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How to Lifestyle Lean Bulk

My opinion is that in the lifting world you have two categories of people:

  1. Those that always found it easy to gain weight and muscle but had a hard time getting lean
  2. Those that always found it easy to get lean and stay lean but had a hard time gaining muscle

The category you find yourself in is not your choice. It’s determined by genetics, your family’s and friends eating habits, your job, how much time you spend around food, personal beliefs, your self image, and many more.

Naturally each category faces different challenges on their fitness journey, in my opinion equally difficult.

In this post we’re going to focus on the challenge to stay lean while bulking faced by the guys in Category #1. People that like to eat big never had to worry about weight gain, it happened automatically if they didn’t pay attention to their calorie intake.

So the classic bulking plan never made sense to them: “Eat 200-300 calories more than I need? I already do that! How do I gain muscle while staying lean?

The answer is a lifestyle lean bulk.

The Lifestyle Lean Bulk Strategy

I think that a much better strategy for these people is to employ the Lifestyle Lean Bulk strategy. Here’s how my friend Greg O’Gallagher from Kinobody does it:

  1. Eat at maintenance as default.
  2. When you’re more hungry than usual or you want to eat more because of a social event, have a few hundred calories more than maintenance. This will provide the surplus needed to build muscle and gain weight.
    Note: Have only a few of these days every week otherwise you will gain too much weight and fat. 
  3. Have deficit days from time to time to maintain leanness.

Instead of having a small constant surplus everyday, you have short periods of time every month when you eat in a surplus. Those days are not fixed, you have them based on how you feel and on your social life. Inevitably every month you have a birthday to go to, a family visit, a short trip, and a few dinners with friends. Those are the days when you create the surplus needed for muscle growth. The rest of the time, you eat at maintenance or sometimes in a slight deficit.

To make this work you need to master the skill of allowing yourself to go over your diet without feeling guilty. Going 200-500 calories over your maintenance doesn’t mean you’ve screwed it up and you might as well eat 1000 calories more.

Remember it’s all part of the plan.

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The Program I use for building muscle

The program I follow right now is The Greek God Program. I’m in category #2 so I consciously need to create the surplus, otherwise I don’t gain weight. So I follow the lean bulking plan presented in this program but you can do the training while using the Lifestyle Lean Bulk like Greg does it.

This program is designed to create the “model type physique”. You gain strength while staying lean and only training certain key lifts once every 4-5 days. Lifestyle oriented.

If you want you can check out my one year transformation with it here.

Click here to read more about it[/lgc_column]


  1. Bogdan on January 6, 2016 at 8:57 pm

    Salut, Radu. Am 18 ani, 1.80 si 66 de kg. Fac fotbal de la 9 ani si de acum 2 ani m-am apucat de street-workout, am facut o pauza de 8 luni si de la inceputul lui decembrie m-am apucat de sala. Pana acum faceam cum fac toti, fiecare grupa in parte si cu einspe mii de exercitii si seturi. Vreau sa-ti zic ca de ieri citesc incontinuu postarile pe acest blog si parca mi-ai luminat calea. Dupa cate am citit mi-ar fi potrivit programul Split A-B. Dar intrebarea este urmatoarea: Are ceva daca o sa continui si cu fotbalul, mi-e frica sa nu scad in masa..Mi-ar face mare placere daca mi-ai putea da un raspuns.

    • Radu Antoniu on January 17, 2016 at 8:01 pm

      Salut Bogdan!

      Poti sa faci si fotbal linistit, nu o sa interfereze aproape deloc pentru cativa ani.

  2. Cristian on January 7, 2016 at 8:13 am

    Hahaha, this reminds me of the winter holidays that just passed. I lifestyled the shit out of my dieting :). With all the events and parties going on in December I gained 7 pounds in just one month LOL. Time to get back on the grind now.

    Anyways, sounds like a good plan to follow when I will need to bulk. Thanks for the tip.

