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What is Clean Bulking?

Getting in shape doesn’t always means slimming. For those that are already slim, it can often mean bulking up. Clean bulking is a way of combining diet and exercise to build muscles mass. It’s most popular amongst men wanting to tone up, but recently many women wanting to develop a fuller figure have developed an interest in it too.

Much like slimming, clean bulking require discipline and a lot of motivation. If you’re eager to start here are some of the steps you’ll need to take.

Fixing up Your Diet

You can’t bulk up unless you’re upping your calorie intake. This can scare many people off that fear they’ll get fat as a result. However, if you’re complimenting extra eating with lots of exercises, this shouldn’t be a problem.

Like any slimming diet, the key is still to eat healthily, so that all energy is converted into muscle. Instead of processed carbs like sugary snacks and fried foods, consider eating lots of potatoes, rice, and pasta. Protein is also essential to muscle growth and many people will take supplements such as protein shakes. Organic meats, eggs, nuts and milk can be another great unprocessed source of this protein.

On top of eating the right amount of food, you’ll need to consume a healthy amount of water. Other minerals can also help with a progress. You can find many dietary tips and meal plans for clean bulking online.

It’s all Connected to the Core

A healthy core will affect every other part of your body. It’s what helps you to balance and keep you upright. Most people assume that the core simply means the abs, but it actually incorporates all your torso muscles.

Individual exercises can help with many core muscles. Dips can help build your pecs – you’ll find help online on how to do dips at home for the chest. Sit ups, crunches, Russian twists, and leg raises meanwhile can be great for the abs. Endurance exercises such as the plank meanwhile are great for strengthening your whole core and good additions to add at the end of a workout.

Working Your Arms

There are many ways to bulk up the arms. Push ups and pull ups are great for testing most of your arm muscles. Specific exercises meanwhile can be catered to more specific arm muscles groups such as bicep curls and tricep dips. Gyms will often have all the specialist equipment, but you can often achieve the same result simply by buying a pair of dumbbells and working out from home, as well as getting imaginative with furniture (a couch is brilliant for tricep dips and elevated push ups).

Leg Day

Many people, specifically men, will pay little attention to their legs when bulking up. Forgetting leg day however will make you look disproportioned and have a knock on effect later as your legs aren’t able to support the rest of your body.

Many activities are great for building leg muscle. Cycling works out all your muscles groups from your quads to your calves to your glutes. Other exercises are more focused such as deadlifts and squats that specifically target your quads. If you have a gym membership, you’ll find many machines that can further build up your legs.

Creating a Routine

Bulking up requires a good routine. If you’re working out every day, a sensible option is to cycle between core, legs and arms. This will allow you to focus on each group whilst also allowing enough recovery time. Another approach is to exercise your whole body in one session but to give yourself a day’s break between each session.

A personal trainer may be able to help you create a routine that fits around your weekly schedule. As soon as your routine becomes comfortable, you can then start to up the stakes by increasing the number of reps, the time or the weight.

Whilst most of your exercise regime will be strength-based, it’s good to also include some endurance in there. Cardio exercises strengthen the heart and a healthy heart is much needed when bulking up to provide the extra muscle mass gained with the blood and oxygen it needs.

Staying motivated

Keeping motivated is the biggest challenge. Often the best way to stay motivated is to have a tangible target. This could be a target body shape, a target strength that you wish to be able to reach or a clothing size. From week to week, you should also be setting yourself micro-goals. These could be anything from beating your time at the plank to managing an extra weight.

Tracking your progress is important. Some gyms will have machines that do this for you so that you can keep on target with each week. If you’re training at home, you may be able to use apps to measure your progress. Having body stats available can greatly help to spur you on.

You can also take photographs in the mirror. These will show you how far you’ve come and may provide you the motivation to keep going.

Blogging and social media reporting also helps for some people. From week to week you can report your progress so that others can read and get inspired or simply spur you on.

Some people also find that training with someone else helps. This could involve training with a friend or could involve hiring a personal trainer to help put you through your paces. Make sure that if you are training with a friend or family member that you’re still sticking to your routine. Exercise classes may work for some, but probably not for the majority – whilst the likes of CrossFit incorporate many weight exercises, they do not stick to a routine from week to week and focus more on general fitness. Bulking requires specific training catered to the individual in most cases and you’re unlikely to be able to follow this working with a group of people with different goals and needs. That said, such as exercise groups can be still good to do on the side and have been known to introduce many people to weightlifting and new exercise ideas.

Ally Gonzales is the creator of RunningSoleGirl. The go-to place for everything healthy lifestyle and conditioning for running. She’s a runner, speaks a total of five languages, and is a soon-to-be college freshman majoring in Exercise and Sports Science.

