Building lean muscles is the healthiest means by which to gain weight. In addition to its appearance benefits, a lean muscular body will help you enjoy a better life. Below are 4 tips on how to gain weight by building lean muscle mass.
1. Muscle Confusion
Muscle confusion is a body building concept that has been around for decades. Essentially, it is based on the premise that after a relatively short period of time, muscles adapt to a particular training routine, which causes them to stop growing regardless of the number of workout sessions to which they are subjected. Regularly changing up training routines keeps muscles confused and thus responsive to training efforts.
While there are other means by which to prevent muscle stagnation, muscle confusion is one of the most effective. To alter your routine, change the following:
- Length of rest intervals between sets
- Type of exercise for each muscle group
- Order of exercises
- Number of reps
- Number of sets
Altering your training routine every few weeks or so will result in a continuous building of muscles.
2. Strength Training
Strength training is essential to gaining weight and lean muscles. It serves to both burn fat and build muscle tissue. Upper body muscles such as arms, neck, back, chest and shoulders can be strengthened by virtue of pushup, chest press, bicep curl, lat pull down, dumb bell shoulder press, triceps kick back, and dumb bell side exercises.
For the lower body, the best set of strength training exercises consists of leg presses, ball squats, forward lunges, leg raises, wall squats, and calf extensions. Many beginners tend to overlook the lower body and focus solely on the upper body muscle groups, which leads to a less than stellar overall appearance – not to mention the fact that 100% of the body weight is supported by the lower body muscle groups.
Abdominal muscles can be strengthened via crunches, reverse crunches, and bird dogs. Strengthening your abs will improve your balance and facilitate the exercising of other muscles in the body.
3. Cardio Training
The building of lean muscles requires cardiovascular training. It is necessary to burn the fat that would otherwise constrain the appearance of the muscles that you worked so hard to develop. People usually shy away from cardio as it a monotonous activity. And while this may be true, it is not a good reason to skip it altogether; especially since it’s vital to your goal of gaining lean muscle mass.
This is without a doubt one of the most important steps in augmenting your lean muscle mass. Protein is particularly indispensable to the creation of muscle. The rule of thumb for weight lifters is 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight per day. Sources for protein include:
- Red Meat
In addition to protein, you need to consume carbohydrates and fats; in fact, your diet should consist of 40% protein, 40% carbohydrates, and 20% monounsaturated fats.
Although not easy, the process of gaining weight and lean muscle is fairly straightforward; commit to a good strength training program, eat well, and with a little perseverance everything else will fall into place.