So, you want results and you want them now? You want to know which fitness and nutrition hacks will work in your favor to get you shredded as soon as humanly possible.
Well, luckily, there are steps you can take to optimize your muscle growth. We all know patience is a key part of building muscle. Still, it’s natural to itch to see results from your hard work in the gym.
In this post, we’ve rounded up some tried and tested fitness and nutrition hacks to speed up your journey on the road to ripped.
1. Eat enough protein
This macronutrient is crucial for building muscle. Cut out your sugars, slash your starches and processed carbs: protein is your best friend when it comes to making gains.
You don’t need to consume hundreds of grams of protein every day. If you do this, your body will just store it as fat. Scientific research shows that 0.8 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight is best for someone who is trying to build muscle. So, if you’re sitting at 200 pounds, you’re looking at 160 grams of protein each day.
Opt for low fat sources of protein. Chicken, turkey, pork, beef, fish, milk, yogurt and eggs are all great options. If you’re struggling to get enough into your diet, a great nutrition hack is to stir a bit of protein powder into a yogurt for a quick and high-protein snack.
2. Do compound lifts
To build muscle, you should regularly do lifts that work several muscle groups at once. These are called compound lifts and include deadlifts, bench presses, squats, military presses, kettlebell swings and pullups.
There are many benefits to compound lifts. These exercises are an effective form of cardio, improve flexibility, and help you to build muscle fast.
When performing compound lifts, lift as heavy as you possibly can. Do more sets, and less reps. 5 sets of 5 reps is a good rule of thumb. At the end of your 5 reps, if you physically couldn’t do another then you know you’re lifting heavy enough. If you think you could do more, you need to up your weights.
3. Pre-exhaust your muscles
This popular fitness hack involves performing an isolated exercise, and following it with a compound exercise that works the same muscle group. For example, you could do leg extensions before doing squats.
When you do your compound lift, your muscle fibers will be damaged from the isolated exercise you just did. This means they’ll be primed for optimum muscle growth.
You’ll also feel each rep more on the compound lift. This helps you to perform high-quality sets.
4. Get enough rest
Sleeping well and taking enough time out of the gym is highly important. This is one of the easiest fitness and nutrition hacks for building muscle fast.
On your rest days, do some light cardio to stretch out, such as a half-hour walk or even some yoga. There are many great ways to help your muscles recover.
Many people also recommend cold showers as part of a rest routine. The cold water increases blood circulation which allows you to recover faster and get back to working out. Cold showers also strengthen your immune system and promote endurance.
Whether or not you’ll be jumping into a cold shower, make sure you get enough sleep. Building muscle involves tearing apart your muscle fibers in the gym, and rebuilding them better and stronger from the protein you fuel yourself with. This rebuilding process happens when you sleep, so it’s absolutely vital to spend enough time in bed.
5. Take progress pics
Of course, taking photos isn’t going to directly affect your muscle growth. However, this is a great fitness hack to help keep your motivation up. Taking pictures of your body at the start of your fitness journey to look back on is a concrete reminder that you ARE building muscle.
When change happens slowly, it can feel like your hard work isn’t making a difference at all. If you take some pictures of yourself from different angles, after a few weeks you’ll start to see how far you’ve come.
Documenting your progress is a great way to motivate yourself to hit the gym when you’re having a lazy day.