Lean Muscle Workout & Diet for Men: These Exercises Guides Will Help You Burn Fat, Ripped Looking and Super Strong
Proven Exercises and Workout Programs with Genuinely Amazing Results
One day, you take a look at yourself in the mirror and you wonder what has happened to you recently.
Unsure of what to feel, you grow concerned. You have put on a lot of weight and you don’t know how it happened. The irony, however, is that just a few months ago you were much leaner than you are today.
The change in lifestyle made possible by the dream job with a multinational company had been great for your career.
Not so much for your body. The success has come with a more sedentary pattern of activities that see you doing less and less physically as the weeks go by.
The price for this new advancement is the extra weight that is piling up in your body. You feel very comfortable as you have a junior lackey running up and down the stairs several times a day, attending to your needs when you could actually be doing some of these activities by yourself.
You never considered it a problem as you felt it was all about the enjoyment. But now the lady to whom you are engaged has begun to drop not-so-subtle hints about you getting back in shape and you’re worried because you don’t want to lose her!
This guide is for you. As you read further, it will show you the fastest, cleanest and most sustainable exercises and workouts that you can adapt to any location and burn that fat. But first, a little more information:
Exercise is any form of physical activity intended to improve fitness, health and overall well being. Generally, exercise can be classified into three types;
- Aerobic exercise: Any exercise that causes the body to use more energy than it does at rest while engaging large groups of muscle. Examples include running, jump rope, walking, swimming, tennis, etc. Aerobic exercises work the muscles and burn fat by increasing cardiovascular strength.
- Anaerobic exercise: includes interval training, strength training, resistance training etc. The goal of these exercises is usually to firm and build up lean muscle mass.
- Flexibility: Exercises such as yoga. Their goal is to improve the range of motion of the muscle.
The major difference between aerobic and anaerobic exercises is basically the oxygen intake. With aerobic exercise oxygen is carried through your breath to the muscles giving them the energy needed to sustain the effort. Oxygen is not present with anaerobic exercise.
Exercises to Burn Fat and Building Lean Muscle for Men
Most exercises are able to perform both of these functions; i.e they burn fat and also build muscle.
The more work a muscle is made to do, the stronger that muscle becomes over time.
Some of the most effective exercises that are also easy for beginners including but not limited to bodyweight exercises, strength training, resistance training and cardiovascular exercise are explained further below.
Body Weight Exercises
Bodyweight exercises are a type of strength training, which helps rebuild muscle wear and tear that develops as we age.
When you engage in regular exercise, studies show that it improves your overall health by providing immense benefits for your heart, blood vessels, lungs, hormone production, sleep cycle and even brain activity.
Benefits of Bodyweight Exercises
Below are several ways that bodyweight exercises can help you maintain better health:
- Helps Build and Maintain Lean Muscle Mass
Generally, you need some amount of calories just to maintain your weight and basic metabolic activity on any given day.
When you exercise and build more muscle, you burn more fat even when you’re at rest. This is the ultimate goal of exercise, to improve basic metabolism, strengthen muscle and build muscle so that the weight loss is sustained.
Bodyweight exercises can also result in increased growth hormone production which is beneficial to the body because it helps us retain lean muscle mass as well as aids burning of fat.
Growth hormones are essential because they’re what help us retain lean body mass and thereby improve fat-burning abilities.
A combination of aerobic exercises (including running and swimming) and bodyweight exercises can also enhance a lean physique.
- Improves Heart Health
Exercises help the heart to pump blood stronger and more effectively, thereby reducing blood pressure levels naturally and improving circulation.
The more exercise you participate in, the stronger the heart muscle becomes. This is because the heart muscle is taxed harder than normal while we exercise.
- Reduces Risk for Diabetes
Exercise is a natural remedy for diabetes since it helps with removal of glucose (sugar) from the blood). Obesity which is an indicator of increased likelihood of diabetes can also be reversed by exercise.
- Improves Your Mood and fights Depression
When you exercise, your body releases endorphins, chemicals that give you a natural high and lift your mood, helping to naturally remedy depression and improve low energy levels. The endorphin released also helps counteract stress induced behavior such as emotional eating.
- Helps Maintain Cognitive Function
Exercise also lowers oxidative stress and inflammation, which are tied to cognitive disorders like Alzheimer’s disease, dementia and so on.
