Having a great, healthy physique is a noble goal that many people aspire to. If you are one of these people, are a few things you should know about working out if you want to achieve that chiseled build.
1. Food is fuel for your body
Nutrition is the most important aspect of fitness. Your body is a machine and food is the fuel it runs on. Steer clear of junk and eat only clean, healthy foods. For bodybuilders, you need to provide your body with adequate tissue-building material as you work out.
Your diet should consist heavily of lean proteins like chicken breast to build muscle and complex carbohydrates to provide energy, both before and after your work out. However, to avoid digestive problems, make sure you have your meals two hours before your workout and remember your protein shake immediately after the work out!
Make sure to craft a healthy eating plan that works best for you, and use muscle building supplements sometimes to cover any nutritional deficiencies, but do not rely on these. Try to get most of your nutrients from whole foods.
2. Use compound exercises for maximum benefits
You want to cover as much ground as possible during your workouts, so do compound exercises that work two muscle groups at once, rather than those that will only work one muscle group.
For example, leg curls will only work on the hamstrings but squats are a form of compound exercises that will work on both quads and hamstrings. Another example of a compound exercise is the bench press, which builds the triceps, shoulders and chest.
3. Vary your workouts You will almost certainly hit a plateau in the course of your bodybuilding journey. The best way to bypass this, make sure that you do varying sets of reps. Do not do the same thing every single day for two weeks straight as this will only make you stall.
Cardio workouts such as cycling and running should be part of your training. This burns unnecessary fat, keeping your body lean and trim while increasing endurance.
4. Get enough rest Overworking your body and not giving it enough time to recover is completely counter-productive. Remember, muscle building involves some tear, so if you don’t rest, you’re actually tearing your body down and making it weaker, impeding your progress.
Ensure you have enough sleep, 7-9 hours on average. Your body restores itself at this time and gives you adequate strength, drive and mental alertness for your workouts.
5. Put in the work required
Your body will give back what you put in. If you lift the same weights all the time, this will lead to stagnation. Focus on gradually increasing more weights and increasing the duration of training and do not skip warm up and stretching.
Be patient, as in don’t expect instant results, but definitely do not be lax. You should be able to see measurable improvement in terms of muscle definition and ease of lifting in a few months’ time.
Remember, you will only achieve your fitness goals if you get out of your comfort zone. Resistance is what builds muscle. Prepare adequately, work hard, be determined, focus and go for it!