You have started your journey towards optimal health and fitness with the goal of building and maintaining lean muscle. Are you finding it challenging to reach your goal? Perhaps you have managed to lose a lot of weight but still aren’t happy with your muscle tone? Or maybe you have succeeded in building muscle, but it is looking a bit bulkier than you imagined? Follow this guide to generate the results that you deserve.
Get back to basics
When it comes to building any sort of muscle, there are a few basics that you always need to bear in mind. First and foremost, in order to build muscle, your focus needs to be on strength training. Ideally, you should aim to engage in a strength training session at least twice a week – but that doesn’t mean that cardio exercise should go out the window. It is important to have a good balance between the two regardless of what your fitness goals may be.
Secondly, you must ensure that you pay attention to all of the different muscle groups. Yes, you might want to see an improvement in the muscle tone of your legs. However, if you neglect your arms and stomach in the process, the results might not be quite as aesthetically pleasing as you’d hoped.
Thirdly, you must engage in both isometric and isotonic exercises. The main difference between the two is that isotonic exercises, such as squats and bench-pressing, alter the length of the muscle targeted and work on strengthening and building muscles. Isometric exercises, on the other hand, do not change the length of the targeted muscle and are ideal for maintaining existing strength and muscle mass. Examples of isometric exercises include planking and many yoga poses.
Invest in a supplement
It is important to investigate the various available nutritional supplements for athletes if you want to see noticeable changes in your muscle tone. Keep in mind that your body requires a huge amount of protein in order to adequately repair and build muscle. Often, your diet simply cannot keep up with this amount, hence the reason why supplements come in handy to close the gap.
Watch your calorie intake
Many people who want to increase lean muscle are also keen to shed a few pounds in the process. If you are combining weight loss with muscle gain, you need to be very cautious about cutting down your calorie intake too significantly.
Experts recommend doing so by no more than 400 calories per day. If you cut more than that, you risk your body burning muscle rather than fat, which can drastically impact your muscle building efforts and results.
Better yet, try not to diet at all. Instead, focus your attention on eating lots of different foods in their most natural (unprocessed) states and eating only until you no longer feel hungry. Listen to your body and it will tell you what it needs (and what it doesn’t).
Building lean muscle mass takes plenty of dedication and can prove to be a sizeable lifestyle change. However, if you keep up with your exercise regime and ensure that you are consuming nutritious, wholesome foods, the results are sure to be worth it in the end!