How to Lean Bulk
Read this quick guide to learn how to stay lean while bulking. Learn how to calculate lean bulk macros and grow muscle without excess fat gain.
UPDATED: June 3, 2016
There are many reasons for a woman to choose to lean bulk rather than a traditional bulk to put on muscle. Chief among them are the emotional toll it can take watching your lean frame become overly soft, and the process of losing all the excess body fat after a traditional bulk.
Also, if you are an aspiring fitness model or competitor it may be wise to stay within a quickly achievable cutting time frame. For example, I like to stay within 8 weeks of my personal idea of photo shoot lean. Typically, I can comfortably lose .5lbs per week of body fat during a cut. Therefore, I try not to put on more than 4-5lbs of body fat at any time.
As a reminder, I am not taking into account water weight. I am specifically referring to gaining 4-5lbs of pure fat. It is impossible to gain muscle without gaining some fat, but if you stay disciplined you can progress your physique without causing yourself a ton of headache down the line.
Why would I want to bulk?
(In no particular order)
Bulking, or lean bulking can work wonders for your metabolism is two ways. One, done properly you'll be adding more muscle to your frame. Muscle requires more energy for your body to maintain, which means it requires your body to burn more calories just to maintain. Additionally, if you're coming out of a cut, into a lean bulk you're consuming more calories. This causes your body to adjust and become used to the new higher amount of calories. When you choose to go back to cutting body fat, to reveal those gains your diet will be more effective.
Bigger, Rounder, Higher Booty
Lean bulking allows you to grow your muscle, and yes, grow those glutes. When you combine a caloric surplus with the right glute stimulating exercises you can develop a larger and tighter booty.
Shapelier Legs, Nice Shoulders For Strapless Dresses, & The Appearance of A Smaller Waist
Same as with your glutes, lean bulking combined with an effective training split can add size to your legs, and grow your shoulders. Combine it with a back training regimen and you can grow your back which will make your waist appear smaller.
Lean Bulking Guide
+ Step no. 1: Calculate Maintenance Calories & Lean Bulk Macros
+ Step no. 2: Buy A Food Scale
Buy a good food scale, becuase counting macros requires knowing "how much" of something you are eating. I use this Ozeri scale that I bought off Amazon. It is accurate, a good price, and looks good in my kitchen. → Ozeri Digital Food Scale
+ Step no. 3: Add About 500 Calories on Training Days
This will give you in a small surplus on training days, which will aid in recovery and muscle growth. This is just an estimate of what you will need to gain muscle. You will need to track your weight progress to insure you're progressing in the right direction. Add more calories if you're not seeing your weight increase moderately. If you're gaining weight too fast, decrease the calories.
+ Step no. 4: Add About 100 Calories On Non Training Days
On non-training days you want to stay in a caloric surplus, but you are not using that extra energy. If you eat too much of a surplus, and don't use that energy, you are at risk for adding too much body fat.
+ Step no. 5: Track Your Weight Weekly
If you are adding muscle to your frame, then you are adding mass to your body. Therefore, the scale should go up. If you are gaining weight too quickly, adjust your calories down. If you're not gaining enough weight, adjust your calories up.
+ Step no. 5: Focus On Gaining No More Than .5lb/Week
It is impossible to gain muscle without gaining some fat. Just like it's impossible to lose fat without losing some muscle. The goal of a lean bulk is to limit the amount of fat you gain whike gaining fat is to eat a conservative surplus of calories.
This is a more simplistic approach to lean bulking. There are other more intense yet highly effective methods where you're not only manipulating calories for training days but also your carbs. Consider this a great starting point for beginners and happy bulking!