Posted by: Darren
Get Built - Powerful Tips for Working Out Smarter
Be lean, cut and strong with powerful workouts, intelligent cardio and clean eating.
When looking to build lean muscle, your time in the gym is the most important component. But that doesn't mean hours per day. Try some powerful, yet safe hacks that anyone can add to a workout.
1) Wear minimal, zero-drop or very low tech shoes to work out. You know those guys in Converse All-Star basketball shoes at your gym? The super flat, thin sole gives you better contact with the floor, which activates more muscles throughout your body.
2) Use a weight belt. It's not just for protecting your back and activating your abs, although safety is important (don't miss days due to injury!). A weight belt can add up to 10 lbs. to any move, increasing your total lift.
3) Use the power of your brain. Load the bar with about 15 - 20% more weight than your heaviest rep. Using a "cheat curl" (try to avoid leaning back too much at the top) activate your arms, torso and leg groups. Lower the bar slowly. Go to your normal rest period, then return and do your planned sets. Your brain now tells your body "this isn't that hard". You go through your reps with more concentration and force.
4) Are you hungry post workout? Anaerobic exercise triggers the body to refuel. Protein, amino acids and carbohydrates are all important in the hour to 90 minutes after leaving the gym. Egg whites, protein shakes and peanut butter are good choices, but in order to get that protein to your recovering muscles, you need some carbohydrates too. Many experts recommend about 0.4 gram of protein and 1 gram of carbohydrate per kilogram of body weight to maximize muscle recovery and growth, in that post-workout time.
5) Are you avoiding cardio because it slows lean gains? Try High Intensity Interval Training, either using plyometric floor exercises or a treadmill or bike. An easy to remember (and short) cardio workout on a treadmill could be 2 minutes at a medium rate of perceived exertion (PRE), 1 minutes at an easy PRE, 2 minutes at a high, then repeat twice. Easy, fast, and burns fat to show off lean muscle.