In the gym, you are without a doubt always working to find new combinations of exercises, set and rep schemes, and intensity boosting variations to keep your muscles guessing. After all, as you well know, the muscles of the body will only grow to meet the demands placed upon them to which they have already not adapted. If you bench pressed 225 pounds for ten repetitions last week, then the muscles of your body have grown bigger and stronger accordingly in order to meet that workload. You aren’t going to be able to grow bigger or stronger until you move more weight, or move the same weight for more repetitions, or some combination of the two. Doing what you have always done will get you what you’ve always gotten, plain and simple!
Likewise, you can always find ways to mix up the other factors to change up, in order to keep your body growing at a steady rate. Some lifters have gone beyond mixing up their training methodologies, and are now focusing upon their nutritional and recovery factors to keep the body guessing. New variations of nutrition and adjusting their sleep and recovery aspects can lead to new muscle growth when all else has failed, and is a strategy that every resourceful lifter should employ from time to time. Ready to learn more?
Each protein you consume on a daily basis is comprised of a different amino acid profile. The twenty kinds of amino acids can create thousands of protein combinations which can be found in the foods you eat on a daily basis. Rotating the foods you eat, from chicken, beef, eggs, turkey, fish, and whey/casein protein drinks can give your body a vast selection from which to choose, ensuring your digestive track never sees the same weekly combination of protein profiles at any given time. In other words, you should always keep your body guessing which protein will be coming its way at any given time. Even if you always choose eggs with breakfast, you can switch up ham, bacon, turkey sausage, or many other foods to keep the body unaware of what food will be arriving next!
Remember that protein alone isn’t enough to boost your muscle growth to the levels you desire. You’ll also need carbohydrates (for energy) and fats (for body repair and function) to keep your body growing and improving. Carbohydrate sources should be varied on a regular basis, bouncing from potatoes and yams and rice and beans, as well as the wide variety of fruits and vegetables. Integrate 1-2 new foods into your diet each week and always rotate what you have for lunch and dinner. Fats can be a little trickier to vary, but the wide variety of meats, oils, and nuts should be plenty in allowing your body the variation is requires.
Micronutrients shouldn’t be overlooked in the process. Vitamins and minerals play key roles in muscle recovery and building. However, you should be giving your body a steady stream of these valuable agents on a regular basis. By the same token, you should cycle the use of supplements such as fat burners and creatine so that the body can benefit from them for 2-4 months, and then cycle off them to keep your receptors fresh.
Now let’s take a look at the recovery factors. Currently, if you’re like most lifters in the gym, you likely give your body about 6 hours of sleep and play on your phone each evening for 60 to 90 minutes. Sure, you know 7.5 to 9 hours of sleep is ideal, but you always tend to cut yourself short. Try forcing yourself to sleep those 8 hours for a week, and see what kind of energy you suddenly have at the gym. Also, you can toss in a few naps from time to time to give the body an added recovery boost that it never expected.
Stretching and massage from time to time can also give your body the ability to break down waste byproducts faster, and recover from DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) way faster than would normally be possible. Try new stretches on a regular basis and visit a few different masseuses if possible to keep the body unaware of what treatment will be arriving next.
Remember that just as mixing up your training can keep the muscles growing on a continual basis, changing up your diet and recovery factors can also go a long way in forcing your body to grow bigger and stronger to meet continual demands which keep on getting tougher each week. Mix things up and you’ll keep seeing growth and improvement. Good luck!