Lean, Mean, Muscle Machine

Some people don’t want to look like the Incredible Hulk or like Arnold Schwarzenegger (pre extra marital affair days), but they want to have good cardio and some definition of muscle tone without the bulk. (Think spin coach and aerobic instructor). There are some who want to look lean, but still have muscle mass, “being cut” by definition. (Think tri-athlete).

So, I am hopefully going to be able to address both body goals. ¬†If you want to be a lean “look I have muscles and no underarm flab” machine, then find something you will enjoy doing again and again. Swimming (not wading in the pool), biking riding at a moderate pace to include hills on a road bike for about 15-20 miles, hiking at a moderate pace at a minimal to steady climb for about 1-2 hours, running at a moderate pace at about 4.5 miles/hour for 3 miles. Work your way up slowly in being able to do the activity for longer intervals and push yourself, not to the point of exhaustion, but to accomplishing the goal you set for yourself that day. Never doubt how well your body can do when you push yourself and know you can do it. If you like a lot of variation then try joining an aerobics class, spin class, kick boxing and my current favorite craze the Insanity program and P90X. With the proper diet and nutrition, your energy level, cardio and lean muscle definition will develop. Also, do the workouts¬†consistently for at least 4-5 days a week. Hey, maybe even 6 days and rest on the 7th day because even Jesus needed a break.

Remember 3 things: Strength training, cardio exercise and eating well (often and have proteins).

For those who want to look lean, yet have those ripped abs and chiseled muscles, I would still recommend doing Insanity and P90X. If working out in your home is not for you, then hit the road running or biking, whichever you prefer. Then it is time to hit the weights. You want to be “cut”, well then don’t do less weight and more reps (like the ones who just want lean muscle). You have to raise the weight and do a minimum of 12-15 reps and 3 sets. If you are striving for the “no neck, barrel chest, tree trunk legs” then go for max weight with minimal reps (probably 4-5 reps) and 3-4 sets.

Once you lean yourself down, you will want to “define” yourself with weight training, but also realize that you will need to make it up in calories if you plan on lifting a lot. It will depend on your weight, but for a guy, a 2,500-3,500 calorie consumption might help in the “bulking” and “cutting” process of muscle building. Still keep in mind to do the cardio portion of your exercise regime.
What you put into your body will result in the effort you put out. Eating like a slug makes you feel like a slug. So remember no matter what healthy body you choose to have, keep it healthy, simple, active and always push it to do better for you.

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