15 Proven Ways to Gain Lean Muscle Mass While Staying Ripped

10. Minimize alcohol intake

Alcohol in moderation—meaning one or two drinks a week—is OK. A high alcohol intake can slow muscle gain and increase fat storage; tack on all the drunk munchies you eat, and your diet can go off the rails fast. Alcohol is worth seven calories per gram, and that’s not even accounting for the added calories (mostly from carbs and sugar) in drinks. Alcohol can also dehydrate you, which can lead to reductions in strength.

11. Increase your overall volume

As long as you’re in good shape beforehand, don’t be afraid of the overtraining monster. Muscle growth is directly related to overall workout volume. Keep track of your workout volume—if you’re not making any progress in a certain area, then add more volume. Don’t add too much too fast; slow and steady wins the race. You can increase workout volume by adding more weight, more sets, more reps, and even by adding more frequency.

12. Use creatine

Creatine is one of the tried-and-trusted supplements on the market today. Creatine has been shown to increase muscle size and strength. I recommend taking 5g daily for 8-12 weeks with a two-week break. Creatine increases intracellular water retention in your muscles, which leads to an increase in strength, resulting in more muscle growth.

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