Unfortunately, there are no secret quick fixes or magic pills to get you in shape and build muscle. If there was and it was easy everyone would be walking around with boulder shoulders, peachy glutes and abs of steel. However, personally that’s why I love it – your body shows your hard work, dedication, and commitment to eating well.
“If you don’t find the time, if you don’t do the work, then you don’t get results.”
Here are my top tips to optimise muscle growth:
Eat Better, Not Less
Eating well isn’t about restriction or deprivation. It’s about eating an abundance of foods that make you feel good and make you perform at your best. Cutting down on food isn’t always the answer and although you must be in a calorific deficit to lose fat. You also must be eating enough to build muscle and fuel your work outs to their best potential. Food is FUEL and if there isn’t enough fuel in the tank your results, progress and strength in the gym are likely to plateau and even decrease.
Train Smarter, Not More
Hitting the gym 7 days a week also isn’t going to give you the results you are after. Rest, recovery and giving your body and muscles time to repair is essential to muscle growth. For optimal muscle growth, you should be aiming to hit the gym 4-5 times a week which will allow enough rest days for your body to recover and GROW! Any more than this and you could be potentially doing more harm than good; you’ll be over trained, fatigued and miserable!
When it comes to achieving your health and fitness goals, consistency is key. Being consistent with your training, nutrition and recovery are essential to progress and above all, is the most important aspect. It is only when your new healthy routine becomes a habit that you get impressive results. You’re not going to see huge progress in a matter of weeks and months, it takes years of setting your foundations, building knowledge and being consistent with every element of fitness. If you have a bad workout one day or eat a doughnut that doesn’t matter, what matters is the next day your back in the gym, eating well and fuelling your body. And you NEVER QUIT.
“Consistency is what transforms average into excellence.”
Water is essential for us to survive. But are you drinking enough? Besides helping to maintain life, drinking enough fluids is crutial for our muscles and dehydration can seriously hinder muscle growth. Many people still believe that 6-8 cups of water a day is an optimal intake of water. However, this is an outdated approach particularly for regular gym-goers and those looking to build muscle. To maximize your gains, you should aim to be drinking 3-4 liters of water a day to ensure your muscles are hydrated and can work how they should.
Getting to bed on time is another aspect of fitness many people overlook. If you are training hard, sleep is the only time your body gets to fully rest and recover ready for the next day. Without the right amount of sleep you feel tired which will affect your training and you’ll never be recovered. Professor Michael Colgan went as far as to say: “even if your training and nutrition program can straight for the mouth of God almighty, without adequate rest your body will fail to adapt.”
During sleep, growth hormone is produced, protein synthesis occurs, energy consumption is reduced and your brain cells restore. These things will massively impact your performance and results. Therefore, ensuring you are getting enough sleep is essential to building muscle and seeing results.
“Greatness is small things done well everyday.”
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