Why Food is Failing Your Muscle Gains

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When it comes to your nutritional intake are you eating to actually gain muscle? If you are skinny and want to have muscle or definition, you’ve got to be eating for it.

When weight loss is not the primary objective it’s easy to think that all we have to do is just go lift weights and we will naturally grow muscle. This was a common mistake I myself made when I first started. After all if bench press a lot of weight and crush it in the gym then those muscles will sprout. But that just isn’t the case.

While lifting in the gym is important, it’s just one piece of the puzzle, and it takes a lot of pieces to complete the picture. So what does eating for muscle gain look like?

It consists of first off eating enough. Chances are if you are naturally thin you have a high metabolism, so your body is burning off more calories than normal and it takes a good amount of extra calories in order to put on the muscle.

If you don’t have an excess of calories your body has nothing to build muscle with. It’s similar to if you were building a house, and decided you wanted to add on and build another room, but you only had enough material for the original plan. If you wanted to build the extra room you would have to take material away from another room, which would be counter-productive.

It’s the same way with our eating, we’ve got to have that excess. Now before you get too excited that doesn’t mean just go eat whatever you want in order to get extra calories. You’ve got to eat the right amount of calories or it will go to fat rather than muscle.

Lean meats, whole wheat and whole grain carbs, and lots of fresh veggies and fruit.

So when it comes to going from skinny to buff, don’t leave out the nutrition side. We are talking more about this in this week’s episode of the podcast, listen to it here.

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What Your Fitness Needs to Improve

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So we’ve been talking about mental strength this week, and you’ve got to have one key thing that will push you to better yourself, and will help get you in the game mentally. Someone you look up to.

While none of them even know I exist, I have several people that I watch and follow who I would consider mentors. No they don’t have to be in my life for them to be my mentors.

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Photo by dylan nolte on Unsplash

The point is they push me. I can listen or watch what they have to say and I learn new things, and I get pumped up and motivated to try to better myself.

So do yourself and your fitness journey a favor and find someone who does this for you, who gets you fired up, who tells you how to do things differently or harder than you have ever done before. Sure it could be someone you know, it could be someone from afar, it doesn’t matter, as long as they are pushing you, and helping you to reach for something beyond yourself.

For more on mental strength check out this week’s podcast.

What Dreams and Muscles Are Made Of

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Photo Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/23119666@N03/

It’s 6:19 am EST as I am starting to write this.  I just got showered and am downing a smoothie that let’s be honest doesn’t taste the greatest.  I’d much rather be sipping on some steaming coffee than chugging this thick concoction.   I am also a little tired. Working all weekend, then to hear the Rock Clock telling me to get my ass out of bed at 3:40 so I could get my workout in.

Routine…It’s what dreams are made of.  Truly.  When we hear success stories, and people who have made it, we just see the finished product.  We see the glam, the fame, the “making it”.  But we miss the most important part.  The journey.   The journey is where that greatness stems from.

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Photo Credit: https://thoroughlyreviewed.com

We often hear of those people who became overnight success stories.  But these are truly one in a million.  Don’t believe me?  Go read most successful people’s story, usually it consists of years of toiling away, early mornings, late nights, heartbreak, and disappointment.  But it’s exactly those hard times that day in and day out grind that get people from point A to point B.

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Photo Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/amyselleck/

So does getting up at 3:40 suck some days?  Absolutely.  Does foregoing some things in life in order to have something better later in life suck sometimes?  Of course.  But that’s the drive that keeps me going, for that one day having a better life.  To be old and strong, to be able to chase after my grand kids and great grand kids.  To live my life to the fullest.  Because I know what life is like when I don’t push myself, and sure maybe some days it’s easier, but overall it’s not near as rewarding.

So get out there and push.  Rise, grind, repeat.  It’s a saying we all know, but put it into action and great things will come.

For more tips and motivation, click here.

How To Eat For Muscle Growth or Definition

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When it comes to developing muscles, whether you are trying to look like the hulk or just shooting for some definition, your diet is the biggest factor in that.  If you just workout and lift, you are not going to change much.  You will get stronger and you might see some very slight definition but if you just workout without changing your eating habits you are setting yourself up for failure.  I know because I did this for the first couple years I worked out.  I had no clue what I was doing, and was frustrated that I could see no results.

So how do you eat for muscle growth?  Well while there is a lot of information out there on this, there also a lot of wrong information out there.  You want to grow lean muscle not fat with muscle, so contrary to what a lot of people will say don’t just load up on calories, that’s not effective.

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You want to eat clean lean meats.  Turkey, chicken, or fish will pack the lean protein on and help with muscle growth.  Complex carbs are also a vital part of nutritional health for building muscle, complex carbs consist of things like sweet potatoes, couscous, brown rice, whole wheat bread, quinoa, whole grain oats etc.

