By Co-director Vicky van de Luecht
I would love to get lean muscle! But how? I have broken down the three most important ingredients that will help you not only maintain muscle but also build it. We lose an average of 1-3% of muscle per year after the age of 40. Remembering muscle is the foundation to our metabolism. The more muscle you have the more calories your body will burn at resting. The idea. is that you build a lean, muscle machine so you become a fat burning machine (with the right nutrition of course – as you can not out train a bad diet. )
- Sufficient amount of protein
Protein is the building blocks to repairing and building muscle tissue. So, having enough protein is essential for the growth and maintenance of lean muscle. Many people ask me how much protein they should be having but we must remember this is very dependent on each body, training plan, lifestyle and their BMR.
At Real Fitness Training we work this out through testing our client’s lean muscle to fat ratio, training plan and stress levels. From there we can find how many grams of protein, carbohydrates and fat each individual requires. I aim for 25grams worth of protein per meal. So that is 150grams of protein a day. Do remember about 100grams of weight per meat source protein is worth anywhere from 18grams to 25 grams. Protein is essential for muscle building so by becoming aware of how much you are consuming and what is required is crucial in the early and later stages of building lean muscle.
Even now for myself with 14 years of training I still check in with how much protein I am consuming. It always seems to be the first macro to drop when I am not recording my food. I recommend consuming a natural protein powder with some carbohydrates like berries after a strength session to help start the muscle building process, assist with recovery and as an added bonus it will help you hit your daily protein targets. Because of it’s liquid form it is much easier to digest and does not take a lot of energy from the body to break down helping to absorb quickly to grow and repair your muscles after your session.
- Lift weights
When I ask most people when did they feel their best, it always seems to be when they were in their early stages of adulthood. Why is that? Well a big contributor is MUSCLE. Did you know we lose muscle as we age? Almost 1-3% every year after the age of 40.
Muscle is a big driver when it comes to your metabolism so losing it does set you up for a negative cycle. You lose muscle, which causes a drop-in your metabolism, which causes you to gain body fat, which further lowers your burning at resting activity levels, which also causes more muscle loss, and so on and so forth. How frustrating. So essentially by lifting weights we will be trying to achieve the same muscle like you had when you were 19.
A lot of woman worry about getting bulky with weights. This is a myth and we tend to think this because of what we see on social media and magazine covers but trust me that takes A LOT of hard work. In-fact most of the woman we tend to admire volleyball players, dancers, figure skaters, fitness models they all lift weights as part of their training regime.
When you don’t use it, you lose it. Yep that’s right muscle is actually harder to keep than gain. So be patient with your strength training. Using large compound lifts will have a lot more benefits compared to accessory lifts. There are many different methods and programming to use for weight training. We individualise our programs depending on the client’s body type, stress levels and goals from there we know what exercises, reps, sets, training load, and intensity we need for each individual client. The beauty of having a fitness professional – it helps takes the guesswork out of your training and nutrition.
I would highly recommend before getting into weight training be sure to consult with a fitness professional. You will save yourself many months and sometimes even years of guesswork and injuries!
- Recovery and consistency
Remember you don’t get strong doing a workout; you only get strong when you recover from a workout.
Recovery is essential for the muscles to A recover and B build. Recovery will always be different in every individuals scenario. It can depend on many different factors from stress levels, jobs and lifestyle. For example, someone that has a physical job will need more recovery than compared with someone who has a desk job.
We like using Yoga as a form of active recovery. We have found it helps develop a really strong foundation from your feet to your core to your posture and also a great balance of lengthening of the muscles. Our Yoga studio is always filled with strength training humans who are looking to get the right balance of strong bodies and lengthened muscles.
Without going into too much detail about recovery with training it is important not to overload one muscle at a time. We structure our training programs, so they are well balanced, so we are not just taxing one muscle group every time. Also keep in mind legs hold some of your larger muscles so they will take longer to recover.
One very crucial part of recovery is sleep. When you strength train you create small tears in the muscle fibres and if they are not recovered properly you will stagnate or potentially atrophy muscle due to the slower recovery process. When you are sleeping your muscles are not doing anything, so your body goes to work and rebuilds the muscles. So getting your zzzz’s in are so important for this recovery phase.
Closely following sleep is adequate nutrition. Once you have broken down the muscle you need the right nutrients to be able to re build and get stronger. Again, this is personalised for us at Real Fitness Training, but protein is a great start. Make sure you are consuming adequate protein.
I have also slotted in consistency. Because remember if you don’t use it you lose it. Being consistent will prove incredible results. Even if you are having a de load week (lighter session) the more consistent you are the better the results will be.
Starting your journey with weight lifting can be very daunting and exciting at the same time.
If you would like some guidance with your program, and what suits you and your body type, lifestyle and goals please message us we would love to hear from you. Click here for us to personalise your program with a blueprint session
If you are in the Hills District area including Castle Hill, Kellyville, Bella Vista, Baulkham Hills, Glenhaven, West Pennant Hills, Dural, Rouse Hill and surrounding areas contact us we would love to help you get started on your health and wellness journey.