Eat and Train For More Muscle

Hey friends!

How are you all doing? Glad you all liked the Pinterested-themed Halloween dinner.

I am peachy.

p.s. Prayers to those on the east coast (and all over the world) who might be suffering from weather-related damages & inconveniences.

******

Yesterday was kind of exhausting, actually. Not going to lie there. And today, I am up even earlier than yesterday! But that’s okay. I am oddly up & fine at 5 a.m. I think I was born to run around/work out in the morning.

Anyone else just loooovveee working out in the morning?!? :)

Eat and Train for More Muscle

So I read a fun, short piece on building muscle, and thought I’d share it with you-including my thoughts and favs.

{Check out that great article I found.}

Some of my favorites from the top 10 tips to build muscle include:

#10: Don’t get caught up in the latest fads. The fact is, weight training is the most efficient tool to change your body.

#9: Train your small muscles like the rotators in your shoulders, and make sure you keep your flexibility. You need your body to function as a unit to pack on more muscle. If you skip training smaller muscles, you’re likely to get stuck at plateaus more often.
#7: Eat. After your workout is done you have one task: to eat.

#1: Learn to enjoy training heavy. It’s not supposed to feel nice. If it’s not a little uncomfortable you probably have way more to give.

Very much agreed indeed.

First of all, AMEN. Enough with the fads and fad diets already! I try not to judge, but I am human. So seriously, why do people even follow fad diets anymore?! It drives me bonkers. Cutting out a food group (unless advised by a doc or for religious/personal reasons) has never been a good idea. Ever. And what’s more? There is not enough long-term evidence to prove that a fad diet will be healthy.

Remember, people back in the early/mid 1900’s thought smoking was a good idea-it looked cool, seemed harmless, and made it feel fun.

Yah. Exxxacctttlllyy.

A certain fad diet that might ‘work’ for a few people does NOT equal healthy or good for us in the long run.

Just sayin.’

Secondly, weight training changes your body. (For the better!)

Don’t need to expound on that.

{source}

Thirdly, try to hit all the major & minor muscle groups when you train! Love this tip.

I think that’s why I love teaching BP and doing my own thing. I can hit places and exercises I might not get from BP. BP does a great job of delivering an all-around total-body workout, but it’s always nice to throw in new-to-me exercises in the mix for my ‘non’ teaching day.

And lastly, if you want to build muscle, you MUST eat more-of everything, and especially in the way of healthy, lean protein.

Because I like to lift weights (and lift ’em heavy!), and I want to build muscle, it is key that I fuel & refuel often, that I eat enough, and that I help the rebuilding process once the workout is over.

{source}

Here are some things I have had to come to terms/started doing with as I’ve gotten stronger/built muscle:

  • it is no longer about the scale or how much I weigh (it def was during ED & disordered eating time)
  • I don’t care about calories, really (I never count them)
  • I prefer to check out the healthy fats, protein, and sugar grams when reading labels
  • when making meals or snacks, I first decide where my protein and veggies will come in to play, then I add my complex carb & healthy fat
  • I prefer to measure how I’m doing with pants fitting and how I feel rather than a number dictating my worth/weight <–often we get those mixed up, ladies!
  • I actually like looking at pictures of myself again (during my disordered eating & ED days, I always hated pics of me). Now I like looking strong!
  • I wear pants again that I haven’t in a long time. Thank you muscles!

If you want to change your body, you had better lift (heavy/heavier) weights, eat up!, and forget the scale.

{pausing to take a pic in between chest press reps}

p.s. I probably weigh about the same that I did when I was in H.S., but I wear 1-2 pant sizes smaller now.

Muscle takes up less space than fat.

Muscle is denser than fat.

{source}

Word.

*****

Off to teach some BP realllllyyy early. Have a great day!

What do YOU do to add more muscle?? In what ways has YOUR body changed in the past little while?? Have YOU experienced the beauty of lifting heavier weights?!?

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Comments

  1. FANTASTIC post! I’m currently working on putting on more muscle mass and it’s hard doing it from home with out heavy weights. I know I need to start refueling properly after my workouts (I probably under eat for someone who’s trying to put on mass). What are your ‘go to’ post-workout meals?

    • I drink a scoop of 100% pure whey protein powder right away (with a bit of choc milk-prob around 6 ounces). Then I eat a meal after a quick shower. I love eggs, sweet potatoes, spinach protein smoothies, chicken anything, and turkey burgers. Hope that helps!

      • It does, thank you! I see most people downing protein drinks right after. I’m in the habit of eating a protein bar about 2 hours after I work out (as soon as I get to work) but I think I’ll start researching protein powders to drink right after my strength sessions!

        • Glad to help! It’s most important to drink/eat the protein withint 15 mins-45 mins after your workout, as that’s the best time to help the muscles recover & rebuild. So, yes, I try to have something RIGHT after the workout, and then about 45 mins, is the ‘meal.’ Just how I do it :)

          • Try this: Higher fat, moderate protein, low salt and sugar, don’t eat 6 meals a day, don’t stress the body by having a meal or protein drink right before or after workout because now your body is trying to digest food and work muscles at the same time if you do that, get your nutrition from food and not supplements, and lift more frequently per bodypart and not to failure.

  2. that picture of you is AWESOME!! you look phenomenal!!! i am excited to get back into weight lifting!

  3. Although I’m very happy with my current workout routine I think I could probably add one day info heavier weights! Keeping up with the other workouts (running, yoga, circuits), it will be interesting to see what a session of heavier weight training can/will do for me! And I’m with you on the early morning workouts! My mornings dont always allow for an early am sweat session but when I do get my workout completed before the in rises I feel I take on the day with a vibrant, go-getter attitude!

