Article By Chris Chew, Singapore based AMFPT Certified Master Trainer|
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How To Gain Muscle Mass Without Getting Fat?
Generally when people want to build well defined muscles to get an attractive buffed body, there will be two objectives and they are to gain muscle mass and to lose body fat. However, the two objectives are at conflict with each other.
Here is why. When building muscle mass, you will need to consume more calories than you burn up because you need those extra good calories to feed your muscles for them to grow, isn't it?
On the other hand, to lose body fat, you must burn more calories than you consume in order to get your body to burn off additional body fat as energy. See the paradox?
Striving to achieve both objectives at the same time is rarely a good approach to your fitness program because more often than not, you will just end up getting nowhere. Most people who lift weights to gain muscle mass will have to accept the fact that they will put on some body fat in the process. So the idea is try not to put on extra body fat when you are bulking up and then cut whatever fat you have put on and more during the cutting phase.
Can I gain muscle weight without getting fat?There basically are two approaches you can take when you want to put on muscle mass.
One way is just eat as much food as you can possibly stuff into your stomach. It is interesting to note that bodybuilders who take this approach will suddenly find their life to be a day long buffet since they think that the more food that they eat, the more their muscles synthesize.
It is in my opinion that this approach is fundamentally flawed because your body can only assimilate so much muscle tissue at one go and after it has done so, any remaining calories will be stored as body fat.
For those people who are gorging in more than 5,000 calories per day, this is obviously way more calories than their muscles need and will inevitably result in a considerable amount of body fat accumulated over a period of four to six months, which is about the period of time most bodybuilders take to bulk up.
The second way is to take a moderate approach by only eating so many additional calories to support muscle growth. This will hopefully allow you to gain as much lean muscle tissues as possible without the accumulation of ugly body fat, which you will have to put in considerable effort to get rid of later during the cutting phase, unless you are the naturally skinny and want to put on more weight.
So that leads us to questions like how much muscles can you build? How many calories over mere maintenance of your muscles should you be consuming?
You probably would have heard of someone who claimed that he has added 20 pounds of muscle mass in merely six or seven weeks. While this may be possible for someone who has amazingly good genetics and utilizing excellent training and nutritional programs, the fact is that most people are simply not going to be able to even come close to adding this much muscle is such a short duration.
Most natural bodybuilder without using enhancing drugs can hope to achieve about half a pound to one pound of muscle per week and that is if he is doing everything correctly. If he does not have the greatest genetics or is not feeding himself optimally, then muscle gain will even be less. Therefore, by gaining a measly three to four pounds of muscle growth per month, it is absolutely unnecessary to have insanely high calorie consumption, right?
It is a no brainer that the more calorie you consume over what you body needs, the more body fat you will gain. Therefore as a general rule, keep your extra caloric consumption to about 250 to 500 calories so that you will put on mostly muscle mass instead of too much body fat. You will also need to keep track of your current body fat level and if you see that too much of your weight gain is coming from putting on fat, then you will also need to reduce your calorie consumption slightly. Isn't this approach to building lean muscles more practical?
So whoever said that when you gain muscle mass, you will also gain body fat is obviously not taking the more practical approach to building lean and attractive body. SFO