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10 Reasons Why You Should Tie Your Shoes And Hit The Gym

10 Reasons Why You Should Tie Your Shoes And Hit The Gym

Exercise is probably the single most important part of any healthy lifestyle. It can transform the way you look and feel — but it seems as if most people focus too much on the “look” portion of it. Yes, exercise can help you lose weight, but if that’s your only motivation it will be very hard to stick to an exercise regimen. There are tons of other benefits of regular exercise besides weight loss; I hope they will motivate you to hit the gym after reading this!

1. You’ll have better sex if you work out

When you work out, you’ll feel better about yourself. When you feel better about yourself, you’ll feel more comfortable with your body. When that happens… let’s just say it’s a better time in between the sheets.

It’s been proven that resistance/strength training improves testosterone levels in men (and women!), and this important chemical will lead to increased energy, mood, and sex drive. You should work multiple large muscle groups (think upper body, lower body, abs) several days a week.

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2. You’ll feel fantastic

Exercise produces a natural high. When you work out, your body releases feel-good chemicals called endorphins, which boost your mood and just make you feel on top of the world.

3. Exercise reduces PMS symptoms

When you’re PMSing, you feel awful. Bloating, cramps and a desire for all things chocolate (at least, that’s how my girlfriend gets!) It may be the last thing you want to do, but being physically active can reduce all these symptoms! It’s even been shown to help with depression during menstrual cycles.

4. Increased confidence

This one is obvious, but should still be mentioned. When you exercise, you feel better, you look better, you’re stronger and you have more energy. All these benefits, in combination with the endorphin boost I mentioned earlier, will have a ripple effect on everything in your life. You’ll feel empowered, in control, and have more confidence.

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5. Regular exercise increases your energy levels

Exercise, despite requiring energy to do, has been proven to increase your overall energy levels. You’ll actually keep going throughout your entire day.

6. Exercise improves cognitive function and memory

Want to be smarter and sharper? Take breaks from exercising your mind to exercise your body. Yes, there are plenty of knuckleheads out there who are strong as a bear with the mind of a gorilla, but that’s because they have the opposite problem — exercise is easy, learning is hard. There have been studies which show physically fit kids to have performed better on standardized tests. Even something as simple as going for a walk boosts brain activity and concentration.

7. Regular exercise will help you sleep better

Studies have shown that an active exercise regimen increases the quality and ease of sleep! Just try not to exercise too close to bedtime.

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8. Strengthens your muscles and bones

Many people stick to cardio and never strength train — this is bad because although cardio helps your cardiovascular system (duh), it doesn’t help keep your muscles and bones strong. In old age, while our cardio system does take a hit, it’s our bones and muscles that go first. When you strength train, you’ll have more strength and energy as you age and you’ll combat all those awful atrophy problems.

9. You’ll be more creative

Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerburg used to hold “walking meetings” in which they went for a walk while they talked about business ideas. There’s a reason for this — light physical activity stimulates the brain and helps us brainstorm. These studies show people who walk, indoors or outdoors, and more creative during the exercise.

10. You’ll feel happier

Of course, the thing everyone wants more than anything else is happiness, right? Well, exercise is one of the keys to fulfilling that desire. Just get up and start moving, and your mood will improve almost instantly.

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I hope these 10 reasons have motivated you to get up and go to the gym, or for a walk, right now! Good luck, and happy exercising!

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Bill Widmer

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Last Updated on November 11, 2018

How to Gain Muscle Fast (The Healthy And Natural Way)

How to Gain Muscle Fast (The Healthy And Natural Way)

There’s a common misconception that building muscle occurs entirely in the gym from exercise and lifting weights. In this article, we are going to debunk this notion that weight lifting and gym exercise yields 100%, or even 90% for that matter, of muscle building results.

So how to gain muscle fast in a healthy way?

Yes working-out is a critical aspect of developing muscle, however it should not be the focal point. Building muscle occurs primarily outside of the gym by way of diet/eating habits, and sleep regimen.

How Is Muscle Developed?

Muscle is developed from damaging the tissue during exercise, and facilitating the most optimal circumstances for repair and growth of those same tissues. This means you will not only need to exercise, but you should focus on carbohydrates around your exercises, and adequate rest and recovery between workouts.

If your focus is building muscle and not losing weight, focusing on a high-carb diet with carb loading around the workout days will yield great results. Yes, you absolutely can lose fat and build muscle following a low-carb diet, but you’ll make faster progress if you follow a high-carb diet instead. Now don’t take that as a green-light to stuff your face with pasta, bread, and all sorts of other carb-heavy foods.

Let’s examine Glycogen – a multibranched polysaccharide of glucose that serves as a form of energy storage in humans. Muscle glycogen is a form of carbohydrate that’s stored in your muscles and liver. Glycogen is the primary source of fuel during exercise, and low glycogen levels decreases your ability to gain strength and muscle. The best way to maintain high levels of muscle glycogen is to eat a high-carb diet, with around 1 to 3 grams of carbs per pound of body weight.

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The time of ingestion of a carbohydrate supplement on muscle glycogen storage post exercise was examined in a study with twelve male cyclists that exercised continuously for 70 min on a cycle ergometer at 68% VO2max, interrupted by six 2-min intervals at 88% VO2max, on two separate occasions. The results suggest that delaying the ingestion of a carbohydrate supplement post-exercise will result in a reduced rate of muscle glycogen storage.

