As you may know by now, you need proper Nutrition, Exercise, Rest, and partial Supplementation in order to grow Muscle or lose Fat. Not abiding by these four principles of fitness will result in little to no progress seen. If you want to make gains, committing to these four principles will guarantee a great body. Ladies want a toned and slim body w!hilst guys want a lean and muscular body. Follow these tips and you’ll see results in no time:
~ Don’t Be Lazy!
When it comes to fitness, being lazy won’t cut it. Compare fitness to school— doing your work only here-and-there won’t get you good grades, but committing to your work will. Eating clean 6-7 days of the week, exercising 4-5 days a week, and sleeping at least 8-10 hours a night, requires true commitment. If you’re not losing Fat, you’re most likely not eating clean or not exercising enough. If you’re not growing Muscle, you’re most likely not resting enough or eating properly. Supplements aren’t necessary, but will help a small amount if you feel you’re not seeing progress. Resorting to Supplements or Energy-Boosters shouldn’t cross your mind, you should rely upon your hard work and clean-eating. If you feel lifeless and without drive, eating these foods will give you energy that should last y!ou throughout your day:
Water plays an essential role in your body. It keeps the cells in your body hydrated and working at optimal levels. Drinking a glass of Water before bed and as soon as you wake up will hydrate your body and fuel it during its recovery from sleep. Put it this way, you’re sleeping for 8-10 hours without any fresh Water being put into your system and the only Water your have in your system is the Water you drank a couple of hours before bed, this lack of Water will dehydrate your body throughout the night and will slow down your bodily functions since its cells aren’t fueled. Dehydration leads to rapid fatigue, and that’s no bueno. Drinking Water before exercising has also proven to be beneficial because it dehydrates you less throughout your workout and fills your Muscles with fresh Water that r!esults in a better pump and elasticity factor.
Eating a handful of Almonds (preferably not salted due to the higher Sodium) will give your body a good amount of Fiber, healthy Fats, and Protein that aid in balancing blood sugar levels, not to mention the fact that they lower Cholesterol and reduce the risk of Heart Disease. Almonds are also beneficial for maintaing a healthy bodyweight. The Fiber, healthy Fats, and Protein in Almonds help in making you feel fuller and longer, lowering the urge to eat more food than you need to. Eating the roasted variations of Almonds will bring more flavor to the table, but will h!ave lost some of its Natural Oils and Minerals during its roasting process.
This grain is rich in complex Carbohydrates and Proteins that keep you full and energized for a long time after consumption. Being a grain, Quinoa needs to be rehydrated before consumption. Treating Quinoa just like Oatmeal or Rice will work fine with any recipe you may have. This “Super-Food” contains Iron and Fiber as well. The Iron helps keep your Red Blood Cells healthy and is responsible for carrying Oxygen from one cell to another and supplies Oxygen to your Muscles (which is necessary.) The Fiber lowers Cholesterol levels and blood pressure, and prevents Heart Disease and Diabetes. Quinoa also contains many Vitamins and Minerals that help keep your body h!ealthy.
Chocolate? Did you just say… Chocolate? Yes I did. Before you go out and buy a brick of Chocolate, remember that store-bought Chocolate contains many Fats and Oils that will not be all that good for your body. Chocolate gets most of its flavor from Cacao. This natural Bean is what contains all the natural Vitamins and Minerals you desire, but is lost when processed and mixed with Sugar, Milk, and Butter and converted into a Hershey’s bar (for example.) When looking to buy a healthy Chocolate bar, make sure it is at least 70% Cacao. This will ensure that you get these benefits from it: a healthy Heart, aid in weight-loss, Diabetes prevention, reduced stress, Diarrhea relief, and an overall happier feeling. Its natural Sugars will be sure to energize you for a cool while. Keep in mind that lower Cacao contents in Chocolate bars have less benefits and more down-sides that will back-track you in looking for a h!ealthy body.
Not everyone is Bananas about Bananas, but hopefully this will change their minds. Bananas are rich in Vitamins and Minerals that assist in slowing down Digestion, maintaing healthy Blood Sugar levels, protecting against Muscle Cramps during workouts, building strong Bones, protecting against Diabetes, aiding in weight-loss,
￼strengthening the Nervous System, and giving a good energy boost throughout the day. Eating one Banana before exercising or early in the morning will gradually bring forth all these benefits.
Salmon is a very Fatty and Oily fish that contains high amounts of essential Omega-3 Fatty Acids that are crucial in energy production, brain activity, circulation flow, Heart health, and Fat-loss. Salmon is a largely notable food because of its Protein and Amino Acid content. Several studies show that Salmon contains small Protein molecules that provide special support for Joint Cartilage, and control of Inflammation in the Digestive tract. Salmon, like all fish, contains Mercury and other miscellaneous Minerals that won’t harm you, unless consumed in mass quantities. Overall, Salmon is a powerhouse of meat that delivers Fats and Proteins that will aid in boosting energy and Muscle growth.
