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The Lifter’s Guide for Lean Gains

Did you know that nearly a quarter of U.S. adults engaged regularly in aerobic and muscle-strengthening exercises? For some people, exercise is just a way to relieve the stress of a workday. But for many others, there is a goal to lose fat and stimulate muscle growth.

While many exercisers want to bulk up for size, others want to build lean muscle, which can be more functional. Read on to learn about the exercises and lifestyle choices that help you to make lean gains.

How Do You Make Lean Gains?

Building lean muscle takes a combination of training methods, along with a focused diet and recovery protocols. Each of these factors relies on the others to make optimum gains. As with any fitness goal, consistency is essential, so you should only go with a plan that you know you can stick with.

Strength Training

The most obvious aspect of gaining muscle, you need a consistent strength training program. To build lean muscle, there are several aspects that you need to consider.


While maintaining the muscle you already have can be done with just two days a week of training, making lean gains will require a greater commitment. You should plan on shorter sessions 4 or 5 days a week.


While accessory lifts that isolate muscles have benefits, the best lifts for building lean mass are the major lifts that target multiple muscle groups. These lifts shorten the duration of the session and allow you to add more weight than isolation movements. Some of these major lifts include:

  • Back and front squat
  • Deadlift
  • Bench press
  • Overhead press
  • Pull-ups
  • Bent-over rows

Repetition Scheme

It is important to vary your repetition scheme when training to build lean mass. Typically, heavier weights and lower rep counts (3-5) are for strength and lighter weights with higher rep counts (15-30) are for shape and conditioning. Alternating between these rep schemes, along with the standard 8-12 count, will stimulate muscle growth.

Cardiovascular Training

While not always associated with muscle growth, cardiovascular training is essential to building the heart and lungs and strengthening your body’s ability to recover. You should incorporate both aerobic and anaerobic exercise into your training program.

Aerobic Exercise

Aerobic exercise targets slow-twitch muscle fibers to improve endurance. This type of exercise is of longer duration at a moderate intensity. The main benefit in relation to making lean gains is that it improves muscle recovery.

Anaerobic Exercise

Anaerobic workouts are high intensity over a short period. This form of exercise targets the fast-twitch muscle fibers, which has a direct correlation to increased size and strength. They can also help with muscular endurance by increasing the body’s ability to resist lactic acid.


The best-performing vehicle won’t go anywhere without fuel and your body is the same way. A proper diet provides the muscles with the nutrients needed to grow and recover.

Protein Intake

Getting the right amount of protein is essential for muscle repair and sustained growth. A good minimum recommendation is 0.36 grams of protein for every pound you weigh. This means that if you weigh 200 pounds, you should aim for 72 grams per day.

For building muscle, you need to increase your intake slightly. While there is no set ratio, try consuming one gram for every kilogram of body weight. Using this method, the same 200-pound person would be consuming about 91 grams of protein per day.


Chances are, you probably don’t drink enough water. The standard eight glasses a day isn’t going to work for promoting muscle gains as you could suffer from low energy or even risk injury. You should aim for at least half an ounce of water for every pound of body weight.

Adequate water intake is also essential for the proper function of the kidneys. With the added protein intake, the kidneys need the extra water to help remove toxic waste from the body.


Contrary to popular belief, muscles don’t grow in training, they grow while they are resting. The most obvious aspect of recovery is getting the right amount of sleep, which allows your body to produce hormones that aid muscle growth and muscles to repair the tears from training. At a minimum, you should try to get at least seven hours of sleep.

The other major part of recovery is stretching. Stretching after a workout lengths muscle tissue and helps with circulation. It can also help in preventing lactic acid build-up and injuries.

If you find traditional stretching tedious, you may consider doing power yoga or mobility training.


Even with a well-balanced diet, getting all the nutrients you need is difficult. Taking supplements is a good way to fill in the areas that you are deficient in. Some common supplements include fish oil, vitamins, and regular protein shakes.

More advanced supplements are available that can support the development of lean muscle mass without the harmful effects of steroids and testosterone. You may look for Ostarine MK 2866 for sale. While more research is needed to determine the safety, this product has been shown to increase lean body mass.

Are You Ready to Build Lean Muscle Mass?

Now that you know about all the different aspects of building lean mass, what are you waiting for? It won’t be easy, as you have to dedicate yourself to strength training and cardio, a proper diet, and recovery. With the right training plan and lifestyle, you can achieve and make lean gains.

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