Building muscles is a great way to lose fat and improve your health. Still, many people don’t get to reach their fitness goals due to a variety of reasons. One of which is their failure to do the process right. With that, I discussed here some tips for building muscle and losing fat that will help you bulk up.
Just remember that no matter how many tips I give, it will all boil down to self-discipline.
It’s easy to envy men and women with chiseled bodies. But before you give up and pity your self, why not start with some mass gainer tips that will help you toward success?
Read on to know some must-know tips for muscle building and fat loss.
Understanding the science of muscle building
Before you sign up to another mass building routine, make sure that you understand how the muscle building process go.
Let’s start during your workout. During your strenuous routines, your muscle fibers are put under strain. Soon, it will sustain tiny tears which can be felt as soreness.
After your workout, your body automatically repairs these tears by fusing the ends together. During this process, the damages are repaired and new fibers are produced.
The repaired fibers will become thicker, thus what’s called hypertrophy or muscle growth. But for this to happen, you need to supply your body with enough protein.
As you know, complete protein is composed of 20 amino acids. These acids are divided into two categories: non-essential and essential. The essential amino acids can’t be produced by the body and have to be supplied through food or supplements.
If proper workout and enough protein are paired, you will experience continuous muscle growth.
Here, Jeffrey Siegel explains how muscles grow in your body:
Why you’re not building muscles
Are you working out but not gaining muscles? For sure, you’re doing something wrong.
Remember, muscles are formed through three mechanisms: muscle tension, muscle damage, and metabolic stress. All of these trigger the body systems to initiate repair. This will result in bigger muscle fibers and more fibers gained on the course of working out.
The bottom line: muscles are formed during rest periods.
The biggest mistake of newbie muscle builders is they beat their selves up in the gym for endless hours. The idea is that the longer you exercise, the more muscles you’ll form. This is actually a formula to injury.
After you tire your muscles out, you have to give it time to repair. Remember the three muscle-building mechanisms above? By now, you should’ve have grasped the thought here.
In this video, Matt discusses more reasons why you’re not gaining muscles:
To help you build muscles and reduce fat, I’ve divided the succeeding content into two sections. This way, you can formulate your strategy with specific tips for building muscle and losing fat:
How to build muscles
1. Embrace training
Training and working out are two different routines. Surprised, are you?
Working out with the same routines that don’t challenge your muscles is dysfunctional. Once you attain your goal weight, there’s not much to expect from this.
Do you know what the secret is? Progressive training. You try to improve each set in increments to give your muscle a whole new level of stress.
This is different than pushing it to dangerous limits, though. If done right, this should be an injury-free body-building routine.
For newbies, it’s always best to tap the help of professional trainers to have a custom training routine that suits your body type.
2. Maximize your workout time
It’s not about how long you train; it’s more about how intense you do it.
A 45-minute high-intensity routine is way better than spending two hours in the gym doing endless runs at the treadmill. It’s best to structure your routine in sets. For each set aim for as many repetitions as you can.
If you feel like you’re losing your shape and you’re about to fail on the next set. Allow your body to rest for 20 to 30 seconds then resume to the next set.
Additional mass gainer tips: Try adding more bars or weights. As long as you’re improving in intensity, you can avoid the dreaded plateau.
3. Don’t stick to routine fads
A lot of people are obsessed with easy fixes. When it comes to muscle building, there’s no shortcut to success. You have to sweat and work it out.
If a program promises magical results in a very short span of time, consider it a scam. It’s best to find a workout plan that will work for you. Tap the help of experts if need be.
The key to gaining muscles is finding a workout that you enjoy. Take note that carving those guns aren’t restricted inside the gym. You can also do sports and outdoor routines to diversify your workout plan. Still, it’s up to you to follow these tips for building muscle and losing fat.
4. Lift weights
Lifting weights are king for those who want to gain muscles. This is the reason why you’ll see bulky gym buffs sticking to their barbells for months.
Weights offer a convenient way to achieve progressive muscle gains. By adding more weights to the bar once you’re ready, you will give your muscles a new challenge. This will all root to consistent muscle tension that’s required to form new muscle fibers.
You should understand that substituting weights with training isn’t a good idea. Nothing compares to progressive overload that weights bring. If you switch to mere training, you should expect slow gains.
5. Exercise all muscle groups
Some neophyte bodybuilders have the stereotype that as long as they are doing ‘gym stuff’, they will be gaining muscles. This is a big mistake.
If you want to carve your muscles, you should train all your muscle groups. Target each muscle areas to avoid over usage of other groups. For example, you shouldn’t just focus on strengthening your core muscles, target your legs, arms, and back too.
You can do this by performing compound exercises like bench presses, squats, barbell rows, and more. Isolation movement is a great way to end the session. Just make sure that you’re doing it right.
6. Don’t stick to one sport
If you’re training for the sake of gaining muscles, you shouldn’t specialize in one sport alone.
