Are you trying to get rid of that extra body fat? Well, one thing’s for sure, you're not alone.
Getting lean (and staying lean) is something that most of us (if not all) want to do. But, as those who have tried it would say, it's no easy task. After all, you will have to abandon those days when you would eat greasy food without a care in the world so that you can start training hard, eating smart, and keeping track of every single calorie you've earned and burnt.
That said, just because you have to “lean out” doesn't mean you need to deprive yourself. As a matter of fact, leaning out entails keeping track of your macros, and does not imply spending extra-long hours on the treadmill while you leave out food groups, forget the weights and abandon all the compound movements. Finally, it is about taking your body to its full potential in the right manner.
Here Are 40 Tips To Train For Lean Muscular Physique:
1. Increase Your Protein Intake
The most effective macronutrient out there, protein helps you keep the essential elements even when you're on your way to leaning out.
Not only does it help you stay full for a longer period of time, it also helps you maintain muscle mass once you have begun reducing your intake of calories. Additionally, it helps you gain and use that stored energy which you need for your intense training.
2. Eat Protein Every Couple of Hours
In order to completely and correctly optimize protein synthesis, you must eat protein frequently and portioned equally. “Frequent,” however, does not mean “nonstop.”
You must distribute your protein intake to a minimum of 30 g every four hours to get the best out of protein synthesis. You can also include more than 30 g if you want to!
3. Increase Your Intake of Leafy Green Vegetables
The best thing about leafy green vegetables is that they are packed with nutrients, but contain no calories. They also help your body maintain its acid/base balance and helps keep it functioning at an optimal level. When trying to lean out, therefore, you must make it a point to include plenty of them in your diet.
In case you're not sure where you should start, you could start eating bok choy (which contains the immune-boosting Vitamin A), kale (which contains antioxidants and cancer-preventing elements) and collard greens (which lower cholesterol).
4. Eat Your Starch Post-Workout
While your carbohydrate intake should contain a large amount of foods that contain low-glycemic carbohydrates (like fruits, vegetables and leafy greens), it does not imply that you must totally abandon eating starches – just make sure that you take them after a workout.
As a matter of fact, plain, simple carbohydrates are something your body can benefit from (for both recovery as well as muscle-growth process) because, after crushing some heavy weight, your body needs both glycogen (stored energy) and glucose (usable energy).
5. Consume High-Volume Foods
You can trick your body into feeling fuller by consuming foods which are high in volume but not as high in calories. Such foods, while helping you feel full, do not make you fat. You can try eating vegetables such as spinach, cabbage, broccoli and lettuce, and even eggs (if you want something in the animal products department).
6. Drink Adequate Amount of Water
One of the things that anyone who is trying to lean out is prone to is dehydration which makes an individual feel both mentally and physically tired.
Whenever you feel even a bit parched (a sure sign of dehydration), you must go and get yourself a nice glass of cold water. Cold water has a thermogenic effect and allows you to hydrate and burn some extra calories while you're at it.
7. Don't Cut Out On Your Fat Intake All Of A Sudden
While it is a common conception that eating fat makes you fat, it couldn't be any farther from the truth. While an excess of fats are indeed bad for health, fats also have vital properties such as providing your body with energy and helping transport and absorb vitamins in your body.
You must, therefore, ensure that you don't cut down on your fat intake all-of-a-sudden. Instead you should consume saturated fats (such as coconut oil and butter) and unsaturated fats (such as nuts, olive oil, and flaxseed).
8. Refrain from Unplanned Snacking
Always stick to your plan and never eat any unplanned snacks. These often add up a lot of extra calories that will totally destroy your weight-loss goals.
9. Prepare a Meal Plan In Advance
No matter what your aim is, you must always have a good meal plan in place. You must make sure that you eat at regular intervals, don't miss meals, and keep track of your consumption by maintaining a food journal that can help you monitor your progress and identify your failings.
10. Protein. Protein. And More Protein.
Protein must constitute at least 30% your daily calorie intake.
11. Keep Away From Nutritional Temptations
Let's face it – there's no point in testing your will power unnecessarily by keeping those oh-so-tempting foods within your reach. It is best, therefore, to get rid of such things.
12. Read the Nutrition Labels Carefully
Whether you're trying to get lean or not, it is always a good habit to read the nutritional labels. You must, however, make sure to go beyond the carbs, fats and proteins, and read the whole list of ingredients.
