With the months going by as fast as they are, summer will be here in no time. What this means is that you either have to give up on your dreams of a beach bod by now, or just get to work. We know it might seem intimidating, but with the right approach, you can get some very substantial gains just in time for beach weather. Follow these seven tips to a tee and watch how your gains increase before your very eyes.
#1 Get some decent food in you
If you’re in any way interested in leading a healthy lifestyle, you know that it’s not workouts that really get you into shape. A good physique starts in the kitchen. Needless to say, you’re much more likely to achieve the results you want if you actually take matters into your own hands. Say goodbye to frozen meals and fast food and say hello to homemade, nutritious goodies. It’s the perfect opportunity to build up your cooking skills and have some fun being creative.
But just cooking on your own is half the battle. In order to really maximize your gains, you need to make sure your food is rich in all the right ingredients. In this case, it’s protein. The easiest way to get a lot of protein in you is by eating lots of high-quality meat (ideally, chicken or, if you must go red, beef), but that doesn’t mean you can’t get huge when you’re vegan. Legumes are the ideal plant substitute for meat protein, so go wild with chickpeas, lentils and soy – you’d be surprised with how many incredibly tasty and filling meals you can make with them!
#2 What you drink is important too – look out for supplements!
Just taking in protein is only half of the battle, however. It’s how your body is able to process these nutrients that determines your gains. As such, various shakes with amino acids and carbohydrates can actually make your progress much more noticeable.
On that note, it might be a good idea to consider the supplements you’ll be taking in along for your bodybuilding journey. There are various muscle growth supplements available out there, so make sure you pick one that matches your personal needs the best. However, do keep in mind that, as with everything, too much of a good thing can end up kicking you in the nuts. Moderation is key!
#3 Make sure you eat at regular intervals
The thing about building muscle is that you need to give your body the energy to build new protein. The problem is that this happens pretty quickly, so you need to supply your body with fuel pretty often. Ideally, you should eat every three hours. To determine how many calories you should consume at every instance, just divide your daily calorie intake by six. Oh, and be sure to have some protein in every meal.
To be perfectly clear, however, it’s important to maintain a good schedule even on days when you’re not working out. If anything, it’s even more important on your rest days, as that’s when your body does all the work for you. Make sure your diet is rich in carbohydrates on your rest days.
#4 Did we mention you really need to eat a lot?
Just eating well is great if you want to stay in shape, but what if you want to get really jacked? You have to really balloon your calorie intake. It might seem obvious since, after all, if you’re gaining muscle, you’re gaining weight, so it has to come from somewhere, but the key here is that you have to do it with a clear plan laid out and, of course, not stop working out.
#5 Lift weights every other day
It’s all too easy to go overboard with anything, really. That goes for working out in particular. However, you should keep in mind that you need to do everything in a way that makes sense, so don’t even think about trying to go lifting every day. Even if you really like wearing your golfer’s pants, resist the temptation to play every single day. The two main reasons for this are: 1) your body needs the rest time to actually build up the mass you’ve worked for and 2) you’ll be much more likely to get injured if you don’t give yourself some downtime. Give yourself a break and let your body work for you.
#6 Set realistic goals
Here’s a very basic question: how big do you want to get? Do you simply want a nice, toned physique or do you want to get heavyweight bodybuilder-level huge? Your answer to this question will determine your entire workout and nutrition plan. While the first option is attainable to pretty much anyone, in order to achieve the latter, you’ll most likely need a boost in the form of steroids. There is nothing wrong in aiming for that kind of size, but you need to know what you’re getting into before you start.
#7 Be consistent
Rome wasn’t built in a day. By working out regularly and sticking to your previously laid out goals, you can reach tangible results within just a few months. But the aforementioned consistency is the key word here. You can lift weights that are heavier than you six times a day and still not see the gains you want unless you commit and stick to your workout plan. With patience and perseverance, you’ll get where you want to be soon enough.