Being lean and having more muscles improves the body’s overall performance, making you feel fitter and younger. What’s more, you also look good which will help to boost your self-esteem. It is understandable therefore that many people want to gain lean muscle.
To do this, one must perform strength training, while also taking regular breaks, and maintain a healthy diet. An important factor to consider is that you should also ensure that you are not losing mass.
- Lifting weights
Lifting weights is the most effective way to build lean muscle. Ensure that you are doing this at least twice per week and that you are targeting all the major muscle groups in the body. These include chest, shoulders, abs, legs, back, arms as well as the hips.
When lifting weights, aim to complete at least 2 or 3 sets of 8 to 12 repetitions. The weight should be heavy enough that you struggle to push through the last few reps. Take a minute or two between rests and lift again.
- Make use of aerobics
Aerobics are an effective way to burn the fat under your skin and to help achieved that well-toned physique. This is why you should include aerobics in your training regimen. Such exercises will include walking, swimming or riding a bike.
Be careful not to overdo aerobics however, as too much of it will cause muscle loss as the body turns the muscle into a source of fuel to keep you moving. If you have not eaten something before doing your cardio, the rate of muscle loss will rise. The generally accepted time frame should be around 150 minutes of aerobics each week.
- Eat healthy
A good training program will have little positive effects on your body if you are not providing the right type of nutrients for muscle growth. Eat healthy foods such as whole grains and include high quality protein such as milk, eggs and lean meat.
- Don’t Lose weight
You might think that losing weight will help get rid of excess fat and while there is some truth to this, note that you may also end up losing muscle mass in the process.
Ensure you are eating adequate amounts of calories per day. On average men between the ages of 18-34 need 2500 to 3200 calories per day. Women in the same age bracket need 2000 to 2400 calories a day.
- Take time to rest
Sleep is the body’s way of recovering from the rigors of the day. Everyone needs sleep but people who are strength training need it even more.
When you are asleep, there is a high production of growth hormone. There is also a spike in protein synthesis which is especially so when you’ve eaten protein before bed. For the best muscle gains, an adult should sleep between 8 and 9 hours each night.
By following the simple steps above you will be well on your way to achieving a well-toned physique.