Build lean muscle mass without packing on unwanted body fat. This article presents three sample Clean Bulk Diet eating plan options that can help you reach your goals.

Brad Borland is a strength & conditioning specialist, cancer survivor, and the founder of WorkoutLab.

Back in the 90s, the goal of every wide-eyed future bodybuilder was to bulk up no matter what. Obviously from the looks of things back then no one was concerned with staying lean throughout this perpetual bulking period. What resulted was a lot of big, burly, and somewhat fatty guys wearing oversized, baggy pants and shirts never to be seen poolside.

Boy, have times changed! The goal today is still to build muscle and reshape our bodies, but now we want to be lean, shredded, ripped, and generally in good shape athletically as well. We want to be able to take our shirts off at the pool and beach, we want to possess a muscular body and most of all we want to be comfortable in our own skin.

Another trend regarding searching for a diet is the school of thought seems to be split into two camps. One is to get completely shredded as possible while sacrificing some of that hard-earned muscle of yours and the other is to bulk up while putting on a little fat which tends to blur your efforts.

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Clean Bulk Diet

Well, it doesn’t have to be this way. You can build lean muscle without packing on the unwanted pounds. All it takes is a disciplined adherence to your training and diet plan and proper rest and recovery. All of these factors will work synergistically with each other to produce your ideal result – a leaner, more muscular physique.

Below are three options for lean bulking eating plans. All are designed to build lean muscle tissue without blurring your muscular lines. They contain just the right amount of proteins, carbs, and healthy fats to keep the gains coming without any extra baggage. This is, of course, also presuming that you are already committed to a sound body-building-style training program, one that is intense and doesn’t include an extreme amount of endurance exercise.

A few points to consider:

  • These are only examples and estimations of training day diet plans. Your personal calorie requirements may vary. The meal plans below are based on someone weighing 180 to 200 pounds.
  • Try them out for at least four weeks before adjusting macronutrients.
  • On non-training days you may need to reduce calories slightly. This may be accomplished by simply deleting the post-workout meal.
  • Adjust or change only one aspect of the diet at a time. If you adjust too many variables it is hard to tell which worked and which didn’t.
  • Allow yourself a cheat meal around once per week. If you decide on two cheat meals avoid two days in a row. Either have both cheat meals on the same day or space them out on different nonadjacent days of the week.
  • Be patient. It takes the body a few weeks to adjust and acclimate to its new nutritional environment.

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Clean Bulk Diet

Clean Bulk Option 1

  • Meal 1: ¾ cup of oatmeal (dry measure) mixed with either skim milk or water, 3 eggs scrambled
  • Meal 2: 1 scoop of whey protein powder, 1 oz. of almonds
  • Meal 3: 2 slices of whole wheat bread, 2 slices of low-fat cheese, 6 oz. of turkey deli meat, tomato, lettuce, 1 medium banana
  • Meal 4: (pre-workout) 1 scoop of whey protein powder, 1 medium apple
  • Meal 5: (post workout) 1 scoop of whey protein powder, 20 oz. of Gatorade
  • Meal 6: 6 oz. tilapia, ½ cup wild rice (dry measure), small side salad with olive oil and vinegar

Clean Bulk Diet Option 2

  • Meal 1: 2 slices of whole wheat toast with 2 tablespoons of natural peanut or almond butter, 1 cup of Greek yogurt
  • Meal 2: 4 to 6 oz. of beef jerky, 1 oz. of walnuts
  • Meal 3: Medium salad with 6 oz. of shredded chicken and ¼ cup of sunflower seeds, 1 medium sweet potato
  • Meal 4: (pre-workout) 4 egg whites and 1 whole egg, ½ cup of blueberries
  • Meal 5: (post workout) 1 scoop of whey protein powder, 20 oz. of Gatorade
  • Meal 6: 6 oz. of ground beef, tomato sauce, 2 oz. of whole wheat pasta (dry measure), small side salad

Clean Bulk Diet Option 3

  • Meal 1: 3 medium-sized buckwheat pancakes mixed with 1 scoop of whey protein powder, honey to taste
  • Meal 2: 1 cup of Greek yogurt mixed with 2 oz. of granola
  • Meal 3: 6 oz. of fajita-style steak strips and two wheat tortillas, onions, peppers, and olive oil
  • Meal 4: (pre-workout) 1 cup of cottage cheese, 1 medium apple
  • Meal 5: (post workout) 1 scoop of whey protein powder, 20 oz. of Gatorade
  • Meal 6: 6 oz. of ground beef made into hamburger, whole wheat bun, low-fat cheese, 2 cups of mixed vegetables, and 1 cup of strawberries