  4. I definitely love heavy lifting! I was a cardio queen for years, but I’ve seen more improvements in my body in 1 year of lifting than I have in 4 years of running. I love the fact that I have actual biceps now!

    I love the fad diets/smoking comparison – so true!

  5. I am noticing more definition and its soo much fun to see…yea!

    I am chocking it up to eating better, lifting, more and more protein, and MORNING EXERCISE!!! ha! I am such a morning person …its scary!

  6. SO true, weight lifting changes your body! I used to only do cardio (never knew much about strength training) and would lose weight/get in shape, but never saw true changes to my body until I incorporated strength training. Most importantly, not just changes in the way I look, but changes in how I felt. There’s nothing like feeling strong in your everyday life!

  7. Great post! Recently I have been adding more strength training to my fitness routine, and I’m loving it! I want to continue to lift heavier weights though, and I’m still working on doing less cardio. That’s something I do struggle with–afraid I’m not burning enough calories if I’m not doing enough cardio. So . . . . I’m a work in progress. But I do want to get STRONG! So I need to pay less attention to the number on the scale and focus on how I feel. :)

    • YES, and YES! How you feel, how strong you feel, focusing on the weight on your bar going up, and not on the scale. The scale is totally worthless when you’re trying to add muscle & change the shape of your body :) I wish I could tell everyone woman out there that!!

  8. Interesting picture there 😛

  9. Kristen says:

    Great post!! I counsel students at the university I work at and teaching them about the importance of strength training is a must! And with the fad diets…. all I can do is laugh and shake my head when I hear about a new diet that someone is trying!

  10. Awesome stuff! I teach BP on the weekends and I try to tell the folks in my class to LIFT HEAVY to create a change. I see some people increasing their weights over time, but the people (and I hate to say this, it’s primarily women) who keep the weight the same don’t change. “Change your weight to change your body. We get stronger every week!”

    You have some really good thoughts on not looking at calories and not looking at the scale, but rather judging food by its nutritional value and your weight by how your clothes feel.

    I think I will give up the scale for Lent next year!

  11. really fantastic tips and mindset!! Just one change muscle doesn’t weight more than fat 1lb =1lb whether it’s feathers or bowling balls. But because like you said it takes up less space you might look smaller than you feel the number on the scale shows.

  12. Yes! Absolutely love this Annette! As someone who has fallen into many of the new fads, its so important to realize this! Weight training is SO important, especially as women. For strength, our bone health, and other added benefits! I struggle with weight lifting, since I find it boring, but I do it because I know how good it is for my body. I’m working on giving up the scale for good. I pulled it out for the first time in about 8 months, was feeling good before, and after I saw my weight I cried…why did I do that? There was no point and it left me feeling sad because of a number, which does not define me or my worth! It is just a silly number. This may be the motivation I need to finally get rid of that darn thing.

  13. Thanks! This is a wonderful post and it is just what I needed to hear.

  14. I’m glad that I’m back into weight lifting with the marathon over! I’m hoping it will get me toned back up and boost my metabolism!

  15. Danielle says:

    Lovin this post, girlie! I am totally a morning workout person, so I feel your crazy :p Seriously can’t wait to get back into more strength training after the race, and really build a better, stronger base. I honestly love cardio AND lifting, and can’t say which I love more. I just love feeling strong, and finally this year realized that lifting weights and strength training improves my cardio even more, and has so many other bonus points. High fives for muscles!
    I really need more protein – – it’s weird but I still have my old ED thoughts about protein sneak up on me every now and then. I know that my body loves protein, but for some crazy reason I’ll skimp on it and go overboard on carbs, feel crappy, and then have some protein (eventually) and feel amazing!!! why do i do that to myself? i have no idea. I think i’m getting better but still workin on it 😀 My ED brain is koo-koo-krazy and makes no sense, ie protein thing. I already know that if I eat more protein my body feels better and looks better, so it’s just ridiculousness that I don’t keep that in mind! Oh well, at least I brought yogurt today.. and walnuts. Yay
    xoxox

  16. Hannah N. says:

    Thank you for posting this! I’m currently trying to gain some weight (muscle not fat). I’ve lost a little too much weight recently and I’m trying to gain some healthy ones back. I’m a little over 5’1′ and weigh in at around 97-98 lbs and I feel this is TOO low for me. I’ve lost about 10 lbs in the past 2 months. Mostly from working out too much and not eating enough calories. I’ve definitely gained a lot more muscle too but any tips on gaining some mass? I mostly do weight training on my squats like squats, lunges, some hiit/tabata training on the side, pilates, kickboxing or bikram once a week. I eat lots of protein/veggies/complex carbs and shakes are always part of my routine after workouts but because I’ve lost weight, my pants never fit me right anymore! I feel like all the weight I lost came from my hips! ) :

    • To gain healthy weight back & put on some mass, it’s all about training & eating right. Up your protein by a few grams (20 or so), try to get more healthy fats, and if you can, lift heavier weights and then eat right after. To gain mass, you have to eat more, it’s pure science :) To do it in a healthy way though, stick to just plain eating larger portions of chicken, nut butters, more whey protein shakes, and lots of fruit, turkey burgers, and eggs/cheese. :)

  17. Great post! I have been focusing on building some muscle! I am loving lifting heavy.

  18. Christine says:

    how can muscle weigh more than fat? a pound is a pound. Muscle is more dense and takes up less room.

    • Thanks for catching that! I didn’t edit this, whoopsies. You’re right, I meant to say it is denser than fat. Have a nice night :)

  19. Lately I’ve loved working out super early around 5:45am, I think this is because whilst I’m teaching at school it feels good to be able to come home and relax and do everything you have to do after the big day.

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