Joey Vaillancourt Fitness
From Joey, Muscle Building Training

How To Gain Lean Muscle Tips

August 30, 2010 by Joey Vaillancourt · 41 Comments 

I get quite a bit of emails on a day to day basis regarding questions on fitness, nutrition, tips to gain muscle and advice on how to lose fat effectively, and although I make it my highest priority to provide you with all the answers through the blog, there are still questions remaining which is great.

I appreciate you seeking my advice and I am more than happy to help. I decided that when I receive some good questions or a question that a lot of people can benefit from, I will reply on the blog to make available to everyone who is interesting in tips on how to gain muscle fast.

Today I wanted to cover a common question I get about gaining lean muscle

This person wanted to know some general tips on how to gain clean muscle mass.

When trying to gain lean muscle mass, we are simply focusing on keeping our fat levels at a lower rate of accumulation however we will still in the end gain a bit of fat which is normal and should be expected.

After all, when you play around with a caloric surplus, even when trying to maintain a healthy equilibrium, we need to stay on the surplus side more than the deficit side in order to provide ample nutrients and energy in to lift heavy and stimulate muscle growth.

But, there are something’s we can do to avoid excessive fat gain that can come when attempting to just bulk up and gain massive amounts of muscle at the expense of gaining much more fat than had we simply focused on lean muscle.

Both work and the choice is yours.

If you are interested in lean muscle gain, then here are some tips that you should continue following to limit fat gain and promote a lean muscle building environment:

-          Time the majority of your carb intake around workout times and breakfast

-          Eat 5-6 meals per day all of which should include some form of protein

-          Make sure to eat within 1 hour before working out and eat sufficient amounts of food post workout

-          Consume higher glycemic carbs post workout and low glycemic carbs any other time of the day and on off days

-          Continue performing cardio about 2-3 per week to keep fat levels lower

-          Drink plenty of water throughout the day to maintain hydration (3-4 litres)

-          When you can, keep your food fresh. Avoid canned products or frozen meats as most contain acidic salt and non-essential additives.

-          Eat about 15-20 times your bodyweight to grow. If you are an extreme hardgainer, aim for the 20 and if you are less, aim lower

-          Change your workout routine every 4-6 weeks

-          Set goals


Also, I wrote a good article on 9 Ways To Gain Weight. Even though these are more mass gainer tips, you could still benefit from giving this one a read as well.

9 Killer Ways To Gain Muscle Fast

And lastly, this person also asked if I could recommend a post workout shake that doesn’t have any protein powder

Very hard to do, and if you are serious about building muscle, I would strongly recommend putting money aside for a good protein powder, but I can give one recipe that will work if you are in the same boat as this particular person.

At the very least, you should be taking in a liquid drink of some sort that contains fast acting carbs such as Gatorade, orange juice or any fruit juice alike. Try and go for a more natural drink without a bunch of extra sugar added.

Aside from that, if you want some more  protein, I would recommend this. Mind you this is not the most ideal, but if you are limited it might just do the trick:

2 Cups of Chocolate Milk or Regular Milk (with a small amount of chocolate syrup)
Banana and/or strawberries
1 Cup of eggwhites

Another you could try is almond milk as well.

But in the end, a good protein powder will always make life easier and for the price, it is really worth the investment.

Any other questions? Feel free to post below and I will answer anything you might have on your mind.




41 Responses to “How To Gain Lean Muscle Tips”
  1. Andre Andre says:

    great article Joey…very helpful..

  2. Braulio Braulio says:

    At what bf % levels do you recommed doing bones to buff? or any muscle gain program (bulk)?

  3. Joey Vaillancourt Joey Vaillancourt says:

    hey, thanks Andre. Lots more like this to come.

  4. Joey Vaillancourt Joey Vaillancourt says:

    you really cant go wrong at any body fat..but as long as you are not over 20%, I would recommend doing Bones To Buff.

    When I did my very first bulk up, I went from 18.5% to 21% and gained over 35lbs…

  5. Omar Omar says:

    Does the 5 week rambo workout comes with bones to buff?

    Does the bones to buff program only for 5 weeks ?

    thanks, Joey!

  6. Omar Omar says:

    How many weight traing workouts per week are in the bones to buff program?

  7. Joey Vaillancourt Joey Vaillancourt says:

    @Omar – Bones to buff consists of one 5 week cycle, that can be re-used (and it is intended you re-use it). I just portray it as the 5 week program, but yes it can be used more than that and I explain how.

    The rambo workout was a bonus, but shoot me an email with your receipt when you buy and i can hook you up if you are really interested :)

  8. Joey Vaillancourt Joey Vaillancourt says:

    @Omar – 1st and 5th week there are 3 days of workouts and 2 cardio days (optional) and weeks 2, 3, 4 have 4 days of workouts.

  9. Jimmy Jimmy says:

    Do you recommend eating the same amount of calories in rest days or cardio days?

  10. Joey Vaillancourt Joey Vaillancourt says:

    both ways will work, but i generally eat the same on my workout days as my cardio days…maybe just backing off the carbs a bit on non-workout days and cardio days. but your body sitll requires that surplus each day

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