So you’re going to the gym for two hours five to six days per week. Your gym schedule is more important to you than anything else in your life.  In the beginning it’s paid off big time; you got the attention you were seeking and your clothing fit a bit tighter

All of a sudden everything comes to a screeching stop.  You feel yourself getting weaker and your clothes are getting a bit baggie.  You’re training hard but your muscles stop responding.  So you said to yourself, now I will train harder. You decide to increase your sessions to three hours and the panic sets in…your muscles are actually shrinking.

You my friend have hit the inevitable gym plateau.  We all experience it but not all of us have gotten through it.  Unfortunately there are many who don’t even realize they’ve hit a plateau.  Some have even accepted that the reason for their halt in progress is their genetics.  If you’re in this dreaded plateau don’t worry, follow the following tips to the letter.  I can assure you that your muscles will grow again and will grow even bigger.

Below are your FREE Fitness tips.

FREE Fitness Tip #1

Stop training NOW.

Some gym rats may have a difficult time with this one.  But for the rest of us this will come easy. Your goal now is to not step foot into the gym for about two weeks.  This is the time for your body to fully recover from the consistent intense pounding you’ve been putting your body through. There are many gym rats who may find this difficult.  When you workout and create that muscle pump your body produces endorphin which in known in certain circles as the Happy Hormone.  It’s actually the same hormone you produce when you have sex.

Most pro bodybuilders take time off every four or five months.  This way when they head back into the gym shock their bodies into huge muscle gains because their muscles are well rested.

FREE Fitness Tip #2

You maybe training too much.

Training each muscle group once or twice per week, at maximum intensity, should be all you need.  Repeating muscle groups in the same week should be kept to a minimum. It’s no secret that training causes microscopic damage to muscle tissue.  It takes recovering time to repair the damage you’ve done.  Making sure to allow for adequate rest between training sessions is the key to more muscle growth.  You should reach for a rest day between every one or two training days.

Training for longer than an hour using intense weight training counterproductive so remember not to prolong your training longer than an hour. If your training for longer than an hour you risk increasing the muscle destroying hormone call cortisol.

Make sure you’re also getting enough sleep!  You should reach for a minimum of eight hours of sleep each night. This is where the statement “muscles aren’t built in the gym their built when you sleep.”  Your body needs growth hormone to build muscle and it is secreted while you sleep.

FREE Fitness Tip #3

Use the correct Form

A great way to slow your growth and increase the likelihood of injury is to use sloppy or inaccurate form.  Unfortunately this needs to be repeated time and again.  You need to focus and think about the way you’re performing each set and not just going through the motions.  While performing each exercise you must make sure your technique is spot on and you are focusing on feeling the muscle working.  It is also important to never use momentum to move the weight.  You’re not working the muscle.  Also control the negative.  Try and keep tension on the muscle during the positive (press) and negative (lowering) and lift slowly

There is only one way to truly grow nig muscles and that’s to train them intensely and then some.  Your repetitions should be enough to exhaust the muscle but yet not get to a point of using bad form.  Make sure you are progressing by adding more weight or repetitions at the next session, this is called progressive overload and forces your muscles to grow.  A good guide is that if you can lift a certain weight for twelve reps then it is probably not working the muscles enough and you should increase the weight.  On the other hand if you struggle to get 5 reps then the weight is probably too heavy.

Deadlift

FREE Tip #4

Focus on free weights.

Using free weights forces your body to involve supporting muscle (synergistic muscles) which is a drawback of using machines.  Synergistic muscles are smaller and aid the main muscles with balance and strength.  Machines can be beneficial and I would not take them out completely but if you’re looking to build the most muscle mass focus on free weight exercises.

FREE Fitness Tip #5

Compound exercises are KING!

Exercises that involve two or more muscles groups in the same movement are called compound exercises.  These exercises recruit the most muscle fibers which in turn builds more muscle.  There are just a few exercises that are the truest form of compound exercises and they include the bench press, dead lifts, squats, and barbell curls.  When you squat, for instance, all of the muscles in your lower body get worked.  This makes up about 60% of your overall muscle.  Not only are more muscles being worked while using compound exercises you’re getting a better overall workout.

