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Last Updated on December 17, 2020

5 Ways To Build Muscle Quickly

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5 Ways To Build Muscle Quickly

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:

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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.

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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.

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build muscle quickly
    4. Before your start, make sure your intestines are clean

    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.

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    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.

    Featured photo credit: Victor Freitas via unsplash.com

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    Last Updated on October 4, 2021

    5 Best Exercises for Weight Loss at Home

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    5 Best Exercises for Weight Loss at Home

    With the lines of work and home becoming increasingly blurry, it’s no wonder why we struggle to find the time to prioritize our health. Particularly with weight loss, it’s often difficult to manage the ever-present constraints around work, children, time to exercise, and the feeling of exhaustion at the end of the day.

    Taking the effects of stress and the rise of remote work and work-from-home situations, we need to be far more tactical in our weight loss pursuits. Quite often, these exercises for weight loss at home aren’t even fitness-related.

    Firstly, let’s look at a standard day in the life of a busy professional or parent to really understand the battlefield in which we need to operate.

    We all have 24 hours in a day to work with. Knowing how we spend that 24 hours is crucial when learning where time will be best spent for our weight loss journey. Setting unrealistic expectations can be a quick way to end up back at square one.

    • Sleep: 8 hours (parents, if you’re lucky)
    • Work: 8 hours (sometimes more)
    • Children: 2 to 4 hours (includes pickups, drop-offs, and play)
    • Meal Preparation: 1 hour (at a minimum)
    • Household Activities: 1 to 2 hours (because someone’s got to do it, right?)
    • Total: 20 to 22 hours

    Taking into account that switching between tasks takes time and cognitive space, we can start to understand why people just want to sit and scroll through social media at the end of a day. We also haven’t factored in the work commute if you have to report to the office.

    Just realized you now have minimal time to yourself? This might start to explain why you struggle to gain momentum in your weight loss journey. Let’s work out how to take back the initiative:

    • Automate – Are there any tasks you can automate? If you’re fortunate enough to be gainfully employed, maybe it’s time to hire a cleaner or have ready-made meals delivered to your door. It doesn’t have to happen every night, but removing the decision of “what’s for dinner?” can be a great way to reduce stress and free up brain space and time.
    • Optimize – If you’re time-poor with kids, it’s time to optimize your activities. Turn screen time into playtime outdoors, and get them to join in on your activities. If your children are old enough, it might be time to start offering pocket money for chores and meal preparation. This strategy helped me stay fit as a single parent. By getting out and active with my son, I doubled my return on investment by staying fit and enhancing my relationship.
    • Eliminate – We’re only human. Sometimes, we simply have too much on our plate due to our high expectations. Take a look through your daily tasks and work out what can be removed.

    Now, go through this exercise yourself. What potential spare time do you have to work with? If the answer is none, you might want to keep reading.

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    Exercise Selection: It’s Not All About the Burn

    No equipment? No problem.

    So, we’re finally tracking the elements that matter. It’s time to start leveraging exercise to accelerate our weight loss journey. Alongside focusing on individual exercises that help with weight loss at home or caloric expenditure, we’re going to focus on another method to help keep you consistent and accountable for the long term: interest.

    Interest has been linked as one of the key motivating factors to maintain consistency towards a goal. By choosing a form of exercise that your body and mind can enjoy, your chances of weight loss success are far greater.

    Here’re the 5 best exercises for weight loss at home:

    1. Low-Intensity Interval Training (LIIT)

    Maybe the body isn’t what it used to be, and intense forms of training simply just aren’t safe anymore. Also considering the body’s response to stress, it might be in our very best interest to choose low-intensity activities that we can repeat daily.

    Mobility and movement flows have risen in popularity in recent years. This form of exercise focuses on restoring range of motion (ROM), improving stability, and returning people to activity. Some exercise options include:

    • Quadruped Rocks
    • Frog Stretch
    • Hip Prying
    • Scapula Push-ups
    • Hindu push-ups

    Below is a 10minute warm-up flow that shows you how to put all of this together:

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    2. Yoga

    Yoga is another perfect example of LIIT methodology that can be advanced as your ability improves. Focusing on mobility, stability, and range of movement using only your body weight, it’s a perfect entry-level activity for those that may have lost their way on their weight loss journey.

