How to Build Muscle Fast (Part 1)

How to Build Muscle Fast (Part 1)

How do I build muscle fast? This is one of the most common questions among gym-goers across the globe and there seems to be a different answer everywhere you look. The goal of today’s article is to explain scientifically the ideal way to pack muscle onto your body in the most efficient way possible. Read on to find out how to optimize your workouts to build muscle mass faster. When dealing with the question of how to build muscle quickly, there are a few major topics that should come to mind and today we’ll tackle two of them. These topics are the process of protein synthesis and the frequency of your workouts. Let’s take a closer look at each one. Protein Synthesis If you’re new to the health and fitness industry or you haven’t done a whole lot of research, the term protein synthesis might sound very foreign. Simply put, protein synthesis is the process by which your body builds muscle. Similar to the way your metabolism controls the rate at which you burn calories, protein synthesis controls the construction of muscle in your body. Without the process of protein synthesis, muscle building would be impossible. For the average individual who isn’t supplementing with steroids, the process of protein synthesis begins the moment your body recognizes strain on its muscle fibers. Protein synthesis can last anywhere from 24 to 48 hours, typically peaking around 24 hours and then slowly diminishing until the next time that particular muscle is worked out again. Once protein synthesis in a muscle ceases, your muscle will no longer grow bigger or stronger. To take advantage of...
The Pros and Cons of CrossFit Training

The Pros and Cons of CrossFit Training

CrossFit has become one of the most popular training styles in the country. Targeting people’s competitive nature, CrossFit trainers have done an excellent job getting people off the couch and into the gym. However, there is quite a bit of controversy lately about the style of workouts that CrossFit training promotes. Today we’ll take a look at the pros and cons of CrossFit training, and help you decide if it’s the best style of training for you. Pros CrossFit Provides Competitive Motivation One of the hardest parts about working out regularly is staying motivated. Sure, you might be able to have a consistent month or two in the gym, but as every gym-goer knows, keeping up the motivation to be consistent for an extended period of time can be difficult. Providing ample motivation is one of CrossFit’s greatest strengths. By adding a competitive element to workout routines, individuals involved in CrossFit keep coming back to improve their scores and move up the leaderboard. CrossFit Teaches Explosive Compound Movements One of the staples in CrossFit workout programming is the utilization of explosive compound movements. There are few things better for building muscle and increasing strength than multi-joint, compound exercises. Add in the emphasis on moving explosively and you have a recipe for rapid strength and muscle gains. CrossFit Can Drastically Improve Mobility Another great benefit of CrossFit style training is the increased mobility you’ll receive. Performing explosive compound exercises takes quite a bit of shoulder, hip, and ankle mobility. As you perform these compound exercises, your body will adapt to them and become more flexible and mobile over time. Cons CrossFit does...
The 5 Best Barbell Exercises

The 5 Best Barbell Exercises

If you asked 100 personal trainers what the best piece of workout equipment you can get would be, 99 of them would tell you to get a barbell. Barbells can be used in exercises that work virtually every muscle in your body, and some of the best exercises you can do require a barbell. In today’s post, we’re going to take a look at the top 5 exercises you can do with a barbell and break each one down so you have a full understanding of why it’s on the list. Barbell Squat It should come as no surprise that the barbell squat is at the top of this list. Long known as the king of lower body exercises, the squat is easily one of the most functional exercises you can perform. Almost every activity performed by humans requires participation by your glutes, hamstrings, and quads, and the barbell squat hits them all. Performing a barbell squat takes a lot of practice, so if you are unfamiliar with the movement, try starting with just the bar before building up the weight. Keep practicing the barbell squat and before you know it, you’ll notice a major increase in leg strength and muscle mass. Image credit: Furthermore from Equinox, https://furthermore.equinox.com/ Barbell Deadlift Next on our list, we have the barbell deadlift. This exercise is an excellent movement that increases strength and function in the lower back and hamstrings. The deadlift is a highly practical exercise because of how often it is replicated in daily life. Every time an individual bends down to pick something up, they are emulating parts of a...
Is Hiring a Personal Trainer Worth the Cost?

Is Hiring a Personal Trainer Worth the Cost?

