Bodybuilding 5 MIN READ 9331 VIEWS February 22, 2022

Bulk Body vs Lean Body: Understanding the Difference

bulk body vs lean body

When you are working towards building muscle, the first thing you need to do is understand the basics of bulk body vs lean body. The type of muscle that you gain affects the way your body looks and functions. When you are in the bulking up stage, you need to define the type of muscle that you want to gain and plan your diet and training accordingly. 

Lean Muscle vs Bulk Muscle 

Most people are unable to understand the bulk body vs lean body basics. The primary difference between the two lies in the way your body appears and the methods used to accomplish either body type. 

With leaner muscles, the body looks slimmer and more athletic. On the other hand, with bulk muscles, you appear bigger and pumped. However, these muscles are not anatomically very different, leading to confusion. The types of tissues in these muscles are the same. The difference mainly lies in the fat content around the muscle. When you compare lean vs bulk, the former contains less fat around the muscle tissue. So, the body looks slimmer and the muscles seem rock-solid. 

On the other hand, bulk muscles add to the overall body mass, giving you a bigger appearance. If your goal is to appear like a bodybuilder, then the bulk muscle is what you should be aiming for. These muscles are more prominent. 

In essence, the terms lean and bulk muscle do not refer to the muscle itself but the appearance of the body. An individual with lower body fat is likely to look leaner while one with more body fat percentage is likely to look bulkier. 

Relationship Between Body Type and Muscle Building

There are three main body types, namely ectomorphs, endomorphs, and mesomorphs. When we are discussing lean body vs bulk body, these body types are important to understand to set your training goals. 

1. Ectomorphs 

These are individuals who are naturally skinnier. They have a very high metabolic rate which prevents them from putting on mass easily. This makes it harder for them to achieve a bulky physique. However, they are likely to build a lean physique easily.

2. Endomorphs 

These individuals have a larger frame and have the ability to put on muscle mass very easily. They also have slower metabolism which makes fat build-up easy too. For an endomorph, a bulky physique is easy to achieve. However, staying toned is challenging.

3. Mesomorphs 

These are individuals who have a medium-sized frame and have a body type that is between an ectomorph and an endomorph. They have the ability to switch between a toned and bulky body quite easily. 

However, despite your body type, you can work towards any type of physique that you want. When it comes to lean muscle vs bulk muscle, it all boils down to your diet and the type of training routine you have chosen. 

How to Build a Lean Muscle? 

If your goal is to have a lean body, then you need to change your diet and workout routine. Here are some tips to help you build a lean physique: 

1. Low resistance training

To understand lean vs bulk body, you should remember that the former takes time to achieve. When you are trying to build a leaner physique, you must focus on higher repetition but lower resistance. This helps cut down on the overall fat percentage of your body. Once the fat is cut down, your muscles will get that chiseled and toned appearance that is characteristic of a lean physique. 

2. Your Diet Matters 

Now, we have established that when your body fat percentage is lower, you appear leaner. So, needless to say, you need to focus on a diet that allows you to do this. When you are aiming for a lean physique, you need to break your portions down into smaller, more frequent ones. Ideally, you must eat a small meal every 3 hours. Your diet should be rich in non-fat protein sources, fresh vegetables, and complex carbs. 

3. Change Your Protein Source 

Protein is vital for your gaining stage, whether you are looking for a lean or bulky physique. However, the type of protein that you consume affects the outcome. When you are trying to build lean muscles, make sure that you choose leaner meat cuts to avoid any fat deposits. The best options are eggs, fish, and chicken. You can also opt for protein supplements. Isolates are a better choice because they are lower in carbs, helping you get a lean physique easily. 

How to Build a Bulk Muscle?

When you are trying to achieve a bulkier physique, you need to work towards hypertrophy. To understand bulk body vs lean body, we should be mindful of the size of the muscles and how they appear. Hypertrophy is when the cells of the muscles begin to grow in size. This depends on several factors but mostly your training regime and diet. Here are some tips to achieve a bulky physique: 

1. Lower Repetition and Higher Resistance 

You need to make note of the training required for a lean body vs bulky body. For hypertrophy, you need to lift heavier weights in order to overload your muscles. The idea is to really work your muscles so that they break down and build up, leading to better volume and strength. 

Your aim is to push for maximum resistance with lower repetitions. As you get stronger, you need to keep increasing the resistance so that your muscles are actually working until failure. This is when the growth of the muscle cells begins, provided you have the right diet. 

2. Work on a Split Routine 

For maximum bulk, it is a good idea to isolate the muscles with each training session. However, since the muscles are being worked to their maximum capacity, you must create a split routine. This means that you give your muscles enough time to rest before they are put to work again. 

The idea behind a split routine is to minimize injuries, given the nature of training for bulking up. For instance, if you are working on your chest one day, move to the biceps or legs the next day for best results. 

3. Complement Your Training with Diet 

In order to bulk up, you need to increase the calorie count. For a bulky physique, you need some amount of fat around the muscles in order to make them look bigger. However, make sure you get your calories from the right food sources. 

Protein is your best bet. When you are trying to bulk up, you need to consume at least 0.8g of protein for every kilo of body weight. This varies based on your body type. You can also include carbohydrates in your diet to support your intense training regime. 


Now, after understanding the basics of bulk body vs lean body, are you able to decide which one is better for you? This depends entirely on the reason you are working for a certain body type. Functionally, a lean body is more efficient as you can move better and faster. However, a bulk body is necessary if you wish to enter professional bodybuilding or appear a certain way. 

That being said, you should always make sure that when you are training, you must get enough rest. You need to ensure that you fuel your muscles with the right nutrient sources so that they can repair and recover to give you the best outcome for all the effort that you put into your training. 

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