I’ve spent quite a bit of time recently working for a local gym taking a few shots of their equipment. Lifting weights is a passion of mine, so I like to help others out by sharing knowledge and tips!
Eating Big to Get Big
It should go without saying, but often doesn’t, that to get big you need to eat big. Your body burns a number of calories each day doing things like breathing, walking, talking, thinking etc. which you need to supply yourself with. To expand your muscle mass you need to supply MORE calories to your body than you burn – what is known as a calorie surplus.
Why do you do this?
Well with additional calories your body can start to do the “nice to have” work around the place… Think about your bank balance. You do the essentials such as food, rent, clothes first and if you have a big surplus of money left at the end of the month youc an start splashing out on iphones, TV’s, more expensive clothes, nights out – whatever you want basically.
Your body does this with calories – it burns the essentials then sets about improving the place with the surplus.
So how big a surplus do you need? Something to the tune of 250-500cals a day usually does the trick – anything less and the accuracy can be called into question, much more and you may start to gain weight a bit too rapidly.
For information a lb of lean mass is made up of around a 3500cal surplus – so if you eat a 500cal surplus every day for a week you should put a lb of weight on.
Lifting Big to Get Big
Another factor is encouraging your body to use the surplus to increase your muscle mass, not your fat mass. How do you do this?
Well how do you encourage anyone to repair something? You exploit its weaknesses, then give them ample time to repair. We will do this with our bodies as well.
We want to start doing as much targeted muscle damage as we can, then recover fully before we hit the muscles again. We want to do this damage as efficiently as we can, and without OVER TRAINING. So how do you do that?!
The good news is that we have a pretty simple three phase workout that does just this. It focuses on big compound lifts performed 3x a week. Compound lifts mean we engage more than one target muscle group – for example a squat (barbell on the back, crouch down and stand back up again) engages the legs, back, abs, lats, arms, everything!