T Nation

Leaner, Stronger, Bigger


I'm sure there are others here who's current or past priorities matched the pecking order of the thread title.

My question to you is what is your preferred strategy?

What did or do you do when getting leaner is priority el numero uno? Also, what strategies or approaches have you used in the past that you felt were perhaps less effective than you had hoped?

My current go to move is the step mill stair master machine. You know, the one with the rotating steps. I'm definitely enjoying it but am hoping for some more I put, tips and tricks.

Come on guys and gals. There are some lean shredding folks on this site and I want your input. Nothing is off limits: cardio, nutritional strategies, supplementation stacks, "supplementation" stacks :wink: anything and everything is fair game.

If you don't care about being lean then I would appreciate if you would refrain from any "lean bashing."

This is a lean bash free zone :slightly_smiling:

Thanks for the input everyone!


What level of leanness do you feel is realistically maintainable year round?

Are the strategies for getting and maintaining these levels of leanness different for naturals vs assisted lifters or is it just "easier" for assisted lifters to achieve and maintain their leanness?


High carb? Low carb? Paleo? IF? Carb Cycling? Back loading?

Lean is King :wink:


I'll tell you what strategies the people in those pictures use to stay lean.



Phase 1: Create energy deficit

Phase 2: ???????????

Phase 3: Lean


Does this guy even lift?


Ermagerd, Gerg.


FYI Jaco's physique is fucking amazing.


Elite genetics, elite training, and basketball.


You would be amazed how lean you could get if you cut out/limit your intake of wheat products. I did this and lost a few pounds that I didn't even know that could come off me. I got to lean for my liking and this was unintentional. No cardio done, strictly a food change.

I am no where near (obviously) the size of the guys posted but still was able to get leaner than I already (sort of) was. The guys above look unreal.

Apologize if the picture is huge and or makes you want to snatch your eyes out.


Muscle Retention > Scale #s dropping quickly or even steadily.

One thing I always tried to keep in mind is that even when you absolutely positively think you need a set numeric drop each week, it's more important in the long run to not lose muscle by rushing things. I think trusting "the process", even when it initially appears that I might have stalled, has been important in my stage weight going up each successive year I competed.



This is where a second opinion/trained eye is useful. To see if you are on course even if the scale didn't move that particular week. The scale messes with my head, I don't know how some people are able to diet down with no external input what so ever.


Who is the guy in the first picture? Very aesthetic.

Also, what comp is that? He's not wearing board shorts, hence my confusion - and definitely not a bodybuilder. Is it a male modelling thing?


I have seen this before many times as advice. But I always wondered, how do you tell the difference between when an approach is stalling/not working vs just stay the course? Do you just give it a few weeks or something else?


I think his name is Jacco somethingorother. Pretty much a perfect physique if he had slightly bigger legs.

Insane physique for a natty :wink:


His name is Jaco de Bruyn. He is a WBFF Pro and International Fitness Model.


Cool book about this called Wheat Belly by William Davis


One thing I will probably always do when cutting, will be hit legs at LEAST 2x a week. I've always got lean the easiest, with the highest caloric intake and lowest amount of cardio when hitting legs hard 2-3x a week.


I have a hard time believing the 90+% of us who don't have any allergy/intolerance to wheat will see any difference from cutting out wheat if carbs/cals remain the same.


I think that is catch. Most people won't eliminate wheat/gluten and keep their carbs/calories the same.

It is probably unintentional but will more than likely happen. Part of the weight drop could be due to eliminating wheat/gluten and part will just be from lowering processed carbs.