15 Proven Ways to Gain Lean Muscle Mass While Staying Ripped

6. Focus on compound lifts

There’s no way around the basic compound exercises, which stimulate more than just one muscle group. In addition to hitting multiple muscle groups, you’ll also build overall strength. You can stimulate all your fiber types and help release surges of testosterone and growth hormone naturally. The more taxing the movement, the greater the release.

7. Reverse diet

If you’ve ever completed a long cut, you know that by the time you’re done you’re ready to eat a house and more. Whenever you push your body past your body-fat set points (getting to new body-fat lows), your body responds by increasing the hunger feeling. The best thing you can do after finishing your fat-loss phase is to slowly build your metabolismback up. Let’s say, for example, that at the end of your cut, you’re taking in 220g of protein, 150g of carbs, and 45g of fat. Those are the numbers it’ll take to maintain your current physique look. If you add 10% to your carbs and fat every week or every week and half, within a couple of months, your macro numbers would look something like this: 220g protein, 350g carbs and 70g fat. By slowly adding the calories back in, you help your body adjust to each new calorie level. It’s not uncommon for bodybuilders to maintain their contest shape while doing this. In addition to the benefit, you’ll also improve your metabolic capacity and your ability to handle more macros.

8. Avoid binging

Despite popular thinking, you can gain fat from one meal. Binging can ruin a lean physique. Some bodybuilding competitors can gain 15lbs in a weekend when they really let themselves go.

Besides the physical downfall, however, binges also wreak havoc on your mental state. Post-binge, a lot of guys feel a huge sense of guilt, which can, in turn, lead to depression and more binging. That’s why following a flexible diet is essential: By following a flexible diet, you can fit in little treats here and there without compelling yourself to binge or feel guilty.

9. Do HIIT training

High-intensity interval training is a form of cardio that’s ideal for staying lean and getting big. HIIT involves performing 15-30 seconds of high-intensity work. This may include car pushes, 400-meter sprints, battle ropes, and barbell complexes. This form of cardio can actually help you gain muscle. Skeptical? Compare a marathon runner to a short-distance sprinter. Marathoners are adapted to long-distance endurance, so they’re all slow-twitch fiber. Short distance sprinters, on the other hand, are packed with explosive type-II fibers to power through their sprints.

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