The Fastest Way to Build Muscle

Losing weight is one thing, but getting an attractive, sexy body is another thing altogether. Unfortunately, the goals of losing weight and gaining muscle mass are in some ways directly opposed, particularly in the types of exercises that need to be done and in the amount of calories that need to be eaten per day. In other words, there really is no way to both lose weight and build muscle fast, so you’ll need to focus on one or the other. For the purposes of this article, we’re going to assume you want to build muscle fast. Here is the “secret” formula of the fastest way to build muscle:

  1. The first ingredient is desire. You need to have the right reasons and the right attitude in order to successfully meet your goal. Are you gaining muscle for yourself, or are you doing it for someone else? Ultimately, you need to do it for reasons that will keep you motivated in the inevitable downswings of your journey.
  2. You need the right exercise program in order to properly gain muscle mass. The best way to build muscle, especially if you’re looking for size, is to lift heavy. You really need to stress out your body systems as much as possible in order to get the physiological changes you’re looking for.
  3. When performing the exercises, don’t cheat. Make sure you use proper form. This is important for two reasons. First, it prevents you from injuries. Trying to lift more weight than you can handle requires you to use other muscles to help you lift the weight, potentially stressing out body systems and causing muscle pulls, tears, or worse. Second, you lose the benefits of the exercise if you don’t perform it properly. You’ll get more out of your workout if you lift less weight correctly than if you lift more weight incorrectly.
  4. An important rule of thumb for your workout – and a key to the fastest way to build muscle – is to keep your body guessing. If you keep on doing the same old exercises, your body will adapt to them and will derive no benefit from their continued repetition. Every six to eight weeks make sure you change up your routine substantially. A benefit of doing new exercises and routines is that you’ll be less likely to get bored and stop doing your program.
  5. To support this program of hardcore lifting, you’ll need to eat enough. You need to eat more calories than you burn in the day in order to gain weight, and many of those calories need to be from protein, which gives your body the building blocks (amino acids) needed to build muscle mass. This is why it is hard to lose weight and gain muscle at the same time – to lose weight, you need to eat fewer calories than you burn, and to gain weight (muscle), you need to eat more than this number. Thus, in this weight gaining program you will also gain some fat – this is normal and pretty much unavoidable. However, during the cutting phase, after you’ve gained rock hard muscle, you can do cardio to melt this fat away.
  6. One of the most ignored ways to build muscle fast is to increase the amount of time you rest. You will do more damage to your progress (and even your health) if you work out too more than if you rest too much. Too many people embarking on a gain muscle mass program work too hard. You need to work smart, not simply hard, in order to get the maximum benefit for your investment of time, resources, and effort.
  7. To this end, don’t work out too many days during the week. You’ll sacrifice your gains, and potentially hurt yourself, if you lift more than four times a week (generally). The exact amount you need to lift will depend on your current fitness level and your ultimate fitness goals, but just make sure whatever you do, you incorporate enough rest (sleep and days off) necessary for your success and health.

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8 Fun Ways to Lose Weight

Losing weight has the reputation of being hard work. True, losing weight and keeping it off is not easy to do, but this doesn’t mean it has to be painful or total drudgery. In fact, there are some fun ways to lose weight that will keep your motivation high while also helping you to effectively reach your goals. Some of these methods involve weight loss, while others involve a proper diet – both are necessary to lose weight and make wholesale lifestyle changes. Here are some ideas:

