Fast Food for Muscle Gains

That’s right, the above title is correct, this blog is about fast food that can be eaten to gain muscle!

(Ah, I can smell the fried chicken now!)

Bodybuilders and people looking to gain muscle generally never look towards fast food as a viable option to gain muscle. In fact, fast food is widely considered poison for gains (Oh no! Not the Fat Fairy!). Truth be told, fast food restaurants can actually be more than just a cheat meal if you’re looking to make extra gains.

Let me show you how you can still keep your Big Mac game strong while packing on that muscle.

McDONALD’S

Though McDonald’s is widely considered a sin in the health community, the fast food chain has made strides towards healthy food options that are stuffed with protein and fiber. These options can be an easy go-to for anyone who is short on time or is just too lazy to go make their meal. Skip over the chicken nuggets and french fries, instead go after these meals.

  • Chicken Caesar Salad

This salad has a lot of protein (about 30g) and only 220 calories. Skip out on the fatty ranch and too excessive cheese and this could actually be a great meal for any diet.

  • Premium McWrap with Chicken and Bacon

If you’re looking for a wrap on the McDonald’s menu, this is a good one. With 37g of protein, 420 calories and only 13g of fat, this could be a viable option if you skip on the cheese and sauce.

SUBWAY

If you’re looking for a great and affordable option for fast food on your training diet, look no further than Subway. With a menu full of healthy and beneficial options, it’s hard to find a sandwich NOT meant for gains.

  • 6” Turkey Breast & Black Forest Ham

This sandwich is awesome for a diet. Coming in at only 280 calories, 4g of fat and 18 grams of protein, this is easily a great option post workout to give your muscle vital nutrients.

  • 6” Oven Roasted Chicken

This is the mac-daddy of Subway sandwiches to eat while gaining (I didn’t mean to reference McDonalds there, but that’s a great use of slang). This sandwich has 320 calories, 5g of fat and 23g of protein. Throw in the fact that it has an ample amount of carbs and vitamins, then it’s easy to see why this is a great option.

KFC

Admit it, you knew I was going to throw fried chicken into the mix. Chicken is one of the best foods for gaining muscle, see why here. However, when you fry it, it gets better! And if you avoid sauces and other fat dense options, you can enjoy KFC even on a tough diet.

  • Original Recipe Chicken Breast

This fried food option comes at only 320 calories and 14g of fat. Shocking considering that it’s FRIED. Include the fact that it has 37g of protein, and it’s a winner-winner-chicken-dinner (literally).

  • Original Chicken Sandwich without Sauce

Notice, without the sauce! Excluding the sauce from this fast food delight, you can get a meal at around 430-450 calories, 18g of fat and 25g protein. Note the best option, but it’s possibly the best fried sandwich option available.

IN CONCLUSION

Do I condone eating fast food on a lifting diet? Yes and no.

I will be the first to admit that during my bulking season I have a cheat day rather than a cheat meal. I like this aspect of my diet because I feel like it gives my body more fuel to work with when building up my muscle, and I’m willing to risk slight fat gains because of this. Also, having a cheat meal greatly increases the opportunity of successfully staying on track with a diet.

So therefore, eat at your own caution. But if you’re going to cheat, or desperately need some quick food to get you proper gains, these are great options!

Do your research, get prepared, and get lifting!

Fried Chicken
                                              Fried chicken…need I say more?
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Mesomorph Training

Ending up our Body Type series, this blog will take a look at the mesomorph body type and some training/dieting tips.

TRAITS OF A MESOMORPH

I’m just going to be honest, if you’re a mesomorph, you’re lucky. A mesomorph is naturally athletic, easily puts on muscle, and burns fat easier than an endomorph. Basically, the mesomorph body type is the best of both worlds in consideration to the ectomorph and endomorph.

However, there are some downsides that come with being a mesomorph. (Oh no? Really?!)

Being a mesomorph means that you probably took a lot of your gains for granted in the beginning (yeah I’m talking to you). Due to this, routines and correcting lifting form can be performed improperly and a diet may not be followed as consistently should. That mean that even though you’re a mesomorph, you can still get injured, not gain muscle, and get fat. (Oh no! Say it isn’t so!).

So to make sure a gift isn’t wasted, let’s dive into some training and dieting tips!

THE TRAINING

Training for a mesomorph should be consistently challenging and go through periodic changes. Always challenge your muscles, especially if you feel as if you’re not getting as much out of your workout. Adapt to your muscle growth and consistently have great form in your lifts, and you’re guaranteed to gain muscle.

