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Gain Lean & Toned Muscle without Bulking

Girls with Hot Beach Bodies, like Guys with Hot Beach Bodies.. For a hot beach body, I need you to have lean & toned muscle with low body fat & no Bulkyness.. Let’s go get it!

I was the kid in junior high & high school that had shoulders resembling a clothes hanger, really sharp bony elbows, & when I’d sit down on my Mom’s lap she’d say, “John Fit.. Your bony ass is cutting into my leg”.. and she would rotate me to the other leg, and then back to the other leg, and then finally ask me to find my own seat.. haha.. I definitely wasn’t the thick kid in class that gave the really hard noogies & extreme headlocks.. But, I began to fill out as I grew older, & now my fast metabolism works totally to my advantage.. I can actually gain as much lean weight as I want now because I’m well studied with how my body type operates & gaining lean muscle now is very easy. I thought having a fast metabolism would plague my progress, but now I use it to my advantage to put on clean lean muscle without bulking. This keeps me lean all year & photoshoot ready. This article will lay out the plan I’ve used in the past to add “lean muscle ONLY, with no excess bodyfat”.

Is it possible to Gain Only “Lean” Muscle Weight?
This is a question being battled constantly in the fitness industry. Can you gain muscle without putting on fat? My answer.. Absolutely! Many say no.. John Fit, says Yes.. My bodyfat has never risen over 10% in my life, and my weight has fluctuated within a range of 25 pounds before in a 7 month period. My buddy Mens Health Model Gregg Avedon has gone from 180 to 200 lbs inside of a year & keeps his bodyfat below 8% at all times. I think the whole idea of bulking (As you know I’m not a fan of..) is an eating-style beefy bodybuilders use to try put on massive amounts of muscle quickly. This is from lack of patience & discipline in my opinion. Gaining lean muscle without a rise in bodyfat is feasible, but it DOES take discipline & time. Stray from your eating strategy below, & it will throw your lean gains for a loop.

What to Eat?
As I’ve mentioned in past posts, if you aren’t eating, then you aren’t growing. If you want to add lean muscle to your frame, then you need to introduce calories in your diet.. A good barometer of how many calories you need to eat is, take your current body weight & multiply that number by 16 (180*16=  2,880 calories). This will give you the daily number of calories needed for consumption to build “Lean Only” muscle. As far as macronutrient ratio’s, I split them up as follows:

40% protein (1152 Calories, or 288 Grams)
Lean Red Meats, Fish, Chicken, Turkey,  Tuna, Egg Whites, Protein Powders

40% carbohydrates (1152 Calories, or 288 Grams)
Instant Oatmeal, Brown Rice, More Oatmeal, Veggies, Low Glycemic Fruit, Sweet Potato (I personally stay away from bread.. Even Wheat.. It Makes Me Feel Bloated & Gluten is a rising concern in the health community)

20% Essential Fats (576 Calories, or 64 Grams)
Avocado (My Favorite!), Fish Oil, Olive Oil (Cook Using only Olive Oil.. This comes in a spray can), Almonds & Pumpkin Seeds

Those foods above, make up my daily menu of food choices almost everyday.. There is no sugar in any of this (Maybe a hint of sugar in the Protein Powder & fruit but keep the fruit low glycemic) & it is also low in Saturated Fats.. That 20% fat has been detrimental to my success in gaining lean muscle. If you have low muscle density, your body needs sufficient testosterone to grow muscle, and if you’re not eating the essential fats, testosterone levels will crash quickly..  If you are 180 lbs., & eating 2,880 “clean” lean calories day, your body will be fueled for “lean only” growth (Muscle gained with no added bodyfat). Eating from this menu is a habit for me and I’ve grown accustomed to it. I stay well nourished, & athletically lean all year! I’m at the point where my taste buds are so sharp from eating clean, that I’m able to pick apart the sodium content in an Outback Steak & Baked Potato, and feel the saturated fat resting in my belly from a Mickie D’s cheeseburger (Pretty gross).. I do eat out often though, but I’ll typically order a lean piece of meat and get a double side of veggies. A chicken salad is always a good choice for me as well. My experience with restaurant food is the carbs they offer are cooked in greasy oils, & contain excess salt & sugars.. Sticking with Salads topped in lean meats, and veggies is usually a pretty safe choice.

How do I Workout on a “Lean Only” Muscle Gain?
Since you’re eating all these calories & looking for muscle gain, I stayed away from cardio on this plan. If you have to do it, walk for 30 minutes on an incline, first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. Sometimes I walk just to clear my mind & it feels great. Remember though, we’re focused on gaining lean muscle, not losing weight in this program.

