Getting buff is all about ensuring your body is in the best condition it can be in. This means making sure you’re eating right, training right and even sleeping right. Sound like too much effort? Here are 5 simple habits that you can easily incorporate into your daily life.
1. Say “no” to diets
Traditionally, the purpose of dieting is to aid in fat-loss and not so much for muscle-building. A caloric surplus is necessary to gain muscle mass, so being restrictive when it comes to food intake won't help a bit. Increasing your meal frequency is a handy way of ensuring that you meet the general requirement of 500 extra calories a day for weight-gain. What you can do that is similar to dieting is to include more vegetables into your meals as they promote gut health, allowing you to better absorb nutrients from food and recover properly.
2. Increase your protein intake
The classic rule of consuming 1.4 to 1.6g of protein per kilogram of bodyweight is a good rule to live by. Muscles require positive muscle protein synthesis to grow, which means that protein intake must be high enough to cover the amount of muscle breakdown that occurs as a result of rigourous training in order for results to be seen. Does excess protein translate to fat? Not necessarily, as there are variations in results across people. It’s safe to say that those extra protein shakes you’re fitting in between meals are doing you more good than harm!
3. Power up your body with supplements
No, we’re not talking about abusing illegal steroids and growth hormones. Simple supplements like creatine monohydrate and fish oil help to accelerate the rate at which your body packs on muscle. How? Creatine helps to boost the energy production in your muscle cells which which translates to increased athletic performance. Fish oil on the other hand, provides a good supplementary source of omega-3s EPA and DHA, which help to support healthy metabolism while boosting insulin sensitivity.
4. Track your progress constantly
Progress can be tracked in two ways: meal tracking and workout tracking. What you eat and how you train are the core elements of muscle building, so monitoring these areas will prove helpful if you want to evaluate how well you’re doing. It pays to be super-detailed when you’re tracking your workouts – record how you feel as you train alongside the usual repetitions, sets and loads. Effective training needs to leave you feeling challenged! Additionally, taking photos of your physique can be really beneficial to helping you monitor your growth and identify areas that seem to be lagging.
5. Get enough sleep
Sleep helps your body recover from all the high-volume workouts that you do during the day and also recharges your mind for what comes after. Getting more sleep is essential for healthy testosterone production in men – research has found that eight hours of sleep nearly doubles the testosterone levels as compared to four hours of sleep. That’s not all. With more sleep, both men and women experience an improvement in metabolism rate because sleep affects your body’s response to insulin, the metabolism-regulating hormone. In short, your body's not going to want to grow if it's feeling tired all the time!
Maintaining these habits may seem challenging for a while, but they’ll be worth it when you start seeing results. The road to achieving a better physique requires focus and resilience – the very same things that champions are made of!