TOPIC: How Can You Gain As Much Mass As Possible?
What is the best workout for the biggest mass gain?
What is the best diet for gaining mass?
What are some good mass gaining supplements?
Bonus Question: With proper training, diet, and supplementation, how much muscle mass can one expect to gain during a 6 month bulk?
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How Can You Gain As Much Mass As Possible?
Every guy has probably dreamed of it or at least thought of it. It is probably one of the top goals for a guy, to get big and ripped. I can almost assume that many males, youth, adults and whatever has gone to the gym in hopes of getting big but sometimes with no real results.
Or they could just be some gym rat who spends his whole life in the gym but hardly gets any results. And what's their excuse for not getting that big?
"Well I don't take steroids" or "My genetics are limiting my gains." There should be no excuse if your doing everything right, if you spend time in the gym and do everything correctly there is no reason why you can't gain muscle mass. However, it's not just as easy as taking a walk in the park.
You have to watch all elements of your life carefully to ensure muscle growth. This means taking into account your diet, training, sleep ect. Even your diet can be divided into smaller categories that you have to be careful about, for example you have to watch how much water you take in or how many carbs you consume.
The diet is probably one of the most important things. More attention should be spent on diet than training. If you think about it training is straightforward.
You have a good program, you go to the gym, do the exercises and it's done. Also when you train you know if you got a good workout. But in your diet, there are so many things that you have to take into account.
You have to balance all your foods so you get proper ratios and get proper amounts of food. You also can't really tell if you're eating right unless you realize your not gaining any mass. Therefore you should place more emphasis on nutrition.
What Is The Best Workout For The Biggest Mass Gain?
You've probably heard this but, there is no best workout. If there was a best workout then it would be posted everywhere and everyone would use the same workout.
Maybe you respond well to certain exercises and you don't work well with other exercises. Everyone's body is different. That's why you have to make your own workout schedule that you like and that works for you.
I can only suggest certain techniques and exercises that might work for you, but in the end it will be you changing your workout and picking new exercises.
That's why I don't like personal trainers (no offence to them, I don't mean that I hate them personally), they give you a program that is not specific to your needs, so you end up wasting some of your time.
You don't need someone to tell you what to do (unless bodybuilding is like quantum physics to you), its not that hard to make your own workout program if you spend some time reading, all you need to know is the basics.
Even if your program is mediocre, your diet will carry you the rest of the way. Basically I will tell you some good techniques for mass gain as well as workout that I like personally.
Remember don't copy it because it might not be best for you. Don't use everyone one of these techniques I will list below, just use a few and incorporate it into your workout program.
Techniques To Help Gain Mass
- This is a technique where someone helps you complete a rep that you would not be able to complete without their assistance. However don't overuse this technique. If you do this for every set then you will run a high risk of over training since these reps really stress your recovery systems.
- These should be done on the last few sets where you are most fatigued. Don't use them right at the start of your workout. The reasoning is that the last few stressful reps stimulate the building of muscle since it tries to adapt to the stress by becoming stronger and bigger.
Doing an extra one or two reps will somewhat "enhance" and take the stimulation further so the muscles grow stronger and bigger than if the trainee had never done the forced reps since it needs to adapt to more stress.
- To use this effectively the person helping shouldn't help the trainee to a point where the person doing the exercise hardly has to do any work. The helper should get the trainee to do most the work to make this method work effectively.
- This is a training method where a person does an exercise but only a part of it because that person is too fatigued to do a full repetition. However, don't take this to the extreme and do eight partials.
The very max you should do is 3 maybe even 2. If you do too many partials, you won't be getting the full range of motion for your muscle and it might not develop properly.
You might also run the risk of over training by putting your body under too much stress. Another good this about this is that you don't need a spotter.
- Again like forced reps, the reasoning behind this is at failure when a trainee can't do another full rep, the partial rep will take the muscle building stimuli further by taxing the muscles even more than if the partial rep was never executed. It is also useful in helping a person perform an exercise at a higher weight. They shouldn't be done every set but near the end sets to avoid over training.
- You still must maintain good form.
- Probably the most known technique for mass gaining. This is similar to partials; where you recruit other body parts to help you complete a rep, hence the name cheating. They can be useful to further fatigue your body so that your muscles will recover bigger and stronger.
