Let’s face it: we all want a stronger, leaner, and more capable body. The truth is, if you want to look like an athlete, you have to train your body like an athlete, taking into account both the physical training and also nutrition requirements.
To get started on sculpting a stronger body, experts recommend focusing on burning fat and building lean muscle through a healthy diet, cardiovascular exercise, and strength training. Whether you’re just getting started on your journey to a stronger body, or are well on your way, try these 5 tips for building muscle and burning fat.
- Focus on functional movements. To sculpt your way to a stronger body, it’s important to integrate movements into your routine that train your body in all three planes of motion: movements that require rotations, turning, twisting and side-to-side motions are your best bet. Training in all planes of motion most closely resembles your natural movement patterns and will add intensity and variety to your workouts.
One of our favorite, functional workouts for sculpting a stronger body is HIIT & Flow. It is designed to take you through a high intensity, interval based workout that is based on your body’s natural movement patterns.
- Gain flexibility. To avoid injury, especially as your workouts intensify, it is important to increase your flexibility and mobility early on in your training program. Your training should include equal parts stretching to intensity which can be done by incorporating a regular yoga practice into your routine (recommended at least 3-5 times per week) and incorporating workouts that focus on strength, flexibility, balance, and endurance.
For an efficient approach, try this workout to gain strength, flexibility and endurance.
- Perform compound exercises. Compound, or multi-joint exercises like squats, lunges, push-ups, rows, step ups, and deadlifts work major muscle groups and help you build more muscle mass and burn more fat.
- Make breakfast a priority. We’ve all heard the saying before – breakfast is the most important meal of the day – and while it sounds like something your parents tell you to get you to eat fruit instead of sugary cereal, it does have some merit. Breakfast gives you the energy you need to start your day, and jumpstarts your metabolism, meaning if you eat the right kind of breakfast, you’ll be less hungry the rest of the day. It also sets the trend: you’ll tend to eat healthier if your day starts with a healthy breakfast.
My favorite go-to healthy breakfasts options include healthy proteins and fruits and vegetables. Need some inspiration? Try this healthy frittata recipe via Jill Conyers that uses fresh veggies and Eggland’s Best eggs, or this protein packed chocolate, peanut butter, chia smoothie from Foodie Loves Fitness.
- Eat more protein with every meal. If you want to sculpt a stronger body, you need more healthy protein in your diet; it is absolutely essential for building and maintaining muscle and also helps fat loss as protein helps you stay full longer than carbs. The best way to ensure that you’re getting the proper amount of protein is to eat a whole protein source with each and every meal.
As a vegetarian, my favorite way to get a good, healthy protein fix is with Eggland’s Best eggs. They go great with just about everything (hard-boiled eggs in salads, fried eggs on toast, eggs with veggie / rice stir-fry, etc) and they provide 13% of our daily protein intake (with just one egg!), Not only are Eggland’s Best eggs my go-to protein source, they also have superior nutrition than ordinary eggs such as 6x more vitamin D, more than double the vitamin B12, and 10x more vitamin E.
To sculpt a stronger body, you have to train hard, smart, and also safely, focusing on functional, total body exercises and a nutritious, protein packed diet. Need more workout inspiration? Check out some of our favorite workouts. And for more healthy recipe ideas, try these clean eating recipe ideas.