Yeah yeah there will be a million articles out there but this is the one which will point out the things others rarely do.
1. Don’t stress - You might find it hard to believe but your mental health contributes a damn lot to your physical health and body. Stay away from negative people or those who make you sad. Get out of that bad relationship. After years of ups and down, I’ve seen the difference it makes to your physical body. To give you the latest stat, I gained 11 pounds of muscle in 6 months after cutting off with someone negative which is pretty much the MAX a human body is capable of. I suggest you also take a 15-20 minute break each day during which you should just have some tea (or literally whatever else you like) and listen to calm music and not thing of anything negative.
2. Sleep - Your sleep is as important as your workout, if not more. You workout in the gym but you gain muscles in your bed when you sleep. I try to sleep for atleast 10 hours a night for atleast 5 nights a week. Don’t think much about the numbers, just know that if you gotta wake up early, go to bed early. If not then go to bed at your own pace and just sleep for as long as your body may want. If you don’t do this then simply kiss your muscle gain goodbye, it just wont happen no matter how much you workout at the gym.
3. Diet - As someone who goes to a Uni to study nutrition, I know some shit and I found out 2 ways to gain muscles via your diet. I wont give you any plans to stick to because I dont like those. I don’t want to live everyday calculating around how much I ate and stuff. I am not a professional bodybuilder, I dont want to go through all that everyday so what I did instead was - Calculate how much I actually eat on average per day, then adjust my workout according to what I eat. The normal way of doing this is that you workout and then take a surplus diet. I live alone and am too busy with work to alter my diet and I’m sure many others have the same problem so instead just take an average of how much you eat and adjust your workout amount accordingly. Workout less if you have to because of your diet - you’ll still gain more muscle this way than the other way around. The second thing I want you to do is, eat a bowl of porriage with every meal. I’ve tried many things and I think porriage is the fastest and best thing that works. I don’t take any protein shakes. Porriage is cheap and so is oats and bananas in which I throw in the porriage. That’s all I need with occasional chicken breasts every once a week or maybe once in 2, whenever I feel like going to the shop to buy it.
4. Skip Gym - Yes you heard that right. Pay close attention to how your body is feeling. If you’re still feeling the pain from the other day, don’t workout. Specially, don’t workout the part which hurts. I try to workout every body part 2 times a week. So if my arms are still hurting from the previous day’s workout, I either take an off or workout my legs the next day without putting any load on my arms. I wouldn’t do chest or back either since indirectly your arms are working as well while doing those. I would give priority to proper rest for my body parts over another workout always.
That’s it. That’s all I gotta say, don’t wanna make things much complicated. Just follow these tips and you will gain muscles.
If you’re somone who dont have the time to go to the gym and still wanna gain muscles, here a thing for you:
I’ve spent the past year losing 80 lbs and getting in shape. A lot of people have been asking me how I did it; specifics like what diet I was on, how many times a week I worked out, etc etc. So I thought I’d just answer everyone’s questions by giving you guys step by step instructions on how you can achieve everything I have… IN JUST 4 EASY STEPS! Ready? Here we go!!!
1.) NO BEER This is a big one, and one that you’ve probably heard before. Every time you drink a beer, it’s like eating seven slices of bread. That’s a lot of bread!
2.) PORTION CONTROL This is especially true when you go out to eat at restaurants. A good trick to do is when your meal comes, cut it in half and right away ask for a takeout container, so that you can save the rest for later - and even better, if you start your meal out right by ordering lean meats and veggies, you’ll slim down in no time!
3.) HAVE YOUR HEART BROKEN And not just broken; shattered. Into itsy bitsy tiny little pieces, by a girl who never loved you and never will. Join the gym at your work. Start going to the gym regularly, and even though you don’t know that much about exercise and you’re way too weak to do pretty much anything but lift 5 lb weights and use the elliptical machines with the old people, do it until your sweat makes a puddle on the floor. Then go home and go to bed early and the next day do it again. And then again. And then again.
Listen to stories of your ex-girlfriend fucking around with gross and terrible people, stories from your friends who think they are doing you a favor. Go to the gym and make more puddles of sweat. Buy books. Learn about different muscle groups and how they work together. Start eating healthy. Learn about nutrition. Plan out your week of meals. Try to forget her.
Weights before Cardio: Performing weight training first will ensure you’re strongest when you lift. Plus, it depletes your glycogen storages, so when you do cardio your body will be more likely to burn body fat for energy, helping you get leaner faster than if you did cardio first.
More then Abs: The six-pack may be the centerpiece, but to really impress people, focus on working your entire body, including the chest, back, shoulders, arms, and yes, even your legs. Don’t be too obsessed with ONLY the muscles you see in the mirror, make sure you take the whole body approach.
Fiber: Increases heart health along with aiding digestion. You will also fill fuller and more satisfied which helps to curb overeating.
Protein: Eating more protein will help the body regulate blood sugar and increase nitrogen for the brain. It will also allow muscles to take in a more constant flow of amino acids in order to properly recover from weight training.
Probiotics: These will help the digestive system breakdown your foods properly. They will help to insure nothing is wasted or stored as fat within the body.
