If only it were as simple as spending time in the gym for the fat loss and muscle growth you desire. However, there’s so much more to it than that — this includes some factors that you might not even have considered as working toward results doesn’t stop when you leave the gym. Here’s some points that could lead to the progress you’ve been praying for.
1. Stock up on Sleep
This is probably the most underestimated thing for people trying to build muscle: sleep. It’s not just the amount of sleep you get which can be important to muscle growth and recovery, but also sleeping at the right time makes a huge difference.
Sleeping is incredibly important for muscle recovery. While you sleep, your body is rebuilding everything from bones to muscle tissue, meaning that you can train your muscles on a more regular basis. The body can’t recover if you don’t get enough sleep.
It’s not just the direct muscle building effects we get from sleep – we all know how hard it can be to get motivated for a gym workout. Sleep will help you with this, getting 8-10 hours’ of sleep is essential for muscle growth and having the energy to build it in the first place.
Some people may have problems sleeping, which can be caused by a number of factors such as stress or what we eat and drink around bedtime. Try and make a sleep schedule — doing the same thing day after day will help your body figure out the system, making it easier for you to fall asleep.
2. Eat The Green Stuff
So many people neglect nutrition when building a body — eating green will do so many good things for you. Both fruit and vegetables are important when you’re pounding the weights day after day. They’ll help fuel your body with vitamins and minerals which are both essential for muscle growth, recovery and overall health.
Vegetables are also helpful in shifting those extra pounds of fat, because they are low in energy density and high in fibre. In other words, they’re lower in calories, but still fill you up so that you end up eating less overall.
So how much green should you eat? You should aim somewhere between 400-700 gram depending on your bodyweight. An easy way to get greens is to blend them in your shakes. If you have a protein shake, blend some banana in there if you like the flavor, or spinach is a great way to get easy greens without a drastic flavour change.
3. Fight Back With Fiber
Fiber is important for the body for a number of reasons, including providing benefits for digestive health as well as keeping you fuller for longer to promote weight loss. When building muscle it’s important to meet your macros — many people avoid fiber due to its filling properties which can make meeting your macros more difficult. But fiber is an important component of the diet that shouldn’t be ignored.
The good thing about fiber is that it speeds up your metabolism and helps you digest food. This is great news as you’ll absorb the nutrients from your food more easily.
It also supports your overall health, by lowering blood pressure and can help you lower your cholesterol. As a woman you should get about 20-30 grams of fiber each day, and as a male you should get 40 – 50 grams of fiber each day.
You may wonder where to get fiber — it’s time to chow down on vegetables, oatmeal, brown rice, and wholegrain products in general.
4. Keep Track Of Training & Nutrition
This really helps you identify which exercises you respond well to, and which foods your body digests the best. Yes, it can be pretty boring at times, but it’s essential for seeing what your body can really do.
Keep track of exercises, reps, sets and weight. Should you lift big, slow and only a few reps? Or do you see results with a lower weight and reps until you die? Working out what works for your body is essential to seeing results. Until you start keeping a record of your workouts, and try out which way you grow the most, you’ll struggle to see your full potential.
Nutrition is a similar story — does low-carb leave you feeling lowsy or like you could go for hours? Do you need high or low amounts of protein? Track your calories and macros — that way you’ll know exactly what you’re consuming. Simply writing down how you feel each day after what you’ve done and eaten can help you to understand your body better and see some real results.
5. Add in some Experimentation
Doing the same gym routine day in day out won’t use your body to its maximum potential. You need to be consistent in your diet and exercise routine, but you also need to change it up if your progress starts to plateau.
Building your body is a marathon and not a sprint — it takes years to get a great body. What works for someone else ight not work for you, so take your time, put in the effort and eventually you’ll get it right.
There will be weeks where you grow a lot, and weeks where you won’t. Make a note of what’s worked and how much you improved in the time with the different nutrition and training methods.
Take Home Message
The process for building muscle and losing fat doesn’t have to be complicated. Follow these steps and you’ll be looking at rock hard muscles in no time at all. Consistency, a good diet and hard work are the keys to your dream body, so get yourself going!