How to gain muscle mass, lean mass, not fat this winter
The cold comes and the famous phases of bulk begin, in which we try to gain the maximum muscle mass possible.
Calories go up, so do McDonalds.
The problem is that in many cases it is not only the arm that gets bigger but the belly as well.
It is perfectly normal to gain some fat when you want to gain maximum muscle mass, but getting fat along the way is unnecessary.
The more fat you gain at this stage, the more time you will have to spend on the treadmill before the summer.
The longer you will have to diet to lose weight, and ironically, the more muscle you will lose in this process.
Maybe it's a good idea this winter to approach the bulk phase more calmly, isn't it?
Weigh you weekly
It is important to know if you are gaining weight, and if so, how much weight you are gaining.
If each time you climb the scale you have two more pounds, it means that after 4 weeks you weigh more 8 pounds.
This feeds the ego, and of course, it is motivating to see the scale go up, at least in the initial phase. The problem is later.
It is impossible to gain 8 pounds of lean mass in four weeks, and often without realizing it, what you thought was pure muscle mass is mostly fat.
If you are gaining weight too fast, you may want to lower your calories.
Always weigh yourself around the same time of day, preferably when waking up fasting. This will avoid the typical swings that happen throughout the day.
Also, don't forget that the more advanced you are, the slower your muscle mass gains will be, so don't always expect to keep up the same pace over time, or use that as an excuse to skip the calories.
Attention, don't be guided only by the weight on the scale.
Gradual increase in calories
If you are consuming 2500 kcal a day and the weight is stable, rising to 4000 kcal is not a good idea.
If with 2500 kcal your weight does not rise or fall, you are probably close to your caloric maintenance needs.
If you are already training and your current diet does not change your weight, try adding only 300 kcal.
In the case of 2500 kcal would be a rise to 2800 kcal.
If you start or re-train, you can go a little higher, but never more than 500 kcal in two weeks.
Ideally, make gradual increases and see how you react.
If you add 300 kcal and do not gain weight, or see results after two weeks, try to increase another 200 kcal.
If on the other hand you add 300kcal and two weeks later you increased 1kg, you are probably on the right track.
Don't know how many calories you need?
See the article How many calories do you use to gain muscle mass?
If 80% of your calories are in carbohydrates, you will hardly have the best gains in muscle mass possible.
Make a good distribution of macronutrients, adapted to your lifestyle and your training.
At protein level, multiply your current body weight by a value between 1.8 to 2.3g.
Then use between 20% and 30% of your calories in fats, and the rest fill with carbohydrates.
The more intense your day and your workout, the higher the percentage of carbohydrates you should use.
Fats, never use less than 10% of your calorie consumption.
To learn more about protein consumption, see our article. How much protein do I need each day?
For fats, you have our article How much fat do I need each day?
The more feedback you get, the better.
It is easy to let go of weight gain at this stage, and only realize it too late.
In addition to the scale, use other forms of feedback, not just the weight on the scale or the mirror.
He takes a tape measure and measures his arm, belly, chest and legs every two weeks.
Take photos regularly, with the same lighting and poses.
Ask a sincere opinion to someone close to you.
The more feedback you get, the easier it will be to know whether or not you're on the right track, and it will help you identify weaknesses.
But it also pays attention to the source of this feedback.
That boy from gymnasium who hates you is probably not the best person to listen to, and neither do your parents who hate being in the gym.
To achieve the highest lean mass gain possible, with the lowest fat mass gain, you need a good workout, well done.
You need to stimulate the muscle to grow.
There is no point in having the best training plan in the world if you don't try hard to execute it.
You need to execute this training plan, and you need to execute it well.
You don't have to be the king of the bench press or write your name in the gym's squat cage, but you need to work hard, increase loads and evolve.
If you are doing sides with one arm, and sending messages with the other, you will hardly have good results.
Most likely you have a smartphone, but if you don't, a notepad will do.
This will help you to know if you are really evolving or not.
If after one month of training everything is the same, something is wrong.
Of course, you don't need to write a 5-page diary per workout, but the more data you have, the more easily you can see where you can improve, where you are failing and where you are on track.
Cheat meals, junk meals, junk days, or whatever name you use.
There are several approaches to this strategy, but it usually involves eating without restrictions, in a single meal, or in the case of trash day, for a whole day, without much attention to calories.
These types of meals do not cause a big problem once a week, but they also do not bring much benefit beyond the psychological, especially in phases of muscle mass gain.
If you are eating these meals every other day, prepare for the results of the trash.
If your diet to gain muscle mass is costing you so much, and you have dreams during the night with more exotic foods, something is missing in your diet.
Calories are the main factor in gaining weight, and the number one reason for moving from a beach body to a michellin body (and vice versa).
If your ideal number of calories to gain weight is approximately 3500 Kcal, using 5000 will not give you extra muscle, just extra fat.
Overeating or not on your calorie intake is what will make the biggest difference between a good evolution, with good gains in lean mass and minimal fat, or a huge increase in weight, not only muscle but also fat. .
It is one of the best investments you can make to have good results in the gym, and it is worth more than any supplement.
It's cheap and show you that the oatmeal you put in for breakfast is not 100g but 200g.
You don't have to carry her in her backpack, but over time you'll start to realize how much you use, even without using the scale, and get benefits from it.
The most well-known supplements to gain weight are the gainers, or hypercaloric.
Once Mega Mass dominated this category, nowadays there are a lot of supplements of this kind, and fortunately, better.
You can use them, they are easy calories, and if you choose a good gainer, they are good calories.
On the other hand, you get the same results using food, and most of these supplements are of low quality.
You here the example of a good quality homemade gainer.
If you're serious about buying supplements to help you gain muscle, take a look this article.
To gain muscle mass, you need a diet hypercaloric, which will also lead you to gain fat.
This does not mean that for every gram of muscle you gain comes an 1kg of fat behind.
Your goal in the so-called bulk phase should be to gain maximum muscle mass and minimum fat.
If you control your calorie intake well, follow a good workout plan and the rest of the tips in this article, you'll see that you get the results you're looking for without excessive fat gain.
To help you with your diet at this stage, check out our article What to eat to gain muscle mass.
If you have any questions, use the comments area below.