One of the most talked about topics in and out of the gym. The lean muscle physique versus the mass bulking physique. Which looks better? Which one is easier to achieve? You tell me. Now, I remain completely impartial to which one looks better as both have their own benefits which I will discuss with you. However, its not wrong to say that different people will have different views on this topic, and most will strive for one type of physique over the other.
So let's break down both physiques starting with LMG (lean muscle gains). This type of physique will be a slow process. It is definitely considered in my opinion as a lifestyle, something you have to work on, months and months at a time. No quick fix, or diet, fad, supplement is going to help you get there quickly. So when I say it is a slow process, it's exactly that! Ideally eating a progressive amount of Macronutrients (proteins, Carbohydrates and Fats) throughout the day and training roughly 4-5 times per week. The training will compromise of weight and cardio based training. Think, supersets, drop sets and HIIT (High Intensity Cardio) sessions. This physique will look the same roughly all year, with low body fat and looking ready for any occasion (mostly the beach). It's the type of physique you will see on the front cover of a magazine and what I believe most people strive to be like. It's a very difficult look to achieve as you have to be strict and consistent all year round, the likes of Rob Riches is a great advocate of the Lean Muscle Look. This physique unfortunately is also most likely to be associated with steroid use, purely because it is a very hard look to achieve and to maintain. Don't let this put you off, hard work and dedication always pays off!
Then at the other end of the spectrum there is the Mass Bulking physique. This type of physique is different to the LMG physique and is for those that are looking to go for a 'big' look. This will compromise of a diet high in Protein, Carbohydrates and will also contain extra fat. Training may be less frequent as heavier weights will be used and far less reps being performed. Therefore more recovery is needed in between training days. Mass bulking is a quick way to get big without worrying how much body fat you could gain. Because you will be eating more calories throughout the day, and your training will mostly be focused upon weight and strength training (and not much cardiovascular) it is likely you may store more fat. This type of physique is most likely to be associated with strongmen like Derek Poundstone and other strength lifters. Although we can see from Dereks' physique that he is not out of shape, he is well built and you can still see some definition of abdominals. Derek's primary focus won't be to look good. He will be more focused on his strength, conditioning and his ability to grow, rather than looking aesthetically pleasing to the eye.
In my opinion there is no right or wrong physique. Both physiques are equally acceptable in the fitness industry and both are also very hard to achieve. From my own style of training and experience. I personally opt for the LMG style of training and lifestyle. Which look is best for you? You decide...