How to Build Muscle: Muscle Growth Without Gaining Fat
There are countless fitness goals out there, but one of the hardest to achieve — and most sought after — is to gain muscle without gaining fat. What makes this so hard you say? Well, to gain sufficient muscle and size, you need to consume more calories.
For many of us, more calories = more chance of adding fat.
So, there’s balance involved – it requires an optimal balance of diet, training, rest, and consideration of a number of individual factors. It’s not as simple as eating more food and lifting weights…
Regardless of where you are with your muscle building goals, we’ve put together a series of tips to help you get the most (and lasting) gains as possible.
Muscle growth is influenced by genetics, some people build muscle easier than others. But, no matter what your genetics are like, you can have a more muscular body if you structure your workouts with these tips:
- Calorie intake must go towards muscle repair, recovery and growth
- Your workouts should consist of strength-related exercises (think squats, presses, rows, lifts…)
- Hypertrophy – increase your ‘time under tension’ to create muscle stimulus
- Progression – when you to go the gym, aim to do a little bit more than last time
Here’s the truth: training for a clean bulk is only a small part of the battle; most of your results are won in the kitchen.
Choose protein sources like seafood, lean grass-fed meat, free-range eggs, nuts and beans. But what about things like protein shakes and protein bars? Shakes are a good supplement to your diet, but protein from naturally occurring sources also contains essential vitamins and nutrients, so, always pick real food when you can.
Quick tip: Once you know how many calories you need to maintain your weight, eat 500 more calories on your lifting days and eat your maintenance level on all other days.
“The proof of the pudding is in the eating,” as the saying goes.
Every month, check your body fat, weight, measurements and photos to make sure you clean bulked correctly. If you gained a little fat, gently reduce your calories on non-lifting days; if you’re not gaining lean mass, gently increase your calories on lifting days.
If you don’t train or eat enough, your muscles won’t grow. On the other hand, if you train a lot, but eat even more, you might also gain fat.
That’s why it’s important to get an integrated training and nutrition plan. This will even sync the calories you burned in your workout with your daily calorie allowance!
Your muscle-building preplist:
- Do at least 2-3 strength workouts per week.
- Make sure to have a training plan that progressively loads your muscles.
- Feed your muscles with a balanced diet that has enough protein.
- Be patient and keep doing this for more than 8 weeks…
…and you will see results! Hello, bigger shoulders, chest, quads…and six-pack ????