Nutrition is certainly the central pillar of a healthy lifestyle, and it also has significant influence on the results of a workout program. What you eat is obviously very important when it comes to building muscle, but it is definitely not the only deciding factor. The quality of your sleep and a well-designed progressive strength training program are equally as important, as muscles need time to recover from challenging workouts.
Anyone who has gone through a workout program knows how important it is to consume enough protein, which is the only muscle building substance in the human body. It is also important to have an eating schedule, so that the body can take the maximum out of each meal. In case you are still confused by the process, here are a few facts to get you started.
Energy and Protein
In order to build muscle, you need to eat enough to fuel your muscles for each workout, and to provide them with enough protein so that they can recover and grow. Proteins are the only building blocks of muscles, and they influence a lot of processes in your body, from hair and nail growth and quality, to how big you are going to get after lifting weights.
1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight is the recommended minimum for active individuals, while up to 2 grams is what a professional athlete would need, depending on the sport of course. To start, try including 30-50 grams of protein in five meals evenly distributed throughout the day.
The recovery process is as important, some may say even more important, than the actual workout. Apart from eating enough protein and amino acids to aid its synthesis, you need to provide your muscles with ample rest time, to let them grow, because rest time is when all the magic happens.
The optimal amount of sleep varies from person to person, but for most people between six and eight hours is all you need. In case you suffer from sleep deprivation there are some tricks you can try, such as turning both your TV and phone off before you go to bed. Sleep deprivation can have a negative effect on your immune system, and can do a lot to hinder your efforts.
Another thing you should do to maximize your results is to follow a carefully thought out workout program. Such a program should include compound exercises such as squats, pushups, pull ups, deadlifts, overhead presses, bench presses and dips. The reasoning behind this is the fact that they activate the majority of the muscles in your body.
It is crucial to do the exercises in proper form, but do not rush with the amount of load. Instead of struggling to lift a big amount of weight, do more reps and progressively increase their number. This way you will provide your muscles with constant challenges and hit each muscle group efficiently. Don’t get stuck in one single routine for too long – you need to switch up your training in order to keep providing your muscles with new challenges, thus allowing them to grow. Bear in mind that it is vital to arm yourself with proper fitness wear as well – working out in uncomfortable clothes will hinder your progress without you even noticing.
Planning is Essential
With the right tools you can achieve a lot: devote ample time to planning out your future steps, monitor your progress, and mind what you eat. You will soon notice improvement in every aspect of your life.