In recent years, it seems like consumers have been inundated with the idea that you have to drink protein shakes and use whey powder in order to bulk up and build muscle. While these things can help, they can also put a lot of stress on your bank account. So to avoid having to take out a loan just to afford all the enhancements to help build muscle, here are three free ways you can build lean muscle.
Lift More Often
Changing up your workout routine does nothing to affect your wallet but can do a lot to affect the way your body looks and feel. According to Dan Trink, a contributor to MuscleAndFitness.com, people who want to build more muscle need to be hitting the weights more often. Four to five times a week will usually be sufficient, especially because these training sessions will usually be shorter than if you previously only lifted once or twice a week in order to give your body time to recover. Once or twice a week will help you to maintain muscle mass, but building more lean muscle will require you to work those muscles a little more often.
Add A Little Cardio
While lifting is important for strengthening your muscles, it’s important not to forget about cardio as well. However, Tami Bellon, a contributor to BreakingMuscle.com, warns that getting too much cardio can actually have the opposite effects of what you’re looking for, especially for women. Once the body has had more than 30 to 45 minutes of intense cardio, you’ll start burning muscle for fuel rather than fat. And if you’re wanting to build muscle, this can be detrimental to your progress. Therefore, it’s important not to take your cardio too far if you’re looking to get leaner and stronger.
Eat Foods That Build Muscle
Everyone knows that you have to eat enough food if you want to build muscle; you can’t just starve yourself and hope to get learner. And since you have to eat food anyway, eating muscle-building food really is no extra cost. But keep in mind that there are certain foods that are better for toning your body than others. BodyBuilding.com shares that some of the foods you should eat if you’re looking to build your muscle mass are beef, brown rice, cantaloupe, eggs, spinach, greek yogurt and wheat germ. All of these foods eaten in moderation will help you build lean muscle quicker and make it easier to maintain the muscle mass you’re able to put on.
Building lean muscle is really about knowing exactly what your body needs rather than simply having the desire and drive to put in the work. Use the tips mentioned above to work smarter and harder on building the lean muscle you want to see in your body with no added pressure on your pocketbook.