With spring approaching rapidly, the bulking season is coming to an end for most people. The cutting season is on the horizon and everyone wants to know how to do it effectively.
In this guide, you’ll learn everything there is to know about getting down to 10% body fat easily and effectively. Let’s go.
The Most Important Aspects of a Successful Diet
To lose fat, you need to cover a few fundamentals:
Aspect #1: Adequate Calorie Intake
To lose weight, you need to create a caloric deficit. Meaning, you need to eat fewer calories than your body burns every day. The composition of your diet doesn’t matter. You can eat oreos and Doritos every day and still lose weight.
Don’t believe me?
Professor Mark Haub went on a 10-week diet that consisted of Doritos chips, sugary cereals, twinkies, and Oreos. Despite the common belief that you need to eat “clean foods” to lose fat, professor Haub proved to everyone that calories are the most important factor for weight loss.
So, what was his trick? He restricted his calorie intake to 1800 per day.
What’s more, Haub’s bad cholesterol, or LDL, dropped 20 percent and his good cholesterol, or HDL, increased by 20 percent.
First, calculate caloric intake (step-by-step tutorial)
You can use an online calculator for this job, but I find that most of them are highly inaccurate and mostly geared toward very overweight and obese individuals who aren’t very active.
An alternative to finding your TDEE is using the two formulas below. They’ll give you a good idea of what your starting calories should be.
First, let’s calculate your BMR:
Women: BMR = 655 + (4.35 * weight in pounds) + (4.7 * height in inches) – (4.7 * age in years)
Men: BMR = 66 + (6.23 * weight in pounds) + (12.7 * height in inches) – (6.8 * age in years)
Alternative formula for kilos and centimeters:
Women: BMR = 655 + (9.6 * weight in kilos) + (1.8 * height in cm) – (4.7 * age in years)
Men: BMR = 66 + (13.7 * weight in kilos) + (5 * height in cm) – (6.8 * age in years)
Let’s do an example calculation using the first formula:
26 years-old-guy, who weighs 182 pounds and is 6 feet (72 inches) tall.
BMR = 66 + (6.23 * 182) + (12.7 * 72) – (6.8 * 26)
BMR = 66 + 1133 + 914 – 177
BMR = 1936 calories.
This is roughly the number of calories your body burns every day just to keep you alive.
Now, to get our TDEE, we need to use the Harris-Benedict multiplier for the BMR value that we have. Here it is:
- If you are sedentary (little to no exercise): BMR * 1.2
- If you are lightly active (light exercise 1-3 times/week): BMR * 1.375
- If you are moderately active (moderate exercise 3-5 times/week): BMR * 1.55
- If you are very active (hard exercise 6-7 times/week): BMR * 1.725
- If you are extra active (very hard exercise & physical job): BMR * 1.9
Now, for the sake of our example, let’s assume that our guy from above is moderately active. So the calculation would go like this:
1936 calories (BMR) * 1.55 (moderately active) = 3000 calories TDEE.
This is roughly the number of calories you would need to eat every day to maintain your current weight.
Once you know your individual TDEE, a good rule of thumb is to put a 500 calorie deficit and eat like that for a few weeks.
Why exactly 500 calories?
A pound of fat contains roughly 3500 calories. When you set a deficit of 500/day, that is 3500/week, which in theory should make you shed 1 pound of fat per week.
Of course, some glycogen, water and muscle mass will be lost in the process and you likely won’t lose exactly 1 pound per week.
Aspect #2: Proper Macronutrient Split of Your Calories
Once you know how much calories you should eat to lose fat, it’s time to split them between the 3 macronutrients: protein, carbs, and fats. Macronutrients are the components that make up food.
Each macro has a certain amount of calories per gram. Protein and carbs have 4 calories/gram and fats have 9 calories/gram.
Calculate protein needs
Protein comes first and there’s no surprise here. It is very important for muscle growth and muscle maintenance during a cut.
Adequate intake of protein in combination with regular strength training ensures that little to no muscle mass is lost in the process. What is more, protein is very satiating. When you eat fewer calories every day, you’ll feel hungrier, but consuming enough protein can counter that effect.
As far as protein needs, 1 gram per pound of body weight is enough. If you weigh 190 pounds, eat 190 grams of protein. If you feel very hungry throughout the day, eat as much as 1.2 grams per pound of body weight.
The only exception to this rule is for very overweight and obese people. If someone weighs 260 pounds and has a considerable amount of fat to lose, they would benefit much more from eating 0.6-0.7 grams of protein per pound of weight.
It is much more achievable and just as effective.
Calculate carbs and fats
If you don’t want to track all 3 macronutrients, you can stop here with the calculations. Eat adequate calories, track your protein intake and eyeball your carbs and fats balance.
But, if you do want to be more precise, read on.
Eat between 0.3 and 0.6 grams of fats per pound of body weight or at the very least, 15% of your calories.
And get the remaining calories from carbohydrates. Depending on how much or how little fats you eat every day, your carb intake will likely fluctuate a bit from day to day. This should be mostly personal taste and what helps you feel maximally full and satisfied with your diet.
If you fare better on a higher fat intake, eat more fats. If carbs are what helps you feel more energized and happy with yourself, eat more carbs and fewer fats. Simple.
How to Put It All Together With Eating
The numbers from above have laid out the groundwork. Now, it’s time to tie them neatly with food.
The best way to go about it is to follow a flexible dieting approach. With it, your goal is to hit your macros for the day but with a more balanced and “adult” approach to nutrition. You get 80-90% of your calories from whole, nutritious foods and the rest are left for your treats.
Whole foods are normally higher in volume, slower-digesting, and very filling. When calories are limited, eating mostly whole foods will help keep you full and satisfied with your diet.
If you aim to hit your calories and macronutrients with mostly crappy foods, you’ll be mostly hungry and have energy spikes and crashes throughout most of the day.
Aspect #3: Proper Training
When you’re bulking, you can get away with a lot of training because you are eating a lot of calories that help you recover. However, when trying to get to 10% body fat, you need to be more methodical with your training.
Since you’ll be eating in a caloric deficit and your recovery is going to be compromised, trying to maintain the same training style is going to do more harm than good.
Reduce training volume, maintain/increase intensity.
Keep lifting the same weights you usually do but reduce the total number of sets you are doing. Your main goal is to maintain your strength on the key lifts (bench press, squat, deadlift, overhead press, etc.).
As you go further and further into your diet, remove a set here and there but always focus on maintaining your strength.
Thanks to the reduced training volume, your workouts will be fewer and shorter and you’ll be able to put most of your focus on strength. For example, if you’re able to squat 315 lbs. for a set of 8 at the beginning of your cut, ideally, you should be able to do it once you’re at 10% body fat.
