After you reach a BMI score of 21—or are below that—you will switch to this section. This phase goes over how to eat to maximize muscle growth without taking on too much fat.
Many bodybuilders while attempting to gain muscle go on a “dirty bulk” where they eat without limits. As you probably guessed, that doesn't usually end well. See the provided image for what that looks like.
People who dirty bulk almost always end up gaining more fat than muscle while working out. In contrast, lean-bulking is the practice of slowly gaining weight every month to maximize muscle growth without gaining much fat in the process.
Step 1: Find your weight at 22 BMI and make it your goal
Now that you are on the lean-bulking phase, your main goal will be to increase muscle mass. Therefore, you will need to start gaining weight in order to allow your body to grow the maximum amount of muscle mass possible. Let's get started.
If you've downloaded the Renpho app, follow these steps to do so:
- Open up the app
- Click the “My Account” tab on the bottom
- Click “Settings”
- Then click “Set Goal”
- Enter your weight at 21 BMI
- Set “Body Fat” at 12%
The reason your goal weight is 22 BMI is that this is the weight in which you still look good. We'll get into more detail later on, but for now know that even though this guide's lean-bulking strategy aims to maximize muscle growth while minimizing fat gain, you will inevitably gain fat as well.
By stopping your lean-bulk at 22 BMI, you guarantee that you still look good, that you've gained muscle, and that your existing muscles aren't covered in fat!
Step 2: Find the amount of weight you need to gain
Step 3: Set your calorie and macronutrient goals
The supplement row tells how much protein you should eat through your protein powder/bars to make lean-bulking easier.
Make note of this so you can reach your protein goals each day!
If you have Nutrionix, follow these steps:
- Open the Nutrionix app
- Click the ☰ icon on the top left
- Then click“Daily Goals” and input your daily calorie goal from “The Ideal Body Calculator”
- Then copy the percent of each macro below that
Step 4: Start counting your calories
This is when your food scale and Nutrionix (or your calorie counting app of choice) comes in handy. You can use them in tandem to get a very accurate count of your calories from protein, carbs, and fats.
Weigh your food out and then just input the foods you ate and their amounts into Nutrionix (or any other calorie counting app) and you're done! For a great video on how to use your food scale with minimal cringe, check out the one below:
Do not focA deck of virtual flashcards has been made on Quizlet so that you can test yourself on the calories and macros of common foods. These “food flashcards” make the process of counting calories and macronutrients become natural and instinctive over time.us too much on your carbs and fats, protein is the key macronutrient you will aim to hit each day. The other two macronutrients—carbs and fats—can fluctuate based on your preferences.
Protein serves as the building block for muscle. Without adequate protein intake, hypertrophy (muscle growth) is possible but will be suboptimal . So, in order to maximize your effort in the gym, you will need to eat more protein overall.
To make it easy to meet your protein goal, use the protein powder and bars you got earlier to supplement 60% to 70% of your protein goal. This is easily done by having a 70g protein shake for lunch and then a bar or two throughout the day.
For the rest of your protein (30-40%), you can just make sure that each of your meals has some protein and you should meet your daily protein requirement.
For the rest of your protein (30%-40%), you can just make sure that each of your meals has some protein and you should easily meet your protein requirements every day.
Step 5: Use Quizlet
A deck of virtual flashcards has been made on Quizlet so that you can test yourself on the calories and macros of common foods. These “food flashcards” make the process of counting calories and macronutrients become natural and instinctive over time.
After just a few weeks of practice, the beta-testers were able to stop using Nutrionix and weighing their food while still reaching their protein and calorie goals. The team decided to call these people "calorie counting gods" as they were able to accurately estimate the calories and macronutrients of the foods they were eating.
Don't look down on these so-called "gods". By practicing the skill of accurately counting calories and macronutrients of the food they were eating, these people are able to effortlessly switch between the cutting and lean-bulking phases—we'll explain why this is important later on.
Furthermore, as long as these "calorie counting gods" continue to practice counting their calories and macros, they'll never gain or lose any unnecessary weight for the rest of their life!
Follow these steps to become a calorie counting god yourself:
Step 6: Use your smart scale
Each morning before you eat/drink and after you take of your body's needs into the toilet, you’ll step on your scale.
It’s important that you do this daily! Only then will you be able to see your progress over time. As long as you are meeting your calories and macronutrient goals daily, you will see your weight go up. The laws of thermodynamics demand it.
Every week, you aim to gain about 2.5lbs(1.1kg) every month. Or, every week you should aim to gain about 0.63lbs (0.27kg). Once you reach a BMI score of 22 you'll switch over to the cutting phase.
Additionally, your smart scale will calculate useful information like your estimated muscle mass and body fat percentage, both of which are needed to see if you've reached ideal.
Next steps and if you need help
Some people are what's called "hard gainers"—people who have trouble gaining weight. If this is a problem you suffer from, this guide provides weight gain tips and tricks that most people don't know about under one of the "Extra Pages". But for now, head back to the nutrition page and finish up the guide.