More Muscle, Less Effort

by Mens Health ( Health & Fitness Resource )

10 tips on maximising your muscle gain by little less...

Sweet as
"Consuming simple sugars during your workout helps you absorb growth-promoting nutrients immediately afterwards, "says Dr Gary O’Donnell, lecturer in sport and exercise medicine at Exeter University. Keep some jelly babies in your shorts and graze between sets.

C the light
Don’t wait till flu season: “The antioxidant vitamins A, C, E, and selenium are essential in preventing free radical damage from weight training,” says Bean. “They speed up the muscles’ healing process.” GNC Ultra Mega GOLD are time-released so your body gets the benefits when it most needs them.

Heavy metal
Not back to your iPod here, “Chromium improves your body's ability to convert amino acids into muscle,” says Dr Claire MacEvilly from the Human Nutrition Research Laboratory in Cambridge. University of Maryland studies found regular lifters who took 200 micrograms a day added 14% more muscle - Solgar Chromium Picolinate, www.solgar.co.uk).

Lunch? Break…
“Delaying a meal by a mere two hours can send your body into ‘starvation’ mode, breaking down proteins and limiting muscle regeneration for 48 hours,” says Bean. Fill your desk drawer with low-fat, high-protein snacks such as peanuts, beef jerky or protein bars.

Zone out
Before lifting focus on your exact body position and grip, develop a mantra to help your breathing. “These rituals create a hypnotic state that blocks out distractions and can raise your endurance threshold by 20%,” says British Olympic Association psychologist Carole Seheult. Make it a silent mantra.

Flexy-time
“Dynamic stretching between sets forces more blood to your muscles without fatiguing them, getting the healing process underway during your workout,” says Gargrave. US researchers at Tufts University found this increased lean mass gain by 8%. Try walking lunges and chin-bar hangs.

Whey in
You absorb whey (animal protein) better than soy (plant protein), nutritionists from Baylor University in Texas found. They also found combining whey with casein – a protein found in cottage cheese and milk – built 50% more muscle than whey alone. Casein stops your body breaking down muscle for fuel (Whey Blend from www.myprotein.co.uk).

Pop a chill
Maximise muscle growth by suppressing hormones that break down muscle tissue. US research at Cornell University found Gridironers who took HMB (www.maximuscle.co.uk) lowered their levels of the muscle-damaging stress hormone cortisol by a quarter.

Bulk o’clock
Squeeze more gains from the same effort by getting your timing right. Research at California's San Jose University shows heart rate, metabolism, flexibility and reactions peak between five and seven. “Your body performs better and absorbs nutrients around 20% more efficiently in the early evening compared to the morning, leading to more muscle growth from the same effort,” says Cambridge University physiologist Dr Michael Hastings.

Lift lighter
“Warming up with plyometrics ‘switches on’ your muscles, so you can lift heavier weights quicker, giving greater gains in less time,” says Wadsworth. Lift just 30% of your SMR for 10 minutes of fast reps of squats, deadlifts and lunges.
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