How to gain muscle fast
Who doesn’t love to hear that? The truth is, you can look fit at any time just by feeling confident and carrying yourself in that manner. People will take notice if you feel good!
However, there is also nothing wrong with wanting to feel buff in the literal meaning of the word, muscular and lean.
Getting your body toned might seem like a difficult process, but that is no reason to let that stop you. There are plenty of small changes that you can implement in your lifestyle to help you get going on the journey to muscles. This doesn’t just include trying to lift your body weight in weights either!
Building up your muscles will take a few lifestyle steps - eating the right foods, working out properly, fuelling for workouts, recovering from exercise, and most importantly sticking to your training plan. But you know what, you have it in you and your muscles have room to grow!
"Exercise is labour without weariness.” -Samuel Johnson
All About the Food
What I am about to tell you might sound counter intuitive to everything you have ever heard about being healthy and fit…you’re going to have to eat more food. How much more you need to eat will depend on a few things, like your goals, metabolism, and your current size. However, to gain muscle mass you need to take in more calories.
If you exercise about four times per week already, you can try with these equations:
For Women: 12-15 calories per pound of body weight multiplied by 1.3-1.5 For Men: 15-20 calories per pound of body weight multiplied by 1.2-1.5 Of course, analyse how your body feels taking in these calories and alter it accordingly. There are also online calculators to help you figure out how many calories you should be consuming.
2. As excited as you might have been to just read that you need to eat more, that doesn’t mean go crazy and eat just anything. To gain muscle, and not fat, you need to be sure you’re eating the right kinds of calories at the right times.
3. Protein is essential for you to gain muscle. It helps your muscles repair and grow after working them. You want to take in clean protein, which means skip anything that is deep-fried or prepared with greases and fats.
4. Carbohydrates are also an important part of your diet. Stick to mostly complex carbs, your body absorbs and digests them slowly. Eating enough carbs also stops your body from breaking down the protein, exactly what is needed to build that muscle! This includes starchy vegetables, whole grains and legumes.
Good to Read: Meal Prep 101
5. Have some simple carbs before and after workouts. Simple carbs provide your body with immediate energy, perfect for before a workout and after to help replenish your carbohydrates. Fruit is your best bet here!
6. Include some protein in your post-workout snack. Some great after workout snacks include a banana and a cup of milk, a piece of fruit and some almonds, or some dry oatmeal and peanut butter.
Top Ten Foods to Gain Muscle
Tuna and Fish
Fruits and Vegetables
Acupressure Relief! From all your lifting and exercising your shoulders might get a bit achy. Apply firm pressure these Acupressure points for 1-3 minutes: -The space between your thumb and index finger -Bend your arm at a right angle. Apply pressure to the vertical groove that forms on the front of the shoulder -On the back surface of your shoulder, apply pressure one thumb width above the armpit.
You Gotta Put in the Work!
1. If you want to gain muscles, and achieve that healthy and fit look, you’re going to have to do some lifting. The three main movements of powerlifting are deadlifting, squatting, and pressing. These call on the largest muscle groups in your body, allowing you to move the most amount of weight. Aim to spend 3-4 days lifting a week. Attempt to do 3-5 sets of each movement. Be sure to do some research on these lifts so you perform them safely!!
2. Of course in order to lift heavy weights, you need to get strong enough all over your body to support the big lifts! Lift the lighter stuff too, and with more reps, 8-12 reps per set. These exercises can include dumbbell rows and kettle bell swings.
3. Don’t do too much high-intensity cardio! This burns a lot of calories, exactly what we are trying to bulk-up on and maintain. Instead, twice a week for about 30 minutes, do some moderate intensity cardio of your choice.
4. Doing all this lifting actually breaks down your muscle tissue. You need to give your body rest to repair and actually grow your muscles…who would have thought?! To do this, give yourself at least one day a week where you have complete rest. This one shouldn’t be too hard…
5. Here’s another easy non-negotiable part of gaining muscle, you need to get a good night’s sleep! Being sleep-deprived wreaks havoc on your body and you absolutely need that rest time for your body to recover and allow you the proper strength to workout.
6. Stay hydrated!! This cannot be stressed enough. Your body performs at its best when it is properly hydrated and helps prevent injuries.
If working out in a gym, before using a piece of equipment read the instructions. If you are uncertain of something, ask a member of the staff.
Listen to what your body is trying to tell you while you exercise. If you are doing an arm strengthening routine but your lower back hurts, your form is probably wrong. Pressure on your joints is also a bad sign.
When lifting weights, keep your breathing steady and slow. As you lift, breathe out and then breathe in as you lower the weight back to its starting position.
Don’t try the heaviest weights first! Start small and work your way up to see what your body can handle. You will progress to heavy weights as your practice continues.
“To enjoy the glow of good health, you must exercise” –Gene Tunney
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