How to Gain Muscle Fast?

If you want to gain muscle as quickly, safely and efficiently as possible, then you want high muscle glycogen levels. Here’s a few effective approaches to building muscle:

Muscle Growth and Glycogen Levels

The primary driver of gaining muscle and its growth is progressive tension overload, which involves exposing your muscles to increasingly greater levels of tension over time. The most effective way to achieve this is to get as strong as possible on heavy compound lifts (squat, bench press, deadlift, over head press, bent over barbell rows..etc).

When you keep glycogen levels high, you’re going to gain strength faster, which means gaining muscle faster, too. Having higher levels of muscle glycogen will more than likely help you build muscle faster.

Maintaining high muscle glycogen levels also improves post-workout genetic signaling relating to muscle growth and repair.

Muscle Recovery and Glycogen Levels

Not only do higher muscle glycogen levels yield quicker strength gains, it will also improve recovery between workouts.

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On the contrary, low muscle glycogen levels are associated with overtraining, and even increasingly popular low-carb diets, which deplete muscle glycogen. Low glycogen levels also increase cortisol and reduce testosterone levels in athletes, which is a key component needed for building muscle.

Those on a low-carb diets also have reduced insulin levels. Insulin, in addition to helping store nutrients, also has powerful anti-catabolic properties. Basically insulin decreases the rate at which muscle proteins are broken down, which in turn creates a more anabolic environment conducive to muscle growth and development.

Intermittent Fasting (“IF”) and Testosterone

Fasting is not just a beneficial way to manage your weight, caloric intake, and start shredding as I have indicated in previous articles. Some research shows that fasting can be a source of strength enhancement and increases in testosterone stimulation.

As humans age metabolism slows and testosterone production decreases, this simply means that the body will no longer be able to work as efficiently as it did in earlier years. This is one of the primary reasons why you should take more care to your diet.

Research has shown that intermittent fasting can enhance the ability to secrete growth hormone in the body.[1] This is one of the primary reasons why IF is one of the preferred dietary habits of bodybuilders and strength athletes such as myself, whom will utilize an approach that emphasizes fasting phases (2 of 7 days of the week for example).

Research has also shown that IF can increase the bodies ability to signal luteinizing hormone.[2] In non-obese men, an intermittent fasting testosterone study showed that IF increased LH (luteinizing hormone – a testosterone precursor hormone) up to 67% and overall testosterone 180%.

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Luteinizing hormone is one that works in both men and women to enhance our ability to be sexually active and productive. In women, luteinizing hormone can trigger ovulation, and in men, works to stimulate testosterone.

Intermittent fasting also increases levels of a hormone called adiponectin. This increase in adiponectin during the fast helps improve insulin sensitivity. Adiponectin is so effective, in fact, that it’s been shown to reverse insulin resistance in mice.

Gaining Muscle and Macro Nutrients – Protein!

Something that absolutely cannot go overlooked is the protein consumption. Personally, I believe protein should be primarily consumed in food, however if looking to gain muscle, it can often be quite difficult to hit daily macro nutrient requirements.

If one is to build muscle consistently a general rule of thumb is to aim for 1-1.5grams of protein per pound of body weight on a daily basis. So as a 200lb man I would be needing to consume 200grams – 250grams of protein per day. I would aim for the higher consumption on days when very active and training.

As I’m sure you’re aware, it can often be quite difficult to consume that much protein, especially in food! It’s in these cases where supplementing protein isn’t a bad idea and I have discussed in great detail the different types of protein in previous articles.

Generally speaking, I lean towards Whey Protein Isolate, or non-dairy options such as Hemp Protein, or Pea Protein. As of late I have been waking up every morning and consuming one scoop of Hydrolyzed Collagen Protein Bovines from grass-fed beef. Collagen peptides are highly bioavailable and act as building blocks; renewing bodily tissues such as skin, bones and joints.[3]

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Collagen peptides may act as a messenger to the cells and trigger the synthesis and reorganization of new collagen fibers, thereby supporting tissue structure. Consuming protein such as Collagen in the morning is beneficial as the stomachs acids are needed to optimally break-down and absorb protein.

Though this has been a topic of great debate, I also firmly believe adequate carbohydrates are required to build muscle, especially if you are exercising/training often. With all the low-carb movements floating around the internet, there’s lots of misinformation. Muscle-building requires energy which is typically through an increased intake of carbohydrates.

Yes to gain mass, you have to ensure you’re consuming enough protein to rebuild muscle tissue damaged from training; but also consider carbohydrates because gaining size requires filling your muscles with glycogen as we discussed earlier in this article.

Conclusion

If you’re serious about gaining muscle fast the healthy way, it requires commitment and consistency. You will need to exercise and I highly suggest you download MyFitnessPal to track progress, set goals, and maintain diet.

It’s also motivational because you can find like-minded people in the fitness community, or encourage your friends to download the app as well and follow each other. I personally did this when I was losing weight and gaining muscle, and it was a blast to see my own progress and that of people I care about.

As always I’m not just here to write about the steps you need to take, I’m also here to help! You can message me anytime or email me with any questions you may have. I’m more than happy to assist with your muscle building and weight loss goals!

Featured photo credit: Arthur Edelman via how to gain muscle fast

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