On the other hand, if you try to spread yourself too thin by focusing on many things, you’ll likely lose more strength and muscle while dieting and increase the risk of injuring yourself by overtraining.
How to Track Your Fat Loss Progress
Tracking your fat loss progress is crucial. If you don’t do that, you can’t know if what you’re doing is right or wrong. Without further ado, here are the best ways to track progress:
Your daily weigh-in can fluctuate up or down based on tons of different factors. But if you weigh yourself every morning on an empty stomach and take the weekly average, you’ll have a much clearer picture of what is going on.
For example, on week 3, 4, and 5 of your cut, your body weight weekly averages changed as follows:
- Week 3 average: 186.5 lbs.
- Week 4 average: 185.4 lbs.
- Week 5 average: 184.7 lbs.
But on week 6 and 7, your weekly averages stopped going down:
- Week 6 average: 184.8 lbs.
- Week 7 average: 184.7 lbs.
If your body weight stagnates or slows down for more than two weeks, take it as a sign that you need to change something to keep the fat loss going.
Next to body weight tracking, taking the occasional progress picture is a great way to see visual changes.
We see ourselves in the mirror every day and noticing progress can be difficult. But if you take a weekly set of 3-4 progress photos and compare them over the weeks, you’ll clearly see changes.
But to make progress pictures accurate, you need to take them under the same conditions, using the same poses at (ideally) the same time of the day.
That way, you can most accurately see the changes in your body. It wouldn’t serve you much if you take progress pictures in the evening, after a big dinner one time. Then, the next time during broad daylight before eating anything.
That alone can make a huge difference in your appearance.
3.Performance in the gym
Once you have a good idea of your progress thanks to body weight averages and progress pictures, it’s time to take a look at your performance in the gym.
Whether you’re using a simple notebook or a smartphone app, writing down your numbers and tracking them from week to week is important to make sure that you’re on the right track.
If you’re maintaining or slowly improving your performance while losing fat, that’s great. But if you’re rapidly losing strength, it’s probably a good idea to decrease the caloric deficit a bit.
As we already discussed above, maintaining your strength during a cut is very important, because:
- It indicates that you’re doing a good job at keeping your muscle mass;
- It allows you to jump into the next bulking phase strong and better able to build more muscle mass.
How and When to Make Adjustments to Your Diet for Ongoing Progress
Long-term change in body weight is one of the best ways to track your fat loss progress. But to be able to accurately track your body weight and not be influenced by day to day fluctuations, you should to daily weigh-ins.
Measure your body weight in the morning, on an empty stomach, after going to the bathroom 4 to 7 times per week and calculate the average.
Then, compare week to week and see what the trend is.
Because your metabolism will gradually adapt to the lower calorie intake, you need to see when your body weight stagnates. At that point, you can either reduce your calories by 100-150/day and track for another week or two or introduce (or increase) cardio.
For example, if your fat loss stagnates at 2500 calories/day, you can either drop them to 2350-2400/day or start doing cardio twice a week for 30 minutes.
Each time your fat loss stalls, either increase cardio a bit or decrease caloric intake. That way, you can continue to lose fat efficiently.
And if you’re interested in supplements that can help you along the way, we’ve got you covered. We recommend starting with the following muscle-building essentials:
If your interested in learning more about the how-to’s of building muscle, check out our free articles:
The process of building a great body is two-fold. First, you need to learn the fundamentals and apply them consistently. After that, you need to get a bit more structured with your approach and learn how to optimize your results.
Eating protein before bed falls in the second part of the process: optimizing results.
First and foremost, you need to get the fundamentals in place. The fundamentals are:
- Calculating and tracking calories and protein;
- Optimizing your training with compound lifts and progressive overload;
- Resting enough between workouts and getting your 8 hours of sleep;
If these fundamentals aren’t in place, just eating protein before bed won’t make much of a difference. BUT, if everything else is in check, learning how to optimize your results is the next step and this article is going to help you.
It was a common belief that you need to eat food every few hours to prevent muscle loss, speed up metabolism, etc.
Today, we know better and there’s much more research at our disposal.
Eating protein before bed isn’t necessary and you won’t shrivel down into nothing if you don’t consume that late-night cottage cheese bowl.
With that said, I do recommend eating some protein before bed, preferably a slow-digesting one such as:
- Cottage cheese
- Casein protein
- Greek yogurt
Say you eat your dinner around 7 PM and usually have the next meal (breakfast) around 7.30-8 AM. That is a good 12.5-13 hours of no new nutrients coming into the body.
Well, to build muscle you need to be in a positive nitrogen balance and provide your body with the needed training stimulus. Aside from lifting weights regularly, your body needs to build more protein than it breaks down.
First off, you need to take enough protein every day (around 1g of protein per pound of body weight). Secondly, making sure that you provide some amino acids for your body during the night could provide beneficial for muscle growth and muscle maintenance in the long run.
Amino acids are the raw materials that make up protein and that the body uses to build tissue, including muscle.
So, if no amino acids are available during the night (by eating some protein before bed), protein synthesis levels are lower.
Thus, eating some protein (30-40 grams) before bed gives your body amino acids to work with during the night and potentially help you build more muscle mass.
Instead of harming protein synthesis during the night, you keep the momentum going, keep growing and repairing muscle tissue.
As you can probably guess, most of us spend a good 3rd of our time asleep, which is why doing this “small” thing every night before bed adds up and creates a snowball effect.
This is especially important during fat loss periods when you’re in a caloric deficit and your body is struggling to maintain the muscle mass it has.
Although eating protein before bed won’t “boost your metabolism” or lead to better fat loss, it truly does offer other benefits and is a habit worth taking up.
But don’t forget to account for the extra food in your total calories for the day. After all, weight loss and weight gain come down to calories in versus calories out.
