Resistance training is a great workout regardless if you are just picking up your first dumbbell or if you spend hours in the weight room lifting heavy weights. For many of us, lifting is a way to get bigger, stronger muscles as well as a way to sculpt a more fit physique. We have listed 3 important tips to make sure your hard earned work shows off big results.
Take a Break
It seems like commonsense to spend countless hours in the gym lifting heavy weights and working every muscle group numerous times that eventually you will walk out looking something like Arnold Schwarzenegger. Fortunately, it doesn’t work that way. Overworking the muscles will not generate new growth. The muscle needs to be stimulated in order to grow; that part is true. However if you overwork the muscle it can have the opposite effect. Not only will you do potential damage to the muscle but you will force it to stop rebuilding itself. Do a fixed number of sets and reps and then move on to the next exercise. If you experience the following symptoms you may be overtraining. Give yourself permission to take a day off or reduce the volume of exercises in order to give the muscles a break.
- Constant muscle soreness
- Increased resting heart rate
- Increased susceptibility to infections
- Increased incidence of injuries
- Lack of motivation
Diet, Diet, Diet
A sculpted body starts in the kitchen. You can work out all day and if you are not eating correctly you will not see the results you are hoping for.
A good diet needs to consist of protein and a lot of it. Protein is necessary to grow new muscle as well repair the muscle after a workout. It is estimated that you should have around 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight. Protein sources come from poultry, meat, dairy, eggs and fish. Without enough protein you will not have as much energy and your body will not transform as quickly as it would if you are consuming enough protein.
Carbohydrates are necessary, especially when you are working out to get results. Carbohydrates supply muscles with energy to function properly especially for quick bursts of energy like strength training. Foods that contain healthy sources of carbs include oatmeal, whole wheat bread, yams and healthy cereals. Vegetables are a source of carbohydrates as well. Consume several servings of veggies a day.
Even though we work out to eliminate fat from the body, healthy fats in the diet are essential. If you completely restrict fat from the diet your body will hold onto the body fat that you have and it will refuse to get rid of it. Aside from losing weight, your body needs healthy fats to lubricate joints and muscles. Fats help your body absorb important nutrients like vitamin A, D and E. You can get a healthy dose of fats in your diet through fish, eggs and nuts. Some people choose to take their healthy fats via a tablespoon of olive oil each day.
Catch Your Z’s
When training your body to look and feel better the one thing you cannot skip on is getting enough sleep. It may feel that the sculpted body comes from the effort you put in at the gym but the reality is that those muscles actually build themselves up at night while we are resting. The workout tears the muscles down; sleep repairs them and builds them up.
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