The word lean has been trending the world of health and fitness. Every bodybuilding enthusiast is running behind adding a decent lean mass to his body. Well, having a health goal is great but running behind something without knowing about it is problematic in a way. While people are struggling to gain lean kilos, they still do not understand what lean mass or lean muscle or muscle mass actually mean. Sweating it out at a gym without a clue will never take you to your health goals. Today we will help you to understand what muscle mass and strength actually stand for. We will also teach how you can calculate your lean and muscle mass so that you can monitor your progress throughout. Lastly, we will put down the best Indian foods that can naturally help you in gaining muscle mass and strength. So brace yourself for some really muscular facts.
Lean Mass v/s Muscle Mass
Yes, by all means, these two are 2 different terms. Often used interchangeably, these terms mislead the health enthusiasts.
Lean Mass: Also called as Leans Body Mass is actually the weight of your entire body composition minus the fat. It includes the weight of your organs, bones, skin, muscles, water and everything else, except for fat.
Muscle Mass: As the term clearly indicates, muscle mass is the weight of your muscles. When you talk about gaining muscle mass, you are actually talking about the skeletal muscles. This is the only muscle type that can be manipulated with exercise and diet. This means that muscle mass is actually a part of lean mass.
How to Calculate Lean Body Mass
While you do need to know muscle mass and gain, it is rather difficult to do so. You would need hi-end sophisticated equipment to accurately assess muscle gain. However, you can calculate Lean Body Mass rather easily which is definitely a crucial step in planning the path to your health goal.
All you need is a Body Fat Scale and a calculator. Body fat scales are economical and easily available. You might find it at your local gym as well.
- Find your body fat percentage through the body fat scale.
- Deduct the body fat percentage from 100 to get lean mass percentage.
E.g. If body fat percentage was 30% then lean mass percentage will be 100 – 30 i.e. 70%
- Divide the percentage by 100 for the lean mass factor. E.g. 70/100 i.e. 0.75
- Multiply the lean mass factor with your body weight to get lean mass. So if your body weight is 80 kilos, then your lean mass will be 80 X 0.75 = 60 kilos.
If you are at 30% body fat and wish to come down to 20% then you can calculate the target weight as follows:
Target Weight = Lean Body Mass X (100% – target body fat%)
= 60 X (1- 0.2) = 48 kilos.
This means that you will need to come down to 48 kilos to get body fat percentage of 20%.
Why is diet so important for gaining muscle mass?
A good diet is inevitable when it comes to muscle gain. Muscles are made up of protein and even for their normal maintenance you need it. If your target is muscle gain, then your protein requirement increases all the more. Protein is also essential for secretion of enzymes and hormones within the body that are essential for growth and development and digestion.
Another important requirement is dietary fibre and healthy carbs. These are required to promote a healthy digestion so that your body can uptake nutrients being provided. Post workout, carbs also help in raising insulin response which allows muscles to take up maximum protein.
Another reason, to take care of your diet is water retention. Lean mass is largely affected by any change in the concentration of body fluids. With a good diet, you can ensure that your body is avoiding fluid retention. For example: high sodium intake or increased glycogen leads to water retention causing an increase in the lean mass.
We can create ideal conditions for healthy muscle gain for the body with a good diet and healthy habits. Here are the Best Indian foods that are a must if you want to gain muscle mass.
- 1) Eggs
Egg whites are one of the richest sources of complete protein i.e. it has all the 9 essential amino acids needed by our bodies. It is also a rich source of choline, an essential nutrient required for muscle control and neurological efficiency.
In addition to this, the egg yolk, which often is termed as bad, is actually a source of good fat. One yolk a day is actually helpful. Eggs are also rich in Vitamin D. They are in every way ideal for muscle gain.
- 2) Chicken
Chicken is by far the most popular source of protein. It is delicious, easy to prepare, can be cooked with almost anything and is economical too.
Chicken is a complete source of high quality protein. You can easily bag 25 to 35 grams of protein per 100 gram of meat. In addition, you also get a decent supply for Vitamin B6 and Iron. Toss in a few vegetables to your chicken or have it with brown rice to make your meal protein as well as fibre rich – a perfect combination for muscle gain.
- 3) Fish
Fish is again, a very popular source of protein. It is highly recommended due to its lean meat and rich omega 3 which takes part in many bodily processes including fat deposition. Omega 3 also plays an important role in controlling inflammation. Hence, it is a great treat for your exhausted muscles.
- 4) Milk / Paneer / Cheese
Milk and dairy products are all rich sources of complete protein. Incorporating sufficient amounts of dairy products in your diet is an easy way to ensure protein intake. Be it milk, paneer, cheese, yogurt, curd or buttermilk; every dairy product is loaded with whey and casein. In addition to protein, dairy products also supply an impressive amount of calcium, iron and other essential minerals.
- 5) Beans / Pulses
For vegetarians, beans and pulses are the richest and cheapest options for protein foods. They are easy to cook and loaded with numerous nutrients including minerals, iron and dietary fibres. Be it rajma, masoor or soya bean; adding these to your diet is a super healthy way to gain health.
How to build Muscle Strength?
Well, with a good diet you can ensure a healthy and steady muscle gain. However, for gaining muscle strength you will have to do a little more than just eating healthy. Muscle Strength is defined as the force your muscle can exert in one time and this can be achieved with a dedicated workout.
Now that does not mean you ignore the diet. Muscle gain is a prerequisite for muscle strength. More the muscles, more is the strength that you can achieve. These are a few exercises you should focus on to gain muscle strength:
- 1) Mighty four
You must ensure that your workout routine has room for dead lift, bench press, squat and shoulder press. These four are the best exercises for gaining muscle strength.
- 2) Barbells and Dumbbells
These two are the main equipment you need to focus on. Barbells are the best as they let you take a lot of weight which is essential for strength training. You may use these while doing squats or other exercises.
- 3) Core Training
You cannot ignore the core when it come strength training. Muscles in the core i.e. abdomen, back etc. are very essential for your form, balance and the overall efficiency of your workout routines. Focus on crunches, reverse crunches, knee raise and hanging knee raise, planks etc for a strong core.
- 4) Rest
Give your muscles sufficient time to recover post a workout. Keep a gap of 24 to 48 hours before working out on the same muscle again. Also, sleeping is very important. Growth hormone which is required actively for your muscular repair and growth is released when you sleep. Hence, getting 6 to 8 hours is a must.
It goes without saying that muscle gain and strength is a successful union of a good diet and good workout. You miss on either of them and you might find yourself struggling to reach your goal.