  1. Instead of burning away hours and calories on a treadmill or elliptical, why don’t you join a sport or do some other fun physical activity? Having a goal in mind, especially a literal goal like in hockey, basketball, or soccer, can make you forget you’re exercising. You’ll bond with your friends, lose weight, develop skills, and have fun all at the same time. What’s not to like?
  2. Make losing weight a contest with family and friends who also want to meet the goal. Name it “Weight Loss Olympics” or whatever you want. Keep track of everyone’s starting and finishing weights, and the person who loses the most weight (or, the most weight as a percentage of their original weight), wins some prize. The prize can be whatever you want it to be. Food probably isn’t a good idea, but if everyone puts $20 in a pot, and the winner takes all (or some other prize structure), this will keep everyone motivated to their goal. Best of all, regardless of who “wins,” everyone wins.
  3. Play with children. Kids have near infinite energy, and they can give even the most in-shape adult a run for their money. Play tag, hide and seek, manhunt, or whatever game that will give you some great exercise while having fun with your kids (or others’ children).
  4. Walk around a mall for a few hours. You’ll get good exercise, get to hang out with people, and maybe even buy a thing or two. Just make sure you don’t buy any of that unhealthy mall food.
  5. One of the most fun ways to lose weight is to incorporate exercise into your daily activities. For instance, if you have to do chores around the house, resolve to complete them at the fastest pace you can. You’ll save time, make chores less boring, and make weight loss fun, all at the same time.
  6. Keep track of your food/exercise changes and your weight loss progress. Keep a log, perhaps with charts and graphs, to keep track of your successes. There are many apps and programs out there that can keep track of goals, and even award you “experience points” and “loot” when you complete your daily tasks, whether they are weight loss related or not. For example, check out Level Me Up! and EpicWin for the iPod, iPhone, or iPad.
  7. Eat more of less. Instead of eating two or three big meals, eat five to six small meals scattered throughout the day. You will feel like you’re constantly eating and will never feel hungry, keeping you well motivated to reach your goals.
  8. In general, make your weight loss attempt into a game or competition. Whatever you can do to distract yourself from what you’re doing to keep you going will have positive benefits for your health outcomes.

5 Quick Ways to Lose Weight

When trying to make an important change in our lives, we should never solely seek for the ‘magic bullet’ to bypass all the work that will surely be required to meet our goals. Losing weight is no different. Magic bullets don’t exist, and some of the claimed miracle diets and weight-loss programs can actually do more harm to your health than good. This doesn’t mean, however, that we shouldn’t look for the best weight loss techniques and ideas to speed up and maximize our progress – in other words, quick ways to lose weight that aren’t harmful and actually work, as long as they are completed within a sensible diet and exercise program. Some of the following ways to lose weight quick may seem paradoxical, but therein lies their power!

  1. Lower your portion sizes. It’s important to relearn your body’s “full” signals. Eating until your stuffed is only good on Thanksgiving and other special occasions – it should NOT be a daily practice. Instead, eat until you are “satisfied.” While there will be some variation among people with this, the one agreement between them is that ‘satisfied’ occurs well before ‘full.’ Lower your portion sizes and target “satisfied” – and you can even throw in your favorite foods into your diet when you learn how to do this, because your overall calorie consumption will be lower.
  2. Eat 5 or more times a day. This may seem to be a paradoxical quick way to lose weight, but in fact it’s not. First, by five meals, we don’t mean five HUGE, dinner-sized meals. By ‘meal’ we really mean ‘snack.’ Eating five to six meals of approximately 200-300 calories each will keep your metabolism roaring throughout the day. If you go long periods without eating, your body goes into starvation mode, and lowers your metabolism, decreasing the calories burned and increasing the calories stored. Eat regularly and smartly and you can transform your body into a furnace.
  3. Drink lots of water. Not only will drinking water make you feel more “full,” but your body will operate better and more efficiently if it is hydrated. Drinking a lot of water is probably one of the best quick and easy ways to lose weight because your body will flush out the toxins and waste products if you drink a lot of water. As your bloating goes down, you might actually LOSE water weight (and look slimmer, less puffy, etc.) as you drink enough of it during the day.
  4. Treat yourself once a week. Since this will be a long term life change, you will need to make it sustainable. Totally abstaining from your favorite foods – in fact, from simply enjoying what life has to offer – is usually not sustainable without superhuman stores of willpower. Instead, treat your body (and, more importantly, your mind) to your favorite meal once per week. Don’t go overboard and pig out, but a sensibly sized treat can go a long way to curbing your hunger and your desires. Plus, it keeps your metabolism off balance, as the sudden influx of calories will fire it up for the week to come.
  5. Exercise, even walk, for 30-45 minutes a day. Not only do you lose calories while performing the activity, but you even burn EXTRA calories throughout the day after your workout as your body recovers from the exercise. Thus, you turn your body into an efficient, fat-melting machine before, during, and after exercise. Coupled with your improved diet habits, you’ll lop off calories every day, one of the most important quick ways to lose weight fast.

