Gain Lean Muscles: Workout, Nutrition Plan & More

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Gain Lean Muscles: Workout, Nutrition Plan & More

It’s just been a few days since you started going to the gym, and you already expect to see the perfect lean muscles. After a few intense workouts, you are demotivated as you couldn’t attain your ideal body shape yet. You must know that building lean muscles while burning fat is not that simple.

Building lean muscles require consistency and following a proper diet and workout plan. If you want to know how to build lean muscles, you need to be familiar with everything from the workout to the nutritional requirements. Diet is among the most crucial factors that can help you build lean muscle mass.

The moment you begin your fitness journey, you need to incorporate some major changes to your diet that can help you target your muscles. You must consume about two to three kilograms of protein per kilogram of lean bodyweight. You also need to minimize your carbohydrate intake and keep track of the nutrients you consume every day.

This article refers to a 7-day diet plan that can help you in your muscle-building journey. The recommended seven-day diet plan will give you an idea of how to plan your diet according to your individual dietary needs. The diet specifically incorporates muscle-building protein and all essential nutrients, such as vitamins, minerals, and heart-healthy fats.

Besides, it also refers to a lean muscle workout plan. But, before we move on to the diet and workout plan for building lean muscles, it is important to understand what lean muscles are and how they are different from muscles.

What Are Lean Muscles & How Are They Different From Muscles?

You must know that all muscles are not the same. While a normal muscle usually has more fat and connective tissue, lean muscles consist of contractile tissue.

In simple words, lean muscles include muscles that do not contain fat around or within them. Lean body mass is usually linked to your basal metabolic rate (BMR), also known as the number of calories that you can burn when at rest.

The more amount of lean muscle tissue you have, the more calories you may burn in a day; therefore, lean muscles help reduce the chances of obesity and fat accumulation in your body. The benefits of lean muscles are discussed further in the next section.

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Why Is Lean Muscle Good?

As building lean muscles gained popularity, many fitness enthusiasts now want to have lean muscles. Lean muscles help you get in perfect shape and have several health benefits apart from helping you get trimmer and become stronger. They also help you maintain overall good health as you age. Some of the benefits of lean muscles are:

Helps Combat Obesity

As already discussed above, the more lean muscles you have, the greater calories you can burn. Hence lean muscles help combat obesity. According to a research study, maintaining skeletal muscle mass helped improve insulin resistance among obese female patients.

Since obesity is a major factor contributing to chronic illnesses, such as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and non-alcoholic fatty liver, developing lean muscles can save you from such health conditions and improve your quality of life.

Speeds Up Recovery From Diseases and Illness

Your body depends on protein to heal from an illness or disease. The body's need for protein is mostly more than what you can consume in the form of a diet. As a result, the body meets its protein requirement by breaking down muscles.

Individuals with lower muscle mass normally face more difficulty meeting the body's protein demands in case of illness.

Keep Your Bones Healthy

Greater muscle mass ensures better bone health, especially among older men and women. A study suggests that lower skeletal muscle mass levels resulted in thinner and weaker bones among older men.

Reduce Risks of Fractures

The lower amount of lean muscle, especially in the lower leg, is linked to poor body balance, resulting in falling and fractures. According to a report published in the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research, individuals with lower levels of muscle mass had 2.3 times more risk of breaking a bone, such as a collarbone, hip, leg, wrist, or arm.

Now that you are convinced of the benefits of lean muscles, you must follow some tips that can help you build lean muscles.

Tips to Gain Lean Muscles

This section refers to the tips that can you must follow to gain lean muscles.

Lift Bigger Weights

For building muscles, you need to lift weights taxing your muscles, bones, and connective tissues as it helps create mechanical tension. You can't grow your muscles if you continue lifting the same amount of weight every day. It would be best if you increase your loads to challenge your muscles and lift heavier weights subsequently.

Some of the weightlifting exercises that you must incorporate into your weekly training routine are:

1. Bench Press

Lie on a bench while holding a barbell with your hands wider than shoulder-width apart. Lower the bar towards your chest and brace your core. Push it back to the starting position. Complete five sets with 12 reps each.

2. Chin-up

Hold a bar, brace your core, and pull yourself up till your chin is higher than the bar. ower till your arms are straight again. Complete five sets of 12 reps each.

3. Triceps Extension

Stand while holding a dumbbell over your head with both hands, with your arms straight. Lower the weight behind your head while keeping your chest up, and then push it back to the start. Complete three sets of 12 reps each.

