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Muscle for life

Podcast #114: Eric Helms on the Simple Science of Making “Lean Gains”

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Podcast #114: Eric Helms on the Simple Science of Making “Lean Gains”

In this episode I have Mr. Eric Helms back on the show, as promised a bit ago, to talk about how to “bulk” properly. In other words, how to gain as much muscle and as little fat as possible.

In case you don’t know Eric, he’s a member of the 3DMJ coaching team and is himself a professional natural bodybuilder and strength athlete, as well as an author and credentialed scientist with a number of peer-reviewed papers under his belt.

I’ve referenced his work quite frequently in my own writing, so it’s a pleasure to interview him and pick his brain about the science of making gains. This time we’re talking about how to gain muscle quickly without just getting fat.

As you probably know, some fat gain is inevitable during a proper bulk, but most people make a handful of common mistakes that not only sabotage their efforts to gain muscle but set them up for a long, grueling post-bulk cut that, in many cases, more or less wipes out the progress they made.

The good news, though, is when you know what you’re doing, you can gain significant amounts of muscle without gaining large amounts of body fat, and it’s not as hard as many people think.

Eric breaks it all down in this interview, where he explains the big mistakes that many people make and then the simple science of making “lean gains.”

So if you want to know how to gain strength and size without packing on pounds of fat, you definitely need to listen to the interview.

Here it is…

TIME STAMPS

YouTube:

2:58 – What are some of the common mistakes people do when trying to gain muscle and strength?

6:21 – Can you keep your body fat at a specific percentage and still gain muscle?

8:37 – What is your advice on mini bulk cycles?

14:29 – What are the common training mistakes when bulking?

23:04 – What is the proper diet and nutrition plan when bulking?

36:39 – What are the most common diet mistakes when eating at restaurants?

42:45 – How do things change on the training side when bulking?

48:14 – Are there any differences in exercise selection when programming a cut verses a bulk?

57:32 – What supplements do you recommend for strength and muscle mass?

1:06:14 – How can people connect with you and find your work?

MP3 Audio:

5:34 – What are some of the common mistakes people do when trying to gain muscle and strength?

8:57 – Can you keep your body fat at a specific percentage and still gain muscle?

11:13 – What is your advice on mini bulk cycles?

17:05 – What are the common training mistakes when bulking?

25:40 – What is the proper diet and nutrition plan when bulking?

39:15 – What are the most common diet mistakes when eating at restaurants?

45:21 – How do things change on the training side when bulking?

50:50 – Are there any differences in exercise selection when programming a cut verses a bulk?

1:00:08 – What supplements do you recommend for strength and muscle mass?

1:08:50 – How can people connect with you and find your work?

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What did you think of this episode? Have anything else to share? Let me know in the comments below!

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I'm Mike and I'm the creator of Muscle for Life and Legion Athletics, and I believe that EVERYONE can achieve the body of their dreams.

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  • Thanks for stopping by and checking out my article! I hope you enjoyed it.

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  • Jay

    Mike have you had Alan Aragon on your podcast? Would love him to do something on like nutrition myths and misconceptions.

    • I’ve spoken to him about coming on the podcast and he’s into the idea. He’s just really busy so it hasn’t happened yet. It will, though 😉

  • Sheetal

    Great podcast – question re. lean bulking and how tight you need to be on macros? As long as I get my protein 0-8-1g per pound and am roughly going up in weight about 0.25lb a week and know about 80% of my marcos throughout the day is it ok to be slightly lenient with it? I can measures exactly almost all of my meals and know usually i fall about between 40-50% carbs (30% protein) about…thanks

  • mark simmons

    Did I really hear Eric use the phrase “jacked holocaust victim” as some sort of amusing attempt to describe his colleague?

    Did you not see fit to edit that out Mike ?

    • Hey Mark, sorry if that offended you, but I think in this context it was obviously not meant to be demeaning.

  • Miguel Garcia

    You guys talked about certain exercises being more apropiate with different rep ranges. Do you find that the BLS routine would be better to do all compound exercises in the 4-6 rep and all accesory work in the 8-10 or 8-12 rep range?

  • Max

    Hey Mike, you guys talked about HMB at the end. Eric talked about it not typically being effective in the trained population outside of dialisis, and that studies that have done well that have come out the stats dont look right. He said he would like to see other studies before he can get behind it. You seemed to be in agreement with him on this so just curious as that sort of seems to go against the legion articles on hmb and it’s inclusion in Forge? Am I missing something here as it seems you are on both sides of the fence on this one?

    Love your content by the way keep up the great work!

    • Hey Max, good question. The devil’s in the details here. While HMB isn’t a good muscle building supplement, it is well-established as a powerful anti-catabolic agent, which makes it perfect for fasted training, when protein breakdown can be accelerated. That’s why I included it in Forge, which is intended specifically for fasted training sessions.

      Make sense?

      I do go over this in the HMB article here:
      https://legionathletics.com/hmb/

      Thanks for your support! I really appreciate it 🙂

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