Useful Tips to Gain Weight (Lean Muscle) and Lose Body Fat
One of the biggest challenges for any person starting in a gym is to gain muscle mass quickly, effectively and in a healthy way (without steroids). Depending on your body composition and type you might struggle to gain lean muscle, especially if your body type is Ectomorph; or in the other hand, If your body type is Endomorph, the task is even more difficult: gain muscle and lose fat at the same time. Either way, the answer is simple: train regularly, eat healthily and sleep well.
How to Gain Muscle Mass
There are a few things you can do to build the body you have ever wanted, without becoming a gym bunny or using any kind of steroids. The first thing you need to know is that muscle weighs more than fat; so if you are trying to lose weight and at the same time build muscle take that into account; the best way to find out if the training is working is by measuring your arms, waist and legs on a monthly basis and keep track of the improvements.
1) Change your Training Program and Increase the Weight
The secret to build lean muscle quickly is by changing your training program after four to six weeks; this will avoid that your body get used to the same training session day after day and stop making gains. You also need to increase the weight you lift on a regular basis; this will produce the “shock effect” that your body needs for your muscles to grow. They respond to stimulation and in order to adapt to the new regime they will grow. The ideal number of repetitions is between 8 and 12 if you are trying to gain muscles and 15 if you are trying to gain lean muscles and reduce your body fat at the same time. The number of sets should be doing is between 3 to 4; but this will vary depending on your current training program.
2) Increase your Food Intake (Healthy Meals for a Healthy You)
One of the reasons why so many people fail to grow muscles is because their diet is not appropriate; either, they are eating the wrong kind of food or they are not eating enough. It is a simple formula: healthy diet + lifting weights = perfect body. You should increase your calorie intake by consuming more proteins (this is the building block for muscle mass).
The optimum amount of calories per day should be 3,000; it should be divided into 5 to 6 small meals during the day; the main objective is to avoid the hunger effect that will make you eat the wrong kind of food. You should try to consume at least 2 grams of protein per kilogram of your actual weight; e.g.: for a man who weighs 75 kilograms you should be eating around 150 grams of protein. The perfect meal should include a portion of carbohydrates (multi-grain rice or pasta), anti-oxidants in the form of vegetable of fruit, good fat (not saturated, for example: olive oil) and proteins in the form of chicken, fish or a piece of lean cut of red meat. It is difficult to achieve the maximum protein consumption goal so this is why you should have protein powder or proteins bars in addition. The best ones are: Optimum Nutrition 100% Whey Protein or the Now Whey Protein Brands
Your body needs to repair the muscle tissue while it is sleeping in order to grow. Sleep is underestimated most of the time but it is one of the main ingredients for muscle mass quickly and effectively. Lack of sleep deprives your body of the time it needs to recover and rebuild your muscles; it also increases the cortisol level in your organism (bad for stress, muscles and well-being). The anabolic growth hormones are produced after 30 to 45 minutes after you fall asleep, reaching its highest level when you are in a deep stage of sleep.
4) Drinking plenty of water
Basically your muscles will not be able to survive without water, your minimum target should be at least 2 to 3 litres of waters every day. However, you should consume more if you go to the sauna or steam room on a regular basis. Water will help your body to eliminate toxins and maintain healthy kidneys (they will produce more waste due to the increase in protein intake). Maintain your muscles hydratedfor muscle grow.
5) Short Training Sessions (Quick but Intensive Workout)
Although difficult to believe, in order to gain lean muscle fast, you need to have a short but intensive workout; it does make a difference to have the perfect body you always want. Training for a long period of time could mean that the intensity of your workout is not enough or the contrary; you are training too hard, so your muscles will not grow. The ideal time you should spend at the gym is between 45 to 60 minutes: 10 minutes for warming and stretches and 45 minutes working on weights. This is very different to the approach taking by many bodybuilders and gym goers during the 80s and 90s but there are research that proves that short but intensive workout are more effective.