We all have an ideal body that we aspire to which might not be well represented by our current physique. Body image issues, for both men and women, have always been a tricky subject matter to discuss. For most guys, the ideal physique is to have muscle in all the right places.
For most guys under 35, they start of as skinny and there is always the promise of muscle growth. The most important point of note however, is that you should always be patient. Results do not come overnight. These tips include:
Adjusting your diet
In the most literal sense, we are what we eat and drink. The food that we eat is what is used to create the cells that add to our mass. Therefore, as a general rule, surplus calories that are not required for energy purposes tend to be stored as mass. But since we are focusing on gaining muscle mass, and not just body fat, our diet has to be extremely protein-rich.
While best results are usually achieved with animal protein (meat, eggs, and milk), plant-based proteins from legumes (beans and peas), nuts, tofu, almonds, as well as sunflower, chia, and sesame seeds. Try to incorporate sufficient protein in all your meals, including snacks. You should also ensure that you have a meal or snack every three hours. It is a good idea to have healthy energy bars, for instance a Quest bar, which has protein-rich calories on a regular basis.
Have regular rest days and maintain a healthy sleep cycle
While exercising is the key element to muscle gain, it is important to note that actual muscle growth occurs during a period of rest. This means that you need to give yourself rest days, especially after days involving more intense workouts. As your strained muscles recover after a heavy workout session, they repair and grow, leading to an increase in their mass.
Try and avoid having intensive workout sessions on consecutive days. Most importantly, ensure that you get your recommended 8 hours of sleep after a heavy session at the gym, while at the same time avoiding regimens that work the same bunch of muscles on two consecutive days.
Consume whey supplements
Whey is a substance that is created during the milk curdling (fermentation) process and is mostly a by-product of cheese manufacturing. As a dairy by-product whey is both natural and protein-rich; which makes it perfect for anybody seeking to gain muscle mass. It is also important to note that whey generally has a very low-fat content, which is what anyone looking to avoid gaining body fat is looking for.
Whey protein is usually sold in powder form and usually has additional flavouring as its natural flavour is quite overwhelming. While there are numerous brands to choose from, a healthy, gluten-free options such as Cellucor’s Cor-Performance whey is recommended. Always confirm with your fitness trainer on the best daily serving size that will suit your needs.
Keep yourself energized before workouts
Your body constantly needs sufficient energy to meet your daily schedule. It, therefore, goes without saying, that when you take on the muscle mass gaining training regimen, your body’s energy needs will significantly spike. This is why you need to ensure that you are consistently energized, especially just before a particularly gruelling workout.
The best way to address your pre-workout energy needs is to have a more spaced out diet schedule. Rather than eating three ‘solid’ meals, you should space out your calorie intake to ensure you eat something every three hours or so. You can also opt for energy boosting products such as Cellucor’s C4 Gen which give you an energy boost to power your muscle gaining exercise regimen.
Have a well-structured workout plan
If your muscle growth targets are not so ambitious, then you might meet them without requiring professional help. The most important aspect to your workout regimen should be consistency. You cannot efficiently meet any workout targets if you do not exercise regularly. Apart from consistency however, you also need to know the areas that you need to focus on.
As a rule, to gain muscle mass you need to focus on the different major muscles using compound exercises that work your arms, chest, legs, shoulders, and back. If you work with a professional fitness instructor, they can analyse your current status, your muscle gain targets, and customize a training schedule that will meet your needs.
Create realistic muscle gain targets
Do not be over pressurised to set body image goals that you cannot meet; your workout schedule should me manageable. Setting yourself a gruelling schedule that you cannot meet leads to physical and mental burnout, which will reduce the probability of your achieving any sort of result. Always start with a lower intensity workout plan and increase its intensity as you become accustomed to the regular workout.