If you have not yet set a fitness goal for yourself in 2018, now is the time. What are your priorities? Are you looking to lose weight for summer, gain strength, build mass, or improve your diet? Any of these are good steps towards improving your overall health and keeping you out of the dreaded doctors office. What ever goal suits you at this point in time, remember to start small and set manageable goals that will give you the best chance for success. If your goal is to gain lean muscle mass, check out this article from Men’s Fitness. I’ve also shared a similar, personal success story in previous blog that you can access here. The advice in the article is a simple approach that will give you results, but you’ll need to remain disciplined and patient.
Here are some key components for lean mass gains:
Diet: wholefoods, good ratio of protein/carbs/fat
Small caloric surplus
Slightly reduce your calorie in-take for small periods of time
In the beginning of this year, I set a fitness goal to gain 10 lbs of ‘good’ weight by the end of the year. By good weight, I mean keeping my body fat percentage about the same [I was fine with a slight increase], but gaining muscle mass. This can be a tricky balance without proper attention to your diet and workout plan. Turns out it was an achievable goal and I hit my mark earlier this month. It took a full 10 months, but I am happy with the results. If you have a similar goal, here are a few things that helped me and maybe they’ll work for you as well.
Completely changed my workout. Before, my week was about 2 days of cardio, 2 days of boot camp using body-weight only [TRX, etc.], and 1-2 days of weights. Now, 3 to 4 days a week of barbell weights with 1 to 2 days of rest between each workout. Day 1: 3 sets of 12. Day 2: 3 sets of 10. Day 3: 3 sets of 8. Each day are these 6 exercises: barbell bench press, barbell front squat, barbell row, barbell back squat or dead lift, barbell shoulder press, and end with pull ups [weighted if possible]. Don’t be afraid to vary the workout. For example, change out barbell press with dumbbell or barbell clean and jerk. Take your rest days, muscle recovery is very important.
I began taking a creatine monohydrate supplement. Creatine is one of the most studied supplements with a lot of evidence pointing to one thing…it works! To learn more, visit www.examine.com. A website I trust to provide an unbiased analysis of creatine and many other supplements.
Find a good, reliable workout partner with the same goal(s). Motivation is key and you’ll push each other! Enjoy the time, make it fun.
Diet. I had to eat…more…healthy food and protein. Do your research on what works for your body type. I always have a banana, apple, nuts, etc available to snack on during the day. I also have a raw brown rice protein shake with 5-10g of creatine and 1 tablespoon of turmeric powder mixed in, everyday.
Since the northern hemisphere is quickly approaching winter, it’ll be a good opportunity to bulk up during the cold months then cut weight next summer, if needed. I attached a source below from Muscle & Fitness for another option you can consider for mass and strength gains. Have other thoughts or comments? Please leave a comment below or start a discussion topic at the Salus Update Forum.