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Fitness goals

Muscle growth and body composition

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If you want to be able to lose weight, get in shape and sustain your results effortless then improving body composition is key and muscle growth is one of the 2 pieces of this puzzle.

Improving body composition means maintaining a healthy weight with the right percentage of lean muscle mass and body fat.

Maintaining lean muscle mass is important and needs to be one of our priorities, the more muscle we have the faster our metabolism works so it´s easier to lose fat and stay lean but it also help us avoid injuries and stay healthy. There are 2 most common ways we lose muscle; one is related to some diseases and the other is age.

As we get older our body goes through different changes and one of this change is the loss of muscle mass with this come a lot of negative consequences like loss of strength which lead to injuries and other health problems.

Making sure that we get in shape and maintain an optimal weight that considers the right percentage of body fat and muscle mass helps us look lean and toned and as I´ve said before it´s not necessary to get big. Making sure that we maintain muscle mass or build muscle mass to maintain a healthy weight is important to maintain strength so that we reduce the risk of injuries as we grow older. As we grow older we lose muscle mass and strength so by working out focusing on resistance training to maintain strength and give our body the stimulus it needs to maintain that muscle we make sure that we´re not losing it, this also helps us get through daily activities like lifting bags and boxes, pushing and pulling boxes, enjoying time outside in nature with friends and family.

I´ve heard some people say that when you reach a certain age, like 70 or 80 you are not able to gain muscle mass but this is actually not true, we can build lean muscle mass at any age if we do it correctly, we need to give our muscles the right stimulus to grow and we also need to give our body the nutrients it needs to grow muscle and we need to be on a calorie surplus, if we do those three points correctly then we are able to gain muscle at any age.

We want to maintain strength and get stronger, not only to maintain and gain muscle mass and this doesn´t mean that we need to get huge as bodybuilders, we maintain a lean and strong physique. Maintaining strength and muscle is important for maintaining optimal health and maintain optimal performance as you grow older, you want to be able to carry bags and boxes when you go for groceries, you want to have lean and strong legs to walk and move from one place to another.

The best way to maintain strength and get stronger and also to maintain and build muscle mass is with bodyweight and compound exercises, we can add some isolation exercises to work certain weaker muscles and gain more mass faster but the key is to get stronger in bodyweight and compound exercises, for this we need to focus on progressive overload (we´re going to talk about exercises variables and techniques in future posts) working on the 5 to 8 rep ranges with heavy weight. What we want is to lift heavy weight for low reps. 

When we focus on maintaining strength and getting stronger keeping body fat low we´re working on improving body composition, this helps us look great and it´s easier to maintain the results and keep improving. Any excess of weight including excess of muscle mass in unhealthy this is why our goal is to improve body composition and maintain a healthy weight considering muscle mass and body fat. We want to be lean and strong.

Our goal is to improve body composition and maintain a healthy weight that considers body fat and muscle mass percentage, but we not only want to look as great as possible we also want to make sure that our body and physique are useful.

It would mean so much to me if you share this post with your friends and family and if you follow me on Twitter and Facebook, together we can help millions live a better life.

Pam

Fitness goals

Avoid unhealthy foods for muscle growth?

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When we want to gain muscle, we know that we need to eat more so some of us think about it as a way to fit more unhealthy foods into their diet but is this a good option?

If we think only about calories then we can make those extra calories come from unhealthy foods but from a macronutrient ratio this can change, we know that our body needs nutrients to function properly and to sustain our fitness goals, our body need nutrients to recover and grow, we give our muscle the stimulus to grow in the gym and then we give it the nutrients it needs which are proteins and fats and carbohydrates if we follow a balanced diet.

We all know that we need to avoid unhealthy foods for health reasons so  the best option would be to stick to whole, fresh foods and just eat more of them now, do we need to avoid unhealthy foods for muscle growth? it all depends of you and your body, some of us are able to eat a good amount of processed, junk and fast food while building muscle but most of us will find it difficult and the reason why is this, unhealthy foods are calorically dense and lack nutrition, this means that one single unhealthy food is high in calories and very low in nutrition, from a calories standpoint we´ll need to eat small portions of those foods but we´ll have cravings, we won´t have enough energy for our workouts, we´ll feel tired and our body won´t have nutrients to function, recover and grow.

