It’s not uncommon to meet a bodybuilder who has spent many months in the mass-gaining phase and eventually found that most of the “gains” come from adipose tissue. Why did this happen? There are two possible reasons for this:
- I trained badly. Many tend to overestimate their efforts in training and do not fully understand what the required level of load is. Progress is insignificant, the growth of strength indicators is minimal, but at the same time the athlete does not even try to work at the limit of his capabilities in each approach.
- I ate too much. It is not necessary to gain 15 kilograms every 4 months. Moreover, this is generally a vicious practice. Weight gain must be predictable, accurate and controllable. A beginner without excess weight during the first year of training should add no more than 1 kilogram per month, and an athlete with an average level of training should focus on 0.5 kg per month.
Why do we work for the mass, but mark time in one place?
On the other side of the scale – the complete lack of muscle growth (and weight gain) against the background of selfless work in the gym. Note, this is also a fairly typical situation. The reason is trivial and simple – too poor a diet.
Chronic malnutrition is often rooted in fears that putting on weight will lead to an excessive accumulation of fat. In fact, this rarely happens. Even an aggressive recruitment schedule will not fill a bodybuilder who is strictly adhering to a training program. Yes, some amount of fat will be gained, but it will be kilograms, not tens of kilograms.
If you’re having trouble gaining weight, steroids for muscle growth can help.
Comments on Aggressive Weight Gain Schedule
The muscle growth of a straight bodybuilder is like a glass of water. The more mass you gained (the word was poured out of the glass), the less you have to gain in the future. That is why beginners should stick to a more aggressive strategy, and athletes with an average level of training should switch to a less aggressive program as they gain muscle mass.
If the bodybuilder has already gained some basic amount of muscle mass, an aggressive strategy will only lead to a significant increase in the proportion of adipose tissue. Conversely, a restrained recruiting strategy can significantly slow down a beginner’s progress.
It should also be borne in mind that novice athletes are often faced with what is commonly called a “beginner’s success.” With a properly designed training program, body weight increases at a rapid pace, but over time, progress slows down. Usually, if a bodybuilder starts to work on muscle growth against a background of normal total mass, the following rule applies:
- The first year – 8 kg of muscle mass.
- The second year – 4 kg of muscle mass.
- Third year – 2 kg of muscle mass.
- Fourth year – 1 kg of muscle mass.
- Fifth year – 0.5 kg of muscle mass.
By citing these numbers, we are not trying to set the pace and limits of muscle growth once and for all, but we help to set realistic plans and adequately assess the potential for gaining muscle mass. Obviously, if your potential in a given year is limited, there is no point in pursuing an aggressive strategy.
High-calorie and healthy foods
In the phase of mass gain, it is not always possible to create a menu with an adequate amount of calories. Below we list foods that are high in calories and are tasty, healthy, and don’t feel full.
- Durum wheat pasta
- Whole Wheat Grain Products
- Whole milk
- Sour cream
- Almonds and other nuts
- Peanuts, almond oil
- Olive oil
- Dark chocolate
How to compose a diet
A bodybuilder’s diet shouldn’t be overly complicated. The simplest approach to menu design is to build a diet around three fundamental meals – breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Between meals and late at night, light snacks can be used to get more protein and nutrients that support growth and recovery. We’ll dance to protein intake as we create menus for our main meals and snacks, and more on that below.
First, the simplest example of an effective meal plan:
Here are a few rules to help you fill this plan with content:
- We are constantly returning to protein. Your goal is to get at least 30 grams of protein every 2.5-3 hours. A whey protein shake, string cheese, eggs, or canned fish (tuna, for example) are ideal snacks.
- Time for carbohydrates. Of course, there will be carbohydrates in every meal, and that’s fine, but still try to get most of the carbohydrates during breakfast and after training.
- Healthy fats. Don’t forget about healthy fats. Milk, cheese, nuts, almonds, olive oil are a great solution.
- Vegetables and fruits. Eat vegetables and fruits daily. A banana or apple along with a protein shake is a delicious and healthy combination. You can also increase the proportion of vegetables in your diet with salads, cabbage, spinach and other foods of your choice (peppers, onions, etc.).
- Diversity. Include a variety of sources of protein in your diet, plant-based (mostly grains) carbohydrates, fruits, vegetables, and foods rich in healthy fats. The dishes on your table have a different amino acid and vitamin-mineral profile, and therefore variety will be the key to meeting the body’s needs for all nutrients.
Post-workout nutrition. The post-workout meal is a vital part of your nutritional program. After exhausting high-intensity strength training, the body is on the verge of depleting many key nutrients, including protein, glycogen (the sugars used to create energy), amino acids, vital vitamins and trace minerals. Replenishing these reserves as quickly as possible is of immense importance in terms of preventing catabolism (muscle breakdown), stimulating anabolism (muscle growth and recovery), and boosting protein synthesis.
In addition, you can add digestible carbohydrates to this meal to replenish muscle glycogen stores and maximize stimulation of insulin secretion (insulin spike). The source of the latter can be glucose or waxy maize. For an optimal insulin spike, you will need about 70 grams of carbs.
The number of meals. How many times a day should you eat to reap a rich harvest of muscle growth? It is difficult to answer unequivocally because this is another topic for heated discussions, but we will give you some recommendations:
- Frequent meals work. You may also benefit from infrequent meals, but eating every 2.5-3 hours has been the cornerstone of bodybuilding for decades. There are reasons for this – this rule works, and it works very well.
- Less frequent meals. If even with snacks your schedule only allows 3-4 meals a day, create maximum intervals between meals and make sure that the flow of calories and nutrients meets the needs of the body and promotes muscle growth.
Responding to criticism of frequent eating. From time to time there are criticisms of frequent eating, they say, there is no need for it. It should be noted that few of us eat 2-3 times a day, most intercept something between meals – even those who criticize frequent meals. In fact, it’s hard to find someone who doesn’t use coffee breaks and goodies at least a couple of times a day.
The moral is that since you have something to eat between meals (and if you belong to the majority, then you do), you should listen to the voice of reason and focus on the most nutritious and healthy foods, such as protein.