If you’re a weight lifter, chances are that you’ve gone through at least one “bulk” in your fitness regimen.
“Bulking” refers to eating more calories than your body needs, (also called eating “above maintenance”) and lifting heavy weights in order to quickly build up muscle, and become stronger. It’s a necessary part of any fitness routine – because it’s much more difficult to become much stronger when eating “at maintenance”, or when you’re at a caloric deficit.
But a side-effect of bulking is often significant weight gain. You’ll gain muscle – as well as body fat. This requires a “cut” – where you reduce your caloric intake while attempting to maintain your body’s new strength.
But what if there was a better way to become stronger, without gaining a large amount of fat? There is – and by understanding lean bulk macros, you can use this technique for yourself.
What Are Lean Bulk Macros?
Macros is short for “macronutrients” (protein/fat/carbohydrates) so the term “lean bulk macros” refers to the composition of macronutrients you should be eating in order to maximize your strength gain – while minimizing fat gain.
For a lean bulk, you need to do 2 things:
Let’s go over a brief example. Say you are a man of the age of 25, 6’ 3” tall, and weighing 175lbs, with a very active lifestyle (working out 6+ times per week).
You’ll need about 3,200 calories to maintain your current weight. That means that, during a lean bulk, you should be eating around 3,500 calories per day – 300 above “maintenance”.
In addition, you will need to consume 175 grams of protein per day. Because protein has 4 calories per gram, that means you’re eating 700 calories from protein, and must make up the rest of your caloric intake (2,800 calories) in carbohydrates and fats.
The ratio of carbs/protein/fat does not matter very much – but if you tend to do a lot of aerobic exercises in addition to your weightlifting, you should probably eat a larger ratio of carbs to fat.
This also doesn’t mean you can just start eating whatever you want. For a lean bulk to work, you need to consume high-quality sources of protein, whole grains, and healthy fats from sources like olive oil, salmon, avocados, eggs, and so on.
Understand Your Lean Bulk Macros – And Gain Muscle With Less Fat!
As long as you properly calculate your caloric needs, eat 200-300 calories above maintenance, and consume at least 1g protein per lb of body weight, you’re sure to be able to gain muscle without excess fat.
So do your own calculations now, and forget about “dirty bulking” – a lean bulk is the way to go, and the best way to avoid a prolonged “cutting” period, during which your strength may deteriorate.