Are you looking to build lean muscle mass but aren’t quite sure how to do it?
Whether you’re a man or a woman, building lean muscle mass isn’t something that happens overnight. But with the right plan in place, you can transform your body in a matter of months.
How do you build lean muscle mass?
Check out this guide to discover everything you need to do to build lean muscle and transform your body.
1. Eat in a Calorie Surplus
Many people are afraid to add more calories to their diet because they think it’ll make them gain fat. But in order to build muscle, you need to eat more calories than you burn.
To gain muscle safely and effectively, you should be eating an extra 1750 to3500 calories or so per week. This equates to about250 to 500 extra calories per day.
To figure out how many calories you should be consuming in total, you need to look at your height, weight, and current energy expenditure. You can check out this calculator to figure out how many calories you should consume per day to gain muscle at a steady pace.
2. Eat More Protein
Gaining muscle isn’t just about eating more calories. You need to make sure you’re getting your calories from the right sources. One of the most efficient ways to gain more muscle is to eat protein-rich foods.
Protein is one of the most important building blocks for muscle growth, and there are numerous studies out there that show eating more protein leads to stronger muscles. Here are some protein-rich foods to incorporate into your diet:
- Greek yogurt
- Chicken breast
- Lean beef
- Soybeans and soy-based products (tofu, tempeh, etc.)
- Turkey breast
- Cottage cheese
- Beans (Black beans, kidney beans, chickpeas, etc.)
- Pork tenderloin
As you can see, meat isn’t the only great source of protein out there. There are plenty of plant-based protein sources, so if you’re vegan or vegetarian, you’ll have no problem meeting your daily protein needs. Generally speaking, you should aim to consume 1.2 to 1.7 grams of protein per day per kilogram of body weight.
So if you weigh 60 kilograms, you should consume somewhere between 72 and 102 grams of protein per day.
3. Eat More Fiber
If you were to ask people what nutrient plays the biggest role in gaining muscle, most people would say “protein.” While the role of protein shouldn’t be overlooked, fiber also plays a very important role when it comes to increasing muscle mass.
Here are some high-fiber foods to add to your diet:
- Brussel sprouts
- Kidney beans
- Split peas
Not only can fiber help you gain lean muscle, but it can also help you reduce your cholesterol and reduce your risk of gastrointestinal cancer. Fiber also aids in digestion and promotes healthy blood sugar levels.
4. Consider Supplementing Your Diet
Eating a diet rich in whole foods is necessary to build lean muscle. But depending on your dietary requirements, it can sometimes be hard to reach all of your nutritional needs through diet alone.
Many people add supplements to their diet to make up for nutritional deficits. For example, if you struggle to get enough protein in your diet because you’re a vegan, you may want to drink a protein shake or take a protein supplement before or after you work out, such as Laxogenin. You can click here to learn more about Laxogenin.
5. Lift Heavier Weights
Eating the right diet is half of the equation to building lean muscle mass. The other half is lifting weights. However, you’re not going to build lean muscle mass by doing pilates or lifting light weights.
To gain muscle mass efficiently, you need to challenge yourself with heavier weights. If you’re completely new to lifting, start slow and add slowly add heavier weights each week. Here are some other tips for lifting heavier weights:
Focus on Form
If you’re not using the right form when lifting weights, you risk getting injured. Using the incorrect form will also make it harder for you to build muscle, as you won’t be doing each exercise as effectively as possible. Here are some tips to improve your form when lifting weights:
- Stand in front of a mirror so you can watch yourself doing the exercise
- Watch videos demonstrating the correct form before trying a new exercise
- Slow down each movement to ensure your muscles are really doing the work
- Don’t just daydream- put your mind to the workout
- Maintain good posture (stand with your arms naturally at your side and your chest lifted)
Also, while it may be tempting to hold your breath, make sure to exhale through the hardest part of the exercise.
Warm Up and Cool Down
Warming up and cooling down before and after your workout will make you less susceptible to injury. To warm up for your lifting session, we recommend doing a light jog or a brisk walk.
You can also do some cardiovascular exercises, such as jump roping, jumping jacks, or mountain climbers. After your workout, you can cool down with a slow walk and a gentle stretch.
Give Yourself Time to Recover
To gain muscle, you should lift weights 3 to 5 times per week. Take a day off between each muscle group so that your body has proper time to recover.
For example, if you do a leg workout on Monday, your next leg workout shouldn’t be until Wednesday. This means you can use Tuesday as a rest day, arms day, or cardio day.
Giving your body time to recover will allow your muscle tissues to rebuild themselves properly.
Are You Ready to Build Lean Muscle?
Now that you’ve read this guide, it’s time for you to start your journey to build lean muscle. As we mentioned at the beginning of the article, building lean muscle takes time, so be patient!
And be sure to check back in with our blog for more exercise-related news and tips.