Top 5 Lean Bulking Tips

The holy grail when building maximum amounts of muscle is to make 100% 'clean gains' without any fat. But you know the reality – this isn't easy unless you have genetics like Anthony Joshua.

We need excess calories to grow and this tends to mean adding an acceptable amount of body fat along the way. Fortunately, by using an intelligent approach to bulking, we can flip the switch on lean growth, while keeping fat gain to an absolute minimum – here's how.....

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1. ADD MORE MUSCLE BY STARTING LEAN

Make your gains cleaner by starting out lean – ideally well under 10% body fat.

The benefits?

*The leaner you are, the better your insulin sensitivity and testosterone levels are likely to be; both these factors will help you turn excess calories into muscle in response to training.

*Even if you gain 5-10lbs of fat you'll still be in decent shape and hold ab definition; what's more you'll always be just a few weeks away from awesome condition.

If you're not very lean right now, spend 3-4 weeks shredding fat – then start your bulk.

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2. FOCUS ON PROGRESSIVE OVER-LOAD

If you're eating a surplus of calories and not making concurrent progress on your lifts – you've just mastered the recipe for creating the marshmallow man. This may sound obvious, but it's a common mistake for trainers to keep pushing their calories higher in search of faster gains; make sure you're gaining strength/ reps in every session if you want to turn food into muscle! Take stack of X-PLODE HARDCORE™, BCAA INTRA HARDCORE to ensure your training's in-line with your mass gain goals.

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3. POST-WEIGHTS CARDIO FOR LEAN MASS

Hitting 20-30 minutes of cardio after your weights sessions will help to oxidise the fatty acids released into the bloodstream during heavy lifting. In addition, cardio will further sensitise muscle to insulin – meaning the carbs and protein in your PWO shake and meal will be absorbed directly into muscle tissue for rapid recovery and lean growth.

- 30 minutes incline walking

- Or 3 x 10: 10 mins rowing, 10 x cross-trainer, 10 x bike

- Or 1 mile run 'flat out'

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 4. CALORIE CYCLING

Using a scientific calorie cycling plan is an effective way of building muscle while minimising fat gain. If you play around and find what works best with your genetics – you might even add muscle while losing body fat. The basic premise is to eat a calorie surplus with high carbs on training days, rotated with maintenance/smaller surplus on rest days, with a lower carb and higher fat intake; this rotation also helps to optimise hormonal synthesis, since both carbs and fat promote T production.

Use this calorie calculator  for a detailed breakdown of your 'lean bulk' training/off-day calorie needs.

5. TIME YOUR CARB INTAKE INTELLIGENTLY

Alongside carb cycling, consuming 70-80% of your carbohydrates WITIN 2 HOURS AFTER WEIGHT TRAINING will maximise intra-muscle uptake and support optimal anabolic response and recovery. For mass gains, take a PWO serving of OMNI MX® HARDCORE omni-mxfollowed by a high carb, protein-rich, low fat meal with, (e.g. lean chilli con carne, basmati rice with peas or tortilla wraps, low fat protein milkshake) around 90 minutes later. Keeping fat intake low during your carb spikes will help to stimulate the leanest gains.

We think our athlete Arran Arogundade has it spot on when it comes to lean bulk, why don't you drop him a follow:

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Pictures courtesy of Arran Arogundade 

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