In an ideal world, we’d all have the best strength and training coach or personal trainer to guide us through our workout routines, keep us honest with our diets, and motivate us to get better every day. The reality, however, is that hiring a personal trainer can be expensive, especially if you’re hiring a good one. For many people, a quick look at the numbers is all they need to decide they’re better off figuring it out on their own, while others know they can benefit from the expertise of a good trainer and take the plunge. If you’re on the fence about hiring a personal trainer, read on to come to a better understanding of the value that personal training provides and if the cost is worth it to you. Avoid the “Instagram Trainer” The main thing you need to watch out for when deciding to hire a personal trainer is quality. The number one reason why personal training gets a bad reputation is that there are literally thousands of under-qualified or inexperienced people who claim to be personal trainers, either on Instagram or at the gym. It’s relatively easy to grab a personal training certification online or get results for yourself at the gym and then promote yourself as a trainer. These types of trainers you absolutely want to stay away from. You will end up wasting your time and money on a “personal trainer” who has no idea the complexity of training someone other than themselves. Look for a Quality Trainer While we just finished discussing how personal training can be expensive, it’s much better to...
The Best Equipment for Any Home Gym

The Best Equipment for Any Home Gym

People are more health conscious now than they have ever been. Because of this, commercial gyms are seeing their memberships increase and big box gyms are opening on seemingly every corner. While this increased awareness of health and fitness is a great thing, it can lead to a difficult or frustrating gym experience. Too many people and too little equipment, packed locker rooms, and poor gym etiquette are all things that could discourage you from going to a commercial gym. While many people enjoy using their gym membership, you may fall into the crowd that prefers to work out in private. The answer to this dilemma? Create your own in-home gym. While the idea of building an in-home gym can seem intimidating or expensive, when you consider the long-term savings of not paying for a monthly gym membership, it can be quite worth the initial investment. In fact, building your very own home gym can be done with just a few pieces of equipment. Keep reading to see our top picks for in-home gym equipment! Barbell If you ask any professional personal trainer what the number one piece of exercise equipment is, they will very likely tell you it’s a barbell. Barbells can be used to work any part of your body. With a barbell, you can perform movements such as squats, deadlifts, overhead presses, bench presses, bent over rows, standing calf raises, and more. If you could invest in just one piece of equipment, the barbell is a very safe bet. If you need weight plates to add to your barbell set, you can find both rubber bumper plates...
How to Avoid Injuries in the Gym

How to Avoid Injuries in the Gym

One of the most common fears that plague powerlifters, fitness enthusiasts, bodybuilders, and any other type of gym goer is gym injuries. Injuring yourself in the gym is painful for your body, can be mentally challenging to get over, and will set you back weeks from meeting your goals. There are few things as detrimental to your workout experience as a training injury, and in today’s post, we will be looking at several ways that you can avoid getting injured at the gym. Here are 4 things you can do to reduce the risk of having a training injury during your workout. Leave Your Ego at the Door While lifting huge amounts of weight feels really good and may impress the people around you, it can also cause injuries very quickly. While it’s good to push yourself in the gym to make progress, there is a big difference between pushing yourself and trying to show off. Leave the ego at the door and never try to lift more weight than you know you can handle. Warm Up It’s never a great idea to go from 0 to 100 mph instantly in your workout. Your muscles should be warmed up so they’re ready to handle the strain you put on them. Start off with 5-10 minutes of stretching followed by a couple of lighter weight warm-up sets before you really get going with the heavier weight. Doing all this might seem like a hassle, but it will protect your muscles from injury and provide a better all-around workout. Use Proper Form Probably the number one reason for training injuries in...
3 Exercises to Build a Better 6 Pack

3 Exercises to Build a Better 6 Pack

It’s that time of year again, where the days are getting longer and people start talking about getting in shape for summer. One of the most obvious and coveted features of a lean body is 6-pack abs. To get a 6-pack, you have to be disciplined both at the gym and in the kitchen. There are no shortcuts to building and revealing a great set of abs, but there is a lot more to it than just cutting out carbs and doing a million crunches a day. Today we’re going to take a look at 3 exercises that can help you build your abs for a great looking midsection this summer. Before we get started, let’s discuss nutrition. To go into every detail about the way your body may react to certain types of foods and how to pursue the healthiest diet for your body type, we’d have to write hundreds of blog posts covering every possible topic. When it comes to getting lean with relative ease, however, the guidelines are pretty simple. In order for abdominal muscles to show up and look like the superheroes of Hollywood, you must have very low body fat. We know for a fact that calories in vs. calories out is what affects body fat. Contrary to popular opinion, the types of food you eat have nothing to do with weight loss or gain. It’s all about making sure you use up a higher number of calories than you take in. That does not mean, however, that you should just get all your calories from candy and call it a day. It is...
Lagging or Weak Body Parts? Read This!

