4 Things to Know If You Want to Start Building Lean Muscle
Setting a workout goal for yourself is a great way to stay motivated, define the steps you need to take and track your progress. Even if it's not a hard goal, but just a general idea of what you want to achieve, it still helps to provide direction. If you've decided the time is now to focus on building lean muscle, there are some specific steps and tips you'll want to be aware of. These can help you reach your goals sooner. Let's take a look.
Make Tweaks to Your Diet
When building lean muscle, it's important to make tweaks to your diet to ensure you're fueling your body properly. The goal should be to make wholesome choices packed full of nutrition and balance so you're filling a wide variety of needs. Aim for equal portions of proteins, fats and carbohydrates, making sure none of these outweigh the others. Be sure to also include foods high in fiber, vegetables and fruits.
Some foods that can help you build lean muscle include:
- Chicken breast
- Greek yogurt
- Beef (in moderation)
- Peanut butter
As you can see by this list, there is a lot of variety to choose from so there's no need to feel restricted by your diet. If you're focused on calories, a good rule of thumb is that you need 2,500-2,800 extra calories per week to gain one pound of lean muscle. Keep in mind that this is a general number, so your calorie count may be lower or higher.
Workout Supplements Can Help Fill the Gap
Even with your best efforts and intentions, your diet may not fill all your nutritional needs. This is why workout supplements can be so useful, as they are meant to fill nutritional gaps.
Using products like a very clean creatine monohydrate and HMB supplement can enhance your strength, decrease your fat mass, increase endurance and even prevent lean muscle loss. Just be sure you pick a good-quality product without unnecessary fillers and follow the recommended dosage properly. Supplements that develop your core and improve circulation to the brain and muscle tissue are what you want.
Some other supplements that can help with lean muscle include:
- Whey Protein
- Vitamin C
- Fish Oil
Embrace a Variety of Strength Training Exercises
Strength training exercises are an absolute must when working to build lean muscle. It is suggested you do at least 30 minutes per day of these exercises. High-intensity interval workouts fall under the umbrella of strength training and help to keep things interesting and challenging. These types of workouts can include aerobics, yoga, running, etc.
You can also look for exercises that strengthen several muscle groups at the same time, which can deliver maximum results. Other strength training options include resistance bands, lifting weights and using weight machines.
Higher Reps of Lighter Weights Can Help You Reach Your Goals
Did you also know that you can increase your reps by using lighter weights and still get results? Often there is too much focus on how much you're lifting instead of the reps. The fact is that lifting weights will use muscle, so if you need to reduce the amount you're lifting to do longer and more frequent reps, then go for it.
Setting a fitness goal for yourself is admirable and a great thing to work towards, but you must be realistic about how long it takes to reach your goal and the steps that will be necessary. These tips can help you achieve your goal of building lean muscle.