The more lean muscle you have, the less fat you have. This simple yet powerful statement is something I say all the time when training clients and trying to explain to them that long slow traditional cardio is not the way to go.
When you perform long bouts of exercise (hours spent on the treadmill, elliptical, bike, etc.), your body has no choice but to start eating away at your hard earned muscle. That is why you see so many long distance runners with nearly zero lean muscle mass.
They may be “skinny”, but in fact they lack one of the most important aspects that all bodies should have: lean muscle.
The Myths of Building Muscle.
In the past several decades, many myths have been debunked when it comes to building muscle. Yet, you still hear every day at the gym people saying they don’t lift because they don’t want to “get bulky” or “look like a guy.”
Please understand that lifting does NOT make you bulky, no matter what kind of lifting you are doing. The reason people get bulky is not because of their workouts, but a combination of their workouts and nutrition (with nutrition being 80% of it!).
The exercises we will cover below are ones that will help you build lean muscle while also helping you eliminate unwanted fat. If you are trying to add more muscle mass be sure to see the article found HERE!
Exercises For Building Muscle
- Barbell Squats (and all the variations)
- Leg Press
- Romanian Deadlifts
Close Seconds: Deadlifts, Hack Squats, Leg Extensions, Leg Curls
- Bench Press
- Incline Dumbbell Press
- Decline Press
Close Seconds: Weighted Dips, Cable Cross Over
- Bent Over Row
- Weighted Pull-Ups
- Barbell Deadlifts
Close Seconds: Seated Row, Lat Pull Down, One-Arm Dumbbell Row
- Barbell Overhead Press
- Side Shoulder Raises
- Arnold Dumbbell Press
Close Seconds: Rear Delt Raise, Military Press, Front Shoulder Raises, Barbell Shrugs, Cable Raises
- Dumbbell Curls
- Barbell Curls
- Tricep Extension
- Skull Crushers
Close Seconds: EZ Bar Curls, Hammer Curls, Reverse Curls, Weighted Dips/Bench Dips, Close Grip Bench Press
Exercises You Should Always Include:
- Jumping Exercises
All of the exercises listed above are ones that will help you build lean muscle and eliminate unwanted fat. I will state again that lifting does not make you bulky unless you are eating to get bulky.
If you perform the exercises above and eat the right foods, you will turn your body into a fat burning machine!
There is no need to worry about adding “too much muscle,” because remember what was said earlier: The more lean muscle you have, the less fat you will have!
Work first on building lean muscle in your workouts, and the fat burning will immediately follow.
Photo Cred: cszar