The 3 Best Shoulder exercises for broad shoulders. Every guy should want broad shoulders, it signifies strength, power, athleticism, and to a lady, it makes them think that you’ll be able to protect them which, no matter what the modern way of thinking leads them to believe, their DNA craves.
Getting broad shoulders isn’t just about building bigger shoulders. It actually starts with the back. The upper and lower lats let your shoulders sit on a shelf of sorts, while your traps pull your shoulders up. If you want to build massive shoulders and a huge upper V (the ideal shape for men), check out my program The Perfect Body Blueprint.
The Lumberjack Press
Tips: Extend fully at the top of the exercise, and hold it for a 1 second count. Pinch your shoulders when you do this, really flex them at the top of the exercise.
Bent Arm Laterals with Extension
Tip: We almost always explode on the concentric contraction of an exercise. This exercise, however, can be done slowly, with pauses at each phase of the exercise.
3 Way Lateral Burn Out
Tip: Fail on each exercise, then go right into the next exercise. If this requires different weights, that’s fine. It’s a burn out set, to end the workout.
Building the Perfect Body
For most guys, building our best body doesn’t require balance, but intense focus on certain muscle groups. On top of that, to build each muscle fully, and wholy, we need to do a far greater variety of exercises that balanced training programs allow. Most training programs won’t hit the entire muscle, especially when it comes to the back, check, quads, and delts, but it’s true for the arms and basically every muscle.
If you want to see real, visible gains in the mirror, I suggest taking 6 months and doing the Perfect Body Blueprint.
Get faster results that you can see in the mirror by working on 2 specific muscles while maintaining the rest.
Build the ideal X shaped physique, broad shoulders, thin waist, and big legs.
My name is Shad Wheeler, I am a Professional Hunting Consultant, Hunting Guide and die hard Bow Hunter. I have a lot of people ask me about Sheep hunting, what its like, where do you go, and so on. So, I thought I would share a primer on Dall Sheep hunting, as this is where most guys start their sheep hunting.
Sheep hunting is not for the faint of heart, in all my life I have only met two kinds of sheep hunters, those who are absolutely addicted and those who swear they will never sheep hunt again. If you love remote, rugged and wild places, then Dall Sheep hunting might be the perfect hunt for you. So lets start off by learning a bit more about Ovis dalli.
Dall Sheep (Ovis dalli) are a member of the thin horn sheep family (which includes Stone Sheep and Fannin Sheep) and are hands down one of my favorite sheep to hunt. Not only are they absolutely stunning to look at, but the country they call home is breath taking. Dall Sheep can be found throughout the Mountains of Alaska, the Yukon, Northwest Territories and Northern British Columbia.
Dall Sheep prefer open country where they can use their incredible eyesight to their advantage, so typically you will find them above tree line, on high alpine ridges, big grassy bowls and scree filled slopes and valleys. They typically maintain close access to steep rocky terrain where it is difficult for predators to follow them. The main predators that Dall Sheep have to content with are wolves, coyotes, black bears and grizzly bears. The lambs also have to be wary of Golden Eagles, as they will look for opportunities to knock them off cliffs.
Mature Dall Sheep Rams have long, somewhat heavy, curling horns that continue to grow for most of their life, however as they get older you will see that their growth rings shrink and begin to form very close to each other. Dall Sheep Ewes on the other hand have shorter, skinnier, slightly curved horns. Rams spend most of the year in bachelor groups or bands, they rarely are seen mixing with the ewes and lambs except during the rut which takes place in November and December.
Sheep eat a mix of grasses and other plants during the summer, but when winter arrives they primarily will be found lichen, moss, grass and sedge stems. In the spring it is not uncommon for some Dall sheep populations to travel long distances to find and visit natural mineral licks, especially the Ewes and lambs.
Dall Sheep Hunting Overview
Dall Sheep hunts are typically the entry point hunt for those looking to start sheep hunting as they have maintained a lower price point as compared to Stone Sheep, Bighorn Sheep and Desert Bighorn Sheep.
Dall Sheep hunting is hard work, as the majority of hunts are remote, fly in and backpack hunts. Which means that you are humping the mountains for 6-10 days with 45-50lbs on your back. You will be climbing knife ridges, scree slopes and perhaps even scaling a cliff or two, so you need to be in good shape and invest in the right gear.
