How To Gain Muscle (Without Gaining Too Much Bodyfat In The Process) | Fundamental Tip From A Sports Dietitian and Nutritionist
“How to gain muscle without gaining too much bodyfat?”
The question of the day it seems. Almost as popular as “how to lose fat and gain muscle?”, but that is another topic for another day.
If you are trying to build muscle then you may know that with a calorie surplus and the building of mass, there will be both muscle and fat being accumulated.
So how do you avoid the fat gain or at least reduce the amount?
In this blog post, I share some honest perspectives and the number #1 insightful tip on approaching your bulk more strategically so that you don’t maximise both the muscle and the bodyfat gains.
Time to learn how to build muscle the right way, with the right stuff.
If you have ever tried to gain muscle, you would know that more often than not, there is an increase in bodyfat that comes along with the process.
Of course it does…why else would you be reading this blog right now when there are so many more fun things you could be doing with your time.
In order to help you out here, I will both explain the muscle building fundamentals first before sharing the number #1 tip I give people who want to STOP putting on more fat than muscle during a bulk.
This way you have the context so you can understand it all better. Sound good? Good. Simples. Let’s get into it then.
Let class commence now.
Muscle Building 10
How to gain muscle mass?!
When it comes to building muscle mass, there are key fundamentals that need to be considered and implemented to do it properly and most importantly, effectively.
I won’t dwell too much on this because I know you simply want to know how to gain muscle without gaining fat (or I should say reducing the rate of fat increase). However, it is important to keep these key factors in mind to provide the right context for the upcoming information.
To build muscle effectively, you need the following:
Also, many people wonder how to lose weight and gain muscle simultaneously but that is much more nuanced and in many ways, not that achievable for most people. That is why here we are focussed on simply reducing the amount of fat you gain during a bulk.
So now that we know the basics of muscle building nutrition, it is time to connect this all to the biggest reasons that one would gain TOO MUCH fat during a bulk.
Main Reasons You Gain Too Much Fat During A Bulk
Firstly, there are some less common reasons for promoting too much fat gain on a bulking phase and that includes:
These will invariably cause some issues for some people attempting to build muscle but the extent at which it effects it is either not as big for most OR it is often not what is happening. It’s kinda easy to convince people to eat more protein and train hard, for example.
So what is the biggest reason people will gain too much bodyfat during a muscle building phase?
Clue: It is connected the point #3 of the previous section.
They are doing an aggressive bulk or dirty bulk!
In other words, they are supercharging their calories upwards in an attempt to theoretically “gain as much mass as possible so that the muscle mass is increased as much as possible”.
Typically, this occurs via a dirty bulk as I mentioned earlier by focusing on the consumption of highly palatable, highly caloric foods - typically “junk food” style eating taking a front seat for many.
The premise and belief is simple to understand: more calories = faster increase in mass = quicker to achieve muscle mass goals.
However, the problem with this mentality and approach is that it is flawed and can also setup you up for a longer road ahead (while setting you back right now too). More on this soon.
It is true that the more you eat, the more mass you will gain. It is also true that for most people the amount of muscle mass they gain will be connected to eating in a surplus.
However, there is a point of diminishing ROI on specifically muscle protein synthesis the more calories you eat.
In other words, you will reach a point at which eating more calories above a certain threshold will not lead to any additional muscle synthesis and the “mass” increases will be more and more from non-lean sources (aka bodyfat incase it isn’t yet obvious).
So what is one to do? Keep reading, it is tip reveal time!
The #1 Tip RevealeD
The best way to put yourself in a position to reduce the amount of unnecessary bodyfat gains while focusing on gaining as much lean muscle mass as possible is to simply approach it more strategically and steadily.
This is what some call a “clean bulk”. This is when you increase the amount of calories with more consideration and do so at a more steady pace so you can carefully adjust and increase as needed.
More control over your calories means more control over your bulk which in turn should afford you the ability to control the body composition changes more.
In short, a slower bulk leads to less unnecessary bodyfat gains along the way. Plus it is also worth noting that this will also ensure that you reduce the need for an extended cutting/shredding/leaning phase afterwards.
What ends up happening when you do an unnecessarily dirty bulk, i that you gain so much extra bodyfat that you end up having to lose that afterwards anyway to achieve the desired body composition - so faster mass gain does not mean you get to your goals quicker.
There you go!
Now you know that the way to more lean muscle gains and less annoying bodyfat increases is the use of a strategic and slower bulking phase.
There is no need to fast track your bulk by pumping in more and more calories beyond a certain limit because you end up setting yourself back more and it will lead to worse body composition outcomes.
Muscle building is not a sprint, its a marathon. Cliche but true.
Now go work hard on your goals!
However, before I leave you…I do want to ask you some things because maybe you need someone you be your guide on this journey…
Do you feel you need expert guidance when it comes to your fuelling, recovery, and nourishment?
Not seeing the body you feel happier, healthier, and more confident in?
Performance lagging like an early 2000’s dial up internet setup?
I may be able to be of assistance.
If you are ready to take your nutrition and body to the next level and elevate your performance in a way that doesn’t make you want to punch your Sports Dietitian, then let’s chat.
I have developed a bespoke nutrition coaching solution that allows you to work with me personally 1:1 to help start bridging the gap between where you are now and where you want to be with your physique & performance.
In this program, I'll personally coach you using my flexible nutrition system to help you harness the power of calories and macro strategy to regain your competitive edge - think of it as a bespoke nutrition solution that empowers you to eat better to achieve better.
Interested in learning more?
Simply email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org to have a chat about this and see if we are a good fit to work together and get you your best results yet.
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Brisbane Sports Dietitian and Nutritionist
Hi there! My name's Aleksa Gagic - i'm a Brisbane Sports Dietitian & Brisbane Sports Nutritionist. I have 7+ years experience in providing professional nutrition consulting and want to help you learn about the power of flexible nutrition.