- Improves Health of Joints and Bones
Weight-bearing exercises enhance the development of bone reserves and protect your skeletal frame, which is crucial for preventing fractures and reducing joint and bone pain.
Do bodyweight exercise circuits 3–4 times per week, taking rest days in between (or alternating with cardio) to give your body time for proper muscle recovery.
There are different forms of strength training which provides more benefits such as:
- Healthier blood cholesterol levels
- Healthier blood pressure levels
- Lower stress levels
- Better sleep
- More energy
- Increased oxygen use by muscles
- Removal of metabolic waste from muscles during resting periods
- Increased insulin sensitivity
- Increased resting metabolic rate
- Reduced risk of stroke, acute coronary syndrome and overall cardiovascular mortality
Training tips for a healthy body weight exercise:
- You should perform “full-body workout” at least two to three times per week. Normally, this strength-training exercise uses multiple big muscle groups (like your back, legs, chest and core) to help you attain you desired physique.
- For each strength workout, you should try out a variety of exercises, bearing in mind the particular muscle you wish to enhance. Each exercise is done in one set, and within each set you should perform eight to twelve reps.
- After completing your strength workouts, make sure to also stretch at least two to three days a week to prevent injuries and increase range of motion, flexibility and recovery time.
Bodyweight exercises to try include:
Lie on the floor with your back with your knees bent. Now, put your hands behind your head or lay them across your chest.
Without mowing your knees or feet, slowly bring up your upper body. Your goal is to strengthen your core muscles by using them as the major muscle group in this workout.
Hang on a bar with your hands more than shoulder width apart. Pull until the bar reaches chin level and then pause.
An exercise in which a person lies facing the floor and, keeping their back straight, raises their body by pressing down on their hands.
Keep your upper body straight, with your shoulders back and relaxed and chin up (pick a point to stare at in front of you so you don’t keep looking down).
Always engage your core. Step forward with one leg, lowering your hips until both knees are bent at about a 90-degree angle.
Make sure your front knee is directly above your ankle, not pushed out too far, and make sure your other knee doesn’t touch the floor. Keep the weight in your heels as you push back up to the starting position.
Stand with feet a little wider than shoulder-width apart, hips stacked over knees, and knees over ankles.
Roll the shoulders back and down away from the ears. Note: Allowing the back to round (like a turtle’s shell) will cause unnecessary stress on the lower back.
It’s important to maintain a neutral spine throughout the movement. Extend arms out straight so they are parallel with the ground, palms facing down (like your hands are on someone’s shoulders at a 7th grade dance).
Or, if it’s more comfortable, pull elbows close to the body, palms facing each other and thumbs pointing up. Initiate the movement by inhaling and unlocking the hips, slightly bringing them back.
Keep sending hips backward as the knees begin to bend.. While the butt starts to stick out, make sure the chest and shoulders stay upright, and the back stays straight.
Keep the head facing forward with eyes straight ahead for a neutral spine. The best squats are the deepest ones your mobility allows.
Begin in a standing position. Drop into a squat position with your hands on the ground. Kick your feet back into a plank position, while keeping your arms extended. Immediately return your feet to the squat position. Jump up from the squat position.
Begin in an easy standing position with your knees slightly bent. Hold your hands in front of you, palms down with your fingertips together at chest height.
This will be your starting position.Rapidly dip down into a quarter squat and immediately explode upward.
Drive the knees towards the chest, attempting to touch them to the palms of the hands. Jump as high as you can, raising your knees up, and then ensure a good land by re-extending your legs, absorbing impact through be allowing the knees to rebound.
- Mountain climbers:
Assume a plank position facing the floor on all fours with your body in a straight line. Your hands should be a little wider than your shoulders.
Feet should be together. Now slowly bring your right leg forward attempting to get to your chest level. Return it to its former position and do the same for the left leg. As you master the process, you can increase your speed.
This exercise involves getting into a push up position on the floor. Then, bend your elbows 90 degrees and rest your weight on your forearms.
Your elbows should be directly beneath your shoulders, and your body should form a straight line from your head to your feet. Hold the position for as long as you can. Your goal should be to hold it for two minutes.
Other body weight exercises include;
- chair pose
- tricep dips
- reverse fly
Usually twelve to twenty repetitions of these exercises is a good number to aim for, but this depends on your abilities and level of fitness.