You will need good quality optics as you will spend countless numbers of hours glassing the mountains and valleys looking for your Dall Sheep. You would think it would be easy to find a white sheep in the midst of grey and green mountains, but you would be wrong. Your eyes will get tired and will burn, but you have to stay committed to glassing until you find your quarry. However, there are definitely times that everything just comes together, as I had happen on one of my hunts. We had just set up our camp for the night and started glassing across the valley, when two rams walked out on the hillside right behind our camp. As the saying goes sometimes its better to be lucky than good.
You will want to be physically and mentally prepared to hike 5-10 miles per day with your 45-50lb pack and your weapon, while living on snacks and freeze dried meals. I highly recommend that you bring some sort of electrolytes supplement, (I like nuun tablets) as you will be sweating, and working hard and they will help your body perform. If you are a coffee drinker I would also recommend you bring some Starbucks Vias or something similar. I would also recommend you bring a couple paperback books and a deck of cards in the event you get weathered in for a couple of days. This is not a comprehensive list, so if you are interested in a full gear list let me know and I will hook you up.
Going on a Dall Sheep Hunt:
Unless you are a resident of Alaska or one of the Canadian Provinces that Dall Sheep call home, you will only be able to experience a Dall Sheep hunt by hunting with an Outfitter. So though it may make it more expensive, it also leads to safer and more successful hunts.
I work with some fantastic Outfitters to offer you a number of Dall Sheep hunt options to fit your needs and capabilities. Dall Sheep hunts are typically 8-10 days in duration and are quite physical as the primary means of hunting them is backpack hunting on foot, which means you will be covering ground and hauling your camp along with you. However there are a few unique areas where we are able to offer float hunts for Dall Sheep, or Helicopter fly in hunts, but you still have to be in good shape to make the climb after them, but you won’t be packing your camp and all your hunting gear on your back day in and day out.
Food on most Dall Sheep hunts will be freeze dried, with some trail mix, cheese, salami, make sure to bring instant coffee packets if you are a coffee drinker.
Price Ranges –
Alaska Dall Sheep hunts range in price from $16,500 – $22,500 currently
Yukon and Northwest Territories Sheep Hunts range in price from $22,500 – $25,000
Combo Opportunities – Most Dall Sheep hunts will have the opportunity for hunters to combo any of the following depending on time of year and location – Moose, Caribou, Grizzly and Black Bear.
Trophy Quality: On most outfitted hunts hunters can expect to harvest rams in the 36-38” range, however there is always the opportunity to find one that breaks the magic 40”+ mark. Your best odds to take a really big ram is going to be to draw a limited entry tag in the Chugach, pursue a super rugged hunt in the Wrangells or spend a couple thousand dollars more and go hunt in the Yukon on NWT. However, there are a few places in the Alaska Range, Brooks Range and the Talkeetnas that regularly produce larger rams.
Dall Sheep Hunts Available:
Brooks Range Backpack Hunts – 10 day hunts 12 day trips, high success for hunters who are in really good shape, opportunity to combo Caribou and/or Moose.
Brooks Range Float Hunt – 10 day hunt, 12 day trip, great option for the guy who can’t quite pound the mountains day in and day out anymore, but who can make a couple big pushes when needed, or for the hunters who just want to do something different.
Alaska Range Backpack Hunts – these are 8-10 day hunts, 10-12 day trips, great opportunity for Caribou, Grizzly and Fishing, with some Outfitters also having big moose.
Alaska Range Fly In/or ATV Hunt – This is an exceptional hunt with high success on 36-38” rams, can combo Caribou and Black Bear on the August hunts, moose and grizzly available on September hunts.
14C and Tok Draw Hunts – If you can draw one of these tags, this is an excellent opportunity to find a 38”+ ram of your dreams.
Talkeetna Range Backpack Dall Sheep – 10 day hunt, 12 day trip, excellent area to combo big Grizzly and Moose, solid trophy quality.
Yukon Fly In Backpack Dall Sheep – 10 day hunt, 12 day trip, area produces 40”+ rams every year, and you can combo Moose, Caribou and Grizzly as well as wolf and wolverine.