And if you’re interested in supplements that can help you along the way, we’ve got you covered. We recommend starting with the following muscle-building essentials:
If your interested in learning more about the how-to’s of building muscle, check out our free articles:
1. “You have to remember something: Everybody pities the weak; jealousy you have to earn.” – Arnold Schwarzenegger
2. “Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength.” – Arnold Schwarzenegger
3. “What is the point of being on this Earth if you are going to be like everyone else?” – Arnold Schwarzenegger
4. “Just like in bodybuilding, failure is also a necessary experience for growth in our own lives, for if we’re never tested to our limits, how will we know how strong we really are? How will we ever grow?” – Arnold Schwarzenegger
5. “For me life is continuously being hungry. The meaning of life is not simply to exist, to survive, but to move ahead, to go up, to achieve, to conquer.” – Arnold Schwarzenegger
6. “Help others and give something back. I guarantee you will discover that while public service improves the lives and the world around you, its greatest reward is the enrichment and new meaning it will bring your own life.” – Arnold Schwarzenegger
7. “The resistance that you fight physically in the gym and the resistance that you fight in life can only build a strong character.” – Arnold Schwarzenegger
8. “The mind is the limit. As long as the mind can envision the fact that you can do something, you can do it, as long as you really believe 100 percent.” – Arnold Schwarzenegger
9. “The last three or four reps is what makes the muscle grow. This area of pain divides the champion from someone else who is not a champion. That’s what most people lack, having the guts to go on and just say they’ll go through the pain no matter what happens.” – Arnold Schwarzenegger
11. “The better you get, the less you run around showing off as a muscle guy. You know, you wear regular shirts-not always trying to show off what you have. You talk less about it. It’s like you have a little BMW – you want to race the hell out of this car, because you know it’s just going 110. But if you see guys driving a ferrari or a lamborghini, they slide around at 60 on the freeway because they know if they press on that accelerator they are going to go 170. These things are the same in every field.” – Arnold Schwarzenegger
12. “Positive thinking can be contagious. Being surrounded by winners helps you develop into a winner.” – Arnold Schwarzenegger
13. “It’s not what you get out of life that counts. Break your mirrors! In our society that is so self-absorbed, begin to look less at yourself and more at each other. you’ll get more satisfaction from having improved your neighborhood, your town, your state, your country, and your fellow human beings than you’ll ever get from your muscles, your figure, your automobile, your house, or your credit rating” – Arnold Schwarzenegger
14. “If you want to turn a vision into reality, you have to give 100% and never stop believing in your dream.” – Arnold Schwarzenegger
15. “If you don’t find the time, if you don’t do the work, you don’t get the results.” – Arnold Schwarzenegger
16. “Be hungry for success, hungry to make your mark, hungry to be seen and to be heard and to have an effect. And as you move up and become successful, make sure also to be hungry for helping others.” – Arnold Schwarzenegger
17. “I never felt that I was good enough, strong enough, smart enough. He let me know that there was always room for improvement. A lot of sons would have been crippled by his demands, but instead the discipline rubbed off on me. I turned it into drive.” – Arnold Schwarzenegger
18. “The more knowledge you have, the more you’re free to rely on your instincts.” – Arnold Schwarzenegger
19. I knew I was a winner back in the late sixties. I knew I was destined for great things. People will say that kind of thinking is totally immodest. I agree. Modesty is not a word that applies to me in any way – I hope it never will.” – Arnold Schwarzenegger
20. “I do the same exercises I did 50 years ago and they still work. I eat the same food I ate 50 years ago and it still works.” – Arnold Schwarzenegger
21. “Failure is not an option. Everyone has to succeed.” – Arnold Schwarzenegger
22. “If it’s hard to remember, it’ll be difficult to forget.” – Arnold Schwarzenegger
23. “Life’s six rules for success. 1. Trust yourself. 2. Break some rules. 3. Don’t be afraid to fail. 4. Ignore the naysayers. 5. Work like hell. 6. Give something back.” – Arnold Schwarzenegger
24. “You can’t climb the ladder of success with your hands in your pockets.” – Arnold Schwarzenegger
25. “I don’t walk away from things that I think are unfinished.” – Arnold Schwarzenegger
26. “Life may be full of pain but that’s not an excuse to give up.” – Arnold Schwarzenegger
27. “I didn’t leave bodybuilding until I felt that I had gone as far as I could go. It will be the same with my film career. When I feel the time is right, I will then consider public service. I feel that the highest honor comes from serving people and your country.” – Arnold Schwarzenegger
28. “I would never exchange my life with anybody else’s.” – Arnold Schwarzenegger
29. “Learned helplessness is the giving-up reaction, the quitting response that follows from the belief that whatever you do doesn’t matter.” – Arnold Schwarzenegger
30. “Money doesn’t make you happy. I now have $50 million but I was just as happy when I had $48 million.” – Arnold Schwarzenegger
Thanks for reading some of the greatest Arnold Schwarzenegger quotes!
I’ll be back… with more quotes from great leaders and successful figures. Know any Arnold Schwarzenegger fans? Go ahead and share this page with them!
It is important to get enough protein in your diet for whatever reason, be it to gain muscle, lose weight or for healthier nails and skin. However, an adequate amount for you could be adding a few more eggs to your diet while to someone else it could be protein shakes and steak. The advisable guideline when it comes to protein consumption is that your intake should be sufficient for your maintenance but increasing your intake is always better. Muscles take up a larger protein load, but organ function, hormones, hair, and healthy skin all require protein intake.
A higher protein intake helps you with your endeavors whether you want to work towards athletic goals, maintain weight loss, or lose weight. As opposed to taking a specific amount of protein, a range of 0.57-0.76 grams for every pound of your body weight is recommended. This means you will be eating twice the amount of protein and this will take some getting used to. If you do not have an existing kidney problem, then a high-protein diet will do you justice but a heads up, it might be slightly more expensive.
Post-Workout Protein Consumption
Protein is essential for recovery from a strenuous workout while helping to maximize performance. The best time to consume protein would be following a workout because at this point the amino acids constituting protein are used to repair any damaged muscle tissue.
The puzzle surrounding what you should eat after a workout is most about how much you should consume specifically protein since it should be a priority after any workout. However, there are still questions regarding how much protein you should consume post-workout in order to boost muscle repair and muscle hypertrophy or growth.
The amount of protein you should consume after your workout session is dependent on your daily protein intake. Once you have locked down your daily protein consumption, then you will be able to narrow down on distinct factors such as eating the right amount following exercise. Recent studies indicate that 20-25 grams of protein i.e. four eggs, a 3-ounce chicken breast, or a can of tuna eaten in a meal at a specific time following your training session is enough to restart muscle repair or muscle growth in your body. This seems like a reasonable amount of protein for an average person but recent research suggests that an even better amount of protein to consume after your workout would be 40 grams. Subjects in this study performed full-body workouts (strength training). This indicates that if lots of muscle groups are used during the training session for example during exercises such as deadlifts or squats, then you would do yourself justice to eat 25 grams of protein and high-quality protein at least. It is important to get an adequate amount of high-quality protein increasing your protein consumption from 25 to 40 grams after your workout might be beneficial. The worst case would consumption of excess protein and this could disrupt any strict diet.
The General Guidelines
Your Daily Protein consumption is connected to the amount of protein required following a workout session. The Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology suggests that women need to consume roughly 0.8 grams of protein daily in relation to each kilogram of body weight. This equates to 0.36 grams of protein for each pound of body weight. However, a slightly higher intake can enhance any adaptations your body needs to make for intense training sessions. 0.6 – 0.91 grams of protein/ pound or 1.4 – 2 grams/ kg could be more suitable for both women and men. Dividing your daily protein between all meals is wise even if your intake is higher.
