As you probably know by now with health and fitness, there are thousands of contradictions, thousands of ideas, and thousands of perspectives. However, let us help you by sticking to the basic, and the best, ways to achieve your fitness goals. Now, there’s no immediate way to get washboard abs and arms that could crush a bear, but there are ways you can boost the effectiveness of your gym session, and this will help speed up how long it takes to get ripped.
Diet to Get Ripped
It’s an age old saying, but ‘you are what you eat’ has an annoying ring of truth to it, especially when it comes to your fitness. Maintaining a balanced diet is vital if you want to bulk up in the right way. Although it’s not always easy to plan meals when you’re trying to slim down and on top of that gain muscle, there are a few key foods that you should keep in mind when you’re training.
- Fish: There’s a whole list of benefits to eating fish, but the main things to focus on when you’re trying to bulk up is that it helps increase testosterone, lowers body fat, and enables easier joint movement. It’s also a strong source of protein and if you go with something fresh like wild salmon, you’ll gain a good helping on omega-3 fatty acids.
- Eggs: Again we’re dealing with protein here, and eggs are a great provider. They’re also high in vitamins E, D and A, and are easy to incorporate into your meals.
- Greek yogurt: High in calcium and protein, and helps keep muscles on the go by providing them with a stream of amino acids.
- Greens: We’re talking spinach, kale, chard and all those other food that get called ‘rabbit food’ 80% of the time. These are a great source of iron, fibre, vitamins and yes, again, protein.
- Flaxseeds: These will probably end up stuck in your teeth at least once a week, but with the benefits that come with them, it’ll be worth it. Flaxseeds are great for your heart, they aid in fat burning, keep your mood up, which is vital for that rainy walk to the gym, and are an easy source or omega-3 fatty acids.
- Water: Seems like a no brainer, but something as simple as replacing your morning coffee with a glass of water (I know, not easy to do) is going to drastically help replace that caffeine with clean hydration, ensuring that you stay alert without that crash mid afternoon. Drinking between 2 to 3 litres of water a day is ideal, and will help keep you full, meaning you’ll be less likely to snack on unhealthy alternatives.
As you can see, there’s a lot of protein heavy foods there. Protein is rich in amino acids, which are vital in building, repairing and maintaining muscles. If you didn’t have amino acids you essentially wouldn’t be able to build up muscle, which explains why protein shakes are so popular with gym goers.
Best Supplements to Get Ripped
Now it’s important to eat right if you plan on bulking up, but it’s not always easy to get all the vitamins and minerals you need just from your meals. Taking additional supplements can help boost your body’s levels, and prevent you from falling short on the necessary nutrients you need. It’s important to have a range of vitamins to stay healthy, but if we’re talking specifically building muscles, these are the supplements you should think about investing in.
- Whey Protein Powder: Yep, back to protein, but it really is important when you’re working out. Protein powder can be more useful than protein heavy foods before and after a workout simply because it digests so much faster. Taking some of this 30 minutes before a workout is going to noticeably improve muscle growth.
- Creatine: Creatine is made from three amino acids and increases the amount of fast energy in your muscles. This not only gets you that little but closer to being like Usain Bolt, and allows you to run and lift more in your normal workouts.
- Beta-alanine: It’s a common story – you start a work out, get into the swing on things, and then 20 minutes in you’re exhausted and your muscles are dead. This is because during exercise we accumulate a large amount of hydrogen, which then causes our pH levels to drop, which ends with us falling off the treadmill. Beta-alanine however helps increase the body’s levels of carnosine, which helps delay the build up of hydrogen, and therefore allows our workouts to go on for longer.
- Glutamine: Glutamine has been attributed in helping slow down muscle breakage, and improves your strength threshold, allowing you do to high intensity workouts for longer.
High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
You might have heard of this form of workout, and over the years it’s gained increasing popularity, especially for men who want a workout, but don’t have a whole lot of time on their hands. The general idea of HIIT training is that during your intensive workout your body can’t provide enough oxygen to your muscles, meaning that after you’ve finished your workout your body is still working to get back to normal. This means you’re still burning fat even after you’ve stopped exercising.
There are a tonne of workouts online, and the best thing about most of them is that you can easily get ripped at home, meaning you can avoid those gym fees. It’s important to keep your exercise super intensive (thus the name), so don’t run – sprint, and make sure you’re not doing this for any longer than 45 seconds to avoid overworking your muscles.