It can also help you train at a higher weight. For example if Mr. Guy's curl is at 40 pounds and he wants to move it up to 45, then cheating will help him do the same amount of reps for 45 pounds than he could perform with 40 pounds.
- Never overuse cheating. Only use on the last few reps at the very max three to two and on the last few sets where you are fatigued. Overuse of cheating can result in injury and overtime if used too much and incorrectly, it may injure and damage body parts.
For example if you cheat too much and incorrectly while doing curls, overtime your lower back will get so screwed up and you will have back problems for the rest of your life.
- You should never cheat excessively. By this I mean if you're doing curls, then you should never jerk your back too much to help you. It should only be a slight jerk that helps you complete the rep at the hardest part. If you use bad "cheating" form then I can already tell you that you will have problems in the future.
Supersets, Tri-Sets, & Giant Sets
- These techniques aren't really mass gainers, but they are good if you have limited time. They don't really take much away from the effectiveness in which you train, and that's a good thing.
- To perform this you take two, three or four+ (Superset = 2, tri-set = 3, and giant set = 4+) exercises and do them in a row without rest. Then after that you take a rest and do it again.
- There are a few ways to do these kinds of sets. The first way is to work different body parts for each set. There isn't a muscular building advantage but it saves time and gives you practically the same workout. This is best done with supersets.
With supersets the first set does get you a bit tired but it won't affect the next set that much. When you get near three and four exercises without rest your performance will suffer. (I like supersets for my arms, if I do biceps it keeps my arms warm and vice versa).
- Another technique for these kinds of sets is doing exercise that target one body part. So if I was doing super sets or tri-sets for my pecs, I would do two or three exercise that works the muscle.
This is kind of like pre-exhaust training where sets are done for a certain body part to fatigue it and the reasoning is that if you tax the muscles more, then they will grow back bigger and stronger like some of the techniques above.
||Super Set Video Guide:|
- This is a technique where an isolation exercise is performed followed by a compound movement or an exercise that requires at least two muscles. The thought behind this is that it pushes a certain muscle harder and on the second set of the compound movement it recruits the secondary muscle more effectively.
Some of you probably have no clue what I said so let's take the hamstrings and lower back for example. If I want to push the hamstrings harder then I do an isolation exercise for it like hamstring curls.
Then I do a compound exercise for it like the deadlift. This will push the hamstring harder and let it grow back bigger and stronger. Also since the hamstrings are already fatigued, it recruits the lower back muscles more, so the lower back also gets trained harder.
- This can be done throughout your whole workout.
- This is a good technique for exhausting the muscle. There are a few ways to do this. The first way is doing one set to failure or very short of it. Then doing another set to failure or nearly short of it.
You can do this to two or three sets. I wouldn't recommend going over four sets. This also saves time and exhausts the muscle so that it grows back stronger and bigger.
- The second way of doing this is by doing one set only. But let's say you want to do ten reps. So you select a weight you can do maybe five times.
Then once you reach failure you go to a lower weight and keep going lower until you reach ten reps. This really exhausts the muscle so that it will stimulate your body to make your muscles grow and get stronger.
||Drop Set Video Guide:|
Rest Pause Training
- This is another good technique. To do this you pick how many reps you want to do for an exercise. So if you pick ten reps then you pick a weight that you can only do let's say 4-5 times. Then you drop the weight and wait for about 15 seconds. Then you pump out maybe two more reps and drop it and wait for another 15 seconds.
Do these until you get to your target rep range. This works like all the other techniques, it exhausts the muscle more than not doing rest pause training so your muscles grow back.
||Rest Pause Video Guide:|
Burning Out The Muscle
- This is an awesome technique for further enhancing the muscle building stimuli by exhausting the muscle even more. To do this after you finish a set you take a weight that is a lot lower than what you use.
For example if you curl 40's then you take 15's at the end. Then you do a bunch of quick but controlled reps with the lighter weight until you totally burn out the muscle.
- This is a similar technique to forced reps. This technique concentrates on the eccentric movement (negative movement, for bench press this means lowering the weight). You do an eccentric movement down slowly, and then since you can't lift weight up again, someone helps you lift it up slowly.
- You should do at the very max 4 maybe even 3 negative reps. It should also be at the last sets to avoid over training.