Determining Factors for Your Protein Consumption Post-Workout
Your diet and your training will also determine the amount of protein you require after your workout. Women taking on strength training workouts will need a higher protein intake post-workout compared to those taking on endurance training. If you are eating fewer calories than normal or dieting for weight loss, then you will need to increase your dietary protein intake to help you conserve your lean body mass.
More Exercise = Higher Protein Intake
If you are exercising consistently, then you need to increase your protein intake. If you want to get stronger, then your muscle growth and repair rate should outpace muscle breakdown. You need to eat food, more specifically protein, for this to happen. The type of training you undertake requires you to switch up the recommended amount of protein to take.
Weightlifting calls for 0.63-0.82 grams per pound of your body weight.
Endurance sports such as cycling or running calls for 0.54-0.63 grams per pound of your body weight.
Eating More Protein Helps with Weight Loss
The irony of things is that you will need to eat more protein to lose weight compared to if you were aiming for muscle building. Weight loss requires muscle tissue breakdown at a faster rate than it is being created so that the muscles benefit from having more protein.
– If you are undertaking any light activity or you are sedentary, you will want to aim for a range of 0.45-0.68 grams per pound of body weight.
– If you are very active, you should aim for a range of 0.6- 1.2 grams of protein per pound of body weight, particularly if you want to maintain muscle. If you have less body fat, then you will benefit from the higher end of that range. Your protein intake would be based on lean mass (muscle: body fat ratio)
One of the main benefits of consuming more protein when you are aiming for weight loss is that high-protein foods help you feel fuller and more satisfied in comparison to fats and carbs not to mention they help to curb your appetite. Calories matter most at the end of it all so when you are satisfied and full you will not need to look for extra calories. If you also want to have an athletic physique, you will see the best results by combining a weightlifting training regimen with an increased protein intake. The power used to lift weighs signals to your muscles to remain instead of having to eat a high-protein diet alone.
You Need Less Protein Than You Think if You Are Looking to Build More Muscle
Generally, eating 0.36-0.54 grams per pound of body weight while following a good weight lifting plan and eating sufficient calories to gain or maintain is adequate for building muscle. Most lifters will not get any extra muscle building advantages from eating more than 0.8 grams. The number can reduce as gain experience and require a lower protein intake seeing as you are not new to this and your body is not breaking down a lot of protein as you train. The bottom line is you can eat more protein if you would like but past a specific point, eating any more protein will not help with faster muscle building because the additional amount will be simply calories.
Making Your Protein Intake Work In Your Favor
There aren’t any clear-cut protein recommendations but a simple guideline suggestion would be to go with 1 gram of lean body weight and then modifying it according to your needs. If you are unaware of your percentage body weight then you could use your goal weight. If for example, you weigh 150 pounds currently and you are looking to get to 125 pounds, then you can go for 125 grams of protein.
Calculating Your Post-Workout Protein Intake
In order to put together your individual protein needs post-workout, you will have to multiply your weight (pounds) by 0.8 if you are a strength trainer or multiply it by 0.6 if you are an endurance trainer. The number you get will be your cumulative daily protein intake. You will then divide the number you get by the total number of meals you take daily. For example, if you weigh 150 pounds, then you would need 120 grams if you were strength training and 90 grams of daily protein if you were endurance training. If you take 5 meals daily then this would equate to 24 grams of protein following a strength training session and 18 grams of protein in your meal after an endurance workout session.
Post-Workout Protein Meal Suggestions
Some good examples of post-workout snacks and meals that are packed with protein include:
– A whole-wheat bagel with low-fat cream cheeses and smoked salmon
– Vegetable and noodle stir-fry with tofu or chicken
– Flaked almonds with raspberries and cottage cheese
– A blended protein shake with banana and milk
– A blended shake with a frozen banana with almond butter, low-fat plain yogurt, low-fat milk
– Pesto, a medium sized sweet potato, and sirloin steak
– Baby kale, brown rice, and chicken breast
– Chopped pineapple, hemp seeds, and cottage cheese
– Cherry tomatoes, baby spinach, canned navy beans, and albacore tuna
– Broccoli, quinoa, and salmon fillet
– Blueberries, whey protein, and Greek yogurt
And if you’re interested in supplements that can help you along the way, we’ve got you covered. We recommend starting with the following muscle-building essentials:
If your interested in learning more about the how-to’s of building muscle, check out our free articles:
A firm butt has become a popular asset among more people, but it goes without saying that you have to work at it to get a better butt. Sure, you can take the easy route and go for surgical procedures to enhance your butt, but the results might not be permanent and it will cost you a pretty penny. Additionally, you will never know whether you could have built a better butt for yourself if you had just applied yourself. Luckily, you can improve your glutes naturally and you can work on it outside or inside the gym. You do not even need equipment, but having it is altogether beneficial.
The glutes consist of three primary muscles and the Gluteus Maximus, which is the butt, is the largest of the three. However, it does work in harmony with the other two muscles, namely the gluteus minimus and the gluteus medius. Before getting started, you need to know that there are specific exercises one can practice to target different areas of the glutes. You can also build your gluteal muscles in several ways, including cardio, plyometrics, and weight lifting.
Cardiovascular Exercises Can Help You Build the Glutes.
This goes beyond casual jogging or training on the elliptical as such workouts will incite weight loss instead of muscle hypertrophy, which is what we are looking for. When using cardio to build the glutes, it will be more strenuous on both the skeletal and cardiac muscles. Use the stair stepper instead and try out different moves while on it. If you want good results, do not cheat by leaning on the handrails as you move at an accelerated rate. This will eliminate the strain exerted by the exercise and it makes this high muscle building and high intensity exercise nothing more than a basic cardio exercise.
Other cardio exercises you can perform on the stair climber that is great for glute enhancement include stair jogging, lateral stair walking, and glute kickbacks. The treadmill can also be used to train your glutes by including lateral walking pop squats or lunges in intervals. However, if you simply want to walk then you can boost the treadmill level up a notch or two to work the glutes and the hamstrings resulting in muscle hypertrophy. 3 days every week, at least, of cardio ranging from around 20 to 40 minutes will do your butt a lot of justice.
Go Deep and Wide with Your Squats
For exercises targeting the glutes such as leg presses, squats, and deadlifts, a simple adjustment of the placement of your feet and adopting a wider stance can help you focus on the glute muscles more effectively. If you incorporate a stance that is as wide as your hips are, then you will be able to engage your butt more effectively. A wide stance allows your hips to move back even further and this will work your glutes, hamstrings, adductors, and lower back even harder. It also allows you to easily hit a below-parallel position while you squat.
