Serious bodybuilders may already know that most of your muscle growth comes from what happens when you are not at the gym. Yes, getting into the gym and getting in your exercise routine is important, but it's only one step in the process. Below, we'll go into some of the other important steps you should be paying just as much attention to - if not more - than your gym routine.
If you really want to get big and cut, then you can't be lazy and rely on the "calories in, calories out" mantra or assume that binge-eating double cheeseburgers actually fits your macros. You have to get specific about what you're eating, and you have to eat the right foods. That includes eating enough protein to feed recovering muscles, eating enough healthy carbs for energy and proper protein metabolization, and healthy fats for cellular health.
And if you really want to go the extra mile, don't just stop at your macros. Dip into your micronutrient health, too. The easiest way to do this is to get a blood test, and actually read the results with your own eyes. There's a big difference, especially in the bodybuilding world, between being deficient, being insufficient, and being optimal. Vitamin deficiencies can lead to chronic health problems sooner rather than later. Being insufficient means that it probably won't kill you any time soon, but it is holding back your progress right now (and could lead to health problems in the distant future). Being optimal can not only boost your immediate gains, but it can help you live a longer life and stave off the onset of age-related diseases like cancer, dementia, or heart disease.
Are you sleeping enough? No, really, be honest with yourself: are you sleeping enough? And, more importantly, are you getting the right kind of sleep? If you aren't getting enough REM sleep at night, then you aren't going to make gains. REM sleep triggers your body to refresh, clean house, and recover. Also, scientists recently discovered that your metabolism spikes during REM sleep, destroying the Broscience theory that sleeping burns fewer calories than sitting on the couch.
If you keep a journal of your workouts, or your meal plan, or all of the above, you should be clearing some real estate in that log for keeping track of your sleep time. And pro tip: REM sleep is when your brain dreams. So the more dreams you have, the more REM sleep you're getting.
Once your food and sleep are on point, make sure you're supplementing everything with the right bodybuilding stack. By far, Growth Factor is one of the superior formulas out there which can help both in and out of the gym. It gives you needed amino acids, vitamins, and minerals for quick recovery and muscle growth. It also gives you more energy on your workout days - and the harder you work in the gym, the harder you will sleep while you recover.
For more information on how Growth Factor can improve your results, learn more here.