I’m sure most of you will agree with me that bulking up is great. You get to eat lots of food and lift lots of heavy weight while getting bigger and stronger. However, what usually ends up happening, quite often, is that we end up putting on a lot of fat along with all that muscle. Usually, it’s mostly fat. The old ways of shoving thousands of calories in to our mouth and bulking up need to come to an end. There is no need to eat so much excess food that our we just end up making ourselves fat, or even obese. Remember, you can never out train a bad diet.
A lot of people nowadays have chosen to lean or clean bulk instead of the traditional ‘dirty’ bulk where you eat anything and everything in sight or drink a gallon of milk a day (lactose overload!). Lean bulk focuses more on eating sensibly. You still get to eat higher calories but not too high and you HAVE to watch what you eat. Sure, you can relax more and eat more of your favorite foods but just don’t go overboard.
Some of the benefits of lean bulking are:
Better Insulin Sensitivity
Once your body has used up the calories that you need for muscle building and repair, whatever is leftover turns in to fat. The fatter you get the more resistant you get to insulin. Insulin can be a very powerful tool for helping us to better utilize our carbohydrate intake, in turn helping us build muscle. The more sensitive you are to insulin, the better it is managed by the body. Higher body fat levels translate in to higher insulin resistance.
Just as with Insulin, higher body fat levels also translate in to higher estrogen and lower testosterone levels. This is a double edged sword because while you’re bulking up and watching the scale number go higher, chances are a lot of that is fat. The fatter you are, the lower your testosterone and higher your estrogen, meaning that your chances of gaining more fat are even higher and muscle building? Well, forget about it!
Less Cutting Time
That’s right. If you have been lean bulking, you will have a lot less fat to lose than if you were ‘dirty’ bulking. I don’t know of a single person who likes being on a cut so therefore, the faster we can get rid of the excess fat, the better. Lean bulk and you will have less fat to lose.
How to Lean Bulk?
It’s quite simple to lean bulk. Figure out your daily maintenance calories and then eat a surplus of about 10% calories. That means if your maintenance calories are 2,500 you will now be eating 250 more calories daily totaling up to 2,750 calories every single day. Give it a week or two and if you don’t see any change in your body (ignore the scale, you could be losing fat as well) add another 10% calories daily. Keep going this way until you see results. If you want to see the scale go up, aim for an increase of 0.5-1lb per week, if you are all natural.
Another thing you should consider are your macronutrients. Aim for a good balance between carbohydrates, proteins and fats. Aim for at least 0.7-1g of protein per pound of bodyweight and 1.5-2g per pound of carbohydrates. Fill the rest up with good healthy fats.