Like what I said earlier, you can use sports to diversify your routines. The likes of biking, rowing, and weight lifting are great additions to your workout plan. However, don’t stick with just one.
The risk of staying in one program for too long is that you may experience plateaus. This is directly related to the progressive loads that we mentioned earlier.
If your muscles got used to your routines, it will slow down or stop its increase in mass. It’s the last thing you’d want to happen.
7. Prioritize warm-up and recovery
The “Go Big or Go Home” mindset may apply for gaining muscles, but it can also be misinterpreted at times.
Sure, you need to lift weights and add loads for increased intensity. But you have ever tried using rollers to loosen up your tight muscles and joints? How about using a lacrosse ball to boost your muscles’ soft tissue quality?
These little routines are often overlooked by an overwhelmed bodybuilder. Aside from going on extremes with your routines, you should also consider warming up and cooling down as priorities.
These routines will help prevent injuries and muscle soreness before and after working out.
How to reduce fat
Now that you know how to gain muscles, here are additional mass gainer tips:
1. Mind what you eat
This is quite an obvious tip, but a lot of people still think that they can get away with problematic diets. You simply can’t expect calories to burn itself if you don’t exercise or practice portion control.
Aside from calories (which is discussed below), you should start switching to healthier options. Let’s give you a situation here:
You run for at least 30 minutes a day as a way to burn your fats. But in the afternoon, you dropped by the nearest Starbucks to get your favorite frappe.
As much as the cardio is good for your heart, it didn’t help in reducing fat. Also, your poor eating habits defeated the purpose of exercising. It’s best to follow these tips for building muscle and losing fat before it’s too late.
2. Reduce calories slowly
Making big jumps on your calorie reduction is a big mistake. It will make you lethargic and out-of-focus as your body experienced a sudden deprivation of energy.
To avoid this, reduce your calorie intake slowly. You can start with 300 calories a day and the make it bigger by increments. Do this within two weeks or depending on how much you need to cut.
In fact, reducing calorie intake alone can yield fat loss for people with sedentary lifestyles. However, they will soon reach a plateau when exercise will be needed.
If your fat loss isn’t at the rate you want it to be after weeks of cutting back, you can reduce more calories or add more exercise.
3. Don’t rely on cardio (don’t overdo do it either)
Many of us resort to running, biking, and hitting the treadmill for exercise. These are convenient and easy to do. But for some, they tend to think of cardio as the solution to the problem.
The truth is that when you cut your calorie intake, you may skip the cardio by switching to strength training. With this, you can experience more fat burns.
But for starters, it doesn’t hurt to do 20 minute-cardio three to four times a week. This keeps your cardiovascular system in check while you get to sweat really well.
However, don’t add any more cardio unless your fat loss takes a dip.
4. Ditch low-fat and low-sugar food
Some people think that since they need to cut some calories, eating low-sugar and low-fat food are heaven-sent. But the truth is it has more evils than any good to do.
Just because it says “low” doesn’t mean it’s good for your diet. Most of these low-fat or low-sugar food items are highly processed and stripped of nutritional value.
Also, low-sugar food items are usually sweetened using artificial sweeteners which can be worse than table sugar.
If you’re revamping your diet, it’s better to choose organic fruits, veggies, grains, and eggs. These aren’t processed and packed with necessary vitamins and minerals.
5. Make diet easy to follow
The common notion when it comes to ‘dieting’ is it’s supposed to be difficult. But if you do it right, choosing a new diet doesn’t have to feel like a punishment.
First of all, stop punishing yourself by eating bland food. You can always mix it up with herbs and spices that won’t hurt your weight. Actually, the likes of cayenne, minced garlic, hot sauce, and more can help you shed those pounds.
It’s all about being creative with your meals so your diet becomes easy to follow and stick to. Even if you’re trying to lose weight, eating food that tastes good isn’t always a sin.
6. Don’t starve
For the life of me, don’t starve for the sake of shedding weight. This is dangerous and not effective for so many reasons.
First, starvation will only initiate muscle loss. It will also slow down your metabolism which will lead to slow fat burns. Aside from that, starving your body will affect your day to day chores as you’ll feel dizzy and weak.
If you exercise at this condition, you’re just burying yourself in a more problematic situation. Again, like what I said earlier, eating right is the key
7. Identify your cheat windows
Cheat meals aren’t always bad. This small indulgence allows you to keep your sanity while sticking to your weight loss plan.
One ‘dirty’ meal a week is fine as long as the calorie count won’t hurt too much. Remember that this should be controlled too to avoid over-consumption of unhealthy food.
Schedule your cheat periods and adjust it as the need arises. If your boss bought pizza for everyone, cross out cheat meals out of your calendar to keep it monitored.
These tips for building muscle and losing fat are just guidelines that you may or may not follow. It’s about knowing what works for your body and what doesn’t.