    3. Calisthenics

    Strength training at home can be difficult when you lack equipment or experience. An obvious path to building strength at home is calisthenics. Starting with just the following basic bodyweight movements:

    You can begin your journey with no equipment and build to quite an advanced level. Here are five movements you can look to master over time are:

    Depending on your ability, choose movements that allow you to progress safely over time. There is also gymnastics-based training you can move towards if your body is ready for a more demanding form of training.

    4. Aerobic Exercise

    Another underrepresented form of exercise, aerobic exercise is often overlooked for its sexier counterparts like strength and HIIT. With the prevalence of obesity nearly tripling between 1975 and 2016 and the major cause in adults being cardiovascular disease, it makes sense to focus on activities that improve cardiovascular or heart health.

    Another benefit is that it can be as simple as getting your steps in, going for a swim, or going for an easy ride or run. Phil Maffetone pioneered the Maximum Aerobic Function (MAF) Method that almost anyone can adopt regardless of fitness level and experience.[1]

    Here’s a 30-minute session of aerobic exercises you can try:

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    5. High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

    High-intensity interval training is a great way to elevate the heart rate and get the endorphins flowing. It can also be super time-effective, giving you a great bang for your buck. Try sequencing some of the movements and exercises above together with minimal rest to keep your heart rate elevated. Be sure to select movements that suit your current level of fitness and ability.

    Here’s a HIIT workout that takes little time and is suited for any level:

    Chipper 60

    Complete all reps of every exercise for time. Exercises can be done in any order and repetitions to complete the workout.

    If you can’t do jump squats, regress to normal squats, and don’t be afraid to change the leg raises to a 60-second plank if you need to. Finish up with some light stretching or foam rolling.

    What Also Matters: Sleep, Stress, and Stimulants

    Sleep, stress, and stimulants, also known as the hamster wheel of death. Tracking these elements gives us the power to finally stop relying on our ever-depleted stores of discipline and motivation to get the job done. It will also highlight the self-destructive habits that sabotage your weight loss journey.

    Simply put, stress affects stimulants, sleep affects stress, and the vicious cycle continues.

    Sleep

    Are you getting enough sleep? It’s well documented that sleep is an important factor in weight loss and recovery.

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    “Restricted sleep and poor sleep quality may lead to metabolic disorders, weight gain, and an increased risk of obesity and other chronic health conditions.”[2]

    Start this journey by tracking how much sleep you’re getting. Certain wearables can also track the amount of movement and time you spend awake or in lighter sleep cycles. Getting enough time in REM or deep sleep is critical for weight loss.

    Stress

    We don’t need to be fancy. A simple daily measurement out of ten indicates how much stress we think we are under. Using this number, we can observe the effects that sleep, stimulants, and exercise have on our stress levels, allowing us to deploy the right strategy for our weight loss goals.

    Stimulants

    Stimulants can be classified as anything we put in our mouths. Tracking calories, alcohol, and caffeine is a great way to observe, predict, and avoid trends or at-risk periods of overeating and destructive behaviors. Tracking this is aligned with how well we sleep, and our stress response gives us enough information to start forming better weight loss habits.

    Work to identify the trigger, observe the response, and then look to adjust.

    Final Thoughts

    Whether you’re fighting fit or returning to activity, the best exercises for weight loss at home are the ones that you can do day in day out that you enjoy. Think of exercise for weight loss as we do for compound interest. Consistently and regularly making deposits may not show immediately, but with time, they give you the momentum you need to reach your goals.

    Featured photo credit: Olivia Bauso via unsplash.com

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    Reference

    [1] PhilMaffetone: Maximum Aerobic Function
    [2] SleepFoundation.org: Why is sleep so important to weight loss?

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