13. Eat an Adequate Amount Of BCAAs
The “building blocks” of your body, branch chain amino acids (BCAA), constitute over 35% of your muscle mass and are essential for molecular growth. Furthermore, they avoid muscle breakdown and help activate protein synthesis. By drinking BCAAs during your interval cardio sessions, you can burn extra fat while avoiding extra carbs.
14. Take Some Zma Before You Go To Bed
Besides workout and diet, the one thing you need is proper sleep. By taking ZMA (which is basically a compound of zinc, magnesium aspirate, and Vitamin B6) at bedtime, you can get yourself relaxed to get in for a good night's sleep.
Not only will this help you build muscles, it will help you optimize fat-loss hormones like leptin and HGH. Furthermore, the zinc will help maintain your mineral stores, which you need to maintain metabolism and immunity.
15. Drink Green Tea
Devoid of calories and full of caffeine and antioxidants, green tea is a fat-blaster that is bound to expedite your journey to weight loss.
16. Take Caffeine Pre-Workout
Unless you're sensitive to caffeine, you can always benefit by taking 200 mg of it pre-workout. Helpful for both weight and cardio sessions, caffeine helps your body get rid of fat, while giving it an extra energy boost that will help you exercise better and battle fatigue which you may feel due to being on a lower-calorie diet.
17. Take Fish-Oil Supplements
Not only do omega-3 and fish oil supplements reduce the aging process of the body, they also reduce your resting heart rate. A lower resting heart rate implies that you will have to work out more to reach your intended heart rate when you do your cardio, which in turn will help you burn more calories.
18. Lift Heavyweight Objects
Abandoning low-rep training because you're dieting is a bad idea. You must make sure to remind your body that it has every muscle it needs in order to maintain lean mass.
In order to do that, you should begin your training sessions with a low-rep, big compound moment with a challenging heavy weight. Going for low-rep training helps stimulate all the muscle fibers, which helps keep you lean.
19. Include Compound Movements in Your Workout
It's best for you to forget the leg extensions, and instead do squats (or some other compound movement). After all, they pack in a ton of benefits, from helping your lift heavy weights, recruiting extra muscles, and (obviously) burning extra calories. What more could someone trying to get lean ask for?
20. Increase the Amount Of Physical Activity That Does Not Include Exercise
If you are trying to reduce body fat, you must seize every single opportunity that you get to burn calories. A great place to start is to increase physical activity when you are not working out.
Not sure where to start? You can start by doing the following:
- Park your vehicle slightly away from your destination and walk there
- Stand whenever you take a phone call (especially at work)
- Always try to take the stairs instead of the elevator
- Walk to nearby places
21. Include More Cardio Exercises in Your Workout Routine
At some point, you will realize that it is impossible to include more high-intensity exercises like interval and resistance training. You can, however, benefit in such times by adding low-intensity cardio in a progressive manner, which can help you achieve your long-term weight-loss goals.
Sprints have benefitted people of all fitness levels, and those trying to lean out are no exception. Often included in high-intensity interval training, sprints help burn a lot of calories in a short span of time, and improve your metabolism while you're at it. Simply adding two or three sessions of twenty minutes each can be very beneficial.
23. Limit the Amount of Rest between Workout Sets
Instead of concentrating on the weight, you should concentrate on the duration and heart rate – things that are more vital in getting you lean.
While cutting down on your break time between sets might mean you can't lift as heavy with each rep, that's OK. You're not going after strength here. Instead, limiting your rest periods will keep your heart rate up and allow you to burn more calories.
24. Make It a Point to Not Fail
In the process of achieving your goal, you should be wary of pushing yourself beyond your limits. This is because if you train all the way to failure, it will be difficult for you to recover which in turn will have a terrible effect on your health.
25. Set Tangible Goals and Work Hard To Achieve Them
This one's a no-brainer. Not only should you set achievable goals, you should also write them down and keep track of them. This will help you stay accountable and keep track of your activity while identifying any possible flaws that you might have or develop in due course.
26. Find Yourself a Mentor
No matter what your goal is, there has to be someone who has already done it. Finding this person and making them your mentor can help you avoid a lot of wasted time and resulting frustration. Mentors can help with a variety of things, from motivation to nutrition and training.
27. Visualize Achieving Your Goals
To achieve your goals, you must first believe in them. You must therefore make a mental map and draw out a vision as to how you want to look. Then you should hold on to that image and work hard to achieve it!
