BodyBuilding: Top 5 Lifehacks to Be on Top

Ask most bodybuilders and they will tell you training is the easy part. Not that lifting ungodly tonnage and pushing your body to its physical limits day after grueling day is not hard work. It is just that understanding the ins and outs of bench pressing, squatting, curling and the like is not totally difficult to master, especially when you are hungry to improve. On the other hand, nutrition can be a complicated subject what kinds of carbohydrates and proteins should you eat? What vitamins and minerals are critical? Not to mention meal timing, creatine and the full spectrum of supplements bodybuilders need to keep track of. Today, we have compiled a list of lifehacks and tricks you can learn now in order to get advanced in your bodybuilding career.

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1. Food Foundation:

A bodybuilding diet can be constructed in terms of foods, but it can also be designed around macro-nutrient composition: protein, carbohydrates, and fats. To do this effectively, bodybuilders need to be aware of how many grams of carbs, protein, and fat they are taking in each day. Our advice to you is to consume a lot of protein. We recommend that bodybuilders take in at least one gram of protein per pound of body-weight each day and even up to almost 2 g per pound for hard gainers. Protein needs for individual bodybuilders may vary, but this minimum ensures sufficient amounts with which to build muscle. Your body can use protein, carbs or fats for energy, but when you are training hard, it preferentially uses carbs. Taking in ample carbs makes it easy for your body to fuel itself, sparing protein and fats for their more specific nutritional uses.

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2. Saturated & Healthy Fats:

Excesses of these two types of fat increase the risk of heart and other health problems, and they can also undermine bodybuilding efforts. Trans fats are commonly found in processed foods such as crackers, cookies and other baked goods. Saturated fats are prevalent in lower-quality (fattier) cuts of meats. You are supposed to avoid this kind of fats and focus more on getting more portions of healthy fats. Foods containing unsaturated fats, particularly monounsaturates, are excellent for bodybuilders. Do not buy into the notion that a bodybuilding diet should be low fat–it should only be low in saturated and trans fats. Omega-3 fatty acids, found in fish and flaxseed oils, are important for creating a favorable hormonal environment for building muscle tissue and staying lean. Other unsaturated fats, such as those found in olives, avocados, nuts, seeds, and olive and canola oils, also provide bodybuilders with numerous muscle-building advantages. Except when cutting up, fats should represent 20-30 percent of your daily diet.

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3. Get More Water:

Water is essential for overall health as well as for muscle growth. Keeping your body well-hydrated benefits everything from protein synthesis to digestion. Steady water intake keeps nutrients moving in your bloodstream and into muscle cells. Water is also a critical source of many minerals. But do not drink that gallon-plus in one sitting–gulp it during the course of the day. This is especially important for bodybuilders on high-protein diets, as well as those using creatine, fat burners or other supplements that affect hydration. Remember, water keeps your muscles full. It can also help you stay lean, as research has shown that simply drinking two cups of water between meals boosts metabolic rate. Water is the essence of life, and its importance to bodybuilders can not be overstressed. Drink a pint of water with main meals and try to exceed the daily one-gallon recommendation.

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4. Get the Right Supplements:

Supplements are a key component of your bodybuilding nutrition strategy, but they’re only one component. If you keep that in mind, you can get a tremendous edge from supplementation. Supplements are a tool to help you achieve your goals. They are not magic pills and potions that will grant your physique wishes. You must use supplements intelligently, with reasonable expectations of what they can do for you. You still have to train and rigorously follow your diet. If you do the hard work and use supplements as they are designed, then you’ll get the benefits that you seek from them. Take a protein supplement at least once a day on rest days and twice a day on workout days. If you choose a product from a good manufacturer, this practice can give you an extra 40-80 g of protein per day, and it will help bring you into compliance with our standard protein recommendation (at least 1 g of protein per pound of body-weight daily). It is often enough to cause acceleration in muscle growth, usually noticeable within four months. It is especially important to follow this formula when dieting. Higher protein needs and restricted caloric intake make a protein supplement essential. Take about 20 g of protein powder, such as whey, within 30 minutes before workouts and about 40 g immediately after workouts. On rest days, consume at least one 40 g protein shake between meals.

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5. Eat, Eat, & EAT:

There is no substitute for food. Even if your supplements are the best, food can actually never be replaced. Bodybuilding diets always recommend a substantial breakfast loaded with protein and complex carbs. Whether you are cutting body-fat or building muscle mass, a large breakfast jump-starts your metabolism, providing you with the calories and nutrients you need to get your day started and keep you going. Also, all bodybuilders should eat as many meals as possible, striving for a minimum of five a day on rest days and seven on workout days. Eating multiple meals serves many functions. It provides your body with a constant stream of micro- and macro-nutrients to facilitate the muscle-building process. A continuous supply of calories helps keep your metabolic rate revved up so that you are more likely to use that energy instead of storing it as body-fat. Eating plenty of protein and avoiding feelings of hunger are important aspects of maintaining muscle mass while stripping body-fat.

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