3 Simple Tips On How to Stay Lean While Building Muscle


Today’s post is pretty much a follow up to my previous blog, “The ONLY Advice You Need to Build Muscle and Lose Fat.”  I felt like I needed to follow it up because funny enough, a buddy of mine asked me a similar question with regards to building muscle and concurrent fat loss.

The undeniable truth is that the vast majority of society are indeed overweight. We run through a vicious cycle of weight loss and weight gain and as result, it discourages us.  2016 is around the corner, so all those new year resolutions are coming and we all know how that goes.


 Here’s what you need to know:

  • Having the right mindset will prime you up for success.
  • Motivation is for amateurs. Commitment and discipline reign supreme.
  • If you can’t see yourself maintaining your current diet/nutrition protocols, then it’s not going to work for you.
  • Maintaining strength is key if you want to hold onto muscle while you drop weight.

1. Get your mind right


One of my former mentors once told me that successful people do what is necessary whether they feel like it or not. That’s what differentiates the successful ones and the not so successful ones.  I’d be lying to you if I told you that my energy is through the roof for every workout — it’s not. Through the course of training, the amount of stress that you’re going to accumulate will be taxing both mentally and physically.

It’s easy to train your ass off when you’re eating whatever you want, but extremely difficult when you’re dieting. When you factor in other outside stressors such as your career and family, it makes things even more challenging.

 I never worry about action, but only about inaction”– Sir Winston Churchhill


One thing you have to understand is that the bigger the change you’re suggesting, the more it will sap your self-control. Self-control is an exhaustible resource (willpower isn’t going to do you any good), which is why you have to make sure you have the right mindset. This is why when I start working with a new client, one of my top priorities is to instill commitment and discipline because that’s what creates accountability and sustainability.

2. Prioritize your diet and track your macros


The most pertinent issue with regards to fitness is adherence to a sound nutrition protocol. We’ve all heard that you can’t out-train a poor diet and it’s true.  I’ve experienced so many people who train their asses off and have subpar results. Don’t overlook the importance of quality nutrition.

Figuring out how much you need to eat is going to be determined by how active you are, so for simplicity’s sake, let’s assume you’re training 3 times a week. By tracking your macronutrient intake, you can key in on what’s working and what’s not. Are you taking in too much carbs? Not getting enough protein? Are you consuming a sufficient amount of calories? Things like that can help you dial in what is needed.

Put another way, it’s adds a level of precision towards achieving your goals. It’s ensures that you’re consuming the appropriate amount of calories and an ideal amount of protein, carbohydrates, and fats.


Getting in shape is suppose to complement your lifestyle, not take away from it.  What ever nutrition protocol you decide to do, just make sure it’s something you can adhere to and sustain.

3. Prioritize strength training


One of the biggest mistakes people make when they’re trying to get lean is not placing a premium on strength, and to my own misfortune, I was a victim of this as well. You have to understand that building muscle and losing fat are two of the most dichotomous things when dealing with the human body. When you’re attempting to shed some fat, you will lose some muscle. Conversely, when you’re trying to build muscle, you’re going to gain some body fat.

MAINTAINING AS MUCH MUSCLE as possible should be your top priority and you can only do that through strength training. Copious amounts of cardio does not give your body a reason to hold on to muscle. While the benefits of cardio are clearly evident, you don’t need to employ it that much. In fact, I’ve had clients make progress with little to no amount of cardio at all.

Remember — lift heavy, live healthy!


Here’s Ann who lost 8lbs and 4% body just in time for her trip to New York by meticulously tracking her macros and doing no cardio.

Here’s Joyce still lifting heavy while trying to lean out. #Boss

There you have it. I hope that these simple tips can help you get to your goals. Remember, extreme methods don’t pan out in the long run.  Be patient and stay the course. Don’t wait for the new year to get started. Get after it!

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