No BS Guide to Becoming Lean

What’s up guys… I’m here to shoot you straight with the “No BS Guide to Becoming Lean”. As you can see from the photo above… I’m currently very lean (with a lot of muscle).

This article will lay out exactly what it takes to become lean and mean. Since you clicked on this post, it’s obvious you aspire to build a specific type of physique.

You want to look like a stud. Me too, my friend.

Every guy strives to look big, muscular, and lean. However… you don’t want to look too bulky or hefty. This is where so many guys mess up their progress.

Say you’ve been hitting the weights like a champ for about a year or so now. It’s evident you’ve put on a lot of size and muscle because of beginner gains.

You’ve gotten to the point where it’s hard to put on mass that is lean muscle. You are at a crossroads.

Do I keep trying to put on mass even if it doesn’t look good?

NO BS Guide for Becoming Lean: You Need to Have a Strong Foundation

Before I dive into the different methods… you need to understand this concept first.

It’s extremely important to have a “foundation” before you focus on becoming lean. What do I mean by this?

You need to spend your first year or two in the gym building up your body as much as possible.

Think about it… if a guy is skinny with no muscle how is he going to get lean and big? It’s impossible… they need to have size before they can actually be really lean (with good muscle).

If you are skinny, you better not use the excuse of “oh I’m already lean because I’m not fat”. No my friend, you aren’t!

You haven’t paid your dues in building up the basics.

If you are in your late teens or early 20s this is literally the PERFECT time to build your “foundation”.

I did start lifting when I was 17… then I was off and on at 18/19.

But when I turned 20, I started HAMMERING the gym. In my opinion, that’s a great age to really start taking it seriously.

You can take it seriously at 16 or 17… but your body is still developing and you honestly won’t get the results like you would if you were 20 or 21.

To be fair, it does depend a lot on other factors like genetics. But in my experience from the age of 20-25 is when you can really start to build your foundation the most.

It annoys me how some people think your “peak” is when you are a fucking senior in high school. This is not even close to the truth.

As men, our bodies are rapidly changing until the age of 25 and even beyond. The more of a man you will become as you get into your 20s. TAKE ADVANTAGE of this time period so you can build one hell of a foundation.

No BS Guide to Becoming Lean: Get Your Diet in Check

When you first start lifting weights, it’s almost like somebody multiplied your hunger by 50x.

I’m not going to lie, this is awesome when you can literally eat anything in sight without a care in the World.

This is a big part of building your foundation as you start your journey with the weights. Your goal is to eat as much as you can so you can start to build some size.

HOWEVER, you will need to start to diet properly in order to become lean (assuming your foundation is built).

It baffles me when people have NO REGARD for what they put into their bodies. You see the hefty guy at the gym and his diet is pizza, subs, and pasta. Not good!

We are meant to eat foods that come from the earth.

This includes any type of MEAT, fruits, and vegetables. You could also throw in potatoes/rice depending on how your genetics are.

You will realize that things like bread are not supposed to be eaten. You’ll realize that your face will blow up and it will give you acne!

Just by cutting out bread and sugar alone, your diet is better 10 fold. You won’t get lean eating foods that are harmful to your body (unless you are in a calorie deficit). Even if you are in a calorie deficit, it’s going to be hard because your body will fluctuate too much.

Intermittent Fasting: 

I give intermittent fasting a ton of credit for why I look the way that I do.

If you think about it… intermittent fasting (IF) is something that is completely natural for us.

“But Drew isn’t breakfast the most important meal of the day”? No, it’s not. It’s the most important meal for the cereal companies to sell you sugar for breakfast and profit off of you.

As men, we are hunters. This means before civilization we needed to find our food out in the wilderness. This is why IF is completely natural AND HEALTHY.

Our ancestors would spend the morning / first part of the day hunting food to eat. We are literally designed to hunt and eat animals (regardless of how that makes you feel). It’s the damn truth.

Intermittent Fasting Stimulates Growth Hormone

Check out the article I’ve cited above. This is a great thing to understand when discussing the benefits of IF. Your body literally functions better when it is in a fasted state. It produces more HGH and has a ton of other benefits as well.

