What the hell is “lean muscle”? Such a stupid title. Only a fucking moron can come up with something equally as stupid. How on Earth is it possible to even gain “non-lean” muscle. Muscle mass by definition can never be fat or any other version of non-lean there is. Therefore, the title is sense deprived. However, I am going to keep it to prove a point. The point is that the fitness industry targets morons or at least treats people as such.
Dirty perma-bulkers in association with the garbage mainstream fitness media are the main reason for the term “lean muscle” to emerge. The general population has been convinced that you need to stuff yourself with all kinds of garbage because, after all, you are “bulking up”, and junk food is the only way to supply yourself with enough calories for growth. At least that’s what they say.
Overeating to build muscle mass is a scam which results in fatso production. That’s why people came up with the term “lean muscle” in order to separate the “slim look” from the “bulked up” look. One thing is certain: force-feeding yourself with garbage junk food will not help you gain “lean muscle”. If anything it raises your body fat levels, which as a result increases your estrogen ratio too. In case you don’t know more estrogen does not equal more muscle but bigger titties.
It may sound weird, but a lot of people often mistake fat for muscle fibers. 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 20 lbs of muscle mass 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 6 lbs 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 one kind of growth only – that of McDonald’s.
It seems that in the long run eating around maintenance is the best. Maintenance is the number of calories you need to maintain your current weight. If you want to lose weight, you go below. If you are aiming towards gaining muscle, you go above or stay 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. Oddly enough, there are people who keep on slamming them calories like it’s their last meal. You know very well who I am referring to – the guys who make 5 new holes in their belts just to squat extra 50 lbs. It’s a bad deal in general. Investment with poor returns.
One of the ways to make sure you’re gaining lean muscle is to focus on improving your strength to bodyweight ratio, or how strong you’re in comparison to how much you weigh. For example, a 225 lbs bench press may not look impressive to “brahs in the gym”, but if your bodyweight is 150 lbs the lift is pretty solid – 1.5xBW. 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 would, of course, be gymnasts who are required to have high level of strength and low overall weight. For them gaining pounds offers nothing, unless the gains are a direct result of specific strength training. On the other hand, if you’re goal is to increase your absolute strength, or the total amount of weight you can lift regardless of bodyweight, getting fatter helps with many barbell lifts except the deadlift.
In the end of day, there is no secret to “building lean muscle” regardless of what the muscle cartel and Hollywood propaganda say. Just train hard and don’t eat more than you need. You will save money, time, frustration and you will be in better shape than those who dare to bulk. You don’t expect your car to run faster by putting as much fuel in it as possible. The human body may not be a car, but similar to an engine it does follow the rules of this world. Thus, after the fuel tank has been loaded with sufficient amount of fuel, all extra results in oil spills. And spills are the biggest enemy of “lean muscle”.