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The Digital Age is Impacting our Fitness Goals

The Digital Age is Impacting our Fitness Goals

At the start of every year, thousands of people attempt to trim the holiday fat from their waistline. Most of us will abandon this mission before the end of the first week as we slip back into our ordinary daily routines. There are a multitude of reasons why we cannot seem to keep our resolutions. Some are obvious, while others are totally oblivious to us.

Marketing plays a huge role, believe it or not.

Holiday treats that are sold at discount prices during boxing week are hard to resist. They are likely the first thing you will see as you enter into a department store for the first few weeks of the year. And yes, it is done on purpose to tempt you. Of course, we cannot blame boxing week sales for our own misgivings. However, it does not help when you see your favorite snacks everywhere you go.

It is hard for some people to resist discounted prices (also considered a marketing tactic).

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We live in a digital age that is ruled by instant gratification.

At the press of a button, we can order food, do our banking, shop online, and even engage in work activities. This is the reason that Amazon is the top digitally-powered company. In fact, their drones may be delivering pizza to your door someday soon. Humans no longer need to engage in face to face communications.

As a result, hiding behind a computer screen has had a significant impact on how we take care of ourselves. Why? We care less what people think of how we look or act when they can’t see us. And, if they don’t agree, or have any significance to what we need or want (at the time), we swipe over them or delete them. But taking care of ourselves takes effort – there is no app for that.

Social connections are at the mercy of our technology.

Just as I typed that I could hear my mother screaming in my head, “You shouldn’t care what anyone thinks.” There you have it: The biggest conundrum we are facing as a society right now.

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Just when most of us “baby boomers” have finally gotten to the point in our lives that we don’t care about what others think, I am starting to think that we should, and that we need to. It provides checks and balances for how we portray ourselves to the world.

These are some questions that will likely be at the forefront of discussions about this subject in the future:

  • If we don’t care, what happens next?
  • Will we end up not caring at all?
  • Will our DNA change as a result of our lifestyle choices?
  • Has it already?

It seems that fashion and style are the only things that motivate us these days.

“The choice to lose weight is often a result of vanity, not healthy choices. If you ask most women, they will say the best way to a nice body is through the butt,” claims Fitness Goals expert Katelyn Michaud. Yes, people, we are that vain. According to fashion gurus like Simon Perez, who underwent a major weight reduction himself, there is even bigger news. Style trends are leaning toward more simplistic, almost binary type fashions. If this happens, there will be no need to worry what you look like at all.

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Throw virtual reality technology and autonomous cars in the mix and you can see that the future is shaping up to be a less healthy place. At least there will be more time to spend working on getting in shape.

Thankfully, according to a recent report on CJAD radio, there is a new technology in development that may help people deal with these issues. According to its developers, it will provide instant health results – welcoming news for individuals who do not want to connect with anyone. It is proposed to take intermittent pain-free blood tests, monitor your blood pressure and oxygen levels, and test up to 50 key metrics to determine your current health status.

No, it is not a doctor; it is a new fit wristband that is about to knock Polar M600 off the top. In keeping with the fact that style is a motivating factor, a new stylish wristband can’t hurt.

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Featured photo credit: picjumbo.com via pexels.com

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Madeline Foster

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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

Reference

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