28. Plan Your Pre and Post Workout Nutrition Plan
Just because you want to get lean doesn't mean that you have to banish sugar from your diet entirely. For instance, you should never skip those pre-workout or post-workout shakes.
Besides sugar, they also contain essential elements such as whey protein, carbohydrates and BCAAs, which allow you to recover faster, help you train more and build extra muscle.
29. Include Micronutrients in Your Diet
Though not directly connected to losing fat, including micronutrients in your diet does help improve your overall health. A low calorie count increases the risk of mineral and vitamin deficiencies.
By taking in micronutrients – either in the form of whole food or as multivitamin supplements – you can keep yourself healthy and prevent any potential problems.
30. Blend Your Smoothies for Longer Than You Normally Do
According to research conducted by Penn State University, smoothies blended for a longer time absorbs more air, which in turn leads to a bigger muscle shake (albeit with the same number of calories). This helps you feel fuller and in turn prevents you from taking in extra calories later.
31. Take Creatine Supplements
In order to “shed the water weight,” many end up excluding creatine from their list of supplements. Now that's a bad move. This is because the “water weight” in question is actually intramuscular water and not subcutaneous water which stays in between your skin and muscles.
Creatine helps you get strength gains while maintaining a low calorie count, which in turn helps you burn more fat and aids you in getting lean.
32. Take L-Theanine Supplements
As mentioned earlier, getting lean is hard work. Things like less calories, hard training and thermogenics can overload your sympathetic nervous system, which can get you jittery and on-edge.
Taking L-Theanine, which is a special amino acid that is found in tea in the form of supplements can help you calm your nerves without affecting the benefits offered by the stimulants.
33. Make Sure To Take Deep Breaths
Make sure that you breathe enough and properly. With deep, diaphragmatic breathing that entails long inhalation and exhalation, you can stimulate your parasympathetic nervous system, which will help you in recovering better.
34. Eat Less Meals
According to research conducted by the University of Missouri, the size of your meal, rather than the interval of it, is the main driver of satiety. It is therefore wise to eat six or seven small meals a day rather than eating three large meals a day.
35. Include Aerobic Conditioning in Your Routine
Don't dismiss the importance of steady-state cardio. High-intensity sprinting and intervals are great for calorie burning but when it comes to improving your overall fitness levels, aerobic work could be the answer.
Maintaining a steady intensity for an extended period of time—think 45-60 minutes of work at a heart rate of 130-140 beats per minute—strengthens your heart’s ability to pump blood so that you can train harder and recover better.
When it comes to improving your overall fitness levels, aerobic work could be the answer.
36. Keep Track Of Your Actions
The one terrible thing about losing fat is that you can't really control the rate at which you do it. Unfortunately, there are several environmental and metabolic factors, and not all of them are understandable.
Therefore, instead of focusing on losing 1-2 pounds every week, you should focus on your training plan and diet regimen, on your level of consistency and intensity. Eat proper, train proper and have patience – and you will lose your fat eventually.
37. Prepare Yourself For the Worst
When it comes to fitness, it is better to be realistic than to be idealistic. Always have a backup plan. Instead on boasting about your training regimen and diet, try to find ways in which it can fail. By figuring out the weaknesses, you can increase the chances of success and be ready to do something just in case you fail.
38. Indulge In Your Favorite Foods But Don't Overindulge
Believe it or not, it is ok to eat your favorite foods once in a while. So long as it is within plan and in moderation, and “fits your macros” (FYM), you are good to go. It’s better than depriving yourself first and binging later!
39. Make Sure To Get Sound Sleep
When we talk of fat loss, we often talk of one or more of the following – more cardio, more training, and more dieting. The one thing, however, that stays out of the list, however, is sleep.
Believe it or not, cutting down on your sleep is a nightmare for fat loss. When you sleep poorly or too little, fat-loss and hunger hormones are kept from doing their thing, making your fat-loss efforts more challenging. Avoid this by getting 7-9 hours of sleep each night.
40. Maintain a Consistent Tempo for Your Lifts
More often than not, metabolic training is associated with fast lifting. Fast lifting, however, is something that implies rest periods instead of your lifting tempo. By keeping deliberate and consistent tempo for your lifts, you create more metabolic stress, which in turn leads to more changes in body composition.