Basic Steps to getting Muscle Definition
It’s no good spending tedious hours in the gym and then becoming only skin and bones. What most of us are aiming for is getting lean, or bulking up, and getting toned.
What you also don’t want to be is one big heap of muscle but no one can see where one muscle ends and the other one starts.
Luckily, muscle definition isn’t a very complex concept: as you gain muscle and lose fat, your muscle definition increases. In simple terms, it’s the combination of developed muscles with a low(ish) body fat percentage.
So, what we’re aiming for is adding muscle and losing fat.
Here’s our basic advice on getting muscle definition:
- Aim for three weight-training sessions per week on non-consecutive days. Your muscles need 48 hours of rest between each weight-training session.
- According to LiveStrong, if you’re trying to get toned, you should complete a workout that targets all of the major muscle groups, which include the chest, shoulders, back, biceps, triceps, legs, and core. Select one to two exercises per muscle group.
- Push your targeted muscle groups to the max with an exercise you can control even when you’re at the point of fatigue. Take, for example, pushups or a dumbbell press. Do as many reps as you can, then rest for a minute. Repeat for one more round to break down the muscle as much as possible until your muscles reach exhaustion. According to Men’s Journal, this will help stimulate hypertrophy, which builds muscle size and improves definition.
- Remember to complete all compound exercises that require movement around multiple joints, such as bench presses, and involve movement at your shoulders and elbows before moving onto isolation exercises.
- Men’s Health advises adding some cardio but not too much. You don’t need much cardio work, however, what you do need should be done at high intensity. It’ll help you see more muscle definition without wasting time in the gym on a treadmill or bicycle.
- Last but not least, power up with protein that will aid the building of muscle fibre. Make protein 40% of your calorie intake. Also, don’t make the common mistake of calorie restriction — you’ll risk your body going into ketosis or starvation-induced fat burning. Keep fats and carbs to 30% each. Of your daily carbohydrates, 85% should be coming from fruits and vegetables and the rest from complex carbs.
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