Tips:

  • Continuously challenge yourself with both weight and reps. Changing up your workout reps and sets will cause you to consistently push yourself and your muscles.
  • When you train and push yourself, be sure to pay attention to how many rest intervals you take. Increased rest intervals can help you in the long run.
  • Want to burn extra fat? Cardio is a great resource for just that. Unlike the other body classes, feel free to do cardio anywhere between 3-4 times a week.

THE DIET

The lucky thing about a mesomorph is that they can practically eat anything. No really, anything.

Between a bucket of fried chicken and a bowl of ice cream, it is still more difficult for a mesomorph to put on fat like an endomorph. But don’t take this for granted! Many mesomorphs take this great perk in life for granted and completely splurge all the time. Yes, your body burns fats and calories quicker than others, but that doesn’t mean if you eat like a pig all the time that you won’t eventually become one.

Here are some dieting tips to keep you on track.

Tips:

  • Keep your protein intake between 1g-1.5g per pound of body weight, this will ensure that you have the right amount of protein for muscle growth.
  • Your diet should be concentrated on a high protein, moderate fat and moderate carbs. The 40-30-30 ratio is usually an appropriate/average beginner’s diet ratio.
  • If you’re heavier than you would like to be in your current stage, deplete the amount of carbohydrates that you’re in-taking. This will help burn fat, while at the same time not deplete your protein consumption.

IN CONCLUSION

So to put it simple, the mesomorphs are blessed with great gifts of athleticism and muscle gains. However, don’t let this get to your head!

Arrogance and negligence can easily be the undoing of someone who already has a leg up on the completion. Read up on more workout tips and exercises that are specifically built for your class, and get a game plan together for your training.

Do your research, get prepared, and get lifting.

Dumb Bell Curl
                                                   Don’t take a good body type for granted!

The Best Dorm Room Workouts

Welcome back to college, young scholar! Or class-skipper, whichever fits you better.

Either way, welcome back!

So, did you get pressure from the family over the holidays to hit the gym? Gain a little extra from that amazing holiday food? Think that you can’t get a good workout routine in just because you live in a dorm room?

WRONG!

In this blog, we’re going to go over some of the best workouts to do in a dorm room.

  1. Pushups (Chest)

The pushup has got to be one of my favorite workouts ever made. Perfect for limited space, and requiring no equipment, the pushup is the hidden gem of dorm room workouts.

When down on the ground, place your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Your feet should be set up in a way that feels right and comfortable to you and keep your body a straight. In a controlled fashion, lift yourself up – and then let yourself down.

With a Desk

If you’re looking to make the pushup more difficult, add a desk to the mix. Place your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, your body straight, and with your body angled do a pushup off the desk. This will give you a whole new alteration to the usual pushup, and will help you use your entire surroundings.

  1. Body Weight Squats (Legs)

Looking to sculpt those legs after a long holiday? Look no further! Body weight squats are awesome, and just like the pushup don’t use any equipment. The technique to this workout is to have good form.

Standing with your feet shoulder width apart, place your hands behind your head. Start by flexing your knees and hips, sitting back with your hips. Descend down to the depth that you are able, and quickly reverse to the starting position.

Add Some Knowledge

To make the workout more challenging, try adding some books, I hear those chemistry and history books are pretty thick. Keep the books chest height, and follow the same motions above. Remember, form is key!

  1. Shoulder Pushups

Never fear if you don’t have a dumbbell or bar to work out your shoulders, all you need is your dorm room floor! (Preferably cleaned of any trash or dirty laundry that it may have accumulated).

Begin in a standard pushup position with your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width, keeping your elbows locked. Raise your hips towards the ceiling with your toes planted on the ground. Your body looks like an upside down V. Slowly lower the top of your head towards the ground, but please don’t head butt the floor.

Hand Stand Anyone?

To alter this workout takes a little work. Slowly wall crawl your way up your dorm room wall. In a slow and controlled fashion, slowly lower your head to the floor and back up to the starting position. This should look just like a hand stand while you’re leaned against a wall. Please, do not do this if you are unsure that you can do a handstand, this could cause injury.

  1. Bed Dips for the Win

I promise, the name of this exercise is meant to be G and PG rated. This is another take on the classic bench dip, just utilizing the bed rather than a bench.

