Guess what’s just around the corner: SUMMER! That means no more hiding under those wool sweaters. It’s time for some keys to either toning up (for most of us ladies), or bulking up (for most guys). Here are my tips for gaining quality lean muscle in record time.
Tip #1: Protein is not a bonus, it’s a requirement. Without at least 30 percent of each meal in the protein category, you set yourself up for muscle depletion. Add a high quality whey protein shake before bed to help you burn fat and build lean muscle during your sleep. Add half a banana and it will also help you sleep better.
Tip #2: Put something in your mouth every two hours. It doesn’t have to be something big or calorie dense; some nuts/seeds, raw veggies will do the trick in between your bigger meals. This is the quickest way to burn fat and gain or tone muscle. You must keep your metabolism burning all day long.
Think of your metabolism as a furnace. The veggies and other complex carbohydrates are the kindling to start the fire. The good fats and proteins are the logs that keep your fire burning all day. Sugars and other simple carbohydrates are the equivalent of throwing paper on your fire. They burn up instantly and do absolutely nothing for your metabolism.
Tip #3: Be sure to get adequate amounts of your fat soluble vitamins (A, D, E and K). But make sure they are in the form of food or whole food supplements and not synthetic vitamins. These vitamins are necessary for the production of testosterone, which is the hormone responsible for muscle development. And yes, even women need some testosterone.
The Standard American Diet (SAD) is highly depleted of these important fats. This leads to inadequate production of testosterone and, consequently, poor muscular development. Without these vitamins, your body is unable to properly absorb cholesterol in the diet to make steroids in the mitochondria. The mitochondria are the “energy houses’ of the cells, so if they’re not working right, your energy will be at an all time low as well.
Tip #4: Resistance training, such as weight lifting or using tubing/bands, is an obvious essential for muscular development. Resistance train at least three times each week (around 45 minutes per session) for best results, with some cardiovascular training in between. For faster muscular development and growth, train with heavy weight and low repetitions (for example, four sets of 5-8 reps). If you are toning, go with light weights, tubing, and/or bands, two sets with repetitions in the 12-20 range.
Tip #5: Consistency is the key. Don’t give up! When you start to get bored with things, change your routine. When you get past the feeling of wanting to slow down or quit, you’re in the clear. By then it becomes part of your lifestyle.
My personal recipe for muscle building and toning: deep sea fish, free range chicken, grass fed bison/venison/ beef, liver, egg whites and yokes, raw milk, raw butter, cod liver oil, coconut oil/milk, whey protein powder, raw veggies and brown rice.
It is important to use free range and grass fed meats in order to preserve the Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA), which is the fat that keeps you thin and strong. Grain fed meats will cause increases in cholesterol, atherosclerosis and heart disease. Also, steer clear of other grains besides the brown rice while muscle building/toning, these will cause you to hold excess estrogen and thus retain water. Happy training: the beaches are waiting!