NWT Helicopter Fly In Dall Sheep – 10 day hunt, 12 day trip, high success with lots of rams in the 36-38” size. Combo opportunities for Moose and Caribou.
If you are interested in learning more about Sheep hunting or hunting in general, make sure to visit my website www.sashunts.com and sign up for my email list and then shoot me an email with your questions and I will do my best to answer them. You can email me [email protected]
It is a fact that we are getting weaker and weaker as men. The military strength standards prove it.
50 years ago, the standard that it took for men to join the army would put our men to shame.
It can be said that it’s because of taking out gym class in schools, or how most jobs now are computer-based jobs instead of working with our hands or the decreasing testosterone in our generation.
Either way, we are getting weaker and its a problem.
Not only does it pose a problem for our society, its a physical problem for you as well. Weak individuals have low testosterone, lower bone density (think more bone breaks), and more back pain. It also means that you’re going to have less muscle mass as well.
In untrained individuals, meaning people who didn’t strength train, your strength and muscle mass starts to decline by 1 % every year after the age of 30. Starting with a high amount of muscle and strength will increase your quality of life not only at age 29 but also at age 85 as well.
With all that in mind, men these days need a strength standard. Something to aim for.
Instead of pissing around with useless exercises on machines and cardio devices, these exercises look like stuff your grandpa did on the farm.
Not only will these give you a strong direction for your training, You’re going to look freaking good if you achieve these strength standards.
You’re going to be lean, have a defined back, shoulders and chest, and a lower body that is strong, powerful, and free of injuries.
These aren’t meant to be absolute strength numbers. They are meant as a guide that when you can do this, you’re a capable strong man.
You might see this as a kick in the pants. If so, that’s good. Most of us need a good kick square in the behind to help us become the men we were created to be. So strap up, put on your big boy pants and time to get to work.
Strength Standard 1: 5 Pull-ups
The pull-up has been one of the military strength standards for centuries, and it’s not going to stop being a standard with us. Not only do you develop your upper back through this exercise (which is woefully underdeveloped in modern workout programs), but it also guarantees you aren’t overweight. See, if you’re carrying around too much body fat, you won’t be able to do great pull-ups. You might be able to squeeze out 1 or two, but not 5 in a row.
This shows that you own your bodyweight. You might be like many guys who feel like their body is out of their control. Even though you can keep every other area of your life under control your body always evades your grasp. This exercise is very obvious if you’re in control of your body or not.
5 pull-ups Guarantees that what you did wasn’t just a fluke.
Strength Standard 2: Dumbbell or Kettlebell Press ¼ your bodyweight for 5 reps
How many guys in the gym do you hear or see that have shoulder pain or shoulder injury?
Like the kind of pain that causes you to completely modify an exercise so it doesn’t cause any further pain.
I’d be willing to bet that 75% of dudes at a random gym have some sort of shoulder injury.
This is unacceptable.
Your shoulder is one of the most versatile, moveable, mobile joints in the world and guys treat them like they’re a fisher price toy.
They deserve the strength that they can handle. And that means getting the ability to go overhead with them again.
You might have limited range of motion when lifting over your head, and that’s to be expected.
Most guys are lacking a lot of mobility in their thoracic spine, the entire muscular system that connects to the shoulder. If this is lacking, the glenohumeral joint (the shoulder socket) takes the brunt of the force.
When you do this exercise well, it guarantees you won’t have any issues going overhead because you CAN’T.
Having full shoulder flexion is not only essential, but you’re not going to be able to do very well without it.
By doing this for 5 reps, IT demonstrates that you have adequate shoulder stability and endurance.
It ensures you go into the proper position, and are able to stay there.
Strength Standard 3: Farmer Carry for 100ft with 1.5 bodyweight
As humans, one of the things that makes us distinctly human is our ability to carry things long distances.
Carries are underrated, but one of the greatest bang for your buck exercises available. They develop a strong upper back, forearms that rival your dad’s, stable hips, and a core that doesn’t move. AKA you’ll get rock solid abs.
If you have struggled with lower back pain this exercise is for you. The core has to work overtime trying to balance and not let you keel over while carrying this massive weight.