Using your bed, place yourself on the edge of the bed with your hands next to your hips. Move your hips to the front of the bed, then bend your elbows to lower yourself a few inches. Keep your butt close to the bed and dip your shoulders to at least 90 degrees. From this spot, push back up to the starting position.

Really? More Knowledge?

To alter this workout, we’re going to add your backpack to your knees while doing the dip. To increase the difficulty, add some books to your backpack. See, isn’t knowledge power?

  1. Crunch Time

This one is simple, just do a crunch! No equipment needed, minimal space, and really not much explaining to do. While lying on your back and your feet planted on the floor, raise your shoulders up until you feel tenseness in your abdomen. From here, lower yourself back to the floor slowly.

I Can Levitate!

Honestly, levitation has nothing to do with the name. I just couldn’t come up with something fancy for this alteration (sorry!). Raise your feet off the floor, in the shape of an upside down V, and balance them while doing a crunch. This will force you to keep yourself balance while utilizing all abdominal muscles to keep your form.

IN CONCLUSION

Just because you’re in a dorm room doesn’t mean that you can’t keep fit and work out on a daily basis. I hope that these exercises give you a good idea of what you can do with a small space and minimal equipment.

So, no excuses, get lifting!

 

Dorm Room
                                    A dorm room can also be a great place to exercise!

Sneaky Foods that Prevent Leaning

Since your reading this, I’m assuming that you’re in the process of leaning out.

Congratulations! Leaning out is tough; I know I definitely miss eating 3500 calories worth of chicken, potatoes, and pb&j every day. Yet, leaning out is necessary for all of us to get ripped body we always dreamed of.

So in that case, let’s address some of the top 5 foods that you’re probably eating right now (I can see you!) that are causing you to screw up your lean out process.

  1. SALAD

I swear, I love that green stuff. Call me a ninny, but salad is absolutely delicious. Stuffed with antioxidants and lots of fiber, if you add some fish and chicken to it, this can become a protein bomb.

But wait! There are some problems.

Cons

If your salad is loaded with enough cheese and bacon to qualify as a baked potato, you’re doing it wrong. Salad’s with lots of croutons, creamy dressings and fried foods can cause lot’s of problems for leaning out.

Make it Lean

To keep it within your lean-out diet, always read the nutrition info, stick to low-fat dressings, and try to look for healthy toppings like fruits and nuts. Make sure you keep a good protein-fat ratio, and you should be okay.

  1. YOGURT

Yogurt is not just delicious, but is filled with lots of protein, healthy fats, vitamins, bacteria, and have tons of health benefits.

Cons

That generic brand of fruity yogurt that you’re so happily shoveling through most likely contains an insane amount of sugar. (Seriously? Didn’t we just have this conversation?)

Make it Lean

Go for the simple and plain yogurt and add your own fruit or nuts too it. This will make sure that you keep the sugar and fat content down while giving yourself plenty of protein and aminos.

  1. PEANUT BUTTER

Peanut butter is a staple for my bulking diet. Are you kidding? It’s quickly used as fuel, is packed full of mono-saturated fats, niacin, and other vital vitamins to any workout regimen.

Cons

Oh no! Not peanut butter too!

If you get the wrong type of peanut butter, AKA the peanut butter that is mass produced commercially or cheaply, you’re going to get peanut butter that has way too much sugar and trans fat. Both of those aspects are horrible for leaning out and can make it difficult to shed fat.

Make it Lean

Look for the peanut butter that is natural and isn’t loaded with preservatives. This will make sure you get all the appropriate nutrients while not consuming the problematic preservatives.

  1. Pasta

Macaroni, anyone? Pasta has tons of carbs, which means it’s great for energy. On top of that, it helps allow vital nutrients that excel at muscle growth to go to work.

Cons

Here we go again with mass-produced issue. A lot of pasta out there has become fiber less and calorie dense. This causes problems with digesting the carbohydrates and using it as fuel.

Make it Lean

Choose naturally-made pasta or pasta that is whole grain. Generally, these pastas are not as refined, so they still have all the qualities that make them perfect for leaning.

  1. Steak

Why!? Oh, why do I attack the steak!?

Silence.

Steak is full of protein, amino acids, vitamins, and other nutrients that are perfect for building muscle.

Cons

Fatty steaks, like the rib eye for example, are huge killers when it comes to gaining lean muscle. They simply have too much fat in them, even though they taste delicious.

