Top 7 Tips for Results in the Gym

Keys to Building Muscle and Burning Fat

  1. Lift First Thing in the Morning. Let’s face it, life happens: as the day unfolds we are bombarded with stress from our careers, relationships, school, etc. These stresses wear down on us mentally, using part of our energy storages. Try lifting first thing in the morning when the mind is clear, when you are at your peak, having just rested. I promise you will not only have better and more intense workouts, but you will have a newfound energy and vigor as you attack your day.
  1. Change Up Your Workout. We are creatures of habit; it is how we are designed. Whether it is the foods that we eat, performing daily tasks or something as simple as the order in which we perform exercises during our workout. Change things up!! Try squatting at the end of your leg workout; perform failure sets, drop sets and supersets. Do not get caught in the habit of doing the same things each week.
  1. Change Your Grip PlacementIt sounds so simple and arbitrary but it can have the biggest affect on muscle growth. For example: when performing straight bar curls, using a wider grip places more emphasis on the inner head of the biceps, whereas an inside grip places more emphasis on the outer head, which helps form the peak of your biceps. Do you lack thickness to your biceps? Many do; well, vary your grip!
  1. Do Cardio to Build Muscle. Wait, what? That sounds ridiculous, doesn’t it? Let me explain; endurance is everything in the game of muscle building. I do not care whether you are bulking, shredding or maintaining. Some type of aerobic activity should be performed to exercise and grow lung capacity and overall heart health. The more endurance you have, the harder and longer you can train and subsequently hit muscle hypertrophy and facilitate increased protein synthesis. For everyone that says cardio costs you gains, well then … you simply need to eat more. I sprint outside in the heat four to five nights each week; am I losing muscle? No, I maintain a lean 240-45 all the time. The sprinting gives me more endurance in the gym and overall health and vitality. I simply add 800-1,000 calories on sprinting days.
  1. Liquefy Your Carbs. Try consuming liquid carbs 45-50 minutes pre-workout. I say liquid because solid foods require digestion, which reduces energy and vasodilation during your training session. What type of liquid carbs? I use a supplement, which has powdered sweet potato in it and have had great results. You could try something like Gatorade pre- and post-workout as well.
  1. Change Up Your CardioSo many of us get caught in the habit of doing the StairMaster or the treadmill a few days a week. We put on our headphones for 45-60 minutes and trudge away. Switch it up. Get outside, run some hills, do some sprints, swim laps. Why do more people not do this? Because walking on a treadmill or a StepMill for 45 minutes is way easier than running hills in the summer heat. Our body is designed to be efficient; it does not want to be low in body fat. The body will do everything it can to outsmart you and return to homeostasis (from the Greek words for “same” and steady”). This is why so many people rebound after crash dieting or high-cardio sessions. Performing the same type of cardio at the same intensity, day in and day out, loses its effectiveness. Studies have shown the body begins to adapt in about 7-10 days and reduces the amount of fat calories being burned. This is not the case with HIIT cardio performed at shorter more intense durations.
  1. Take less selfies, do less texting and talking. Your lift should also be a subsequent cardio session because of the pace you train at. Think of it as muscle-building cardio. If you aren’t drenched 15 minutes into your workout, then you either have the endurance of a supercharged Energizer Bunny or you are working at too slow a pace! Pick up the pace, guys, and you will see awesome results!
Joe Donnelly

Joe Donnelly is a top male fitness model and former NFL tight end, as well as the spokesman for Advanced Molecular Labs. Hear him in his own words in this exclusive online column.

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