How to Build Lean Muscle?
What is Lean Muscle?
Lean muscle is muscle tissue that is free from fat. It looks strong, healthy, and beautiful on anybody. A pound of muscle weighs the same as a pound of fat, but muscle takes up less space than fat, the result is a lean and toned body. Men usually have less body fat and more muscle than do women of the same age and weight. If you want to look lean and ripped, you need to decrease your body fat percentage to around 8 to 10% or less. By reducing your body fat level, you will improve your health and fitness.
Building lean muscle has many health benefits such as increased energy, reduced blood pressure, and less stress. It can help to boost your metabolism, allowing your body to burn more calories, even at rest. Building lean muscle is all about an effective combination of exercise and nutrition. In order to build lean muscle you should work out three to four times per week. In addition to strength training it is also important to get proper nutrition.
What to Eat?
Proper nutrition is very important for muscle building. Many people want to know how to build lean muscle, but they do not eat the right food or eat in a wrong way. You should to eat a healthy and well-balanced diet and avoid junk or processed foods.
Calories provide our body with the energy required to fulfill our everyday functions, such as building muscle, digestion, breathing, and metabolism. Your calories should come from nutritious foods, such as lean proteins, vegetables, fruits, whole-grains and a small amount of healthy fats. You also need to gradually reduce your daily caloric intake. This is because, those unused calories are stored as fat in your body. An average man needs around 2500 kcal a day. The total caloric intake must be balanced with how much exercise you do.
In order to gain lean muscle you need to consume enough quality protein and you need to be consistent every day. Eating enough protein is very important because our muscle fibers are made of protein. The recommended intake of protein is 1-1.5 grams per pound of your body weight daily. Your protein should come from lean sources such as chicken or turkey breasts, white fish, lean cuts of red meat, egg whites, and low-fat dairy. Eat smaller but more frequent meals throughout the day. You should aim to eat at least 5 times a day, including 3 main meals and 2 snacks.
You also need to eat a moderate amount of carbs to sustain energy. Carbohydrates are the primary source of energy to fuel your body. Whole-grains, fruits, vegetables, seeds and nuts are all great sources of carbohydrates. You need to limit your carbs to the point you are eating just enough to fuel your muscles with the energy they need. This is because, carbohydrates are converted to fats when not used. You don't need to gain extra body fat.
You need to eat healthy fats to build lean muscle. Healthy fats play an important role in muscle growth. Seeds, nuts, avocados, olive oil, coconut oil, and fatty fish are great sources of healthy fats. You should avoid unhealthy fats such as saturated and trans fats. Consuming enough healthy fats helps your body promote appropriate fat loss. Just remember that fat is high in calories, so don't forget to limit your intake of fat.
Water is vital for our body, without water, we cannot survive more than 5-6 days. Drinking enough water is essential for weight loss and overall health. To stay adequately hydrated you should drink at least 1 ounce of water per pound of body weight every day.
Foods to Build Lean Muscle:
- Meat: Chicken or Turkey breasts, Lean cuts of Pork, Beef, Lamb or Veal
- Fish: Tuna, Salmon, Trout, Mackerel
- Vegetables: Broccoli, Carrots, Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Kale, Cabbage, Lettuce, Brussels sprouts
- Fruits: Apples, Bananas, Oranges, Pears, Plums, Grapes
- Whole-grains: Brown rice, Barley, Oats, Quinoa, Millet
- Seeds: Chia seeds, Falxseeds, Sunflower seeds, Sesame seeds
- Nuts: Almonds, Walnuts, Hazelnuts, Pecans, Cashews, Peanuts
- Oils: Olive oil, Canola oil, Coconut oil, Palm oil
- Dairy: Low-fat Milk, Yogurt and cottage Cheese
- Drinks: Water, Tea, Fruit Juice
How to Workout?
In order to know how to build lean muscle, you have to know how to train for muscle growth and hypertrophy. You need to perform muscle building exercises such as weight or resistance training. For example, bench press, squats, deadlift and curls are great exercises for building muscle. You can also do push-ups, pull-ups, and dips which are also great exercises for building muscle and you are much less likely to injure yourself. By doing these exercises, you are going to develop your muscles and get in shape. Aim to do 3-4 sets for each exercise with 8-12 repetitions. You should rest for 60-90 seconds between sets.
Lift Heavy Weights
Remember, you have to stress your muscles in order to achieve a response. When you stress your muscles by lifting heavy weights, your body adapts by building more muscle. If you want to increase your muscle size, it is important to lift heavy weights. It is also important to start light and add weight gradually.
Vary Your Workouts
You can hit a training plateau, if you do not change up your workout routine regularly. A plateau is when your progress comes to a standstill, and can be described as not making any gains. Your body is very smart and very quickly adapts to new challenges. Be sure to change your workouts every 4-6 weeks, so your body can be challenged and keep progressing.
Cardio is any exercise that makes your heart work harder to pump blood and oxygen throughout your body. Exercises like running, boxing, cycling, brisk walking and swimming are all great examples of cardio exercises. Everyone knows that cardio exercises are great for your heart, lungs and overall health. Regular cardio is also great way to burn calories and get your body in shape. A combination of cardio and weight training exercises incorporated into a workout routine is the best way to burn fat and lose weight.
Get Enough Rest
Most people make the mistake of overtraining, that is training too long or training too often. Rest is very important for muscle growth and recovery. Remember muscles grow when resting not while working out. Don't train everyday and make sure you have a rest day. Take a day off to give your muscles a chance to recover. You also need to make sure that you are getting enough sleep. If you want to maximize gains, then you must sleep at least 8 hours every night.
Tips for Lean Muscle
- You should make sure to eat a healthy and well balanced diet.
- Aim to eat about 1 gram of protein for each pound of body weight.
- Reduce your calories gradually so that your body can adjust.
- Watch what you eat. Avoid eating processed or packaged food.
- Eat fruits, vegetables, and whole-grains.
- Consume healthy fats such as those in olive oil, nuts, seeds and fish.
- Gradually lower your intake of carbohydrates and fats.
- Stay properly hydrated by drinking enough water during the day.
- Do resistance training by lifting heavy weights.
- Remember to vary your workouts regularly, sameness is your enemy.
- Don't forget to add cardio training to your workout, so you can burn more fat.
- Take a day off.
- Make sure to get at least 8 hours of sleep each night.
- Do warm-up and stretching exercises before and after each workout session.
- Reduce sodium intake to less than 2,000 milligrams of sodium per day.
- Avoid consuming sugar containing foods.