Can you Get Big and Shredded at the Same Time?

Can you Get Big and Shredded at the Same Time?

If you’ve spent enough time reading bodybuilding articles online you’ve probably come across a few that have discussed the issue of betting bigger and leaner at the same time.

The consensus seems to be that unless you are using steroids, it is not possible to gain muscle and lose fat at the same time.

As a result, the advice commonly given out is to choose either one goal:

  • get more muscular and put on fat
  • or get leaner but look like you don’t lift.

It makes sense that this would be the most common recommendation given that it is very hard to put on mass while staying lean.

However, just because something is difficult doesn’t mean it is impossible.

In fact, the reason so many people have such pathetic physiques is that they don’t put an ounce of effort into their training.

Is it Possible to Get Bigger while Staying Lean?

It depends on what you define as getting bigger.

For example, if you want to get to be the size of Phil Heath without using any steroids then yes, that’s impossible.

However, if you want to become big compared to the average guy, or 200 pounds, then it is definitely possible to stay lean while doing so.

While you might not be the size of Dorian Yates, if you are 215 pounds with a six pack you will have a physique that impresses 99% of the population.

So getting back to the original point of the article, what makes this argument ridiculous is that it doesn’t take into account how ripped you already are.

Remember that having a low bodyfat % will give you the appearance of being bigger.

That’s because your muscles pop more as they don’t have a layer of fat covering them.

With all that said, here’s how you can build size while staying shredded.

Can you Get Big and Shredded at the Same Time?

1 – Increase your Strength

Focus on increasing the amount of weight you can lift for all the major exercises such as squat, deadlift, bench press and row.

As your strength increases, your body will respond by putting on more muscle to handle the workload you are throwing at it.

As you begin to shift back to training in the hypertrophy range your muscles will get even bigger.

Think about it – what do you think will cause your muscles to grow more?

Benching 135 pounds for 10 reps or benching 225 pounds for 10 reps?

2 – Don’t Eat Too Much

You need to get rid of this idea that you can eat as much as you want while on a bulk and burn off all the extra fat when you cut.

This type of yoyo dieting ultimately leads to slower gains.

That’s because you end up spending a big chunk of the year cutting off all the extra fat rather than building more muscle.

While stuffing yourself might result in slightly more muscle growth, you will ultimately lose it when you go on that long cut to clean up your body composition.

Can you Get Big and Shredded at the Same Time?

3 – Boost your Testosterone Levels

Testosterone is the most important hormone when it comes to bodybuilding.

Your t-levels determine how much muscle you build, how much fat you store, how much energy you have, your confidence levels, etc.

However, it’s the first two points that are of interest to us: muscle growth and fat storage.

You see, if your testosterone levels are high you will be more likely to store extra calories as muscle rather than fat.

As a result, all other factors being equal, the guy with the high testosterone levels will be able to put on muscle while minimizing fat gain far more effectively than the low-t guy.

At this point you are probably wondering how you can boost your testosterone levels.

First of all, make sure you are actually doing compound lifts at the gym rather than a bunch of isolation exercises.

Second, get a solid 8 hours of sleep each night.

Third, reduce the amount of stress in your life.

Finally, take a testosterone booster.  

Some of these products use natural ingredients that are scientifically proven to boost testosterone production.

See our complete guide on the best testosterone boosting supplements here.


At the end of the day it will come down to your training program, diet and most importantly your testosterone levels to determine how effectively you will be able to build muscle while minimizing fat gain.

It will certainly be a challenge but unlike what you might have heard it’s definitely not impossible.

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