- This is almost exactly like drop sets but done with barbells on such exercises as bench press or squats. When you complete one set get two people to quickly strip some of the weight off and do another set. I wouldn't recommend going over 3 sets of these. This also saves time and exhausts your muscle so it can grow back bigger and stronger.
- Basically these techniques work to exhaust the muscle so that it taxes the body more physically. The body responds by building the muscles back stronger and bigger since it is put under more stress than if these techniques weren't used.
Other Tips To Incorporate
Now here are some other things you can use to incorporate into your mass gaining program to get better gains.
- This is huge and you might have heard it a lot but it is true. Using compound movements (exercises that recruit a few muscle groups rather than one) will help you put on more mass.
The reason is simple, because you work more body parts than if you just do isolation exercises. So for example if you do bench for chest then your triceps get hit as well. Because of this your triceps get worked more so they will grow than if they never were worked while doing chest.
- I would do about 60-70% of your exercises compound movements while doing the other 30-40% isolation exercises. So for chest if you have three exercises do dips, bench press, then maybe flyes.
Also for something like biceps it impossible to find compound exercises. The only way is curls so keep that in mind. You shouldn't do one arm rows to workout your bicep just because it's compound. Some body parts you can only work using isolation exercises.
Change Your Workout Every 1-2 Months
- A lot of people keep the same workout for an entire year. This is the worst thing you can do for yourself if you're trying to gain mass since your body will adapt to the exercises and you will
This means your gains will drop. Changing up your exercises and doing different movements ensures your body is always being challenged so it will always be trying to grow bigger and stronger to handle the stress.
Think about it if I did the same math problem over and over again eventually it would do nothing for me. But if I did different math problems I would get a lot better at math.
Change Your Rep Range
- Changing your rep range also ensures that your body won't adapt to performing a certain amount of reps. This isn't as big as changing your workout but it still is kind of important. For hypertrophy rep ranges are anywhere from 6-12 reps. So change it up; if you do bench for 12 reps then maybe next workout change it to 8 reps.
Rest Between Sets & Total Time In The Gym
- First of all your rest between sets should be somewhere from 30 seconds to the max 1 minute and 30 seconds. Most people go by one minute. The reason is that this amount of rest between sets is ideal for hypertrophy or muscular growth while longer rests are best for strength. That's why power lifters rest for 3-5 minutes. Also spend at the most one hour in the gym. This is good for two reasons.
First of all it allows you to go intense for one hour. If you spend two hours on your workout your intensity on the exercises after the one hour will go down since you get tired. If it is kept under an hour it ensures that you worked each body part you were planning to work, effectively.
If you spend one hour on chest then another hour on back, your back won't develop to its full potential since you will be too tired in the second hour to work the back for best results.
Secondly it prevents over training. If you train over an hour you run the risk of over training. Training over an hour puts the body under a lot of stress, and if all your workouts are over one hour your body won't be able to recover properly paving the road for over training.
Sleep At Least 8 Hours
- This is kind of unrelated so I'll make a short point of it.
- SLEEP AT LEAST 8 HOURS. The reason is because while sleeping your growth hormone is at its highest concentration.
So if you don't sleep enough then your body won't grow to its full potential even though you've done everything right. Also sleeping properly allows your body to recover properly. Lack of sleep believe it or not is a major reason for over training other than training too much.
Now for the actual workout. There are two workout schedules to give you a better idea how to change up your workout plan. The basic idea is that you want to work the parts of a body part for full development.
By this I mean that your pectoral is divided into four parts the upper, lower, inner, and outer parts. You don't want to neglect any of the parts or else your muscle won't develop properly or it won't have a good shape.
So if you didn't work the lower chests in one workout plan incorporate it into your next workout plan. For more detailed information on this go to an article I wrote on an all dumbbell workout in the workout of the week.
I highly recommend you read it because it will give you an awesome idea of certain body parts that you should be concerned about. It will tell you the different parts of the muscle that you should worry about.
Again I want to stress that my ideal workout will not always be the best for you. Make one that you like and one that makes sense (by this I mean don't make a workout plan that only works your upper pectorals because that would be stupid). Don't just follow some 6 month program because you're too lazy to make one yourself.
