Want to build a great physique? Here are 10 steps to help you obtain a fit and healthy body:
1. Discover your “Why” – This is the first, and most important step to building a great physique. You MUST know why you are trying to build a great physique. You need to know this because, when times get tough, when you hit a plateau, knowing your “why” is going to be the reason that you push through that particular stumbling block. For me, some of my “why’s” for getting in shape was the death of my father from Diabetes Type II and also seeing myself in a overweight and unhealthy state. It is imperative that you find the reason why you want to build a great body, no matter how big or small the reason may seem to be. Finding your “why” is the critical and key first step to the physique of your dreams.
2. Know your caloric range & don’t exceed it – Use freedieting.com to find the right amount/range of calories you should be consuming in order to lose weight, gain muscle muscle or maintain your weight. Even if you are working out consistently, if you are continuously exceeding your caloric intake, then you will eventually gain fat, not muscle. The optimal way to build a great physique is to eat the right amount of calories for your body type & fitness goals, while incorporating cardio and weight lifting into your approach. Even if you miss a workout session or two, if your nutrition plan is solid, you will not gain fat, but rather just maintain your weight and current level of muscularity. Personally, I know that if I consume 2400 calories a day (a high protien, low carb/low fat diet), and workout, I will consistently lose fat about 2 lbs of fat per week.
3. Do cardio 3-5 times per week – Cardiovascular exercise, which can be running, walking, biking, the stairmaster, basketball, high-intensity(hi reps/low rest) weight lifting, etc. is exercise which leads to an elevation in ones heart rate & the burning of calories (burning of fat). Doing cardio 3-5 times per week will lead to weight loss/fat loss, increased stamina, improved mental health and a overall stronger immune system. While weight lifting helps shape your muscles, cardio helps to burn overall body fat in order for the muscles underneath the fat to be revealed.
4. Lift weights 3-5 times per week – Lifting weight 3-5 is a big key to building a great physique. Once a person’s overall body fat is low, defined muscles will begin to show. Weight lifting will surely help shape one’s physique in a great way. Generally, doing 3-4 sets of 10 exercises for each major bodypart (Chest, Biceps, Triceps, Shoulders,Traps, Abs, Back and Legs) is a great starting point to building a great physique. An important part of this is to ensure that are your progressing (lifting heavier weight throughout the weeks, months and years, as your fitness progresses).
5. Take Whey Protein after every work – Whey protein (a dairy by-product) is a muscle building supplement, that when taken directly after a workout, has been shown to absorb quickly in the body, to enhance the muscle building process. When you lift weights, you are tearing into your muscle fibers. Whey helps to repair these muscle fibers quickly, so that you can recover and lift weights with that particular body-part again (48-72 hours later). Whey is NOT a weight loss supplement, (says it right on the side of the container), but it’s a muscle building supplement that can help you gain lean muscle and strength to burn fat through intense exercise more frequently. By far, whey protein been the most instrumental supplement in me building my physique.
6. Use Supplements Wisely – Before you go out and buy each and every fat loss and muscle building supplement, take time to research exactly what you are purchasing, and the benefits (and possible side effects) of the supplement. While supplements can help you build a great physique quickly, you must be aware of what you are taking and the possible effects it will have on you, internally and externally, mentally and physically. A few good resources for what others have to say about supplements are http://supplementreviews.com and http://www.bodybuilding.com/store/protein.htm. The daily supplements that I take are a multi-vitamins, fish oil, calcium (due to me being lactose intolerant) and Whey protein.
7. Get 7-8 hours of sleep every day – Rest is essential to muscle growth andbuilding a great physique. When you lift weights, you are tearing into and stretching your muscles. When you eat properly, you are feeding your muscles. And, when you rest, you are giving your muscles time to grow and recover. Getting a restful, 7-8 hours of sleep will give you the energy and strength to hit it hard at the gym session after session.
8. Schedule your workouts and meal plan – Being organized and scheduling your workouts and meals is going to be key to building a great physique. Try to schedule/write out your workouts a week in advance. Know what body parts you are going to workout, and the days/times you are going to workout. Check out my workout plan as an example. Schedule time for your cardio sessions too. Also,plan your meals. You can use Sunday as a day you prepare your meat and veggies. Freeze the meat and take it to work with you. If you plan at least 80% of your meals and workouts, then you will have a 80% chance of building a great physique. I like to workout 5x per week, eat 3-4 small meals and 2 snacks per day.
9. Track your progress – Purchase a journal to track your meals and workouts. I like the BodyMinder Workout Journal. Or, you can simply buy a notebook or track it all online using a free app like loseit.com. Use whatever method works for you, so that you can have information to look back on, track your progress and make changes as you progress.
10. Drinking plenty of water – Finally, if you want to build a great physique, then you have to stay hydrated. The human body (and muscles for that matter), is comprised of about 70% water. Water helps to both deliver key nutrients throughout the body, keep the body in a regularity state, and helps facility important functions (like bowel movements, flushing toxins and lubricating joints). Drink at least 100 oz (1 gallon) of water per day to build a great physique.
Is this the comprehensive list of muscle building tips? No. But, these are tips from my personal experience of building my physique over the past few years. I hope these tips help you build the physique you’ve always desired.
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