Bulky? Get Lean - Here's How!
For men, there are two options when it comes to hitting the gym...
Getting huge and strong or getting fit and lean. The former seems to be the goal for many men. Like Dwayne Johnson and Dave Batista, these heroes highlight the strength and drive of becoming huge and bulky.
That’s fine and all. But a) being bulky is extremely hard to accomplish, b) not everyone likes it, and c) it might not be the best option for you.
Getting lean, on the other hand, is. It’s the ideal shape of the man’s body, looks great in the summertime and encompasses the best of body worlds. You’ll get to build strong muscles (the huge apart) while retaining a fit and lean look (the other half).
So how do you strip away the excess muscles and get lean and fit? We’ve brought you a simplified list that makes your mission easier.
Amend Your Diet - Massively!
Don’t let people tell you otherwise: your diet matters. And it’s very different when it comes to bulking up, which requires you to eat a lot and then workout even harder. If you’re sticking to putting away 3000 calories a day and still burning through your activities, you’re going to maintain that bulky size.
But with getting lean, the process is a little bit different.
You have to reduce your daily calorie intake to say 1800 to 2000 while maintaining that high-level workout on a consistent basis. It’s a huge challenge for your body, considering that you’ll have less energy to burn off. Ideally, you slowly reduce your intake day by day until your body gets used to it.
As for the food itself, you stick to the standards: lean white meats, minimal carbs (ideally before your workout, so you have some energy), plenty of vegetables and fruits. Also, no need for whey protein; it will just overload your body.
Focus On Your Body Fat, Not Weight
Remember that when it comes to being lean, it’s not about weight. It's about being bulky and heavy. It is solely about reducing the fat in your body and turning it into muscle. So when you begin your journey, take your eye off the weight and focus entirely on body fat.
Find a way to measure your body fat percentage (body fat scales are a great investment and there are plenty of good ones available on the market), or visit a personal trainer to take your measurements and crunch the numbers. You can also use a tape measure to measure your body, including your waist, hips, chest, arms, thighs and neck. This should give you a good estimate of how much weight you got on you.
From there, you can focus on reducing your body fat percentage instead of your actual weight. You can weigh more as your regimen changes focus, but remember that because you’re turning your fat into muscles.
With a firm foundation and these measurement monitors to gauge your improvements, you’ll have a better reflection of whether you’re getting leaner or not.
Mix Up Your Training Routine
Simple logic: do the same thing over and over again, and you get the same results. That’s cool if you want to beef up your arms and be as huge as The Terminator. But if you want to get lean, mixing up your training routine is crucial to getting that fine cut.
So how do you mix it up?
You throw in as many different exercise routines as possible, focusing on more intense activities encompassing a range of different motions. We’re talking about the likes of high-intensity interval training (HIIT), classes (spin, yoga, which is excellent for strength training), cardiovascular workouts and even time with a personal trainer (https://dreamfitness.ca).
It’s not just about the intense workouts, either; your body needs time to breathe and a break from the constant pounding. For this, consider pleasant activities, such as long walks (an hour will do you some good), hiking (3-4 km per trail), and swimming. These aren’t as intense but do help burn way more calories than expected.
Be Explosive with Your Training
How can you be explosive with your training? Simple, apart from taking up other activities (HIIT, classes, cardiovascular workouts etc), you should incorporate more ‘plyometric training’ within your routine.
Exercises such as box jumps, burpees, split jumps, and lateral or broad jumps can all jack your heart rate, increase performance and build lean muscle. You don’t have to make your workouts about explosive training entirely, but adding these little plyo exercises in practice can make a huge difference in your hunt for a leaner body.
You can also incorporate ‘supersets’, which is when you workout on one muscle (say, your glutes) and then switch to bench presses to focus on others. You’ll be working out two muscle groups, with each having a period of rest in between.
Take Shorter Rests During & Between Workouts
No, shorter rest breaks don’t mean not taking days off in between workouts. Your body needs rest to recover, and crucial for the workout's effects to occur. We’re looking at having a day off after two-day sessions. That gives you enough time to recover from the workouts while focusing on your next session.
As for the sessions themselves, it’s simple: incorporate workouts with minimal rest breaks in between exercises. Similar to HITT activities, the idea is that you give your body a reduced break between the sets, thereby increasing the intensity of the workout.
For example: after a set of pullups, take 30 seconds before jumping on the next exercise of calf raises. It's like a merge of supersets with HITT times. The shorter the breaks, the more jacked your heart rate, the quicker and better your muscles will build.
By undertaking these four crucial steps, you can slowly strip away the fat and become a leaner, meaner machine. It will take time and a significant adjustment period, but you can experience a massive change in your body figure and health by committing to it.
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