You Don’t Have to Get Fat to Build Muscle

Some months ago I decided to increase my calories intake drastically to put on more mass.

Result: I put on fat to build muscle!

And I highly regret I took that approach because then I had to face a fat loss program to get lean again. Well, at least it gave me the opportunity to experiment some things on my body which I shared where I talk about how to lose fat.

Yes, I Put on Fat to Build Muscle Too...for a While

But honestly I didn't have to, darn it! It took me a few months trying to stuff my stomach with food and supplements like weight gainers and meal replacement drinks to gain about 20 pounds.

Bulking Fat to Build Muscle

Many bodybuilder in the winter become fat to build muscle mass, and then get lean in the summer

Oh man yes that worked, I got bigger fast...but I lost control of my body fat percentage. I didn't have a six pack abs before, but at least a four pack was there.

After bulking you couldn't even spot a two pack, what a shame. I then had to "waste" another couple of months to get lean again, until I was about 10 pounds more than when I started.

Looking back I made a mistake, I didn't have patience because I was afraid to lose motivation if I didn't put weight on fast. My frustration comes from the fact that I am a hardgainer, which means that I have a fast metabolism and it's hard for me to put weight on.

But yeah, eating like crazy till I was almost sick and using some of the best bodybuilding supplements definitely helped me reach my goal of building more mass.

Now I say it was a bad approach because it was almost "painful" to force myself to eat so much to just have to lose fat some months after.

Increase Your Calorie Intake But Stay Lean!

The best advice I can give you to build muscle is to increase your daily calorie intake gradually. It's not worth it to get fat to build muscle, and then to lose muscle to burn fat.

Well, they say you learn from your mistakes and I can quote that!

But how many calories should you take in to build more muscle?

There's no doubt that you have to have a calorie surplus if you want to gain weight (and then weight lifting will convert that weight in muscle).

Step 1 is to understand how many calories a day you need to maintain your weight. Nobody can tell you, you have to figure it out by yourself, testing your body's responses to different diets.

Step 2 is to add, at the very MOST, I'd say 500 calories a day. If you go beyond that I promise that you can't convert all that into muscle even with a great workout program.

Step 3 is to decide how to add those calories, I would suggest:

  • Eating more (healthy foods)
  • Taking supplements

Step 4 is to exercise and build lean muscle so that those extra calories don't turn into fat.

At the end of the day, your body may respond differently than mine, but my advice still stands: you don't have to get fat to build muscle!


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