Workout Cycle - 1
Monday - Biceps, Triceps (Super Set For Arms), & Abs
- Alternating dumbbell curls: 6-12 reps x 3 sets - This works the main bicep area
- Concentration curls: 6-12 reps x 3 sets - This also works the main bicep area and forces you not to cheat
- Barbell bicep curl: 6-12 reps x 3 sets
As you might notice, the inner biceps and lower biceps aren't worked here, but they will be worked next workout.
- Close grip bench press: 6-12 reps x 3 sets - This works two heads of the tricep
- Tricep variation dips: 6-12 reps x 3 sets - This works all heads of the tricep
- Skull crushers with EZ barbell: 6-12 reps x 3 sets - This also works all three heads of the tricep
- Decline sit-ups: 8-15 reps x 3 Sets - Works upper abs (You should know this).
- Decline reverse crunches: 8-15reps x 3 Sets - Works lower abs.
- Dumbbell side bends: 8-15 reps x 3 Sets - Works oblique muscles
Tuesday - Legs & Lower Back (You Can Superset Between Calves & Lower Back To Save Time)
- Squat medium stance: 6-12 reps x 5 sets - Works main quad area. Also go all the way down to ensure that the upper quads are worked as well as the hamstrings. Don't let your knee go over your toes or your knees will get carved like Christmas ham.
- Stiff legged deadlifts: 6-12 reps x 3 sets
- Lunges: 6-12 reps x 3 sets - You should know what this works, if not get a personal trainer now.
- Hamstring curls (Optional if you have time): 6-12 reps x 3 sets - If you don't know what muscle this hits then... you need to read A LOT.
- Hyperextensions: 6-12 reps x 2 sets
- Standing barbell calf raise: 8-12 reps x 3 sets - Calves
- Calf raises on leg press machine: 8-12 reps x 3 sets
Wednesday - Rest
Thursday - Chest & Back
- Incline bench press: 6-12 reps x 3 sets - Works the upper pectorals
- Dips, pectoral variation: 6-12 reps x 3 sets - Works lower pectorals
- Flyes on flat bench: 6-12 reps x 3 sets - Works outer and inner pectorals
- Pullups: 6-12 reps x 3 sets- Compound exercise that works general upper back area
- One arm rows: 6-12 reps x 3 sets - Compound exercise that works general upper back area
- Bent over two-arm long bar row: 6-12 reps x 3 Sets - Compound exercise that works general upper back area
- Seated rows: 6-12 reps x 2 Sets - I like to add a fourth exercise since the whole general back area gets worked in these back exercises.
The fourth exercise ensures that all the muscles are fatigued. If you still don't understand it's like this. The pectorals get hit very well on dips, bench press, and flyes. However certain muscles in the back might not get hit as well since it's almost impossible to isolate those back muscles. Doing 4 exercises ensures that they will get worked effectively.
Friday - Rest
Saturday - Shoulders, Wrists, & Traps (I Like To Superset With Wrists & Traps)
- Shoulder press: 6-12 reps x 4 sets - Works the anterior head more also works the lateral head
- Lateral raises: 6-12 reps x 2-3 sets - Works the lateral head
- Bent over laterals: 6-12 reps x 3 sets - Works the posterior head
- Palms up wrist curl: 6-12 reps x 2 sets
- Palms down wrist curl: 6-12 reps x 2 sets
- Behind the back wrist curl: 6-12 reps x 2 sets
- Wrist roller: 6-12 reps x 2 sets
One note, doing more than this or your wrists would probably be over kill for them.
- Behind the back shrug: 6-12 reps x 3 sets - Works upper traps
- Barbell shrug with barbell in front of body: 6-12 reps x 3 sets - Works upper traps
Sunday - Rest
Workout Cycle - 2
Monday - Biceps, Triceps (Superset For Arms), & Abs
- Hammer curls: 6-12 reps x 3 sets - Works the main bicep area
- Inner bicep curl on bench: 6-12 reps x 3 sets - Works inner biceps
- Standing one-arm dumbbell curl over incline bench: 6-12 reps x 3 sets - Works lower biceps
See how I put the lower and inner biceps here? That's because I didn't do it in the previous workout so it all balances out.
