How to Safely See Fitness Gains Every Time You Go to The Gym
Consistent exercise and a healthy diet do more than just support your mental and physical health. They also deliver noticeable fitness gains.
Like anything in life worth having, muscle and fitness gains take time, patience, and proper exercise technique. Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither is a ripped physique.
Are you struggling to achieve muscle gains and wondering where you went wrong? Or are you simply looking to get the most out of every cardio and strength workout?
We’re here to help! Keep reading to learn how to achieve consistent fitness gains and reach your goals safely.
Short-Term vs. Long-Term Muscle Gain
Not all muscle gain is created equal. Some gains happen instantly but fade quickly, while others take time to achieve but offer lasting results.
Short-Term Muscle Gain
Have you ever noticed your muscles look enlarged directly following a strength training workout? These muscle gains aren’t in your mind.
One type of short-term gain occurs when your muscles temporarily fill with blood after lifting weights or doing push-ups or pull-ups.
Your muscles become engorged with blood and temporarily look bigger than they really are. Once your blood flow returns to normal, these gains will fade.
Neural adaptation causes strength gains shortly after you start a new strength-training regime. As your body adjusts to these changes, so does your nervous system.
You’ll notice these fitness gains within a few weeks of consistent exercise. To achieve continued progress, though, you need to remain consistent.
Long-Term Muscle Gains
Short-term muscle gains act as momentum and motivation on the road to long-term gains.
Hypertrophy, or an increase in the size of your muscles, is your ultimate goal. Beginners can expect to achieve this within 8 weeks, whereas more experienced lifters might see results as soon as 4 weeks.
Regardless of your experience level, let’s explore safe ways to achieve all your fitness gains.
The most important rule of any exercise or training program is safety. The last thing you want to do is injure yourself and derail your efforts.
Always use a proper exercise technique to avoid straining or pulling your muscles. Start with light weights at low reps before progressing to heavier ones.
If you’re training at a gym, learn how to use the equipment correctly.
Now that we’ve covered the basic principles of safe exercise, let’s dive deeper into how you can achieve fitness gains quickly and efficiently.
Design Your Workouts Around Building Muscle
Never hit the gym without a plan or schedule in mind. Randomly targeting different muscle groups or exhausting them won’t deliver the fitness gains you’re after.
Instead, create a workout that’s designed to build muscle.
Muscle growth workouts have three main components: body part splits (split training), slow to moderate reps, and adequate rest and recovery.
Have you heard fellow gym-goers talking about leg day or arm day? What they’re referring to are training splits.
This is the concept of focusing on one particular muscle group or part of the body before moving onto the next. This allows for ample recovery and a comprehensive fitness regime.
Avoid full-body routines. Instead, choose a training split that works best for your schedule.
Split training options are endless but common ones include upper and lower body, a push/pull routine, or a combination of the two.
Slow to Moderate Reps
Muscles grow best when under tension for long periods of time. Alternate between moderate intervals and slow, controlled reps.
Start with sets of 4 to 40 reps, depending on the weight and your experience level. This range helps stimulate muscle growth.
The “sweet spot” for building muscle are sets that range from 6 to 20 reps. Some bodybuilders stick with 8 to 12 reps per set for optimal results.
Rest and Recovery
Once you’ve exhausted your muscles, they need ample rest and recovery. This is one of the most important parts of achieving your fitness gains since muscle growth happens between workouts.
Soreness and extreme exhaustion are two signs that you’re overtraining and haven’t allowed time for ample recovery. Getting a good night’s sleep is also key for restoring both your muscles and energy levels.
Set Realistic Goals
The worst thing you can do when trying to make fitness gains is setting unrealistic goals. This only sets you up for disappointment and failure.
You can’t expect to reach all your fitness goals overnight. Long-term results take time. You need to transform your lifestyle before you can transform your body.
Take notice of the small achievements you make. Are you lifting heavier now than you did last week? Are your clothes fitting better?
The ability to increase your weights and reps, recover faster, and even sleep better are all signs that you’re on the right road to achieving your fitness gains.
Remain consistent and positive. Avoid pushing yourself past healthy limits. This won’t get you to your goals any faster and might actually derail your efforts.
Incorporate Proper and Adequate Nutrition
Fitness gains aren’t possible without work both in both the gym and the kitchen.
Fueling your body properly and eating well are integral parts of reaching your fitness goals and safely building muscle.
Adopt a Balanced Diet
Whether you’re bulking up or trying to build lean muscle, you need to monitor both your caloric intake and the types of foods you’re eating.
One of the biggest mistakes people make is not eating enough! Not only can this lead to fatigue and serious health complications, but it’ll stop your fitness gains in their tracks.
Your body needs adequate fuel to build muscle. Without it, your body enters a catabolic state where your muscles actually start to break down.
It’s not just what you eat that matters but when. Try to eat every 2-3 hours to keep your metabolism working and support muscle growth.
Everyone’s body is unique and needs a different caloric breakdown. A good rule of thumb is 1 gram of protein per pound for muscle gain.
Fight the urge to adopt a keto-style diet that eliminates carbs. Carbohydrates are an important part of fitness gains. Not only do they provide energy for your workouts but they also prevent your body from burning muscle instead of fat.
Choose the Best Supplements
Sometimes, you just can’t get all the vitamins and nutrients you need from diet alone. That’s where supplements come into play. Choosing the proper supplement for your fitness goals is key.
There are countless supplements available from SARMs and peptides to botanicals and multi-vitamins. Each offers unique benefits that help put your fitness gains within reach.
Let’s start with the most basic type of supplement — vitamin supplements.
Are you deficient in certain vitamins and minerals? Does your diet lack vitamins B, C, or D? These are all important nutrients for both muscle development and recovery.
A multi-vitamin is a good choice and provides these essential nutrients plus omega 3 fatty acids, calcium, potassium, and zinc.
Colligon, probiotics, and even apple cider vinegar can also all help you reach your fitness goals faster by boosting your metabolism and supporting healthy digestion.
Achieving fitness gains safely means maintaining optimal health. Botanicals help strengthen your body’s natural immune functions and prevent disease.
Botanicals also help support cardiovascular function. Your heart plays a crucial role in a safe and healthy fitness regime.
Although cardio exercise promotes weight loss, a healthy mix of cardio and strength training is best for achieving fitness gains.
SARMs are gaining in popularity as the ideal supplement for safely building muscle. The negative and dangerous side effects of anabolic steroids are far-reaching. SARMs are a safe and healthy alternative.
They’re also the perfect choice for targeting specific muscle groups, which is the key to overall muscle and fitness gains.
SARMs are synthetic ligands that bind to the body’s androgen receptors. They also increase muscle mass and strength while facilitating post-workout recovery.
Peptides are another popular supplement that supports muscle growth. They are naturally found in foods like fish and dairy products. If you don’t consume enough of these foods, peptide liquids can help.
Made from a short chain of amino acids, peptides promote fat loss, bone health, and muscle development.
When it comes to achieving safe fitness gains, peptides can enhance your athletic performance and help boost recovery.
Support Fitness Gains In and Out of the Gym
It takes time, patience, and dedication to see your desired fitness gains. It also takes the right workout regime, diet, and mindset.
Split training, using high-quality supplements, and getting plenty of rest will ensure you reach your fitness goals in a safe, healthy way. Setting SMART goals is also a must. Be honest about your current fitness level and abilities.
You’ll get stronger and more confident with every rep. Soon, you can start setting (and crushing) new goals.
Not sure where to start? Check out this step-by-step guide on setting attainable goals and check back regularly for the most up-to-date info and recommendations on all things health and fitness.