Make it Lean

Fear not! You don’t have to give up your steak dinner! Go for the lean cuts of steak so that you can get the most out of the red meat consumption while limiting your fat consumption. Doing this will ensure you get the appropriate amounts of nutrients from the steak while keeping the fats down.

IN CONCLUSION

There you have it! I hope you enjoyed this blog as much as I enjoyed writing it. These foods are great for both leaning out and putting on muscle, depending on which type of diet program you are on. Just make sure to pay attention to the nutrition labels and you’ll have a great start!

Have fun, be prepared, get lifting!

Fatty Steak
                                  Fatty steaks can cause problems when trying to lean.

Endomorph Training

Following up on our Body Type series, this blog post will look into the endomorph body type and the best ways to train them.

TRAITS OF AN ENDOMORPH

An endomorph is characterized by being stocky, heavy and rounded while easily gaining fat. Although just because the endomorph type gains fat easily, they also have the ability to gain muscle easily. That’s why I like to call this body-type the “double-edge sword” body type. Training will give the endomorph great muscle gains and weight gains, however with each pound of muscle gained, they also gain fat.

FEAR NOT!

With the proper training regimen and diet, an endomorph can easily see more pros than cons in their body type.

So let’s dive in!

THE TRAINING

Training for an endomorph is fun! Not only do they gain muscle easier than an ectomorph, but they can also train their muscles groups more often than most. Keeping both the weight and work high will ensure the best results. Here are some tips to keep in mind with your endomorphic training:

Tips:

  • Strive to keep both reps and weight high while lifting. Anywhere between 8-15 reps will both break down the muscle while burning a lot of calories.
  • Include cardio frequently in your workout. A stationary bike or a fast walk on a treadmill, at least two times a week, would be a good start.
  • Your workouts should be at a high intensity utilizing compound movements. Working out with high-intensity basic movements will increase muscle building and hormones. Such workouts include: squat, bench, dead lift, etc.

THE DIET

The best way for an endomorph to improve their muscle mass in comparison to their fat percentage is to get to the gym! Endomorphs should be in the gym all the time, training repeatedly. Although, just as important as the training is the DIET.

Yes, rest days are important, along with not over training, but the best possible way to do this is to build up muscle mass so that the body has a higher metabolic rate.

Here are some tips to keep in mind with your diet:

Tips:

  • Keep your protein intake between 1g-1.5g per pound of body weight, this will ensure that you have the right amount of protein for muscle growth. At the same time, keep your carb intake limited, not completed depleted but less than your usual intake.
  • Increase your saturated and mono-saturated fat intake. I know, I know, aren’t we supposed to be avoiding fat? Not necessarily. These fats help with hormone levels, and the omega-3 fatty acids help with metabolism and heart function, so don’t be afraid to eat up!
  • Look for foods with a low glycemic index. Eating these foods will help keep glucose levels down, thus keeping the fat gains down as well.

IN CONCLUSION

The best thing to keep in mind as an endomorph is that you’re going to gain muscle easily, just at the expense of some extra fat. Don’t worry! With a proper diet, training program, and cardio routine, you can have great gains and progress!

Have fun, prepare, and get lifting!

Endomorph Training
                                               Train hard and eat right as an endomorph!

Lift, Lift, Baby!

Exercising Baby
                                      The Do’s and Dont’s

Before I write this blog post, I have to make it clear: I am not a parent. I’m not married, don’t have kids, and am not looking to have kids for a while. However, I have a lot of siblings (try six) and each are married and have children of their own.

That means lots and lots of presents at Christmas time for the nieces and nephews (no really, it’s a war zone of wrapping paper and Santa cookies).

So, in the spirit of writing blog posts that my readers ask me to write about, and showing no discrimination, I am going to write a post about how to exercise with babies (exciting!).

To my sibling who requested this article, here’s to you! You know who you are…ya silly!

  1. Ab Crunch, Baby!

One of the best exercises you can do with your baby are abdominal exercises! For real, though. Lie on the floor on your with the knees bent, and the baby either reclined or seated on pelvic area. While gently holding the baby in place, curl upwards with your shoulders while focusing on your core into a crunch.

Crunches are great for building up your core strength and abdominal muscles, this would be a great base for any campaign.

  1. Lunge With Me, Baby!

This exercise is great for the legs and lower body. While keeping your upper body straight and tall, look forward and take a large step with one of your legs. Keep your extended knee over your ankle during the lunge, while lifting the heel of your back leg. Be sure to dip a decent bit while doing these lunges, you want to feel it in your hamstrings, quads and glutes. Just stick to form and you’ll have great legs in no time!

