Brad Borlands go-to guide to gaining muscle while minimizing fat gains will teach you how to build muscle without gaining fat.
Many trainees have similar goals in mind when it comes to building their physiques: gaining muscle without gaining body fat. On this road to physical improvement they will more often than not have a phase of bulking (gaining a combination of muscle and body fat) and a phase of cutting or leaning out (stripping away body fat and retaining as much muscle as possible in the process). This rollercoaster affect may go on for several phases for a desired outcome. The question is, does one significantly increase his/her lean muscle mass over time or do they simply end up where they started?
Can a trainee gain substantial muscle mass without the unwanted fat? Yes, but first let’s make a compelling argument in favor of this method. Benefits include: a leaner physique year-round, no yo-yo bodyweight changes, slow, but steady gains and no more binging and starving regarding phase-type dieting. Taken into consideration all of these benefits, how could you not at least give this a try?!
Outlined are several easy to use steps to gaining lean muscle mass while minimizing your propensity to gain body fat. Minor adjustments may be needed to cater this program for your body weight, metabolism and frequency of training.
Keep Protein in Check at All Times
Protein has to remain high on the priority list if you want to gain muscle mass. The more protein stays consistent the more potential for the ideal growth environment. And more muscle mass means more body fat burned. Keep protein intake at 1 to 1.25 grams per pound of bodyweight. This will give your body the adequate building blocks for those intense workouts. Sources include lean meats, turkey, chicken, fish, eggs, whey protein and low fat dairy products such as low-fat of skim milk, low-fat cottage cheese and Greek yogurt.
Correct Types Of Carbs Are Your Friends
Essential for fueling those intense workouts, carbs are also protein-sparing – meaning they will let protein build muscle instead of being burned for energy. Carbs are important for many other functions as well such as the regulation of certain hormones, energy regulation and production, normal everyday bodily functions and recovery. When trying to build muscle the low carb fad diets just won’t cut it! The trick is to know how much and what types to eat.
A good place to start would be to establish an intake of 2 grams of carbs per pound of bodyweight. Stay at this level for 4 to 6 weeks to watch for any significant long-term changes. If you see that you are gaining weight and notice you are as lean or leaner than before then do not change a thing. If you are losing weight and not getting pumps in the gym increase your intake to 2.25 or 2.5 (maybe even 3) grams per pound. If you see your abs disappearing and feel that you are getting that “softer” look then decrease carbs to 1.75 or 1.5 grams per pound.
Remember to stay at a certain level of carbs for 4 to 6 weeks before adjusting – it takes the body a few weeks to notice a change and react to it. Changing your intake too frequently will not allow you to make informed decisions regarding what your body needs. The best carb sources are from wild and brown rice, white potatoes and sweet potatoes, oatmeal (not instant), fruits and vegetables. Stay away from processed and refined carb sources.
Reap the Benefits of Fat
No longer a dirty word among the health conscious, fats have a myriad of benefits for the bodybuilder wishing to gain quality muscle mass. Fats regulate testosterone levels, actually help burn body fat, aid energy levels and keep your metabolism churning. Keep fat around 30 to 35 % of your daily total calories. Excellent sources include eggs (yes, the yolks), avocado, olive oil, natural peanut butter, nuts and fatty fish.
One final note: You should be gaining no more than about one pound (sometimes less) per week. If lean muscle is your goal, then slow and steady will win the race. Huge fluctuations in bodyweight will never result in quality muscle gains.