When most people think of building muscle and gaining weight, it seems like quite a long process with a lot of work involved. However, generally this is because people aren’t really sure of the best techniques to use or the latest research involved, which can both speed up the process.
Let’s face it, it seems like we all want more definition in our legs, arms and abs. I can’t think of one woman who wouldn’t like that perfect, subtle, feminine line on her bicep, or a man who doesn’t want a big chest and arms. However, for most these results have seemed nearly impossible to achieve…until recently.
Below are five simple ways to help you build muscle and gain weight fast:
1. Eat protein before bed and prior to working out
New research in the Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise reports that taking 20 grams of protein after working out, and then again half an hour before bed, increases muscle growth naturally. You body will be working for you while you sleep!
It is important to know that 20 grams of protein equates to seven ounces of Greek yogurt. Don’t like Greek yogurt? You can also get this protein by gulping down two large glasses of low-fat milk! How simple is that!
2. Do resistance exercise training
The most effective way to increase muscle strength and muscle mass is resistance exercise training. Resistance exercise is usually done with free weights or weight machines; however, fast sprints on an ergometer at high resistance can also achieve increases in strength and mass.
To ensure one doesn’t burn out and can pack on the weight from resistance training, one study in the European Journal of Sport Science mentioned the importance of restoring the depleted glycogen in your muscles by consuming carbohydrates (>1 g per kg) and protein (>10g) early after an exercise session.
3. Take creatine supplements
To assist resistance training and get faster results, there are a few proven supplements that have been known to help. One of which is creatine, and when taken over several days, it has been proven to increase your body mass through water retention. It can also increase your ability to lift more weights in a high-intensity, repetitive ergometer performance. It is important to note that even though supplementation may enhance the strength gains made through training by a small to moderate margin, the trade off is likely to be better results when it comes to bulk.
Sometimes, it doesn’t matter how much you work out or eat, if your organs aren’t functioning properly, or are full of toxins, you may not achieve success. This is why some athletes take very gentle detox teas in the morning or at lunch to help flush the toxins from their kidneys and reduce unwanted inflammation in their bodies. There are a few caffeine-free, yummy, detox teas. One great recommendation I’d make is called Ultra Slender Detox. It’s 100% natural and just contains herbs. It’s also known for helping with skin issues and for increasing energy. This is great to take in the morning when you wake up to kick start your day, and so you will get the most from your workout.
5. Conjugated linoleic acid supplements
You may be wondering what the heck “conjugated linoleic acid” is and how it is different from other supplements out there. Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) is actually very important to human health and is a slightly altered form of an omega-6 fatty acid. It’s derived from many of the foods we eat, including meat and dairy products.
So what is so special about CLA? Well, CLA supplementation has been shown to improve the lean mass to body fat ratio; decreasing fat deposition, especially on the abdomen, and enhancing muscle growth. CLA achieves this reaction by reducing body fat though enhancing insulin sensitivity so that fatty acids and glucose can pass through muscle cell membranes and away from fat tissue. This results in an improved muscle to fat ratio.
One study out of Norway also had great results with CLA. Specifically, researchers were able to prove CLA increases muscle mass. The researchers studied a group of healthy but overweight men and women, who were given 1.7g, 3.4g, 5.1g, or 6.8g of CLA per day. All groups showed significant reduction in body fat and an increase in lean muscle, but this effect was most significant for the two latter groups. Another amazing benefit that was found in this study was that all group participants showed a reduction in blood fat and cholesterol.
Have you tried any of these techniques? Let us know how they worked for you. Have you got any other tips for increasing muscle bulk naturally? Feel free to leave them in the comments below.
More muscle building tips you can't miss: 10 Workout Hacks for Building MuscleFeatured photo credit: Gym man push-up strength pushup exercise with dumbbell in a fitness workout via Shutterstock