So even when we can eat more we still need to focus on whole healthy foods, but we can add more “cheat meals” (I don´t like the term cheat meals, I´ll tell you in other post why) when our goal is fat loss we can have one cheat meal every week or maybe one every two weeks, when our goal is muscle growth we can have one cheat a week or some of us can have two, it all depends of our body and how we feel.

Some people consider cheat meals a good way to replenish glycogen, increase calorie intake one day and keep cravings low, even when this works I still recommend to stick to whole, fresh foods there are so many different snacks and foods we can have which are healthy.

There are some special occasions that I would eat unhealthy meals which are birthdays and Holidays, in my case we have 3 birthdays we celebrate per year and 3 Holidays which those Holidays go from December 24 to January 10.

The reason why I don´t recommend following restrictive diets is so that we have the freedom to enjoy so many different meals from any country, the only rule is that those meals are cooked and prepared with whole, fresh ingredients, if we follow this guide we can have dessert once or twice a week without calling it cheat meal. And the reason why I recommend avoiding unhealthy processed foods like sweets, junk and fast foods is because they are high in sugars, unhealthy fats oils and chemicals that our body doesn´t need.

If we follow those rules it´s easier for us to develop the habit of eating healthy which makes it easier for us to achieve any fitness goal because we know that we just eat a little less to lose fat and a little more to gain muscle.

As we´ve mentioned before fitness it´s not only about achieving the physique we want that´s only part of our goal, we use fitness as a tool to maintain optimal health so that we can live the life we deserve by living to our full potential, we can adjust all fitness tools to help us achieve the physique we want while making sure that we´re maintaining optimal health and weight and we also want our physique to be useful not only to look great. This is why I recommend whole fresh foods, we know that highly processed and refined foods are unhealthy, there are some foods that I prefer to avoid as much as possible it doesn´t matter which fitness goal I´m working on.

We all know that food is a big part of our lives but we can make it work for us, food brings people together and traditional meals help us learn from each country, cooking also brings people together and brings joy to our lives. Learning how to cook is an amazing skill that we can all benefit from and we don´t need to be master chefs.

It would mean so much to me if you share this post with your friends and family and if you follow me on Twitter and Facebook, together we can help millions live a better life.

Pam

Fitness goals

The truth about muscle growth

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Some of us love to lift weights and getting stronger in the gym while others hate it or are afraid that if they lift weights they will get big, this applies to guys and girls. The reason why we start our fitness journey varies, in some cases we are overweight and we want to lose weight and get in shape while others are skinny and want to gain some muscle, in both cases that core reason why we start exercising is because of insecurities. It doesn´t matter if we´re overweight or skinny people made fun of us so we want to change the way we look and improve our body physically which making this decision is one of the best decisions we can make in our entire life.

If you are one of those guys or girls who hate or are afraid of lifting weights because you think you will get big like a bodybuilder then there are some things you need to know.

The truth about muscle growth is that it takes time to build muscle and we need a really good program that gives us the results. Muscle growth is the result of consistent training, a workout program that consider all variables of training and some advanced training techniques, the nutrition program needs to be on point, enough recover, enough good quality sleep.

I want to be clear here, all those bodybuilders that are huge most of them use drugs and that´s the results of many , many years of consistent hard work and dedication in and outside the gym, they spend hours working out sometimes even twice a day, they are so strict with their nutrition, they prioritize sleep because they know it´s crucial for recovery and grow, their workout programs are designed to work each muscle group as hard as possible and then give it enough time to recover and the right amount of food so that their body is able to grow and they also use supplements and some of them use drugs.

For the rest of us, if we´re not into bodybuilding, we´re not competing and our goal is only to get the best physique possible we don´t need to put that dedication and focus on our fitness program and most of us won´t do it so we just need to use fitness as a tool to help us live our best life possible, a life that we are proud of and this means that we can get in amazing shape and have an amazing physique but we don´t need to spend so much time at the gym and we can have more freedom with our food choices.

