How to Gain Muscle and Lose Fat
The ultimate goal for a lot of us is to put on lean muscle. The kind we see in the comic books, on the cover of magazines and, yes, in our dreams. I wanted that lean, athletic-looking and muscular body for a long time, but didn’t know how to go about getting it.
The thing is, there’s not a lot out there that helps us gain lean muscle mass without first looking fat and bloated. The old bodybuilding adage that you first bulk, then cut, has been the norm for years. But, we’re not bodybuilders. We don’t want that look, we want more athleticism, speed and power, and we don’t want to be spending the majority of our time in the gym.
We don’t have their genetics. We don’t use dangerous drugs, and to be honest, I have no desire to be a guy who stands at 5’10, and weighs over 250 pounds. That’s ridiculous! And the way that they train is as well.
Their goal is to get ridiculously massive. What has happened over the years is that anyone who wants to put on 20-50 pounds of muscle mass does what they do. They lift 5-6 times a week using body-part splits. But there are a number of things wrong with this mentality.
If you’re like me and you have trouble putting on lean muscle mass, you can’t train like someone who has absolutely no trouble gaining huge amounts of weight in a relatively small time.
We have completely different somatotypes (body types). They’re mesomorphic, we’re ectomorphic. It took me a while to realize this, but it really does have a huge impact on what is going to work for you and what isn’t.
This goes in line with what I said before, but we can’t train 5 or 6 days a week and expect to see the results from that training that we expect. The reps are too high, and there just isn’t enough recovery time for us to train like they do. We all need to allow our muscles to repair. It just takes different methods for different people.
We need to be training 3-4 days a week, for 45 minutes each session. We also need to be sleeping for 8 hours a night, eating at the right times, and eating the right foods at the right times. They can slack on the things that we need to have under control.
3. We have lives
Do you have things that you like to do on a daily basis, or is your dream to live in the gym?
I love training. I love the “high” I get from an intense workout. I love feeling the blood pumping through my muscles, and the pain that occurs at failure. I love that stuff. I like the hard work. The sweating. But I also like it to be short and intense, not long and drawn out.
I want my workouts to give me a boost for the rest of the day. I want them to be 25-45 minutes. Large in part because I’m busy and there are a lot of other things that should be getting my attention, but also because – listen to this closely – longer workouts are not only unnecessary, but counter-productive.
You DO NOT need to spend an hour in the gym to build lean muscle. You are also going to get better results as you shorten your workouts and increase the intensity. In the case of training, longer duration doesn’t equal greater results.
Quality beats quantity any day. Period.
Losing Fat, Building Muscle
The more muscle you have, the faster your metabolism is going to be – ie the more fat you’re going to burn just sitting on your ass. So building muscle in itself is a great way to lower your body fat percentage. But how do you getting bigger, without actually “bulking”.
1. Have an absolutely ridiculously intense workout.
Get in the gym and work your ass off for 30-45 minutes. Put your muscles through pain. Push them beyond what you think you can handle, and then go one step further.
Rep and set schemes that will allow you to accomplish this:
– Challenge workouts
Choose 6 exercises, complete 30 reps of each while taking minimal rest periods. Use a relatively heavy weight as you want to be failing multiple times during each set.
Two exercises don’t consecutively with a rest of 45-60 seconds coming after each set.
– Giant Sets
The same as supersets with a 3rd exercises added on.
2. Take advantage of the two most important meals of the day.
You want to be eating the right things before and after your workout. Have a solid meal about an hour before you head to the gym. Make sure it’s full of high quality lean protein, slow carbohydrates and high in nutrients and vitamins.
For your post workout meal do much of the same. I actually like using some fast carbs after a workout as well. My favorite post workout meal:
3 slices whole wheat bread
12 egg whites
a drip of vanilla
3. Give your body fuel to burn during your workout.
I use a blend of Gatorade, protein powder, and L-Glutamine during my workout. When you’re training, your body needs a fuel source or else it turns to muscle and burns the very thing you’re trying to build.
Having a fast carbohydrate drink during your workout also spikes insulin levels. Insulin is an absorption hormone. Combined with the blood flow of an intense workout, the protein, carbs, and nutrients will all be going to where they are needed most: your muscles.
If I didn’t stumble upon this system, I wouldn’t have gained anything. And now others have built the body of their dreams as well… Have a look…