3 Tips to Stay Strong While Getting Lean

3 Tips to Stay Strong While Getting Lean

September 28, 2015 | Photo credits: Flickr; Gratisography

Being ripped is a result of maintaining the proper balance between building muscle and losing fat.

It may seem simple, but the struggle to achieve both can sometimes makes you unintentionally counteract the one with the other. For example, dieting helps you show your hard earned muscles, but less calories does not equal less fat.

The following tips for training, nutrition and recovery will help you make sure you are fueling your workouts with fat and nurturing your muscles with food, not the other way around.

TRAINING TIPS

When it comes to fat burn, cardio is the first thing that comes to mind. You need to break some sweat to reveal your muscles.

How can you assure that your cardio sweating sessions are not draining your muscles?

If you train twice a day, split your routine to different trainings in the morning and the evenings.

Stick to low intensity cardio such as fast walking, jogging or opt for a HIIT workout.

To maintain your muscle building goals, perform cardio workouts as far away from your strength workouts as possible. Push your muscles today, then attack your fat tomorrow.

Takeaway: As the cardio intensity gets higher, it becomes more likely that you will exert more muscle tissue as well!

NUTRITION TIPS

Diet is the key to fat loss, but there are two ways you can fail with your diet plan. By under-eating or eating too much.

If you're aiming to get shredded with a calorie deficit you might be breaking down your muscles.

To maintain muscle mass and rebuild used muscle you have to eat smarter.

First, make sure your protein intake is not undermining your workout efforts. Consume at least 1 gram, but aim at around 2 grams of protein per kg of bodyweight.

However, a common mistake when building and maintaining muscle is to overlook the importance of vegetables. Essential minerals and nutrients aid your fat loss and support your muscle building process.

Even though they can be consumed in the form of supplements, they will have more effect if you base your intake on whole foods. Besides, larger amounts of veggies can make you full and help you save on calories if you're following a certain diet plan.

Takeaway: Do not exceed the calorie deficit suggested by the nutrition plan for your desired goals!


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Cheating on the quality of your food intake will show not only in your visible results but in your recovery as well.

RECOVERY TIPS

It is important to give it all you got in your training sessions, but you won't get back as much as you've put in if you don't plan your recovery.

What can you do to improve muscle growth during and after exercise?

For quick recovery during your workout sessions, don't just collapse on the floor. Keep standing and take light walks between your sets. Think about keeping your muscles warm, not cooling them down during training.

When it comes to after workout recovery, everyone knows it, but very few stick to it – sleep at least eight hours per night. Not only does the growth hormone responsible for your muscle rebuilding reach it's peak during your sleep periods, sleep deprivation can cause additional fat gain during the day.

On a larger scale, keep in mind that your average training load and sleep time matters, not a separate workout or a single night's sleep. When planning your workout week, try to follow your hardest session with an easier one.

Takeaway: Even though training requires regularly attacking and shocking your body, your body is your ally, not your enemy – so give it the rest it deserves and needs to wake up stronger!