You’ve been going to the gym for what seems like an eternity, yet that lean physique all the fitness influencers have on Instagram still isn’t what you see in the mirror. The truth of the matter is that simply lifting weights and calling it a day won’t make you shredded. It takes time, consistency, a whole lot of dietary planning, and never giving in when the going gets tough.
Here are 5 ways to build lean muscle and earn the physique you’ve been working for:
- Lower the weight, increase the reps
- While curling 50 pounds sure is impressive, only being able to do so about 5 times won’t help the muscle reach it’s true potential. Drop the weight to an amount where you can do 10-15 reps comfortably while simultaneously being able to get a full extension of the muscle. A big mistake that a lot of people make when lifting is aiming for the most they can physically lift, ignoring the fact that they can’t extend or contract the muscle fully. Developing a full range of motion will allow the muscle to be worked properly. Next time you go for a barbell curl, make sure you can control the movement of the bar through the entirety of the rep.
- The best weight to lift is your body weight
- Calisthenics truly speak for themselves when it comes to creating a defined, muscular physique. While machines and free weights are an integral part of every workout, make sure you are throwing in some bodyweight exercises as well. Dips for chest and triceps, pull-ups for back and biceps, and a whole range of other exercises will develop your ability to lift your own bodyweight and carve the physique you’ve been looking for.
- Running may seem mundane and time consuming to some, but it’s essential to burn fat and increase muscle functionality. Running for just 10 minutes a day will put you in a caloric deficit, which is key to losing weight… as long as you’re not simultaneously slamming back pizza rolls.
- Eat lean protein
- What you eat after every workout is just as crucial as the workout itself. Consuming high amounts of fat and sugar on a daily basis will undo most of your progress in the gym and bury those hard earned muscles in a layer of fat. Try to finish of every workout with a low-fat protein shake or protein bar, and stray away from excess carbohydrates. Your muscles need the protein for recovery and growth, but whatever else you throw in there will have just as much of an impact on your body as the protein itself.
- Stretch it out
- A proper stretch is more than just injury prevention when it comes to working out. Dynamic stretching before a workout can lead to increased muscle hypertrophy, allowing for better results from your workouts. Additionally, long, intense stretches can decrease soreness after a workout and allow more room for accelerated muscle recovery. Stretching a single muscle group after a workout session can improve it’s recovery and growth by a lot, so take those 5 minutes once you’re finished and get loose!
Get to building that lean muscle
Building lean muscle doesn’t happen overnight and requires a lot of commitment and perseverance. Don’t convince yourself that you’ll never reach the physique you deserve, rather take these tips and strive to build the body of your dreams.
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