Gaining lean mass and reducing body fat is always a game of calories in, calories out and other important co-factor such as training, nutrition optimization and many more. However, once you’ve achieve the body you are looking to keep or even build a few more lean pounds of muscle, how do we stay lean and also perform at our maximum potential? After all many say that staying lean in the single digits is nearly impossible and unrealistic for most people.
Do not just follow these 10 ways on remaining lean all year, but implement them into your current lifestyle the best ways they suit you. After all, telling you what to do won’t always work if they don’t relate or apply to your lifestyle.
What will unite/tie in all the of the following idea is one word; lifestyle. You must have a balance and fit related lifestyle if you want to remain and stay lean all year round. That’s one of the biggest problems with people who compete; they go up and go down in weight with diets. Diet’s on a large majority don’t work and creating a lifestyle and habits that will aid you staying lean will be the true key to your success in maintaining the body you worked so hard for. This will even further help you if you are seeking to enter the fitness industry as being lean year round will make you much more marketable for sponsorships and photoshoots. But if neither is your goal and you want to stay healthy and lean year round let’s begin with the top 3 ways to stay lean round year with your nutrition.
· Counting Macros – a useful tool to know your total caloric daily count
· Emphasize your carbs pre and post training – The majority of the carbs should be used mainly for energy and recovery. The remainder of your carbs will be distributed
· Choosing the optimal types of foods for performance (fast acting carbs after training, faster acting proteins after training)
· Making the right choices of food – Following an 80/20 rule. You eat 80% of the week correctly and it allows you 20% to eat whatever you want even if it doesn’t fit your macros
· Choosing compound movements – single joint exercises don’t burn too many calories and don’t help keep your metabolic rate as efficiently as bigger movements.
· HIIT – if you don’t have bad knees or injuries including hiit 2-3x a week in your weekly regimen keeps your metabolic rate functioning at a higher pace during the day
· Changing styles of training - Switching the training so that the body constantly has to adapt to something new. One week strength training, the other hypertrophy training, the other performance etc. This enables the body to constantly be under new adaptations and not become stagnant.
· Remaining lean and staying lean year round will optimize your muscle building. Being in the higher bodyfat ranges has been shown that slows down muscle building.
· Remaining healthy and lean doesn’t mean staying at 4% bodyfat. Means remaining at a healthy point where your lifestyle doesn’t get absorbed by the gym 24/7
· Creating smarter decisions on a daily basis that are constant will lead to creating better lasting habits. Practicing those habits on a daily basis is a must for long term success.
From personal experience:
· Remaining lean is a game of maintaining the caloric input matching the caloric output. If your workouts are more intense than they have ever been this will put you slowly under a caloric deficit and you might lose some fat but some muscle on the way, so knowing and tracking calories can be a great way to anyone wanting to avoid this.
· Going with the above topic, adding more cardio does not help the cause. If someone is lean and they were doing 4 sessions of cardio weekly to stay in that shape, they should stay with what already works and not add another session a week as it might put them once again under caloric deficit.
· The idea is to always be able to get away with more. This means that if someone wants to stay lean but to get there they had to drop their calories enormously, then they have to slowly restore and find balance in a healthier nutritional regimen. Keeping the caloric count too low in order to stay lean will affect health. So if someone wants to stay lean but has way too low calories the trick to remain lean and be able to increase their calories from food is to do this at a slow pace and every week add 15% more calories to their total weekly base. Adding too much too fast will definitely not aid them in their goals.
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