Want to Gain Muscle? (Do This!)

 

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Photo by John Fornander on Unsplash

Do you have that one muscle group that you wish was just a little bit bigger? You’ve been working out that muscle group and yet it just doesn’t seem to be getting where you want it to go. There is a way to really make that particular muscle pop and it’s not as hard as you would think.

First off, figure out what muscle or muscle group you really want some extra emphasis on. Once you do, figure out two exercises that really target it, pick ones you hate, because typically the exercises we hate are the ones that stretch and grow us the most.

Now what you are going to do, is each day after your workout, go do these two exercises that target the specific muscle. Regardless of what you worked out that day, whether it was the same thing or something completely different.

When you do this, you are going to be working these muscles out much harder since it’s going to be every day, and since you are only hitting it with two exercises, you don’t have to worry about fatiguing the muscle too much. This is where the compound effect comes in to play. Small changes done repeatedly over time make huge results.

So if you are wanting to bring that one specific muscle group up in size, start doing this.

Do You Need Supplements?

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Photo by Kristiana Pinne on Unsplash

Walk in to any vitamin or supplement store and it can be overwhelming at the amount of products available. Do you need them? What even are half of them?

While there are a lot of hyped up products that you don’t need, there are a few tried and true ones you do.

For starters whey protein is a must if you are trying to gain muscle. Aim for a clean protein powder with no fillers. Typically protein powders that you find in grocery stores or superstores have a lot of fillers, get a clean protein from a reputable company that specializes in supplements.

Second you should be taking creatine. Creatine is something that is naturally occurring in our bodies. Our body creates creatine to release ATP. ATP is what gives us energy to function. So the more ATP we have the better we can perform in the gym.

Two other supplements that I recommend are fish oil and Glucosamine tablets. Lifting can put a lot of strain on the joints and our fluidity, which is why it’s so important to take these.

The One Thing You Must Do In the Gym

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Photo by John Arano on Unsplash

When it comes to the gym, there are a myriad of different things that can help you gain strength, and build muscles mass.  But while there are many different options there are some that carry far more weight than others, and if they aren’t in your regular routine you are missing out.

The squat is without doubt one of the most important exercises in the gym.  We often think of the squat as a leg workout, but in truth it is full body workout that can drastically increase your overall strength.

For starters, yes it does work your legs, but it also improves your balance, strengthens your core and back. Core strength is so important when it comes to our overall strength, and it’s about far more than simply having a good looking ab section.

But there are some things that you need to know going into the squat rack.

  1. Your form needs to be on point.  Don’t go in with sloppy form.
  2. Don’t overload yourself.  Often we want to look like we are crushing it in the gym and get caught up in over-loading the bar so that we look better. But take off some weight and make sure you are going very deep in your squat.
  3. Make sure you keep your back straight.  All the work is done with your legs, in the movement. Nothing else should move other than your legs. Your upper body is solid throughout the movement.

Chest Muscles Not Growing? (Do this!)

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Photo by Alora Griffiths on Unsplash

 

If you are trying to build your chest muscles but not seeing the results you are wanting, there could be several factors at play. First off, your chest muscle is broken up into three sections.

There is the upper section, the middle section, and the lower section. In order to add mass to each section just doing bench presses won’t cut it. To target the upper portion of the pec muscle start on some incline bench presses. Performing the standard press on an incline bench stresses the upper portion of the pectoral muscles thus, helping out your definition in that area.

If you then switch to the decline bench you are going to shift the focus on the lower pec muscle.

Everything is about balance when working out. Developing all areas, all muscles, and all muscle groups. Not only does this lead to better definition on the individual muscles, but it leads to better overall strength.

Thinking of Hiring a Personal Trainer? (watch this first)

 

Find out more here: https://bonestobulk.thinkific.com/courses/the-inner-circle

 

 

Thinking About Hiring An Expensive Trainer?

When it comes to your fitness, maybe you are struggling with staying on track and need some extra motivation, or maybe you want to take it to another level that you can’t on your own anymore.  But personal training is so expensive.  You can get personalized training at home customized content on a weekly basis delivered to you online.

Find out more here

3 Hacks to Motivate Yourself to Go to the Gym

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Photo by Tyler Nix on Unsplash

So you know you need to work out. You want to gain muscle. You want to get buff. You want to have more energy. But you also feel that tug to stay in bed when your alarm goes off at 4am.

When you get home from work you just want to crash in front of Netflix and watch a rerun of something you’ve seen a million times.

I get it, working out isn’t fun. It’s called “work”ing out for a reason. It feels like work because it is. So why do you work? For the reward right? For the paycheck? So that’s what motivates you to get out of bed every morning, drive to work and get it done.

You have to view the reward from working out the same way. Your health, your longevity, your energy, your strength are all your rewards.

So here are 3 hacks to get you going.

  1. Don’t hesitate. When that alarm clock goes off, don’t wait. Don’t hesitate, immediately get up. Put your phone across the room so that you have to get up.
  2. Set yourself up for success. If you are going in the morning, have your workout clothes, and workout shake ready to go, so all you have to do is roll out of bed throw your clothes on and go. If you are working out after work, pack a gym bag and go there before coming home.
  3. Figure out your why. Write down on a sticky note why you want to go. And don’t just say “to get fit” why? Why do you want to get fit? Do you want to have energy for your kids, do you want to build your confidence level? Do you want to accomplish something that you were told you couldn’t do? Figure out your why and write down and put it somewhere you will see it every damn day.

