when it comes to these rest intervals is their length. Namely, the length of the between-set rest intervals plays a great role in muscle development. Professionals say that it would be best to make rest periods last about 30 seconds.
These rest periods actually encourage a release in muscle-building hormones, which is exactly the purpose of your training. The best thing is that you don’t only develop muscles during exercising, but you keep doing that even during rest intervals! What makes these rest intervals ideals is the fact they allow your muscles to really burn. When you fatigue the muscles, you are actually increasing your chances of hypertrophy.
Do some cardiovascular exercise
If you want good results, be ready to do some high-intensity training. The point of this is to achieve more in less time. What high-intensity exercise manages to do effectively is free fat from storage and get it into the bloodstream. Once the fat is in the bloodstream, it can be perfectly used as an energy source. This is precisely the importance of cardiovascular exercise.
You can perform the cardio after your strength training. This will be even more beneficial for the good results you are striving to get. When doing cardio, you should have longer rest intervals than the sets. For instance, you could work as hard as possible for 30 seconds, and then you should rest for 90 seconds. If you repeat this a couple of times, the results will be perfect. You will get pretty tired, but it will all pay off. The reason your rest intervals are supposed to be longer three times than the sets is pretty logical. You’ll need to collect strength and energy to keep up the good work.
Eat more supplements
Supplements are very important in the process of muscle development. That doesn't come as such a surprise since all of the hard training breaks down your muscles. Of course, you'll need something to build them back up. This exactly is the reason why protein is important. Protein is the kind of muscle-building foods that will be your best friend during the whole process of hypertrophy. Another important supplement is creatine. Creatine doesn't directly grow the muscle, but it does boost your performance, especially during lifting workouts of higher intensity. Even though creatine doesn't directly influence the muscle to grow, the result is still the same.
Another supplement worth mentioning is definitely glutamine powder. Glutamine, being an amino acid, serves as a building block for proteins. The reason why glutamine is so important for your muscle development is its role in the immune system. Hard training can often exhaust you and the main thing is to retain a good immune system during the process. Glutamine is exactly what fuels your blood cells and improves your immune system. What glutamine also does successfully is decrease muscle soreness and improves recovery after the intense exercise. Finally, glutamine with some carbohydrates will make your cardio much more bearable since it reduces blood marker of fatigue.
Work on your diet
Exercise isn't the only thing you'll need in order to grow muscle. Another very important part of the journey is your healthy diet. What you, eat, how much you eat, and how often you eat are all important things you should pay attention to when building muscle. Since diet is an essential part of your hypertrophy, you should do your best to remain disciplined and consistent. Your eating habits will need to be adjusted to your training. If not, you’re going to need a lot more time and nerves to get the results you want.
The first rule, when it comes to your new diet, would be to avoid all fried, processed, and refined foods. These won't do any good for you. Instead, you should consume more foods that provide lean protein, clean carbs, and healthy fats. Foods such as beef, pork, chicken, tuna, salmon, and sardines will help you a lot while growing muscle. Not only that, eggs, cheese, yogurt are also important if you want to build muscle in the right way. Vegan options such as lentils, tofu, nuts, and seeds can also have very positive effects on your muscle development. Don't forget to include many fruits and vegetables into your diet to provide your body with enough vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Finally, you should drink water to prevent dehydration and improve your muscle recovery.
Focus on Calorie Surpluses
If you've spent a lot of time counting calories to lose weight, you'll need some time to adjust to this step, but it will pay off in the end. Calories are the most effective way to build mass, and that's exactly what you need for your muscles. To make the process more efficient, you’ll have to eat more carbs daily than you burn. This is important because the body, once it detects calorie deficit, tends to make muscle building a bit more difficult.
To make sure that you’re doing everything right, you should eat 250 to 500 extra calories per day. Protein is great for this and it will help you build muscle rapidly. If you develop a high-calorie diet, which is also rich in protein, you’ll be able to store up to half of that amount as muscle. Because of that, it's important to integrate high-calorie foods into your diet. Healthy fats are also important because they improve fat loss and health. This happens due to their slow digestion.
Develop a healthy eating schedule
When it comes to your diet, it does not just important what kind of food you're eating. What's also important is the eating schedule that you have. Since the most important thing you should do is being disciplined, planning your meals isn't a bad thing. The first thing you should is, start eating every three hours. You should eat your breakfast, lunch, and dinner as usual, but you should have other meals too. You’ll have to eat after your workouts before you go to sleep, and you should also have some snacks during the day.
