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Measure your body fat. Your body fat percentage will tell you whether you need to lose fat before building muscles. If you don't lose the body fat, your muscles will be hidden by a fat layer. You can estimate whether you need to lose fat by pinching your waist. If you can pinch 2 or more inches, you need to lose fat. Doctors and trainers at the gym have professional body fat measuring equipment and can also measure your body fat.
Lift weights up to 45 minutes per day, three to four days per week. Over-training your body can sabotage your results. Your energy and mental focus are at their highest during short workouts.
Train different muscles on different days so that you allow the muscles trained some recovery time. Mondays can be biceps and triceps, Wednesdays can be shoulders and back, and Fridays can be abdominals and legs.
Make compound exercises the main focus of your workout routine. Compound exercises include squats, bench presses, dead lifts, chin ups and rows. They target several muscles at the same time, making them essential in your muscle-building quest.
Increase the weights you lift as you make progress. To get stronger and bigger, you cannot plateau, you have to keep challenging your muscles.
Increase your caloric intake so that you gain up to 1 pound per week. Once you've leaned out, you need to bulk up so that you can turn the bulk into muscles. You can add 300 to 500 calories to your regular daily diet to see if you gain weight. If you don't gain weight, increase the calories.
Eat muscle-building foods. Bulking up doesn't mean gaining fat. You want to gain muscular bulk by incorporating muscle-building foods into your diet. Some good foods to eat include fish, chicken, eggs, lean ground beef and almonds. Eat your carbohydrates early in the day and avoid eating any carbohydrates at night time.
Get at least eight hours of sleep per day. When you sleep your body grows and restores itself, providing you with energy for your next workout.
Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and to keep joints from stiffening. Drinking two cups of water with every meal and more water throughout your workouts is sufficient.