Tips to help gain lean muscle ready for summer!

It is that time of year where we all want to look and feel million dollars in our swimwear, you may have a holiday, wedding or you just want to make healthier changes to your lifestyle.

For most of us we just need to lose a few pounds to feel good and to reveal that lost muscle tone.

It is not hard as you think to get your summer body, the industry makes it hard by causing so much confusion to a very simple problem.

Calorie Deficit & Calorie Surplus

We know how easy it can be to lose fat, we apply a calorie deficit to ensure our body is burning fat. To pack on muscle we need to be in a calorie surplus in order for our muscles to grow. Eat more!

This is where so many people get confused, this does not mean you need to eat everything in sight in order to grow, you will grow but not the type of growth you want.

Please note you need very small calorie surplus, 90-200 calories over your maintenance a day.

Progressive Overload

For this to work it needs to be accompanied with training programme you enjoy and uses the basic principle of progressive overload.

We did another blog on this which hits some of these principles, go take a look when you can.

The progressive overload principle involves continually increasing the demands on the muscle to help increase muscle size, strength and endurance. For a bigger and stronger muscle, you must make your muscles work harder than they’re used to.

Let’s put this into action, lf you go to the gym and can squat 60kg for 8 reps with perfect form then in order for the muscles involved in the squat to grow we need to make sure we are working harder next time squat.

Now, there are two common ways in which this can be achieved:

  • Increase resistance (weight)
  • Increase rep range

How Can Progressive Overload Be Achieved?

Let’s put this into action, lf you go to the gym and can squat 60kg for 8 reps with perfect form then in order for the muscles involved in the squat to grow we need to make sure we are working harder next time squat.

The most obvious way to apply progressive overload is to increase the load or weight applied to the muscle. Next time you do the exercise try adding on 5kg, remember your reps may decrease but this is ok as you are still applying stress to the muscle.

You don’t need to add weight, as you get stronger you can do more repetitions which is another great way of applying overload. Don’t just stop your squat because you have hit 10 reps, try and hit 12 reps whilst maintaining good form! 

If you are struggling to find an effective and decent program then you should check our recent blog out or get in touch with our friends at ‘body smart fitness’ who will do all of this for you.

We have always recommended choosing exercise that you enjoy, but in order to change our body’s composition we must take part in some form of resistance training and apply progressive overload.

You Are What You Eat – Food Matters!

In order to perform in the gym and see noticeable changes in the mirror we must make sure we are giving our body the best nourishment possible. You wouldn’t feed a ferrari two stroke, the same principles apply when trying to gain muscle.

YOU MUST get your calories right because if you get this calculation wrong you will either pile on unwanted fat or not have enough energy in the tank resulting in poor performing workouts.

This is such a big area that is often overlooked but should be where you concentrate most of your efforts!

Macro’s – IIFYM

Now macros matter when trying to gain muscle. If you are calorie counting then you should try leveling up your game by counting your macros (macronutrients).

Macronutrients are protein, carbohydrate & Fat, when we track our macros, we make a conscious effort where our calories come from.

Fig.1 pyramid of importance – What matters the most and where you should focus your efforts when it comes to Muscle Gain or Fat loss! 

For example if you decide to choose a low fat approach you increase your protein and carbohydrate intake to accommodate the loss in calories from fats.

Protein is king when it comes to muscle repair! However protein also helps with satiety (feeling fuller for longer) meaning you will be less hungry between meals and less likely to over eat and make poor food choices that can have a detrimental effect to weight loss or muscle gain. Protein also speeds up your metabolism, slows your  appetite and maintains muscle!

If you have a large amount of body fat to lose, you should think about consuming higher amount of fat and reduce your carbohydrate intake. The reason for this is that larger people are often less sensitive to insulin, a hormone that is triggered by high-carbohydrate meals. Less sensitivity means more insulin; more insulin means your body will use less fat for energy. However for most your split is up to you and can be personal preference.

The Macro Meals UK Way

Our muscle gain package specially designed to help you pack on muscle with carefully calculated macronutrient ratios. Macro Meals UK are here to help reduce the confusion so you can do what you enjoy and make the progress you deserve!

Meal prep can help you stay on track and will remove all the guesswork the industry has sneakily put in your way to confuse you!

Why not get started today? The start of your beach body is only a click away!