It is advisable you begin with light loads and slow speed to achieve proper form first, until your body adjusts.
Then you can increase difficulty if you can maintain proper form by doing more reps or performing the exercise at a quicker speed. By this time, your muscles should be fatigued at the end but not in complete pain, strained or injured.
Simple home tools or equipment that could enhance your lean physique includes:
- a pull-up bar (to hook onto a door at home)
- basic free weights or dumbbells
- a yoga mat
- stability ball
Generally, cardiovascular exercises or workout is one that raises your heart rate.
When your heart is stronger, capillaries are delivering more oxygen to the cells in your muscles, thus helping to burn fat during exercise and even at rest.
Cardiovascular exercises are more commonly referred to as cardio.
It’s important to begin with shorter, more moderate workouts, with a gradual progression of exercise time, frequency and intensity to help you stick to it and to ensure the least risk of injury.
Benefits of Cardiovascular Workouts
There are so many benefits of exercise and regular physical activity — while it may seem like a challenge to start, once you begin a steady program, even if small, it will become easier over time.
There are numerous physical and mental health benefits in both men and women. It is well known that life is typically prolonged when regularly engaging in physical activity.
- Weight Loss :
Cardiovascular Exercise is essential for you in your journey to burn f tang build lean muscle. In order to get ripped, you need to reduce your overall body fat percentage.
This is where cardio comes in. As cardio increases your heartbeat, it is ideal for burning fat. In order to get a more toned physique, cardio should be done in conjunction with body weight exercises, strength training and resistance training.
- Reduces the Risk of Heart Disease and Lower Blood Pressure:
As cardio increases your heart rate, it also improves the strength of the heart muscle and clears the arteries of plaque.
Other benefits of cardio include but are not limited to;
- Increased Bone Density
- Reduces Stress & Depression, and Boosts Self-Esteem
- Increased Energy Levels for a More Active Lifestyle
- Reduce Effects of Diabetes
Best Exercise Techniques to Help Grow Lean Muscle and Shed Fat
Men are generally conscious of their physical appearance. It affects their overall psyche and health when they realize they have become overweight.
This brings about the desire for a ripped body, leading them to seek methods that can enhance their physique. Many of these methods are not effective and may lead to frustration when results are not achieved.
Below are proven exercises that guarantee you amazing results in the shortest possible time.
Best Abs Workout Routines
For men who are majorly concerned about their belly fat i.e the more risky visceral fat, the following abs workout techniques would do the job. Best part is, there is no additional equipment necessary.
Perform each of the following moves for 30–45 seconds, 3 times through. Do this routine 3 times a week, coupling with a burst-style workout or, at the very least, walking workout.
- The V-Up
Lie down on your back with your arms and legs stretched.
At the same time, raise your arm and legs up off the floor.
Perform this routine with this goal in mind- touching your toes with your fingers.
- Reverse Crunch
If you are looking for an effective way to challenge your lower abs, this one will definitely do the job.
Lie down on your back again with your lower back to the ground.
Next, place your arms at your sides, and your palms down.
Lift your feet off the ground and make a 90-degree angle at your knees
Raise your legs towards the ceiling
- Knee to Elbow Crossunder
Assume a plank position on your hands and toes
Tuck one knee in and over to your opposite elbow
Wait for a few seconds before starting the position and switching sides
- Flutter Kicks
Lie on your back
Lift both legs off the ground to a few inches and alternate gentle, little kicks
- Side Plank
Lie down on your side
Keep your arm at 90-degree angle and ensure your elbow is beneath your shoulder
Keep your legs on top of each other
Lift your entire body toward the ceiling, supporting yourself with your elbow and the bottom foot.
Lie on a flat surface with your knees bent and your hands over the chest or behind your head.
Go on a nearly sitting position by raising your torso. Return to the first position then repeat.
Go into a push-up position.
Bend your elbows 90 degrees and place them beneath your shoulders. Hold the position as much as you can.
Intense HIIT workouts stimulate muscle-building and fat-burning hormones, simultaneously. The body produces the growth hormone known as IGF-1 during HIIT.
What exactly is HIIT?
HIIT or High-intensity interval training is a type of exercise that involves repeated short bouts of high-intensity, or “burst” exercises, followed by brief recovery periods.