- Bench press: 6-12 reps x 3 sets - Hits two heads of the triceps
- Incline barbell triceps extension: 6-12 reps x 3 sets - Hits all heads of the triceps
- Reverse-grip pushdowns: 6-12 reps x 3 sets - Hits two heads of the triceps
- Weighted sit ups: 8-15 reps x 3 sets - Upper abs, put something on your feet to keep you down
- Flat bench lying leg raise: 8-15 reps x 3 sets - Lower abs
- Barbell Side Bend: 8-15 reps x 3 sets - Oblique
Tuesday) - Legs & Lower Back (You Could Superset Between Calves & Lower Back To Save Time
- Wide stance squats: 8-12 reps x 2 sets - This works the inner quads
- Close stance squats: 8-12 reps x 3 sets - This works the outer quads
- Standing leg curl: 8-12 reps x 3 sets - Hamstrings
- Traditional deadlift: 8-12 reps x 3 sets - For hamstrings and lower back
- Good mornings: 8-12 reps x 2 sets - For hamstrings and lower back
- Seated calf raises: 8-15 reps x 3 sets - Calves
- One-legged calf raises: 8-15 reps x 3 sets - Calves
Wednesday - Rest
Thursday - Chest & Back
- Decline dumbbell bench press: 6-12 reps x 3 sets - Works the lower pectorals
- Incline flyes: 6-12 reps x 3 sets - Works more of the upper pectorals, works a little bit of the inner and outer pectorals
- Bent arm barbell pullover: 6-12 reps x 3 sets - Works the general pectoral area
- Close grip chin ups: 6-12 reps x 3 sets - Compound movement for upper back muscles
- Bent over rows: 6-12 reps x 3 sets - Compound movement for upper back muscles
- Wide grip lat pulldown: 6-12 reps x 3 sets - Compound movement for upper back muscles
- Seated rows with wide grip bar: 6-12 reps x 2 sets - Compound movement for upper back muscles
Friday - Rest
Saturday - Shoulders, Wrists & Traps (Superset For Wrists & Traps)
- Seated military press: 6-12 reps x 4 sets - Works more of the anterior shoulder as well as the lateral shoulder
- lateral dumbbell raise: 6-12 reps x 2 sets - Lateral shoulder
- Seated rear deltoid row: 6-12 reps x 3 sets - Compound movement for your posterior shoulders
- Barbell palms up wrist curl: 6-12 reps x 2 sets
- Barbell palms down wrist curl: 6-12 reps x 2 sets
- Incline bench shrugs with dumbbells: 6-12 reps x 3 sets
- Dumbbell shrug: 6-12 reps x 3 sets
Sunday - Rest
For me the workout lasts four months. You shouldn't copy it unless you really like it and there's really no point in putting a six month workout plan. This is just to give you a general idea on how to change up your workout plan and how to hit different parts of a muscle.
What Is The Best Diet For The Biggest Mass Gain?
You must understand a few things about gaining mass. It's not all about workout out. Lifting weights will only carry you so far, the diet will do the rest for you. It will either make or break your mass gain program. If your diet sucks and doesn't work I guarantee you won't gain as much mass as you want to.
One thing you must understand about gaining mass is bulking. This is a technique used by bodybuilders to effectively gain muscle mass. It has nothing to do with training, but it's all about nutrition. That's why eating right is so important. Below I will list important things to keep in mind while bulking, or putting on mass. You must keep all of these things in mind.
To Bulk You Have To Count Your Calories.
- Bulking is basically eating about 500 calories over your maintenance level. If you don't eat over your calorie maintenance level or just maintain it while training, your gains in muscle will come very slow.
That's why all those guys you see spending hours in the gym but eat fries and burgers in the cafeteria make slow gains. And if they have some decent definition it took a few years for them to get.
The basic concept to bulking is eating about 500 calories over your maintenance level for muscular gain. However the unfortunate thing about this is that fat gain also results.
It can be limited by watching your diet and eating cleanly but it's something that will happen when mass gaining muscle. So calculate your calorie maintenance level and try to eat 500 calories above it.
A general rule of thumb is to calculate your weight in pounds by 17-20. However there are other good ways to calculate it more accurately. Recalculate your calorie maintenance level every two weeks and eat according to your new calorie level.
Keep A Log Of What You Eat
- Keeping a log of what you eat is super important. You have to count what you eat in each meal and how many calories it has including the macronutrient breakdown. This is very important to ensure you're getting enough calories and ratios and amounts of certain things like protein and carbs.
