Lean Bulking the Right Way

Here on Veggie Power Gainz,  we have a saying:

What is it you ask?

“Eat big, to get big”  -Nope. This is not it at all.

“Eat just enough to grow, while staying lean.” -Yes! This is better.

Many of us have made or still making the mistake of “bulking up” and “eating big” to gain muscle quickly, but end up with soft looking muscles and bigger love handles…

How do you make solid strength and muscle gains on a bulking phase, keeping fat gain to absolute minimum?

You do these by first realizing our bodies can only build so much muscle on a daily basis. Two pounds of lean muscle per month is realistic for most people. This averages to right about 0.5 lbs of muscle per week. Note this is with proper training routine and progression model in place along with having your nutrition down solid. Gaining 5-1o lbs of muscle a month is not possible. If a natural lifter were to try and do this, would result in plenty of fat gain.

So.. what are some things you can do to ensure you’re building solid strength and muscle with minimal fat gain?


  1. Your nutrition 

This is where most guys mess up.

(of course not you, since you’re reading veggie power gainz blog :D)

Most guys end up ruining there physiques by eating far above what is needed to build lean muscle mass. In order to ensure your lean bulk is going correctly you must calculate your maintenance calories. Your maintenance calories is how many calories you burn per day. If you’re active at least an hour a day, your maintenance would be about 15 times your body weight.

For example a man who weighs 170 pounds. (170 * 15) Would have a maintenance calories at 2550.

If your goal is muscle gain, eating slightly above this maintenance calorie level would do the job. But how many calories above maintenance?  Eating 250-300 calories above maintenance is the optimal amount. So a 170 lb man would be eating at a surplus about 2850 calories per day.

In a half a pound a muscle, (we talked about earlier as being the realistic amount you can build per week) there is 1250 calories. Eating 300 calories over maintenance is about 2100 calories per week. To ensure you’re keeping your fat gain to an absolute minimum what you can do is:

Have 1-2 low calorie days per week. A good rule of thumb is

  • Track your daily caloric surplus to make sure your its 250-300 calories above maintenance. 
  • Track your overall weekly caloric surplus to make sure its 1250 – 2100 range. 

Great. You have the calories down.

You might be wondering.. “But Andi, How much protein do I need?”

0.8-1.0 gram per pound of body weight is required for the best results. So the 170 lb man from earlier would be eating about 136 – 170 grams of protein per day. This isn’t very hard to when you’re in a caloric surplus. After hitting your protein target be sure to get plenty of carbs to support training and some fats.

All coming together:

  • Track your daily caloric surplus to make sure your its 250-300 calories above maintenance.
  • Track your overall weekly caloric surplus to make sure its 1250 – 2100 range. 
  • Get 0.8 – 1 gram per pound of body weight of protein per day
  • 1-2 low calorie days a week to support leanness. (preferably on one of your rest days)


(My physique during my last lean bulking phase)IMG_0531


2. Your  Training

Great we got the nutrition taken care of. But what about the training side of spectrum?

Put that caloric surplus to use and train hard. By hard I don’t mean  do excessive amounts of volume each workout.

If you’re past the stage of “newbie” in the gym, then progressive overload is the key indicator for muscle gains.

Train smart, by tracking your strength on key lifts throughout your lean bulk. Key lifts or compound lifts such as incline/flat bench press, squats, dead lifts,weighted pull ups/chin ups, heavy rows etc.. Training  should be focused on heavy lifting  in the 4-6 rep range   and your  goal should be to add 1 rep or 5 more pounds to your key lifts every workout. This is not achievable with an excessive amount of volume and training more than 4 days per week. Your central nervous system will be burned out and you won’t give yourself enough time to recover from those training sessions. Training every other day allows a rest day in between. As a natural lifter you must give yourself enough time to recover from each training session.

You must track your lifts. Don’t need a fancy app or anything along the lines of that. A notebook + paper or in the notes section of your phone would be wise. Its very important to track your progress on compound lifts to ensure you’re progressing. Are you really going to estimate the  number of reps or weight you did on every exercise? Don’t have to, just track it.


All coming Together:

  • Track your progress on key lifts, Progressive overload by adding 1 more rep or 5 more pounds on compound lifts, Train heavy in the 4-6 rep range.
  • Avoid excessively high volume training routines.
  • Keep in mind of rest days by training every other day.



If want to take your physique to this next level this year, join the exclusive members on Veggie Power Daily. Also get the free “Herbivore Fasting 2.0” guidebook 





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