A lot of people turn to friends for advice on how to train and what to eat. Problem is that a lot of this advice is classic broscience—a distortion of what the real evidence says. Instead of getting sidetracked by people who don’t know what they are talking about, use these ten tips to transform your body.
Tip #1: Train Each Body Part At Least Twice A Week
Muscles need to be trained frequently in order to grow. This is one area that a lot of bodybuilders get wrong—they use body part splits and train each body part just once a week. Instead, use a higher training frequency that allows you to hit each body part at least twice a week will ensure recovery and allow for maximal muscle development.
Tip #2: Vary Your Training Every 3 to 4 Weeks
Most people will pick a training program and stick with it indefinitely. Your body adapts very quickly so this approach yields diminishing returns. Instead vary your training parameters every 3 to 4 weeks, switching up rep ranges, the number of sets, loads and even exercises.
Tip #3: Get Your Volume In But Limit Your Rest Periods
High-volume, short rest training is your best friend when you want to get shredded. Muscle growth is the result of three factors: mechanical tension, metabolic stress, and muscle damage. All three factors are best achieved with higher rep ranges (8-15) and short rest periods (60 or less). This combination is ideal for reducing body fat as well.
Tip #4: Do Sprints/Avoid Long-Slow Cardio
If your goal is to build muscle and lose fat, you’ll get better and faster results from bike sprints than jogging, which interferes with muscle and strength gains while also unnecessarily raising cortisol. Do your sprints separately from weight workouts to make the most of your efforts and recovery.
Tip #5: Use a Moderate Rate of Fat Loss
You’ll get better body composition results with a smaller calorie deficit and a longer “cutting” phase, rather than a more severe one over less time. For example, one study found athletes lost significantly more body fat with a deficit of 450 cal/day compared to a severe deficit of 900 cal/day. The smaller deficit took double the time but it preserved lean mass and training quality was higher.
Tip #6: Pick A Daily Protein Goal & Distribute Protein Evenly At Meals
Eating protein foods kickstart the muscle building process by providing a new pool of amino acids for the body to pull from. Stimulating protein synthesis throughout the day gives your body more opportunity to add muscle and increases the likelihood you’ll reach your daily protein goal.
Tip #7: Match Protein Intake To Your Goal
A general protein recommendation for athletes or people lifting weights is to get 1.2 to 2.2 g/kg of protein a day. If you’re dieting, extra lean, or doing cardio in addition to lifting, you need more protein. One review recommended 2.3 to3.1 g/kg of lean body mass for this population. That equals 155 to 210 grams of protein a day.
Tip #8: Don’t Be Afraid of Fat
Shoot for 30 percent of your calories from fat, getting it from a variety of sources. If you decide to go low fat to cut calories, be sure to eat a decent amount of saturated fat (butter, meat, eggs) because this can help maintain androgen hormone levels.
Tip #9: Don’t Cut Calories & Carbs Simultaneously
A common mistake when trying to maximize fat loss is to slash calories while eliminating carbs. This approach leads to reduced performance—carbs are necessary to replenish glycogen, the fuel source for muscle. It’s also miserable and leads to a metabolic slowdown and a greater loss of lean mass due to lower insulin and testosterone levels.
Tip #10: Cycle Your Carbs
Carb cycling has you eat higher carb on heavy training days and lower carb on off or light training days. This can allow you to keep training quality high to optimize muscle mass. Note that we said “lower” carb not “no” carb. You still need some carb-containing foods other than leafy green vegetables if your training intensely.