It’s that time of the year again where everyone wants to bulk up!
Making Lean Gains:
Over the winter months, most people choose to bulk and add as much muscle as possible before cutting down again in the New Year for holidays, photo shoots or competitions. Now one question I’ve been asked recently is how to stay lean whilst adding mass and I’ll be perfectly honest, if you really want to add some solid muscle you need to forget about your abs altogether. Last year I made some lean gains as I wanted to bulk up but maintain my abs and definition, however this year I’ve sacrificed definition for mass and believe me it’s 100 times better.
In this article I’ll detail the difference between A/W 2012 and A/W 2013. Firstly from a training point of view I’ve really focused on weak areas this year, whereas last year I trained quite evenly on a weekly basis and hit each muscle group per day. This year I’ve trained my shoulders twice a week, then my back twice a week and repeat as well as hitting all other muscles. I still kept my compound exercises heavy and reps low and all assistant work at 12 reps with very short rest periods to keep the session intense and muscles under as much tension as possible.
*Bodybuilding Warehouse Tip-Train weak areas at the start of the week (Monday/Tuesday) as your least likely to skip them towards the end of the week.
Now the fundamental element when it comes to making gains is supplementation and nutrition. Two key supplements I’ve added to my Bodybuilding Warehouse stack this year are L-Glutamine and PURE Dextrose, I’ve also recently swapped my Probiotic Whey for PURE 80 whey. L-Glutamine is essential for the recovery of muscles especially when you’re putting your body under so much tension with heavy weights. Dextrose is a simple sugar that is derived entirely from corn starch. It is about 20% less sweet than regular cane sugar, and is the main energy source in our body. I’ve added this as it’s a perfect instant supply of energy and works well when it’s added to my post workout PURE 80 shake as it helps restore depleted glycogen levels.
With regards to my food intake I’ve lowered my food from 4,824kcal earlier in the year down to around 4,200kcal whereas last year I was barely hitting 3,300kcal. I know I can comfortably eat this amount on a daily basis without feeling bloated later in the day or in the week, and still keep hitting PBs and increasing my strength and weight. Here’s an example of a my daily food-
Meal 1- 6 egg whites & 3 whole eggs, 125g of oats with semi skimmed milk
Meal 2- 3 blueberry pancakes, 50g PURE 80
Meal 3- 200g chicken breast, 250 white potatoes and 100g broccoli
Meal 4- 175g rice, 200 chicken breast, 100g spinach, 1 pop tart
Pre Workout- Warrior Rage
Post Workout- 50g PURE 80, 50g PURE Dextrose, 5g Creatine and 5g L-Glutamine
Meal 5- 200g steak, 300g sweet potato and 100g broccoli
Meal 6- 50g PURE 80
So from a personal point of view, making gains whilst staying lean is possible however if you’re really looking for some serious gains I’d say forget the abs, they’re covered up over winter anyway. But if your adamant that you want to make lean gains like I did first time round then I’d suggest you start by increasing your food by 50g of carbs per week (200kcal) until your gaining 1lb-2lbs a week quite comfortably and not feeling too bloated, maybe even stick to 1 cardio session a week too.
By Lee Malone