By Ashley Maxwell
People with leaner bodies tend to be more injury resistant, more flexible, have quicker cardio recovery times, and are healthier than individuals with active lifestyles, but have high levels of body fat.
Not only that. When you feel and look physically great, you are more confident in interacting with others, both in professional and personal settings.
So, if you’ve made your decision to reduce body fat and get leaner, read ahead to know some tips to achieve a lean muscular body!
1. Consume Enough Protein
Nutrition plays the most important role in achieving a lean physique.
You may be able to challenge your body through exercises. But without proper nutritional support, your progress may not be as effective. It’s because a healthy food intake supports muscle development.
To get started, we encourage you to consume plenty of protein, approximately 0.7 grams of protein per kilogram of your body weight.
This Dietary Reference Intake amounts to 56 grams of protein per day for the average sedentary man and 46 grams daily for the average sedentary woman.
Protein will serve as a fuel source for your body and will help you build lean muscle. Its common food sources are meat and fish, seed and nuts, legumes, eggs, Greek yogurt, chicken breasts, lean beef, and lentils.
By eating enough protein, it will likewise help you feel fuller longer and you’re more likely to resist the temptation of eating snacks in between meals.
However, some people, like bodybuilders and athletes, need to supplement with protein as they’re not getting all the essential amino acids and protein that their body needs through food alone.
These supplements and protein powders may also aid in recovery by improving muscle performance and reducing muscle damage.
2. Develop Your Own Fat-Shredding Complex
A complex is a sequence of workouts performed back-to-back in a single area, using a single piece of equipment, without changing weights, and without rest between exercises or you may rest between sets but these breaks are short, only about 90 seconds or so.
To burn out fast and build muscle, develop your own fat-shredding complex. For instance, a squat is a compound exercise because it works the calves, glutes, and quadriceps.
You may also try this complex: deadlift bent over row, hang clean, thrusters, and overhead squat. Another barbel complex is: snatch grip deadlift, hang snatch, overhead squat, behind-the-neck press, and good morning.
The reason why complex workouts are effective is that they increase caloric burn, work capacity, and exercise post-oxygen consumption.
Consequently, this raises your metabolism. But as a word of caution, complex workouts are not best for beginners. Build a solid foundation of strength conditioning and training first before you attempt an intense workout.
3. Do Triathlon Training
Swim, bike, and run? The triathlon is all about endurance, meaning you have to be physically and mentally fitter than before. It’s not easy but is certainly not an unachievable target.
And when you gear up for a triathlon, you’ll be building up stamina to learn and perfect three different sports.
Your workout is also in no way monotonous and boring. Simply put, you will most likely dedicate time to build up your muscle mass so that you will have an increased endurance capacity for the multi-sport.
In a race that lasts several hours, having stronger muscles will give you more stamina so you’ll go the distance.
Don’t worry, many triathletes have fun training because every day is a new challenge. You can join a beginner’s triathlon near you, about three or four months away.
As you slowly start to build up endurance for each sport, your body will be leaner, for sure.
4. Focus More on Your Body Fat Percentage
Another tip to help you get leaner is to focus less on weight and more on body fat percentage. It’s because the number that you see on the scale every morning is not a good indicator of your body composition. It does not tell you about the distribution of your weight or the ratio of fat to lean tissue.
The only accurate way to measure your body composition is body fat percentage. Normally, 10 to 20% body fat percentage is considered healthy for men and 18 to 28% for women.
Understanding your body fat percentage will help you decide the fitness goal that will reflect your healthy body composition changes.
5. Score Enough Zzzs
Getting enough sleep (7-9 hours per night) is one of the most important habits to help build muscle.
It enhances human growth hormone release and muscle recovery via protein synthesis.
Skimping on shuteye means that your body does not produce good hormones needed to keep tissue healthy and build muscle.
6. Eat Carbs Post-Workout
It’s a common misconception that you should not be consuming any carbohydrates when you are trying to lean out or on a diet.
But carbs are vital for muscle building too because they are protein-sparing. This means that they conserve muscle tissue as the body gets energy from carbs instead of protein for energy.
Carbs prevent muscle degradation, help muscles recover from exercise, and prevent muscle weakness. In short, carbs are like other macronutrients that have an important role in your body composition.
So, instead of cutting carbs out of your diet, just be smart about what type of carb you consume. We suggest you choose carbs, like quinoa, brown rice, or sweet potatoes instead of refined carbs, like bread and pasta.
Moreover, eat carbs only after your workout to slow the breakdown of protein that happens post-workout. As a result, eating carbs after a workout may aid muscle growth.
7. Don’t Overdo Things
Lastly, we encourage you not to overdo things. Don’t go beyond what your body needs for cardiovascular exercise nor should you take your diet too far. Moderation is still the key when it comes to a slimmer body and healthy life.
Make sure you have rest days between workouts to give your muscles time to rebuild.
You see, it’s not overly difficult to get stronger and more muscular. You just have to find the right motivation and routine to do so.
But remember, getting fitter and leaner does not happen overnight. So, just enjoy the process and be patient with yourself. By adopting such a mindset, it’ll be easier to embrace fitness as a wellness strategy and that becomes your powerful tool to get the body that you’ve always wanted.