To build mass in our book means to gain quality size in muscle, not just any body weight. It is all too easy to cram calories from poor food choices down your gullet in an attempt to get hench! Yes, many calories are required for the average person to grow, however they must be the right ones. In fact, if you do it right there is no reason why you cannot decrease your body fat levels simultaneously – but that is another story. Here goes, some fundamental rules to gaining mass – PROPERLY.
Calories In Vs. Calories
Out Yep, a pretty simply theory but one which is required in order to gain muscle mass. If you are burning more calories throughout the day than you are ingesting then you are fighting a losing battle unless you have the genetics of Zack Khan!! As a general rule of thumb I would recommend eating anywhere between 300-600 calories above your BMR (maintenance level) to provide your body with enough calories to grow. Start off with the smaller number and build your way up depending on your weight gain and body fat gains; you want to keep these to a minimum.
Protein is a must of course, at around 1.5g per pound of body weight. Fats and carbohydrates are often the more hotly debated topics when it comes to mass. Both are required for mass, of that there is no doubt in my mind. Carbohydrate consumptions needs to come from low GI sources, wholegrain rice, oats, sweet potato, wholemeal bread and the likes of. The only time of the day you want higher GI carbs is post-workout to help raise insulin levels. When you consider that calories are necessary to gaining mass, healthy ones at that - it makes sense to utilise fats. Why? They are twice as dense in calories as protein or carbohydrates (9/4/4) so using them allows you to bump up your calorie intake dramatically. People who feel they just need to ‘’nail’’ mountains of carbs for mass are missing a trick; fats are more calorie dense so use them!
Body Fat – Monitor It!
As the title says, keep a close eye on your body fat levels and the effect your diet is having on them. You might think it doesn’t matter but it really does and here is why. Fat cells house the aromatase enzyme which converts testosterone into estrogen, not ideal for health OR muscle gains right? Therefore by having a lower body fat you will be more anabolic.
Hopefuly this article outlines the importance of bulking properly and not just eating loads of calories aimlessly, remember muscle is the goal – not just weight!