How To Lean Bulk as a Natural Bodybuilder: This may seem easy to answer. Surely, all you need to do is devise a bulking meal plan that allows you to eat surplus calories; and as long as you don't live in the fast-food joints, you should be able to build muscle without fat gain. Is it that simple?
Scroll Down To Continue Reading "How To Lean Bulk as a Natural Bodybuilder."
Continue Reading How To Lean Bulk as a Natural Bodybuilder
As a natural bodybuilder, is it possible to put on 100% muscle on a lean bulk being in a calorie surplus?
The short answer is yes, it is doable because building muscle requires a certain amount of energy. We also know the necessary amount of energy isn't much, otherwise, it wouldn't be possible to lose body fat and gain muscle simultaneously.
However, in practice, this can be difficult to pull off. While there are some successful lean bulks where individuals didn't gain too much body fat, it is rare to see someone go through a lean bulking period and not increase their body fat percentage.
At this point, you might be asking why? In theory, you could set up a bulking meal plan so that you only gain one pound of lean mass per month. Straight off the bat, this presents a few issues. The first problem that may arise is that in reality, you have no idea how much lean muscle mass you could gain in any one month.
For argument's sake, let's imagine you have the inside scoop on how much muscle you could gain every month on a lean bulk. Let's say you could build muscle at the rate of one pound per month. Broken down, it would take roughly 60 extra calories per day, which isn't a whole lot.
The second problem you may run into is with the diversity of food labels and error margins of up to 20% either way, it would be nearly impossible to judge something as small as a 60 calorie daily increase.
There are also variations in day-to-day energy expenditure that could be more than a 60 calorie per day difference even if you're doing the same things day in and day out such as training and resting on specific days through the week. From fidgeting more on one day than the other to moving more, drinking, and sweating less or more can all influence those 60 extra calories and total energy expenditure.
You could aim to be more exact and say you're going to shoot for one pound per month, which would work out to be about 100 grams of tissue gain per week. While this may sound conservative and more achievable, in reality, minor issues such as having an average scale that isn't exact may make it hard to track a weight gain of 100 grams per week.
When learning how to lean bulk, your diet will be the most crucial factor in adding new muscle tissue. But more often than not, you should consider that you will accumulate a little additional body fat while you are in a calorie surplus.
If you want to maximize muscle growth while minimizing additional fat gain, you have to ensure you are taking in enough daily calories without going overboard.
This is where discipline will play a key role in your day-to-day efforts. As a natural bodybuilder, there is a limit to the rate of muscle growth your body experiences monthly. The speed at which lean muscle can be built is slower the more advanced you are. In all cases, too many extra calories will most definitely be stored as body fat.
Think of building muscle like you would do erecting a new house. The building aspect takes more work and money than it costs for utilities and maintenance. To lay the foundation and build the structure requires an optimal amount of manpower and materials. The house doesn't get constructed any faster if you double or triple the manpower, going from 10 builders hammering 100 nails an hour to 1000 men pounding 100 nails an hour, which in this instance equates to consuming more calories in hope of building muscle faster.
By employing more manpower and materials (bulking harder and longer), you have a situation where workmen are just hanging around with nothing to do but get in each other's way. In this situation, the extra builders and materials represent additional calories that are not being used but instead stored as body fat.
When starting a lean bulking meal plan, slowly aim to gain between 1lb. to 4lbs per month, depending on your body fat starting point and training experience. The leaner you are, the higher up the scale you can aim.
Step 1: Simply multiply your weight in pounds by 15, and then add 200-400 calories to the amount. From here on, you can gauge how you look and, based on how your weight progresses, you can lower or increase your daily calories to suit.
Example: A 160lb. guy times his body weight by 15 to maintain his current weight (2400 calories). As he’s around 12% body fat, he adds 400 calories to his daily calorie total (2800 total daily calories).
Step 2: Add your starting calories to your notebook.
Step 3: Work out your daily protein requirements. To gauge your protein intake, calculate 1 gram per pound of bodyweight.
Example: A 160lb. guy requires 160g of protein per day. Add the information to your notepad.
Step 4: Now you have your daily protein requirements calculated, find out how much of your calories are made up from your protein requirements. Remember, there are four calories per gram of protein. Add this information to your notepad.
Step 5: Calculate your daily fats. Shoot for between 0.4 and 0.5 grams per pound.
Example: Our 160lb. guy adds 0.5 grams of fat per pound, giving him 80g of dietary fats per day. Add this amount to your notepad.
Step 6: Like your protein intake, calculate how many calories will come from your daily fats. There are 9 calories to every one gram of fat. Add this info to your notepad.
Step 5: Find your daily carbohydrate amount. If you have to manipulate your calories after starting your bulk, it should be done only through your carbohydrates.
To find out how many carbohydrates you need, simply add the calories from your protein and fats together. However many calories are left, divide the remainder by 4 (because there are 4 calories to every one gram of carbohydrates.) This will tell you how many carbs you need to consume daily.
We hope this article has given you some ideas on how to lean bulk.