Guest Post: Reasons Why Yoga is Good for Your Health

Dealing with everyday stress seems to be more difficult today. Just as you’re about to finish a task at work, your boss assigns to you another project; meanwhile, your pet is sick, and your phone battery is dead. It looks like everything is going down in flames. Instead of allowing stress and anxiety to get the best of you, you can start developing your own strategies for handling stress and staying healthy. One of the best ways to do that is by hitting the mat and giving yoga a try.

Have a perfect posture

By spending a lot of time hunched over our computers we are ruining our posture since it is difficult to keep the spine in a perfectly upright position all the time. This means that our sedentary lifestyle puts a lot of strain on neck and back muscles, and modern technology, as well as hours spent in front of a computer, don’t make things any easier. Not only does a poor posture look bad, but it also causes back, neck, and other muscle and joint problems. Yoga improves your flexibility, it strengthens your neck and back muscles and helps you stand straight. You will soon notice that your posture is improved and that your back pain problems are gone.

Get Stronger

Strong muscles look amazing, but when you spend a lot of time sitting at a desk or in front of a TV, it becomes very difficult to keep that sculptured body. Strong muscles mean that you’ll stay healthy for a long time, you will improve your balance, and you will look amazing. As easy as yoga may seem at first, it’s very difficult, and before you know it, you will notice your body changing, becoming leaner and more muscular.

Improve Flexibility

Not only will you be getting stronger, but you will also become more flexible. Improved flexibility is something that happens over time. During your first classes, you might have trouble bending over, touching your toes, and doing a backbend. Still, if you are persistent and dedicated, you will soon notice your body becoming more flexible with every new class. As your flexibility improves, all your pains and aches will significantly diminish. You will also become more graceful, as you will have better posture and you will be moving with ease.

Fight Insomnia

People who suffer from insomnia have also noticed that the quality of their sleep is significantly improved after only eight weeks of daily yoga. What is more, a study found that even people who survived cancer started feeling less fatigued and could sleep better after doing yoga twice a week. Sleep issues are tightly connected to anxiety, and it is not uncommon that you find it difficult to fall asleep just because you cannot stop thinking about everyday problems and troubles. Breathing and mental exercises help your mind to relax too, and allow it to slow down, so you will soon discover that you’re sleeping better. Start using yoga accessories to help you focus better: find bundles of white sage on Sivana Spirit – the smell is lovely and it will help you relax.

Yoga is not only good for relaxation and finding a peace of mind, but it also represents an incredibly effective mind-body practice. By focusing on your breathing and keeping your body in the right position, you will find it easy to meditate and relax. The best thing is that pretty much anyone can do yoga – there are different kinds of yoga for you to choose from, and once you find the one that’s perfect for you, you will notice that you’re getting healthier with each day.

Diana Smith is a full-time mom of two beautiful girls interested in topics related to health and alternative medicine. In her free time, she enjoys exercising and preparing healthy meals for her family.

Indulge Your Spine

Your spine is a crucial part of your body. Without it, you couldn’t walk or even hold yourself upright. That’s why when something goes wrong with it, it can cause so much damage to your quality of life. A bad back can affect what you do on your job, as well as your personal life. The good news is that there are plenty of things you can do to give your spine healthy. Here’s some advice.

Let Your Spine Rest While You Sleep

Most people like to sleep on their sides or their front. This is natural, and something most of us have done since childhood. But sleeping on your side might not be such a good idea when it comes to looking after your spine; especially if you have a  herniated disc. It’s usually a much better idea to sleep on your back and ensure that the spine isn’t twisting. For extra support, put a pillow under your knees.

Your choice of mattress and pillows s also very important when it comes to looking after your back. According to Spine-Health, people suffering from back pain should choose a mattress that evenly distributes their weight, taking any unnecessary pressure off the spine itself.

Exercise To Strengthen Core Muscles

Another reason why people run into back pain trouble is that their core muscles aren’t strong enough relative to the demands they place on their backs. Weak muscles around the lower back, as well as the abdomen, mean that the body cannot adequately support the spine itself, leading to strain and damage, especially when moving in unfamiliar directions.

The solution to this problem is rather simple: train abdominal and other core muscles so that they become stronger. Abdominal muscles can be trained through a variety of simple exercises in no more than 15 minutes a day.

Buy Shoes To Support Your Spine

The type of shoes that you wear have a significant impact on the health of your back, whether you’re a keen hiker or just walk to work in the mornings. It turns out that shoes play an important role in how well supported your lower back is. The best shoes, including walking boots, provide a lot of support to your feet, keeping the legs and the lower spine in alignment. Of particular importance is the area around the back of the heels. This part of the shoe needs to be snug if your foot is to be supported.