Coconuts contain Complex Oils that are proven to prevent you from feeling sluggish throughout your day. Since they’re Oils, eating the dried and shredded variations of Coconuts won’t have the benefits of fresh Coconut due to the loss of moisture and Essential Oils. Fresh Coconuts contain Enzymes that aid in Immunity, treat illnesses, provide a source Fiber, Amino Acids, Calcium, Potassium, Magnesium, Antioxidants, and help make your hair more healthy and luscious. Coconut is definitely a good fruit to take into consideration. Coconut Oil is also a good alternative to using Olive Oil or Vegetable Oil in cooking since it makes your food healthier and tastes great.
Lentils are a Legume (similar to Beans, Peas, and Peanuts) that are packed with Iron, Fiber, Calcium, Magnesium, Protein, and energy-boosting Carbohydrates that are sure to fuel you throughout your day. Lentils are dried, so be sure to rehydrate them before consuming. These are commonly consume in salads and soups.
Eggs are very high in Protein, Iron, and B-Vitamins that are natural Energy-Boosters. It’s no surprise that this is why many top athletes consume Eggs in the morning. There has been much discussion that Eggs are high in Cholesterol (from the yolk) and most of the Protein is in the Egg-whites and therefore only the whites should be eaten. But, studies show that the most of the Protein in an Egg comes from the Yolk, so eating both will prove to be beneficial since the Egg’s Cholesterol is not bad Cholesterol. Eating only the whites will be a solid source of low-fat Protein that can be consumed with Rice or Potatoes for Carbs in order to fit your macronutrient quota for the day.
– Greek Yogurt:
All Yogurts contain Probiotics (good for healthy digestion) that help fight a weak Immune System and boost your Energy-Levels immensely. Greek Yogurt is preferred because its Protein content is twice as high as regular Yogurt, has less Sodium, fewer Carbohydrates, easier on the Stomach (due to the lower Sugar content), and tastes better, but unfortunately has less Calcium. Greek Yogurt in general is the Mecca of a Protein-packed quick snack.
Kale can be considered the ultimate vegetable since it is very high in Vitamins and Minerals that are quintessential in Energy-Boosting. Kale has few Calories, is high in Fiber, has zero Fat, is high in Iron, Vitamin K (protects against various Cancers), loaded with Antioxidants, great in Cardiovascular support, high in Vitamin A (vision), Vitamin C (Immune System), Calcium, and is an all-around great Detoxing Food. Kale is largely consumed by people in shakes and smoothies since it is a sure-fire way to avoid Digestion-time and immediately load the body with Energy and Nutrients. Cooking Kale can be done as well, but don’t cook it for long because a lot of the Vitamins and Minerals will be wicked away by the heat and will not give you the bang-for-your-buck.
– Food Conclusion:
Eating any naturally grown/produced fruit, vegetable, meat, or drink will be sure to give you plenty of natural Vitamins and Minerals. This is known as the “Paleo Diet/Caveman Diet”, where you only eat the food a Hunter- Gatherer would be able to eat in the wild millions of years ago. Meaning no processed and artificial foods, only Organic and natural foods that were put on this Earth millions of years ago. The above mentioned foods are amongst the easiest to find in your local market and have the most proven benefits. Pick whichever you’re more comfortable eating since they almost all have the same perks. And always drink your water!
￼The above was essentially what you can eat in order to help you gain energy so you don’t feel sluggish throughout your day. Another thing that will prevent you from feeling sluggish is eating properly and cleanly and you can read a p!revious article that explains nutrition here: So You Wanna Grow
~ Exercise Properly!
People believe that Exercise is the only thing they need to do in order to grow Muscle or lose Fat. These people are typically the ones that aren’t seeing any progress. They get so caught up with ego and vanity that they perform their Exercises poorly and don’t get anything accomplished in the gym. Watching videos or having people teach you about how to execute an Exercise properly will greatly boost your progress. Exercises such as the Bench Press, Squat, and Deadlift won’t bring anything to the table if you don’t do them properly and will only gradually harm your body. Doing Exercises for a small or large amount of reps and sets can be prove to be either beneficial or detrimental to your fitness quest. Choose what you do in the gym wisely, for it may good or bad. Understanding what the purpose of the Exercise is and why you’re doing it will give you a greater understanding of the Exercise and what you should do to better it. Some ways to better your lifts include:
-Lifting lighter weight and focusing on the contraction rather than demonstrating sheer strength
-Looking in the mirror in order to calibrate what you’re doing and how to fix it
-Have a spotter assist you in doing a lift you find difficult to perform
-Use equipment such as Straps, Lifting Gloves, or a Lifting Belt in order to prevent injury and assist in carrying heavier weight (if absolutely necessary)
-Wear flat-soled shoes that will make sure you don’t lean too far forward as you would with heeled-shoes
-!Use chalk to rub on your hands, or wherever necessary, in order to not lose your grip on a piece of equipment
Always remember that safety comes first when performing an Exercise, for doing an Exercise improperly will injure you and impair you from lifting for a very long time. No new PR is worth a broken back, or to be extreme, death. B!eing reckless in the gym is nothing but suicide.
