Whether you’re overweight or slim, the one thing every gym-going guy wants is more muscle. And not just big bulky chunks of muscle but a well-defined musculature with lines and cuts in all the right places. This kind of physique is not easy to get, however, it’s not unreachable either. Most guys end up doing a few fundamental things wrong even though they work out religiously. Here’s what you should be doing.
1. Plan Your Macros
Muscles are made in the gym but fat loss starts from the kitchen. If you’re bulking but still feeling soft, it’s not enough to just know how many calories you’re taking in daily. You also need to distribute your calories across the foods that you eat. Planning your macros strategically is crucial to becoming ripped. Make sure your protein, fat, and carbohydrates intake is balanced if you want to make your muscles stand out.
2. Match Your Efforts To Your Goals
You need to work towards lifting heavier with time. If you’re lifting the same amount of weights for weeks, there’s little chance that you’re going to get the physique you want. Check at your weekly routine to find out if you’ve been doing the same workout for far too long. This is when you hit a plateau and need to shake things up a bit. Challenge yourself by increasing weights or doing more reps. Add new exercises to your routine or include something completely new like HIIT or swimming to your routine. There is no perfect routine that works for everyone but periodically shocking your body with new workouts can help you lose extra fat.
3. Balance Your Cardio
There is a myth that you need to skimp on the cardio if you want to bulk up. While excessive cardio is not recommended, make sure you add a couple of cardio routines in your weekly schedule. You don’t need to train like you’re prepping for a marathon but steady-state cardio or high-intensity metabolic conditioning can go a long way toward increasing your metabolism. So ditch the iron once in a while and get your heart racing with some cardio.
4. Workout Consistently
Ask yourself the hard questions. Are your working out regularly? Do you track your progress? Do you have a plan in place when you enter the gym? Muscle gains need to be worked at meticulously. Having a regular gym schedule is a given but you also need to put a plan in place and stick to it. If something is not giving you results, it’s OK to rework the plan but whatever you decide, stick to it. Tracking your progress is also something most people ignore. Take a full body measurement every two weeks and make a note. This will let you know how well you’re doing and give you a better picture of your progress.
5. Keep Yourself Hydrated
This point cannot be emphasized enough. The muscle gains you’ve made may be hiding underneath a layer of bloat because you’re simply not drinking enough water. On average, a gallon a day is a good benchmark for those using a pre-workout supplement. If you’re seeing the muscle definition you want even though your body fat percentage is significantly low, try drinking more water. You will not see a change immediately but make sure you drink enough water and see if there is a change. Also, make sure you hydrate evenly throughout the day so that your body can process the water.
6. Don’t Skip Sleep
Put a plug on the binge-watching and get a good night’s sleep if you want those cuts to show. Muscle tears happen at the gym but recovery and growth happen when you rest. This is why it’s important that your body gets a good amount of rest after you’ve expended every ounce of energy at the gym.