This sequence is repeated several times in a row usually for duration between 20–30 minutes.
HIIT workouts are known to be an excellent way to burn fat in a short period of time and to help improve the physical performance of athletes of all kinds.
- HIIT workouts provide benefits fast in the following ways;
- Your cardiovascular health and endurance is improved
- Your body’s ability to use oxygen is optimized
- Your hormone levels are regulated properly
HIIT Workouts to give you an enhanced physique
A few HIIT techniques you could practice include:
Treadmill/ Outside Running HIIT Workout:
- Start with a warm up by lightly jogging for three minutes.
- Next, move into your interval period for about 10 minutes. Each minute you will do 20 seconds of intense work followed by 40 seconds of recovery. (Do this 10 times to start out, and as you become more fit you can increase to 15 minutes and beyond. If you’d like to challenge yourself more, do 30 seconds of intense bursts followed by 30 seconds of rest.)
- Cool down with a 3 minute jog.
Cycling HIIT Workout:
This cycling interval workout usually consists of 20 seconds of hard work followed by 10 seconds of rest.
- Move into your interval period for the next 10 minutes, where you will be cycling as hard as you possibly can for 20 seconds and then resting for 10 seconds. You can use a timer to keep track of the time or count in your head. Repeat this interval schedule 10–20 times depending on your abilities and current fitness level.
- Start by cycling at a restful pace for three minutes to warm up.
- Cool down with a slow, restful three minutes of cycling.
Circuit Training HIIT Workout
The three exercise moves below will make up your “intense” interval, and then performing an easier form of cardio afterwards will make up your “rest” interval.
- Perform the following three exercise moves back-to-back according these reps: Start by doing 10 reps of each, then repeat the cycle doing 15 reps of each, then repeat the cycle doing 20 reps of each. Don’t take any breaks until after you’ve gone through all three sets.
- Mountain Climbers
- Jumping Jacks
- (In place of these 3 moves, you could also try performing fast alternating lunges, push-ups or kettlebell swings.)
- After you’ve completed these three sets, you could jog, run, hop on an exercise bike and so on. You could perform these exercises for at least three minutes. This would maintain a steady cardiovascular process within the body.
Some more HIIT Workout (Circuit Training Style)
- Practice each move described below for an intense 20 seconds, moving very quickly through as many reps as you can perform in 20 seconds, followed by 10 seconds of rest. Then move on to the next move following the same timing. Once you’ve completed each move below, you are done with one intense interval.
- Bodyweight Rows
- Jumping Rope
- Jumping Jacks
- Running in Place
- Medicine Ball Chest Passes
- Jumping Lunges
- Rest for two minutes after the circuit is complete. Then go through the entire circuit another two times or until you lose proper form.
Best Chest Workout Routines
These workout routines are aimed at the chest muscles. If you want sculpted pectorals, deltoids and chest muscles, these exercises are for you.
- Dumbell Bench Press:
Lie back on a flat bench with a dumbbell in each hand.
Hold the weights at shoulder level and then press the weights straight over your chest.
- Incline Dumbbell Fly:
Lie back on an adjustable bench with a dumbbell in each hand.
Turn your wrists so you palms face each other.
Press the weights over your chest.
Keep your elbows bent slightly and spread your arms wide as if to hug someone
Lower your arms
When you feel a stretch in your chests, bring the weights together over your chest again.
- Bench Press:Grasp the bar just outside shoulder width:
Make sure there is no space between your lower back and the bench.
Pull the bar out of the rack and lower it to your sternum, tucking your elbows about 45 degrees to your sides.
When the bar touches your body, drive your feet hard into the floor and press the bar back up.
- Cable Cross Over:
A high pulley machine is used for this exercise.
Place the pulleys on a high position and hold each with your hands.
Keep your elbows slightly bent and step forward so there’s tension on the cables.
Flex your chests as you bring your hands together out in front of your chest.
Alternate stretching and flexing after each set.
- Push ups:
Do a plank position with your arms straight out and abs tight.
Put your hands and arms should be slightly beneath your shoulders.
Lower your body until your chest is an inch above the floor, then push your torso away. Repeat these steps as long as your arms can do.
- Barbell Bench Press:
Lie on a bench.