Best Way to Lose Belly Fat

One of the most popular fitness goal is to obtain rock hard abs – a six pack, if you will – out of a formerly saggy guy. This is a popular goal, however, because it is so challenging. Getting the body you’ve always dreamed of – including the sexy belly – requires diet, exercise, and dedication for both men and women. Information is important too – what is the best way to lose belly fat after all? Here are some ways to set you on this path:

  1. Assess your situation. BMI (body mass index) is not recommended, as it can often give you faulty results depending on your body type. Instead, focus on more objective measure, like body fat percentage, belly circumference, and other indicators of your health and wellness. You need to know your baseline to begin.
  2. Find a body fat target. Body fat percentages vary between people and between men and women. In order to get a flat stomach, you will need to lower your body fat percentage to the point where your abs will show through. They are already there, lying in wait, but are currently covered by a layer of fat, so your goal is to lower your total body fat. In the process, you will lose weight, but you need to lose the right type of weight, as losing muscle or water weight will do nothing for you and may even make you look worse.
  3. The best way to lose belly fat with exercise is to perform ‘fat burning’ cardiovascular activities. There are two main kinds of activities that can help you. The first is high intensity interval training, in which you perform intense exercise for a short period of time, followed by a period of rest, and repeat throughout a shorter (20-30 minute) workout. You can vary the work:rest ratios based on your fitness level, but a minute of work to one, two, three, or even four minutes of rest are potential choices.
  4. If this kind of exercise is too intense for you, begin with some lighter cardio workouts in the “fat burning zone.” This is the 60-65% zone of your target heart rate. In this area, nearly 50% of the calories burned come from fat. On the other hand, if you are able to handle intense exercise, more vigorous workouts will burn more calories overall. So while you will burn less fat calories as a percentage with intense workouts, you will burn more fat calories overall.
  5. The best way to lose belly fat fast is through restricting your total calorie intake. Sure, working out will burn calories, but you will also save a lot of calories by lowering your portion sizes and making better decisions about what you eat. To get rid of belly fat you will need to lose a lot of other fat from your body – sorry, not targeting exercises are possible! Thus, you will need to lose a bunch of pounds to decrease your percentage. Luckily, this will make you look great all over, not just in your stomach area!
  6. Avoid gimmicks like belts, pills, fad diets, and ‘easy’ workout programs. This quest won’t be easy, and there is no magic bullet. In fact, there is never a magic bullet for a truly worthwhile change. Set goals, stick to them, and follow through with well laid plans. That is the essence of the best ways to lose body fat.

More information on how to get flat abs can be found in this site: The Truth about Six Pack Abs

6 Ways to Stop Drinking

Many people enjoy drinking with friends or to relax after a long days work. But for others, drinking is more a nightmare than anything else. Alcoholism and its related diseases and accidents cause much misery in households across the United States and the world, and many people look for ways to stop drinking. Even if you are not an ‘alcoholic’ per se, and you just want to reduce what you see as a bad habit, these tips could be helpful for you as well. If your problem is severe, you will want to see a doctor for your problem, as he or she will direct you on eliminating your alcohol habit given your medical and psychological situation.

(Note: This advice is for entertainment purposes only. Consult with professionals before you act on any major changes in your diet or lifestyle.)

