Sunday, May 25, 2014

How to Get Lean and Gain Muscle - Written by a Regular Chick


How did you do it?



Since the day I posted this photo, I have received dozens of emails asking me how I did it. Well, it's tricky. If you keep up with my blog, I have went many different routes throughout my life. My first initial thought was to cut out carbs completely (WRONG) my second idea was to eat whatever I wanted as long as I stayed under 1500 calories a day (ALSO WRONG) and I have finally found what works for me.

Throughout my fitness journey I have had a lot of advice, tried a lot of different "diets" and a had many trials & errors throughout it all. Before you read this, understand that everyone has a different outlook on what works and what doesn't. THIS IS WHAT WORKS FOR ME. You ask, I tell. So far this is what I know, and I am still learning every day.

Before we get into what kinds of workouts I do, we need to discuss my diet. Because that is so much more important than what exercises I preform. 

Diet

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Protein

When you are trying to gain muscle and burn fat, you need to first make sure that you are getting enough protein (and the right kinds). Eggs, dairy, and lean meats are a great, easy way to meet this goal. If you are a vegetarian like me, it will be a little more difficult, but it is always doable. I substitute meat with nuts, protein supplements, quinoa and beans.

Eat the right kinds of protein



How to calculate how much protein you need


There are many of these protein calculators available online, but I have provided below the link to the one I used as an example above.
CLICK HERE to calculate how much protein you need using this exact protein calculator

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Carbohydrates

Beyond protein, it is important to provide your body with a sufficient amount of good carbohydrates to keep your muscles fueled. I've provided a chart below of the kinds of carbs you should be consuming on a daily basis.




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Basically, steer clear of any processed foods. 


I have posted my thoughts on the free myfitnesspal app in a past blog, but I will repost this for your convenience. This app will help you calculate where you are now, and will show you what you need to do, caloric wise, to meet your own personal fitness goals. You can interact with other friends who are also working towards a better body and lifestyle on the app. It is very motivating! 



I think I have laid out most of what is important in the diet portion of this, so lets move on to what I do in the gym.

Exercise-

I should start by saying, that I do cardio for 20 minutes 3 times a week. According to the American College of Sports Medicine, this is the accurate amount to do if you are trying to gain lean muscle as well as lose body fat. I do the elliptical because it works your whole body, and it burns more calories than a treadmill.

But, lets get to the fun stuff! Below I have listed my current workout routine that I do on specific muscle targeting days, including example clips so you don't feel confused at the gym when starting up a new routine. PLEASE NOTE - these are the workouts that I do, everyone is different, so if some of these feel uncomfortable, you can find many more options at bodybuilding.com (Don't let the buff guys in these videos intimidate you!)
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Arm day

biceps

Standing dumbbell reverse curl
3 sets of 8-12 reps
(currently using 10 lb dumbbells for this exercise)
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Hammar curls
3 sets of 8-12 reps
(currently using 10 lb dumbbells for this exercise)

Dumbbell bicep curl
3 sets of 8-12 reps
(currently using 10 lb dumbbells for this exercise)

(triceps)

triceps pushdown
3 sets of 8-12 reps
(currently using 20 lb weight for this exercise)

Reverse grip triceps pushdown
3 sets of 8-12 reps
(currently using 20 lb weight for this exercise)

triceps pushdown rope attachment
3 sets of 8-12 reps
(currently using 17.5 lb weight for this exercise)
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Leg Day

Hack squats
3 sets of 15 reps
(currently adding 90 lbs on this machine)

Wide stance leg press 
(GREAT FOR YOUR BUTT!)
3 sets of 15 reps
(currently adding 140 lbs on this machine)

Seated calve raises

3 sets of 15 reps
(currently adding 25 lbs on this machine)

Thigh abductor & adductor
3 sets of 15 reps for BOTH abductor and adductor
(currently using 30 lb weight for these machines)

Romanian dead lift
3 sets of 15 reps
(currently adding 20 lbs to the bar for this exercise)


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Back Day


Seated cable rows
3 sets of 8-12 reps
(currently using 20 lb weight on this machine) 

Wide-grip lat pull down
3 sets of 8-12 reps
(currently using 20 lb weight on this machine)

Close-grip front lat pull down

3 sets of 8-12 reps
(currently using 20 lb weight on this machine)

One arm dumbbell row

3 sets of 8-12 reps
(currently using 10 lb dumbbells of this exercise)

Hyperextensions 
3 sets of 8-12 reps

I'm not currently doing abs, so I can't help you there.. yet. 
I do these on a weekly schedule as listed - 

Monday- Arms
Tuesday- Cardio
Wednesday- Back & Cardio
Thursday- Cardio
Friday- Rest day
Saturday- Legs
Sunday- Rest day
Eat clean - Every Day


If you have any questions, please let me know! I will now refer anyone who emails me to this blog because I won't have free time like this again for a while. GOOD LUCK!

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