A Complete Guide for Beginners to Building Muscle Without Gaining Fat
Everyone wants to look ripped, but nothing worthwhile comes without a little hard work. Gaining muscle mass is not an easy task as you need to train hard at the gym along with following some dietary modifications. However, many people find this process quite daunting and give up halfway or don’t even try in the first place.
You need to consume more food if you’re looking to bulk up. However, this can be done in two ways, and if you keep eating mindlessly just to gain weight, then you’d end up gaining more fat mass, which will eventually be hard to get rid of. Similarly, if you want to gain more muscle mass, you would have to do lean bulk. Keep reading to learn more about the best ways of building muscle without gaining fat.
What is Lean Bulking?
Lean bulking is the process of gaining muscle mass without gaining fat mass. Anyone who wants to build muscle must be aware that 70% of muscle building relies on your diet, and 30% is based on gym training. Therefore, you need to eat more in order to gain weight.
However, most people end up ‘dirty bulking,’ which is the process of gaining excessive weight and fat by consuming all sorts of high-calorie foods that are calorie-dense and not nutrient-dense. This process leads to additional fat accumulation as well, which comes in your way of gaining muscle mass.
Lean bulking is the process of gaining weight by being mindful of your dietary intake. You consume nutrient-dense foods that will help you build muscle and try to avoid all empty-calorie foods that will only add calories to your body with zero nutrition.
Maximizing Muscle Growth with Least Fat Gain
You can make sure to maximize muscle growth with minimum fat gain in the following ways:
Increased Calorie Intake
If you want to build muscle, then you must increase your calorie intake. However, it would be best if you slowly incorporate the additional calories into your diet instead of just force-feeding yourself. Therefore, you could keep adding 250 to 300 calories to your diet on a weekly basis
Getting Calories from All the Right Sources
As stated earlier, you must be mindful of your food choices. You should always opt for nutrient-dense food. Nutrient-dense food includes those products that have more nutrients and fewer calories in them. Furthermore, calorie-dense foods are the ones with more calories and fewer nutrients in them.
Anything that contains sugar should be strictly avoided as it is a calorie-dense food. Therefore, all sorts of sweets, cakes, sodas, ice-creams, and similar baked goods must be avoided at all costs. You must keep in mind that sugar is a type of harmful carbohydrate, and it is the main culprit behind fat gain, especially in the abdominal area.
You should rely on carbohydrates, proteins, and fat as your main dietary sources. However, you can only have unrefined and unprocessed carbs that will give you the energy you need to sustain yourself at the gym without adding more fat to your body. The same goes for protein and fats, as you need to be smart about your choices. You can only have healthy sources of fat, which include nuts, fish, avocados.
Pile on Protein
If you want to gain muscle mass, then protein is your new best friend. This macronutrient is solely responsible for building muscles as all muscles are made of protein. It’s also best to add a source of protein to all your meals. There are several options when it comes to adding protein to your diet, as you could go with eggs, chicken, fish, mutton, beef, yogurt, cheese, tofu, and similar products.
Say No to Processed Foods
Processed foods are the biggest hindrance between you and your ripped body. We know how much you adore French fries and fried chicken, but we assure you that it’s no good for your body. All sorts of fried foods are high in trans fats, and they increase the amount of fat in your body.
Furthermore, anything with sugar or refined flour will again give you empty calories that will lead to excessive fat deposition. Therefore, you must always make healthier food choices that are more filling, nutrient-dense, and contain minimum calories. Make sure that with every meal you are consuming veggies and lean meat. In veggies, you can have spinach, broccoli, etc. In case you are having carbs, it’s vital to pick foods, such as potatoes, whole grains, oats, and more. Plus, keep in mind that you don’t have to add refined oils in your diet plan as they contain extra calories and increase fat gain.
Train Like There’s No Tomorrow
If you want to see those gains, then you will have to train like there’s no tomorrow. You could also divide your days to cater to different body parts. For instance, you could dedicate one day for your arms, one for legs, one for back, one for the chest. You could also assign a few days to your upper torso and the remaining to your lower torso as it helps as well.
Increased Number of Reps
Don’t be afraid of going the extra mile when it comes to performing reps. The more reps you perform, the greater chance you have of building muscles. However, training, fatigue, and exhaustion are also real! It’s important for you to be mindful of the time and not over train as this could burn more calories, and you would end up losing your muscle mass.
Timing for Workout
Your workout timing plays a very important role, as well. The best time for working out to build muscle is an hour after having a main meal as it gives you the strength to work out at the gym.
