How to Build Muscle

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When Is Fat Good?

“sliced avocado” by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

When it comes to fats, you want to steer clear of most of them as they provide little value and assist in clogging up your arteries. But there are some great fats your body can put to good use. Fat while usually looked at as a negative thing, actually does provide some benefits.

After all we need a healthy layer of fat around our organs to protect them, and it plays an important role in our bodies. In addition to protecting our organs, it helps the body absorb vitamins. It also helps us to regulate our body temperature. I talk all the time about the importance of nutrition on my website and even have courses dealing specifically with that.

Now before you reach for that bag of potato chips, there are healthy fats you should be incorporating but they are not what we typically think of.

Photo by Alison Marras on Unsplash

While you still want to moderate how much of even healthy fats you eat, some that you want to add to your list include eggs, which also give us a great boost of protein. Avocado (sorry store bought guacamole is out), but you can make some very healthy guacamole yourself.

Almond, cashews, and most other tree nuts are a great source of healthy fat that also pack a punch of protein. Olive oil and fish also give us a dosage of healthy fats that our body puts to good use.

So don’t fear healthy fat, still keep it in moderation, but your body needs those healthy sources.

2 Keys to Increase Your Lifts

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Photo by Victor Freitas on Unsplash

So we all want to lift more? After all we equate lifting more with being stronger and it’s how we measure whether we are making progress in that regard right? So what can we do to increase our lifting?

There are several things that will go a long way.

The first is change things up week to week. Do more reps, one week, less, the next, and less the week after. As you decrease the reps you are going to increase the amount of weight you are lifting. This keeps things different for your muscles, causing more muscle groups, when you’ve dropped your reps down so low that are maxed out for weight, start the cycle over and go back to high reps.

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Photo by Jesper Aggergaard on Unsplash

When you start the cycle over you will find that you are able to lift heavier than when you first started. Continue to repeat this cycle. Ideally set your cycles up on 4 week cycles. So high reps the first week and continually decrease them over the next 3 weeks, then repeat the cycle. We are talking more about this in this week’s podcast episode.

3 Hacks to Get More Out of Your Workout

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“person lifting black barbell” by Victor Freitas on Unsplash

When it comes to your workouts you want to get the most out of them as possible right? So what are some tips for the gym that will get you the best workout? For starters stay focused. It’s easy to get distracted in the gym, our phone can blow us up, or even connecting with other people in the gym can cause us to lose focus of why we are there, at Bones to Bulk we try to bring that focus back into play.

Now while neither of those things are necessarily bad all the time, when we are working out we have to get in that zone where we are pushing ourselves so that we are not just going through the motions, but really pushing ourselves. So stay focused.

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Photo by Scott Webb on Unsplash

The next thing is move fast. Don’t get caught up in resting a long time in between sets and exercises. Thirty seconds to a minute is all you need. This allows you to really bring an extra load of strain to the muscles which will help them grow.

Third do the exercises you hate. The reason you hate them is because they are hard. They suck because they wear you out, and make you really work for it. That’s why they are the best ones to do. Remember the more strain, the more muscle growth.

You’ll know if you’ve really pushed yourself by whether or not you are getting out of breath and sweating. If you’re not push harder.

Coffee, Stranger Things, and Workouts

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It’s the number one thing I hear from people I train, or from those looking to train and gain muscle, “I just don’t have time”. What’s interesting is that these same people manage to fit in binging there favorite shoes late at night, getting some video game time in, or grabbing coffee with friends. I’m not saying any of those things are wrong to do, after all, my wife and I spent several very late night binging Stranger Things last year. But it should never take priority over your health and fitness.

In truth yes getting to the gym takes time. It takes work, and sometimes that is downright inconvenient. But not having energy, strength, and motivation is not a good alternative.

Photo by John Fornander on Unsplash

So how do you find time? You don’t. Wait what? That’s right, you don’t. You make time. We talk about this more in this week’s podcast episode.

Trying to squeeze time in will lead to failure because if you don’t make time for it, you won’t go. You have to be intentional. You may have to get up an hour earlier and hit the gym on your way to work, or stay up an hour later and work out before bed. Or skip watching your show that you always tune into.

While it may seem hard, and in truth yes some days it is, but the return on your investment is so worth it.

 

 

 

 

Should You Drink Fruit Juice?

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Photo by Alexander Mils on Unsplash

Typically when you think of healthy you think of fruit juice right? A healthy breakfast of eggs, whole wheat toast and an ice cold orange juice to go along side. But fruit juice needs to be added to our do not drink list.

Here’s the breakdown. Apple juice contains more grams of sugar per ounce than soda. Yes you read that right. When we consume large amount of sugar also known as fructose, it’s digested and sent to the liver which has to process. When we consume a large quantity at once (like a soda or full glass of juice) it sends the liver into a panic because it can’t process it all, so what does it do with what it can’t process? You guessed it, turns it into fat. Not to mention all the other health problems that come with an excess of sugar.

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“Washed oranges and green leaves freshly picked” by Keilidh Ewan on Unsplash

So then fruit must be bad too right? Not so fast. Here is the major difference. First off the amount of sugar in fruit is much less than in a glass of juice. Second fruit is loaded with fiber attached to those grams of sugar which allows our body to process and digest it in a much slower way eliminating the need for our liver to go into over-drive. This week’s podcast talks about this a little bit more.

You get the benefits not only of the fiber but of all the vitamin richness that comes with fruit without the negative consequences of juice. Adults and kids should steer away from fruit juice, and if you are after lean muscle mass, definitely add the juice aisle as one to skip at the grocery store.

Why Sugar is Killing Your Gains

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Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

Sugar is everywhere. And I mean everywhere. It’s infused in about everything we eat, regardless of whether it’s a “healthy” item or not. While your body can process some natural sugars and can actually put them to good use to feed your muscles, we don’t need it in it’s refined from. Having a complex carb or something like a banana after our workouts can do great things to repair and build our muscles, but grabbing a sugary energy drink or candy bar is not the way to go.

Natural sugar comes in the forms of things like complex carbs, whole fruit, honey, Stevia etc. These can be beneficial to us in small portions. It’s when we get into the refined sugars like candy, many sports drinks, soda, etc. These are what can have devastating results on not just your lean muscle gains, but on your overall health. Getting lean muscle mass is great, but at Bones to Bulk I truly believe that it’s just as important to be healthy on the inside as the outside.

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Photo by Dewang Gupta on Unsplash

Too much sugar can cause a whole myriad of health problems including diabetes and others. But it’s not just that. Everything we put in our bodies is either used by our body to function properly, or has no purpose throws our body off. Sugar is an empty calorie that does nothing for us. When we consume it our bodies can’t handle the typical large doses we consume in every day products and it is stored as fat, this doesn’t get us any closer to our goal of lean muscle mass.

Remember, food is our body’s fuel, we’ve got to put high quality food in for us to get good results out.