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In just about any gym, if you’re not looking at the athletes, but only the average gym-goer, you’ll likely notice three types of people. There are those looking to bulk up as much as possible and gain a lot of muscle and mass, those that just want to lose weight and then those that want the best of both worlds. They want to look trim and thin, and they’re out to gain lean muscle mass, lose fat and walk away with a tight body — for a more calculated muscular physique. For these individuals, here are some of the five best ways to go about gaining lean muscle mass.
1. Work out more often
Here is your opportunity to #BeYourBest! Heading to the gym a few times per week is totally fine if you just want to maintain your status quo. However, if you’re wanting to add some muscle mass, you’re going to have to up the number of times per week you go to the gym — preferably every week day. This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to work out more, as you might have to shorten the amount of time each day that you work out; the important thing is that you’re working out more frequently.
2. Recover appropriately
Your lean muscle mass development is impacted just as much by what you do outside the gym as it is by what you do inside the gym. Make sure you’re getting what you need nutritionally (more on that in a bit), that you’re reducing the stress in your life (easier said than done) and that you’re getting enough sleep (aim for eight to 10 hours).
3. Adjust your diet
Just like you’re reducing the amount you work out and increasing your work out frequency, you want to do the same with your meals. Reduce the amount you eat, while eating the appropriate things, but eat more often. It’s recommended that you double the meals in your day, for a morning meal, mid-morning meal, lunch, afternoon meal, late afternoon meal and dinner.
4. Eat the right things
In each of this little meals throughout the day, you should have some sort of protein and fat — after all, you’re trying to build lean muscle mass, right? Certain foods that can provide what you need include eggs, lean proteins (like chicken and fish), nuts, nut butters, brown rice and quinoa, certain cheeses, Greek yogurt and select fruits and vegetables (think spinach, broccoli, blueberries and apples). Many people find it helpful to also add in supplements such as whey protein. Whatever you do, don’t try to reduce the amount of calories in order to lose weight. You still need those calories to pack on the muscle.
5. Pick the right workouts
And, of course, you can’t build lean muscle mass unless you’re doing the correct exercises. You can’t do straight aerobics every day and expect the results you want — strength training is key (but don’t leave out the aerobics completely! You need about two hours of cardio per week to keep the fat off while you build muscle). Hit the weights and make sure you’re targeting all of the key muscle groups, including chest, core, shoulders, arms, legs and back.
Want to start building lean muscle mass? Get a free 7 day trial at the world-class Melbourne Sports Centres MSAC.