The Zone


By Mr Protein | In Training | on March 10, 2014
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  • Aljaz says:

    December 2, 2014 at 1:48 pm - Reply

    Hi, i have been workoing out and lifting for quite some time now, my arm muscles (biceps, triceps) have grown a lot, and my chest has grown a little the same goes for my abs. At the moment I weight 73kg and I am 181cm tall, what would you recommend so that i can build up lean muscles?
    Thank you for your answer in advance!

    1. Mr Protein says:

      December 2, 2014 at 4:24 pm - Reply

      Hey Alijaz,

      When it comes to lean muscle nutrition is the major factor here. What type of body type would you describe yourself as?

      An etcomorph- someone who finds it hard to put on weight and muscle
      An endomorph-someone who finds it difficult to lose weight and gains fat pretty easily.
      or a mesomorph- someone who builds muscle easily and is described to have an athletic build

      These articles should help you be able to identify your body shapes further:

      How you are going to build lean muscle will depend on which of the above you class yourself as.
      Generally when it comes to building lean muscle most people find limiting their carbohydrate intakes to help a great deal.

      To start on your lean muscle building journey I would make sure you are consuming at least 1g of protein (if not 1.5) per pound of body weight and consuming regular small meals. Then i would plan your carbohydrate intake, making sure you are only consuming simple carbohydrates such as fruit, at times like pre and post workout, and complex carbohydrates earlier on in the day. By doing this, it means any unused carbohydrates are less likely to be stored as fat. I do not recommend cutting out carbohydrates all together- they are the muscles and body’s main supply of fuel!

      In terms of training- again this depends on your body shape. If you are an ectomorph cardio will not be essential within your training regime. However, for endomorphs this is the opposite. In order to only gain lean muscle and no fat, endomorphs are recommended to take part in 30 minutes to an hour of cardio a day- making sure this cardio is performed after weight training. The reason cardio should be carried out after weight training is because that way the bodies glycogen stores are already likely to be diminished- forcing the body to use fat as energy. I would personally mix this cardio up within the week- carrying out low steady state cardio on some days and HIIT and circuit training on others. Circuit training is a good source of high intensity cardio that can also help you gain lean muscle!

      For your weight training make sure you are varying your regime- i would set one week to endurance weight training and the other to strength. This means on one week you focus on using weights where you can perform between 10 to 12 reps, and the other using a heavier weight for 4-6 reps, including drops sets.

      Make sure you are performing plenty of compound movements as well as isolation exercises- one mistake people make when trying to build muscle is only focusing on exercises like bicep curls. In order to stimulate all your muscle fibres you need to perform both of these types of exercises with a variation of tempo. Tempo is how fast you perform the exercise- make sure you are not blasting out exercises as quickly as possible and focus on both your concentric and eccentric muscle contractions (this means concentrating on speed and movement both as you lift the weight AND as you put it down).

      For supplementation make sure you are supplementing with whey protein post workout and amino acids such as L glutamine and BCAAs. BCAA’s are very important when it comes to building lean muscle. I would also think about looking into consuming a milk protein before bed in order to prevent muscle catabolism as you sleep- there are a lot of tasty options including a protein dessert. Omega-3 is an essential supplement for gaining muscle without fat- but have a read of some of our articles first so you know the full benefits.

      Creatine is an excellent supplement for building lean mass, however it does have a side effect of bloating as it increases muscle energy and makes the muscles look fuller. For men this is not usually considered a side effect however for women creatine is sometimes avoided. Nevertheless, it can help you gain lean muscle and water retention can be eliminated just two weeks after you stop taking it.

      If you are a mesomorph consuming supplements such as CLA and thermopure will also aid your fat loss.

      I hope this has answered your question from every angle. If you need more information feel free to comment back or email

      Thanks from Myprotein

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