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Posted by Scott_Herman - December 20th, 2016

Hey what’s up Nation!  I was so happy to see so many of you enjoyed PART 1 of this series and if you missed it, check it out HERE.  I feel like so many people on YouTube as well as big companies and magazines try their best to make staying lean while building muscle almost impossible UNLESS you buy their secret program or miracle juice and it’s just all a big joke. These tips can be applied to any one of you no matter where you live or if you are male or female and after reading all the comments in PART 1, I do want to make special mention of a few other articles and videos I have already made that will REALLY help you out.

Building Your Meal Plan!

This is a complete tutorial on how to build your meal plan and make adjustments based on your goals.  I actually have the video version of the article on the same page.  This way you can listen to the video and or copy and paste all the information from the article to figure out your daily macros. It should only take you about 10 minutes to do.

Best Carb Foods For Muscle Growth!

In PART 1 we talked about simple and complex carbs and a lot of you were asking for examples and what the difference between them was and I thought that instead of recapping all this now, I could just link you all to this article so that we can focus on other tips!

High Protein Pancake Recipe! 55 Grams Of Protein!

This is the recipe to my protein pancakes Erica and I eat every morning!

How Much Protein Can Your Body Digest At Once? | IS 25 - 30 GRAMS THE MAX?

This video that expels the myth of how much protein your body can digest at once.

7 Diet Tips To Turn Up The Heat On Your Metabolism! 

This video is perfect for anyone who is looking for “super foods” that help speed up your metabolism!


NOW, here are my final 6 tips to stay lean all year long while building muscle!


From my own experience I can tell you guys that you WILL get used to eating healthier foods and after a while, you won’t have as much of a need or want to eat junk or less nutrient rich foods. My protein pancakes are a great example. I eat them so much that now I crave them every morning and also prefer the way they taste versus regular buttery and syrup soaked ones.  My body just knows it isn’t going to get the nutrition it needs from them.


So in order to eat right most ofthe time, you have to change what is normal for your body and taste buds. In other words, you will have to define a NEW normal. If you’re constantly switching between good foods and crappy foods, you’re not teaching your body to get used to the good stuff. Think that we’re creatures of habit. We tend to love the things that we grew up eating or the food from the area or country we live in. We teach our taste buds to like certain things and then we crave those things.  So if you want to make this work and stay lean all year round, you will have to reteach yourself to like healthier foods and create new favorites and the best way to do that is to be consistent.



With all the options out there, there is no excuse to eat junk.  There are so many awesome recipes for delicious foods available online that don’t look or taste like healthy food. I even have a video for a chocolate protein mousse that is freaking awesome! You can also make protein muffins, protein pancakes, cauliflower pizza and the list goes on and on. So if you’re craving something sweet on the weekends, then make a healthy recipe.  If you want to snack on some chips while watching TV, then go buy some protein chips at Vitamin Shoppe or You can also find protein pasta and zero calorie pasta.  All it will take from you is a little work and possibly a google search to find more options.  Erica also loves using pinterest and she finds all kinds of awesome healthy things to make.


Now I know some of you are already thinking that it is too expensive to eat healthy and that just isn’t true.  Maybe if you decide to ONLY buy organic foods it can get to be a bit pricey, but there are recipes with simple ingredients like eggs or egg whites and veggies like cucumber snacks or even cauliflower.  Also, buying in bulk will make things more affordable as well.  For example, I can buy 4 - 5lbs of chicken at Walmart for about 8$ and cook it for the entire week.  You just have to research and find something that fits your budget.



If you want to be lean, even whe ntrying to get bigger, you need to incorporate circuit training or high intensity interval training known as HIIT. You CAN do regular cardio like running or the elliptical but that can be boring and not the most efficient way to burn calories. HIIT alternates all-out work intervals with slower recovery periods, which has been shown to not only elevate the number of calories you burn during your workout, but boost your metabolism during the 24 hours afterward.


An example would be sprinting as fast as you can for 30 seconds and then slow jogging for 60 seconds and repeating this for a total of 20 – 30 minutes. By doing this you’re alternating higher intensity with lower intensity intervals.  As you get better you can lengthen the work interval, reduce the recovery interval, increase your overall intensity, and/or lengthen the duration of your workout. Also guys, HIIT can be done outdoors with running or indoors on the treadmill, on an elliptical trainer, or on a stair-stepper.  So if staying lean while building muscles is your goal you should be doing HIIT 2 - 3 times per week and 3 – 5 times per week for people looking to ONLY lose fat.



Now LISTEN UP! One of the biggest mistakes people make when trying to get lean is that they cut their calories too low. All this does is slow down your metabolism making it harder and harder for your body to lose fat and in some cases can actually make your body hold onto MORE fat.  Your body’s main goal is to preserve energy, so if it realizes it’s getting too little calories, it will adjust by slowing your metabolism and making it harder for you to lose fat.


