Would you sacrifice it? The late nights, the parties, the drinking, and eat whatever? Or do you have the heart and desire of a bodybuilder? On those cold winter mornings running or when you don’t have an ounce of energy, when you can’t lift no more you squeeze that last rep. I can talk about [...]
It’s a simple question that many find complicated answers to. Getting lean muscle without putting on the fat. With the new year truly under way, many gyms up the down the country will probably see memberships increase. Many people are desperate to lose the excess body weight put on during the festive holiday season. One of the key things is consistency. Hitting the gym in January and February and the rest of the year just losing your way will never help. As mist of you know workouts are just half the battle, without diet and a change in overall lifestyle, your muscles are never going to show.
What’s The Best Way To Get Lean Muscle?
Eat clean, get lean. Sounds cool doesn’t it. A very important part of building lean muscle is your diet. Your diet is very important, I cannot state this enough. People can talk about all sorts of miracle diets, workout machines, pills or whatever, but if your diet’s not on song it will show.
Muscle is muscle, there is no such thing as lean muscle
Do you understand what I mean this? When muscles are stimulated through exercise and proper nutrition is supplied to them with rest and recovery you will see an increase in muscle size, strength and definition. When you lose the extra body fat your body will show the muscle you have worked hard to stimulate and grow.
One of the common misconceptions about body builders is that we just bulk up for months eating crap and then start shredding during competition time. Nope not true. When you look at a foods to get lean and build quality muscle you need to be getting high quality protein, good carbohydrates, and essential fats. Here’s a quick list.
- Tuna or most any fish.
- Cottage cheese.
- Eggs (especially the whites).
- Chicken breast (boneless skinless).
- Turkey breast (boneless skinless).
- Lean beef.
- Low fat or no fat cheese.
- Low fat pork.
- Milk protein isolate.
- Whey protein.
- Soy protein.
- Essentially most any other source of protein so long as it is low in saturated fat and carbohydrates.
- Sweet potatoes.
- Oat meal, oat bran, oat bran cereal (i.e. cheerios).
- Bran cereal. Image Courtesy of SimplyShredded.com
- Brown rice.
- Wheat bread (try to limit to 2 slices per day).
- Low fat popcorn (low fat butter spray makes this a delicacy).
- Fruits (limit to 2-3 servings per day).
- Malto dextrin (during workout).
- Dextrose (during workout)
- Stay away from refined grains and anything that says “enriched” or “high fructose corn syrup” on the label!
- Omega 3 capsules (i.e. fish oil capsules).
- Flax seed oil.
- Primrose oil.
- Borage oil.
- Olive oil.
- Nuts (limit to 1 serving per day), peanut butter (as long as it does not contain hydrogenated oils).
- Egg yolks.
- Fish (salmon especially).
- All other fat should come as a by-product of your carbohydrate and protein intake.
Some of you will ask why you need various carbohydrates when trying to put on muscle and get lean. The answer is simple, for energy during workouts, for maintaining muscle i.e. muscle retention and to prevent the body from going into a catabolic state carbohydrates are important.
Fats are also important when trying to get lean because it helps give you energy, and allow optimum natural testosterone levels. Without normal testosterone levels you will find it difficult to lift and carry out resistance training.
Pump Iron – Stretch the Muscle Fibres
If you’re going to get size, muscle definition lifting weights is the way to go. Even if you are looking for keeping your body toned, lean with adequate quality muscle, lifting weights or doing body resistance exercise is a must. Only when your muscles get stimulation will they grow. No stimulation, no growth.
Supplements To Get Lean Muscle
If you stick to a regular training programme with the right diet, supplements are very useful. But I am sure you know this already? One of my favourite supplements to get lean is Hydroxycut. It’s for both men and women and it’s been around for as long as I know. The company behind it is Muscle Tech who in my opinion do some good body building supplements such as Nitro Tech and Cell Tech.
With Hydroxycut it is a bit like an appetite suppressor and fat burner that helps you feel energized when you really need that push. Hydroxycut contains caffeine to boost energy levels and green coffee for weight loss management. At the moment they have a 1 free bottle offer for those that want to try.
For Lean Abs You Need To Check Out…..
The Truth About Abs program. This abs best selling book contains unique ways to exercise and provide nutrition that helps carve out a flat stomach with abs definition. The author is a certified personal trainer and nutrition specialist. Although I do not agree with everything he says, there are some useful tips available. The program generally focuses on full body training exercises such deadlifts and squats and dieting tips that are based on natural foods.
There are many people who have found this program helpful. The program focuses on common body building exercise and dietary changes that help define the abdominal muscle.
Cutting down excess body fat requires you to work the muscles with weights and get balanced cardiovascular exercise to pump the heart muscle. When you do cardio workouts instead of doing 20-30 minutes at a boring moderate pace, do 5-10 minutes at high intensity. I am sure you have heard of high interval training?
Tell me which guy doesn’t right? As you walk through many gyms you will always see guys trying to pump those bi’s. Let’s face it if you are body building, working the biceps is always going to be part of your routine. The key is knowing how to hit it. For growth you got to be looking at more compound movements. Standing barbell curls will always give you a good pump and help increase size over time. You also need to have a mix of isolation exercises to give your bi’s more shape and definition.