4. Squat

Stand with a bar across the back of your shoulder. Squat as down as you can while keeping your chest up and core braced. Push yourself back to the starting position through your heels. Complete five sets of 12 reps each.

5. Seated Overhead Press

Sit on an upright bench with a dumbbell in each hand at shoulder height. Press the weights overhead until your arms are straight while keeping your chest up. Then lower them back to the start. Complete three sets of 12 reps each.

Calisthenics

These are low-resistance exercises in which you rely on your body weight rather than any other equipment. Since calisthenics exercises involve moving most or all of your body, performing at least 10 to 12 moves of each exercise can help you build muscles. Some of the calisthenics exercises that you may include in your workout plan are sit-ups, push-ups, pull-ups, lunges, planks, and trunk twists.

Follow 80/20 Rule

Many people invest their gym time in developing their biceps, triceps, and deltoids. While these muscles are important, they are smaller and help larger muscles during basic movements such as pushing, lifting, throwing, and pulling.

Smaller muscles are designed to assist the larger muscles. When you are on a lean muscles workout plan, you need to spend more time and energy on building big muscles through deadlifts, pressers, chin-ups, pull-ups, and squats.

Eat Better

Diet is an essential component that you must focus on for building lean muscles. Make sure to consume lean protein every day, for instance, beans, which are a great protein source. Besides, you must also incorporate quinoa into your diet, which contains essential amino acids and is also a great carbohydrate source.

Moreover, a diet rich in potassium is all you need to protect your lean muscles. Do not forget to plan your meals if you want to eat right and stay on track. Best foods for gaining lean muscles are discussed in the next section.

Best Lean Muscle Foods

Some of the foods that you must incorporate into your diet plan for gaining lean muscles are:

Beets

It is a perfect source of betaine, a scientifically proven nutrient to enhance muscle power and strength.

Spinach

It is an excellent source of glutamine and amino acids, the essential nutrients for growing lean muscles.

Cottage Cheese

It is the only form of cheese that you can consume during your muscle-building journey. It contains a high amount of casein protein which prevents your muscles from being used for energy while you sleep; therefore, it is the only cheese you can before bed.

Quinoa

For building lean muscles, you must incorporate quinoa into your daily diet plan. It is a complete protein and an energy-releasing carb. It has also been associated with a rise in insulin-like growth factor 1 levels, which is crucial for putting on lean muscles and gaining strength.

Brown Rice

It is a whole grain that will ensure long-lasting energy. It also helps boost growth hormone levels that aids in fat loss and the growth of lean muscles.

Greek Yogurt

It has a lot of protein and fewer carbohydrates as compared to normal yogurt. It is also a great source of casein protein.

Eggs

For boosting your lean muscle growth, you must make eggs your best friend. The cholesterol found in eggs also contributes to muscle building.

Apples

Apples help prevent muscle fatigue and enhance muscle strength as they contain polyphenols. They also speed up the fat-burning process.

Beef

Beef is an important lean-muscle-building food due to its content, such as high protein, vitamin B, zinc, and iron. Try using organic beef, as it will boost the process of fat shredding and building lean muscles.

7 Day Diet Plan for Lean Muscles

According to the rule of thumb, you must take about 13-15 calories per pound of your body weight. The diet plan mentioned below is designed for a person weighing around 140 pounds, so you will have to adjust the calories according to your weight.

As per the rule, total daily calories would be between 1,430 to 1,650 for a person weighing 110 pounds and between 1,950 to 2,250 for a person weighing 150 pounds.

You should adjust the amounts mentioned in the meal plan to ensure that you follow the adequate macronutrients target. You may also use the calorie intake calculator to identify the exact amount of calorie intake as per your body weight.

Monday

Breakfast 1

Breakfast 2 (30 to 60 Minutes After Breakfast 1)

  • Omelet (2 large eggs, two slices low-fat deli ham, 1/4 cup fat-free cheddar cheese)
  • 1 cup of cooked oatmeal
  • Late-morning snack
  • 4 oz. of Greek yogurt
  • ½ cup blueberries mixed with yogurt.

Lunch

  • 4 oz. of ground beef
  • 1 whole-wheat hamburger bun
  • 2 cups of mixed greens.
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. Balsamic vinegar

Midday Snack

  • 3 oz. of canned chicken
  • 1 tbsp. of Mayonnaise.
  • 5 whole-wheat crackers

Dinner

  • 6 oz. chicken
  • 1 cup Broccoli
  • 2 cups mixed greens including spinach
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar

Late Night Snack

  • ¾ cup of cottage cheese
  • 2 tbsp. Mix salsa in cottage cheese.

