Overeating to build muscle mass is a scam resulting in fatso production. Force-feeding yourself will not help you gain “lean muscle”. If anything it increases your body fat levels and consequently your estrogen too. In case you don’t know, estrogen equals bigger titties rather than bigger muscles.
It may sound weird, but a lot of people often mistake fat for muscle. It’s easy to do so when you only count on the scale to measure your progress. You can’t possibly think that the noobs reporting 20lbs of muscle gain in 4 months are for real. Half of that amount is fat, the other 20% water, the next 10% glycogen, and finally, you get 6lbs of muscle which feel like a fuck you for Christmas. Even dirty bulking cannot overcome the shortcomings of being a natural bodybuilder. Muscle gaining is slow and burgers can’t do anything about it. Thus, adoption of the perma-bulking religion results in McDonald’s approved kind of growth.
It seems that in the long run eating around maintenance is the best. Maintenance refers to the number of calories required to maintain your current weight. If you want to lose weight, you go below. If you want to gain muscle, you go slightly above or remain at maintenance. You don’t need a lot of calories to build “lean muscle”. Any diet that comes with 800-1000 calories over your daily needs will offer diminishing returns.
One of the ways to make sure that you’re gaining lean muscle is to focus on improving your strength to bodyweight ratio. For example, a 225lbs bench press may not look impressive to the “brahs in the gym”, but if your bodyweight is 150lbs, the lift is pretty solid – 1.5 times your bodyweight (1.5BW). When you focus on becoming a compact muscle machine, gaining “non-lean muscle” does nothing for you. It just lowers your coefficient.
A good example of lean machines would be gymnasts. They are required to have a high level of strength at a low bodyweight.
On the other hand, if your goal is to increase your absolute strength or the total amount of weight that you can lift regardless of bodyweight, gaining fat will actually help.
At the end of the day, there is no secret to “building lean muscle” regardless of what the cartel says. Just train hard and don’t eat more than you need. You will save money, time and avoid frustration while remaining in a great shape compared to the bulking soldiers.