  1. The easy way to stop drinking is to reduce your intake over time. Note your daily intake of alcohol, or how much you drink at social events, and reduce the amount by one drink a day/session each week. You will thus habituate your body to this lower amount of alcohol, and psychologically the change will be easier to handle. Gradual reduction in your intake will help you stick to your new behavior. Total elimination of your alcohol habit is not necessarily required, depending on your addiction to it. Many studies have found that imbibing one drink a day (one beer or glass of wine) can yield health benefits.
  2. Get a system and get support. There’s plenty of information out there for people who need to stop drinking now. For instance, check out this program that can help you create an alcohol free social life.
  3. Write a journal or log of your drinking. Communicate to yourself (and others!) why you want to stop drinking. The way to stop drinking is to understand exactly why you want to change this behavior. You may find reasons through your own reflection or from the advice of friends and family. In addition, writing your goals down will help you follow through with them, especially if you rewrite them every day. Studies have shown that people who write their goals are much more likely to succeed than those who don’t.
  4. Watch how, when, where, and why you drink. Perhaps you drink too fast, and can’t keep track of how much you drink, or perhaps you only drink with friends, at bars, or when stressed out or sad. Being aware of the circumstances of your habit will help you identify the trigger to this behavior. Once you identify the trigger, reduce its prevalence or its impact on you. This is one particularly easy way to stop drinking, because if you eliminate the cause, you wipe out the effect.
  5. Drink something else instead of alcohol. Find another beverage, like soda, juice, water, or sports drinks, that you can drink in social environments or whenever the alcohol trigger fires. Soda is a particularly good choice – it’s tasty, fizzy, and fun. Be careful, however, that you don’t drink too much – you don’t want to gain weight and yet another addiction or problem!
  6. If you have to live someone who is a problem drinker or alcoholic, it can be incredibly difficult to keep harmony in the household. There’s plenty of support for you too; check out this site, for example, which gives advice tailored to people in your situation.

Know any ways to stop drinking alcohol? Leave them in the comments!

The Quickest Way to Lose Weight

We all want the magic bullet, the quick fix, the instant gratification. This is especially true for those who want to lose weight fast. You may be sick of the way you look and feel, and just desperately want to lose those extra pounds. After trying many diets and other programs and failing, you may want to just cut right to the chase. So, what’s the quickest way to lose weight?

Note: This advice is for entertainment purposes only. Consult with a doctor before embarking on any diet, exercise, or weight loss program.

  1. The cheap answer, aside from chopping off a limb or two, is to lose water weight. In fact, losing excess water may actually reduce bloating in your system, making you feel and look instantly better! Ironically, the best way to do this is to drink water, as your body will release the stored water it contains as soon as it is rehydrated. You can also engage in vigorous exercise and sweat away the pounds, though you will quickly be dehydrated and could end up in a medically precarious position. Drinking water is a great habit to build anyway, and a simple lifestyle change that can go a long way to improving overall quality of life. However…
  • Warning: Any “lose weight quickly” diet is usually going to lead you nowhere. Usually, the quickest ways to lose weight are the most unsafe. Starvation diets, dehydration, and the like can all lead to serious medical consequences down the road. Not only is it dangerous, but it won’t last. Certainly, the quickest way to lose weight in a week may yield a loss of 5 to 10 pounds, but it is not sustainable, nor is any ‘real’ weight being lost. As soon as you revert to your normal behaviors, the weight will pile on quickly. The true secret to weight loss is consistent effort – nothing short of a whole lifestyle transformation.
  • When discussing ‘weight,’ differentiate between different types. If you lost 30 pounds of muscle, you’d weight “less,” but you’d certainly wouldn’t be healthier. Nor would you look better, as you’d simply be reduced to a flabby, weak mess. Muscle, fat, and water are the primary three weight-bearing substances in the body, and the proportions of these components lost will depend on the type of program (speed, duration, intensity, exercise frequency, etc.) that you engage in.

In short, there is no quick fix to anything. Any claims of ‘easy,’ ‘fast,’ or ‘effortless’ ANYTHING are usually false and potentially harmful. Slow and steady wins the race, both in life in general and in the weight loss game.