The key is to trick your body into thinking it is getting enough food. If your goal is to lose fat, you should be about 250 – 500 calories below your TDEE or Total Daily Energy Expenditure which are your maintenance calories. This will give you a steady loss of fat without destroying your metabolism. This might take more time than a crash diet but it is the right way to keep fat coming off and also prevents you from yo-yoing and gaining all the weight back once the crash diet is over. Now, if your goal is to get bigger and gain muscle, you should be 250 – 500 calories over your maintenance calories or TDEE. This will help you get bigger while staying fairly lean and minimizing your fat gain.


It’s really simple to understand guys, when your body is getting just enough food, it will keep releasing fat because it “knows” there is more food coming consistently and your metabolism will not slow down dramatically. But remember, the key here is to trick your body and not shock your body with a ridiculously low calorie count.



If you’re not counting your macros you will never stay lean, PERIOD.  Most people see counting macros as this daunting task but if you ask me, 10 minutes of tracking your food a day sounds much easier than hours and hours in the gym getting LITTLE to ZERO results each week. If you kept track of your macros you could actually get BETTER results in LESS TIME.  


Also guys, once you start counting your macros after a few weeks you should be able to eyeball the portions you need to eat on a daily basis because you are so used to tracking the same foods every day.  It might not seem like much, but if your goal is 3500 calories a day for lean gains and because you’re not tracking your meals you’re eating 3800 calories a day… that extra 300 a day will add up over time and you will see an increase in your bodyfat.  So enough with the excuses and TRACK YOUR MACROS!



Supplements are only to be added AFTER you’re eating correctly and tracking your macros.  Getting most, if not all, of your macros from real wholesome foods is the optimal way to do it. Supplements are meant to fill in gaps in your meal plan and supplements are not required for success. With that being said, I do fill in gaps in my meal plan with supplements because Ilike the convenience of having a protein shake on the go or immediately after my workouts for example. So with that being said, here is what I take currently and it is not as much as you may think.

I take 1 Fish Oil pill every morning because it contains fatty acids, mainly the omega 3 fatty acids EPA and DHA that are essential for several body functions and we do not produce them naturally so we need to get them from food.  Now fish oil has many benefits but I am going to focus on the stuff related to bodybuilding. Fish oil helps insulin function which makes you burn fat more efficiently and helps you stay lean and it also has anti-inflammatory properties that really help with recovery after exercising and also help with fat loss.  The last thing I want to mention is that fish oil also stimulates protein synthesis or muscle growth and helps reduce muscle breakdown making it a “double whammy” forgetting bigger!

I also take a multivitamin every morning as well.  As bodybuilders, we typically tend to eat the same things: chicken, broccoli, sweet potatoes, eggs, etc. and what happens is that we don’t eat enough variety in our nutrition to meet all of our vitamin needs.  People worry so much about protein, carbs and fat that they forget the vitamin and minerals that are just as important!  This is because vitamins and minerals are critical for your health, for hormone production, for absorption of the nutrients you’re eating and many other things. I don’t care how heavy you’re lifting and how much protein you’re eating. If you’re deficient in vitamins D and zinc for example, your testosterone production is going to suffer and you’re not going to gain as much muscle as you could.  Keeping your hormones at optimum levels is key for staying lean and also gaining muscle!

As for pre-workouts I take N.O.-Xplode XE a few times a week to help my mental drive in the gym and to help give myself extra energy to train harder, especially on days when I really need a good energy boost.


I DON’T use fat burners because if I feel like I’m getting too fat I can easily adjust my macros and cardio to get back on track to being lean.  BUT, if you currently have a higher bodyfat % and are looking for extra help to lose weight quicker, a fat burner may help you. But ONLY if you have your diet and training program in place.  A fat burner will do absolutely nothing for you if you don’t have the other areas in check. If you have a crappy diet and get a fat burner, it is the same thing as going to Mc Donaldsand ordering a big mac and large fries with a diet coke. It will make absolutely no difference! It is NOT a magic pill guys! It’s just an extra edge! You will just waste your money if you’re eating junk and not exercising properly and taking a fat burner.

I drink BCAAs or AMINO-X during my workouts because BCAAs help with muscle recovery and repair and, because they can be used as an energy source by your muscle cells, they also help with endurance allowing you to have better workouts with better recovery.  

And lastly I take SYNTHA-6 ISOLATE and SYNTHA-6 EDGE daily.  It should go without saying why protein powders are important.  If you want to grow or maintain muscle tissue consuming enough protein on a daily basis isVERY important.  But remember, get as much protein from NORMAL foods first! Then supplement what you’re missing by using protein powder and the reason why I use two versions of the SYNTHA-6 is because I like to cook my pancakes in the morning with the SYNTHA-6 ISOLATE because it has more carbs and calories and I like to use the EDGE after my workouts and at night because ithas less carbs.


With that being said, this concludes my 12 tips to stay lean ALL YEAR LONG and if you happened to read this article first, make sure you check out PART 1 HERE.


So train hard, get your meal plan in order and I will keep doing what I do best which is bringing you kick ass content on a weekly basis!

Related Videos:

6 Things I Do To Stay Lean All Year! | KEEP YOUR ABS ALL THE TIME! (PART 1)


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