Fresh veggies, and lots of water should be a given as well.  Stay away from any liquid if it’s not water or a low percent milk or milk alternative (like almond milk).

Finally and most importantly you have to eat the right amounts of calories, get an app like Lose It or Myfitnesspal, or just go to google and type in “calorie calculator”.  On all of these you will put in your stats, for instance, your age, weight, height, activity level and then select your goal, so weight loss for dropping some weight and toning, or weight gain for building muscle and mass.

 

Then it’s going to give you a number which is how many calories you should eat in a day to reach the goal you punched in.  That is your magical number that you need to hit every day.  That is what is going to determine your success or your failure.

So don’t overthink this, workout, eat clean, and hit your calorie number each day.  Do this day in and day out and after a few months you will begin to get stronger, feel better, and be healthier.  You’ve got this.

For more info check out Bones to Bulk and I would love to have you join my Facebook community, which is a place to learn new tips, and get motivated and encouraged.

 

 

Don’t Wait

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There are times when know we need to do something different.  Fitness is no different.  It’s one of those things that we know deep down inside we need to change.  How often do you hear someone say “I need to get in shape”, or “I need to eat better”.  It’s something we all know deep within.

So how do we take those feelings of needing to lose weight or gain muscle, and eat better, and actually start to makes steps towards a goal?  It takes a decision. It’s one day deciding that you are not going to just talk about it anymore, but you are going to actually start making changes.  Now another thing you have to come to terms with is your “why”.  Why do you want to….fill in the blank.”  If you don’t have a well thought out reason of why you want to get healthier then you are setting yourself up for failure.

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So first you make the decision.  Then know your why.  The last thing you have to do is make a plan.  You can’t just go blindly into this hoping that by simply wanting to change, you will change.  You have to begin to make changes every day.  Choose to go to the gym, choose to eat better, choose to make a better start to today.   Get to the gym or get outside and start moving, every day, figure out a time that works, and stick to it every day.  Grab a huge garbage back and start throwing away all the junk food in your house, all the sodas, candy, sweets, dump it and get it out of your life.

Every day start adding in one more healthy item, one more healthy habit.  You don’t have to have it all together from day one, but you’ve got to get out there and start doing.

Find more at Bones to Bulk and join the Facebook community to learn and be encouraged.

 

Ways to Add Muscle

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So you are working out and your muscles just seem to not be growing.  You want to go from being skinny to buff and are seeing small results.  Well today we are going to talk about stretching them beyond your capacity.  Now food plays a huge role in being able to develop muscle and if you aren’t eating for muscle growth then no amount of lifting will do much, but that’s another post, today we are focusing on muscle building techniques.

First off, you want to keep your muscles guessing.  If you are not already changing up your rep and weight range from week to week then start immediately.  If you do the same 3 set of 12 reps every single week your muscles wills stagnate.

Change up your reps.  Every week change up your rep range and the amount of weights.  Break it up into a macrocycle of 4 weeks, and each week lower or raise your reps, and if you are lowering your reps increase your weight, or if you are increasing your reps lower your weight.

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This keeps your muscles guessing.

Second add in two extra exercises at the end of every day.  Regardless of what muscle group you are working, if there is a particular target area you want to hit, add two exercise of that at the end of every workout and after several months you will notice a difference in that muscle group.  It’s kind of like the compound effect.  Small changes when accumulated over time make huge differences down the road.

So get out there and stretch those muscles!

Find more at Bones to Bulk and get connected in my facebook community.

Time to Change

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There’s 24 hours in a day.  No more, no less.  We all have the same amount of time.  This is both exciting and kind of daunting when you consider people who have done so many incredible things, because there are times when I ask myself what I’m missing.  But that’s okay.  Because it’s in those moments I realize that even though I’m not where I want to be I’m moving forward. Forward progress is what truly matters.  Making the hard decisions today that will impact not only your life today, but even more dramatically in the future.

In training people from all different walks and from all different areas, I’ve found one common theme: change comes only when someone wants it.

Sounds simple enough right?  But when I say “wants it”, I’m not talking about the “I want that donut” or “I want to take a nap”.

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There is a want, a yearning that goes far beneath the surface that you have to tap into if you want to bring any kind of long lasting change.  While this may sound exciting, it’s in reality painful.  It takes digging, and digging deep, it takes pulling off the layers of all the crap that tries to tie you down and tell you that you are destined to fail. It takes ripping apart all the self doubt, and stepping out of that old self and determining in your mind and in your soul that you want this change beyond anything else.

So stop playing games with what you want, and truly dig into what it is you truly want and how badly you want it.

Find more at Bones to Bulk, and join the Bones to Bulk facebook community where you can get insight and encouragement.