Type of Workout
You must also be mindful of the type of workout you do. While lifting weights is ideal for building muscle, cardio is notorious for burning muscle mass. This is why you must make sure that you don’t perform cardio exercises along with weight lifting at the same time. If you really want to do cardio, then you should keep a gap of at least six hours between your cardio and weight lifting workout.
Drop Sets for the Win
Drop sets are ideal for engaging all the muscles in your body to enhance the process of bulking up. It also burns off any excess fat in your body.
Keep Track of your Monthly Progress
You should make sure to monitor your body fat percentage every month so that you’re aware of the amount of fat in your body and how much more of it you need to burn. This will give you a direction for adjusting and modifying your process of lean bulking.
Make Use of Compound Movements
Muscle building means gaining muscle mass in various body parts and losing fat from them as well. This process is quite complex as you need to use different types of workout exercises to cater to the different areas of your body.
The Power of Sleep
We cannot stress enough the importance of being well-rested as it will allow you to burn fat much faster and gain muscle simultaneously. Furthermore, receiving the proper amount of sleep triggers the optimal production of the human growth hormone that leads to muscle formation.
You will find mixed reviews regarding supplement intake to build muscle mass as most people rely solely on their food intake. However, supplement is a potent dose of concentrated nutrients, and they are effective for improving your nutrient consumption which does improve your chances of muscle building.
Improved Water Intake
Water is extremely important for lean bulking as it keeps your body hydrated and prevents you from getting cramps. Anyone performing rigorous gym activity is usually recommended to have 12 to 14 glasses of water per day to keep them fit and active.
How Should I Consume Macronutrients for Optimal Lean Bulking?
Macronutrients are a major part of your dietary intake as they make up your entire diet. Carbohydrates, proteins, and fat are the major macronutrients in our diet, and we have discussed their intake in detail.
Protein is an essential macronutrient for building muscle mass as all muscles are made of protein. It is also extremely important for repairing damaged muscles and increasing muscle mass. Therefore, any who wants to build muscles or practice lean bulking must make sure to increase their protein intake.
Amino acids are the molecules that makeup protein. They are also the building blocks for muscle formation. Therefore, when you consume a protein-rich diet, your body digests the amino acids and converts them into small peptides that further help in muscle mass formation.
Carbohydrates are famous for being the culprits responsible for weight gain since they are high in calories and energy. However, carbohydrates are also the main source of energy for our body, and your body can’t function optimally without carbohydrates.
Therefore, you must consume the healthier versions of carbs by opting for minimally processed and organic sources of carbohydrates such as oats, whole wheat, quinoa, etc. If you eat them mindfully, then they can help give you the energy you need to gain muscle mass and burn excess body fat at the gym.
There is a common misconception regarding fats since most people think that eating fats will make them fat. This is partially true, but you will only become fat if you consume harmful fats, which include saturated fatty acids and trans fats. They are found in margarine, lard, fried foods, and they are responsible for fat accumulation in your body.
However, suppose you consume healthy fats, which include unsaturated fatty acids. In that case, you will notice a gradual decrease in your fat mass and a boost in your muscle mass as they will increase your energy and make you more active throughout the entire day. They are also more filling as compared to carbs and keep you fuller for a longer time.
Fiber is not necessarily a macronutrient, but it is a part of carbohydrates, and it is also important for lean bulking. Fiber helps to improve the digestive process in your body and boosts your metabolism. The improved metabolic function also leads to better blood lipid levels, which prevent the deposition and accumulation of excess fat and helps in lean bulking.
How Much Weight Should You Gain on a Lean Bulk?
Slow and steady wins the race. It’s important to remember that every person has a different physique and metabolism, and their body responds individually to external efforts. However, if you want to measure your progress, then you should ideally gain one to two pounds of muscle mass every month.
Do You Gain Fat When Lean Bulking?
The answer to this simple question is yes, and you can gain fat while lean bulking. While everyone tries their best to gain the maximum amount of muscle mass and avoid fat mass, it is almost impossible to gain weight and not have a little amount of fat gain.
You can surely minimize the amount of fat mass gained during lean bulking by eating nutrient-dense foods, but there will still be a little amount of fat mass as well since it’s not completely unavoidable.
When Should I Start Lean Bulking?
You can start to lean bulking at any age in your life. However, most people are recommended to do so after puberty so that they have ample strength and energy to carry out the efforts needed for lean bulking.
How Long Does It Take for Visible Lean Bulking?
If you are working out hard at the gym and taking care of your diet, it only takes a maximum of two weeks until your body starts showing an evident difference and you start looking more ripped than before.
Lean bulking might come across as quite a difficult task, which is why most people lose hope. However, if you practice mindful eating and give your best at the gym, you can surely have a muscular body with zero fat in no time.