Gain Muscle, Not Fat! 5 Tips For Staying Lean And Mean While Bulking
Are you trying to gain muscle mass without the added body fat that comes from big eating? Do you struggle to find the fine line between eating too little for muscular gains and spilling over into fat gain? It is true that you’ll probably have to gain some fat to get big, but it doesn’t have to be much. With these five tips, you can gain muscle not fat, and avoid having to cut a bunch of fat after gaining your hard-earned muscle!
1. Time Your Carbs
If there’s any nutrient that makes people gain fat with amazing speed, it’s carbohydrates. This doesn’t mean that they’re all bad, though. In fact, you need carbs to build muscle!
The key is to eat them at the right times, when your body is best suited to use them to gain muscle not fat.
The best time to eat carbs is after your workout. Hard weight training alters the way your body uses food so that all nutrients and especially carbs are channeled towards muscle gain instead of fat storage. Sugar and starch alike, carbs can only help you in the hour or two after you train. Make sure to down plenty of them, along with some protein to both help you stay lean and increase your muscular gains.
2. Eat Your Protein to Gain Muscle not Fat!
Whether you’re trying to lose fat or gain muscle, protein is the most essential nutrient for a weight lifter. This is especially true if you’re trying hard to gain muscle, not fat! Not only does protein help you build new muscle tissue, it boosts your metabolism and is nearly impossible to convert to body fat. If you replace some of the calories you’re currently eating from fats and carbs with more protein, you will likely get leaner AND build more muscle!
Unlike carbs, there is also no perfect time to eat protein. You should always be eating it! Every meal you eat throughout the day should have an appropriate portion of your ideal daily protein intake. Going too long without protein can cause your body to cannibalize its own muscle tissue – that won’t help you stay lean!
3. Cardio for Cuts when wanting to Gain Muscle not Fat
You often hear bodybuilders advising other lifters to steer clear of any and all forms of cardio while trying to put on muscle mass. In fact, some guys get downright lazy when they’re trying to gain, fearing that any extra movement is hurting their progress! Not only is this nonsense, it doesn’t do any good for gaining purely lean muscle.
To add cardio into your routine without hurting your weight training, do low intensity walks in the morning on an empty stomach. At the time of day, your body has no food in it and is primed to burn body fat as you walk. Keep the intensity low, and you can keep the fat gains at bay without cutting into your recovery from weight lifting. Save the sprinting for when it’s time to diet! This is the best way to gain muscle not fat.
4. Don’t Skimp on the Fat
Pretty much everyone these days realizes that eating dietary fat is NOT what makes you gain body fat. This is especially important to remember if you’re trying to gain muscle, not fat. Gaining muscle mass takes a lot of calories, but eating too many carbs makes you fat. What are you to do, then? Eat more fat!
In order to gain muscle not fat, you must consume some fatty foods.
Healthy fats like those found in nuts, oils, fatty fish, and even some lean red meat are great for your skin and hormonal functions, and they are a great source of calories, as well! They won’t jack up your insulin levels and lead to instant body fat storage the way eating lots of sugar or starch will, but they can still help you meet your caloric needs for muscle gains.
5. Body Fat Gains vs. Body Fat Percentage
In the end, remember that you’re going to have to gain SOME fat, but you can still maintain a good body fat PERCENTAGE. Consider this example. Joe weighs 200 pounds at 15 percent body fat. That’s 30 total pounds of fat. Let’s say he gains weight, both muscle and fat, to arrive at 250 pounds at 15 percent body fat. Now he has 37.5 pounds of fat. That’s a gain of 7.5 pounds of fat, but he’s still the same body fat percentage!
In simpler terms, Joe gained lots of muscle and a little bit of fat but still looks just as lean! Remember this example if you’re still worried about gaining fat while building muscle. Some fat gain is going to be necessary if you want to gain faster than a snail’s pace, but it doesn’t have to affect how lean you look if you’re strict with your diet.
Stick to these 5 tips when wanting to gain muscle not fat and you should be successful.
Justin Woltering is a fitness model, personal trainer, and author of Bigger Better Faster Now.
With 5 certifications and world recognition, Justin is helping skinny guys everywhere to achieve massive gains. To learn more bodybuilding tips and nutrition advice, visit Justin’s Mind Muscle Academy Memeber’s Only Section: