10 Super Ways To Build Lean Muscle Mass

10 Super Ways To Build Lean Muscle Mass

Getting back into the gym after a hiatus can feel daunting, but it's also an exciting opportunity to recommit to your fitness goals and prioritise your health and well-being.

If your primary fitness objective revolves around increasing muscle mass and sculpting your physique, the concept of constructing "lean muscle" likely holds significant appeal. After all, why invest countless hours at the gym and meticulous effort in your diet only to achieve mediocre muscle gains?

Ever pondered the mechanics behind lean muscle development? When you engage in physical activity, you subject your muscles to stress. Not the everyday stress induced by mundane tasks, but rather the beneficial stress stemming from rigorous weightlifting or intense workouts.

Before we delve into the intricate process of building lean muscle, let's establish what it entails. Lean muscle refers to muscle tissue with minimal fat, giving you that coveted chiseled physique characterised by defined abs, prominent biceps, and a toned posterior. Essentially, it's what transforms you into a figure reminiscent of a Greek deity!

What is a lean muscle?

Lean muscle mass refers to muscle tissue that is well-developed, strong, and defined, with minimal fat covering it. It is often associated with a lean and athletic physique, characterised by low levels of body fat and a high muscle-to-fat ratio. Building lean muscle mass involves increasing muscle mass while simultaneously reducing body fat, resulting in a toned and sculpted appearance.

Benefits of lean muscle mass

Here are some benefits of the lean muscle-building routine and feeling good about your body: 

Strengthens muscles & bones:

Developing lean muscle through exercises not only shapes your muscles but also fortifies your bones, especially in crucial areas such as the arms, spine, and hips. Essentially, focusing on muscle growth can simultaneously enhance bone strength, offering dual benefits for both your muscular and skeletal systems.

Ensures Bone Longevity:

Building lean muscle mass through strength training boosts bone density and resilience, leading to bone longevity.

    Improves Metabolism:

    Lean muscle plays a crucial role in boosting metabolism, as muscle tissue burns more calories at rest compared to fat tissue. This means that individuals with higher amounts of lean muscle tend to have a higher basal metabolic rate (BMR), which can aid in weight management and fat loss.

    Strength and Functionality:

    Building lean muscle mass improves overall strength, endurance, and functional movement patterns. Strong muscles support joint stability, improve posture, and enhance athletic performance in various activities and sports.

    Improves Body Composition:

    Achieving a lean muscle physique involves reducing body fat while increasing or maintaining muscle mass. This is typically achieved through a combination of resistance training, cardiovascular exercise, and proper nutrition.

    Helps Manage Diabetes:

    Sustaining lean muscle mass plays a crucial role in diabetes management. It enhances insulin sensitivity, helping regulate blood sugar levels. Individuals with lean muscle often maintain their weight effectively, even with increased calorie intake, due to the energy demands of muscle metabolism.

    10 ways to develop lean muscle mass

    1. Nutrition:

    Adequate protein intake is essential for building and maintaining lean muscle mass as protein provides the building blocks (amino acids) necessary for muscle repair and growth. A balanced diet that includes lean proteins, healthy fats, complex carbohydrates, and micronutrients is crucial for supporting muscle development and recovery.

    2. Training:

    Resistance training that includes weightlifting, bodyweight exercises, and resistance band workouts, is the key for stimulating muscle growth and strength gains. Progressive overload, which involves gradually increasing the intensity or volume of training over time, is important for continued muscle adaptation and growth.

    3. Recovery:

    Proper rest and recovery are essential for building lean muscle mass. Muscles need time to repair and grow stronger after intense workouts, so incorporating rest days, adequate sleep, hydration, and recovery strategies like stretching and foam rolling is important for optimising muscle recovery and growth.

    4. Ramping up your training frequency:

    It can be beneficial if you're aiming to build muscle. While hitting the gym twice a week is sufficient for maintaining your current muscle mass, increasing your training sessions to 4 to 5 times per week can facilitate muscle growth. Although these sessions might need to be shorter to allow for adequate recovery, the more frequent exposure to training stimuli can aid in adding size.

    5. Eating a slight calorie surplus diet:

    To optimise muscle growth, it's essential to consume more calories than you expend, which creates an anabolic environment, supplying your body with the necessary energy and protein for muscle repair, rebuilding, and growth. The specific calorie surplus required depends on individual goals, training frequency, and metabolic demands.

    6. Keep Lifting Heavy Weights:

    To achieve maximum size and leanness, how can you build muscle without lifting heavy weights? Lifting heavy signals to your body the need to develop and preserve more lean muscle mass. Lifting weights prompts muscle hypertrophy, which is the growth of muscles as a result of the healthy breakdown and repair of muscle tissue. When muscles face increased demand, they develop tiny tears in their fibres, which then heal and become stronger and larger, leading to muscle growth. It is important to advance your workout regimen and consistently aim to increase reps, weight, or add an extra set to each session.

    7. Increase training volume:

    Training volume is defined as the cumulative amount of exercise completed over a specific duration. It is typically quantified by considering the total number of repetitions, sets, and workload undertaken during a workout session (sets x reps x load).

    8. Engage in coordinated warm-up routines:

    Follow this before starting your workout to prevent serious muscle injuries. Rather than jumping straight into exercise, take the time to prepare your muscles. Implement a series of stretches targeting the forearms, shoulders, neck, hips, and legs to increase blood flow to all muscle groups in your body. This synchronised approach will help enhance muscle flexibility and reduce the risk of injury during your workout.

    9. Proper hydration is a must:

    Maintaining proper hydration is crucial and often underestimated. Optimal fluid intake plays a vital role in maintaining electrolyte balance and enhancing exercise performance. It's essential to ensure you stay adequately hydrated during your workout sessions. Keep a water bottle handy to replenish fluids and improve endurance.

    10. Supplementation is the Key:

    Supplements can play a significant role in achieving muscle mass goals. Beta-alanine, creatine monohydrate, and branched-chain amino acids (BCAA) are particularly beneficial for enhancing endurance and muscle growth at an accelerated pace. They aid in preventing muscle loss during intense training sessions and facilitate effective recovery.

    It's crucial to train in an environment that not only supports your goals but also surrounds you with individuals who share your dedication and work ethic. Finding the right training environment can fuel your motivation and elevate your performance to new heights.

    Moreover, partnering with someone who shares your passion and drive for powerlifting can further enhance your training experience. A dedicated training partner can help hold you accountable, ensuring you show up for every session and push yourself to surpass your limits. Collaborating with like-minded individuals can foster a sense of camaraderie and provide invaluable support on your journey to becoming a formidable powerlifter.

    While varying your training regimen is essential to provoke adaptation and prevent stagnation, it's equally crucial to adhere to a program long enough to derive its advantages fully. Consistently engaging in specific movement patterns over time allows your body to enhance strength and efficiency. This concept is fundamental to the notion of "training."

    Indeed, the term "training" implies a sustained commitment to a structured program aimed at achieving specific goals. By remaining dedicated to a regimen for an extended duration, you can allow your body the opportunity to refine its capabilities and realise tangible improvements. Therefore, striking a balance between introducing variety into your workouts and maintaining consistency within a program is the key to optimising your training outcomes. 

    Overall, building lean muscle mass involves a combination of resistance training, proper nutrition, adequate rest, and consistency in your fitness routine. By focusing on these key factors, you can achieve a leaner, stronger, and more functional physique.

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