Total calories for the day: 1,835

Total fat: 65g

Protein: 185g

Total Carbs: 135g

Tuesday

Breakfast 1

  • 1 scoop of whey protein powder.
  • 1 orange

Breakfast 2

  • 2 eggs
  • 2 egg white (make scrambled egg)
  • 1 whole-grain waffle
  • 1 tbsp. syrup (maple)

Late-morning Snack

  • 1 scoop whey protein powder
  • ½ cup mix wheat germ in whey shake.

Lunch

  • 4 oz. of Deli Turkey
  • 1 tbsp. of light Mayonnaise
  • 2 slices of Ezekiel bread (make Turkey sandwiches)

Midday Snack

  • ½ cup of low-fat cottage cheese
  • ¼ of pineapple mixed in cottage cheese

Dinner

  • 6 oz. of Tilapia
  • 1 cup Broccoli
  • 2 cups mixed greens including spinach
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar

Nighttime Snack

  • 1 scoop Casein Protein
  • 7 walnut (halves)
  • 1 tbsp. Peanut butter (dip walnuts in peanut butter).

Total calories for the day: 1,870

Total fat: 60g

Protein: 190g

Total Carbs: 145g

Wednesday

Breakfast 1

  • 1 scoop of whey protein powder.
  • one small apple

Breakfast 2

  • 1 serving of eggs cooked as frittata
  • 1 cup of cooked oatmeal

Late-morning Snack

  • ½ cup Greek yogurt
  • ½ cup sliced strawberries

Lunch

  • 1 serving stir fry

Midday Snack

  • ½ cup low fat cottage cheese
  • ½ cup Mandarin canned oranges

Dinner

  • 6 oz. steak (top sirloin)
  • 20 spears of Asparagus
  • 2 cups of mixed greens, including spinach
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar

Nighttime Snack

  • 1 cup reduced-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1 tbsp. honey
  • 2 tbsp. flaxseeds (mix honey and flaxseeds in yogurt)

Total calories for the day: 1,900

Total fat: 55g

Protein: 180g

Total Carbs: 160g

Thursday

Breakfast 1

  • 1 scoop of whey protein powder.
  • ½ cup of small or medium-sized cantaloupe.

Breakfast 2

  • ½ low-fat milk
  • ½ cereal (Kashi Go Lean)
  • ½ scoop whey protein powder

Late-Morning Snack

  • 2 cups of mixed greens, including spinach
  • 2 hard-boiled and sliced eggs
  • ¼ cup of dry oatmeal
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar

Lunch

  • 5 oz. of Tuna (seasoned fillet packet)
  • ½ cup Quinoa cooked
  • 1 cup frozen mixed vegetables

Midday Snack

  • ½ Pita bread
  • ¼ cup reduced-fat cheddar

Dinner

  • 6 oz. Salmon
  • 2 cups of mixed greens, including spinach
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar

Nighttime Snack

  • ¾ cup cottage cheese
  • 2 tbsp. salsa

Total calories for the day: 1,850

Total fat: 75g

Protein: 165g

Total Carbs: 130g

Friday

Breakfast 1

  • 1 scoop of whey protein powder.
  • one small apple

Breakfast 2

  • ½ cup low fat cottage cheese
  • ½ cup Mandarin canned oranges
  • 2 stalks of celery
  • 1 tbsp. peanut butter (fill celery grooves with peanut butter)

Late-morning Snack

  • 4 oz. of Deli Turkey
  • 1 tbsp. of light Mayonnaise
  • ½ Pita bread
  • 1 slice reduced-fat American cheese

Midday Snack

  • 2 oz. low-fat cheese
  • 5 whole wheat Crackers

Dinner

  • 6 oz. of Tilapia
  • 2 cups mixed greens including spinach
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar

Nighttime Snack

  • 1 scoop Casein Protein
  • 7 walnut (halves)

Total calories for the day: 1,915

Total fat: 65g

Protein: 195g

Total Carbs: 145g

Saturday

Breakfast 1

  • 1 scoop of whey protein powder.
  • one large orange

Breakfast 2

  • 2 eggs
  • 2 egg whites
  • ¼ cup cheese (shredded reduced-fat cheddar, make cheese omelet)
  • 1 tbsp. of peanut butter (spread peanut butter on a toasted muffin)