Lagging or Weak Body Parts? Read This!

If you’ve been working out for a while you can likely feel that you have one or two stubborn muscles that just don’t keep up with the rest of your body. For many people, maybe their calves lag behind in growth compared to the rest of their legs, or perhaps it’s that their back feels weak in comparison to their chest or arms. What causes these muscles to lag behind, and what can you do to promote their growth? Keep on reading to find out! You’ve Been Taught the Wrong Way to Lift Abs and calves are two muscle groups that a huge percentage of weightlifters complain about. They claim to train them just as much as other muscle groups, and they feel sore for days after the workout is finished. There are a couple of reasons why these two muscle groups are very commonly behind in their growth, and one reason is that the information circulating about how to work these muscles out is wrong. For many years even experts have said that you need to train fast twitch muscles at low weight, and maximum reps. However, one of the biggest keys for muscle growth is called time under tension. Time under tension is essentially the time that your muscles are working throughout their range of motion. If you’re working out your fast twitch muscles (or any muscle for that matter) in a way that reduces time under tension, you will see very little strength or size gains in that muscle group. Next time you train your abs or calves, instead of doing hundreds of light quick reps, load up...
Didn’t Get Everything on Your Wishlist For Christmas? Buy it Now!

Didn’t Get Everything on Your Wishlist For Christmas? Buy it Now!

Christmas is over, the presents have all been opened (and maybe some returned), and you realize there are a few things missing from your fitness wish list. Fortunately, you can often find post-holiday sales going on and get the gear you wanted at discount prices. We can’t guarantee you’ll find the following items on sale, but if you didn’t get these things for Christmas, you’ll definitely want to add them to your shopping list. Powerlifting Shoes If you’re looking to improve your performance at the squat rack or bench, powerlifting shoes are a must-have. Designed with a raised heel, powerlifting shoes allow you to get a stronger grip on the floor and better depth of squat. They also help reduce strain on your ankles by adjusting the angle of your squat form. Powerlifting shoes can also help you with your bench press by providing your feet with more stability on the ground for transfer of power. Weight Lifting Belt For those who like to lift heavy, your very own weightlifting belt is a huge asset. When you have your own belt, you don’t need to use a generic gym-provided belt that doesn’t fit right or smells to high heaven. Having a weightlifting belt that fits properly can make all the difference on your next deadlifting PR. A good weightlifting belt will provide support to your core and help prevent hernias. TRX Slam Ball Workouts with TRX balls are becoming more popular by the day. Designed for athletic training, TRX ball workouts engage your core while providing cardio and power exercises. Simple and easy-to-use, TRX Slam Balls are a fast, fun...
Top 5 Mistakes Rookie Weightlifters Make That Slow Their Progress

Top 5 Mistakes Rookie Weightlifters Make That Slow Their Progress

As our society puts more of an emphasis on health and wellness, more people than ever are getting gym memberships or buying equipment to work out in a home gym. This overall awareness of working toward a stronger and healthier lifestyle is great but a lot of people, especially beginners, make some mistakes that are slowing down their progress. Today we’ll look at 5 things rookie weightlifters don’t do, and why you should be doing them. They Don’t Ask Questions The number one problem facing individuals who are new to the health and fitness scene is a lack of knowledge. You could read an article a day and watch 20 hours of YouTube videos a week and never exhaust the amount of information available about weightlifting, dieting, and every other category of health and fitness. If you’re trying to get started in this lifestyle, the best thing you can do is educate yourself. Ask questions of the people around you who have been at it for years and do your own online research. Don’t go in thinking you already have all the answers. They Don’t Set Goals Many new weightlifters go into their gym without a clear goal in mind. They may generally want to “be stronger” or “look better”, but what does that actually look like? If you’ve ever tried to get anything done you probably know that without a clear goal in mind, it is quite difficult to know when you’ve succeeded, and weightlifting is no different. Before you start, set a goal, and once you’ve achieved that one, set a new one. They Don’t Track Progress...