Coconut Oil: Assists with brain health, increases overall energy levels and decreases appetite.
Hydration: Being dehydrated can cause havoc within a body made up of mostly water. Aim for 8 glasses to a gallon a day depending on size, weight and training regimen.
HIIT Training: High Intensity Interval Training has been proven to burn more calories during and after training than low intensity steady state cardio, aka jogging. It is also a time saver, thus making it more bang for your buck for those of you who are running on a tight schedule. A 20-minute HIIT session can replace a 30- to 35-minute low intensity session.
Big Sets: The goal is to perform at least four different exercises in a row without resting. An example would be Squats followed by Leg Presses, Leg Curls and Calf Raises. These type of bigger sets make your workouts more intense, reduce the amount of time you train and aid as a cardiovascular workout as well.
Shop Smart: When in the grocery store, the healthiest items are not in the isles, but actually on the outside surrounding them on the perimeter. Keep this in mind when you’re shopping, because shopping in these sections will be best for your health, development and even your wallet.
Exercise is extremely important when it comes to keeping healthy and losing weight. For adults it is suggested that you should do at least 1 hour of exercise per day.
-Swimming provides a great total body workout, while burning a high number of calories (around 600 calories per hour). The common freestyle stroke works well for most people, but using a variety of strokes places emphasis on different muscle groups - the change of intensity will burn more calories.
-Running is a good way to lose body fat as well as improving your fitness. Running burns around 600 calories per hour! It is recommended for beginners that you run at least 3 times a week for around 20-30 minutes per session.
-Cycling involves the same muscles as running, but has the advantage of lower impact of injuries, therefore making it ideal for everyone. Cycling also burns around 600 calories a per hour!
2. Working out at home
You can also work out at home if you feel more comfortable rather than going to a gym. You don’t necessarily need weights but it can be more beneficial to help tone up faster (Bottles of water or cans of beans can be just as good!!)
-30 second plank
-20 walking lunges (10 each leg)
-10 push ups
-Repeat this 3 times.
-Each day try and increase the number of reps you’re doing, for example after 2 days try and do 20 sit-ups, 30 squats and so on.
-Take at least 1 rest day per week!
Remember it’s important to do stretches before and after your workout to reduce muscle pain.
I’ve watched PLENTY of videos, read TONS of articles, and visited a BUNCH of blogs. I’ve compiled some tips that have helped me on my journey; I hope they help you as well.
-Use chop sticks (when & if you can). The idea behind this is tip that eating with chop sticks makes you eat slower. The slower you eat, the more time your body has to begin the digestion process AND it becomes easier for you to tell if you’re full or not. When you’re scarfing down your 4 plates - even if they aren’t high in fat & are your healthy foods, you’re just eating on a probably already full stomach. *another way to eat slower that doesn’t involve chop sticks is to eat snacks with your non-dominant hand.
- Lemon & cucumber water. This one really doesn’t need much explanation - so many fitness bloggers and youtubers have sworn on this cleanse. Living at college it can be difficult, but my school does have fruit infused water sometimes which is great. If you’re living at school and your dining halls don’t offer infused water, here’s a tip - the lemons are most likely by the tea & the cucumbers are at the salad bar; it’s all about searching. Also, drink ice water as soon as you wake up and wait 5-10 minutes before eating; it boosts your metabolism.
- Smaller plates & bowls –> BLUE. Now this tip is all about our dear friend, Portion Control.If you decrease the size of your plate/the surface you’re eating off of, your body will be like “hey, that’s a whole plate of food, when the plate is empty, I’ll be full.” I included “BLUE” in this tip because it’s scientifically proven that the color blue suppresses appetite, making you eat less. Whereas red has the opposite effect - it makes you hungrier. (Why do you think McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Burger King, & Chik-fil-a all have red in their logo?)
- Wear your gym clothes & sneakers around the house. This one sounds weird but when I’m wearing my workout clothes & sneakers, I tend to be less lazy and more productive. It’s sounds insane, I know, but it works! Try it for a few days - you’ll probably spend less time in front of the TV and more time on your feet. Whether you’re cleaning around the house, going for a walk, or doing meal prep, anything is better than being plopped in front of the TV with a bag of chips.
- Green tea before bed. I’ve been doing this for the last 2weeks and it’s great. Green tea is proven to boost your metabolism, calm your nerves, and it prevents to flu and cold by 60%. I recommend drinking your hot tea about an hour - two hours before you go to bed. Also, try to stop eating food 3-4hrs before bed.
- Eat healthiest part of meal first. This goes without much explanation but let’s say you’ve just finished a great High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) workout and you’ve gotten lunch. On your plate, you have your protein, a salad, & a small serving of carbs. The first thing you’re going to want to eat is not going to be the carbs - no matter how good that pasta looks. This is because if you eat your healthy portion first and happen to get full before finishing your entire meal, you’ve avoided the unhealthy portion. If you ate the unhealthy portion first and got full, you just missed out on the protein and nutrients your body needs after a HIIT workout. Also, when eating salads, try to get your dressings and sauces on the side.
