Gaining muscle is something most people want.
(skip to the end for the short version)
It improves your health, helps you with multiple daily tasks and if we’re honest it also doesn’t hinder your life in the bedroom either.
The tricky part is actually gaining that which you seek.
Training wise we can overcomplicate it easily.
Nutrition wise it’s easy to be inconsistent or make poor food choices under the guise of ‘bulking’.
So how can we set up something that will help us?
First you’ll need to be honest with yourself.
Using my own current goals as an example, here is what I mean by the above.
I started out around 73kg, and lean enough to see veins on my abs pretty much all the time, while also having a good level of total muscle mass – around 19k-20kg depending on the machine testing method, however if we say 18kg for a 10% inaccuracy drop from the ‘top’ number I’d say that’s more realistic.
Strength levels were okay, although not a focus due to life current situation.
The goal I currently have is to gain roundly 10-12kg in total over the course of 9months.
Ideally most of this would be lean mass and muscle, however if that was to be say 1-2kg of muscle and the rest fat, while not ideal it would be apart of the process.
To do this I needed to establish my overall calories.
Now knowing where my weight sits, I was logically eating around 2700-2800 per day, which isn’t much.
Knowing that eventually adding 1000 to this and working towards consuming 3800, maybe 4000 per day (tops) was going to be best achieved by adding in foods slowly.
(Jumping straight to 4000 won’t do me any favours)
I’m around 4 weeks in and I’m up to 75kg, still fairly lean, and in regards to total addition calories it would vary from around 300-500 per day.
This for me is sustainable and will allow more mental constituency than anything.
The additional foods have come in the from of more carbohydrates from a mixture of sources.
As time goes on more will be added.
The other element is the accepting that there will be some fat gain, and for myself personally this is the hard part, yet it’s only 9months and then a 2-3month phases of a sensible leaning out can happen.
Allowing a daily additional calorie range is also useful because instead of forcing food (because that just doesn’t work for me mentally), days are more of a maintenance – old numbers – mixed with days of increased calories +500-1000 when hungry are more sustainable.
Training wise, lifting will occur 2-3 times per week and the main focus is on the overall progression of numbers.
The reason for chasing numbers is that 1 is suits my mentality and 2 you won’t gain anything by lifting what you’ve been lifting for the last 10 years (unless you’re ungodly strong).
The reason it’s called progress is because you actually go past the points you’re currently at.
It’s what people forget.
To gain muscle, put simply, like many of you will already know, you simply need to do the following:
– Consume a sensible calorie surplus from nutrient dense foods
– Progressively overload your training
– Monitor recovery & sleep well
While this is simple it’s not easy.
Many give up the second they lose on line of an ab.
Others eat far too much and just gain excessive amount of fat.
Don’t be either of those, be one of the rare ones that succeeds through simplicity and consistency.