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Gaining Muscle While Staying Lean

I am 5’8 150… My goal is to gain lean muscle… I have classified myself as an ectomorph. I have 6 percent body fat. For the past two weeks i have been taking in about 4,000 calories ( very hard to do). I use to play basketball everyday for about 2 hours. I want to gain weight, mainly lean muscle to achieve about 170 - 175 weight range.

I take in about 400 grams of protein 400 grams of carbs and 80 grams of good fat, MUFA and PUFA. My question is should i take out cardio completely or just a minimal. I am currently playing basketball 3 days a week for about an hour and half. I dont want to just gain fat i want to still stay lean. I am open for any suggestions. I also workout out 4 days a week training upper body twice and lower body twice 2 sets for each muscle group and 8 reps a set.

take a look at some of the mass building articles on here, nothing here is geared towards gaining fat, that would just be silly

that being said, dietary fat is your friend while gaining…

how bout a little more insight as to what you workouts look like?

… oh and dont forget, nutrient timing! its not just if you get those cal’s its when.

and if the basketball is something you enjoy, i wouldnt drop it, you just dont need to add any other cadio to you routine…

i’m assuming your metabolism is quite fast which means you probably won’t get much fatter… if at all… it is also hard for me to gain weight so i have to continuously stuff my face whenever I get the chance… my body fat upped a little but not much… I am still quite lean

i’ve read/heard hardgainers should concentrate on high weight, low reps. Do a 5X5?

Do “Starting Strength.” Mark Rippetoe’s program is for 150lb guys who want to get to 170-180 and stay lean. Make sure you drink all the milk he tells you too. Cheers!!!

Every damn person on this site classifies themselves as a hardgainer/ectomorph/whatever. The bottom line is for the bottom 98% of the people on this earth, gaining muscle is damn hard work that takes a long ass time.

My advice to you is to quit classifying yourself and just work hard and eat harder.

It’s funny: the harder I work, the better my “genetics” suddenly get.

Do cardio if you want. Play basketball if you want. There’s no point in completely limiting what you WANT to do as hobbies solely to gain a few pounds. Unless you play 5 times a week for 2 hours, you’re probably going to be just fine. Add in extra calories on the days you both play basketball/run and weight train.

Limited cardio is good for staying lean(er) while bulking, you just have to eat more and know when to limit yourself. But 3 days of basketball is not going to hurt you too much. If it does, you’re not eating enough. Eat more. Go above 5000/day if you have to.

Finally, if all you’re doing is 2 sets for quads and 2 sets for hamstrings, your lower body training sucks. You should be able to do more than 2 sets per muscle group for BOTH upper and lower body, but especially for lower body.

Here’s a nice template for the upper body training:

Horz. push
Horz. pull
Vert. push
Vert. pull
1 triceps isolation exercise
1 biceps iso exercise

Most of your training time and effort should be on the first 4 exercises, not on the isolation stuff.

Your quads and hamstrings should be able to handle at least 6 total sets each to start with (1 compound exercise and 1 isolation for each). You should work up to doing 8 sets each over time. You should do both compound leg exercises first. You should add in abs after the isolation leg exercises.

Eat more fats. You can obviously handle the carbs, and I assume your in your teens so drink a shitload of milk.

Nobody likes gaining fat, this topic (gaining ‘lean’ muscle) gets posted about 50 times a week so read up.

Thanks for the input. And for Aragorn i work both upper and body twice a week with two warm up sets. Are you suggestion that is too little? I try and limit my time in the gym to stay away from burning too many calories!

My workout template is like so.Each being 2 sets of 8 reps . Twice a week MW TrF
Flat DB bench
Incline DB bench
Wide Grip Row
Weighted Pull ups
Hammer Curl
Incline DB curl
Skull Crusher
Kick Backs
Front and Lateral Raise

Lower Body
Weighted Step ups
Pull Throughs
Leg Extensions
Leg Press
Calf Raises
Weighted Lunges

The exercise will change every 4 weeks

eat clean, work hard

problemo?

incorporate squats and deads? maybe even some power cleans?

[quote]raines wrote:
Thanks for the input. And for Aragorn i work both upper and body twice a week with two warm up sets. Are you suggestion that is too little? I try and limit my time in the gym to stay away from burning too many calories!

My workout template is like so.Each being 2 sets of 8 reps . Twice a week MW TrF
Flat DB bench
Incline DB bench
Wide Grip Row
Weighted Pull ups
Hammer Curl
Incline DB curl
Skull Crusher
Kick Backs
Front and Lateral Raise

Lower Body
Weighted Step ups
Pull Throughs
Leg Extensions
Leg Press
Calf Raises
Weighted Lunges

The exercise will change every 4 weeks[/quote]

This workout is far from optimal.
You would be much better off doing a cookie cutter routine until you learn how to program and train effectively.

Your lower body days suck. You have no squat or dead lift variations.

The majority of your upper body exercises are isolation work. You have it backwards.

Carefully reread what Aragorn posted.
Read the stickies.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.

