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  • The Biochemistry of Lean Bulking

    When looking to increase the size and strength of your muscles most people will rely heavily on creating a calorie surplus. This is essentially where you consume more calories than you use, put simply (and without going into detail about the individual macronutrients) this ensures your body has sufficient ‘fuel’ for your muscles to repair and regrow bigger. Unfortunately increasing muscle mass this way often comes with the addition of unwanted body fat.

    Another way of increasing lean muscle mass without vastly increasing your body fat percentage would be to ‘lean bulk.’ However this requires your nutrition and supplementation to be more precise and is often more complicated. To make things slightly more simple Myprotein.com has produced the 3 basic rules of lean bulking:

    Rule #1: Eat Carbs Sensibly

    When lean bulking you don’t need to cut out carbs completely, rather eat carbs sensibly. The best times to eat carbs when you’re lean bulking would be first thing in the morning, since you have fasted for 7 hours (while sleeping) and so your blood sugar levels are low and muscle glycogen levels are depleted. Therefore any carbs you eat will be used to restore muscle glycogen levels which will then in turn be used to fuel your workouts (rather than being stored as fat.) This same principle applies to after your workout when you actually need carbs to create an insulin spike to then shuttle the protein content of your post workout shake to your muscles. Also because you have just worked out your muscles are so depleted of muscle glycogen and carbs will solely be used to restore this rather than be stored as fat.

    Rule: #2: Supplement with Leucine

    Try adding a very small tea spoon (3 grams) of the essential amino acid leucine to your shake since studies show the higher leucine levels in your bloodstream, the higher the rate of protein synthesis in your muscles (Isabelle Rieu et al, 2006.) In fact other studies show Leucine can help the absorption of every other nutrient as well as protein, so having this in your shake can help your body absorb all the other nutrients within it.

    250g of Leucine is £4.99 from Myprotein.com

    Rule: #3: Naturally manipulate anabolic hormones

    One of the most effective ways to increase lean muscle without relying on a calories surplus would be to manipulate your anabolic hormones naturally. This can be done by supplementing your diet with a natural testosterone booster like MP MAX® T Matrix which contains scientifically proven ingredients like D Aspartic Acid, an amino acid that is formed principally in the pituitary gland, hypothalamus, and testes. It plays an important role in the production of compounds associated with libido, tissue growth and the production of Luteinizing hormone. D Aspartic Acid stimulates the production of signal molecules which in turn enhance the activity in your testes as well as your pituitary gland. From an athletic perspective this allows your body to produce the compounds that help increase lean growth, strength, power and energy. In one particular study, researchers provided a group of males (aged 27-37) a daily dose of 3.12 grams of D Aspartic acid for twelve consecutive days. The growth compound level in the subjects that received the supplement had risen by 33% after the twelve days. The results of this study have massive implications for those looking to improve their athletic potential and also to improve their body shape with lean tissue.

    180 tabs of MP Max T Matrix is £39.99 from Myprotein.com

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