- LIFT HEAVY
Well, this is the nuts and bolts. No one ever grew a booty by doing cardio – that’s a fact. Training programs can vary, but generally, if you can do more than 12 reps and maintain good form you should go for heavier weights.
- EAT MORE
This one should also be quite obvious. In order to gain weight, you need to be in calorie surplus. However, if you eat too much, your body will store the excess as fat – so a 300-500 kcal surplus should be enough.
- TRACK YOUR MACROS
Contrary to popular belief, bulking should not about be about mindless stuffing your face with burgers and ice-cream. If you want to gain muscles, you need 1) to be eating enough protein (I usually recommend from 0.8 to 1.2 g per pound of body weight), and 2) to be meeting your carbs / fat / fibre goals on a daily basis.
- GO FOR HIGH-CALORIE FOOD
Food like peanut butter, avocado, dark chocolate, minced beef and salmon will help you achieve your calorie goal much easier. This may feel like a great chance to enjoy your favourite fast food and Nutella, but I do recommend that you eat clean at least 80% of the time. Eating unhealthy will make you feel lethargic and decrease your performance at the gym.
- DO COMPOUND EXERCISES
Compound exercises are the ones that involve multiple muscle groups and joints (such as deadlifts, squats, pull-ups etc.) They put more stress on the body, which has been shown to create higher hormonal responses, which in turn leads to more muscle growth.
- CHANGE UP YOUR ROUTINE
Not only do you need to be regularly adding more weight to your exercises, you also need to change up your program from time to time to avoid hitting a plateau. Add some drop-sets or super-sets, include some new exercise and try to always challenge yourself.
- “DRINK” YOUR CALORIES
For me, it’s very hard to meet my bulking protein AND calorie goal at the same time. That’s why protein smoothies and regular milk are my best friends when I am trying to gain muscle.
- GET ENOUGH SLEEP & TRY TO AVOID STRESS
Our Growth hormone increases during sleep, meaning you should take the 8-hour recommendation seriously if you want gains. Lack of sleep and being stressed both elevate levels of Cortisol hormone, which, on the contrary, reduces protein synthesis and prevents tissue growth.
- EAT QUICKER
I know, that’s not what your Mum told you. But if you eat fast you can eat more before your brain realizes that you’re full. And try to avoid distractions while you are eating. (Put down the phone!)
- STAY PATIENT
If I decided to count on my hands how many times I wanted to give up, I wouldn’t have any fingers left… Sometimes you might think you just don’t have the right genetics for it and there is no point to fight nature (well just take a look at my “before” photo). Gaining muscles takes a lot of time and dedication, so you need to be consistent and patient.
If you have any questions after reading this blog, feel free to email me 🙂