What Newbies Need to Know About Getting Lean

Lean Out Right for Lasting Results

 You have thought long and hard about getting in shape, looking at fitness websites and pouring through muscle magazines. Motivation is high and dreams are big thinking about your body with six-pack abs and defined shoulders. Before being too star struck, understand magazines and online sites don’t always represent complete truth and those you admire have been working hard for years to achieve results.  This is not to burst your fitness goal bubble, but provide a realistic mental outlook going into the arena of getting lean and built.  Often times, do-it-yourself (DIY) nutrition and fitness programs are all wrong for newbies and results not achieved because something “fad” was followed. So, before jumping into an unprepared skillet, let’s go over a few important details to consider on your journey to an amazing body.   

Large Calorie Deficits Can Work Against You

Explaining about exercise
Get Lean the Right Way. AzmanL / Getty Images

The first thing many people want to do is start some sort of diet.  Let me tell you a secret not really a secret: the bodies you’ve been admiring and want to mimic didn’t cut calories.  They didn’t look for a “quick fix” food plan to magically create a lean muscular physique.  It was acquired through a lifestyle of healthy eating and challenging their muscle in the gym.  The American Council of Exercise explains calorie restriction can result in fat storage and as calories continue to be reduced the body begins metabolizing lean tissue and muscle mass instead.  The takeaway:  stay away from diets, eat to build, eat to perform, and lean out while feeling healthy.

The linked article will provide vital info on why calories are important.

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Apply Nutrition that Works

Apply Nutrition That Works
Food Enhances Lean Muscle and Improves Performance. Gary Burchell Taxi/Getty Images

 Nutrition plays the largest role in achieving a lean muscular body.  Without the right food intake to support muscle growth, you will be spinning your wheels in frustration.  The best athletes look upon food as an enhancement to their workouts and physique.  Get your food down from the start and you will have an edge up on those wishing they would have put in the research.  The takeaway:  apply a healthy nutrition plan to support muscle growth, maintain a healthy metabolism and stimulate fat burning.

The linked article explains how 80% nutrition is the key to losing body fat.

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Focus on Muscle Gain and Not Weight Loss

Focus on Muscle Gain
Focus on Muscle Gain and Not Weight Loss. Hero Images/Getty Images

 The goal is a lean muscular physique not “skinny Minnie” and with the focus on muscle gain and not weight loss, a more realistic approach to food and workouts will be achieved.  Muscle is hard to gain and athletes understand the power of food to fuel this highly metabolic tissue.  The takeaway:  don’t deprive your body of the “right” calories to develop the body you desire. 

The linked article breaks down how to eat for muscle.

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Workout to Create Muscle Definition

Workout to Create Muscle
Workout to Create Muscle Definition. Blend Images - Dave and Les Jacobs Brand X Pictures/Getty Images

 Applying a progressive workout program is vital to creating lean mass (muscle) and reaching your goals.  According to the American College of Sports Medicine, “resistance training should be an integral part of an adult fitness program and of a sufficient intensity to enhance strength, muscular endurance, and maintain fat-free mass (FFM).”  Our weight training expert Chris Freytag provides helpful articles from beginner to competitive athletes. Remember, knowledge is power and will be useful on your “get lean” and muscular journey.  The takeaway: gain confidence and be consistent in a progressive workout program. 


Dieting Gone Awry: When Food is Foe, ACSM Fit Society® Page, A Quarterly Publication of the American College of Sports Medicine, acsm.org, Summer 2010, pg. 5

American College of Exercise, Fit Life, How Eating Too Little Will Eat Up Your Fat-loss Goals, 9/8/15

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