Thinking of getting lean muscle? wanting that slim and slender yet still well toned physique like these guys below?
Well I have done some reading and research and this what i came up with:
It all starts and ends with calories. Honestly it does not really matter what else you do. if you know you’re not eating enough and not getting your calorie surplus, nothing else you do will matter – not your training program, not the specific foods you eat, not the supplements you take – nothing. So be honest to yourself and don’t mess around and don’t guess. Write yourself a menu and tally up the calories then get busy with that fork of yours!
Just as with a fat loss program, your lean muscle gaining program begins with calories. Most men need 3200-4000 calories to gain lean body weight, more if they’re extremely active. If you are average in body weight, or slightly under weight, you’ll probably have a maintenance level around 2600-3000, depending on how active you are. This is just a generalization. It’s best to use a calorie calculator and pinpoint your exact optimal maintenance level.
7 Steps To Gaining Lean Muscle Without The Fat
1) Use optimal meal frequency: Six meals a day is optimal. If you eat fewer than five to six meals a day, you will either;
a) be under your calorie surplus level required for gaining muscle, or,
b) if you’re meeting your calorie requirements, then you’re eating too much per meal and this can contribute to fat storage. You might get by with five meals, depending on your calorie requirements, but if your calorie needs are high (say, 3500+, then six meals is optimal.
2) Keep your meals moderate in size Think about the calories per sitting, not just total calories for the day. If you need 3500 to gain weight, then three 1166 calorie meals won’t do. Even though total calories would be right on target, the total calories per meal would be too high.
3) Continue doing moderate amounts of cardio Unless you’re the genetically gifted, fast-metabolism (ectomorph) body type, you need cardio to minimize fat gain and maximize the gain of lean tissue. Cardio should be minimal, but without it, most people will add substantial fat along with the muscle. I’d recommend three days per week, 20-30 minutes — yes, even on a muscle gaining program. Most people avoid cardio completely, thinking that the extra cardio will cancel out the calorie surplus…which it does, unless you increase your calories even more. So basically, you’re eating more and doing more cardio. Does everyone need cardio on a mass gaining program? No, but if you’re having trouble gaining muscle without gaining fat, then YOU need cardio
4) Choose high thermal foods and natural foods. Take advantage of foods that boost your metabolism such as vegetables, natural starches and lean proteins. Great carbs for gaining lean weight include yams, oatmeal, whole grains, beans, brown rice, and potatoes. For protein, choose one of the following for each of your six meals: lean red meat, eggs (mostly whites, limited yolks), chicken breast, turkey breast, protein powder, fish, or cottage cheese.
5) Avoid processed foods and junk foods. Many people use a “weight gaining” program as an excuse to “pig out” on anything and everything. Your goal however should be muscle gain, not weight gain. Again, unless you’re the fast metabolism body type, you can’t afford to eat refined junk foods containing white flour, white sugar and processed fats. You simply have to eat larger amounts of the healthy foods. The foods shouldn’t change that much between weight gain and weight loss programs, what changes is the calorie amounts.
6) Be sure to include essential fats or oils. Include at least 1 tbsp/day of essential fats such as flax oil or Udo’s choice oil blend supplement, or eat fish (Atlantic salmon, rainbow trout, or other fatty cold water fish, etc) at least 2-3 times per week. These good fats help with muscle growth, hormone levels and they even have a thermic effect in small amounts, whereas saturated fats are non thermic and they reduce insulin sensitivity. By the way, these “good fats” are great for boosting your calories too because they are so calorie dense. 3500-4000 calories of low fat food is an enormous amount to choke down. Using the essential fats is an easy way to get the high number of calories you need for weight gain.
7) Switch up Your Caloric Intake – Use The Calorie Cycling Method (http://www.momswhothink.com/diet-and-nutrition/calorie-cycling.html).
Now for what may be the most important technique of all – especially if you are an endomorph (the body type that is inclined to gain body fat easily.) This technique parallels my advice for fat loss. On fat loss programs I recommend that you do not stay on low calories for a long period of time without “re-feeding” and taking a higher calorie day to prevent metabolism from slowing down. The same technique can be used in reverse for gaining lean muscle without fat.
To gain lean tissue you must have a calorie surplus. The trouble is, staying in a surplus can cause fat accumulation. Instead of staying in a surplus 100% of the time, if you zig zag your caloric intake between 3 days at a surplus of about 10-15% over maintenance, then you reduce calories down to maintenance or 5-10% below maintenance (deficit), you prevent the accumulation of body fat. The drawback of this technique is that you spend less time in a surplus, so muscle gains occur more slowly, but the trade off is worth it because you save time that would have to be spent dieting off the fat at a later date. I highly recommend this technique for the endomorph body type