If you don't write down what you eat and then have a problem with your diet, you will have no clue because nothing is written down. Writing everything also ensures that you know how much too change each day and how much more you need to eat.
Eating 6 Meals A Day
- Three meals a day won't cut it now. First of all your body needs constant nutrition to create an ideal environment for your muscles to grow. Eating this many meals also ensures that you will store less fat than if you ate three meals a day. The reason is because it keeps your blood sugar levels more stable. Also if you wait too long between meals, your body stores fat as a defense against starvation.
Another reason is that if you eat three bigger meals, you might store some of it as fat since your body takes in so much food all at once that it is not able to metabolize all of it. So the basic reasons to eat six meals a day is to keep the fat away and supply your muscles with proper nutrition to grow which puts you in an anabolic state.
Getting Proper Macronutrients & Proper Ratios
- The three basic things you need for your muscles to grow are carbohydrates, protein, and good fats.
- A good ratio would be 50% carbohydrates, 30% protein, and 20% good fats.
Now for a review of the macronutrients. In your 6 meals 50% of the calories should be carbs, 30% of the calories should be protein and 20% of the carbs should be good fats.
- This is essential for growth. Without it you couldn't grow muscle and it is one of the most important macronutrients to feed your muscles with
- to build muscle. A general rule of thumb is to take 1 gram of
- per pound of body weight. Some people go 1.5 and even 2 grams per pound of body weight.
Good sources of protein include:
- Lean cuts of meat
- Chicken breasts
- Fish and sea food
- Peanut butter
- Cottage cheese
- Low fat cheese
- Carbs are another important macronutrient since they provide the body with the proper energy they need for workouts and recovery. They also spare muscle breakdown. Without
- the body will look for other places for energy. This means your muscles might be broken down for energy. Carbs are rated on a glycemic index. This measures how fast the carbohydrates are digested.
A high G.I carb will result in an insulin spike and your body will store fat. They also supply your body with a short burst of energy. Low G.I carbs will cause a minimal insulin spike and fuel your body for a longer time.
You want to eat low G.I carbs during the day and only eat high G.I carbs after a workout. However fruits are alright during the day, just don't go crazy on them.
A good combo is using fruit with a low G.I carbohydrate source for quick and sustained energy. Good sources of low G.I carbohydrates that should be eaten during the day are:
- Whole wheat breads
- Sweet potatoes
- Brown rice
- Whole wheat pasta
- Of the three things, fats are least important, but that doesn't mean they should be ignored. You should be eating good fats while limiting bad fats. They are important for hormone synthesis and have a variety of other benefits.
This means getting your EFA's or essential fatty acids. These fats include omega 3-6-9. Those are the basic fats you should be eating each day to ensure proper muscular gain.
Other fats that are good to eat are MCT's (Medium Chain Triglycerides). They aren't as important and have a few benefits. Basically you should be concentrating on getting your EFA's. Omega 3 and 6 are the most important of the three. Some good sources of good fat are:
- Olive oil
- Flax seeds and oils (These are huge)
- Fish oils
Drink At Least 10-12 Cups Of Water Each Day. If You Can, Drink More.
- This is a small point but you should be drinking a lot of water. Don't drink so that you're bloated though. Water helps flush out wastes and toxins inside your body.
It also helps in metabolic functions and chemical reactions that require water. Water is also especially important if you are on supplements like creatine. To know if you're getting enough water see if your pee is clear. If it's very yellow you need more water.
- Eat healthy foods. If you eat burgers because you decide the bread has carbs and the burger has protein then you might as well forget muscle gain. The only thing you will gain is fat if you bulk dirty.
Bulking cleanly ensures that you gain minimal fat. This makes it easier when cutting, so you have less fat to get rid of. If you don't eat right then you will waste time cutting away fat and losing muscle in the process.
Eating Before Bedtime.
- Eating before bedtime is important. Think about it; you're going 8 hours without protein and carbs. This sets you up for muscle breakdown (catabolism). So to avoid this, drink 2 cups of milk or have some cottage cheese.
The slow absorbing protein will last you most of the night and the carbs in milk are slow absorbing so they will also last you through the night.