Remember to keep your feet flat on the ground and your chest up during the whole exercise.
Grab the barbell and carefully lower the weight until it touches your sternum then push it upward. Repeat these steps.
- Dumbbell Fly:
Hold a dumbbell in each hand and lie on an inclined or flat surface, whatever your preference.
Make sure your chest is up and your feet are firmly on the floor
With the dumbbell in your hands, lift your arms directly above your chest.
Repeat the step again.
Aerobic Exercise: Perfect for Burning Fat
Weight is lost when calorie intake is reduced, burning more calories than you take in, so undertaking activities such as aerobic exercises that burn large amounts of calories is an excellent way to have a leaner body.
Aerobic exercise provides cardiovascular conditioning. Aerobic exercise makes the lungs work harder as the body’s need for oxygen is increased. Aerobic exercise can be done at home, at the gym or as an outdoor activity.
Some examples of aerobic exercise include the under listed:
Lower impact aerobic exercise includes:
- Using an elliptical trainer
- Using an upper body ergometer (a piece of equipment that provides a cardiovascular workout that targets the upper body only)
Higher impact aerobic exercise includes:
- Jumping rope
- Performing high impact routines or step aerobics
As a safety precaution, it is recommended that you consult your physician before you take on any exercise program. Be sure to find out if you have any limitations.
People who suffer from diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, arthritis, pulmonary conditions, or other health conditions may need additional safety guidelines for aerobic exercise.
Benefits of aerobic exercise
Below are the key benefits of aerobic exercise:
- Improves cardiovascular conditioning
- Decreases risk of heart disease
- Lowers blood pressure
- Increases HDL or “good” cholesterol
- Helps to better control blood sugar
- Assists in weight management and/or weight loss®
- Improves lung function
- Decreases resting heart rate
Aerobics can enhance your recovery from weight training by promoting blood flow and oxygen transport to your muscles.
“Aerobics forces oxygen through your body, increasing the number and size of your blood vessels.
The consequence? It aids blood flow through your body, in the right proportion and also aids your heart to beat with the normal intensity.
Essentially, good aerobic exercises can actually enhance recovery from weight training and increase muscular growth.
Cardiovascular training is important for fat burning, for good health and for muscle-building. However, there could be other causes why you might be losing muscle, although you might be taking a couple of exercises.
Training Tips to Help You Build Lean Muscle
The truth is the process of attempting to reduce fat, while developing lean muscle simultaneously could be pretty daunting.
However, when you think about the number of comparative advantages it wields such as increased self-esteem and self-confidence, a natural healthy body build- without the use of drugs- just diet and a great deal of comprehensive workouts, you’ll find out that it’s worth all the effort.
While reducing fat means you’d have a reduced calorie intake, which means there would be fewer reserves left to recover and developing a lean muscle requires an increase in your intake of calories, you’ll have to work your way through proven workout techniques that can guarantee best results from both perspectives.
The various workouts and exercises that have been explained above can be done depending on the target area for fat loss and muscle building.
Causes of Fat in Men
In a bid to burn fat and maintain a trim physique, it is important to know what to being overweight in the first place.
The number of men with high percentage of fats in their bodies, especially around their waistline, is gradually increasing.
Sadly, this has its toll on men’s health.There are several causes of fat in men and these include the following:
- An inactive or sedentary lifestyle
- Emotional factors
- Sleep, less or more could cause visceral fat as research has shown.
- Unhealthy dietary habits such as eating junk food and increased sugar intake
- Excessivealcohol intake
- Health conditions
- Amazingly, stress is one of the reasons men could have hard and fat bellies.
Research shows that as men age, they are more likely to develop big, protruding bellies. This is because the body’s ability to burn calories is compromised over time.
After age 40, the natural reduction in testosterone means excess calories are often stored as visceral fat. Aging also makes you naturally lose muscle mass.
Understand that more than just trying to keep fit in order to attract that girl of your dreams, it is actually very risky and unhealthy not to move a muscle to shred the fat in your body, given the consequences involved.
Visceral Fat Versus Subcutaneous Fat: The Difference
Body fat is of two varieties;
Subcutaneous fat– the layer of fat that lies just beneath the skin and
Visceral fat found in the abdomen and around the other organs like the liver, pancreas and intestines.
