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Of course how you train will have a big impact on your muscle and strength gains, however what you do outside of the gym is also important.
The following are some muscle building tips you should follow when outside of the gym.
#1: Get Plenty of Sleep
Sleep is incredibly important for muscle growth, this is because when you are experiencing that REM cycle your body will start to release testosterone and other hormones that will actively repair and regrow muscle fibre.
If you are not getting at least 7-8 hours of sleep every night then you are not giving your body adequate time for recovery.
I would recommend that if you want to optimise your sleep that you try and relax before bed. Try to avoid technology before you go off to sleep and make sure you leave your smart phone in another room as the notifications will wake you throughout the night.
#2: Eat for your Goals
A problem that many of us face is that we don’t always stick to our nutritional needs.
For example, you may stick to your diet Monday to Friday but then over-indulge during the weekend, therefore ruining any good work you have done beforehand.
This may not be as big an issue if you are undergoing a “dirty bulk”, however if you are trying to cut and are trying to stick to a calorie deficit then this can hinder your progress.
#3: Try to Reduce Stress
Stress can cause your body to produce excess levels of cortisol.
This can hinder your muscle building efforts as cortisol is a catabolic hormone, which means that it causes the break down of muscle tissue and can also reduce protein synthesis too.
There are things that you can do to reduce stress, for example:
- You can listen to calming music
- Go for a walk
- Read a book
- Watch a movie
- Deep breathing exercises
Whatever you choose, if you want to build muscle effectively then you need to take control of your stress levels.
#4: Take Part in Sports
There are many benefits to be gained from taking part in sport, especially if it is competitive sports.
Often the reason why people join the gym is to improve their athletic efforts, and this works vice-versa too.
Taking parts in sport helps to utilise fast twitch muscle fibres, and help you burn extra body fat.
It is also good for relieving stress and making friends through the sport is not to be sniffed at either.
#5: Cut Back on the Alcohol
It may not be a surprise to learn that alcohol or recreational drugs are not the best choice when looking to build muscle.
Alcohol and drugs can put added stress on your kidneys and can affect your nervous system.
If you are looking to cut fat then alcohol can hinder your efforts as it contains plenty of hidden calories.
#6: Manage those DOMS
If you have ever encountered DOMS after an intense workout then you will know how debilitating they can be.
Sometimes you wont even want to workout for days after, which is certainly not recommended if muscle growth is your goal.
Stretching every morning is a good idea, as well as steady-state cardio on your rest days to keep your muscles loose. Foam rolling is also a good idea to reduce DOMS.
#7: Get a Massage
A registered massage therapist or RMT can help relax tight muscles by increasing circulation, and to increase hypertrophy.
If you are consistently lifting heavy during your training then a chiropractor maybe a good idea too.
Lifting heavy weights will likely cause damage to your joints, connective tissue and spine however safely you lift.
A chiropractor can help stimulate dormant muscles, can fix any restriction and help adjust your skeleton if needed.
#8: Forget About Training
On those rare rest days it is best that you try to forget about our training entirely.
If you tend to focus on your training all the time then it will be less fun for you, meaning you are less likely to stick with it long term, meaning your goals are never going to be met.
Give yourself a day off occasionally and do something else. Your body will thank you for the rest.
There are supplements available that can help your training.
Whey protein is essential to ensure you are hitting your protein allowance daily, while creatine and BCAAs are also a good idea.
Luckily there is a product range that offers its customers the nutrients they need for both pre workout, during your workout and post workout.
The range is Blackwolf Workout, who sell 2 supplement packages, one aimed at men (Hunter) and another aimed at women (Huntress).
Benefits on offer include:
- Higher energy levels
- Improved performance
- Better focus
- More stamina
- Muscle and strength gains
- More endurance
- Faster recovery from your workouts
To read more about the benefits on offer please click the link below to read our full review.