It’s important to understand that for hypertrophy (muscle growth) to occur you need to be eating a surplus of calories. It’s not just lifting the weights that does it.
You need energy to train, live, then grow.
Without the raw materials to do so you’ll simply stay the same size.
But how much should we individually be eating?
That question is hard to answer since we all have different metabolic rates and levels of activity in our daily lives.
A person with a high metabolism and hangs sheet rock all day will need more calories than a computer programmer with a lower metabolism. One is active and burns hot, while the other is sedentary for much of the day and burns fewer calories by nature.
Depending on your goals, this concept can be very challenging to accept. Some individuals will have to consume extremely large amounts of food just to put on a little size while others will grow with only a minor surplus.
Although this seems unfair, oftentimes it works both ways. That same individual that struggles to put on size will be able to cut body fat very quickly, while the individual that gains weight easily can struggle to lean out.
So for some us, achieving our goal will be easy, while others, not so much.
Does this mean that we’re stuck being scrawny and weak looking?
It will just take a little more discipline, dedication, and hard work…and a LOT of food! The harder it is to achieve something the more proud you’ll be.
If your main goal is to build muscle you need to accept a few things.
- You’ll have to eat a lot, much more than you are currently eating.
- The process is slow, expect small changes week to week.
- You’ll gain fat during the process and your body composition will suffer in the short term.
- Any additional training will force you to consume even more food to reach the same end state. So adjust your cardio and extracurricular activities appropriately.
- Your performance in bodyweight exercises and moving over ground will deteriorate.
Reality Check – MOST HUMANS CANNOT SIGNIFICANTLY GAIN MUSCLE MASS WHILE LOSING FAT.
You are best served doing one, then the other.
Assuming you’re okay with all of the above the next step is to download a tracking app which does all the heavy lifting for you – pun intended.
Tracking apps are extremely useful as we don’t know how much to eat, or for that matter how much we are currently eating, without some type of accurate tracking tool.
Considering that most people these days are glued to their phones this shouldn’t be too hard. Instead of checking out instagram you’ll be tracking your macros. #checkmacrosnotgrams.
They will ask you whether you want to gain mass, stay the same, or cut. They also have built in check-ins that will monitor your bodyweight, then make adjustments to your macronutrients/total calories over time. Just follow the on screen prompts when you create your profile and they will start you off with a baseline diet.
Now here comes the hard part: for these apps to work, you actually need to use them. Easier said than done. That Facebook/Instagram habit is a hard one to break.
If you have the willpower, and commitment to grow some muscle mass then we suggest downloading one of the following apps.
Build your profile, grab yourself a Hypertrophy program, hit the gym and start to grow!
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