Keeping Lean: All Year Round
Most bodybuilders or fitness entrepreneurs take advantage and use the colder months as 'bulking season'. During their bulk, they put on size and just before the lead up to Summer they will begin to shred.
However, if you are not looking to put on any extra size and just enjoy being fit... maybe staying lean all year round is your goal. The following blog provides tips, suggestions and motivation on how to keep you lean and shredded.
Go Hard, or Go Home
Don’t be afraid of numbers. We mean this by the number on your dumbbells, cable machines, cardio machine intensity etc. – it is all mind over matter. By lifting as heavy, or pacing yourself as fast as you can, for as many as you can, will give you a far better sculpted body than going in half hearted.
Remember by going harder and heavier, the more you heart rate increases hence the more calories you will burn. This caloric burn will help you keep and build muscle.
Body Weight Exercises
Most gym goes rely on weights alone to keep them fit and sculpted. However, some people forget or don't realise your own body weight can do the exact same thing - this may even have you more fit and more strong. Lifting you own body weight is actually not as easy as it sounds. It requires a lot strength and definitely builds up a sweat.
Change it up
Sometimes, changing up your routine is just what you need to see further results or something to try if you have hit a plateau.
Don’t expect your body to change or improve if you continue have the same workout, same weights, same calorie intake over a period of time. Things need to be changed up in variation with progress and results. If you looking to remain lean all year things need to be trailed.
Prep You Meals
We stand by the cliché saying - 'Fail to plan, Prepare to Fail'. It really is common sense, if you are not eating consistently, enough food, have your macronutrients balanced or healthy enough, you body will hardly show results that you may be after. Nutrition is key to lean body. You can exercise as much as you like, but if you diet overcompensates in not eating well, results will be minimal, if not, not there at all. It is said that nutrition plays a 70-80% role and exercise plays a 20-30% role in overall weight loss and keeping a sculpted, lean body. Abs are made in the kitchen, get to prepping!
What the fitfam like to do, to keep one motivated and sane, is to have a cheat meal every now and then. This is a rewarding, exciting experience and contributes to balance to what normally is a stricter lifestyle. A cheat meal involves an indulgence of food which is not in the routine or plan of the athlete. The meal is often high in carbs, sugar and overall deliciousness.
However, this part is where a majority of people fail... by eating too much, rewarding yourself too regularly or not incorporating it smartly into your plan. Keep in mind, do not take a cheat meal just because you have planned to have it say, every Saturday night. Feel as though you have really earned it! For those who mentally find it challenging to ‘treat themselves’ remember bodybuilding should be lived in a healthy mindset, enjoy it rather than endure it.
You may aim to include your cheat meal after a specific workout. This is because after an intense workout your muscles are ultra receptive to nutrients. This means the food you consume afterward, even if it is 'naughty' will be digested faster and your body will experience insulin spikes. This will help your glycogen stores in the muscles replenish faster. For example, generally, protein is a macronutrient quite a difficult compound for the body to break down. However, after workout, it is much more readily and easier absorbed by broken down muscle fibres.
A good idea could be to consume one on a high cardio day where you have burnt more calories. Another suggestion is to include a cheat meal after you have trained a larger muscle group. A popular muscle group is to train legs, then get a re feed meal after wards.
When calculated right this calorie surplus meal can also bring great advantage to growth and muscle gain. It may also, when done correctly, increase metabolism and reefed the muscles.
Protein in Key
Protein is a staple for any supplement stack and for maintaining a lean, amazing physique. Its advisable you know your recommended protein consumption. It is suggested you consume 1 gram of protein per gram or body mass. To consume 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight. When cutting you may want to increase it to 1.5-2g. You could use apps such a 'Myfitnesspal' to keep track, ensure you are consuming the right amount or enough protein.
Often, when people are trying to get lean, it is done in a rushed process. People aim to do a 12 week challenge, 30 day detox etc. They then panic to reach their goal in time. Everyone knows their limits, how well their body responds to certain diets or programs, so these 'challenges may work for you. However, it is a suggestion that losing weight slowly and gradually over time is a healthier approach, both mentally and physically.
Just remember, there are 24 hours in a day… a 1 hour workout is 4% of you day – there really is no excuses. It is up to you to make time. That could mean waking up an hour earlier or sacrificing your favourite night time show – just know it is achievable.
Remaining lean is a commitment. It will prove challenging, both mentally and physically, however if it is something you want enough, it will all be worth it in the end. Don't give up, baby steps, believe in yourself and always remember why you started.
Supplements can assist in the process of getting or helping you remain lean, however do not forget nutrition is key!
Supplements we suggest to help are...
To read further information on how these products could assist you, you may like to read one of our latest blog posts 'Summer Body Supplements'.