  1. Baby Over the Head

While sitting cross-legged on the floor, seat the baby in your lap. While holding your baby and keeping your arms straight, pull your arms upward without locking the elbows. Hold the position steady for 2-3 seconds, and then in a controlled manner return your arms (and baby) to the resting position.

Do about ten of these bad boys, and your shoulders will be on fire!

  1. Baby on a Bench

(These names just get more and more creative, don’t they? I swear, it’s like we’re doing down a rabbit hole or something…Anyways, the show must go on!)

While lying on your back, with your knees bent, bring your shoulders (and baby) inward and to your chest. From here, raise your baby straight in the air without locking elbows, and then back down again in a slow controlled fashion.

  1. Baby Curling

This is possibly my favorite exercise out of the entire list, for two reasons.

  • Building up your arm strength is great for parenting and being super mom.
  • Getting your child involved to do so is just plain epic.

So, I assume while wring this post that as a parent you have a baby carrier. While keeping your back straight, curl the baby currier upwards. Concentrate on not using your back muscles, instead focusing on the bicep and curling at the elbow. This will ensure your keeping the focus of the movement on your bicep while not utilizing the other muscles.

IN CONCLUSION

I hope this was as much fun for you to read as it was for me to write. I enjoyed the challenge of writing something new, but I believe it will be beneficial!

Though these exercises have an entertaining side to them, they will be sure to be a fun and bonding way for parents and their children to exercise and be healthy together. If you would like me to write a specific blog post, or have a new exercise challenge for me, feel free to contact me at any time!

Have fun, and get lifting!

Top Foods for Protein Intake

A vital component to any diet or training program is protein.

PROTEIN. PROTEIN. PROTEIN.

Protein is made up of amino acids, lots and lots of amino acids. These amino acids are what builds up your muscles and what makes them bigger and stronger. Consuming enough protein to give your body the proper amount is essential to muscle growth.

So if everyone knew that protein is so vital to muscle growth, why do so many of us struggle to get the proper amounts? Well, I can tell you that it’s probably from the food you’re eating, you silly! In this blog, I’m going to go through my top 5 favorite foods for protein consumption. Eat these, and you’ll have a great start to getting the accurate amounts of protein for your training day!

  1. Chicken

Did you expect anything less? Seriously?

Chicken is awesome! It’s packed full of amino acids and proteins that are essential for muscle growth. This high quality protein gives your body great resources for muscle repair, bone strength, and helps control your weight. Also, on top of all these great qualities, there are almost endless ways to prepare it, which means it’s difficult to get burned out on it.

  1. Lean Beef

Making it in at number two on this list is: lean beef. I know, a lot of people out there are upset that I chose chicken over beef, but trust me it’s not necessarily a competition between the two. Both are excellent sources of protein, packed with great nutrients essential for gaining muscle.

At just three ounces, beef contains around 150-160 calories, lots of vitamins and amino acids, and of course protein (lots and lots of protein). Why did I choose chicken over beef? Chicken has 27g of protein per three ounces, at 138 calories. So, if I were going to argue over which meat is better for the protein-to-calorie ratio, chicken wins in my book.

  1. Fish

Fish is great for any lifter who is looking to put on muscle. Take tuna for example. Tuna, at just four ounces, has 20 grams of protein at just 90 calories. Not only that, fish is stuffed with omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3’s are great for metabolism, heart health and brain health.

  1. Grains (Rice and Quinoa)

Grains like rice and quinoa are a unique and healthy way to meet your protein goals. I included them on this list because they provide useful services for both digestion, and protein consumption, in just one cup. Boosting your energy, hormones, and metabolism are just some of the benefits. Another is 8 grams of protein per 280 calories with 0 cholesterol, which is a big issue with getting your protein from meats.

  1. Oatmeal

Oatmeal, oh how I love oatmeal.

Oatmeal is perfect for breakfast to start your day off with carbs at a low GI index. On top of that, it can be used as a snack in between meals, and help keep away hunger and fat gains. Also, for 320 calories worth of oatmeal, you get 8 grams of cholesterol free protein.

IN CONCLUSION

These five foods are great for adding protein and other essential nutrients to your diet. The meats are great for protein and amino acid consumption. However, grains like quinoa and oatmeal are great for adding in other nutrients to your diet while keeping your metabolism and energy high consistently and naturally.

