To build lean muscle requires training and sound nutrition but there maybe other essentials you are missing out of your routine that will ensure you become an anabolic machine. Check out these 5 tips, a surefire way to see gains like never before!
If you are happy being average then don’t bother reading this post, if however you want to make a serious difference to your results then read on…
You don’t need me to tell you that in order to build muscle, you have to break it down (through training) HOWEVER you it’s essential you then provide the right nutrients, fuel and environment for those muscle fibres to replenish, repair and GROW. Surely that involves just training effectively and eating clean right? HELL NO. There’s more to optimal results:
1) Get good quality sleep
When you sleep it’s where the magic happens. Growth Hormone is secreted and your body detoxify’s, replenishes and builds. If you are missing out on some good quality shut eye then you are destined to fail in your goals, especially long term. One of the most anabolic (building and repairing) things you can do regardless of your training is to SLEEP. If you think sleep is for wimps then you are simply just an idiot. Sleep is what champions are made of.
2) Chew your food properly
In the past I was certainly guilty of scoffing my food down like a pig that hadn’t eaten for a week, however, when I started to chew my food properly and really appreciate my meals it worked wonders! The more you chew your food the easier digestion will be and the more nutrients you will absorb. Remember it’s not simply “You are what you eat” but rather “You are what you absorb”.
3) Chill out fool
Excessive stress is incredibly catabolic. This involves your body breaking down tissues and is no good thing if you are trying to build muscle. Stress and sleep are huge when it comes to achieving your goals and health in general. Even with the cleanest nutrition and structured training, excessive stress and lack of sleep will kick your backside quicker than Mike Tyson.
– Invest in some epsom salts and have a 30-40 minute soak 3 times a week. You can get a 25kg bag from here. Great way to relax.
– Go for a walk. Studies show a 60-90 min walk can reduce cortisol and boost serotonin (feel good brain chemicals) by up to 100%.
– Listen to a podcast or some chillout music. Both are a great way to switch off and relax a little.
4) SMASH it up
A big mistake people often make in their quest to build the body of an adonis is they go crazy on red meat, poultry and my favourite bacon :-). Whilst these foods are great, eating too much of them can mess with your omega 3:6 balance as these foods are naturally higher in 6 than 3. Stay on top of your inflammation by eating more oily fish, Wild Salmon, Mackerel, Anchovies, Sardines & Herring are all very high in omega 3 fatty acids and will make sure you can still train like a beast. Check out our book “Fitter Food – A Lifelong Recipe For Health & Fat Loss” for some ideas on how to pimp up your fish dishes. Personally I ensure 5-6 of meals each week are fish based.
5) Don’t be afraid to miss a training session:
One thing I emphasise a lot to my clients is learning to listen to your body and make the right decision at the right time. Many people feel obligated to train even when they may have had a crap day at work, feel excessively stressed or had a bad night’s sleep. Just because it was in your plan/programme it does not mean you will atrophy over night. Don’t get me wrong, don’t use this as a cop out to be lazy and skip training but use it as some genuine advise. There is a great article in Men’s Fitness this month about the coaches of England’s Rugby League team and how they gauge their sleep quality and recovery to decide what training they do that day or whether they may need to opt for some recovery work instead. They add the number of hours they slept to a rating of the quality of their sleep (5 = top dollar, 1 = shockingly bad) and if the answer is >10 they would train and if <10 they would perform a recovery protocol. When I may not be feeling too hot yet still genuinely want to train I simply reduce the volume of my training and focus on movement. I don’t place any pressure on myself to kick my arse. This way I feel better for it, recover and go back all guns blazing in my next workout. It’s awesome pushing yourself but just know where to draw the line.
It’s worth noting that I saw the best gains in my training, strength, recovery and body composition by following these exact tips. See the bigger picture guys, don’t over look these bad boys unless you want to just be average.
Yours in strength, food and awesomeness,