Get Lean First: In order to gain muscle at the most accelerated rate by using a clean bulk up method without gaining fat you need to first get lean. There is no way around this. If you are not lean enough, your body simply will turn most of the extra calories as additional fat.
Prime Your Body For Gains: You have to remember that your body is an incredible machine who likes to remain in a state of homeostasis. In other words, the body does not like to change much and will always fight change. Thus, if you are constantly providing more calories to your body than what it burns, it will build muscle and store some fat. If you are training hard, most of the gains will be in the form of muscle. However, the minute your body gets used to your training routine, and also starts to adapt to the diet, your muscle production will go down and fat gain will go up. And like I said before, after you go past 10% body fat, extra calories get more easily stored. In addition, the body starts to become insulin resistant as well and that makes further muscle gains harder as well.
The key to priming your body is to diet down. By following the right calorie restricted, fat burning diet, you get to lose fat, you optimize your insulin sensitivity and you start to prime your body for future muscle gains. By depriving your body of calories you put your body in a state that it becomes very “hungry” for nutrients. This is especially true after an extended fat loss period, such as the one prior to a bodybuilding competition. When the body is “hungry” for nutrients, this is the optimal time to do a clean bulk up phase because when you do, most of the calories, if not all, are re-routed towards muscle production! Any of you who have done a bodybuilding, fitness or figure competition know what I am talking about. If you are smart, after a show you will go back to the gym, raise your calories, and slowly but surely start upping the intensity as you regain your strength in order to make the best use of this anabolic effect that comes after a period of dieting.