You want to be big but you want to stay ripped -- join the club!
There are tons of lean mass schemes out there for a reason, no one's body wants to stay lean. In fact, our bodies tend to like being heavier. It's much easier for our bodies to store fat than it is to build muscle. Being massive and lean is a tough task for your body to accomplish. It is going to take time and patience. These 15 tips will help keep the extra pounds off and help you add slabs of beef to your frame.
Flexible dieting has a lot of benefits, but a common misconception is that IIFYMers just eat candy and junk all day. IIFYM is not a diet, but a system that can be very useful. 80 percent of your diet will come from whole food sources that are loaded with plenty of micronutrients; these include all your typical "Bro" foods. The biggest benefit to IIFYM is that you can be flexible with your food choices. Basically, you can still eat out with friends, have birthday cake, and go to parties while still getting results. For long-term success, this method has been proving superior to traditional "dieting".
You don't need to be stuffing your face at every sitting to gain size. Muscle tissue is synthesized at a slow rate, much slower than most guys think. The average man can gain .25- to five pounds of muscle per week while the average woman can gain .12- to .25 pounds per week. That is not a huge amount; therefore you don't need all those extra calories. Being in a small caloric surplus anywhere between 200-400 calories per day will get the job done. Your body will put on fat if you take in any more than that.
Mini cuts are great because they allow you to burn off added fat from your bulk rather quickly. I recommend a cut from two to six weeks, depending on your current conditioning. I also like to be aggressive, if your current intake is 3500 calories, drop your intake to 2500. By doing that you will take advantage of the raised fat burning hormones like leptin and T3.
The goal is to be as big and lean as humanly possible, how can you get big without going heavy? By lifting heavy, you signal to your body that there's a demand to build and maintain more lean mass. I recommend progressing your routine and always striving to add one more rep, five pounds, or one more set to every workout.
There is no way around the basic compound exercises. These exercises stimulate more then just one-muscle group. In addition to hitting multiple muscle groups you will also build overall strength. You will stimulate all your fiber types and help release huge surges of testosterone and growth hormone naturally. The more taxing the movement, the greater the release.
If you ever have entered a long cut you know that by the time your done you are ready to eat a house and more. Whenever we push our bodies past our bodyfat set points (getting to new bodyfat lows), your body responds by increasing the hunger feeling. The best thing you can do after finishing your fat loss phase is to slow build your metabolism back up. Lets say for example at the end of your cut your taking in 220 grams of protein, 150g of carbs and 45 grams of fat, these are the numbers that it takes to maintain your current physique look. If you add 10% to your carbs and fat every week or week and half, within a couple of months your macro numbers would look something like this: 220g protein, 350g carbs and 70g fat. By slowly adding the calories back in we allow for your body to adjust to each new calorie level. It is not uncommon for bodybuilders to maintain their contest shape while doing this. In addition to the benefit you also improve your metabolic capacity and your ability to handle more macros.
Despite popular thinking, you can gain fat from one meal. Binging can ruin a lean physique. Binging is going off the deep end and eating everything with no end in sight. While these things happen, frequent binges can add 10 pounds to your physique in a few days. I have seen competitors gain 15 pounds in a weekend. Besides the physical downfall, binges also wreck havoc on your mental state. Post binge, you usually feel a huge sense of guilt; this guilt can lead to depression and more binging. This is why I like point number one. By following a flexible diet, you can fit in little treats here and there without causing you to binge or feel guilty.
High Intensity Interval Training is a form of cardio that is ideal for staying lean and getting big. HIIT involves performing 15-30 seconds of high intensity work. This may include car pushes, 400-meter sprints, battle ropes, and barbell complexes. This form of cardio can actually help you gain muscle. A great example of this is comparing a marathon runner to a short distance sprinter. A marathon runner body is adapted to that form of cardio, where as a short distance sprinter's type II fibers are dominant.
Alcohol in moderation is okay. By moderation, I’m talking about one or two drinks a week. A high alcohol intake can slow muscle gain and increase fat storage; especially when associated with drunken binges. Alcohol also contains calories; seven calories per gram. Most alcoholic drinks are loaded with added calories mostly from carbs and sugar. Alcohol can also dehydrate you, which can lead to reductions in strength. The weaker you are the less weight you will move, the less weight you move the less muscle you have the potential of gaining.
Do not be afraid of the overtraining monster. Muscle growth is directly related to overall workout volume. Keep track of your workout volume and if you’re not making any progress in a certain area, then add more volume. Do not add too much too fast; slow and steady wins the race. You can increase workout volume by adding more weight, more sets, more reps and even by adding more frequency.
Creatine is one of the tried and trusted supplements on the market today. Creatine has been shown to increase muscle size and strength. I recommend taking five grams daily for 8-12 weeks with a two-week break. Creatine increases intracellular water retention in your muscles, which leads to an increase in strength, resulting in more muscle growth.
Always strive to break new records in the gym. Remember, no ones’ body wants to be lean and muscular. We need to force our bodies to adapt and build muscle. We do this by always pushing the bar higher and higher. Who do you think will be more muscular, someone who squats 225 pounds or someone who squats 500 pounds?
Intra Workout shakes are a great way to get calories in while bulking. Intra Workout shakes can also give you that energy boost you need when you start dying out mid-workout. I make my own concoction and it has worked well for me (adjust amounts as needed):
1 bottle of Gatorade or 1 Scoop Carb Powder
Since using an Intra Workout drink, I have noticed I have been gaining more strength and staying leaner.
The best time of day to consume your carbs is around your workout. Consuming carbs before exercise will provide your body with energy for your workouts. I usually consume an Intra Workout shake that contains carbs as well to help get in more calories and help keep me anabolic during a workout. I will consume a balanced meal with protein and carbs to help with muscle repair 20 minutes following a workout.