We can gain muscle without spending too much time at the gym, without being too strict with our diet and without drugs but we still need to work hard and be consistent, it takes more time to gain lean muscle mass than to lose fat  so be patient.

The best part is that we will only gain as much muscle as we want, if we don´t want to get big we don´t get big we just improve body composition and maintain  a healthy weight with  a good balance between muscle mass and body fat to look lean and toned. If we want to gain more muscle and look as a superhero it´s also possible but it depends of us, of our goals, the type of physique we want.

What I recommend is that no matter how big or lean you want to be we make sure that we improve overall performance, the goal of being in amazing shape is also that we can perform every daily activity with ease. That we can go through our day with high energy  and that we also have some endurance, strength, agility, flexibility to go on vacations and be able to enjoy the trip. We want to build an amazing physique that is useful not only that looks great and we want to make sure that we maintain a healthy weight considering body composition. I don´t think being to big is healthy whether it´s fat or muscle with excess weight our body needs to work a lot harder to keep oxygen and blood circulating though the entire body and there are more negative consequences in the long term.

As for any fitness goal and actually anything in life muscle growth requires hard and smart work and discipline, if you are able to build discipline in the gym to achieve your fitness goal and get the physique you want and then you can take that discipline and apply it to all other areas of your life you will achieve anything you want and live the most incredible life.

Muscle growth.

It would mean so much to me if you share this post with your friends and family and if you follow me on Twitter and Facebook, together we can help millions live a better life.

Pam

Fitness goals

Sleep and muscle growth

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I´ve seen many guys working so hard in the gym with a lot of volume and frequency but not giving the same attention and importance to sleep. Our body recovers while we sleep so if you want to gain muscle you need to have the right amount and quality of sleep every night.

If our goal is to gain lean muscle mass then we need to prioritize sleep and make sure that it´s good quality.

Even if we have are following the best training and nutrition program sleep is still a most, our body and muscles need to recover after we hit the gym and sleep is a crucial part of recovery. Growth hormone is key to build muscle and it´s released while we sleep, the cycles or phases of sleep impacts the release of this hormone, if we have bad sleep or we wake up growth hormone won´t be at its max which minimizes the results.

I´ve seen many people that want to gain lean muscle mass taking a lot of supplements from protein shakes, weight gainers, multivitamin, fish oils and drugs like steroids (you know by now that I don´t recommend any of this) but they don´t consider stress and sleep. We need to give our muscles the right stimulus for them to grow and then we need to give them the right amount of recovery, the best recovery time is sleep.

If we lack sleep our body won´t use the food we consume throughout the day to get daily functions done and assist in muscle recover and growth. It also affects negatively our performance in the gym, we need to give our all on each workout if we want to grow but a lack of energy and not being recover compromise our workouts and overall results.

Lack of good quality sleep can cause muscle loss and weight gain from fat, an easy way to keep things under control is with sleep. We need to eat more to grow but if our body can´t handle the extra food properly we´ll gain fat instead of muscle.

When we get good quality sleep we feel more energized so our workouts are intense and we are able to stay focused so it´s easier to maintain our eyes on the goal.

If our goal is lean muscle mass with the least amount of fat sleep can help us keep fat low while increasing muscle, it is crucial that we have control and our body works in an efficient way. All hormones, neurons, chemicals, neurotransmitters they all get triggered what we need to do is use them to send the right messages and to work to our favor.

Having good quality sleep can be affected by different things including stress and this can cause that we wake up during night. Your sleep has 3 phases and during those phases our body has several functions and things to do, if we wake up we interrupt those functions. If the internal clock of our body and its functions gets out of rhythm our body won´t recover, repair and reenergize for the next day.

What we eat before we go to bed impacts not only the quality of your sleep, also our recovery. Protein is crucial for muscle repair and muscle growth, when we go to sleep our body turns to a catabolic state so if you have a protein before we go to bed we can increase protein synthesis and maintain our body in an anabolic phase for a longer period of time. The benefits of this is that we are giving our body nutrients to recover and build muscle before we sleep so it can get the job done in a more efficient way.

