You don’t need a gym membership for building lean muscle or getting in shape. Nor do you need to buy large and expensive fitness equipment to get results. Instead, by following a dietary and exercise regimen you may gain muscle, improve your cardio, and lose weight simultaneously. These tips will aid in maximizing those efforts to have you look and feel great!
The Difference Between Bulky & Lean Muscle Building
There’s a common misconception that the overall size of your muscles equates to strength. In reality, the bodybuilder who looks like Mr. Universe may not have the same strength as an athletic seasoned powerlifter. This is all due to how the muscles grow and their density which is expertly explained in this article. Essentially, two types of muscle growth exist called myofibrillar and sarcoplasmic that ultimately define your build.
Achieving myofibrillar muscle growth for lean and dense muscle tissue is what helps weightlifters increase their lifting load. Lifting heavy weights in short sessions or lighter weights with more reps will lead to an athletic look. Now, if bulkiness and muscle size matters to you then you should concentrate on sarcoplasmic growth. Doing so will get you that “pumped” look as more fluids swell the muscles to increase their size.
The last thing I want to do is start a debate on which types of muscles are superior. It really comes down to what preference you have for your body’s physique. Personally, my goal is for building lean muscle to increase strength and endurance rather than bulk up. If your fitness goals are similar then keep reading for some amazing tips!
Lean Muscle Building Checklist
Perhaps the most challenging aspect in becoming fit is practicing discipline. Many people start off great only to become deterred by bad habits or giving into emotions. That being said, increasing muscle mass is more about forming good habits and sticking to them. This includes a healthy diet, regular exercise, and taking the proper supplements.
Once you get into this routine you’ll start to feel better, think more clearly, and have a better general attitude. You’ll use these feelings to motivate you to keep going until you’re 100% satisfied with your body. Let’s start with what I consider the foundation of building muscle mass – a proper diet.
What and When to Eat
Just about every dietician agrees that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It really sets the tone to give the energy needed to sustain your body until the next meal. Avoid stuffing yourself with sugary cereals and pancakes smothered in syrup. Instead, opt for items such as omelettes, smoothies, avocado toast, and of course fruits and veggies.
Eating during regular intervals is equally vital to what you’re eating too. Smaller meals consisting of red meats, poultry, fish, and dairy products will supply the protein needed for muscle growth. Also, try to limit your carb intake to after working out. Finally, ensure that you’re drinking plenty of water throughout the day to stay hydrated and replenish from sweaty workouts.
Exercise at Least 3 Times a Week
While bodyweight exercises are great for shedding extra pounds they offer little benefits for building lean muscle. You simply must lift weights during these workouts to get the best results. Sure, you could do that at the gym but why spend money every month and travel out of your way? For a small investment, purchasing a few kettlebells makes for an effective and convenient home workout.
There’s an assumption that lifting barbells weighing hundreds of pounds is the only way to gain muscle mass quickly. Yes, that is one method but not very practical considering cost and space requirements. By working out with kettlebells you’ll get the same benefits and more.
Reasons to use kettlebells for muscle growth:
- Dozens of exercises to work muscle groups at the same time
- lift for fewer reps with a lighter kettlebell or more reps with a heavier one
- Swing and lift two kettlebells at once to double the intensity
- Combine strength, cardio, endurance, and mobility goals in a single workout!
These are just some examples of the benefits of using kettlebells. The fact that many avid gym-goers are still shocked by the exhaustion from kettlebell training is a testament to their viability.
Take Supplements Every Day
You’re likely aware of various protein and creatine supplements available that assist with muscle growth. However, there are also some other supplements you might not know about that are taking the internet by storm. One of those is called Alpha-GPC, a nootropic containing choline which your brain makes naturally. Studies have shown that it produced major muscle growth in a little over a week with daily usage.
Not only does it perform well in this area but also with memory, energy, focus, and even libido! Don’t take my word for it though. Check out this monster Reddit thread where the poster raves about how it has turned his life around. Currently, that post has over 150 responses, many of which echo similar results.
Final Thoughts On Building Lean Muscle Mass
There is no reason why anyone can’t successfully increase muscle mass by using the above guide. Whether you’re already an active person or wish to dramatically change your tone and physique, it’s absolutely possible. The key is holding yourself accountable and not reverting back to your old lifestyle.
Of course, that’s easier said than done. I’ve had my fair share of ups and downs too. Make sure you get the support of friends, family, or online groups to help you progress. In a short time, you’ll start to experience these benefits and feel all the better.