Summer can be a tricky time for athletes and exercisers. Of course, you want to look your best for beach season – which generally means losing weight. Unfortunately, cutting back on calories can also decrease your strength and even have broad impacts on your athletic performance. Which can be a real problem when competition seasons rolls around again in the fall.
Even for those who do not compete, just losing fat sometimes isn’t enough. Usually, people also want to look muscular while strutting down the shoreline. To do this, you need to build and maintain those muscles – a difficult thing to do while losing weight.
So, how can you gain mass over the summer while looking your best?
Manage Your Diet
Whether we’re talking about losing fat or gaining muscle, nutrition is always the most important factor. In order to gain mass, you’re going to need to eat more calories than you burn. From that excess, your body will pack away those extra calories and use them to build muscle fibers.
But, this will only happen if those extra calories are coming from the right sources. If your macronutrient profile isn’t properly balanced, you risk gaining more fat than muscle. What is the right mix of nutrients, then?
In general, you’ll want to eat a diet that is roughly 50 percent quality, slow carbohydrates and 35 percent protein. The rest of your calories can be filled in by fat.
This mix accomplishes a couple of things. First, the protein provided helps increase your metabolism and leave you feeling fuller for longer. That protein also gives your body everything it needs to build powerful, impressive-looking muscles. Finally, the carbohydrates keep you fueled so that you can enjoy effect workouts while also helping you add some pounds – although this extra weight is normally due to water retention.
To make sure that you have everything you need to get through your workouts, a quality mass gainer shake is going to be a powerful tool. You’ll want something like Naked Mass that is free of any potentially harmful additives, too. Since you’re going to be downing these shakes before and after your workouts, you want to know that they are only good for you.
Next, you’re going to have to examine your workout routines. To encourage muscular growth, or hypertrophy, your workouts should follow the 3 set of 10 reps format. Take about 60 seconds of rest between each exercise.
Most importantly, your workouts should consist of big, compound exercises like the squat, bench press and deadlift. These movements engage several major muscle groups all at once, simultaneously burning calories and building muscle fibers. On each of these exercises, you want to lift heavy. If you can do more than 12 reps on a given exercise, you simply aren’t moving enough weight.