I’ve personally seen the positive effects of this exercise. When I was struggling with lower back pain on the right side of my back in the winter of 2017, I started doing Carries consistently. Within a few weeks, my lower back pain had subsided, and I was stronger than ever.
Carrying weight is all fun and good. They have a very real life application as well.
Your grip strength is a very strong indicator of your life expectancy.
In this study, they showed that Grip strength was the best indicator of life expectancy and mortality rate.
No better way to improve your grip strength than by carrying heavy objects for long distances.
Strength Standard 4: Barbell reverse lunge with Body weight for 5 reps
This lower body strength test does not include a squat. And that’s because a squat often becomes a test of lower back and core strength, not leg strength.
Not saying that’s a bad thing, but we want a test that determines leg strength independent from your back, and one another.
In life, there are so many times you are doing things that require strength from one leg.
Bending down to play with your son.
Hiking a mountain with your girlfriend.
Walking your local golf course with your buddies on Saturday morning.
Lunges not only build leg strength, but they make sure that you have equal leg strength. In a squat, it’s easy for your dominant leg to take over from what your non-dominant leg.
With a lunge, there is no hiding. If your leg isn’t strong enough, it isn’t strong enough.
Lunges also develop hip stability, which also aids in decreasing knee and back pain, and making you an absolute boss.
These suckers are essential to lower body training and testing.
After reading this list, you might be thinking,
“So. Where do I go from here?”
There are either two options.
You rocked this test. You passed all of these with flying colors. You’re a strong dude. If this is you, then keep doing whatever you’re doing, because obviously, it’s working. Keep getting stronger, and becoming the man you were created to be.
You missed the mark on this test, and decide to do nothing. You feel that this is a useless test, and decide not to do anything at all. You keep banging your head into the wall with your training, and you get weaker, more in pain, and fatter.
You missed the mark on this test, BUT you do something about it. Maybe your shoulders aren’t able to press up the kettlebell. Maybe you laugh at me when I suggest the farmer walk. Pull-ups might not have been your jam.
If you weren’t 1, you have some work to do.
It might mean spending time working on your weaknesses.
You might hire an online coach to help you get better and stronger.
You decide to adjust your diet to make these tests a little easier.
Either way, if you failed on these tests now, it doesn’t mean that in 3 months time you’ll do the same thing.
Focus on building your strengths, and also bringing your weaknesses so that there is no area of strength that you can’t master.
Linden Ellefson is a personal trainer and online coach out of Calgary, Canada. He helps 30-40 year old get leaner, more athletic and in better shape than they were in college.
Like listed above, throwing a football or changing a tire.
Being physically capable allows you to:
Be your wife’s hero for taking all the groceries in… Even when you have to park your car a block away from your house.
You’re strong enough to handle everyday tasks. You don’t get tired out just from going up one flight of stairs, or walking a few blocks with your dog.
If you’re physically capable, it means that if you ever lose the job you currently have, you can create a job for yourself when that happens. You could learn how to landscape, build homes, or do construction if you’re physically capable.
BUT ALL OF THIS IS PALES IN COMPARISON TO THIS REASON.
As men, we connect by doing something PHYSICAL together. We connect even more when we DO SOMETHING GREAT TOGETHER.
It’s not something that is talked about often, but men need friendship too.
Sure, it’s cool when guys go out for coffee. But in relationships that have grown with other men, it’s always been best when we do something together.
Look at the way you interacted with your dad or your friends in grade school. What did you do?
You played soccer, threw a football, or hopefully learned how to change the oil in your car.
And as we grow up, we lose out on the interaction as men.
A lot of male interaction happens when we are physically active. Which means if you want to make great guy friends, time to learn how to do something.
We may not have to build entire cities any more, or settle the wild west, but the need for connection among brothers is essential.
Knowing you should be in better shape is good start, but how do you become physically fit? And how do you become fit so you can connect with men?
Learn physical skills. Becoming physically fit is not just about becoming the strongest guy in the gym. It’s about becoming reliable. Whether it’s your kids, your wife, girlfriend, people at your church.Become physically capable by learning how to shoot a rifle, how to play guitar, learn how to box. Learn how to play basketball.