My Advice: Pick and combine options that work best for you! Just keep an eye on your cholesterol and sodium intake, and you will be golden!

**Note:

  • This post was based off of top suggestions for foods to consume for protein intake. I did not consider whey protein powder, or any other supplement on this list, because I do not consider them Though supplements are great and awesome for any lifting program, they’re meant to supplement a diet, not be your diet.
  • Do you agree with my list? Feel free to comment and leave feedback, let’s have a discussion!

    Grilled Chicken
    Grilled chicken, delicious and packed with protein!

Ectomorph Training

So after a request from a reader, I will be writing a three part series of blogs going into greater detail of the different body types and how to train them. Each body type relies on different training regimens to reach maximum potential. If you’re reading this and you’re an ectomorph, this one goes out to you!

ECTOMORPHS

An ectomorph who wants to gain muscle and strength has a significant battle against them. Though the individual may work out a consistent amount, they may find it highly difficult to put on any type of bulk of muscle mass. However, if they do accomplish to put on muscle, the muscle they put on is lean and clean.

So, in consideration to ectomorphs and their training, the three basic topics to always concentrate on are:

  • Diet
  • Lifting
  • Training

WHAT? I SHOULD EAT?

Yes, a lot! For any person training themselves for muscle growth and increased performance, the intake of calories and protein has to be increased. However, ectomorphs need to eat a lot more food than the regular gym goers.  Specifically, someone who has the ectomorph body type should be eating anywhere between 5-6 meals per day (if not more) when on a training regimen.

Clean Eating

Another issue with ectomorphs is that they stress to clean eat just like the rest of the body types. Don’t stress over it! As an ectomorph, your body is going to use more calories and more nutrition that you intake over the amount of another body type. This means you shouldn’t primarily focus on eating cleaner and less calories. Eat a snickers bar, maybe even some fried chicken every now and then. You’ll be okay, I promise.

 Supplements

Ectomorphs respond the best to supplements over other body types. I don’t mean that other body types don’t response well to supplements; I mean that ectomorphs can use supplementation more effectively than other body types. If you’re struggling to put on weight, and your protein intake is low, I would advise getting on some whey protein or mass gainer. This will give your body more resources to fuel growth and endurance.

LIFT HEAVY!

The lifting for an ectomorph needs to be heavy! Okay, not just the ectomorph, every body type should be lifting heavy, but the ectomorph especially! The body builds and gains muscle by causing high muscle tension on muscle groups and fibers. How is this accomplished? Through heavy weights and multi-muscle group concentrated lifting. The key is to concentrate on your heavy compound and multiple compound movements. The muscle movements utilize multiple muscle groups and joints with different lines of movements.

Great Workouts Using this Method

  • Barbell Squat
  • Power Clean/Press
  • Deadlifts

Although I will say don’t do these on the same day. Some of these workouts use the same muscle groups, which could actually hinder the growth process.

TRAIN HARD

Training as an ectomorph has to be consistent and heavy. Concentrate on compound lifts that utilize multiple muscle groups while doing a singular line of movement. Lifting heavy weights in this fashion will ensure a wider spectrum of training, while growing in both strength and endurance. Make sure to have primary concentration on one muscle group per day, to provide the best possible chance of growth. It’s not a problem to workout multiple muscle groups in a compound movement, just don’t overdo it, that will strain the growth progress.

IN CONCLUSION

Training as an ectomorph, whether it be to grow in size, strength, or endurance, is an uphill battle. However, it is possible! Think of it this way, you get to eat more and grow lean muscle over fatty muscle. Focus on lifting heavy, utilizing compound exercises, and eating A LOT, and you’ll be golden!

Ectomorph Training
Ectomorph Training

Where? When? and How?

Dumb Bells
Dumb bells are great workout equipment.

In the beginning phases of this blog, I want to discuss topics that both beginning and current lifters should address in their training programs. We’ve addressed body types, supplements, muscle fibers and eating habits for growing muscle. The next topic I think we should discuss is lifting habits, specifically what an individual should do if they short on funds, space or time.

WHERE DO I WORK OUT?

I love the gym. The gym is a great place to be for someone who enjoys fitness. Everyone is working out, having a good time, trying to achieve their goals, it’s magical. Gyms and other fitness clubs can offer their members an immense amount of benefits. Benefits could include: locker rooms, top-notch workout equipment, trainers, etc.

