Building muscle at a basic level has been looked at from two fundamental points of view – lifting heavy weight and eat whatever the hell one can. But as much as it sounds fun, especially the eating part, it surely is taking our body towards direction we might regret due to additional fat storage and injuries.
The way I have been taught, therefore, have implemented in my training for last 3 years is through a slight better approach for a long term sustainable results instead of short term half-hearted results. So, here I would like to share the 5 rules of building lean muscle.
Rule 1 – Periodic Training
Your training should change every 2-3 weeks in terms of the principles you are applying. Say for example, for first 3 weeks focus on compound movements of 10-12 reps and following for week reduce the weights and increase the rep range to 12-15. By doing this you are giving your body a chance to adapt to a new form of training. You can then pick a different principle such as FST -7 or DTP or GVT to keep your body in the surprise.
Rule 2 – Variety of Movement
Keep adding knowledge of movements to your workout library by learning how different muscle groups work or function. It is best to choose alternate movements every few weeks to give a muscle new way of training. Example: if last 3 weeks you have done seated leg curls then switch to lying leg curls. The more variety you are going to add in your database, the more adaptable you will become to different training settings.
Rule 3 – Quality Pre and Post Workout Meals
One of the biggest factor is the nutrition in helping you build lean muscle. People often don’t pay enough attention to the quality of food they are feeding themselves before as well as after the workout. Ideally both those meals should contain a good proportion of carbs to protein and naturally occurring fats from the protein source. These meals must have higher proportion of carbs to protein ratio because your workout will assimilate those vital nutrients to absorb into the broken muscle fibres.
Rule 4 – Keep Your Body Hydrated
An un-hydrated body is simply open to injuries, cramps, and other internal issues. Our body is 70% water, so to avoid it is half the battle lost. Water plays a vital role in maintaining a good blood flow that shuttles the nutrients for muscle repair, reduce the lactic acid stored in the body while training and better performance through energy levels.
Rule 5 – Dial down 4-6 Weeks
An important rule of growth is also recovery, therefore, after every 4-6 weeks of heavy training give your body a week to recover and repair. The best approach is to reduce the weight training down to 30-50% weight and do more cardio based training. Don’t completely give up on that week by not doing anything, in fact, use it for full recovery through massages, proper nutrition, hydration, chiro or physio adjustments etc.
It’s important to do hard work but if we can do it smartly then the results are incredible and for long term.
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