Fat loss and muscle growth are simple but we need discipline, consistency and work on the 5 principles of fitness. The right training combined with proper nutrition, enough quality sleep, low stress and the right mindset is what´s going to give us the best results.

There are some simple things we can do every day to improve the quality of our sleep and also to change and develop good habits that help us achieve our goals in a simple way and live a better life.

It would mean so much to me if you share this post with your friends and family and if you follow me on Twitter and Facebook, together we can help millions live a better life.

Pam

Fitness goals

Best diet for muscle growth

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Do you believe that when our goal is muscle growth we can eat everything we want?

Many people in the industry take muscle growth goals as a bulk phase where they eat more than what their body needs and gain some muscle and a lot of fat, they also eat more unhealthy foods because they can eat more so they add more cheat meals to their program.

It doesn´t matter what´s our fitness goal we need to follow a nutrition program that we can stick to as a lifestyle, that keep us healthy, that support a healthy weight and the one that makes us feel great and perform at peak. The only thing we do is change the amount of food we consume according to our current goal.

The best diet is one that focus on all 3 macronutrients and is more balanced between proteins, fats and carbohydrates, we know that protein is crucial for muscle growth and also skin, hair, nails, etc; we also know that healthy fats are highly important for hormones and energy and carbohydrates are a source of fiber and energy.

We need to keep protein high around 1.5 grams per pound of bodyweight, fats around 0.5 grams per pound of bodyweight and for carbohydrates we can go from 1.5 to 2 grams per pound of bodyweight. Take this numbers a guide and adjust as necessary. It´s possible to gain muscle in a ketogenic diet we just need to make sure that we´re getting the right amount of protein.

For muscle growth we need to be in a calorie surplus and we can adjust that calorie surplus each day according to our workout by using a tool called carbohydrate cycling, the days of resistance training we go high in carbohydrates and the extra calories we need will come from carbohydrates, on cardio and rest days we can los carbohydrates and stay at maintenance.

Foods like eggs, meats, poultry, fish, yogurt, nuts and seeds are great options for protein and fats, extra virgin olive oil and coconut oil are great for cooking, vegetables are a great source of fiber which is also important for our gut health, oats, amaranth, quinoa, corn tortilla and brown rice are a good option for carbohydrates, beans and lentils are also good.

We need to listen to our body, even when we´re eating whole, fresh foods there are some of them than can cause problems in our stomach and make us feel bad, we need to find which those foods are and avoid them. We need to make everything easier for our body by finding the foods that work best for us, the ones that are easier to digest, the ones that doesn´t cause any negative impact on our stomach, that give us energy and increase performance and productivity. 

Whole, fresh foods are always the best option for any fitness goal including muscle growth but for some of us it may be difficult to get the right amount of nutrients especially protein this is why some people use supplements like protein powders, or BCAAs.

It would mean so much to me if you share this post with your friends and family and if you follow me on Twitter and Facebook, together we can help millions live a better life.

Pam

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Is it hard to maintain muscle?

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Have you ever started a workout program to gain muscle and at some point you wonder if it´s possible to lose that muscle? will all that hard work and effort at the gym can be lost? The short answer is it depends of how we gain that muscle.

We actually don´t need to be that concerned about losing muscle mass because we want to develop the habit of working out and lift weights and if we´re training the right way and if our programs are right there´s no need to take time off but I understand that sometimes we got job travels or we want to take some vacations and it may be hard to find a place and time to workout.

We´ve talked before that there are 2 types of hypertrophy and our workout programs can trigger one of them or both, this is what´s going to define if we can maintain the muscle we gain or if we lose it.

In myofribryllar hyertrophy we´re working on 5 to  reps and for sarcoplasmic hypertrophy we work on the 10 to 12 or 15 reps. If we follow a workout program based on 5 to 8 reps we build lean dense muscle, this type of muscle takes more time to build but it also takes more time to lose it, if we follow a program based on the 12 to 15 reps were going to get better results, we will look bigger faster but this type of muscle growth is also lost faster.

The truth is that if we stop working out for months or years we´ll lose muscle, if we don´t use it we lose it. The type of hypertrphy we trigger throughout our workouts and the type of muscle we gain is what makes a difference on how fast would we lose it.