Fasting will allow you to pack on lean muscle and you’ll NEVER go back to eating breakfast again. Not to mention, you’ll notice a significant increase in mental sharpness in a fasted state.

Another amazing benefit from IF is autophagy

This means that your body is “self-eating”. It’s one of the best ways to improve your appearance as a whole. When your body goes into autophagy, it eats away all of your damaged and unhealthy cells.

Your body will then replenish new healthy cells. You will notice that your skin has SIGNIFICANTLY increased if you have ever fasted for a long period of time. This will make you look healthy and more attractive. Read the study and you will see that it is very beneficial for anti-aging as well.

No BS Guide to Becoming Lean: Train Like an Animal

I’m going to sound like a maniac here when I explain this.

This should be a universal lifting law but a lot of people just don’t seem to understand what this means.

When you are in the gym, you are lifting HARD. No exceptions. I get that some days are better than others.

I’ve mentioned this in other articles but do push-ups and pull-ups in between all of your sets.

In the weight room, you are there on a mission to push yourself. You are there to be great… not to be a do nothing NOBODY. If you are able to observe this, you will notice that a very small percentage of people actually push themselves.

Most of the people in there are just there to tell themselves they got a workout in for the day.

You think that mindset is going to allow someone to build the body of a lean stallion? Absolutely not! That mindset is also why a lot of people are average… and never go after the things they want in life.

This is not you… you want more otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this.

If you want to be lean, you have to attack the weights hard. No amount of diet, supplements, or steroids is going to get you lean muscle unless you work for it.

Here’s a good mindset for you: You should be privileged to work your ass off for a body full of lean muscle. 

When you look in the mirror you side pride, self-respect, and the thought that you EARNED what you built.

If you just dilly dally, I can pretty much guarantee you that you won’t have lean muscle.

In terms of specific training exercises…. focus on the muscles that count and hit them hard.

As I put at the beginning of this section, DO PUSH-UPS / PULL-UPS. This will give you the body of a champion if you do it right. Trust me on that.

No BS Guide to Becoming Lean: Be Athletic / Stay Active

We’ve all seen those big and bulky bodybuilders that look like they couldn’t play a sport to save their life.

This is NOT what we are striving to be like. Part of being lean is staying as athletic as possible.

Flag football, pickup basketball, even golfing are all examples of being active and staying athletic.

You can run & do cardio as well. This personality isn’t what I like doing… I enjoy getting my cardio from playing basketball or do something of that nature.

But we all know that guys who are extremely athletic have lean muscle and they are very mobile. Build muscle… but stay lean and active! This will make a tremendous difference in your physique but also in your athletic ability.

If you are a good basketball player like me… you know that you can’t maintain your skills if you become so big that you aren’t mobile anymore.

Having lean muscle will definitely make you a better basketball player. You’ll be more athletic and still have the strength to ball handle, rebound, and defend. It will make you a better shooter as well (if you don’t get too big).

Building lean muscle will also improve your golf game quite a bit. Right now my handicap this year is a 2.8 index.

When I was younger, I was not even close to this good. Building lean muscle will build your confidence and mental strength when playing sports.

Having lean muscle will allow you to smash the ball off the tee, control your balance, dig balls out of the rough, and much more. However, golf is an extremely difficult skill to master. You have to have the fundamentals in order for lean muscle to help improve your game.

No BS Guide to Becoming Lean: Final Thoughts

There is a lot I can say about getting lean because it’s something I’ve really honed in on the past few years.

Remember… you need to focus on building your foundation first, getting your diet in check, training hard, and staying athletic and mobile.

It’s actually not as hard as you may think to have a body full of lean muscle. However, it will take quite a bit of work! Just like anything else in your life.


Hey guys thanks for reading, let us know your thoughts on the article. Questions are welcomed in the comments as always.

This site contains affiliate links as well as general health and fitness information. Please read my Medical Disclaimer and Writing Disclaimer for more information.

By Drew Doran

Drew is a fitness enthusiast who has been training for many years now, he posses extensive experience in "Lean Bodybuilding" and now he is trying to share his knowledge through blogging.

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