A skinny guy lacks strength. You lack density and thickness in your muscles. Have you ever seen a lean ripped body in the weight room. See how thick the muscles look and how carved into the skin they are. Skinny guys usually have smooth muscle with very little cuts. You want to bring that hardness to your frame. To get those lean cuts, you need the muscle first. A great quote that pulled these concepts full circle for me came from the great Bodybuilder Franco Colombu. He said, “if you aren’t strong then it will show on stage when you are posing because your muscles will lack density & look soft”. (I’m not into bodybuilding at all.. But this is good info. because even a lean “model looking” body has to have a hardness & denisty to the muscle). I need you to have that muscle density & hardness. To get that, you must lift heavy weights.. You need to train to get stronger..

The Program Objectives that took my body from Skinny to Lean with no bodyfat:
1 Body part a day (With the Exception of Arms)
12 Total Sets for Each Body Part
4-10 Rep Range (I do two Warm up Sets, then Go Straight to the heavy set while I’m fresh & feel strong.. Reverse pyramid is a great way to grow thickness in the muscle, but be sure you’re warmed up before heading to the heavy stuff..)
Rest: 3 Minutes Between Sets
Cardio: Walk for 30 minutes @ 3.5 M/Hr on a 4-8% Incline (I do this first thing in the morning on an empty stomach)

Monday:
Chest
Decline Flat Bench: (Warmnup, Warmup, 4, 6, 8, 10)
Flat Hammer Strength (4, 6, 8, 10)
Dips (4, 6, 8, 10)

Tuesday:
Back
Weighted Pullups: (4 Sets to Failure)
Seated Row (4, 6, 8, 10)
Deadlifts (4, 6, 8, 10)

Wednesday:
Biceps/Triceps
Olympic Bar Curl (Warmup, Warmup, 4, 6, 8, 10)
EZ Bar Curls (4, 6, 8, 10)
Incline DBell Curls (4, 6, 8, 10)

French Press (Warmup, 4, 6, 8, 10)
Rope Pressdown (My Favorite Tricep Excercise!) (4, 6, 8, 10)
Reverse Grip Pulldown (Can’t Go Quite As Heavy.. Hurts the Wrist) (8, 10, 12, 15)

Thursday:
Shoulders
Shrugs: (Warmup, Warmup, 4, 6, 8, 10)
Upright Rows: (4, 6, 8, 10)
Military Presses (4, 6, 8, 10)

Friday:
Legs
Squats (Warmup, Warmup, 4, 6, 8, 10)
Leg Press (4, 6, 8, 10)
Quad Extensions Supersets w/ Hamstring Curls
(8 reps, then 10 reps)

Saturday & Sunday- Hit the Beach & Show Off Your Body!

75% of athletes looking to gain lean muscle, overtrain in my opinion. Rest is really, really important. So, the key here is one body part a day for 12 sets (4-10 Reps) then get out of the gym, relax. and eat some clean calories & let your fast metabolism work to your advantage.

Miscellaneous Important Facets of a “Lean Only” Muscle Gain Program:
Your body needs sleep! Get as much as possible. I take naps when I feel tired, I sleep in when I can, and I go to bed by 10 pm (I only stay up later when I’m blogging for my “Get Fit” Friends). Also, your body is made up of 70% water.. How crazy is that? Drink as much water as you can stomach. I down 2 big glasses first thing in the morning & keep drinking all day. Its great for your skin & awesome for your organs. Stay away from access alcohol. Alcohol dehydrates your body and we all know side effects of alcohol on your system. I’ve found Gin as the probably the least damaging liquor on the body. A Gin and Light Tonic is a great social drink. I personally stay away from any beers.. The yeast in it (as I mentioned the bread as well) makes me feel bloated and congested.. I just don’t like it for me, but a light beer isn’t the worst thing you could be drinking.

These tips above have taken my body from 170lbs, to 185lbs in as little as 3 months without my bodyfat even creeping over 8%. I won’t eat anything that isn’t congruent with staying lean. For me, gaining tons of muscle quickly isn’t that important if I have to bulk extremely to get it. I like the beach body look and that does mean lean cuts are what I’m looking for. So, to get the muscle for the cuts, the above info. got me there quick enough. Let me know if you have any questions.. I love helping out in any way I can.. I’m always available for Q&A..

John Fit.. On my way to the Gym..

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2 Comments For This Post

  1. Selmir Says:

    For the chest, what is a decline flat bench. Do I do the bench press on the decline or on the flat. Thanks in advance.

  2. Selmir Says:

    Sorry to bother you again, can you tell me of a good substitute for squats since the gym I go to does not have the necessary equipmenent for squats. Thanks in advance.

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