If you’re interested in more tips I’ve found helpful, feel free to message me!
Not a diet. Diet implies temporary, and what we need to do is form a set of new, sustainable habits for the rest of our life.
A lot of you probably have a daydream of taking a black, billowy trash bag and planning a SWAT-style assault on your fridge and cupboards and then setting fire to the dumpster you hurl it into. Naturally, you’ll dash over to the grocery store and purchase a ton of strange-looking foods you don’t regularly eat, or never eat! Then you’ll slap on a pair of shiny new shoes and go run a 5K. This works for–some people. Honestly, few people.
The reality for many people; however, is they get off their foray after a few weeks. Why is that?
Think about it. How long did it take you to really get into the groove of your current habits? Months? Years? If you’re trying to simultaneously kiss soda and chip’s ass good-bye, change every bite of food you eat, and start a fitness routine. Guess what? Stress, stress, stress! Your stomach was used to those portion sizes (whether too large or too small) and some of your favorite snacks, your brain is literally addicted to it. A lot of people will reach nuclear meltdown levels trying to transition to a healthy lifestyle this way.
Just like it took you time to form your current habits, it’s going to take some time to form your new habits. I truly do empathize with the feelings of wanting everything to be different right now, but realistically we can only handle a certain amount of stressors and change at one time.
Start With Nutrition Habits: While I really would recommend finding a few cheeky ways to get more active, you’ve probably heard some variant of “can’t outrun your fork,” or “it’s 80% nutrition.” Well, it really is true. Being more active is absolutely crucial to improving overall health in the “endgame,” but we’re still playing the “tutorial” and the dietary aspects of our lifestyle change are the bulk of the impact. It goes beyond that, though. I’ve written more about it here, but being a beginner can be genuinely hard at times! It takes a lot of time and effort to get oneself to a point where they can physically and mentally handle what entails “regular, moderate exercise.” One part of making that transition easier will be better nutrition and hydration.
Start With an Easy Target: I always tell people if they drink a lot of soda, juice, or sweetened tea/coffee to start here. Sugar provides us pretty much no nutrition and removing the pulp from fruit makes juice not that great for us, either. Drinking more water is not negotiable and replacing these beverages with water will do a surprising amount of good for how you feel–all by itself. I recognize how hard this one can be to kick, but sweetened beverages really do load many people’s lifestyles with a lot of bad juju.
If you don’t have a beverage problem, maybe you do have a condiment/dressing problem and can reduce the quantities and find alternatives. Maybe you party-hardy a little too much and need to cut down on alcohol. While I said “easy target,” no one said it would be that easy, but you probably have an idea where most of these so called “empty” nutrients are coming from.
Transition Bad Habits a Few at a Time: The opening of this probably already made it clear, but Rome wasn’t built in a day. You probably have an idea of what some of your most problematic habits are, so choose one; maybe two, and see how you adjust over a week or two before considering the next step.
Small Swaps: Start switching out various items in your pantries, fridges, and lunchboxes with simple alternatives. Change white breads, rices, and pastas to brown. Take the bag of chips from your lunch and turn it into a few servings of seasonal fruit and vegetables. Pick out a leaner cut of meat and use a little less dairy, if you eat them. Little changes can have massive results.
Learn Moderation: Remember that whole sustainable part at the very beginning? Our lifestyles do need to reflect our real lives. Well, my real life has a love of chocolates, pastries, and candies. So, it’s not realistic for me to say “no chocolate, pastries, or candies.” Food molarity can be a pretty toxic outlook on eating and life in general. Instead of labeling foods as “bad,” just learn and respect the limits. There are times where you have to say, “enough, is enough,” but living in a constant state of “no” is not realistic or mentally healthy for most people. It’s OK to love indulgent food. Think about how long your life is going to be. So, now think about how dinky an occasional treat will be in retrospect.
Depending on Your Struggles, Consider Therapy: As we know, many aspects of unhealthy eating habits are actually unhealthy mental habits. Depending on the severity and exact nature of those problems, never be embarrassed to seek professional help. I struggled with stress eating and even binge eating for most of my adolescence, and finally getting help for my anxiety disorder played a pretty crucial role in improving both my physical and mental health. If it’s not a possibility at this time, consider journaling.
Walk Before Your Run: Literally and figuratively. I’m going to recommend this previous post I recently wrote again, but when you’ve gotten a few habits cracked and feel like you’re ready to start amping up your activity, start with low impact and low equipment exercises. If it has been years, or if you’ve never exercised, it takes some easing into it. I recommend walking to all beginners because we already know how to do it, have what we need to do it, and probably won’t hurt ourselves.
So, there you have it. Tackle small challenges and get your body acclimated to them before you consider some of the overarching and holistic goals you have for your lifestyle. That said, we’re all different. If you still want to try and do that 180-flip, I can’t stop you and some people are successful that way. No two people or personality types have the exact same problems or strategy for overcoming them. However, if you’ve gotten frustrated and thrown in the towel a time or two, consider the scope of change and how to realistically implement it over a period of time. We didn’t form our old habits overnight.