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You Can’t be Lean, Strong AND Natural -True or False?

What do you think?

Jeff from Athlean X tackles this interesting topic.

You Can’t be Lean, Strong AND Natural

“Have you ever been told that it is impossible to be lean, strong and natural at the same time? In other words, you can be two of these things but you can’t be all three. In this video, I’m going to show you whether it is achievable. Whether you can have ripped, low levels of body fat while still being very very strong and natural the entire time.”

“This starts with a common misconception out there that states that being lean and being strong don’t go well together. I just don’t agree. Look no further than Jesse. This is a young man who has perpetually carried low levels of body fat, has maximized his deadlift to more than 3 times his own bodyweight and has never taken a PED his entire life.”

“Now, there are some benefits to increasing your levels of body fat when you want to achieve your strength gains faster. This is because along with the body fat often comes more lean muscle tissue. The simple act of consuming calories in a surplus gives our body enough energy substrate to be able to more easily build muscle. That said, if the desire is ultimately to cut down to a level of body fat that is capable of revealing abs or simply to be more ripped, then the strength increases are almost always sacrificed on the way back down.”

“Wouldn’t it be better if you could achieve both high levels of strength and not have to lose your leanness in the process?”

You Can’t be Lean, Strong AND Natural

“You can, you just have to be willing to put in a little more time to do so.”

“In the case of Jesse, he has been on this journey for 5 years. To some this may seem like a long amount of time. When you look at it in the scope of a lifetime of lifting, this is actually very very short. To be able to not only achieve the strength levels that he has achieved (in some circles – elite level powerlifting strength) and not have to sacrifice the leanness that he himself values and in his words “makes him feel much healthier and better about himself”, seems like the better way to go.”

“This is all individual however.”

“Any time we discuss aesthetic goals or preferences it truly is in the eye of the beholder. Maybe having Arnold level body fat isn’t something that you ever aspired to and in fact prefer the look of a much higher teen or low 20’s body fat percentage. If the fact that Arnold isn’t natural blocks you from even assessing his physique fairly, take any natural lean person that is well muscled but not maximally muscled and ask yourself whether you prefer that type of body or one that is much less lean.”

“Again, there is no right answer here.”

“It is truly determined by both what you aesthetically prefer your body look like and also, most importantly, whether you value the discipline of what is required to get yourself there enough to want to achieve it. This is a big issue for many that often times is the stumbling block to leanness and the factor that drives them to being “ok” with higher levels of body fat.”

“They will often argue that it is the healthier way to be and that it is much better for those that lift weights to do so in a much fluffier state. Maybe it is, for them. Maybe it’s just a way to feel better about an inability to achieve both at the same time again, with a little extra time investment along the way.”

“The key is finding out what means the most to you. If the answer is, you value your abs above everything else – you may never even want to pursue impressive strength gains since they likely won’t serve you unless you are a competitive powerlifter or a professional athlete. If your strength is the only thing that matters to you, attempting to maintain abs is just going to leave you frustrated when you can’t max out and be the strongest in your class.”

“If you want to have not just a little of everything, but a lot of both, then it absolutely is possible as long as you are willing to put in the time.”

Video – You Can’t be Lean, Strong AND Natural

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