Post Workout Nutrition Or Post Workout Shake
- This is so important. What you have right after your workout could affect the state your body goes in. Basically after a workout you want to replenish glycogen stores, stop muscle breakdown, and boost protein synthesis. This is what you should put into your post workout shake.
- First of all for glycogen stores you want to replenish them quickly. This is the only place where you should consume high G.I carbs. Replenishing them rapidly ensures that your body will use the carbs for energy to recovery and not use muscle for energy. You should consume about 40-80 grams of simple sugars to quickly replace glycogen stores.
You should use dextrose and maltodextrin in a 50/50 split. Using just dextrose is also fine. You can find both of these sugars in a wine and beer making stores surprisingly. Consuming high G.I carbs also promotes and insulin spike. An insulin spike is also very important which is something I will cover next.
- The second thing is stopping muscle breakdown. This is where the protein comes in. Protein combined with simple sugars work together to rapidly raise insulin levels. Insulin stops muscle breakdown right after a workout which is essential. Protein also supplies your body with amino acids to repair and build muscle.
You want to add somewhere from 20-50 grams depending on your size. You don't need 40 grams if your 120 pounds. That's how the companies make money; by getting you to take all that protein when you don't need it. That way you have to buy more. If you consume 40 grams if your 120 pounds then you will just pee it out. It is also an anabolic hormone which brings me to the next point.
- Protein synthesis means building muscle. Insulin also does this because it is anabolic. That's why insulin is so important. Another thing that also raises protein synthesis is BCAA or branched chain amino acids. Although I don't like to use them you might want to give them a try.
So basically your post workout shake should look like this (The stuff you need):
- 2-3 cups of water
- 20-50 grams of protein depending on size
- 40-80 grams of dextrose/maltodextrin depending on size
Here are things you can add into your post workout shake:
- BCAA - Help in protein synthesis
- Creatine - Help replenish ATP stores after a workout
- Glutamine - Some people swear by it but I think it's a scam since your diet already provides you with a whole bunch. Do whatever you want to do though; I'm not your mom.
That's basically it for what your diet should look like. Remember to take into account every little piece of your diet so you don't screw up. I would say almost 90% of all bulking screw-ups are made in the diet part. If you want I would say you can have 1 cheat meal a week. At the very most 2 cheat meals.
This means you can eat one unhealthy meal. Don't go overboard or else you will totally do the opposite of gain muscle and gain fat. Also if you eat more cheat meals, you might be inclined to have a few more. So try to stay away from them as much as possible.
What Are Some Good Mass Gaining Supplements?
Supplements help with mass gaining muscle. They are good for post nutrition in stopping muscle breakdown and increasing muscle building. They also make meals more convenient. However you have to draw a point with supplements. I would say take at the most 4 supplements. You should need to take 6 or 8 supplements a day for mass gain.
Try to go as natural as possible; God made plants and animals but not protein so I trust that the plants and animals will do me good. You don't need all that crap that people and companies suggest you take where you don't even know what the words mean. One reason is because these things are relatively new. In a few years down the road these things can have major side effects that weren't anticipated. You're probably like 'yea, you're full of crap right'? Well take for an example cigarettes.
At one point they thought it was good for you and it helped with sore throat. Well it turned to be the most harmful things you can do to your body. Need another example? How about aspartame. It was an alternative to sweetening foods without adding sugar. But now they are finding major side effects to consuming aspartame. Trust me on this one; you don't need all those complicated supplements. You could be doing yourself so much harm without even knowing. You think those companies care about you?
They just want to make money. They don't give a rat's ass if you get cancer in a few years. Just try to go as natural as possible. I can almost guarantee you that someday certain supplements will be found to have horrible side effects to them since there are thousands of them.
You might not know now, but it's better to be safe than sorry. I see people taking all these supplements like vitamins, chromium, testosterone and other names I can't even pronounce. But that's how it is in North American culture. They don't even know how it's made or what's in them.
Sometimes they hardly know the science behind it, not everything companies tell you is true. For example if it says helps build lean mass what do they mean by lean mass? They can get away with it even if it helps you build 1 gram of lean muscle mass (trust me I've studied marketing techniques and scams in an in depth media course). And if you tell someone there are taking to many supplements and it could cause them harm, they just laugh at you and call you an idiot. So before you get into using a supplement know what's in it first.
