A commonly asked question within the fitness space is how to build lean muscle mass (aka “get toned” as some like to put it). So right here in this post I am breaking down the 3 simple ways to accomplish this!
No. 1 | Lift Heavy
Lifting heavy and really pushing yourself until failure with each of your strength training sessions is going to allow you to build lean muscle. When you are lifting heavy weights, you are literally tearing your muscles so that they can rebuild again, stronger and bigger than before!
You also want to make sure that you are utilizing progressive overload in you weight training. Progressive overload is a method used to increase your strength week after week. There are many acute variables that you can use when it comes to this method- increase weight, increase reps, increase sets, time under tension, frequency of training, decrease rest time between sets. And no, you don’t have to utilize all of those at once. Those are just options to choose from to help you develop and refrain from hitting a plateau! So for example, one week you may do 3 sets of 10 reps for barbell squats and the following week you aim to increase the weight you use and do 4 sets (instead of 3) of 10 reps!
This is also a great method to use for burning fat. The more lean muscle mass that your body has, the more fat that your body will burn (even at rest). Additionally, weight lifting increases your metabolism! So if you are someone who is interested in “losing weight” and burning fat, then this is great method of working out for you! Doing endless hours of cardio week after week is not going to get you the specific lean and toned look that you may be going for.
And if you are a female reading this, I promise you that lifting will not make you look bulky or manly! You will build a physique that is lean, healthy, strong, and beautiful!
No. 2 | Eat In A Calorie Surplus
The second way to build lean muscle is by eating in a calorie surplus. To be in a caloric surplus, this means that you want to eat more calories than your body burns each day. You want to eat above your maintenance calorie level (which would be the amount of calories you would need to eat daily to keep your same weight/figure).
If you are someone who is strictly focusing on weight loss, you CAN technically still eat at a calorie deficit and lift heavy and still see results. If you are especially new to weight lifting, you have a greater chance at body recomposition; which means that while in your deficit, you will burn fat, build lean muscle, and have an amazing “toned” physique once you’ve reached your goals!
Whether you’re in a calorie surplus or a calorie deficit, make sure you are prioritizing protein and eating the right amount for your body (the number does not look the same for everyone). Protein is the source for muscle repairing, so this is vital and can not be overlooked. While protein powder is not necessary and you can reach your protein goal through whole foods/nutrition alone, if you are struggling to eat enough protein, the powder does help!
No. 3 | Get Your Rest
Lastly, to build lean muscle, you want to make sure that you are getting enough rest and sleep every day. Try your best to aim for 7-8 hours of sleep daily. Additionally, make sure that you are not training 7 days a week. We all need rest days and no one is too good for time off from the gym. If you’re going hard 7 days a week then you are not giving your body time to recover nor are your giving your muscles the time they need to rebuild. So try to have at least 1 rest day (if you’re training 6 days a week). If you’re training less than 6 days a week, you will have more rest days!
That’s really all there is to it! Train hard, eat plenty, sleep well!
If you have any questions at all, then I’d love to help you! You can comment down below and I will get right back to you. Or you can DM me over on Instagram and I’ll respond there as well!
Go crush your goals everyone!