The depth of your squat also depends largely on your lower back mobility and stability. However, your glute muscles will get more out of the parallel position where the knees are bent at a 90-degree angle during your squat.
This is where you essentially train one leg individually and it has shown great effectiveness for improving on a lagging body part during your training. A good example would be doing basic deadlifts on one leg at a time with a dumbbell instead of a barbell. The reason why this is effective is that the inclusion of unilateral workout movements involves a stronger connection between the muscles and the mind. By focusing on one leg at a time, you can concentrate on using more of your glute muscle in the exercise and pushing through compared to if you would use a barbell with both feet on the ground. Unilateral training also allows for even distribution of the weight so that each limb is performing the same degree of work.
Double Leg Days
Getting in an entire training session while isolating your glute muscles completely can be quite challenging. Hip thrusts, lunges, deadlifts, and squats work on the hamstrings and the quads. A suggestion would be to have two leg days in a week with one day focusing mostly on your butt and the other focusing on the legs. On your leg/butt day, you can really concentrate on butt-specific exercises and this will help you see some progress with time. Two leg days in a week allocates the necessary attention to your lower body without sacrificing symmetry and proportionality.
This might seem obvious but performing weight-lifting exercises that focus on the glutes will help you improve the size of this muscle group. With that being said, glute exercises will be necessary on your leg days. Weightlifting allows you to target the glutes and the hamstrings quite easily as you work on the legs. Exercises such as Romanian deadlifts, the leg press, and squats are beneficial in this endeavor with a minor modification in your footing and adding on the quadriceps muscle groups.
Give Yourself Enough Time
If you want to build your glute muscles, you will definitely need to put them through the stress brought about by resistance training. If you want to enhance the growth of your butt, then you have to lift heavier weights and allow yourself more time while under the resulting tension of lifting these weights. This means you will hold your contractions right at the height of your movement for at most 3 seconds. Rushing through your training exercises just because you are not in the mood, bored, or sore only fleeces your gym time. For this to be effective, you need to use challenging weights and squeeze your glutes throughout the movement. Building your butt should not be treated like a race and taking your time through it gives you better results.
Women have a tendency to ignore strength training when working out, but this could be their own downfall. Strength training exercises can help you increase the size of your muscles, which in turn allows them to develop force and strength faster. Muscle mass enables you to move, especially for young people as they can take daily tasks requiring strength for granted such as picking a heavy load or walking up a flight of stairs. A sedentary lifestyle can make one weaker with time and building muscle can help you combat this.
Women also opt for cardio ignoring strength training due to the misconception that they should not lift because they will become muscle bound or bulked up to the point of your body becoming rigid. This needs to change because strength training several times a week can transform your health and your entire body for the better while cutting some inches off your waist and hips. You will feel the benefits of strength training for up to hours after your session and it can help to improve your mood throughout the day. Let us look at the benefits offered by strength training for women.
Reduction of Body Fat
Given that weight training builds on muscle mass, your metabolism also improves with the increase in lean muscle. An increased metabolism enables you to burn calories throughout the day even when you are not working out. According to research, an average woman who does strength training up to 3 times every week for about 2 months loses up to 3.5 pounds of fat and gains up to 2 pounds of muscle. You will burn roughly 35 to 50 calories daily depending on each pound of muscle gained. Over a longer time, you can add this up so that 4 pounds of extra muscle can burn a few extra pounds annually.
Stress Reduction and Mood Enhancement
Strength training boosts your core, shoulders, and back and this helps to improve poor posture allowing one to stand taller with their spine straight and the shoulders back. When you have a strong core and back you can decrease any lower back pain.
Strength training has been to shown to elevate one’s metabolism following a workout for up to an entire day. If your workout is more intense, you will burn even more calories. Following an intense workout, the EPOC level or Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption level is elevated and this translates into the increased consumption of oxygen. Overall, an increase in oxygen consumption is beneficial in helping you break down your body’s fat stores.
Building Up Your Strength
Most women shy away from strength training because they fear bulking up. However, this a commonly held misconception as it is physically impossible for this to happen among women. This is because they do not have the testosterone, which is a hormone found in men, that is necessary for the building of muscle in males. Women have a significantly smaller amount of testosterone in comparison to men (10-30 times less) and thus it will be more difficult for them to bulk up in size due to strength training. The upside of this for women is that they instead acquire muscle strength as well as definition without increasing the muscle size.
A Decreased Chance of Getting an Injury
Strength training enhances the tenacity in your joints as well as the connective tissue. Tendons, ligaments, and joints that are strong are crucial towards the prevention of injury and they can alleviate any pain resulting from osteoarthritis. Strengthening your connective tissues and your muscles will reduce the chances of you contracting injuries from daily exercise and routine tasks. This can also boost your performance in sports.
Reduced Chances of Osteoporosis
Considering that strength training enhances bone and muscle fortitude while also increasing your bone density. This decreases the risk of broken bones and fractures. Studies indicate that strength training can boost the spinal bone density, which helps to develop a healthy and strong spine.
Now that we have seen the benefits of strength training for women, what is the ideal strength-training regimen for women to practice?
Lifting Heavier Weights Weekly Enhances Health, Fitness, and Strength
Training heavyweights is a necessity if you must do one thing in your workout sessions. Heaviness is relative to everyone depending on what phase they are in when it comes to strength development. Essentially, you should lift weights that are heavy to offer the necessary beneficial systemic stress on the body to give you the advantages offered by strength training.
Add Some Variety to Your Workouts
In order to build muscle and gain strength, you need to mix up your strength training workouts. You can use the first few months of your strength training to concentrate on and learn the basics such as the power clean, deadlifts, squats, overhead press, and bench press. Afterwards, you have to incorporate some variety to gain optimal strength gains. This engages you mentally and enables you to make significant strength gains without flat-lining in your training.
Do Some Accessory Work to Accentuate Your Weakness Areas
Everyone has their own muscular strengths and weaknesses and it though might be enjoyable to work on your strong suits, it is necessary to work on your weak areas. Use extra accessory work to train your personal muscular weaknesses through exercises targeting certain muscle groups twice weekly.
Do Not Ignore Your Upper Body
Ladies should train the upper body for muscle and strength development at least twice every week. Considering that women have a tendency to have weaker upper bodies, every work out is essential. Your weakest lift begins to diminish fastest following a period of insufficient training activity. If you cut off your training week short due to any reason so that you have two days left for strength training, then dedicate these two days to upper body training.
Strength Train with People Who Will Motivate You
This is essential to your success as they care enough about your goals to push you above and beyond these goals. Using the same weights forever will not get you anywhere as you will not gain strength, develop more muscle, or tone your body. You may find your team consisting of people who feel that you should not lift beyond a particular weight because you are a woman and at this point, you should consider going with another group of people who will push you in the right direction for your strength training.
