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Getting big muscles has been the dream of many men (and some women) throughout the ages, but primarily for aesthetic reasons. However, did you know that exercise for muscle growth (also known as anaerobic exercise) is great for a raft of reasons, not only to look fabulous?
By engaging in workouts that provide a decent pump, you will discover spillover effects for the rest of your body, including better flexibility, increased core strength, and improved overall health and stamina.
This post explores seven of the best activities you can try if you are interested in gaining muscle while improving your general fitness levels.
1. Think Outside The Box And Try Watersports!
There’s a reason why most people who participate in watersports tend to look like muscled adonis. Aside from the point that it is an outdoor activity where they gain a spectacular tan, it requires tremendous strength to remain upright and move in the right direction.
If you are worried about getting started, you can usually find a plethora of resources online to help you discover activities you might never have considered. For instance, stand-up paddle boarding and kayaking are great ways to get out into nature while building up strength and stamina.
However, many folks wimpy don’t know where to get started. Fortunately, according to people behind WaterSportWhiz.com, resources such as theirs are full of helpful information for all stages of watersport enthusiasts.
Moreover, once you begin, you will almost certainly become addicted due to the sheer joy of it and from watching yourself slowly become fitter over time.
While you won’t pack on muscle as you might in some other points in the post, you will lose a lot of body fat, exposing your existing musculature and making you appear lithe and extremely fit.
2. Pumping Iron In The Gym (Of Course!)
It would be remiss to exclude arguably the best way to pack on large amounts of powerful muscle without mentioning weight lifting. When you pump iron, several things happen:
- You improve your overall muscle strength and tone
- Your bone density increases
- Your heart becomes more efficient at pumping blood around your body
- If you lift correctly and within your limits, you’ll find yourself less prone to injury
- Your posture will improve
- There will be a dramatic reduction in your stress levels
- Your joints will be more flexible
- You will boost the rate of your metabolism
However, with these advantages comes a few caveats:
- You need to ensure that you learn how to lift correctly so you can avoid serious injury.
- Although you must lift within your limits, you need to lift heavy and often.
- Muscles don’t simply appear without the proper nourishment.
Heavy weight lifting breaks the muscle down, and your diet rebuilds it more densely.
3. Swimming For Resistance Training
Just take one look at a pro or semi-pro swimmer, and you’ll quickly see why swimming made the shortlist! When combined with the proper diet (a recurring theme throughout this post) and consistency, your body will transform as you pack on muscle and shed body fat.
You can opt for regular trips to your local pool, which is perfectly fine, but if you want to see serious gains, you should consider open-water swimming.
There is something unique about battling the wild forces of water, and the longer you participate, the stronger you will become. Moreover, open-water swimming tends to be more enjoyable than swimming laps in a pool.
Nonetheless, the idea is to begin, regardless of your situation, so if you only have access to a pool, that’s fine, and you’ll still see great results.
4. Gymnastic Training
Similarly to the previous point, when you see a gymnast in action, the first thing you are likely to notice will be their size and strength.
Moreover, they achieve their fantastic physique without ever touching a weight. While you will slowly gain tremendous muscle mass over time, you will also enhance your flexibility, balance, and coordination.
However, gymnastics isn’t something you can walk into, and while some of the activities might look straightforward, they take a lot of practice, not to mention a long time warming up to avoid injury.
Nonetheless, if you can find a gym that practices gymnastic sports, it might be interesting to sign up for lessons and see where it takes you.
5. For Respectable Gains, Do Bodyweight Exercises
Bodyweight exercises tend to divide most people regarding muscle growth. Some will say that you cannot build any significant mass from body weight alone, while others say the converse.
However, what is true is that if you have a limited budget of both time and money, body weight workouts are fantastic for getting you started.
Furthermore, if you are starting at a low level, you are more likely to see significant gains than if you have been pumping iron for the past decade.
Body weight workouts are also great for increasing your overall health and fitness levels by improving your cardiovascular system and getting your body moving.
6. Alternative Aerobic Movements
While the previous anaerobic options have focused on conventional means of muscle gain, other more exciting options work your entire body and will set you apart from the other meatheads at the gym!
Workouts incorporating kettlebells, medicine balls, heavy ropes, and even options like an Indian club (look it up) will pack the muscle on while ensuring your entire body is in proportion.
This is because when most people start lifting weights, they tend to focus on the upper body, ignoring the legs, and end up looking like a top-heavy baby gazelle! The aforementioned option forces your entire body to support itself and, consequently, ensures every part gets a workout.
7. Sprinting Uphill (Yes, Really)
Go and open up another tab and search for Usain Bolt and Dennis Mitchell et al. What do you notice? The thing that stands out immediately is that they’re all incredibly jacked to the max. It’s incredible, but sprinting (uphill, if possible) is a great way to pack on muscle.
Numerous studies have shown that sprinting after a heavy-weight workout could increase your gains. Consequently, if you combine it with some of the other suggestions here, you will see tremendous gains very quickly.
From canoeing to swinging an Indian club around your head, there are plenty of options to get swole. However, combining these activities with a healthy diet is vital to ensure that your gains are maximized and that your body has the fuel it needs to keep you going.