The fitness and health scene has it’s own special ever-evolving lingo. There’s the powerlifters who have laid claim to popularised gym phrases like “1RM” and “Miss”. Then there’s the bodybuilders who have the phrases “Natty” and “Drop Set”.

The fitness world has lived through trends and fascinations, which constantly change.

Now that Summer is not long away, the fitness community is ready to reach it’s peak time of the year once again and the latest craze isn’t as simple.

“Lean Muscle”

You may be asking why isn’t this as simple? Everyone knows about lean muscle!

Well, the truth is, there is no difference between lean muscle and bulk muscle. Muscle is muscle. There lies the complication for most people who genuinely don’t understand that bulk muscle and lean muscle aren’t two different things. I see gym goers confused every single day by the terminology choice.

Here’s what most fail to understand…

Developing lean muscle is a method which is a combination of training, diet and lifestyle. It has nothing to do with shaping exercises which people also fail to understand. Not to be misunderstood, muscle shaping will hit target areas to create a certain mould for your muscle tissue. However, this by no means, will grant your arms that “lean muscle” look.

Now we’ve covered that the question shouldn’t be “How do I get lean muscle?”

The questions we should be asking should either be

How do I gain muscle without putting on an excess of body fat?”

or alternatively,

“How do I strip body fat without losing an excess of muscle?”

Luckily, there’s a simple umbrella answers which will help you on your road to developing the lean muscle physique. Nutrition. The key to developing muscle whist effectively keeping a healthy, lean frame look boils down to timed meals, specific dietary choices and a consistently active lifestyle.

Dieting to build muscle without excess body fat. 

I must admit, when I start my bulking phase for the year, I loved the pre conceived idea of eat anything, eat everything!

Why? Because I’m bulking, bro.

If only nutrition was this simple. Unfortunately, if you happen to be bulking and subsequently neglecting cardio you might run into a few problems when it comes to building muscle without the excess body fat.

Good sources of food to build lean muscle include eggs, grass-fed beef because of their high protein content,  slow digesting carbohydrates like brown rice also play a part by providing you with longer lasting energy, which keeps your body metabolising food and keeps you fuller for longer preventing an excess of carbohydrates.

It’s a matter of WHEN not WHAT 

When it comes to dieting to build muscle whilst staying lean, achieving affective results can be a complex process.

The obvious reason for this is that staying lean and building muscle is arguably the most challenging physiological changes your body will undergo. To progress, you have to continue with the mentality that dieting has multiple elements. Not only does it require eating the right food, it requires eating at the right time.

It’s not just what you eat, it’s when you eat. Meal timing has been proven to have an adverse effect before and after resistance training. It’s a concept that on the surface appears complex. However, its really quite simple and logical. Your body consumes food as a source of energy throughout the day. Increasing the portion of the meals in the times of the day when your body is craving more nutrients ie. breakfast and post-workout meals will aid in providing muscle growth after a workout and aiding muscle retention during your depleted state in the morning. Ultimately what you’re doing is treating your body in times of necessity and not giving it an excessive ability to store carbohydrates which will later convert into fat.