Throughout my posts over the past couple months you’ve actually been learning how to get that “ripped,” muscular with a low body fat %, through good nutrition, weight lifting and cardio.
At some point you may decide that you need a bit more muscle. You don’t want to get the “muscle head” look or anything. You just want more defined arms, pecs and legs. You know, something to make you stand out from the other guys.
Here’s the thing…
So what’s the solution to building muscle and yet enjoying that “ripped” look? Simple: Start cycling between “bulking” and “shredding.” In other words, alternate between building muscle… and then shedding any excess fat you may have gained during the muscle-building phase.
TIP: If you eat just slightly above your maintenance calories -and you eat clean – you can get more muscle while putting on very little fat. This is just one option, and one you’ll appreciate if you don’t want to put on any extra fat. However, the muscle building does take longer using this method.
If you’d rather do “bulk and shred” cycles, then consider this: Bulk in the winter. Your extra clothing will hide the unnecessary fat. And then you can shred in the summer so that you’ll be ready for the beach – bigger and leaner than last summer.
Building muscle isn’t a whole lot different than shredding, with these exceptions:
- You’ll do less cardio. You may do cardio a couple times per week, mainly for health purposes, but you don’t want to overdo it. Otherwise you’re just burning up the calories you could be using to build muscle.
- Instead of eating maintenance or just below maintenance calories, you’ll be eating a bit above your maintenance calories.
Generally, this means eating about 500 extra calories per day beyond what you need to fuel your workouts. That way, you’ll gain approximately one pound per week. And if you’re following a good diet and lifting program, most of these pounds should be muscle (with minimal fat gain).
TIP: You don’t want to do much more than that. If you up your calories too much – or if you don’t eat clean – you’ll put on too much fat during your bulk.
Now here’s what you can do to get more muscle: Bulk for three months, then drop your calories back down and shred for three months to get rid of any excess fat. If you’re putting on too much fat during your bulk, be sure to adjust your diet so that your eating cleaner and consuming fewer calories. You can also start your shred period a bit sooner so you don’t have to shed so much fat at once.
That’s it for this one. I hope you have taken something positive and useful away from this. Thanks for stopping by! More advanced Game Strength Insider tips to come, so stay tuned!