You’re never too old to learn something new. Get out there and make it happen.
GET STRONGER. Becoming able to do a bodyweight push-up, a full depth squat or a pull-up are a few things that are becoming harder and harder to see.If you have the strength to do a full body push-up, mobility and strength to do a full depth squat, or the leanness and strength to do a pull-up will make you ready for most strength related endeavor you need to do.
Learn from a mentor or a coach. You could do this on your own, but there’s a few things that might happen: You’re going to lose interest, you’re not going to progress as fast as you could, or worst of all, you’re going to get hurt.Getting a coach for any skill you’re trying to learn will help you decrease the learning time, and increase the enjoyment time.
Become a healthy level of leanness. You don’t need to be so shredded your abs look like they’re going to pop out of your skin.Get healthy so that your family won’t have to worry about if you will be keeled over looking for your breath going for a minor hike.
Getting fit can reveal your chiseled abs, or help you deadlift 500 lbs.
But really that stuff doesn’t matter.
Getting physically fit will allow you to connect with your dad, create long lasting friendships with the workout partners who allowed you to see you hit that 500lb deadlift. It creates opportunity to connect far beyond what coffee will.
And that’s why we as men need to get physically fit.
About The Author
Linden Ellefson is a Personal Trainer from Calgary, AB Canada. He went from a skinny, chronically injured marathon runner to a healthy, strength focused trainer.
Fat loss has been and always will be a big hype subject online and offline. There are tens of different programs and supplements that promise you fast results with minimal results. Most of these are scam or shady to say the least.
No matter what anyone else wants you to think, there are no shortcuts to losing weight or building muscle. It takes time and it takes effort. However, what you can do in order to maximize your results is to train smart. Some training routines are more effective than others, but you will still need to put in the work.
Regardless, of your fitness goals – you maybe want to drop a few pounds, or you may want to get absolutely shredded – this article will go right down your street. We are going to look at how high intensity interval training (HIIT) can help you lose weight, and why it is probably the most effective type of training when it comes to burning fat.
So let’s get you started.
What Exactly is HIIT?
This might seem like a dumb question to ask, everybody knows it’s a way of training which consist of alternating between high intensity and low intensity physical activities over a short period of time. So it could be sprint drills or cycling really fast for 1 minute and then slower for 2 minutes or any other type of similar physical activity.
The smart question you want to ask is in fact – how intense should HIIT be? Researchers have found that the optimal intensity for fat loss is 90% of your VO2 max. If you are not familiar with respiratory capacity, VO2 max is a parameter used to determine the maximum rate at which your body is able to consume oxygen when you are training at maximum intensity.
A more common way of determining you are in the fat burning zone though is my looking at the heart rate indicator on your cardio machine (when you are using one). Apparently, the corresponding heart rate for 90% of VO2 max is approximately 85% of your maximum heart rate. So, if you are at roughly 85% you are doing great.
Now the low intensity part of HIIT can be anything from light jogging to complete resting. There are no specific restrictions here.
How Can HIIT Boost Fat Loss?
Even though HIIT has many other health benefits than just enhancing fat loss, in this post we are going to look at it only from this point of view. So, here is why HIIT is so great for lowering body fat.
Sky-High Calorie Burning
No matter what anyone wants to you believe, losing weight is all down to calories in versus calories out. The higher you caloric output will be the easier it will be for you to achieve a caloric deficit state. By training at super high intensity you caloric consumption will skyrocket.
Even though many people including fitness professionals believe that doing low and steady cardio will put you in the fat burning zone that is actually not the optimal way to train for fat loss. According to this study, doing just four to six short sessions of sprints will actually burn more calories than a 30 minute session of low intensity cardio training.
So, with HIIT you will burn more calories in less time. Of course you will also need to watch the amount of calories you are taking in. Ideally, at the end of the day you want to be in a 20-25% caloric deficit for optimal fat loss and muscle mass retention.
Increases Human Growth Hormone Production
Human Growth Hormone (HGH) aka The Fitness Hormone is a big deal for any pro or amateur bodybuilder. HGH is responsible for many beneficial effects such as anti-aging, bone density, muscle growth, anti-oxidants production, but it can also enhance fat loss.