If there’s 4 bicep exercises you can do to increase mass and strengh it’s the
- Barbell curl
- Hammer curl
- Reverse barbell curl
- Close grip pull ups
Of course there are many others but the 4 mentioned should give get your biceps to start screaming. Short intense workouts are always going to produce better results than long workouts that put no pressure on the muscles.
So next time you walk into your gym before a biceps workout, plan ahead and think how you will get your arms to grow and become more defined. It’s all about building muscle and not wasting time!
Whether it’s body building or making money or pretty much anything in life, we are always looking for short cuts. Whether it’s the latest supplement that can shred fat in a matter of days or some money making plan that can give us high returns, we want fast and instant.
The fact is people forget going back to basics. In terms of getting that perfect physique, they often lose sight and focus with all the flashy distractions around them. They stop thinking about the fundamental things such as diet, exercise and general way of living. For example, instead of thinking about the next diet pill why don’t you consider lowering your stress levels and eating clean?
Stress has been linked to weight gain time and time again and for good reason. When your body is reacting to stressful situations you immediately think of ways to help you feel better. A lot of people turn to food and drink. The outcome is body fat that just won’t shift. Instead of drinking soda and other beverages try to stick to just water? As hard as this sounds, the results are a better body weight and hydration.
Putting on muscle and body building as a whole is a way of living. It relies on discipline, action and mastering the basics. You need to master your diet, training regimen and your mind to get where you want to be.
It’s one of the most common type of workouts you will see, guys in the gym day in day out trying to work their guns. Having large, solid arms is what it’s all about, but are you seeing gains? Here’s one simple question….do you know the triceps makes up two thirds of your overall arm size? Having swollen biceps and flat tri’s will not look right on anyone.
There’s a lot of things you can do to make your arms grow. Change up your routine, rep range, and workout angles. Of course you will want to eat well with a optimum level of protein each meal.
Don’t just do the same bi or tri workout every time you hit the gym. If you become predictable in your training, so will your progress! Keep the muscles guessing and they will grow. Getting a quality muscle pump is important and remember it’s not wise to go to failure all the time. Like I said, mix it up, sometimes get the muscles to fail and sometimes lift heavier just doing 2-5 reps. This will help in gaining size.
Hey, if you are just starting out body building, it can seem a little confusing on what to do, who to listen to etc. You probably see people in the gym give all sorts of advice, a lot of which is total BULL! Get advice from people that seem to know what they are doing, or have the physique you want. It’s usually the one’s that don’t talk much and concentrate on their workouts. One of the first things you can do is educate yourself. Educate yourself on proper diet, when to eat, how often to eat, how to lift weights CORRECTLY, what your goals are etc.
A lot of people who have been working out for a numbers of months and even years just don’t seem to get the right results. It’s simply because their foundations are not there. They are either lacking in diet discipline, or just leading a lifestyle that does not fit with body building. I use the word lifestyle, because body building is a full time commitment. It’s not just something you do for an hour or two a day. I found a good bodybuilding beginners guide that is useful and to the point. It highlights 9 important points to consider as a newbie body builder.
One of the most important points that a beginner can take is to keep a track of everything. Have a diary or notepad and jot down what you ate, how many calories consisting of carbs, protein and healthy fats you consumed in the day, what exercises you did and check whether progression is being made. Anyone can go to the gym and lift some weights or use a treadmill, but folks body building is much more than that!
Image Courtesy of Muscle-munch.com
If you looking to gain more chest muscle mass then maybe it’s time for you to look a little more into your routine? Are you simply hitting the gym and lifting barbell bench presses and anything barbell? Ever thought about using good ol’ dumbells? If you want to stack some size, dumbell presses are awesome for pounding the chest! It’s not about leaving barbell chest movements altogether instead, mix and match. If you are going to do the flat barbell bench press, then for incline use dumbells?
Most of you guys and gal’s probably know this already, but it’s really for the newbie amongst you. Dumbbells make you work the chest harder as you need to balance the weights during movement. You can also take the dumbbells lower to get an overall stretch in the pectorals. You can incorporate dumbbell movements by doing flat, incline, decline presses. You can also do dumbbell fly’s. There are different angles you can use to work the chest using dumbbells.
Using dumbbells doesn’t mean you need to go heavy. You can do lighter weights to begin with and move onto heavier ones to get that pump! As long as you make the muscles work, think of it as consistent progression.
John Gregory in Bodybuildingblog, talks about how you can benefit with dumbbells during your chest routine. It’s all about progression folks. You need to keep the muscles guessing and growing!
Don’t have time for stretching? How many times do you see people rushing out of the gym after a workout without stretching?
If you don’t know already, stretching prevents soreness, allows faster recovery and better muscle growth. Check out Lee Hayward’s post where he reminds us of the importance of stretching. Stretching is not only useful before exercise, you should do it in between and after workouts. The more conditioned your muscles and tendons are, it is less likely you’ll get injuries.
Images courtesy of LeeHayward.com