Q: I’m doing The Master’s Hammer and Chisel and I want to both “lean out” and “build muscle.” Which should I pick on the Plan Quiz?
A: I can see where this might appear confusing. Maybe a longer explanation will help. By “build muscle” we mean increasing mass. (Think Sagi Kalev.) By “lean out” we mean slimming down and accentuating muscle. (Think Autumn Calabrese.)
Neither strategy is mutually exclusive. When you “lean out,” you still build muscle, but your calorie deficit will cause your body to focus more on fat loss. So even if you’re a guy, this is a good way to go if you’re looking for more of a svelte look, like Ryan Reynolds or that Zac kid from High School Musical who should stop taking his shirt off in movies because that was Matthew McConaughey’s thing, and it’s kind of cliché now.
When you “build muscle” the additional calories you consume ensure you have all the glycogen you need to nail your workouts and all the protein you need to build muscle. That said, it’s still a clean diet filled with healthy foods, so if you’ve been eating poorly and/or have quite a bit of fat to lose, you’ll probably still lose it.
Which one is right for you? Here are some considerations:
If you’re skinny and you want to get bigger, go for “build muscle.”
If all you care about is getting “swole,” go for “build muscle.”
If you want to get ripped but not super buff, go for “lean out.”
If you’re on the fence about fat loss and big muscles, but want results in 60 days, split the program in half. Do 30 days of “build muscle” followed by 30 days of “lean out.”
If you’re on the fence about fat loss and big muscles, but have plenty of time for this project, do 60-days of “build muscle” followed by 60-days of “lean out.”
When doing one of those last two options, if you start to freak out about weight gain in the first half (which will mostly be due to muscle growth), and realize fat loss is more important to you, email me a “thank you” for this burst of self-enlightenment, then switch to “lean out.”