Going from skinny to strong is very difficult for many people to achieve, some people start going on ridiculous diets to get lean and ripped, eating just things like egg whites, fish, chicken and just broccoli.
The problem is just eating these kinds of things can leave you drained with little energy and you could actually lose muscle, training multiple hours per day and lots of cardio is great but without a proper diet it can not only leave you with muscle loss but also wreck your metabolism and thyroid.
You have to build muscle and lose fat healthily from the inside out, there a few ways to do this properly, here are the tips I have compiled to help you do just that without affecting your health.
You already know that caloric deficit leads to weight loss, you’ve probably heard that you should keep your carbs low and not to have late-night snacks but don’t follow everything you hear, some of these are just mistakes that you will make that causes you more problems than it solves.
You need to be sure that you eat for your goals, you can’t expect to be healthy and lose weight on a junk food diet just like you can’t expect to gain muscle on a salad and veggie diet.
So how much is the right amount to eat to see decent gains and strip fat?
Well first you need to determine your basal metabolic rate (BMR) basically how many calories your body will burn in a day when resting, use this calculation to work out you BMR:
BMR for men – 66+ (6.3 x weight in pounds)+(12.9 x height in inches) – (6.8 x age in years).
BMR for women – 655 + (4.3 x weight in pounds) + (4.7 x height in inches) – (4.7 x age in years).
Now all you need to do is work out your activity level and times that by your BMR from above to work out your final overall calorie burn and that will be your calorie maintenance amount, use this calorie calculation to work out what that is:
Sedentary (little to no exercise all week, desk job) – BMR X 1.2
Lightly active (light exercise 1-2 days per week) – BMR X 1.375
Moderately active (Moderate level of exercise 3-5 days per week) – BMR X 1.55
Very active (Hard exercise 6-7 days per week) – BMR X 1.725
Extremely active (Hard daily exercise, physical job or twice daily workout) BMR X 1.9
It is best to eat just below you recommended calorie amount, so if you need around 2,400 calories a day to maintain after working out all of the above then you need around 2,100 calories a day.
But what about the timings to eat, it is best to create a schedule for each food type such as carbs etc. that works best for you, eating high-carb foods like oats, brown rice, sweet potato and berries before and after every workout.
Carbs will help you fuel your workouts and give you lots of readily available energy, a good post-workout carb diet is essential for hypertrophy and muscle growth.
Save high-protein meals like that thick juicy steak for when you are less active. If you are a morning person then save a healthy dose of carbs for the morning meal and use slower to digest fats for the evening meal.
It is also important to have enough muscle building protein when working out, usually 1.5 to 2 g per pound of bodyweight, using the old school method of 5-6 meals per day about 3 hours apart.
Here is a good list of foods that you can incorporate into your diet, this covers everything from complex carbs to high density macro nutritents as well as essential fats needed to fuel your body.
Let’s now take a look at some training, be honest with yourself now, do you always do a bit of cardio on the treadmill when you goto the gym and then finish with a few light sets on the pink dumbbells?
There is nothing wrong with a light workout but doing this every day is not going to see any good results.
Even you ladies needn’t spend all those hours on the treadmill, let’s swap this for pumping of some iron. Lifting weights will actually make you lean despite the myth that lifting weights makes girls bulky.
Having a strong structure, well formed glutes and quads is not going to come from lifting paper weights, so get serious with your lifts.
Look for a weight that enables good form with 8-12 reps per set, keeping a good tempo throughout, slow and steady is best.
Always remember that things take time, it is not an instant formula for success.
Here is a good sample workout you can use that also includes breaks to help you on your way, you may want to make small changes to this as you go.
Day 1: Glutes
Day 2: Chest/Back
Day 3: Rest
Day 4: Hamstrings
Day 5: Arms/Shoulders
Day 6: Plyometrics
Day 7: Rest
If you do cardio then do it with aplomb, stop doing steady cardio and switch it up for HiiT cardio instead. HiiT helps spike your metabolism and burn off fat deposits.
Try to aim for 25-35 mins of HiiT cardio at the end of your workout, 3 mins of a steady walk/jog and then a minute of all out sprinting then repeat.
There are lots of ways to do HiiT, try one that works best for you.
When looking to build muscle, the 3:1 cycle always seems to work great.
It should mean 3 weeks of heavy lifting, 6-10 reps for 3 to 4 sets.
This is followed by a week of high-rep low weight lifting, 15 to 20 reps for 3 to 4 sets.
No matter if it is light or heavy weight, you should be lifting just the right amount of weight so that you fail on the last set, heavy load days should see 2 mins rest between sets, be sure to have proper form when lifting heavy especially as this can lead to injury if you do it wrong.
Be sure to fully extend and contract on each set, visualize the muscles you are training, the mind-muscle connection is very strong.
On light days rest for a min in between each set, you won’t need as much rest between sets as you will need less time to recover.
Having proper supplementation will see you get the best results from your workouts, BCAA’s and Glutamine are your best friends when lifting for strength and muscle gains. Taking BCAA’s after a workout and glutamine before bed.
These two supplements allow a much faster recovery time with less post-workout soreness. It is also good to get multi-vitamiuns, pre-workout digestive enzymes and whey protein isolate.
Training is a requirement for building muscle, all the time spent in the gym breaks down muscle fibers and rest rebuilds them.
Be sure to drink plenty of fluids and get plenty of sleep to help gym recovery time, aim for 1-2 gallons of water per day and 8 hours of sleep per night.
Also be sure to find an activity that lowers stress levels like a movie or yoga, be sure to do it at least once a week.
So in conclusion if you are wanting to go from being skinny to being strong then just follow a few simple steps above and see the results you want nice and quickly.
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