Experts say that visceral fat is the cause of belly fat in men. And it is dangerous. It is linked to heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, infertility, strokes, colorectal cancer, metabolic syndrome, Coronary Artery Disease, High Cholesterol, Dementia and other chronic diseases.
It is worthy to note that not all fat is bad, but the fact is, fat cells are an active and intelligent part of the body, and they produce hormones that impact your brain, liver, immune system and your fertility.
Research shows that the subcutaneous fat found just under your skin is different from visceral fat in quite a number of ways. Research has shown that subcutaneous fat can actually improve glucose metabolism and communicate with your organs to elicit beneficial effects.
What is the ideal body fat percentage?
The ranges are different for men and women depending on their age.
However, when your percentage body fat goes above the desirable range you put yourself at the risk of developing chronic diseases, certain cancers as well as increased chances of an early death.
In some cases, the excess fat becomes a mechanical barrier to breathing properly. This condition is called apnea.
So, you’re thinking “I’d probably cut down on the number of meals I take daily or even try skipping at least a meal a day, perhaps hire a good nutritionist to plan for me a strict food regimen that I must adhere to.”
That’s great! But the questions remains; Can diet alone help you lose belly fat? The answer is maybe.
Apart from Diet, taking supplements, strict exercise and bodybuilding routines is the most effective method to reduce fat and develop lean muscle.
What Should You Eat To Help Develop Your Muscle?
What you eat plays a big part in your body’s strength as well as appearance.High-protein and low calorie food helps to achieve a lean and strong body. Remember; you cannot out run a bad diet.
Find below a list of foods that can stimulate lean muscle development in your body
Healthy Foods to Develop Lean Muscle
- Salmon- rich in protein, Calcium and vitamins that stimulates muscle growth.
- Nuts- high in protein, fats and fiber thereby producing calories that necessary for building muscles.
- Brown Rice- boosts hormone and enhances muscle growth.
- Sweet Potatoes- Sweet potatoes are excellent for building lean muscle, because they contain Potassium, an essential mineral needed by your body.
- Beef- Beefs are rich in protein, which is an essential nutrient needed before and after workout sessions.
- Oranges-It is best to eat these oranges before workouts, because they help to enhance your endurance levels.
- Apples- helps in preventing fatigue in your muscles, and increase the strength in your muscles, thus giving your body a better workout
- Organic Milk- keeps your immune system healthy, and help to reduce muscle breakdown.
- Spinach- maintains body immune system and reduce muscle breakdown
- Whole eggs – A whole egg contains vital nutrients, protein and fats to help build muscle.
- Protein – Foods that are rich in protein are generally important when it comes to bodybuilding.
- Broccoli – And other cruciferous vegetables can help with fat loss and have essential nutrients for building muscle.
- Fish – Fishes are rich source of Omega-3 which help reduce inflammation and are critical for muscle building.
- Almond butter – Almonds nutrition provide L-arginine to increase NO2 and vitamin E that will help reduce damage from free radicals after a heavy workout.
- Sweet Potatoes – Sweet potatoes are great when it comes to developing lean muscle.They keep you full for longer periods as they are rich in fiber. Also, they are very rich in vitamins.
- Bananas – Bananas are perfect when it comes to providing extra calories and nutrients that support muscle growth. Also, they are a great source of potassium and help replace lost electrolytes.
Foods to Avoid
On the other hand, some foods are detrimental to fat loss and building lean muscle. Foods that are high in calories, high in carbohydrates and refined sugar are not ideal for weight loss.
This because they increase the blood sugar level and are converted back into fat.
Some examples of food to avoid are:
- White Sugar – Will increase free radical damage from hard workouts, leading to fatigue.
- Alcohol – Alcohol contains empty calories and can remove critical nutrients from your body.
- White and Wheat products – Foods that contain anti-nutrients and slow muscle growth such as white bread, white pasta and wheat products, because they slow muscle growth.
- Hydrogenated oils – Found in vegetable oil, soybean oil, corn oil, and canola oil cause inflammation which slows recovery of muscles.
- Fatty foods
Aside from eating a healthy diet and working out, there are various lean muscle supplements that can also speed up the process of gaining a lean muscled physique.
Consistency and diligence in following this strict workout regimens and eating healthy foods will give you results faster than you think and even wow that fiancé of yours.