However, just because you don’t have the money or access to a gym doesn’t mean you don’t have the same potential of success as someone who does. A great workout can be achieved in the home, outside at a park, anywhere! As I said, I love the gym, but I also bought a weight bench and other lifting equipment and worked out from home for almost a full year. I believe I achieved the same results as I would have with a gym, so just because you don’t have a gym doesn’t mean you can’t lift.

WHEN DO I WORK OUT?

So this is a tricky subject. A lot of factors come into play when considering optimal times to workout, such as how mentally focused the lifter is at what time of day and how their work/life activities come into play. If you were to describe in detail how each time of day affects your lifting status, here is how it would look:

Morning

Afternoon

Evening

  • Fresh Mentality
  • Peak of Testosterone
  • Highest Point of Mentality
  • Increased Energy
  • Highest Point of Strength
  • Peak Stamina

So what’s the answer? It’s not really clear-cut. The answer honestly depends on what works best for your schedule and your own mental and physical toughness. I’ve worked out in the mornings, afternoons and at night. Personally, I feel like I do the best in the afternoons. Between the hours of 12PM-2PM I have great mental focus, great strength, and feel like I get the best out of my workout. Alternatively, when working out in the morning I feel as if I’m not focused at all and just want to go back to bed.

See the difference? I will note that plenty of people work out in the mornings, and it works great for them.

HOW DO I WORK OUT?

This is the best part: work out however you please! There are plenty of ways to get in shape, be healthy, and grow. You can use weights in the gym to gain muscle and strength. Someone could run outside to train for endurance and stamina. An individual can train in a club for yoga to gain flexibility. Train however you want, achieve the goals that you want and maximize your potential.

Just be sure to practice good lifting habits and practices for the best results and strength.

IN CONCLUSION

Where you workout, when you workout, and how you workout are all important factors to your personalized training. However, it’s most important that you’re working out and working out safely. Exercising and training are great ways to stay in shape, retain good health, and life a long and happy lifestyle. Place, time and experience should not hold you back from a lifting lifestyle.

Just get out there, set goals, and happy lifting.

Should I Eat Big to Get Big?

One of the biggest issues for beginning weightlifters, or even intermediate weightlifters, is the diet. Many choose to jump on the bandwagon of a new supplement, new plan, or new super food to try and boost their gains. However, novices overlook one of the most vital factors of gaining muscle and maximizing their workout program. Do you know what that fact is?

EAT BIG TO GET BIG.

Boom! No getting around it, had to be said.

I’ll save the actual food discussion for another time; the most important factor I want to stress in this post is that you actually have to eat big to get big. So, should I eat more?…

WHY EATING MORE IS IMPORTANT

The body’s muscles need the energy from food in order to build up more muscle, that’s basic.

In order to build muscle, you have to work hard. In order to work hard, your body requires more energy. To have energy, you have to eat…a lot (or at least to arguably reach maximum potential).

To maximize muscle gains, an increased calorie intake is essential. To build more muscle the human body needs a surplus of calories for fuel. In order for the human body to have a surplus of calories, the total consumption of calories must be more than the amount of activity and work that the body goes through on a daily basis. Or in math terms: Intake > Output.

To put it simply, the more someone works out to gain muscle, the more they have to eat to maximize potential.

WHY THE EXTRA SHOULD NOT SCARE YOU

I get it, gaining too much excess is bad. It has been the same story for every lifter since lifting began (right?). Most people, not all, are worried about putting on too much fat during their workout program. But here’s the kicker: it’s almost impossible not to gain at least some extra fat in search of gains.

As stated before, the body and muscle groups need extra calories and nutrients (macro and micro) in order to supplement the muscle gains. The muscles that are consistently being broken down through training are also consistently being built up by the big eating that is being accomplished. The extra fat percentage being gained from all the extra eating is what is supplying your muscles with the energy it needs.

IN CONCLUSION

So, eat big to get big. Muscle groups require more calories and nutrients than usually consumed in order to grow. Eating more to grow you’re your muscles will improve in both size and strength, and also increase the overall benefits of your lifting. Depending on what body type you are, you may gain more or less fat from eating more during training. Don’t let the fact that you will gain more fat deter you from eating more to grow. A proper lean out program will be able to assist in shredding whatever fat gained if that is a concern.

To put it simply, eat big to get big. Please, don’t starve your muscles.

Oatmeal
Oatmeal, yum!