In the beginning of this year, I set a fitness goal to gain 10 lbs of ‘good’ weight by the end of the year. By good weight, I mean keeping my body fat percentage about the same [I was fine with a slight increase], but gaining muscle mass. This can be a tricky balance without proper attention to your diet and workout plan. Turns out it was an achievable goal and I hit my mark earlier this month. It took a full 10 months, but I am happy with the results. If you have a similar goal, here are a few things that helped me and maybe they’ll work for you as well.
Completely changed my workout. Before, my week was about 2 days of cardio, 2 days of boot camp using body-weight only [TRX, etc.], and 1-2 days of weights. Now, 3 to 4 days a week of barbell weights with 1 to 2 days of rest between each workout. Day 1: 3 sets of 12. Day 2: 3 sets of 10. Day 3: 3 sets of 8. Each day are these 6 exercises: barbell bench press, barbell front squat, barbell row, barbell back squat or dead lift, barbell shoulder press, and end with pull ups [weighted if possible]. Don’t be afraid to vary the workout. For example, change out barbell press with dumbbell or barbell clean and jerk. Take your rest days, muscle recovery is very important.
I began taking a creatine monohydrate supplement. Creatine is one of the most studied supplements with a lot of evidence pointing to one thing…it works! To learn more, visit www.examine.com. A website I trust to provide an unbiased analysis of creatine and many other supplements.
Find a good, reliable workout partner with the same goal(s). Motivation is key and you’ll push each other! Enjoy the time, make it fun.
Diet. I had to eat…more…healthy food and protein. Do your research on what works for your body type. I always have a banana, apple, nuts, etc available to snack on during the day. I also have a raw brown rice protein shake with 5-10g of creatine and 1 tablespoon of turmeric powder mixed in, everyday.
Since the northern hemisphere is quickly approaching winter, it’ll be a good opportunity to bulk up during the cold months then cut weight next summer, if needed. I attached a source below from Muscle & Fitness for another option you can consider for mass and strength gains.
Have other thoughts or comments? Please leave a comment below.