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Lean bodybuilder

Should you get lean or should you lose weight?

Do you know the difference between losing weight and getting lean? And do you know which approach you would like to take? It’s a common misconception in fitness. People automatically assume that losing weight will equate to them getting a nice physique. In some cases this is true, but more often than not, what they actually mean is that they want to get lean and have a body that is aesthetically pleasing.

Losing weight will allow you to lower the amount of kilograms that you lose. You will lose fat, but you will also lose muscle and water. By getting lean, you will maintain your muscle mass while burning away your body fat.

If you want to lose weight, you can do the following.

  • Weigh yourself on a scale and note your weight and the date.
  • Also take a picture of your physique on that day.
  • Conduct cardiovascular training each day and burn at least 400 calories in a session. This can be stamina training or endurance.
  • Maintain a calorie deficit diet

If things go well, you can lose 2kg or more every month. Your body size will decrease, but it won’t have the aesthetic appeal of an athlete, bodybuilder or fitness model.

If you want to get lean, you need to be able to get your body to burn body fat without eating away at your muscle. There are a couple of ways to achieve this.

  • Set a body fat percentage goal. (For example, 10%)
  • Start by taking a picture and measuring your body weight. You want to measure your body fat percentage, so it is ideal to measure it with calipers. You can then track your progress on a weekly, fortnightly or monthly basis.
  • Ensure that you consume a protein-heavy diet with the right macros. This will allow you to retain the muscle that you already have while stripping away the body fat.
  • Focus on high-intensity interval training for burning body fat. This way you will be able to burn a high amount of calories that will focus on burning away the fat, while maintaining the muscle.

What’s the difference?

In the images below, you can see the difference between someone that is lean compared to someone that has lost weight.

Getting lean

Getting lean

Image source

The aesthetics of the person that is lean is more attractive and visually appealing compared to the person that only focused on losing weight.

What should you do?

You can look into cardio machines that will allow you to do high interval intensity training. You should also look into resistance weights such as dumbbells or Olympic barbells to help you with your resistance training.

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