Building lean muscle or gaining muscle is not an easy task, as it requires a lot of effort, dedication, and patience at the same time. Plus, this is something that you need to keep regular; otherwise, you will start muscle loss. At the same time, it can help you improve your metabolism and looks and benefit you in many other ways.
If you are among those dedicated people who want to build muscle, then eating any of the wrong foods can break all the efforts you have put into date. Doing the correct exercise and eating the right food is all that you need to build lean muscle.
What Is The Difference Between Lean Muscle And Muscle?
We all know that all the muscle tissue that we have is not similar in our body composition, and if you are into muscle building, you need to ensure that you are going for lean muscle. These muscles are intrinsic, or we can develop with time.
When it comes to the scientific definition of lean muscle states that it is packed densely with contractile tissues and has a lower connective and fat tissue level. In simple words, this type of muscle does not have a lot of fat.
If you want to know your body’s muscle mass, you cannot do so by looking at yourself in a mirror, and this can be done with the help of a scale that can measure your muscle mass. To state a fact, a pound of fat is also equal to a pound of muscle.
Why Is Building Lean Muscle Mass Good?
Building lean muscle or gaining muscle is not the only motive of gym freaks that are towards muscle building, but also those who do other exercises like yoga. Having lean muscle can give your health a lot of benefits apart from giving you a good leaner physique, and strong muscles protect injuries. Following are some of the benefits that you can get from building lean muscle mass:
- Helps in maintaining a healthy weight
- Keeps your body healthy
- Increases metabolic rate
- Burn more calories rapidly
- Prevent accumulation of fat
- Gives confidence in terms of looks
- Enhances the posture and core work
- Risk of getting ligament and tendon injuries are reduced
- Immune system is strengthened
- Muscle loss is reduced
- Prevents bone to become weak
- Strengthen muscle tissue and muscle fibers
9 Tips To Develop Lean Muscle
You will have a question stating how to build lean muscle mass and what to do in muscle building? There are multiple strategies, or you can say important factors, that you can use to work multiple muscles. However, besides the primary exercises, we highly recommend integrating these tips in your routine to facilitate gaining:
Select your poses.
Poses can help you acquire the best results from your exercises. Try to integrate poses such as tree pose and other yoga poses that can help in building yourself. Some posing approaches promote flexibility or cardio strength. A plank position can also help you to have a strong core.
Plan rest days.
Taking sufficient breaks is just as essential as exercising. Strategically plan your rest days between your bodyweight exercises, which gives ample muscles time for the muscles to rebuild. On your rest days, you can indulge in light activities such as walking. To have lean muscles, you need to focus on getting protein but also on potassium and carbs.
Pick the full-fat option.
Full fat is something that we tend to avoid for a long time. However, when trying to gain muscle, this milk can be helpful. Whole milk only contains 3 to 3.5 % fat and has high protein that the body can easily absorb. Combine whole milk and oats to get the double hit of protein.
Get enough protein.
Having enough lean protein is the key to gaining lean muscles. Although, this does not mean you have to eat heavy food such as steaks but rather choose foods such as beans that are high in protein, fiber, and vitamin B. You can try many exciting dishes such as white bean sauce pizza, where you can get the best of both worlds, taste, and health. So, you need to get lean protein as well in a reasonable amount.
Indulge in compound exercises.
Compound exercises can utilize the different muscles simultaneously. They include jumping, push-ups, squatting, and much more activities that help work up your core.
Protein and carbs.
You should always be on the lookout for foods that provide your body with complete proteins (that is, all essential amino acids) and carbs. Integrating nutrition like quinoa, avocado, and tuna into your diet will ensure that you never lack protein and carbs. And, of course, a healthy diet combined with proper exercise will stimulate muscle growth. It will also help you get strong muscle fibers. You can eat breakfast rich in protein or whole foods so that while doing a workout, you can burn calories.
Have your meals planned ahead of time
We exercise with our full dedication and eat healthy meals, but we can get distracted by unhealthy snacks cravings when hungry once in a while. The best way to curb this is by planning your meals ahead of time. This ensures that you are not skipping meals and leave no room for unhealthy distractions. Also, many people eat cottage cheese before bed due to its benefits.
Look for a favorable training environment.
The environment you are training in can significantly influence your performance. If you are surrounded by like-minded people who share the same goals as you, you will find it easier to stay motivated and receive the right advice from a certified personal trainer. Hence, choosing a good training environment is very vital, especially for strength training.
Your attitude towards your journey of gaining lean muscles needs to be positive. If you walk into the gym with a happy and determined mindset, you would feel more fueled to do your routine and achieve your goals before you know it.
10 ways that harm your chances of building muscle.
We get too focused on doing things that we should do to build muscle that we pay no attention to what not to do. Although, learning what not to do is just as important as knowing what to do. If you do not take care of these things, you may gain weight or develop other health conditions. Here are 10 harmful habits that you may develop that can reduce your chances of building muscle:
Not getting quality sleep.