HGH levels rise usually during the night, when we are sleeping. That is why people way we recover and heal when we are sleeping and that is why getting plenty of rest is important for muscle repair and growth.
But HGH is also telling our bodies to use fat as fuel, so the more growth hormone we can produce the more fat we will be likely to burn.
Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption
This headline may sound really complicated and intimidating but it’s really very simple to get a grasp of. It is also referred to as the after burn effect and what it means is that your body will actually continue to burn off calories (and fat) even after you are done training.
This effect occurs only after you were engaged in a high intensity physical activity. The science behind it is pretty simple as well. When you are training intense enough – at about 85% of your maximum heart rate – your lungs will not be able to supply to your muscles and organs the amount of oxygen they require.
So, during your HIIT session there will be an oxygen deficit building up. When you are doing with your HIIT, the oxygen level will need to be restored. To do this the body will go into a state called oxygen debt. During this state it will work on re-establishing the normal amount of oxygen molecules inside the blood stream. This process will can consume a considerable amount of energy, depending on how intense and low long your workout was.
So, changes are that after each HIIT session you will continue to burn off calories and lose fat, even if you are not actually doing any physical activity.
Decreases Insulin Level
Insulin is vital for a healthy life. Its main role is to carry the nutrients we take from food to all the cells throughout the body. Insulin is also responsible for storing any excess of nutrients (or calories) in the form of body fat.
Insulin level rises when we eat and drops when we fast. While the insulin level is high, your body gets the message that there are plenty of nutrients inside the body and there is no need to go after other sources of energy such as body fat. When we are running low on insulin though, our body picks up the signal that there are no nutrients from food to use and starts going for the stored fat.
Apparently, doing high intensity training increases our body’s sensitivity to insulin, which means it will need less of it in order to carry around the nutrients. Less insulin ultimately means higher chances of using body fat for energy.
How to Preserve Muscle Mass
The main focus of all bodybuilders and weight lifters is maximizing hypertrophy. Muscle growth is a slow process. So when you are dieting / losing weight muscle mass preservation is a big concern.
Excessive cardio training is known to hinder muscle growth when it’s overdone. So doing a whole bunch of treadmill running might not be the most intelligent thing if you want to get bigger. But doing just the right amount of it will most probably not affect your muscles at all.
What will matter most is the number of cardio sessions you do per week, their length and of course the intensity of your training. The recommended amount is usually just 2-3 HIIT sessions of 30 minutes each week. Keep in mind that the 30 minutes includes your low intensity/resting interval as well, so if fact you will probably do just 10-15 minutes of high intensity physical activity.
As far as intensity is concerned, the sweet spot is just around 85% of your maximum heart rate.
Each and every HIIT session should start off with 2-3 minutes of warming up before getting to the 1st high intensity interval. End your session with another 2-3 minutes of cool down.
Good exercises to include in your HIIT training are sprint drills, running stadium stairs, cycling or rowing. Just pick the one you enjoy the most doing or whichever is more convenient to do.
Brian Ward is the content editor at Kick-Ass Home Gym, a website providing helpful articles that inspire you to stay fit and healthy at home – on your own time, in your own space.
As busy people, we know health is important. A great morning workout can change an entire day for the better, and at the same time getting sick can throw off a whole week. So it’s important to take care of our bodies even if you don’t really have that much time to spare.
Over at Kick-Ass Home Gym you will learn how to stay in shape using a home fitness approach that works. All it takes to stay fit at home is the right tool and the right mindset.
Having a home fitness setup has changed lives. It’s the opposite of “out of sight, out of mind.” We can actually get fit and stay fit because our gym is our home.
If you want to build muscle maximally, you’ve got to consume more calories than you’re expending. If you’re a fitness enthusiast then there is a likely chance that you have heard the terms “bulking””and “cutting”. Bulking is the phase where you eat in a calorie surplus (i.e. eat more calories than you burn) in order to gain muscle and the cutting phase is when you eat in a calorie deficit (i.e. eat fewer calories than you burn) in order to lean out and reduce fat so that your muscles stand out in all of their glory.
