If we try to focus on gaining muscle or at the very least maintaining the muscle mass that we have then we can make sure our metabolic rate stays high. If our metabolic rate stays high then we can stay lean and healthy all year around with moderate levels of body fat. Even if you are bulking up or trying to gain, then its never a good idea to continue bulking when your body fat levels start to get too high. The absolute highest you should ever allow your body fat to get is 12-14 % maximum. Anything over that will start to really damage your physique and it's too much on the cardiovascular system to carry that extra weight around. Stay healthy!
High body fat levels are associated with high blood pressure, stroke and diabetes. If you want to live a long and healthy life, feeling your absolute best then keep your body fat at moderate levels. I'm not saying you have to walk around at single digit body fat all year around but keep it clean ! Heres a few tips to help you achieve that.
Lift heavier weight
If you aren't progressively overloading your muscles then the muscle won't grow. Taking the last set of every exercise to failure is the key to muscle growth. You have to have the right intensity level and the right amount of focus. If those two things aren't lined up then forget the heavy weights for muscle growth because you can get seriously injured. The best rep range is anywhere from 8-12 reps on most of your sets.
2.Eat more protein
If your protein intake is not up high enough then you aren't supplying your body with the proper amount of nutrients to really feed the muscle. Remember that your body is only able to absorb so much protein in one sitting, thats why I always stress the importance of meal frequency and eating every 2-3 hours. Three meals per day just won't cut it, so if you're only eating 2-3 meals per day then its time to change your eating habits one step at a time. If you aren't tracking your macros then I suggest at the very minimum you at least track you protein intake. Aim for 2 grams fo protein per lb of lean body mass.
3.Take a pre-workout supplement
Find the right pre-workout supplement for your needs. Some have extremely high amounts of caffeine and other stimulants. Some are caffeine free. Everyones body and tolerance is different. Some people are very sensitive to caffeine and other stimulants. If you are going to use one with high amounts of caffeine then I suggest you start with a quarter of a scoop of only half of a scoop to begin. Assess your tolerance and go from there. Pre- workout helps me get through a challenging workout when I'm tired and after a long day of work. Some days you just aren't feeling it and this is when you might need it most. Be careful with long term usage because your body can begin to develop a tolerance and from there you would have to start increasing your dosage, which I don't recommend, so use it in moderation.
Consistency is the absolute key over everything. If you are missing workouts then it means your priorities are not where they need to be. Prioritize your time and make your workouts a very important part of your day. You have to be committed. If there is no commitment then there will be no results, its as simple as that! Missing a few workouts here and there might not seem like that big of a deal but every single workout counts, believe me.
Static stretching in a great way to help increase blood flow and nutrient delivery to the muscle tissue. Thats equal more growth and not to mention, less chance of getting injured. The last thing you need is an injury to slow down your progress. Depending on what kind of injury it is it can take weeks or even months to heal and your workouts can suffer from that. You want to have no limitations when you step into the gym. You should be free to do any movement needed for your fitness goals. Once an injury sets in you become restricted and limited. Stretching and good form is crucial.