Whey Protein for Weight Loss – Can it help with your weight loss goals?
Thousands of people struggle with shedding weight or more basically as much as Bodybuilding is involved, losing weight on a daily basis, and you could be among those that happen to be questioning if there is genuinely a positive relationship between whey protein as well as the body weight. Current research into the advantages of whey protein signifies that it may indeed prove to be beneficial as a weight loss and thus primarily as a fat burning aid. Among other issues, whey protein was shown to sustain satiety, enhance insulin sensitivity, together with improving your muscle mass.
When considering whey protein powders, it is necessary to consult your doctor to see if you need it. Nevertheless, it is regarded as one of the best choices. This whey protein is a form of protein that is incredibly easy and most proficiently absorbed. This health supplement is simple to assimilate. It assists in improving hormone levels that enables our body system in transforming proteins into branched amino acids. This permits our body to regenerate and restore tissues easily.
Whey protein is essentially a simple and easy substitute for whole foods that can be employed to supplement the diet. It is derived as a by-product in the course of the cheese making process. Milk is
divided into solids and liquids – the leftover liquid is the whey. It is then refined to produce a powder, and the derived whey protein is regarded as a complete protein, having all nine vital amino acids and with minimal lactose content.
Concerning protein supplements, whey protein would make a good choice that is effortlessly absorbed and packed with all the vital amino acids. They may make a balanced component of a weight-loss plan. However, whey protein alone will not magically burn up those unwanted extra pounds. To derive maximum benefit from a diet plan that includes whey protein, One will have to manage the overall calorie consumption and add resistance training to your working out program.
In the world today whey protein supplements happen to be categorized as sports supplements, and throughout the last couple of years, whey protein appeared to be receiving a great deal of positive push regarding how it can strengthen the immune system and assist in weight loss. The body weight is regulated by your calorie consumption, not protein. When you consume a calorific deficit diet for a limited duration, you will lose weight considering that you will be utilizing more energy compared to what you are consuming. Although, starving yourself decelerates your metabolism, leaves you feeling exhausted and lousy and also sets off a trigger for your body system to go into starvation state and hold on to much of your long-term energy stores (fat) as they possibly can.
Whey provides numerous health benefits to those interested in shedding fat, building muscle, as well as maintaining a healthy and balanced lifestyle. The basic downside to whey protein is if you are allergic to dairy products. Most people who are allergic to milk are allergic to one or both of the proteins, casein or whey. If perhaps you are allergic to milk, you can take the chance of trying to test a small amount of whey to examine if you’re allergic to it. Take advantage of whey protein in your diet plan because it is essential that the diet we have should conform to our overall goals. Those desiring to improve their muscles would like to add in sufficient carbohydrates in their diet plan that’ll enable them to gain more energy. If you are on weight loss diet then do not add in carbohydrates and calories, simply utilize protein supplements.
In case you need to take whey protein as you undergo your workout routine or program, below are some tips on how to efficiently use it:
Taking whey protein before your workout will give the body the required strength it requires for your workout routine and also give the body the needed amount of protein.
Whey protein is not only meant to be taken before your workout it can be taken after workouts, because it supplies the body with energy which is needed. After workouts, the body at that time is ready to digest and utilize protein more quickly, repairing and replacing muscle tissue.
Whey protein can also help you control hunger, as reported by a 2014 research described in the European Record of Clinical Nutrition, which can ensure it is less stressful for you to stick with your diet plan. This 12-week-long study analyzed the results of whey protein versus casein, likewise a milk protein, and a carbohydrate health supplement on hunger levels in several overweight persons and obese players, and thus discovered that the whey protein performed much better at holding away the desire to eat compared to the other two supplements.
Let us consider optimizing muscle growth as an essential factor in assessing the connection between whey protein and weight loss. Professionals have in time discovered that the makeup of your diet right before an exercise ascertains what your body burns as fuel in the course of the training itself. A current study carried out in France showed taking a whey protein prior to the time of exercise enables you to get rid of fat principally as fuel in the course of training. The study furthermore revealed that people who consume glucose-rich meals before exercises burn sugar as fuel, however, those who take in whole milk burn both protein and fat. Given these outcomes suggest that whey protein is incredibly suitable for fat-burning.
If these weight loss added benefits still do not entice you of the importance of this most efficient health supplement, then possibly its other abilities will probably. Research reveals that besides helping you shed extra pounds, it can also help minimize stress levels, control cortisol levels, as well as improve healthy amounts of serotonin, hence making you feel much better overall.
Furthermore, whey protein is also proven to enhance your immune performance or assist in the fight against cancer. Having all these health benefits in mind, as well as considering the positive connection between whey protein and weight loss, there is indeed absolutely no reason for you to continue questioning the significance of this nutrient in the management of your health and well-being.
Now that we all know the significant benefits that whey protein provides us with, which does not give us the “go” to make it our daily meal. For this article, we have brought out some ways in which one can reasonably tap into the remarkable weight loss benefits of this protein.
Whey Protein and Exercise
Working out is an integral part of staying healthy and simply changing to whey protein alone isn’t sure to assist you to lose weight as well as maintaining it. Hence, we propose combining resistance training with whey protein for those seeking to lose weight.
Men should have one or two 30g scoops per protein shake. Ladies on a weight loss program ought to stick to one 30g scoop of whey protein. The fantastic thing about a whey protein for most people is that it is easier to take down after a challenging exercise than consuming the same level of protein in a whole food.
Supplement vs Meals
It isn’t wise to replace almost all your meals with whey protein in an attempt to shed those extra pounds. As an alternative, you should be considering whey protein as a simple and easy form of protein which you can use to supplement your entire food diet. It is advisable to continue taking whole foods, regardless of whether your goal is losing extra weight, to ensure a sufficient consumption of vitamins, minerals, and fiber in your diet. It’s furthermore crucial that you build healthy eating habits you can sustain when you finally achieve your goal. Therefore, in the course of a weight loss program, we suggest using health supplements just once per day. Sometimes twice daily is okay. Upon getting or attaining your weight quest, you could just take whey protein after an exercise to assist with repairing and maintaining muscle.
Whey protein, as well as any protein, could help you feel full for a long time compared to other types of food. Hence you’re more unlikely to snack. For many people, the afternoon is the perfect time to go snacking on high-sugar prepared snacks, and this is the appropriate time for whey protein to come in.
Lots of people are in a hurry at breakfast only to strive all day when they skip this fundamental meal. An excellent option is to whip up a breakfast smoothie which you can consume on the go. You can make a mixture using liquid, whey protein, some fats, and fruit or vegetables so it will be both nourishing and filling. This makes for a natural, dietary approach to fuel up.
