You don't have to be a bodybuilder to grow your muscles and shape a hard body. Have you been unsuccessful at transforming your body? Do you know why your efforts have failed? Focus on the long-term goals of lower body fat, a leaner body and permanent weight loss. This will also help you achieve your best health possible.
Here are 6 tips to build muscle mass and burn fat faster:
1. Eat small meals of whole, natural foods every 2-3 hours. You have to eat enough of the right foods, all the time, for your body to work properly. Keeping your body in an anabolic state all the time aids your metabolism, muscle-building, body repair and overall long-term health.
Hopefully, your nutrition plan includes protein with every meal. Eating complete proteins from sources like eggs, low-fat diary and fish gives your body a steady stream of protein throughout the day. Research has proven that protein keeps blood sugar levels more steady and helps you feel fuller for a longer period. Protein also keeps the hunger hormone, ghrelin, in check so your hunger doesn't spike so high.
Post-workout nutrition is important to help your body recover from intense strength training. There is a 30-45 minute window where replenishing your body's fuel will optimize your tissue's repair and growth. And, it will help you recover and get ready for your next workout. Your post-workout meal should consists of mainly fast digesting carbohydrates and protein. A shake or smoothie works well after a workout.
2. Increase your muscle mass to permanently speed up your metabolism and burn more calories and fat during the day and at rest. Muscle is metabolically active tissue and your body has to work harder to maintain muscle.
Here are some effective ways to build muscle mass:
a. Do more strength exercises that work major muscle groups. Exercises like squats, planks, pullups, deadlift, walking lunges and rows are good examples.
b. Strength train your body in all 3 planes of motion. Use strength exercises that require rotations, turning, twisting and side-to-side motions. This will definitely challenge your body more.
c. Superset strength training allows you to do more work because one muscle group can rest while you work the opposing muscle group. Pair two non-competing exercises such as squats and shoulder presses, completing each exercise back to back without rest.
d. Unilateral exercises are more intense than bilateral exercises. So, Bulgarian split squats are more intense than two-legged squats.
e. Do complex strength training. You would superset a power exercise with a biomechanically similar strength exercise. An example would be pairing repeating full-speed squat jumps with barbell squats. The barbell squats would be performed 1-2 minutes after the squat jumps.
This is an advanced training method and should not be performed by those who do not have adequate stabilization strength and muscular strength.
f. Do more full speed exercises. Medicine ball, dumbbell and kettlebell exercises are good choices.
g. Your body will adapt and your progress will stall if you do the same basic workout all the time. Ways to change up your workouts are:----do new exercises, increase the amount of weight, add a balance component, workout on different surfaces, take less rest time between sets, etc.
3. Shorten your long cardio sessions. A 20-minute sprint interval cardio session will give you more fat-burning, muscle-sparing and heart-health benefits than a slower 60-minute cardio session. Too many long, slow cardio sessions will waste away your muscle mass.
Do more bodyweight cardio workouts. These workouts give you a dual strength and cardio benefit.
4. Add more plyometric exercises (jump training) to your workouts. Plyometric exercises are very intense and effective. Examples would be weighted squat jumps and box jumps.
Power exercises recruit more muscle fibers (mainly bulky, fast-twitch fibers) more frequently which helps the fat-burning process. Recruiting your fast-twitch muscle fibers during your workouts will give you a more lean, toned looking body. Competitive athletes in speed sports have hard bodies because they train fast most of the time. You are also an athlete who can train fast.
5. Its important to recover from your strength workouts to rebuild your muscles bigger. That means eating properly and spacing your strength workouts about every 3 days.
6. Get adequate sleep every night (7-9 hours). Research confirms that your body will release more growth hormone during deep sleep. Growth hormone is vital for muscle building and fat loss.
Start building your body now. Don't wait until January!