There are a few great muscle-building supplements out there. They’re affordable, healthy, safe and very effective. The problem is that there are thousands of supplements out there, and most of them are overpriced, sketchy and ineffective.

The even bigger problem is you want to build muscle and gain weight.

“Are you crazy!?”

Sob. No. We aren’t crazy, just naturally skinny. And it’s about time that we write an article about how to buy supplements properly with our unique goal in mind.

We’ll explain the pros and cons of each, and then, if you decide to take them, we’ll teach you how.

Finally, if you hear about a supplement that is not mentioned here, it’s likely because we don’t feel that there is enough high quality evidence to support it yet. Maybe not, though. Feel free to ask us about absolutely anything in the comments.

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Get A Leg Up On Your Push-Up (With Video Tutorial)

Written by Marco Walker-Ng on March 1, 2017

In this push-up guide, I hope to outline a few reasons why push-ups are so hard, how to start doing push-ups as a beginner, how to correct any mistakes you might be making, and how to progress to more difficult variations.

The idea for this article came up one day when I was heading to the bathroom during a break in my university class. I heard music coming from one of the dance studios down the hall. It sounded like intense workout music, so there was a one hundred percent chance I was going to explore. Looking through the door, I was exposed to a group of people doing push-ups.

Since it was a musical theatre class, it was mostly made up of women. Everyone in this class was doing their best to execute the push up properly. However, they were struggling.

It makes sense that they were struggling. Hardly anyone is capable of doing a classic push-up properly on their first try, so if you’ve never been shown proper progressions, it is almost guaranteed that you will ingrain bad habits, and then even with plenty of practice, be doing them improperly for a long time to come.

I believe the push-up is essential because if you can do it correctly off the ground, it shows you have a great connectedness in your body. The push-up requires solid upper body strength, but more importantly, it’ll only look good if you can hold your entire body in a strong position.

That is not easy, but I will show you how to do it.

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The Best Muscle-Building Exercises For Women

Written by Jared Polowick on February 1, 2017

One of the most common questions we get asked by women is something like, “What’s the best exercise to grow my small butt, hips, calves, thighs, arms, etc.?”

While there are tons of studies looking into what exercises activate the muscles the most, that’s just one factor that goes into deciding what exercises are the best for building muscle.

There are many things to consider. Some are more straightforward, like choosing an exercise that’s appropriate for your experience level.

Some are pretty complex though so there’s a good chance that you haven’t considered all of them. Stuff like including lifts with active insufficiency or passive tension is something hardly anyone knows to do but it can have a real impact on your results.

Below we share our illustrative infographic that highlights some of the best muscle-building exercises for women.

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What are the best vegetarian and vegan foods for protein?

Written by Jared Polowick on January 1, 2017

There’s a lot of confusing information out there about vegetarian and vegan diets. It becomes especially confusing if you’re not just looking to be healthy, but also to build muscle.

The moral arguments for eating a vegan diet often bias the health arguments. By the time you get to the muscle-building arguments, the information is usually flat out wrong.

This creates a big issue for those who are struggling to build muscle while eating a plant-based diet for moral reasons.

You can build muscle with a vegetarian or a vegan diet, but your protein sources really do matter big time.

In this article, we’ll first cover what protein is and why protein quality matters. This is important because it will explain why this article will be radically different than every trending article on your Facebook feed.

Then, we’ll cover the best vegetarian and vegan protein sources and go over some strategies that make it easier to get the protein your body needs to grow.

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Should Women Lift Weights?

Written by Jared Polowick on December 1, 2016

Yes. You were designed to lift. So if you’ve been wondering if women—especially naturally thin women—should be lifting weights, then the answer is an emphatic yes.

There are exceptions, of course. Pregnant women need to take special precautions, for example. Always to talk to your doctor first before beginning any workout or nutrition program.

So you should be lifting weights. But why?

If you’ve ever been curious about the benefits of lifting weights, and if it’ll help you reach your goals, then this is the article for you. We cover 3 main areas: attractiveness, health, and lifestyle, and we’ll break things down a bit further.

And if the little lawyer in your head is already coming up with objections, don’t worry—we’ll respond to those extremely common fears too. You know, the ones about being scared of becoming too bulky or not knowing what to do in the gym. Or how to deal with being too tired/busy/lazy.

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There’s Nothing Wrong With Being Thin, So Stop Editing Us

Written by Shane Duquette on July 1, 2016

There’s this movement going on where people are trying to make it more socially acceptable to have a higher body fat percentage, proportionally thicker bones, shorter limbs and a larger waist. The photo above is a good example, where bulimia.com has taken 10 female video-game characters and transformed their physiques into what they feel better represents the average woman. These “realistic” makeovers have been shared to millions of people via BuzzFeed and HuffPo, among others.