In conclusion, taking whey protein can go a long way in reducing weight for those who in one way or the other is seeking a supplement that can make them shed those extra pounds. However, following the right process will hasten and make the process more effective, so don’t just sit and take whey protein but also work for your goal.
Learn everything you need to know about the IIFYM Diet plan
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last decade, you’re probably familiar with IIFYM. After all, it is the diet that allegedly brings with it the holy grail for us gym rats – the ability to eat whatever we want, and still get shredded to the bone.
Unfortunately, it’s also just as likely that if you’ve tried this approach, you’ve completely screwed it up. Because when it comes to nutrition, IIFYM is by far the most misunderstood diet plan in the fitness world.
So if you’re interested in IIFYM and you’ve failed in the past, listen up, because today we’re going to explain how to do it RIGHT.
What Is IIFYM?
IIFYM is an acronym which stands for “if it fits your macros”. Rather than focusing on which specific foods you should be eating, it’s a dieting philosophy that puts a lot of emphasis on balancing the macronutrient values of those foods.
The term “macronutrient” refers to the big three in nutrition – protein, carbohydrates and fats. Each one performs a different function in the body.
The basic tenet of “if it fits your macros” is the idea that you can eat whatever you want, as long as it fits the macronutrient breakdown required for your needs.
For example, if you’ve determined that you need to eat a 2500 calorie diet consisting of 30% protein, 30% fat, and 40% carbs, IIFYM states that, you can eat whatever you want, as long as the sum macro total of those foods balances out in the end.
At least, that’s the idea in theory. But as we’ll soon see, when it comes to practical application the devil’s in the details.
The Pros Of IIFYM
Despite the serious potential issues dieters can run into with IIFYM, it can be an incredibly effective way to eat – if done correctly.
In fact, many people would go so far as to say that IIFYM is the only thing that’s worked for them.
It Focuses On What Matters
Despite what marketers would have you believe, body composition essentially comes down to two things – calories and macronutrients.
There are no two ways about it – if you’re eating less calories than your body is using, you’re going to lose weight.
If you eat more, you’re going to gain weight.
And if you get your protein, carb and fat numbers dialled in on top of that, you’ll ensure that the weight coming off is fat, and the weight going on is muscle.
That’s basically it. As long as you’re progressing in a quality weight training program to go with it, when it comes strictly to diet, getting these two things right will account for 80% of your success.
Yes, there are other factors (meal timing and supplements come to mind).
But at the end of the day, it’s calories and macros that are going to make up the fundamentals.
Not “clean eating”.
It Reduces Obsessive Dieting And Binging
Despite the appearance of a healthy lifestyle, a lot of hardcore gym rats suffer from eating disorders. Seriously.
There’s nothing psychologically “healthy” about carrying around a cooler of food and a scale everywhere you go.
There’s also nothing healthy about thinking about a brownie the same way you’d think about a lump of cocaine.
The beauty of IIFYM is that it not only prevents this food obsession, but it also, paradoxically, reduces binge eating in a lot of people.
Think about it. If you were told right now that you couldn’t eat tacos for the rest of your days, and you LOVE tacos, what would you do?
Would you just forget about that savoury Mexican goodness, and move onto something else?
Maybe. But if you’re like most people, the thought of spending your life in “no taco purgatory” would most likely be too much to handle, and you’ll start thinking about them 24/7.
Unfortunately, unless you have the discipline of a Buddhist monk, the odds of you being able to hold out forever are slim to none. Most of us will eventually break, and when we do break, it’s typically in the form of an all-out binge fest.
What restrictive dieting effectively does is creates this dynamic with 80% of the foods you enjoy.
When you adopt a flexible system like IIFYM, you shift your psychology. It’s a whole lot easier knowing that can eat what you want as long you show some moderation with it, and the result is that you ultimately end up eating less.
You Can Actually Enjoy Your Food
Life’s too short to eat chicken and broccoli all day.
If your idea of cutting lose over the holidays was to put a spoonful of cranberry sauce on your white turkey and carrots, I feel bad for you son.
IIFYM gets around the issue of deprivation by using the laws of thermodynamics to your advantage. And, contrary to what most “clean eating” zealots will tell you, you can indeed get shredded and still enjoy a bit of cake.
How Most People Screw It Up
Now that we’ve expanded on the virtues of IIFYM, let’s talk about how (and why) most people are doing it wrong.
Because at the end of the day, that’s really the issue – the problem isn’t that the system is broken – it’s that people keep abusing it.
The problem is that almost everyone who starts eating this way tries to “cheat the system” by trying to make an all cheesecake and protein shake diet “fit their macros” (this is why gym bros can’t have nice things).
And unfortunately, if you’ve been guilty of this, at the end of the day you’re not fooling anyone, and the only person you’re hurting is yourself.
Why Eating Dirty Is Killing Your Diet (And Your Progress)
So, given everything we’ve talked about, if body composition is determined by calories and macronutrients… why should you care about healthy eating.
Well, as it turns out, there are quite a few reasons you may want to consider before you whip up your next “Pop-Tart protein shake”.
Food Quality Matters
This one should be fairly obvious, but apparently, some people still haven’t received the memo…
Abs ain’t everything.
Yes, having a lean, muscular physique is certainly a sign of vitality. Lean people tend to have the advantage over non-lean people in most categories, including better metabolic profiles, insulin sensitivity, and even joint health.
But it’s not the whole story. Your body is a complex system, and if you want it to work optimally, you need to feed it with all the vitamins, mineral and other micronutrients it needs.
You won’t get that by eating at McDonalds three times a day.
Eating Dirty Negatively Effects Your Workout
If you want to have a lean AND muscular physique, you’re going to have to log the hours at the gym. And, like it or not, you’re going to have a tough time putting in the kind of intensity you need to grow if you’re eating like crap all the time.
It’s just common sense – your body is going to run far more optimally if you’re feeding it quality food than if you’re feeding it garbage.
The kind of health and vitality that comes from eating well will seep into all areas of your life, and will help give you the energy that you need to push yourself through your toughest workouts.
It’s Unsustainable In The Long Run
Not only is eating this way unsustainable from a health perspective, it’s also unsustainable when it comes to sticking to your diet.
This is especially true if losing fat is a priority for you. A big part of the weight loss game is keeping your hunger under control, and you’re going to have a hard time doing that if you’re eating nothing but junk.
It should go without saying, but 500 calories worth of vegetables is far more satiating than 500 calories worth of cupcakes.
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but if you’re an adult and you still eat like a teenager, the odds of you getting down to single digit body fat are slim to none.
How To Do It The Right Way
If you’ve made it this far and you’re still interested in IIFYM, but you want to know how to do it the right way, then you’ve come to the right place. The following are three principles that, if applied to your diet, will make it far more likely that you’ll be successful with this approach.