Our bodies were designed to walk barefoot, so in some cases, the shoes themselves might be the problem. Shoes cause us to walk very slightly differently to how nature intended because of the fact that the soles of shoes are different to those of our feet. The good news is that you don’t have to walk barefoot everywhere if you don’t want to. There are not shoes by companies like Vibram that mold to the shape of your feet – and even your individual toes – allowing you the feeling of walking barefoot without exposing your feet to the elements. People who walk barefoot or in shoes that mimic the effect tend to have a better gait and, therefore, a healthier back.

Grab A Regular Massage

By now, the benefits of massage are well-documented. Not only does massage increase the supply of nutrients and oxygen to the muscles of the back, but it also helps to release endorphins – natural feel-good factors. These endorphins are a type of natural painkiller; relieving the body of ailments and helping you to get on with your day.

Studies have shown that people who suffer from back pain but take regular massages can reduce their intake of painkillers; some of which can have detrimental side effects. Researchers believe that this might have something to do with the fact that massage helps to bring healing nutrients to affected sites around the back, speeding up the healing process.

You can indulge your spine by going to the spa next to your gym or having a massage therapist visit your home.

Practice Good Ergonomics While Sitting

The media has been harping on about how sitting is the new smoking. And while it remains to be seen whether sitting all day really is as bad as puffing your way through a pack of 20, anybody who has a bad back knows how sitting can aggravate it further.

Anybody who sits at a desk knows that there is a tendency to either lean into the computer screen or slouch back; which can stress the delicate discs in our spine. Official advice, therefore, is to avoid long periods of sitting wherever possible; including regularly getting up on your feet to go to the toilet or make a drink.

What’re Your Thoughts?

Ally Gonzales is the creator of RunningSoleGirl. The go-to place for everything healthy lifestyle and conditioning for running. She’s a runner, speaks a total of five languages, and is a soon-to-be college freshman majoring in Exercise and Sports Science.

Four Easy Ways To Lower Your Back Pain

Your back is a complex system of bones, joints, nerves, muscles and skin; which means it can be hard to determine what’s wrong when something doesn’t feel right. Typically, back pain occurs after long periods of sitting still, incorrectly lifting something, bending awkwardly, over-stretching, or overusing the muscles; which are how sportsmen and women end up with repetitive strain injury. However, there are a few things you can try to help relieve those shooting pains, dull aches or annoying twinges that seem to appear out of nowhere; here are ways to ease your lower back pain.

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Ally Gonzales is the creator of RunningSoleGirl. The go-to place for everything healthy lifestyle and conditioning for running. She’s a runner, speaks a total of five languages, and is a soon-to-be college freshman majoring in Exercise and Sports Science.

No Pain – No Strain: Put Muscle and Back Pain Behind You

An intense workout can leave you feeling revitalized and refreshed to fatigued and in pain all in the same day. Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) is the feeling felt in exercised muscles between eight hours and three days following a high-intensity exercise and training regimen. This not only occurs in those who are less physically trained, but it’s also experienced by most people and professional athletes who take part in exercises that can possibly damage your muscle fibers, which is why we’re sharing how to put muscle and back pain behind you.

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Ally Gonzales is the creator of RunningSoleGirl. The go-to place for everything healthy lifestyle and conditioning for running. She’s a runner, speaks a total of five languages, and is a soon-to-be college freshman majoring in Exercise and Sports Science.

That’s A Right Pain In The… Back? Back Pain Tips

At some point, everyone suffers from back pain. Whether it be a dodgy chair at work or an injury, no one can live with it for too long. But doctors can’t usually do much, and if they do, the side effects are usually dramatic. So how can you help yourself in this matter? Here are some back pain tips to help you out!

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Ally Gonzales is the creator of RunningSoleGirl. The go-to place for everything healthy lifestyle and conditioning for running. She’s a runner, speaks a total of five languages, and is a soon-to-be college freshman majoring in Exercise and Sports Science.

Guest Post: 5 Most Common Causes of Back Pain You Shouldn’t Ignore

What do you get when you combine long work hours and a little exercise? If you guessed chronic back pain, you’re right on the spot. Among chronic pains that are growing increasingly common in the 21st century; backache is by far the most widespread and the toughest one to shake. One of the prime reasons for absenteeism and a leading cause of disability worldwide; back pain affects about one-half of Americans each year, and it’s the second most common reason for visits to healthcare centers.

In addition to the startling statistics; medical experts estimate that 80% of the U.S. population will experience a back problem at some point in their lives, and you can easily be one of them. Preventing back pain is easier than remedying it; you just need to know the common causes of back pain and take steps to banish them from your daily life.

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Nicole Noël is a travel addict and a passionate writer. She always seeks new adventures, and she loves to share her experiences. She’s architecture and interior design enthusiast. In her spare time, she loves to design furniture, clothes, and jewellery. She also enjoys preparing and eating delicious food with her friends. You can read about her adventures on her social media streams.

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