Ahh the biggest debate in the gym these days and everyone’s biggest concern:  IS IT POSSIBLE TO ADD SLABS OF THICK LEAN MUSCLE WHILE STAYING SHREDDED?

Well tell all your bodybuilding friends and local personal trainers fresh off their text book test that I said YES! It is not only possible but I will show you how…

You see as we train to gain muscle we all know that you must have the correct caloric intake to support this growth which in turn leads to unwanted subcutaneous fat; you know the fat around the belly that seems impossible to lose.  So our first instinct is to follow what the guys in the magazines do; bulk up til we look like a ball then go through a “cutting phase” to lose all the fat while “attempting” to preserve all the hard earned muscle.  Hey if you have the time and patience for all that be my guest.

But if you’re like me, I need it and need it now!!  So I take a training page from a linebacker or sprinter and train like they do.  You see these guys develop massive structures while staying chiseled, what is it they do? Could it be something the magazines hold back?

NO!!  most athletes train for speed, strength, and power (Type II Fibers) which is a specialized training that allows these guys to walk around with muscular physiques and low body fat.  It’s because they are using a different energy system,  yep that’s you r huge scholarly answer.  Athletes train specifically in ATP/ Creatine phosphate system we’ll just call in anaerobic which is completely different from the aerobic training everyone seems to hold superior in the gym.  Yet people fail to realize that training anaerobically like an athlete we can reduce muscle loss from catabolism (breakdown of muscle) and enzymatic changes all while gaining mass.  We can utilize higher intensity training to lose fat without losing muscle mass gained from resistance training. It gives us the best of both worlds.

I know you’re thinking well how do I train in the ATP/ creatine phosphate system?

Here’s some guidelines

–          Incorporate more multi-joint exercises (avoid those machines)

–          Lift HEAVY or at least lift your bread and butters with heavy weight for low reps

–          Try lifting for power, take a given load and perform a exercise as fast and forcefully possible

–          QUIT CARDIO instead train like an athlete with sprints or plyometrics avoid muscle breakdown

If this seems all still confusing no worries I made a Fool Proof system that I personally use with my fellow aspiring “get swole but stay lean” clients and friends.


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Chris Barnard
Chris Barnard

Chris Barnard is a strength and conditioning coach at Strength Camp, a hardcore athlete training facility in St. Petersburg, Florida, as well as author of multiple performance programs. He has worked with athletes at all levels and from many different sports to produce the highest level of performance in each. He currently resides in St Petersburg, Florida and continues to pursuit breakthroughs in athletic performance.