If you start eating more often, you won’t feel as hungry and you’ll have fewer cravings. Having more smaller meals than just three big ones will significantly decrease your stomach size. On the other hand, not eating for two long can cause you to over-eat which will have many negative impacts on your muscle development. Even though all of the meals are important, breakfast is by far the most important one. Breakfast is a source of energy that you will definitely need to build muscle. Omelets, smoothies, and cottage cheese are just some of the meals that will help you start your day in the right way. The meal after the workout is also particularly important and you should dedicate it to carbs.
Get enough sleep
Finally, a particularly interesting tip is to get enough sleep. It’s so interesting because it’s not connected to the muscle development directly, in a way that exercise and diet are. Nevertheless, sleep is also important if you want to develop your muscle mass. Since you get to work your muscles during the day, they will need to recover over the night.
About eight or nine hours per night is the time your muscles need to recover. Not only because of that, but sleeping is also important because your body releases the growth hormone during that particular activity. This means that your muscles grow more over the night. What's more, it is believed that the lack of sleep for a week can cut muscle-building testosterone levels. This means that you may be doing everything perfectly, but if you’re not getting enough sleep, you won’t get the results you want as rapidly as you usually would.
Even though muscle development takes time and energy, it does pay off. If you have a strong will and if you are disciplined, you’ll be able to get the perfect results pretty rapidly. Don’t wait and start your muscle enhancing journey now! You’ll be more than happy once you start noticing the results!
No matter how far I run, fruit smoothies I drink, or fast food restaurants I avoid, the struggle to fight daily food cravings and splurge like an emotional eater haunts me. At least once a week I have to stop myself from sitting down to watch a movie with a gallon of chocolate chip cookie dough.
Exercise is half the battle of staying healthy. When coupled with eating right, we have the chance to transform our lives.
I'm not a crazy "cut everything bad out of my diet" person in my nutritional approach. I believe in the simple and balanced habits that promote a healthy life overall. Denying the strawberry cake craving will drive a person mad. Learn to indulge in a healthy way.
Here are five tips that helped me eat healthier.
1. Stay Hydrated
Instead of feasting on carbs and questionable snacks, drink water! Water hydrates you, gives you energy, and stifles the hunger cravings between meals. I take a water bottle with me everywhere.
2. Brush Your Teeth
This trick deters me from snacking after meals. Usually, I know it might sound bizarre, but I brush after every meal. If there's no sink available, I may defer to a pack of minty or cinnamon gum.
3. Eat a Real Breakfast
Who has time for breakfast? I'm always hitting the "snooze" button on my cell alarm, speed showering and out the door. I can't cook a fully loaded healthy breakfast.
Keep it simple. Oatmeal or Greek yogurt hits the spot. They both pack good energy (Yogurt = protein). Mix them with fresh fruit like peaches, strawberries, blackberries, or anything you want. I also add nuts (protein and energy) and raw honey.
You can eat this concoction quickly, add on top of a waffle, or take it to-go for the morning commute. If you miss a meal, cravings for bad food grow stronger.
4. Join a Community Garden & Start a Food Journal
Start a food journal. This could involve a little notebook or a personal blog.
Once you start paying attention to how much and what goes into your body, taking control of your diet will be easier.
The blog allows you to build a following, interact with other nutritional minded people, and gives you an outlet to focus on eating right.
Gardening is one of my favorite things to do. If you don't have that space for an elevated veggie or herb garden, then the community garden provides the next best option.
It forces you to become involved in food development and eating habits. Community gardens are better than personal spaces because you'll look forward to the hobby if there are people to interact with.
5. No Off Day
My father lived for that Sunday off day from his diet. It doesn't do you any good to change your mind about healthy eating if you spend one day indulging. Eating Right is founded on a lifestyle change.
This change entails plate disciple every day, exercising, becoming nutritionally aware, and connecting with the best doctors to ensure every dietary change affects your body in a positive way.
We need to fight obesity, diabetes, and other health issues. New health care plans or wellness programs encourage people to meet health goals prevent long term illnesses. If we can change our perspective about eating, then we will find it easier to keep a healthy weight, feel better about ourselves, and live longer! Do you have any tips for healthy eating?