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How to develop a lean muscle gain/offseason program - article by Trevor Kouritzin

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In this article I am going to explain how I would develop a training and diet program for someone looking to put on lean muscle while staying lean. I will be using myself as the example. Every person is different and each program should be based upon their own individual goals and where they are currently, but what I am trying to get across is the method and way of thinking I use.

In my current situation I am coming off a slight caloric defect/weight loss phase. I will be designing a program for myself based on my old program.

Training

Previously, I was training 6 days a week, with cardio 3 days a week in the following format.

Day 1: Legs heavy

Day 2: AM: 30 minutes of cardio and abs. PM: Shoulders and arms heavy

Day 3: Chest back heavy

Day 4: Legs volume

Day 5: AM: 30 minutes of cardio and abs. PM: Shoulders and arms volume

Day 6: Chest back volume

Day 7: 30 minutes of cardio and abs

The first change I am going to implement is adding in a rest day. Instead of training 6 days in a row I’ll be training 3 days in a row and then taking a day off. Each body part will be trained every 8 days instead of the previous 7. The second change I am going to implement is removing the AM cardio and ab workout on the shoulders and arm workout days. Cardio is then reduced from 3 30 minutes sessions every 7 days to 2 30 minute sessions every 8 days. The new workout split looks like this:

Day 1: Legs heavy

Day 2: Shoulders and arms heavy

Day 3: Chest back heavy

Day 4: 30 minutes of cardio and abs

Day 5: Legs volume

Day 6: Shoulders and arms volume

Day 7: Chest back volume

Day 8: 30 minutes of cardio and abs

With training each body party twice every 8 days, the amount of volume in each individual workout can’t be excessive. I will be using 2-3 exercises per body part and 3 sets per exercise. For example, here is today’s Leg heavy workout:

Exercise Sets x reps
  1. Lying hamstring curl 3 x 10
  2. Barbell squat 3 x 6
  3. Hack squat 3 x 10
  4. Leg extension 3 x 10 <- last set was a triple drop set
  5. Standing calf raise 3 x 10 <- last set was a triple drop set
  6. Seated calf raise 3 x 10 <- last set was a triple drop set


Each of these workouts should take 60-75 minutes. The goal of each workout is to stimulate the muscle, not annihilate it.

The premise behind the heavy days is to focus on ‘beating the log book’ and increase the amount of weight you are lifting or increase the amount of reps with the same weight used for each exercise (while maintaining good form). Rest periods are longer to allow for heavier weights to be used. On the volume days you want to focus on keeping your heart rate up and keeping rest periods short.

Diet

I was previously eating 2600-3000 calories per day with a high carbohydrate day on each leg day.

I am a big advocate of carbohydrate cycling. If you never vary your daily calories or macronutrients, you end up overfeeding yourself on the days you’re either resting or training light, and eating too little on the days you train the hardest. Carb cycling, when you get it right, gives you the best of both worlds and the worst of neither. You fuel your body on the brutal training days, but treat your body as if it’s in a cutting phase on the days you don’t need excess energy.

The main premise behind carbohydrate cycling is that by exploiting your body’s insulin levels via cycling your daily carbohydrate intake, you can maximize insulin’s anabolic (muscle building) and anticatabolic (muscle sparing) effects while minimizing it’s undesired actions of limiting fat oxidization.

I will be increasing my calories to 2800-3600 per day with a high carbohydrate day on leg days, low carbohydrate day on shoulder and arm days, moderate carbohydrate days on chest and back days and a minimal carbohydrate day on rest days. Following the training split I have outlined above, my carbohydrate cycle will be as follows: High, low, medium, minimal. The low and minimal carbohydrate days increase insulin sensitivity for the high and medium carbohydrate days. It’s a lot like a sponge. By squeezing out all the water (muscle glycogen) on the low and minimal days, you allow a super compensation filling effect on the high and moderate days. My diet on each of the four days will look as follows:

Leg%20day.png


shouldersarms.png


chestback%20day.png


Rest%20dayPM.png


I will allow myself one cheat meal per week. I don’t really have any cravings but it’s nice to be able to go out with some friends once and a while and a get a burger and fries.

Final thoughts

Building muscle is a slow process. Adding in an excessive amount of calories will only lead to fat gain. By adding in a extra rest day, reducing cardio and slightly increasing calories my body will be in a primed position to increase muscle mass while staying lean. In a few months I will most likely either need to either add calories or further reduce cardio to continue to gain weight.

Succeeding in bodybuilding is a lot like living groundhog day everyday. It’s very repetitive. Fall in love with the process and the results will come.
 
bro interesting write up...i like your high protein approach....

Protein is after all what builds and maintains muscle.

My protein intake seems higher then it actually is because I count indirect protein from vegetables and carbs and BCAA in the total.
 
Awesome. Don't be shy to post any questions if you have any. I wanted to make this thread a sort of Q and A thread.
 
What's your bodyweight at? That's high high protein.. lol it can fuck with the kidneys if it gets too high. 1-1.5 per lb is what I shoot for
 
What's your bodyweight at? That's high high protein.. lol it can fuck with the kidneys if it gets too high. 1-1.5 per lb is what I shoot for

I'm 175 pounds.

The protein seems artificially high with the way I calculate it. I count all the incomplete protein in carbohydrate and fat sources and count BCAA's as protein in my calculation. I do this to take the calories into account.
 
Is it is bad if I eat 4 whole eggs and 2 slice of bread every morning with 1 slice of cheese and then eat chicken or fish with alot of brocoli and rice ? and a shake ?
 
Awesome man. Good write up.

Sent from my SM-N910T using Tapatalk
 
Is it is bad if I eat 4 whole eggs and 2 slice of bread every morning with 1 slice of cheese and then eat chicken or fish with alot of brocoli and rice ? and a shake ?

I generally try to not mix protein fats and carbohydrates in the same meal. If you are eating 4 whole eggs and cheese, make it a protein fat meal and just include non-starchy fibrous carbohydrates such as broccoli, spinach, onions etc.

There are much better carbohydrate sources then bread. Rice, sweet potatoes, and oatmeal are my primary carbohydrate sources.
 
My weight is 215lb and I usually have 6 egg whites, and 2 whole eggs with 1/2 cup oatmeal for breakfast then try to stay high on the protein and low on the carbs for the day, do you think I should keep my carbs and protein high together cause I've been finding it harder to stay lean and don't know what I should be changing.
 
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