It’s unfortunate when you want to get more toned or put on muscle but just can’t seem to make it happen. Some people get the realization upon looking themselves in the mirror and noticing there’s something lacking but have no absolute clue where to start. You know one thing though: you want to build muscle like a marine and stop becoming the walking marshmallow that you are.
To be a marine takes a spine and whole lots of strength. Getting the muscles that you’ve always wanted pretty much entails the same thing. So are you ready to get buff like a marine? Here’s what you need to remember:
1. Throw around some heavy iron
Or simply, lift. The marines you often see with brick-like muscles didn’t use twigs to get into one impressive shape. They got their bodies because they motivated themselves to tackle the most challenging weight-lifting machines, dumbbells, and barbells. To increase muscle significantly, you have got to tear those muscle fibers, so expose them to external forces way out of your comfort zone. It’ll help too if your job involves manual labor that’s heavy enough you get your muscles to work. You’ll see a huge difference in the process.
2. Be mindful of what you put in your mouth
And we’re not just talking about processed foods, candy, and other unhealthy food sources that trick your brain into thinking you’re full. You should also avoid cigarettes, alcohol, and other vices that may otherwise compromise your goal.
First off, smoking steals the oxygen in your body, which is essential if you want to build muscles. And really, nicotine and other chemicals in cigarettes are just bad.
Alcohol, on the other hand, interferes with your testosterone, which is important for building muscle. But if the situation calls for it, a bottle won’t hurt from time to time.
Refined and processed foods, as well as unnecessary sweets, don’t contribute to the level of nutrients you need daily at all. They will only make you fat. You don’t see a muscled marine with blobs of fat, do you? Avoid them at all cost.
3. Here’s what goes into your mouth instead
One pound of muscle is equal to 3,500 calories per week. That’s a whole lot, sure, but gaining one to two pounds of muscle per week is actually achievable if you consume at least 500 calories per day. Make it to 1000 if you will, but your minimum is to reach 3,500 by the end of the week.
Now that you know the foods that you need to avoid, get those extra calories from healthy sources such as yams, potatoes, coconut milk, avocados, beef, any kind of lean protein, and complex carbohydrates.
4. Cardio is essential
Focusing on weight training doesn’t mean you should forget doing cardio. Marines do a lot of running, don’t they? So you should follow suit. The thing is, marines run in short, quick bursts, with weights strapped to the torso. Now before you let out a frustrated groan, you only need to do these for a couple of minutes, let’s say, about 5 to 7. You don’t want to overdo cardio exercises because you might end up burning the extra calories you need to build muscles.
Put on a weighted vest and warm up a little bit by doing a light jog. Sprint for a good 30 seconds and return to a slow pace for about a minute then back on to sprint mode again for half a minute. A bonus to running is that it also increases your testosterone levels.
5. Take time to recover
You are committed to weightlifting, but you don’t want to injure yourself, don’t you? Take a break between your sets. Your body needs to recover properly in order for the muscles to achieve proper growth. Resting is an important element in your workout, especially if you want to finish the whole routine with all-out effort and precision. Be careful not to overwork yourself if you don’t want to end up in great pain.
6. Check your hormones
For guys ages 30 and above, it is a fact that this is the stage where you slowly lose your mojo and some hormones might have reduced in number. Of course, this doesn’t apply to all, but remember this: it might be hard gaining muscles if you have hormonal deficiencies. To know if you lack something, visit your doctor so you can your hormone levels checked. This is the only way to know how to deal with imbalances so you can properly get buffed and be successful in it.
7. Take a day off!
Getting your muscles all worked up is like preparing your body for extra room; the time when you’re actually growing muscles happens when you’re at rest. So take advantage of this! Building muscles doesn’t mean you have to stress about it — you also deserve off days where you can do other stuff that you enjoy, but only the healthy ones. And yes, sleep is essential. Make sure you get enough rest at night, so you wake fully charged and ready for another hard day’s work.