If we focus on strength on the 5 to 8 reps and we train for some years here to get stronger then we build lean dense muscle and it will take more time to lose, we can take a couple of months off the gym and we may not notice a huge difference, this type of muscle is there to last longer and is useful.

If we focus on 12 to 15 reps then we work on the pump, will look bigger but this type of muscle won´t last much, for some just a couple of weeks off the gym is enough to start losing seize, if it comes fast we lose it fast.

This is why the best way to train is to use both types of hypertrophy whether it´s no the same workout or on separate workouts, we can program our workout with cycles and each cycle hit each muscle twice one with low reps around 5 to 8 and the second workout with higher reps around 12 this will help us gain lean dense muscle and also look bigger faster so when we´re on vacation a couple of weeks we can lose some muscle but not all.

Our goal is always to maintain as much muscle mass as possible it doesn´t matter the situation so if we´re going on a trip we may find it hard to train this is why we take time at the gym and put the effort in to build dense muscle that last longer but if we´re able to workout we can´t deny the opportunity, we can use this occasions to work with bodyweight exercises and focus on really high reps, some guys like to do 100 pushups, squats, crunches, this is a great way to vary our workouts and get some exercise in.

It would mean so much to me if you share this post with your friends and family and if you follow me on Twitter and Facebook, together we can help millions live a better life.

Pam

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What we need to know about muscle fibers

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Losing weight and getting in shape is one of the most common goals and then building an amazing physique, if you´ve been on this industry for a long time you know that every year new trends come out just like diets, some people prefer to stick with the basics while others love to try every new workout program, routine or technique.

We don´t need to follow trends, we need to understand how our body works and which tools we can use to achieve our goals, muscle fibers are one of the most important stuff we need to know and understand if we want to get the best results with our program.

We have two types of muscle fibers which are type 1 and type 2, knowing how this two types of fiber works and how you can hit them or target them is key to creating workout programs that lead to our goals.

Type 1 muscle fibers or slow twitch muscle fibers are target with light weights , high reps and short rest periods around the 12 to 15 reps and 30 to 60 seconds rest. This fibers are more efficient at using oxygen and they fire slowly and they can go for long periods of time before they fatigue, this fibers are more useful in marathons, swimming long distances or any activity that follows a steady state pace for long periods of time. This are used for steady state cardio.

Type 2 muscle fibers or fast twitch muscle fibers are target with heavy weights , low reps and long rest periods  around the 5 to 8 reps and 2 to 5 minutes rest. This type of fibers are able to fiber faster generating short burst of power, speed or strength and they fatigue more quickly. This are used for HIIT cardio type of training.

In fitness there are so many different goals and getting in shape is just one of them, improving body composition must be our ultimate goal but we can also gain muscle, improve overall performance, increase strength, increase endurance, etc.

The reason why some people are better in certain sports is because we´re all different and the combination of muscle fibers in each of us have an impact on our performance making us better at some types of activities but practice and our daily habits also play an important part on overall performance.

Knowing the combination of muscle fibers we possess and having a clear goal makes it possible for us to design a workout program that get us the results we´re looking for by considering our genetics and making use of them in the best way possible and not as an excuse.

If you are an professional athlete then it´s best to focus on your sport otherwise for normal people like me is not only about looking great is also about performing great in our daily activities so we our goal is to improve body composition and improve overall performance but we don´t need to get to any extreme is about getting in our best shape possible and for this we need to work both types of muscle fibers and this can be done with both types of training, cardio and resistance.

As you can see things can get really complex, whether we use this information or not depending of our goals is important that we understand how our body works at least the basics so that we can design a workout program that works for us. There are so many different programs out there which will give us results for a period of time but creating a personalized program for each of our goals based on our body and what we love will get us higher, it´s not the same to buy programs and depend of those than to have the information we need to create our own.

It would so much to me if you share this post with your friends and family and if you follow me on Twitter and Facebook, together we can help millions live a better life.

