Top Tips for Building a Stronger, Leaner Body at the Gym
One of the best ways to get lean is by adding strength training to your workout routine. You'll build muscle and burn fat faster than cardio alone.
Luckily, you can use many effective exercises to maximize your gains safely and effectively. Here are some top tips to help you get started.
Focus on Compound Exercises
Compound exercises are a great way to get your muscles working harder and faster. These workouts will also help you build more strength and mass and improve your coordination and balance. They are also effective for burning calories, which can benefit a weight loss routine.
These exercises involve multiple muscle groups at one time, such as a bench press or deadlift. They are effective because they evenly distribute the weight and reduce stress on weaker joints, making them a good option for a full-body workout.
You'll also feel the burn more intensely on compound moves as you work a larger body area. This makes these movements more challenging, and can result in an elevated heart rate.
Another benefit of compound exercises is that they require your core-stabilizing muscles to work. It can be important if you're not already trained for this, as it helps you maintain proper posture and avoid injuries.
If you're a beginner, starting with simple compound moves at Fitness Cartel, such as a squat or deadlift, is a good idea. Once you've gotten the hang of these moves, you can add other exercises to your routine.
Do Isolation Exercises
Isolation exercises are single-joint movements that target a specific muscle group. They complement compound exercises greatly and can help you train muscles more efficiently.
Generally, isolation movements involve machines or minimal equipment and require less setup time than compound exercises. They are also an effective option for people with busy schedules who want to get a workout in at the gym.
It's important to remember, though, that isolation movements should not be the primary focus of your workout. A healthy and balanced workout program should still include 70-80% compound movements, so incorporate isolation exercises as needed to complement a well-rounded exercise routine.
Another reason to add isolation exercises is if you have a specific muscle group you're trying to increase in size or definition, such as the biceps or quads. Adding isolation movements to your routine can allow you to achieve a better aesthetic look in this area and give you more definition.
A good example of an isolation exercise is the dumbbell lateral raise, which works the rectus femoris and vastus muscles in the front of the thigh.
To do this, sit on a padded seat and raise the bar with your legs. It's important to maintain proper form and technique while performing this move, so hire a personal trainer to help you get the most out of this exercise.
Rest Between Sets
Resting between sets gets much less attention than lifting weights or reps in a workout, but it can have a huge impact on your results. It is because resting can help you recover faster, increasing your energy levels and allowing you to lift more weight next time.
Whether you take short or long breaks between your sets will depend on your goals and the exercise you are doing. However, the research shows that longer rest periods are more beneficial than shorter ones for muscle growth.
If you're new to strength training, it is important to start with longer rest intervals and build up to shorter ones. It will ensure you're getting the most out of your time in the gym and helps you avoid injuring yourself.
You should also rest between sets if you're doing particularly taxing exercises, like squats or deadlifts. These movements use the bigger muscles in your thighs, hips and lower back and can burn off your energy stores.
The research suggests that longer rest periods are more effective than shorter ones for muscle growth, as they give your muscles enough time to recover. Rest allows your body to release waste products and replenish its energy supply.
It means you'll be able to do more reps with the same amount of weight, which can help you build your muscle strength and size.
The food you eat greatly impacts your body's health and performance. It can help you gain or lose weight, maintain a healthy body mass index (BMI), and prevent chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes and cancer.
You'll want to eat well-balanced meals with plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and lean meats. These foods are high in nutrients and antioxidants, which can help fight off illness and boost your immune system.
A healthy diet also includes protein essential for muscle growth and repair. This macronutrient can be found in various food sources, from meat and seafood to eggs and cheese.
Next, you'll want to fuel your muscles with carbs found in fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains. These foods are low in calories and can be consumed before, during and after your workout.
Finally, you must consume enough water to keep your body hydrated. It is important to keep your energy levels up to train harder and longer.
Getting enough sleep is another must. It helps you stay healthy by reducing stress and maintaining your hormone levels.