You’ve probably heard before that muscle weighs more than fat. So if you feel like you’re not losing weight, but are going to the gym all the time, that could be why. Regardless, even if you know that the weight you’re gaining is muscle and not fat, it’s still stressful and frustrating to see the number on the scale going up. If this is an issue for you, you can try focusing on building lean muscle.
Lean muscle means you’re still building muscle but not gaining weight. The key to that is strength training. Strength training maintains your muscle mass without losing it. Even if you are doing intense workouts and strength training, it’s still important to eat healthily. Abs are made in the kitchen!
There are various exercises you should do in the gym to build lean muscle. You can do isolation movements such as bicep curls and tricep extensions, in addition to pull-ups and squats. A week of strength training and building lean muscle should include a combination of heavy lifting and lighter lifting with more reps. However, regardless of your heavy or lighter days, it’s crucial to focus on your intensity level. It’s important to use heavier weights, as doing more reps but with a weight that’s way too light for you isn’t going to make a difference. Challenge yourself on your heavier days, but don’t slack off with lighter weights on your more leisurely days.
As for cardio, opt for low-impact, light cardio as that will get your blood flowing oxygen to your muscles, leading to muscle growth. And avoid doing cardio before strength training days as that could increase your risk of injury. Also, don’t forget to take rest days! Although you might be feeling super motivated and ready to tackle a workout every day, the value of a rest day is unmatched. A rest day gives your body, and mind, a chance to relax and recover. Continuous strain on your muscles will make you more prone to injury.
It’s also crucial to fuel your body with the right nutrients, as going long periods without eating will make your body less susceptible to gaining muscle. It’s vital to emphasize protein, as that is what’s going to make your muscles grow. It’s also essential to have a balance of carbs and fats, too, as they are all components of a healthy diet that’s going to give you energy in the gym and help you lose weight and build lean muscle. In addition to a healthy diet, you also need to get a sufficient amount of sleep. A healthy mind will lead you to a healthy body and a healthy life.