Some people argue that these aren’t supposed to be average women, they’re supposed to be legendary action heroes. Due to their world class genetics and lifestyle focused on training, you could argue that them having a lower body fat percentage is more realistic.

That makes sense, but that’s not my issue with these makeovers. I don’t think the person doing the makeover was really concerned about what made sense for the fictional character, but rather what would have the best impact on the self esteem of her fans. That intention seems good, and if this can help people with bulimia feel better about their bodies, then this is great.

My issue is that this backlash against the thin ideal is making it seem like it’s wrong to be thin.

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Muscle-building nutrition can be overwhelming at first. How much should you eat? What foods are considered “clean”? Why are paleo and vegetarian women both healthier than average despite having seemingly contradictory dietary restrictions? What supplements should you be taking? When should you be taking them? Do you even need supplements at all?

Luckily, nutrition can also be pretty simple if you focus on the fundamentals. There are just two factors that make the difference between gaining nothing or gaining half a pound of muscle over the course of the next week. But there are hundreds of things that make the oh-so-small difference between gaining 0.50 or 0.55 pounds of muscle. If you focus on the hundreds of small details you risk struggling very hard for progress that your scale won’t even notice.

This article is designed to help you go from gaining nothing each week to gaining half a pound each week. Keep in mind that building muscle becomes harder and harder as you become more and more advanced, so we recommend learning everything eventually, but there’s plenty of time for that later—once you’re already building muscle!

So. What are those two important factors? And how can you use them to consistently gain weight on the scale, get stronger, and build lean muscle?

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We’ve given you a fair bit of information about why building muscle is so great, and also about why it can be so hard for naturally skinny women. At this point you might be thinking, okay, yeah, this sounds great—I want more curves, more muscle, and more strength—but how do I actually get started?

In this post we’re going to explain exactly how you can get started lifting, either at home or at a gym, and then give you a routine to follow for your first few weeks. If your diet is on point, you should also be able to gain 2–3 pounds of muscle while doing it!

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What Every Naturally Thin Woman Needs to Know About Exercise

Written by Shane Duquette on November 25, 2015

If you’re naturally thin, keep in mind you’re immediately at odds with the mainstream. Only 3% of people are trying to gain weight, and the majority of that 3% are probably men. You’re such a minority that basically everything you read about fitness will be wrong. Not necessarily wrong for your friends, but certainly wrong for you.

Most of fitness information or advice is either weight loss info in disguise, or exercise designed to improve the health of overweight people.

You might try the new trendy workout routine, try harder than everyone else, not get the results you want, and think that your genetics suck. Your genetics don’t suck, you’re just doing a fitness-ey program designed for people who want to lose weight and hoping that it will help you gain weight. Of course it won’t help you gain weight, but how on earth were you supposed to know that?

Someone who’s overweight probably should be on a treadmill, doing Insanity, or yoga. Overweight people have a really hard time with heart disease and diabetes and whatnot. Becoming more active and working to improve their fitness levels while burning some calories is exactly what they need.

As a result, a lot of thin women will turn to yoga, Zumba, running, Spin, etc. These seem like types of exercise that are designed to make you fit and toned. That’s not true.

These are types of exercise designed to make you fitter and smaller.

So how do you accomplish your goals in a way that suits your body type? That’s what this article is about.

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Tired? The Bombshell Guide to Feeling Energized

Written by Jared Polowick on May 25, 2015

You’ve got some serious goals. Some are fitness related, some aren’t. You know what you want to do, and you might even know how to do it… but you don’t quite feel like tackling it right now. Carpe Diem Cras—seize the day tomorrow. That’s what they say, right?

It’s not just you. It’s actually pretty normal to feel too tired to take on new challenges. In fact, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) says women between the ages of 18 and 44 are nearly twice as likely as men to report feeling very tired or exhausted.

In another survey taken at a women’s health symposium, fatigue was rated as the number one and most common health concern. When asked why they thought they were tired, the five most common responses in order were: working both at home and at work, poor sleep, lack of time for themselves, lack of exercise, and financial worries (among a ton of other reasons).

Maybe you’ve got something in common with the women above, feeling overworked and like you haven’t had a decent sleep in weeks. Or perhaps you already feel amazing (right on!) and want to get even more out of your life.

Unfortunately, those “5 quick tips for an instant energy boost” articles likely won’t help with your energy woes. That’s just click-bait, not a solution that properly addresses the root of the issue.

We’re going to cover the three best research-backed ways to actually improve your own energy, wakefulness, alertness, and performance in the short and long-term. They might not be the sexiest or simplest solutions out there, but they’re very thorough, healthy, effective, and long lasting.

…but for fun, we’ll also share a few juicy sizzling-hot-but-still-evidence-based quick-action tips at the end of the article that actually work.

Curious?
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