~ Rest, Rest, Rest!
Pulling all-nighters doing work or miscellaneous things will slowly but surely affect your gains. Comparing this to school again, not being well-rested will definitely affect how you perform in school and essentially not let you succeed. When you’re not well-rested, you will feel sluggish and have no effort put into your lifts. This will lead to consumption of artificial Energy-Boosters and Energy Drinks that shouldn’t even be touched. A good-nights sleep will give your body a chance to rest and recover from all the hard-work you’ve been putting into it. This is when Muscle-Recovery occurs most and leads to gradual Muscle Growth. Think of this as resting in between sets of an Exercise, you gotta rest in order to let the Muscles recover and work to their greatest ability next set, which is the goal of sleep. To sum this up, sleeping for at least 8-10 hours will ensure your body is ready for your next-days w!ork.
~ The Almighty Supplements
Now, I’ve always said that Supplements shouldn’t be something that you depend upon, for a large amount of the time they just give you a Placebo Effect. Read the label of certain low-grade supplements and you will find that some promise ridiculous things such as “501% MORE MUSCLE GROWTH!” and “MUSCLE PUMPS WITH UNENDING ENDURANCE!” that have proven to be nothing but a waste of money. Supplements are only taken in order to see results a little bit faster. How much is a little bit faster? Not a lot to tell the truth. If you think about it, if a supplement were to give someone crazy gains, wouldn’t there be huge meatballs all over the gym and in public? A supplement will give you a little push you don’t need to be honest. About 99% of Supplements are just made of Vitamins and Minerals and miscellaneous Enzymes already found in your body that are just consumed in excess in order to boost the process that that particular Enzyme is going to do before or after Muscle-Stimulation. Pre- Workouts are essentially just Caffeine, Creatine, Testosterone, and Sugar that are meant to give you “TUNNEL VISION!” and make you “AN ANIMAL IN THE GYM!” As stated above, consuming natural Energy-Boosting foods will beat any Pre-Workout anytime of the day since they’re all natural and won’t give you a Sugar-Crash. Protein, Creatine, and Amino Acids are basic and effective Supplements due to their proven benefits, not to say that you should definitely buy them. These three Enzymes/Bonds are amongst many found in the Muscle that are found in natural foods such as meat and vegetables. Protein shakes were made popular due to the sole purpose of convenience of being able to drink it immediately after working out and not having to wait for your body to digest a solid food such as meat. Vitamins are something that should be looked into. Vitamins bring to the table outside sources of Vitamins and Minerals your body needs to function at its max. Most of the Vitamins found in Multi- Vitamins are found in foods, but in moderate amounts. Consuming Multi-Vitamins daily is a sure-fire way to give
your body the nutrition it wouldn’t receive otherwise form other foods. If you really want to see results fast, and I mean if you REALLY want to see results fast and easy, there’s always Steroids, which I DO NOT recommend at all. The bottom line, you don’t need any Supplements. You can get all the benefits of Supplements from what you eat in your diet.
~ Get Motivated!
The reason many people don’t find time to workout is because they are either actually busy, or just not motivated enough to do something. Motivation is what drives and inspires many many people to do what they love to do. Motivation is what gives people something to work towards. Finding a source of motivation is key to fitness. Successful people become successful because of the hard work they put in and the motivation which drives them to keep going forward. Finding something to drive you doesn’t have to be sought after, it will naturally come to you when you least expect it— whether it be in a movie, commercial, book, conversation, television, or just a child saying something to you that truly inspires and motivates you to do something. Getting motivated is a great way to power you through your workouts and see progress daily through all your efforts.
￼To Sum It All Up:
If you’re not a big person on reading, you’re not alone. To sum this all up, progress comes with actual work and dedication to your goal. Eating junk, being lazy and unmotivated, doing Exercises poorly, having an ego in the gym, and not resting all contribute to why you might not be seeing any progress. Nutrition comes first above all, secondly comes Rest, and lastly comes the Exercise. This may sound silly, but that is how you should live your fitness life accordingly. What you eat will affect how much you gain or lose Muscle and Fat. Resting will give your body a chance to recover from a long-days work, plus the gym, and will ensure your body is in full-effect everyday. Exercising will tear your Muscle-Fibers and burn the Fat around them which will lead to the body you want. Lift safely!
￼!Hope you enjoyed the article and learned a thing or two, if you have any questions, comments, or concerns, comment them below and I will be sure to reply to them as soon as I see them, thank you.