When I was younger, I used to get so frustrated whenever I worked out. I would develop muscle that I certainly didn’t have when I started training, but I never saw any definition. I wanted a chiseled look that reflected the fact that I was pumping iron and eating so much better.
I also wanted a physique like the ones I saw on TV. In other words, I wanted to appear like the type that was sure to attract the opposite sex. And, I really wanted to be proud when I looked in the mirror.
Then I learned that body definition comes about when you increase lean muscle mass. This is mostly achieved by eliminating overall fat and continuing to build muscle. How do you do this? It’s simple. Just try the following six tips:
1. Modify your Diet
The quickest way to define muscles is to lose weight and the fastest way to do that is to decrease caloric intake, which, of course, means simply eating less. The specific modification required will all depend on your personal goals, your metabolism, and how much weight you can afford to lose.
To determine how many calories you should eat on a daily basis to maintain your weight, simply multiply your current weight by sixteen. In order to lose weight, you should eat less than that number of calories. On average, most people are able to shed one pound every twenty-four hours by reducing their daily intake by five hundred calories.
One of the key components of increasing lean muscle mass is to reduce only your carbohydrate intake and increase the amount of protein-rich foods you are eating. If you are already bulked up, you will still want to decrease your body fat to increase definition and eliminating carbs is a great way to do that. Conversely, if you are thinner, try to take in some carbohydrates, but do limit the amount.
If you are specifically looking to decrease your body fat to below ten percent, you will need to make protein at least forty percent of your overall diet, which will assist in the construction of muscle fiber. You should reduce fats and carbs to thirty percent each of your total intake. Try to make over three-quarters of those carbs sourced only from vegetables and fruits. You can even eat a moderate amount of whole grains. Just remember not to attempt to starve yourself. Doing so will cause ketosis or fat-burning triggered by starvation, which is never a good option.
Remember, you will only require approximately one gram of protein at the maximum for each pound of body weight in a given day. Consuming any more is inconsequential, so taking supplements is not really necessary if you are following a balanced diet.
You should also limit your sports drink and juice intake while exercising and training. Stick to water and drink it throughout the day even when you are not working out.
2. Focus on Your Weight Training
Diet may be the foundation of the crafting of definition, but a specific training program is pertinent. You will need to split your weight training between two objectives, and those are fat-burning and muscle-building. Both goals are crucial to the endgame of developing defined muscles.
Start off with four to six weeks of fat-burning training by lifting the same weight amount as you usually do while increasing the quantity of weight training sets and repetitions. You can perform up to fifteen lifts with less than a minute break, because the intensity of the workout will not only burn fat, but it will also add to muscle definition.
Once you finish, complete a four to a six-week cycle of muscle-building training. You can even go longer if you are looking to gain the maximum muscle amount possible, but it is best to stay within your physical limits.
When attempting to build muscle mass, you will conversely decrease reps and increase the weight that you are working with. A good program usually consists of a power-based push or pull exercise like the incline bench press, a weighted wide-grip pull-up, or a heavy bench. If you train like this at least three times weekly you should be able to push your body into its muscle-building mode easily. If you are new to this, you should probably start off with two training sessions weekly. If you have been doing this for a while, you may feel comfortable starting off with four or more sessions weekly.
You may feel a burning sensation in your muscles, and that’s a good sign. It is caused by lactic acid which increases human growth hormone production which will stimulate the growth of muscles in the long run.
3. Train Until you are Exhausted
You can only exhaust a particular muscle group by continuing to exercise even when you feel as though you can no longer move. You will need to push until you nearly reach the “failure” point or the point where you could not possibly continue because of fatigue.
That is when you will have to push even further, using an exercise that you can easily control. Good suggestions are doing dumbbell presses, training with a heavyweight, or push-ups, doing as many reps as you possibly can followed by a one minute break and one last round to break the muscle down as much as possible. The objective being that this will cause hypertrophy, a condition that will increase the size of muscles and promote definition.
4. Get Enough Sleep
Did you know that muscle building, repair, and recovery actually occur while you are asleep or resting? The re-synthesis process can only happen when you are not using your muscles, and honestly, we use them a lot more than we realize. Plus, you will have to allow your body to rest in order to ensure that your body has the time and opportunity to recover from the vigorous training that you undertaking.
You must not neglect your body by not practicing proper sleep hygiene. Most grown adults require a minimum of seven hours a night with nine hours being the ideal amount according to doctors. Just remember that a lack of rest indirectly means that while you may lose fat from working out, you will not build muscle.
5. Rest Between Each Set
As stated previously, it is super important that you rest approximately thirty seconds to one minute between sets. This is especially true when you are working out with the extra intensity that is required to build muscle definition. Even when trying to exhaust yourself purposely, rest is crucial. Without rest, you increase your chances of getting injured or sick.
6. Add Some Cardio to Your Workout
Cardiovascular training should be squeezed into your training between three and five days a week. Why is this beneficial? It actually helps you train your body to endure high-impact weight training. It also aids in creating definition by burning fat and strengthening your overall physique.
A few thirty-minute sessions of high and moderate-intensity cardio are all that is really needed. You can power walk, jog, bike, or participate in a spinning or dance class. Whatever gets your heart pumping will more than suffice.
Just remember to keep your cardio exercises to a minimum. If building muscle definition is your primary goal, you shouldn’t get too hung up on perfecting your cardio workout. Cardio can be combined with weight training in small doses, but when taken to extremes it can give you contradictory results simply because of the biochemical responses triggered by intense cardio workouts. They may render your weight training moot.
In conclusion, there are many ways to add definition to the muscles in your body. By employing any of the above techniques, you should be well on your way to developing perfect abs and shapely arms and legs. I know these suggestions sure helped me when I needed it!