Tip #1: Eat “Healthy” Most Of The Time
A good quality diet is one that’s built around good quality food. Period.
Now, you’ve probably noticed quotation marks around the word “healthy”. We can sit around debating what exactly constitutes healthy, but it really comes down to common sense.
The bulk of your diet should come from lean meats, vegetables, fruits, healthy fats and whole grains. For the vast majority of us, just following that simple guideline is more than enough to set ourselves up for success.
So, how often is “most of the time”? While the exact amount will vary between people (age, health conditions, etc), you should aim to be eating 60-80% nutritious, whole foods. The remaining 20-40% can be your “goodies”.
Tip #2: Actually Track Your Macros
One of the bad habits a lot us fall into when we adopt an IIFYM approach is the issue of “creative accounting” (like trying to make a slice of pizza count for 5 grams of fat when it’s actually closer to 10).
Here’s the deal. If you want to make this work, you have to accurately track what you’re eating rather than just guessing and hoping for the best. Get an app or keep a food log, and make sure you know the macro and calorie values of what you’re putting in your mouth.
Tip #3: Eat Dirty In The Evening
Now that we have the big strategies out of the way, here’s a fun little hack for you – if you’re going to fit crappy food into your diet, fit it in the evening.
No, eating pizza late at night won’t make your macro profile look any better. But it can help prevent binging.
A big part of dietary success comes down to momentum. Start your morning off with a quality, nutritious meal and it will be far easier to keep that going into the day.
Start your morning off with donuts, and you’ve just made the day a whole lot harder on yourself.
By planning your little pancake fix once the day is over, you not only make it less likely that you’ll binge out and eat 12 of them, but it also becomes a nice reward for a day well dieted.
The Bottom Line On IIFYM
Make no mistake, IIFYM can not only be an effective diet, but a healthy one as well. But you need to know how to do it properly. By paying attention to the quality of your food and understanding how to structure things, you’ll not only feel and perform better, but you’ll be far more likely to succeed in your fat loss and fitness goals.
Products that will help you along your way
If you’re looking for an all-in-one supplement that will help you build more muscle, have more energy in the gym, and keep the muscle you’ve built while you’re trying to diet, you’d be hard pressed to find a better option than BCAA’s.
Sounds like hyperbole, I know, but hear me out.
Because while there are certainly a lot of supplements out there that get unjustly hyped up, BCAA’s aren’t one them.
Today we’ll be talking all about five benefits of BCAA’s you may not have considered.
Branched chain amino acids are exactly what they sound like- essential amino acids. They are, among other things, the fundamental compounds that act as the building blocks of muscle.
The essential part of the name implies that they’re amino acids that cannot be synthesized by the body, and must be consumed in the form of high protein foods.
All in all, there are nine essential amino acids. The three that make up the “branched chain” category are leucine, isoleucine, and valine.
What Does The Research Have To Say About BCAA’s?
So, given that getting enough of all nine essential amino acids is important for building muscle and supporting optimal health, why should we be paying attention to these three in particular?
Well, as it turns out, there are quite a few good reasons. A lot of research has been conducted on the benefits of taking them in supplement form- and the results are impressive.
Benefit #1: BCAA’s Drive Protein Synthesis and Help Build Muscle
Perhaps the greatest and most studied benefit, branched chain amino acids have been shown to be vital for muscle growth (it’s the combination of amino acids along with training that activates the mTORC1 pathway that controls protein synthesis).
Now, with that said, this isn’t to say that a supplement is “necessary” per se- all three of these amino acids are found in almost any halfway sensible diet.
However, it has been shown that taking them as a supplement and increasing the overall amount in the body is hugely beneficial for building muscle.
The difference between a BCAA supplement and say, a whey protein shake or a steak, is that the leucine, isoleucine and valine are not bound to other amino acids.
The result is rapid absorption into the bloodstream, and an immediate increase in plasma levels, making them that much more effective when it comes to protein synthesis (and ultimately, muscle growth).
Benefit #2: BCAA’s Prevent Muscle Loss
Not only will a good BCAA supplement help you build new muscle, it will also help you preserve your hard fought gains when you’re on a diet.
Calorie deficits are a necessary evil for cutting fat, but the problem is this- the leaner you get, the more likely your body is to burn through muscle in the absence of sufficient calories.
A BCAA supplement can help offset this, since a high availability not only increases protein synthesis but also prevents protein breakdown by making it less likely that the body will dig into muscle tissue for amino acids.
Benefit #3: BCAA’s Reduce Workout Fatigue
One of the major factors that will impact whether or not your workout results in muscle growth is intensity in the gym.
A side benefit of BCAA’s are their ability to help in this department. Not only can isoleucine and valine be converted directly to glucose during periods of glycogen depletion, but they also affect the brain as well.
One of the reasons that fatigue sets in during exercise is the uptake in tryptophan, which causes the brain to release serotonin.
When you ingest BCAA’s before and during training, valine essentially competes with tryptophan, resulting in an offset in fatigue (one study on the effects of BCAA’s found an 8-12% reduction in tryptophan uptake).
Benefit #4: BCAA’s Help Older Trainees Build Muscle
While BCAA’s will benefit almost all trainees, they’re particularly beneficial for older people looking to build muscle.
One of the downsides of aging is the gradual decline in muscle mass that most of us experience.
There are a number of reasons for this, but one of them involves the effect of hormones on protein metabolism. Luckily, BCAA’s, and in particular leucine, can help- studies have shown an excess of leucine through supplementation is likely beneficial in older people to overcome this resistance.
Benefit #5: BCAA’s Help With Muscle Soreness
A little muscle soreness is all part of the lifting game, and certainly ain’t gonna kill you.
But with that said, a high level of it is not only uncomfortable, but can prevent you from putting in the necessary volume in the gym to reach your goal.
Once again, a good dose of BCAA’s may be just what you need here, since these supplements seem to reduce delayed onset muscle soreness, or DOMS (i.e. the stiffness you experience in the hours and days after training).
One study, measuring soreness induced from squatting, found a significant reduction in DOMS at its peak (days two and three) when a BCAA supplement was used.
So, if you’re a fan of training at a high volume several times per week, consider adding BCAA’s to your repertoire.
The Bottom Line On BCAA’s
Hopefully you’ve figured out by now that BCAA’s aren’t just for meatheads trying to bulk up. They can be used by anyone, regardless of age, for a wide range of purposes.
And when it comes to choosing one of these supplements, we’ve got you covered. Amino Charge BCAA not only uses top quality amino acids, but we use the tried and tested 2:1:1 ratio- two parts leucine, one part isoleucine and one part valine- for maximum results.
For more information about how to use a BCAA supplement and get the most out of it, check out our free guide on the topic.