Now, the trouble many people have with eating in a calorie surplus is that you will put on fat. Unfortunately, we cannot control how our bodies use the extra energy we provide them through food. Most of the extra calories are guaranteed to go towards repairing and building muscles, but some of it will end up as fat – which is why the cutting phase is so important.
If you are in a cutting phase and eating at a suitable deficit and still not losing weight, then you should seek medical advice. Symptoms of low testosterone levels are often overlooked; however, low testosterone levels and high estrogen levels result in excess fat being held around the abdomen. This is definitely not ideal if you’re looking to get lean.
It is possible to make your own life easier by controlling your bulk to only gain a minimal amount of fat; which will make your cutting phase much easier. Many people see their bulking phase as a time to throw all diet rules out of the window. They think they can eat whatever they want, whenever they want because the goal is to gain weight. Unfortunately, human beings grow muscles at a very slow rate which makes the overload of calories completely pointless and even harmful to your final goals.
Here are 5 rules to keep in mind when you’re bulking in order to grow lean muscles with minimal fat:
1. Ditch Hours of Cardio and Opt for Sprints or HIIT Cardio
I know, I know, cardio is incredibly effective for fat loss. But if you’re afraid of gaining fat during your bulk and overdoing it with hours and hours of cardio then you’re doing your gains a disservice.
Do not despair, sprints and high intensity interval training (HIIT) will be your saving grace. Think of a sprinter’s body. A sprinter has minimal fat and loads of muscle. This is due to the fact that sprints and HIIT have an after burn effect which keeps on burning fat for hours after the exercise. The short period of high intensity has been proven to burn fat while retaining muscle.
2. Cycle Your Carbs and Eat Enough Protein
Carbohydrates, Fats, and Proteins are known as macronutrients and they make up everything we eat. Our bodies need carbohydrates for energy, fat for micronutrient (vitamins and minerals) absorption, and protein to build muscles.
Most men and women do not eat enough protein in their day to day lives. Protein is the building block of muscles and a lack of protein will result in a plateau in the gym. You need to eat protein to gain muscle, it’s that simple. The general rule is to eat around 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight a day.
Carbohydrates are essential for energy. This is why it’s a good idea to eat more carbs on training days and fewer carbs on non-training days, or less intense arm focused days. This will ensure you have enough energy to smash your intense workouts while monitoring the number of calories you consume in a week to avoid excess fat gains.
3. Lift Heavy
Lifting heavy will ensure you’re overloading your muscles; which is the only way your muscles will grow.
Compound movements are ideal for getting the heart rate up. An increase in heart rate means you’ll be burning more calories when you exercise and, in turn, burning more fat. If you’re not working hard in the gym, then the extra calories will have no muscle damage to repair.
Compound moves are ideal for building muscle mass across many muscle groups and isolated movements focus on building strength in targeted muscle groups. Combining the two forms of exercise will ensure optimal growth with minimal fat.
4. Don’t Go Overboard with the Calorie Surplus
As previously mentioned, the body gains muscle very slowly. This means that you must slowly increase your calories and try to make sure you’re eating in just the right surplus balance to repair your muscles.
You are guaranteed to gain a lot of fat if you see a calorie surplus as a time to eat anything and everything. It should be closely monitored so that you can see muscle gain and, if you plateau, then continue to increase your calories slowly.
5. Try a Clean Bulk – A Calorie is Not a Calorie
If you’re counting calories, it’s important to remember that your body will only be able to grow if it’s given all of the right nutrients (carbs. fats, and proteins). If your body receives a lot of junk food, it’s going to be much easier to overeat since these nutrient devoid foods will have a weak appetitive response. If you pump your body with nutrients, it will use the food that you give it which will be less likely to end up as fat.
An added benefit of a clean bulk is that you will be able to eat larger quantities of food which will keep you feeling full for longer.
Follow these rules and you will be able to gain muscle mass without gaining fat.
Catherine Grant is an Editor-in-Chief of America’s best bodybuilding supplements website – TopTestosteroneBoosters.org . She is a health and fitness enthusiast. She wrote health and fitness related articles for numerous reputable sites like Huffpost, EvanCarmichael, MasterHerald, Get-a-Wingman, Lifehack etc… She is passionate about helping others reach their health goals through sharing her own personal experiences.