Most men dream of having a lean, toned and fit looking physique, something similar to Greg Plitt or Vin Diesel. Achieving that look requires a combination of a great diet and hard work in the gym. Where many people fall down is that they start with the diet, and then find that losing weight didn’t reveal the muscular, ripped physique they thought was hiding under that layer of fat.
Instead, they end up feeling like a smaller, softer version of themselves. This phenomenon is known as being ‘skinny fat’, but the good news is that it is easy to rectify.
Food for your muscles
To gain muscle you must eat a high protein diet and lift weights. Don’t waste your time with endless hours on the treadmill. Cardiovascular exercise can help to cut fat, but it is resistance training that encourages your body to build muscle.
Good sources of protein include egg whites, cheese, milk and lean meats such as turkey or chicken. According to Nancy Clark’s Sports Nutrition Guidebook, an adult who is attempting to gain muscle mass needs to consume 0.6g or more protein per pound of lean body mass. This is significantly more than the recommendations for the general population, and it may be difficult to get that amount of protein from whole foods alone.
If you feel that you need help with bulking out, taking protein shakes is a good choice. Protein shakes will not help you if you are not putting time into the gym but they do offer a good boost to people who are already working hard, and are simply struggling with recovery time and gaining muscle mass. A high quality whey protein shake and a multivitamin are perhaps the two most important supplements that anyone serious about improving their physique should take.
Rest and recovery
Another common mistake made by people who are trying to bulk is to spend too much time in the gym. It is easy to over-train, especially early in your career. Instead of trying to train five days per week, and ending up wasting time because you are unable to complete sets or to add weight to the bar on a regular basis, pace yourself.
Train just three or four times per week and give yourself time to rest between sessions. Get plenty of sleep and take care over your diet too. Muscle is built in the gym and abs are made in the kitchen. You need both aspects of your lifestyle to be on point to achieve success.
Finally, try to stay away from alcohol. The occasional drink will not ruin your diet, but at this time of year there is a lot of pressure to over-indulge. Limit yourself to just one or two drinks on a weekend and try to drink lots of water throughout the day. Remember that alcohol is quite calorie dense and those extra calories can quickly mount up, especially during a long night out.
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Source: Authority URL: http://www.rice.edu/~jenky/caryn/protein.html