Looking for words of wisdom to help you achieve a lean, muscular physique? We’ve got 35 proven tips for the taking. Ready, set, go get your best results …
1. Schedule that check-up.
You know the visit to your family doctor that you’ve been putting off for months? Make that appointment. Your doc will ensure everything is in good working order so that you can safely begin your new workout program.
2. Start slow.
If you’re new to fitness, don’t go crazy from the get-go. Mimicking a professional powerlifter on Day 1 will only lead to extreme soreness and possible injury. Not fun.
3. Guzzle up.
To stay hydrated, energized, and alert, drink eight to 10 cups of water per day. Water can also help you manage your weight and boost your immune system, so don’t skimp on this vital liquid.
4. Get your fill of protein.
As in LOAD. UP. NOW. Fill your freezer with chicken breasts and stock up on all your favorite high-protein supplements. Protein powders, bars, ready-to-drinks (RTDs) … you name it. Protein is essential for building muscle, losing fat, and keeping you full in between meals.
5. Quiet your mind.
When you’re over-stressed and over-burdened, healthy habits are typically the first things to go. For your overall wellness, try to lighten your schedule and squeeze in some quiet time.
6. Commit to 30.
Just 30 minutes per day, five times per week. That’s all the exercise you need to see noticeable differences in your physique and energy levels. That’s one sitcom per day – totally worth the sacrifice.
7. Clean up your diet.
Food is what fuels your body to reach your goals, so choose wisely. Keep things balanced with complete proteins, complex carbs, fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats like fish oil and flaxseeds.
8. Give yourself a break.
Know that it’s OK to take time off from the gym here and there. In fact, you should have a day or two off each week. Your mind and muscles need it for recovery and rejuvenation.
9. Push yourself.
No exercising on autopilot. For best results, you need to challenge yourself by progressively increasing your weights or reducing rest times in between sets. Your workouts shouldn’t be a walk in the park.
10. Fuel up pre-workout.
Why go in cold turkey when taking a pre-workout energy supplement like this one can help boost your energy, focus, and endurance? While you’re at it, make sure to follow things up with a quality post-workout shake
11. Find your WHY.
What’s driving you to get into better shape? An upcoming event? A trip somewhere south? Knowing your deeper motivation will keep you invested for the long haul.
12. Be specific.
We all want to “look and feel better.” But what does that mean to YOU? Set fat-loss or muscle-building goals that you can put a real number to. For example, “I’d like to lose 10 pounds of fat in six weeks.”
13. Treat your heart.
f you’re striving to get big and muscular, you’ll be spending more time by the weight racks than on the cardio machines. Still, two or three cardio sessions per week will do your heart well and aid in fat burning.
14. Take a daily multi-vite. Think of multi-vitamins as your nutritional safety net. A good food-based multi-vitamin can help ensure you’re getting the nutrients you need to stay strong and fit.
15. Partner up. There are times when you want to tune out the rest of the world and train solo, and there are times when it’s better with a buddy. The right workout partner will get you to the gym when laziness rears its ugly head.
16. Time it right for YOU.
The jury is still out on whether it’s best to exercise in the morning or at night, but what “they” say doesn’t matter. Find the time that YOU can commit to, and that’s your winner.
17. Snack with caution.
If you get a sudden urge to raid the refrigerator on your way to bed, exercise some restraint. A small, high-protein snack is OK, but a late-night plate of empty carbs will just stick to your love handles.
18. Embrace change.
If you can breeze through your workouts, it’s time to switch things up. Change your exercises, how much you lift, or the duration of your workouts. Variety is good for both mind and body.
19. Watch out for the “I exercise so I can” excuse.
You worked out this morning. Good for you. Now don’t sabotage that 45-minute session with seven hours of junk-food binging. Exercise is great, but it isn’t a free pass to eat everything in sight.
20. Think small.
Speaking of eating, try using smaller bowls, plates, and cups. Research shows that people serve themselves 20-40% more food when they’re using larger plates.
21. Shift your mindset.
Instead of grudgingly hitting the gym or eating better because you think you need to, see healthy living through a positive lens. These acts of self-care will help you live longer and look better in the process.
22. Don’t get fancy.
If you’re a beginner, stick with simple (but proven) exercises like squats, presses, and pushups. These staples put your body to good work and incorporate multiple muscle groups.
23. Reel in your expectations.
Unfortunately, results don’t happen overnight. Be patient and your rewards will be great. People generally start to see significant changes in their physique within a few weeks.
24. Turn things around.
When grocery shopping, make sure to read nutrition labels on the back of the pack. Hidden fats and sugars can lurk in your favorite foods, even if they’re advertised as “healthy.”
25. Prepare for battle.
The name of the game is prep. Always have your kitchen stocked with clean foods and bring high-protein snacks with you when you’re on the go.
26. Pack gym clothes.
Whether you’re traveling near or far, have a packed gym bag on hand so you can exercise on a whim. A word to the wise: Don’t leave stinky gym clothes in your car on a hot summer’s day.
27. Exercise to fast music.
There’s just something about a fast beat that keeps you motivated and moving. This is no time for soft, cheesy ballads.
28. Portion control with your palm.
Hate counting calories? We don’t blame you. An easier way is to use the size of your palm as a protein portion, your fist as a veggie portion, your cupped hand as a carb portion, and your thumb as a healthy fat portion.
29. Get supplements on your side.
While there are no magic pills to help you build a six-pack or barn-door back (sorry), nutritional supplements can enhance the results you see from diet and exercise. Whether you’re trying to lose weight, build muscle, or increase strength, there’s a supplement for the job.
30. Share your mission. In the spirit of support and accountability, spread the news that you’re trying to get fit. Just don’t be the guy who posts 50 gym pics a day. Nobody likes that guy.
31. Eat more protein.
That’s right, we already made this point in #4. It’s just that important.
32. Eat smaller meals, more often.
Eating five to six small meals a day (versus three larger ones), can help boost your metabolism and keep your food cravings in check. You’ll be less likely to have that “I’ve-gotta-eat-everything-in-the-house!” feeling.
33. Hang out with fit-minded people.
It’s hard to stay fit when your buddies order in pizza and wings every time you see them. No need to change friends; just try to also surround yourself with people who like a good protein shake.
34. Start today.
Don’t wait till next Monday to start your new fitness program. Take a first step today – even if it’s a small one. The longer you wait to change your habits, the harder they’ll be to break!
35. Pat yourself on the back.
By choosing to get fit, you’re doing what most people aren’t. (Remember, nearly 40% of Americans are obese*). Whether you’re starting from a healthy place or are working your way there, kudos to you for stepping up to the challenge!
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Disclaimer: This content is for informational purposes only and is not meant as medical advice, nor is it to diagnose or treat any medical condition. Please consult your physician before starting or changing your diet or exercise program. Any use of this information is at the sole discretion and responsibility of the user.