Pam

Fitness goals

Training tools for muscle growth

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Building muscle takes time, we need to be patient but if we want to gain muscle while staying lean we need to pay close attention to our workout program, nutrition and sleep so that everything is working together making sure that we are able to gain muscle without gaining too much fat.

For training there are two training tools that we need to consider which are:

Resistance training

We know that lifting weights is key for any program and for muscle growth we need to focus on both types of hypertrophy (click here if you want to learn about hypertrophy) so we need to work on the 6 to 8 rep range with bodyweight and compound movements and we also need to add isolation exercises to work in the 10 to 12 or even 15 reps.

We also need to consider volume, since we are eating more we can add more volume to our workouts to give our muscles the stimulus they need to grow, if we combine both types of hypertrophy we will be working with enough volume and we also need to consider the frequency which is one of the variables of training, (click here to learn more about this variable) for muscle growth working each muscle 2 times a week gives us the best results.

Cardio training

Some of us hate cardio and as we´ve seen in other posts it´s not the best way to lose fat and of course we can skip completely for muscle growth but we can´t deny that it has amazing benefits for health and it can help us recover from our workouts so if you still want to add cardio to your workouts you can do 20 to 30 minutes of steady state.

Another way we can use cardio is by practicing any sport, from soccer, basketball, boxing, swimming, jump rope. It can also help us burn some calories so it gives us the freedom to eat a little more.

As for any fitness goal we need to make sure that we´re working as hard as possible in the gym, we need to make every rep count and every workout count, the more effort we put in every work the better the results, we need to give our all if we want amazing results. Remember that our results go in direct proportion to our effort, hard work and consistency.

When we combine both types of hypertrophy with moderate volume and frequency we got the right workout program for muscle growth but we can´t forget that our nutrition needs to be in point, we need to give our body enough nutrients to recover and grow. Exercise gives our body and muscle the stimulus to grow and nutrition give our body the nutrients to repair, and grow and sleep is necessary also to recover and grow.

If we don´t get this 3 principles of fitness right we won´t get the results we´re looking for, I know it may be a lot of information but our goal is that you understand how things work so that you can design your own programs for any fitness goal, you can follow our Ultimate Muscle Growth program that we created considering the 5 principles of fitness and applying all the information we share, it´s all laid down there you only need to put the hard word and be consistent.

It would mean so much to me if you share this post with your friends and family and if you follow me on Twitter and Facebook, together we can help millions live a better life.

Pam

Fitness goals

Nutrition tools for muscle growth

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For most of us our fitness journey starts from insecurities, whether we are overweight and want to lose weight and get in shape or we are skinny and we want to gain muscle. Whatever the case if we follow the right program we can get obsessed with improving our physique which takes us to a research time to find the best tools to gain lean muscle mass without too much fat.

For some of us trying to gain muscle while staying lean can be hard to do, some prefer to go through a bulking phase where they can gain a lot of weight but if we don´t control the amount of food we eat we can end gaining a lot of fat and not much muscle mass and then we need to go through a cutting phase to lose all that extra fat.

Going through bulking and cutting phases is not the best way to do it for some of us so there´s one tool that can help us gain lean muscle mass without too much fat so that we stay lean and maintain a good physique and this tool is:

Carbohydrate cycling

This tool is great at helping us gain muscle mass while staying lean. Of course this tool apply if we´re following a more balanced diet between protein, fats and carbs.

For this tool we have 3 different days, one high carb day, one moderate carb day and one low carb day. We need to fit each day according to our workout program, on days where we do resistance training we go high carb, on days we do cardio we can go moderate card and on rest days we go low carb.

For high carb days we will be in a calorie surplus meaning that we´re eating more and those extra calories come from carbohydrates, this days the extra calories can go up to 500, on moderate days we also follow a calorie surplus but that extra calories only increase from 250 – 300 calories and on low carb days we eat at maintenance.

The reason why I said that on cardio days we can go moderate carbs is because on those days we can also go low carb or maintenance, it all depends of how our body responds and how we feel.

By increasing calories and carbs on resistance training days we make sure that we give more energy to our body the days it needs them more and on rest days where we don´t use that much energy we keep calories at maintenance so that we don´t lose weight but we don´t gain weight neither. Cardio days are the ones we need to make more trial and error to find out if we need a little calorie surplus or if we can stay at maintenance.