    • Radu Antoniu on January 17, 2016 at 7:58 pm

      Hahah I know what you mean Cristian!

  3. Jake on January 13, 2016 at 2:15 am

    Hey Radu, I love reading your articles (I’ve read all the ones in English). Can I get your advise on something?
    I’m currently cutting and eating 1750 calories per day and doing intermittent fasting. I admit I can keep eating like this but I want to fast for 36 hours and then eat two days worth of food in a 24 hour period. So it would look like this: Monday: Lift and eat 1750 cal
    Tuesday: rest and don’t eat
    Wednesday: lift and eat 3500 cal (as an extremely anabolic post workout meal)
    Thursday: rest and don’t eat
    Friday: lift and eat 3500 cal
    Then keep a 1750 cal intake on weekends.
    So at the end of the week I’ll still be in a deficit. If I was to eat in this fashion, is it possible for me to still maintain or even build muscle? I know that I have the will power to do it.

    • Radu Antoniu on January 17, 2016 at 6:28 pm

      Hey Jake! Thanks I appreciate your support !

      A 36 hours fast is not ideal for building muscle as your body starts to burn protein for energy after 16-18 hours of fasting. Would you still make gains? Almost certainly but probably not at the best rate.

      Also this type of eating it’s not ideal for your social and work life in my opinion.

      If you enjoy skipping breakfast just as much as this approach then I’d recommend doing that instead.

  4. Winston on January 13, 2016 at 6:00 pm

    Hi brother,

    Can you offer some advice and help me about writing up an ebook.


    • Radu Antoniu on January 17, 2016 at 6:20 pm

      Hey Winston!

      Well I never actually studied writing. I just wrote what I wanted to share. I guess the best advice I can give is this:
      1. Have something good to say
      2. Say it in as few words as possible
      3. Make readers feel like they are discovering the information themselves

  5. Dylan on January 16, 2016 at 10:16 pm

    Hey Radu. Ive been following you ever since i got on Kinobody. Love all your amazing content you give out to your subs. Keep it up! My question is do you know any company that ships micro loading plates overseas? In my country South Africa, they dont seem to have them. Thanks

    • Radu Antoniu on January 17, 2016 at 4:50 pm

      Thanks Dylan!

      I think may ship to South Africa. Check out some microplates there and see if you can order them in your country. They don’t ship to Romania but maybe you’re lucky

  6. Irinel on February 23, 2016 at 6:31 pm

    Salut Radu ! Am 22 de ani 1,81 de cm inltime ,87 de kg , nu pot sa zic ca am un fizic de invidiat tin sa cred ca am un fizic normal ….cu putina burta :)) , in trecut am mai practicat atletism in liceu si nici sala nu mii straina , deci cred ca sunt un incepator mai avansat sa zic . Mi-as dori sa obtin un corp atletic si sa imi modelez corpul cat mai frumos insa am o problema la ochi ce ma impiedica sa ridic greutati mari …deoarece acest lucru imi modifica presiunea intraoculara si bla bla chestii medicale …as dori sa stiu daca pot creste in masa musculara fara a ridica foarte mult si de asemenea imi place mult sa alerg dar prefer sa alerg dimineata inainte sa manac , As dori sa stiu care este parerea ta in legatura cu acest lucru . pot obtine masa musculara chiar daca nu pot ridica greutati foarte mari si sa aler in continuare .

    Iti multumesc anticipat !!!

    • Radu Antoniu on February 28, 2016 at 4:56 pm

      Salut Irinel,

      Inteleg. Poti creste in masa musculara si daca te antrenezi cu greutati mai mici si faci mai multe repetari pe set. E nevoie totusi sa te apropii de epuizare.

      Daca sa zicem cu o greutate de 40kg poti face 15 repetari si te opresti la 8, nu vei creste aproape deloc. Pentru a stimula cresterea musculara trebuie sa te opresti cu una sau doua repetari inainte de epuizare.

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