Building a muscle-bound body is easy, right? If it were easy, why doesn’t everyone have a perfect body? While the keys to your ideal body are simple, the devil is in the details. Most people aren’t consistent enough with their training to get real results. Intermittent training just won’t cut it. We’re going to outline for you some simple steps to building muscle. Train and eat clean consistently for 3 months and you will start to see results.
Possibly the hardest part is diet. You will need to eat clean to give your body fuel it needs to grow stronger. The body can run on poor fuel but not for long. This means lean meats, fish, greens and whole grains. No junk food. Limit sugar to fruit only.
Even though we’ve been taught to have 3 square meals, consider having 5-6 smaller meals each day to ensure you are feeding your body as you are training. Make sure you are getting enough protein, ideally 1-1.5 grams of protein for every kilogram of body weight. For example, if you weight 180 lbs., you need 81-146 grams of protein a day. Protein shakes are a great way to get extra protein. Drink enough water to replace what you are losing through exercise. Healthy fats like avocado, olive oil, nuts and cold water fish (salmon, tuna, trout, sardines) are necessary.
When it comes to training, shorter more intense workouts are better than longer, less challenging ones. You will get more results with heavier weights and lower reps, than a lighter weight and more reps. Lift weights that are just outside your comfort, but not too heavy. As you get stronger, you will know when to increase the weight. Give your body time to rest by training different body parts on different days. Scheduling your workout will keep you consistent and will help you avoid over-training. A sample schedule would be:
Day 1: Chest and biceps, followed with only 30 minutes of intense cardio.
Day 2: Back and triceps, followed with 30 minutes of intense cardio.
Day 3: Legs and abs, followed with 30 minutes of intense cardio.
Day 4: Shoulders
Day 6: Rest day
Don’t forget your cardio workout! It will not only strengthen your heart, it will increase blood flow and build muscle.
Lastly, don’t forget to stretch, sleep and supplement your diet with a good multivitamin. Stretching will help you avoid injury and prevent chronic soreness. Sleep gives your body the down-time it needs to rebuild and re-energize your cells. A multivitamin (a simple google search will uncover many good ones) will help fuel your body and fill in the gaps of your diet. With the right planning and consistent effort, you will get results. Many people find the use of progress pictures and using a calendar to track your workouts and meals to be very helpful.