Intermittent fasting

We´ve talked about fasting in other posts and all the health benefits and also how it can help us lose fat but it can also help us gain muscle while staying lean.

The best way to use this tool is by fasting every day following an 8 hour eating window and 16 hours fast, the best option is to fit the 8 hour eating window around hour workout time, this way we make sure that we give nutrients to hour body the time it needs them more for energy for the workout and to recover after the workout.

If we combine this 2 tools we will get great results, but we need to be patient, it takes time to build muscle and if we try to speed up the results we´ll end gaining a lot of fat so slow and steady wins.

It would mean so much to me if you share this post with your friends and family and if you follow me on Twitter and Facebook, together we can help millions live a better life.

Pam

Fitness goals

Principles of muscle growth

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Even when muscle growth is more enjoyable than fast loss for the reason that we can eat a little more it still is hard, we need to put in the time, hard work, sacrifice, discipline and patience but it´s not complicated. There´s so many information out there that can be overwhelming so having a guide which we can follow and adjust to fit our needs is very helpful and that´s what we´re going to be talking here.

Before we get to the principles there are 3 points that we need to talk about:

1.- Time

It takes time to build muscle, the more time we´ve been training the more time it will take to gain muscle mass so patience is key. When we´re beginners and we´re starting our fitness journey, it´s easier to gain muscle but as time pass by and we get more trained muscle growth slows down so we need to be really patient and stick to the principles.

2.- Body composition

Our goal is to help get in our best shape possible and sustain it by improving body composition and doing it in a natural way, this means no drugs so we won´t get big. The reason for this is simple, excess weight whether it´s from body fat or muscle mass is dangerous, excess weight leads to health problems because our body needs to work harder.

Now lets go to the principles:

NUTRITION

1. Eat a little more. Our body needs nutrients to recover, grow and build new muscle so we need to make sure that the food we eat is just enough for our body to maintain daily functions plus recover, grow and build that extra muscle but if we eat too much we´ll gain the excess as fat. For some of us 300 calories more is enough, up to 500 calories per day. We can increase carbohydrates to create the calorie surplus and if you want to stay as lean as possible, carbohydrate cycling is the best option. The day of resistance training increase carbohydrates and on rest days or cardio days keep calories at maintenance.

TRAINING

2. Resistance training.- We need to use both types of hypertrophy to get the best results so working on the 6 – 8 rep ranges and also 8 – 12 is the best option. We need enough volume and frequency training for each muscle group so hitting each muscle 2 times per week is the best option, and we need to work to failure or past failure at least in one exercise per muscle group or in the last set of all exercises.

3. Cardio training.- Doing some cardio on rest days is great to help us stay lean.

MINDSET

4. Realize that is takes time to build muscle, do not try to gain too much muscle mass fast because you´ll end gaining a lot of fat, slow and steady wins the race if we want to keep fat as low as possible.

5. Push pass the pain, we need to challenge our body in order for it to change, we need to make sure that we´re making progress every workout this is why progressive overload and periodization are great training tools to make sure that we get the results we want.

SLEEP

6. We need 8 hours of good quality sleep every night, our body and muscles needs to recover after hitting them hard so they can grow, a big part of that recovery and growth gets done while we sleep. Turn off all electric devices 30 minutes before going to bed and use those 30 minutes to do some breathing exercises to calm your mind and relax your body and muscles which improves the quality of sleep.

STRESS

7. Keep stress as low as possible by avoiding negative people and negative situations, if you can´t do that which I know it´s difficult just don´t take things personal, do not worry about what others think and say of you, focus on yourself on being better every day.

This 7 principles are the best strategies for muscle growth with as less fat as possible, I know it seems like a lot but I´m sure you can do it. Remember that the more time you´ve been working out the more time it takes to build muscle so be patient and follow this principles for as long as you need, you can make the adjustments you need to make them fit your lifestyle and your progress.

It would mean so much to me if you share this post with your friends and family and if you follow me on Twitter and Facebook, together we can help millions live a better life.

Pam