Late-morning Snack

  • ½ boiled Soy Beans
  • 1 cup chicken noodles

Lunch

  • 3 oz. Tuna (Albacore in water)
  • 2 cups mixed greens including water
  • 1 cup beets
  • 1 oz. fat-free feta cheese
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • ½ large pita bread (sliced into wedges)

Midday Snack

  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 tbsp. honey

Dinner

  • 1 serving spaghetti with meatballs

Nighttime Snack

  • ¾ cup low fat cottage cheese

Total calories for the day: 2000

Total fat: 70g

Protein: 170g

Total Carbs: 180g

Sunday

Breakfast 1

  • 1 scoop of whey protein powder.
  • ½ cup of small or medium-sized cantaloupe.

Breakfast 2

  • 1 breakfast sandwich with eggs, ham, and cheese

Late-morning Snack

  • ½ cup of Greek yogurt
  • ½ cup blueberries mixed with yogurt.

Lunch

  • 4 oz. of Deli Turkey
  • 2 slices of Ezekiel bread
  • 2 cups of mixed greens, including spinach
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. Balsamic vinegar

Midday Snack

  • ½ Pita bread (10-inch whole wheat)
  • ¼ cup fat-free cheddar cheese

Dinner: Cheat Meal

  • 3 slices Pizza
  • 12 oz. Beer
  • 1 cup ice-cream

Nighttime Snack

  • ¾ cup cottage cheese
  • 2 tbsp. salsa

Total calories for the day: 2,500

Total fat: 75g

Protein: 160g

Total Carbs: 255g

Can Supplements Help Build Lean Muscles?

While a proper diet plan plays a crucial role in stimulating muscle growth and strength, it still may lack the exact ingredients that your body needs for building leaner muscles. Supplements specifically designed to boost muscle gain and strength contain all the essential nutrients your body may lack when relying on a diet.

Scientifically validated supplements like DMoose whey protein can facilitate you in gaining lean muscles. Whey protein is one of the best food for building lean muscles. It contains branched-chain amino acids that boost protein synthesis and helps increase muscle mass and improve overall body strength.

In addition, creatine is another supplement that works wonders to enhance strength, boost muscle mass, and speed up the muscle recovery process. Creatine is naturally found in foods like red meat. However, creatine powder has become a popular supplement among athletes and weightlifters due to its immense health benefits.

For speeding up the process of gaining lean muscles, you may try DMoose creatine powder which contains 5g creatine monohydrate. The micronized creatine powder will help improve your speed and energy, especially during weightlifting.

The micronized creatine monohydrate supports recovery and helps increase muscle mass, endurance, and power. DMoose amazing protein powder with creatine will drastically improve your ability to perform high-intensity interval workouts and weightlifting.

The creatine monohydrate powder is the best supplement to gain leaner muscles within minimal time!

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Takeaway

Due to immense health benefits, many people now want to gain lean muscles. While building lean muscles is not that easy, a perfect blend of diet and workout plans can help you achieve your goal.

It is important to consume protein-rich foods, such as beet, quinoa, beef, eggs, and cheese to speed up your muscle-building process and lose fat. Besides, a proper workout routine incorporating weightlifting and calisthenics is another essential component for building lean muscles.

Last but not least, supplements that contain protein and other essential nutrients, such as whey protein powder and creatine powder, can also help you gain lean muscles within less time.

Article Sources

  • Fukushima, Yaeko, et al. “Importance of Lean Muscle Maintenance to Improve Insulin Resistance by Body Weight Reduction in Female Patients with Obesity.” Diabetes & Metabolism Journal, vol. 40, no. 2, Mar. 2016, pp. 147–53. koreamed.org, https://doi.org/10.4093/dmj.2016.40.2.147.
  • Kreider, Richard B., et al. “International Society of Sports Nutrition Position Stand: Safety and Efficacy of Creatine Supplementation in Exercise, Sport, and Medicine.” Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, vol. 14, no. 1, June 2017, p. 18. BioMed Central, https://doi.org/10.1186/s12970-017-0173-z.
  • Szulc, Pawel, et al. “Low Skeletal Muscle Mass Is Associated with Poor Structural Parameters of Bone and Impaired Balance in Elderly Men--the MINOS Study.” Journal of Bone and Mineral Research: The Official Journal of the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research, vol. 20, no. 5, May 2005, pp. 721–29. PubMed, https://doi.org/10.1359/JBMR.041230.

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