Read this.

http://www.T-Nation.com/free_online_forum/sports_body_training_performance_bodybuilding_beginner/for_those_who_want_to_loose_fat_while_gaining_muscle?id=2438600&pageNo=0

You’re welcome.

lastly…6%bf…highly doubt that.

I had it tested 3 weeks ago , it was 6%

i still don’t believe it man. Only pics can persuade…

[quote]raines wrote:
Thanks for the input. And for Aragorn i work both upper and body twice a week with two warm up sets. Are you suggestion that is too little? I try and limit my time in the gym to stay away from burning too many calories!

My workout template is like so.Each being 2 sets of 8 reps . Twice a week MW TrF
[/quote]

In your original post you said you [quote]"I also workout out 4 days a week training upper body twice and lower body twice 2 sets for each muscle group and 8 reps a set.[/quote]

You did not say “I do 2 warm-up sets”. So, I took it to mean you do only two sets per muscle group, which is not anywhere near enough.

[quote]
Flat DB bench
Incline DB bench
Wide Grip Row
Weighted Pull ups
Hammer Curl
Incline DB curl
Skull Crusher
Kick Backs
Front and Lateral Raise

[/quote]Uh huh. So it turns out I was right–you only do 2 sets each. And this is what results from doing only two sets of an exercise and trying to get all the angles covered at the same time. Too many exercises, not enough intensity, and not enough volume where it counts. 9 exercises = 18 sets, and half of those are on arms. If you want to train arms that much, do it on a dedicated arm day and spend the rest of your energy on your big compound movements during chest and back days.

Reread what I posted. You are spread waaaaay too thin to really do any damage to your muscles. Do ONLY 5 or 6 exercises TOTAL–one horizontal push and pull each, one vert. push and pull each, and 1 bicep/tricep exercise each. Do 4 work sets of each exercise, AFTER warming up. On the isolation stuff only do 3 TOTAL sets (including warm-up) for each exercise for now. You can change it in a few months. Or move all the isolation arm stuff to an Arm/Shoulder day.

[quote]
Lower Body

Weighted Step ups
Pull Throughs
Leg Extensions
Leg Press
Calf Raises
Weighted Lunges

The exercise will change every 4 weeks[/quote]

Bad. Exercise selection is OK for now, but order is all out of whack, and your volume is too low. Start with your hardest exercises (Step ups, lunges, leg press)… then move to your other stuff afterwards. [u/][b]Always start with your hardest exercises, unless you’re prefatiguing a muscle group with an isolation movement beforehand[/u][/b], which you shouldn’t have to worry about doing for at least 2 years or so because you won’t be handling enough weight to make it worthwhile.

Again, you have too many exercises and are spread too thin. Take out the leg extensions or do them at the very end. More volume. Again, 2 sets each isn’t enough. Taking out the extensions, that’s only 8 TOTAL SETS for quads and hams (4 each with some bleed over), and 2 for calves. Read what I was saying again–quads and hams should be able to handle at least 6 sets each to start… My hamstrings typically get 10-15 by themselves for example (deadlift up to heavy triple, FOLLOWED BY two exercises of 3-5 sets EACH)… you’re not ready for that now, or for the near future, but you can start at 6 each and get up to 8 sets easily enough, then increase from there.

Here’s how it should look–

step ups
lunges (or lunges then step ups, either way. change it up)
leg press
pull-throughs
calf raises
abs (remember my previous post?)

Start at 3 sets each, and try to increase the sets you do to 4 each for now. Re-assess later. [b]Make sure you do your step ups and lunges properly[/b]–the only reason you get a pass (FOR NOW, but not for long) for not including deadlift or squats is because BOTH the lunges and the step ups will work your hamstrings together with your quads…IF done properly. If you cut the range of motion or cheat to move the weight, you lose the benefit of the exercise.

You should still put squats and deadlifts in after a while. You’ll be fine for now provided you do things properly.

Lastly I would pick DIFFERENT exercises for your 2nd upper and lower body sessions of the week. Say you do flat bench one time, do incline or decline bench the 2nd workout, or do a dumbbell flat bench (all are roughly horizontal push exercises). Substitute exercises that are in the same plane of movement.

Say you do step ups the 1st workout, do Bulgarian Squats the 2nd one. Pick EITHER the lunges or the step-ups to substitute, not both (for now).

Pull-throughs, calf raises you can leave in both workouts. Change leg press to leg curl for your second leg day, AND move them to AFTER your pull-throughs, otherwise the pull-throughs will suffer.

Eat more. Gain about 1 lb a week, maybe up to 2 lb a week. If you’re not gaining, eat more. Doesn’t matter what the calories end up being. If you’re not gaining muscle, it’s because one or more of the following is happening:

  1. your workout intensity sucks like Jenna Jameson. Work harder when in the gym.

  2. your eating sucks. Eat more.

  3. your sleep sucks. Sleep more EVERY NIGHT.

  4. your cardio is too much. Take it down a notch.

1 and 2 are the most likely of all. 4 is least likely if you only play 3x a week. If you get to 5000 calories every. single. day. and still don’t see any weight change after 2 weeks, consider dumping your cardio.