There’s not a day that goes by without the latest Hollywood heartthrob and his ripped and chisel physics being plastered over the latest Muscle magazine. These pictures obviously create a desire in many skinny men to bulk up, get back into shape and improve their chances with the ladies.
This can only be a good thing, but most aspiring Brad Pitts thinks it’s just a matter of hitting the gym and lifting weights 3 times a week to get that ‘Fight Club’ physique. What those photos don’t show you are the long hours of dedication, sweat, blood, and tears required to achieve that get hardened, ripped body.
So, is a fight club body out of reach for us mere mortals? Not at all. All you need to do is plan ahead and have a system that gets you from skinny to ripped in the fastest and safest way possible and this is what this article is about.
How To Build Lean Muscle In 3 Steps
Building a lean muscle body effectively can be achieved by getting the basics right. Below are three key steps that, if you follow, will enable you to build lean hard muscles.
- Diet and nutrition
- Lean muscle workouts
- Best muscle building supplements for faster results
Diet And Foods To Build Lean Muscle
No matter how hard or often you pump weights in the gym, if you’re not taking the right nutrition and supplements you’re going to feel crap and your results will be half-assed. To get lean and hard you need a lean muscle diet that increases muscle size while reducing your body fat composition.
Muscle Building Proteins
Proteins are the essential building blocks for muscle and strength. Our body breaks down proteins into amino acids, which are essential for many bodily functions such as the repair and growth of muscle tissue.
Not only do we need proteins to build muscle mass, we also need it to maintain the muscles we already have. Not all proteins are equal though. Here’s a list of the best quality sources of lean muscle proteins:
- egg whites
- chicken breast
- lean red meat
- low fat/non fat diary products
Many bodybuilders also include a good quality whey protein powder to their diet. This can be added to your breakfast cereal in the morning and the meal after your training session.
Fats – The Good And Bad
You need to eat more fat. This may sound counter-intuitive, but increasing your intake of fats helps reduce weight as they are an excellent appetite suppressor. Fats take longer to digest, which makes you feel fuller for longer. In addition, they facilitate the body’s metabolism, which is responsible for increasing the rate calories are burned.
In addition, fats also play an important role in producing and balancing the body’s hormones, including the very important muscle building growth hormone testosterone. As you get older testosterone decline and its important to prevent this from happening. There are healthy and unhealthy fats. The fats you want to avoid are the saturated and trans fats which are often found in processed foods including margarine spreads,vegetable oils and cookies.
The fats that are good for your health are your mono-unsaturated and polyunsaturated fats and omega 3 fatty acids. These fats protect your cardiovascular system and work to reduce levels of LDL cholesterol in the body. Good sources of healthy fats are:
- oily fish – salmon, herrings, mackerelnuts & seeds
- olive oil/grape seed oil
It’s smart to reduce your carb intake, but don’t eliminate them. If you’re not careful you can easily pile on the calories, but carbohydrates are essential for energy, which you will need lots of for your lean muscle workout routines.
The important thing to remember is to use carbs correctly. For example, eat carbs as early in day as possible and shortly before your strength training. Avoid refined processed carbohydrates and stick with natural sources such as wholegrains, fiber, vegetables.
Your activity levels will determine the optimum amount of carbs you need to take. According toMen’s Fitness:
- Beginner/Sedentary Guys: 1 g/per pound of body weight
- Intermediate/Moderate Fit Guys: 2 g/per pound of body weight
- Advanced/Highly Active Guys: 3 g/per pound of body weight
- Additional grams of carbs should be eaten 30 to 60 minutes before physical activity
Increase Veggies And Reduce Fruit Intake
Although fruit is good for you, it’s better to reduce your intake in order to get ripped fast. You see, fruits are high in fructose, which is a natural sugar. Fructose is a lot healthier compared to processed crap in sodas, but none the less, it’s still high in calories and carbohydrates.
Alternatively, having more vegetables in your muscle building meal plan will provide the same amount of nutrients and antioxidants, without the high carbs and sugar.
Lean Muscle Workouts To Get Ripped
For that ripped look you need a comprehensive lean muscle workout routine that builds muscle mass, but also increases cardiovascular function to help you burn more fat.
It’s important not to overdo cardio exercise. Yes, it will burn more calories to help you look lean, but too much cardio can actually reduce muscle growth.
The fact is, muscle is an effective calorie burner, so your training should focus more on pumping than running. Short intense workouts are most effective at building lean muscle mass. Each session can be combined with short regular rest periods to help prevent muscle fatigue.
Weight vs Reps
Many bodybuilders find that increasing the weight rather than the number of repetitions is more effective at building bulk. This makes sense because shortening the reps and gradually increasing weight stimulates muscle growth. Also, the rest periods between each workout allow the muscles to grow and recover.
For best results, use specific days to target specific muscle groups. For example, if you exercise 4 days a week you can include isolation movements such as bicep curls and tricep extensions in day one and calf and leg raises on day 2, and so on. Whichever way you mix it up, just ensure one muscle group is not getting more attention than the other.
Mix It Up To Avoid Boredom
Preventing boredom and varying exercises in your muscle and strength training routines. Mixing things up not only keeps the workouts interesting, but it’s also good for muscle development.
Ensure that you structure your life and workout routines in a way that makes it easier for you to follow through. Your attitude is critical to success. The best bodybuilders work their minds as well as their bodies, so make sure your thoughts stay positive and focused on your goals.
3 Habits For Peak Performance
Drink plenty of fluids before, during, and after your workouts as this keeps you hydrated and energized. Stick to water and avoid juices and energy drinks. No more late nights as you’ll need around 8 hours of quality sleep for your body to rest and repair itself.
Getting that amount of sleep will not be a problem if you’re working out hard. Finally, cut down on the booze if you drink a lot. Alcohol can lower your testosterone. It’s also high in calories and makes you fat. You don’t want to look like a 45-year-old with a beer gut, do you?
Best Lean Muscle Supplements
Good quality lean muscle building supplements are an important component to increase muscle strength, reduce the percentage of body fat, and help you stay focused. There’s a huge array of sports nutritional supplements on the market and we would advise caution when choosing any dietary supplement online.
The claims made by muscle gain pill manufacturers are often unsubstantiated and many have been found to contain ingredients that are not only illegal but can cause kidney failure, heart problems, and seizures.
You also have the option to use anabolic steroids such as Anavar which are very effective at building lean muscle, however, anabolic steroids need to be used carefully as they can cause many side effects.
It’s for these reasons that we recommend our readers use safe muscle building supplements. This new category of safe legal steroids does not use chemicals but only natural ingredients. These ingredients are formulated to mimic the anabolic qualities of chemical steroid drugs but without the dangerous side effects.