The holidays can be a stressful time for many of us. Trying to navigate the season without overindulging on Christmas dinner and the endless amounts of holiday baking can be a challenge. But, instead of a dreadful season filled with either excessive restriction or guilty overindulgence, we see it as the perfect opportunity to build some holiday muscle mass. Instead of stopping yourself from getting that second serving, use those extra calories to build muscle.
Not convinced that allowing yourself to actually enjoy the most wonderful time of the year is the right move yet? Here are three reasons why harnessing the holiday gains is such a good idea.
1. Let’s face it, you’re already eating more calories.
2. Time off means more time to train and recover.
3. Having a goal that allows you more food freedom can help you stress less this holiday season.
Okay, so now that you know why this is the perfect time to make those muscle gains, let's talk about how to put on the holiday muscle mass.
Exercise Before the Feast for Maximum Gains
We recommend fitting in your workout before a big holiday dinner. Lifting weights breaks down your muscles. During recovery, and with the help of carbohydrates and proteins, your body begins rebuilding that muscle. So, exercising before your big meal means that the extra calories you consume will go towards rebuilding your muscle for maximum gains.
Progressively Overload your Muscles
Progressive overload is one of the foundational principles necessary for any training program. It is defined as the gradual increase of stress placed upon the body during exercise training. In order for muscles to grow, strength to increase, or performance to improve, the body must be forced to adapt to a tension that is above and beyond what it has previously experienced. You can switch up your routine and progressively overload your muscles by adjusting the weight, the sets, and/or the reps that you are using or by decreasing rest periods.
Allow Yourself to Eat More
In order to build muscle, you must be consuming more calories than you are burning. The bulk of your bulking calories should be coming from carbohydrates and proteins to give you more fuel to power through heavy workouts as well as feed your muscles. So, go ahead, have a second serving of mashed potatoes and turkey. If you’re feeling like you might be short on protein, try Bodylogix® Natural Isolate for 25 g of protein per scoop. Need more info? Check out this blog for more details on exactly what to eat when you’re bulking.
The holiday season is an important time for us to connect with loved ones, but if you’re stressing about maintaining your weight it can be hard to be truly present. Using this time to of excess caloric intake is the perfect way to stress less, enjoy the season, and still work towards your goals. Remember the three main principles for muscle gains this holiday season, workout before big meals, progressively overload your muscles, and fill up on carbs and protein.