You’ve got this, you can do it. For more check out Bones to Bulk

Want to Gain Muscle (Don’t Skip This)

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Photo by Jesper Aggergaard on Unsplash

If you want to gain muscle you get a gym membership right? You then proceed to go in there like you own the place, slam some weights around and boom muscles sprout on your arms that would put Popeye to shame.

Not so much. First off don’t ever walk in like you own the place. Have confidence but don’t think you are the shit, because there is always someone you can learn from and always someone that will out-perform you. Be hungry but humble.

Second if just going in and lifting some weights made you gain lean muscle mass then there would be a whole lot more people running around looking like Arnold’s mini me’s.

In truth there is so much more that goes into building muscle. From time under tension, to making sure you are lifting properly, to your food intake.

Food intake is without doubt the biggest aid in your journey. Why do I say this? Because I used to be that guy. I went to the gym, thought I knew everything lifted, and then was so confused when I didn’t gain muscle. Now I’m not saying it’s super hard for everyone. But for me, a guy who struggled to keep weight on and had a metabolism that was ridiculously fast? I fell flat.

It was a humbling experience and I’m glad it happened. Because it made me re-evaluate everything. That’s when I finally dug down and realized that what I put in my mouth mattered so much more than the gym.

Now don’t get me wrong, the gym is important too. But you have to be aware of what you are eating. The episode I posted above talks about how you should be looking at food.

How to Eat For Muscle Gains

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Photo by Daniel Apodaca on Unsplash

When it comes to our food why do we usually eat? Because we are hungry? Or sometimes because it just looks dang good and even though we are full, we still want it? Why should we eat though? Well there are several reasons. The first is for health. I want to be healthy. Healthy now and healthy into my old age. And also I want to gain lean muscle mass. I am always striving to build more muscle.

Your reasons may look slightly different, but chances are if you are reading this, then some of those ring true. Now let’s face it, I like food too, I don’t think kale belongs in smoothies, and lima beans are at the bottom of the list for me, but there are also a lot of healthy things I love. I talk a lot about those things in my Facebook group.

I love chicken, I really do, I never was much of a beef guy, so that transition was easy. What was hard? Ice cream. I used to lay out a half gallon of ice cream in one sitting, no joke.

It took me some time to get over that one, but it didn’t come down to just more self discipline, it came down to me getting to the heart of the matter. I knew I didn’t want to look or feel like I used to, and so I knew it was either the ice cream, or something new. I chose something new.

And the crazy part? I don’t miss it. Okay sure, once on a rare occasion I do get an ice cream craving, but compared to when I first started leaving it behind, it’s like night and day.

So if you are struggling with giving up unhealthy options, pick one thing, focus on it, and then once you have that conquered move on to something else. For more on focusing on where your calories are coming from, check out this week’s episode of the podcast.

And also? Hang on to your reasoning. Write yourself a note, reminding you of the reasons and stick to it. If your reason is to build muscle, awesome! If it’s something else, that’s fine too. But find your why.

Why Are You Not Losing Body Fat?

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Photo by Sander Dalhuisen on Unsplash

When it comes to food and getting in shape, one of the things that continually comes up are cheat meals. So what is the truth about them? Do they really effect your ability to gain muscle mass? Do they help you to lose body fat? Should you have regular cheat meals? There is tons of material out there that you need to eat crappy food in order to “shock” your body back into fat burning and lots of other nonsense (yes that’s nonsense).

But who wants to go forever without occasionally indulging or treating themselves to a night out or to a get cookout, right? But before you just go diving in and start shoveling down the hot-dogs and pizza like the zombie apocalypse is about to happen hold off.

There’s two elements to this if you are striving to gain lean muscle mass. The first is, don’t even think about getting in a cheat meal if you are just starting out on this journey. It takes time to build healthy habits and you don’t need to derail yourself right off the bat with a cheat meal that may lead you down a dangerous path. So if you are less than 6 weeks in, try to avoid a cheat meal.

 

The second main element here is not getting too overboard with a cheat meal. For instance let’s say you want to go to your favorite restaurant and are scanning the menu. Rather than opting for the 8 oz rib-eye with fried onion rings on the side, maybe grab the grilled chicken with a baked potato. It’s still going to be good, but a better option. You can have an enjoyable meal and it still not be terrible for you. I talk about this more in this week’s podcast episode.

Also think of it in the terms of a must have meal rather than a cheat meal. In other words only go for it if you absolutely must and can’t resist eating something from your old diet, but if you are feeling good, don’t just turn to a cheat meal, because it’s cheat night.

You are getting to eat healthy nutritious food that is packing on the lean muscle, so don’t view it that you need a “cheat” from that. Be smart about it, and be sparing with it, your muscle gains, and low body fat composition will thank you. I just wrapped up a 5 day nutrition video series over in our Bones to Bulk Facebook group, you can check out those here.