You cannot expect your body to function optimally if you are not getting enough time to recover and refresh. Quality sleep has proven health benefits, such as releasing growth hormones and repairing damaged cells during the workout. Without muscle repair and muscle growth, you will not give your best during the next workout. Hence, if your sleep schedule is off track, you should fix it as soon as possible.
High frequency of single-joint exercises
Single-joint exercises focus too much on smaller muscle groups. They are efficient if you want to bulk up a particular muscle, but they are not practical for overall muscle gain. It is better to introduce multi-joint purposes, for instance, the barbell row and squat. This will exercise several muscles at once rather than exhausting a single one and result in a more mass gain.
Replacing meals for complete protein bars
Protein bars, gels, and powders may be helpful if you add them to your diet. However, do not rely on these foods for your daily dose of protein. The recommended method is to prepare a diet that is high not only in protein but also carbs, healthy fats, whole grains, etc. Protein bars cannot provide you all the nutrients that you need. Hence, obtaining it from fresh and healthy sources such as beans, quinoa, and chicken will lead to better results.
Doing only heavy lifting.
Your body has two kinds of muscles, both of which play an essential role in growth. These are Type I and Type II muscles. Many research suggests that heavy lifting targets the second type of muscle while lighter loads exercise the first type of muscle. If you only do the heavy lifting, only one set is exercised, which means that you are missing out on some essential exercises that can help you gain more muscle.
Not drinking enough water.
Being dehydrated during workouts will stop your body from using its full potential. While working out, you will have to face nausea, headaches, and fatigue, which degrade your performance. Therefore, staying hydrated is an important step.
Not monitoring your success.
If you are not tracking your workouts and the weight you lift each day, it can be challenging to determine whether or not you are lifting more weight over time. Tracking your exercises will provide more insights into how much you have improved and what areas you need to improve.
Only focusing on after-workout protein.
It is true that after a workout, you should focus on getting protein to make up for the calories lost during the process and stimulate repair and growth. However, this does not mean the post-workout protein is the only time you should worry about eating protein. You should ensure that you eat protein of the right amount and other nutrients throughout the day.
Not eating before workouts.
We know that overeating is unhealthy but not eating before the workout is not recommended because it restricts the body from giving its best and may even cause stomach aches. Hence, plan your pre and post-workout meals smartly so that your body is never low on essential nutrients.
Not being patient
Wanting good results in less time will leave you unmotivated and impatient. This will make it only more challenging to hit the gym every day for workouts. Gaining lean muscle is a gradual process. Hence, being patient will help you significantly to stay motivated to get the body type you want.
Doing too much aerobics.
Aerobic exercises are needed alongside other exercises to gain lean muscle. However, doing aerobic exercises for too long can take up more energy from your energy reserve. Post-workout leaves you less energized for the bodyweight exercises, as multiple muscles are exercised in aerobics. Moreover, aerobic exercises will burn more calories that will be hard to replenish.
How to build lean muscle?
The common three things that you can do are following resistance training rules, having enough protein and carbohydrate-rich foods, and taking appropriate recovery measures to get an ideal muscle growth for a long time. Also, to increase strength, you can make walking lunges as well.
What is the best exercise to build lean muscle?
To state a fact, many exercises can help you build lean muscle mass, but out of them, the barbell deadlift is one of the best exercises that you can do. In addition to it, you can also do push ups, box jumps, and different exercises.
How do I slim down and build lean muscle?
If you want to lose fat off your body and build lean muscle simultaneously, you can follow the given tips to help you in weight loss.
- Drink enough water
- Have small 4 to 5 meals at a gap of 3 to 4 hours
- Avoid eating foods that have fatty acids or high sugar
- Start strength training
- Eat appropriate carbohydrates and protein
- Do not lose weight more than 2 pounds in a week
- Check your body weight regularly
How should I lift weights to build lean muscle?
If you have just started, then only this question would have arrived in your mind because, in the early stages, we are only scared and not sure how we are supposed to lift weights that can help us build muscle.
In addition, you should know how much weight you can hold quickly, and you should always take help from a certified personal trainer. Well following are some of the tips that you can take care of while doing weight training:
- Start using the suitable types of equipment
- You can also use resistance bands
- Warm-up and prepare yourself before lifting
- Make a schedule of workouts
- Lift the weight of the right amount, which is not too much for beginning
- Follow the same exercises and moves from which you have started
- Take some rest whenever your body is in need
- Take care of your body weight as well
What is muscle protein synthesis?
As muscles play an important role in pumping iron, they also synthesize proteins. It is the main reason that we can do exercises so easily. When we do activities, they are triggered to synthesize protein, and it takes around 2-4 hours when we finish a workout.
In this article, we have covered the answer to how to build lean muscle, tips using which you can develop lean body mass, and the ways that can harm your chances of building muscle. So we hope that you will choose the right path of building and improving your body and life.