FREE Fitness Tip #6

Do not miss leg day!

You see growth takes place proportionately when it comes to your body.  I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase ‘chicken legs’, if you do not train your legs your upper body will sooner or later stop growing before it gets too large. We all know that leg training can be, and should be, brutal.  Performing squats will give you that Super Hero look!  It is extremely important to make sure that when you use compound movements for your leg day that you do it with strict form.  There have been many bodybuilding careers destroyed by blowing out a few disc’s due to bad form.  Do not let your head get the best of you because you are trying to impress someone else. This is where your physical fitness trainer will come in handy as your spotter.

FREE Fitness Tip #7

You cannot out train a bad diet!

If you are eating meals that are inefficient in the amounts of protein then you are missing out on an important Muscle building requirement. Some of the best sources for these important proteins are red meats, fish, and poultry.  The only way to give your body what it needs is by supplying it with the right amounts of nutrients.  Fats are also important for joint and organ protection.

So how much protein is needed for someone to build bigger muscles?  It is recommended that you consume 2-3 grams of protein per pound of bodyh weight.  This can be tough to do because you’d be eating all day long.  It is essential to get some of your protein from whey protein shakes.  There are certain times when it is best to consume proteins that will make the biggest difference.  This would be immediately after your workout. Your muscles need to be fed as soon as possible after your intense workout.  A good way to get all of your protein in every day is to break up your meals into 6 small meals per day.  This helps in two ways; your muscles are continuously fed and your metabolism will be forced to run high due to always having food to digest.

FREE Fitness Tip #8

Do not cut out carbs!

The main energy source for a bodybuilding workout is glycogen.  Carbohydrates are stored in the body as Glycogen which is used by your muscles for energy.   Carbohydrates should be consumed immediately following a workout to replenish these glycogen stores.  If there is ever a good time to eat ice cream or other simple sugars is after an intense workout.  This will increase your insulin which will push more nutrients into the muscle cells.

FREE Fitness Tip #9

Cutting out all fats will not make you leaner.

Fats are a very important nutrient that our bodies need.  Cutting out all fats will not make you leaner as some fats are necessary for your to lose body fat.  You should avoid saturated fats which come from animal meats and artificial fats which are found in your favorite pastries. Consume healthy unsaturated fats such as olive oil, canola oil, fish oils, flax seed oil.

FREE Fitness Tip #10

Water Water and MORE water!

One of the most essential elements to good health is water.  Water is actually considered by some as a macronutrient.  Most studies advise you to consume 8 glasses of water per day.  But this falls short of what’s required is you exercise intensely. It is wise to drink water before, during, and after your workout.

FREE Fitness Tip #11

Add creatine to increase muscle and strength

Creatine is the most studied sports supplement ever created.  Of course there are many who have tried to write off this supplement as dangerous but have fallen flat.  The biggest source for creatine is through meats.  Creatine can help speed up muscle gain and strength and help you to power through your workout.  If you try and steer away from meats then you will want to supplement with creatine.  Creatine is also responsible for increasing the volume in your muscle cells and helps with muscle pumps. It also helps to prevent muscle breakdown.

FREE Fitness Tip #12

Help protect your muscle tissue with Glutamine

When supplemented, it may help bodybuilders reduce the amount of muscle wasting away or used up as energy. It also helps in muscle recovery.

FREE Fitness Tip #13

It might be time to change things up

We as humans are great at adapting to our surroundings…at least our bodies are.  It goes without saying that if you’ve been doing the same program for a long time your body probably has gotten used to it and has adapted to a point of stalled muscle growth and increased strength.  It is recommended that you change up your routine every six to eight weeks.  This can be achieved by simply change the sequence of muscle groups worked.  If you do chest and back together and usually start off with chest, switch it and start off training back. By changing your routines, you not only shock your muscles to new growth, it will also prevent boredom by doing the same thing all the time.

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