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How to Put on Lean Muscle

Depending on what your goal physique is, you may want to be bigger or slimmer while staying ripped. The three guys in the picture below have about the same body fat percentage. The difference between them is the amount of muscle they have. Which build do you like most? 

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How much Muscle do you Need for your Goal Physique?

The first guy has a modest amount of muscle and he looks great because he has a low body fat percentage. This is the look fashion models and some Hollywood actors go for because they look slim in clothes and ripped with their shirt off. To achieve this build you’ll need to gain only about 5-10 pounds (2-5 kg) of muscle and be lean. You can do that in 6-12 months.

The second guy is bigger and more imposing. He stands out in clothes as well and this is the look action stars go for - think Daniel Craig as James Bond or Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool. To achieve this look you’ll need to gain 15-25 pounds (7-11 kg) of muscle and be lean. You can do that in about 2 years.

The third guy is close to his natural genetic potential and has a lot of muscle mass. With that look you could star as a superhero in a movie - think Henry Cavill as Superman or Chris Hemsworth as Thor. To get there you’ll need to gain 30-40 pounds (14-18 kg) of muscle and be lean. You can do that in 4-6 years of lifting weights. Read on to learn how to build these physiques:

IN 2 YEARS YOU CAN REACH
%
OF YOUR GENETIC POTENTIAL
MORE THAN
%
OF GYM-GOERS QUIT WITHIN 5 MONTHS
MORE THAN
%
OF U.S. BODYBUILDERS TAKE STEROIDS

What do these statistics mean to you?

You may have seen transformations online where a guy went from skinny to jacked in 3 months or something. Well, either the guy was on steroids or he was lying to sell a product.   You can gain muscle pretty rapidly as a beginner but let’s be realistic, you’re not going to build your dream physique in 3 months. I’ll tell you this though: Train correctly for one or two years and you will be blown away by the results you will achieve.

VIEW OUR FREE VIDEO COURSE:

"How to Start Building Lean Muscle Today"*

In this free video course, we give you the basics of muscle growth. We go in depth into setting up your training, nutrition and mentality for optimal results. Dive in and enjoy!

VIDEO 1: FROM AVERAGE TO GREEK GOD: A STEP BY STEP TRANSFORMATION

VIDEO 2: HOW TO SET YOUR TRAINING FOR MUSCLE GROWTH
VIDEO 3: HOW TO SET CALORIES FOR LEAN BULKING
VIDEO 4: HOW TO TRACK PROGRESS WHEN LEAN BULKING
VIDEO 5: HOW TO LIFESTYLE LEAN BULK
VIDEO 6: HOW TO MAXIMIZE MUSCLE GROWTH USING REST PERIODS
VIDEO 7: HOW TO BUILD MUSCLE WITH BODYWEIGHT TRAINING

The Best Resources For Building Lean Muscle*

THE GREEK GOD PROGRAM

The Greek God Program, developed by Gregory O'Gallagher of Kinobody, is designed to create the "Hollywood physique". This is the program Radu used to build his physique in his first two years of training. Greg is a controversial figure who challenges the "workout every day" mindset by providing a way to build muscle and strength working out only 3 times a week. The program’s biggest strength is its simplicity making it ideal for guys new to lifting and intermediates.

THE MUSCLE AND STRENGTH TRAINING PYRAMID

The Muscle and Strength Training Pyramid, designed by Eric Helms, exists to help you organize every aspect of training into a comprehensive order of priority. Using his experience as a researcher, bodybuilder, powerlifter and coach Eric explains how to structure your training for strength and muscle gains above the intermediate level. This book is what Radu uses to create his training routines.

Key Components to Any Muscle Building Journey*

#1 Adherence

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Because muscle growth is a slow process, sticking to your training and nutrition program long-term is what matters most. If one guy trains with a perfectly optimal program for six months and another guy trains with a good but inferior program for one year, the latter will make better progress. 

An optimal program executed poorly is inferior to a decent program executed well. Watch this video to learn what your natural muscle building potential is and how long it takes to get there.

#2 Train for Strength

henry-cavill-workout-for-man-of-steel

Lifting heavier and heavier weights over time is the biggest driver of muscle growth. You can actually predict how muscular a person is just by looking at their relative strength on a few key exercises. Relative strength means strength compared to their bodyweight. 

For example if a guy lifts 185 lbs for 6 reps on bench press today and a year from now he lifts the same 185 lbs for 6 reps he’ll be the same size. However if he progressed to 225 lbs for 6 reps his chest would be significantly bigger. 

If you want to get more muscular your main goal in the gym is to get stronger. Check out this post to learn how strong you need to get for your goal physique.  

#3 Use the Right Volume, Intensity and Frequency

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The amount of reps you do in the gym, the weights you’re using and how frequently you train are the three pillars of your training routine. Making sure those three variables are set correctly for your level will ensure you make optimal progress.

Volume = The total number of reps you do per week - Intensity = How heavy those reps are - Frequency = How often you train a muscle group. 

Guys who disregard one of these three pillars end up plateaued and frustrated. Read this post to learn how to set your training routine optimally. 

#4 Eating a Calorie Surplus and Enough Protein

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Muscle growth is maximized when we gain weight because new tissue is created for excess nutrients. We must eat a surplus of calories and enough protein to support muscle growth. 

Some guys take this too far though. There is only so much muscle the body can create in one day and giving it more nutrients than it can use won’t speed up the process. It’s like a worker building a house. He won’t build the house faster if you give him more materials than he can use. In fact, the unused materials will just pile up around the house – just as body fat will pile up around the muscle.

Check out this post to learn how to set your nutrition for muscle growth.

#5 Allowing Proper Recovery

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Muscle growth has two parts: 1) Creating the stress that stimulates adaptation and 2) Allowing our body to recover from it an improve. 

When your recovery capacity is good you can handle more training which translates into better progress in long term. An important factor to keep in mind is that your body reacts to all types of stress very similarly. Although lifting weights, the death of a loved one, or tight deadlines at work are different, your body copes with them using the same reservoir of recovery. In other words mental stress can actually make you physically weaker.

To keep your recovery high you must get enough good quality sleep and reduce life stress as much as possible. Read this post to learn how to do it. 

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*Results may vary by individual

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