What does it take to build lean muscle mass? You have to put your body into what’s known as an “anabolic state”, and this article will show you the three most important “anabolic activators” there are.
Anabolic Activator #1: Intense Strength Training
You need to do some form of exercise with intensity in order to stimulate your body into building lean muscle mass. You do this by strength training.
There’s lots of ways to do strength training, I recommend you start out with bodyweight exercises… then move onto free weight exercises… doing a balanced and total body program like DoubleYourGains’ 3-5 program to get your body into “anabolic mode”.
When you put your body under stress, all your muscles under stress it signals your body that “we need more muscle to perform the stuff you want to do!” THAT is the goal of your training.
Anabolic Activator #2: Intense Cardio
This will really help your goal of gaining LEAN muscle mass. The key is to do cardio a little differently than you might be used to…
Instead of doing long distance, steady-state aerobics (like running on the treadmill for 45 minutes to an hour)… you should adopt cardio activities that are anaerobic in nature… which means you do intense bursts of activity, followed by periods of longer “active rests”.
An example would be sprinting all out at your fastest pace for 20 seconds… then jogging for up to a minute… then sprinting, etc… this is what’s known as “interval training” and the benefits are second to none.
I’ve written more about interval training here. But suffice it to say interval training will help you keep the fat burning while you’re building lean muscle mass… because you’re going to be eating a LOT to build muscle.
Anabolic Activator #3: Eating Correctly For Lean Muscle Gain
Most guys who want to build muscle simply do not eat enough. It seems easy right? Just eat! But the truth is: you have to know WHEN to eat to make your body most likely to build lean muscle.
What’s the best time? For 30 minutes up to 4 hours after your workouts (both strength training and cardio) is what is known as the “post workout window of opportunity” because the fuel for your body is so depleted from your intense workouts… that nearly all of the food you consume in this period goes directly into your muscle cells.
What happens then? Well, instead of the extra calories going towards fat gain, those extra calories are instead FEEDING your lean muscle mass gains… so if you eat a lot of calories during this time period, you have a much better chance of building muscle instead of gaining fat.
Other unique ways of getting your body to use your food more anabolically is by adopting intermittent fasting. I like the warrior diet approach (when I’m maintaining or dropping weight) and the Lean Gains approach when I want to build lean muscle mass.