The Basic Supplements When Mass Gaining:
- Whey Protein:
- This is so helpful after a workout. It supplies your body with the protein you need to stop muscle breakdown and increase insulin.
gold It also helps you get protein when you're in a crunch. The best proteins are the trusted companies.
My top two picks are:
- This is also another useful and popular supplement. It increases ATP stores so you can push yourself harder in the gym and it also is the ultimate lean muscle gainer.
newcreatine You don't need creatine to make magnificent gains. I go without creatine since as I said above I like to go as natural as possible.
Two good creatines would be:
- Higher Power Micronized Creatine
- BSN No-Xplode
- These are something I trust. Multi-vitamins have been around so long and are actually recommended by doctors. They provide your body with the nutrients, vitamins, and minerals it needs to build muscle and stay in an anabolic state.
one However again, they aren't essential to making mass gains but they do help.
Two good multi-vitamins would be:
- Meal Replacements:
- Meal replacements are also another thing I use. The concept has been around for some time and it uses ingredients that have been around for some time.
They are also useful when you need a meal on the go if you don't have time. However, don't rely on meal replacements. Like I said the best thing is natural food, which is something you can trust.
deluxe new Four good meal replacements are:
With Proper Training, Diet, & Supplementation, How Much Muscle Mass Can One Expect To Gain During A 6 Month Bulk?
It varies for everyone. Some people might respond very well to training and the diet and some people might not which is where genetics come in. Just like how genetics limits how tall you can grow, genetics determines how much muscle you can gain when bulking.
This is assuming that everything is in check including diet, supplementation, and training.
Generally I would say if you did everything right you could gain about 25-30 pounds maybe even forty pounds. Of course this won't all be muscle and some of it will be fat. A good clean bulk will maybe consist of 5-8 pounds of fat gained.
It could even be 3 pounds if you're lucky. Again fat gain depends on genetics. Some people never gain fat and some people gain fat like no tomorrow. That's why you got to watch your diet if your susceptible to fat gain more than others.
2nd Place - Younglifter16
How Can You Gain As Much Mass As Possible?
"The last three or four reps is what makes the muscle grow. This area of pain divides the champion from someone else who is not a champion. That's what most people lack, having the guts to go on and just say they'll go through the pain no matter what happens." - Arnold Schwarzenegger
- This is perhaps the simplest most generalized question, yet the answer is a very complicated complex one; which takes up multiple text books and researching time, yet still cannot be answered fully.
Times are changing; meaning everything else is also, including bodybuilding as a sport, and as a life style. For instance, 30 years ago, if one wasn't blasting there muscles with at least 12 sets, they would be considered a "girly man", but these days, doing anything more then say 4 sets a muscle, they will be frowned upon and be sentenced with the curse of overtraining.
How can these training styles change so dramatically in such little time, yet still produce results?
This is just one of the main reasons why this question is so hard to answer. Various things affect what makes one gain the most mass in the fastest amount of time.
Therefore, you will see a lot of big corporations and companies try to take advantage, and put out there own unique weight training routine with a clever acronym, sometimes for money even, just to market it around there supplements.
Some are actually helpful, while others spread around half truths and manipulate people into purchasing there products. I can go on about this for awhile, but this point is irrelevant to the question at hand, although I felt it should be pointed out anyway.
Moving on, as I stated before, there are many reasons why this question is so hard to answer. This question needs to cover a lot of various things in order to answer it fully (i.e. Human anatomy, exercise physiology, etc).
These things can vary very much from person to person, which results in a lot of confusion. Me myself have researched now for years, and have observed my training experience very closely, and from all of this I have a good idea in my head on how one can gain the most mass fastest. After countless articles I have read and studies I looked at, I realized one thing; everything seems to always contradict each other in one way or another.
I'll ask the question one more time to emphasize it,
I'm not going to be able to explain this in one simple answer, in fact, it may be hard to explain it in simply one post, but I'll try my hardest. Therefore, just bare with me through my ramblings and observations, and make sure you focus on what I'm trying to explain, and this all should be easy to see. With that being said, let's go over this once more.
In order to understand how we can gain the mass the fastest, we must see why it is that different trainings work (and how they can be so versatile and different from each other), and how we can get this to work for you. I want you to be able to gain the most mass as possible.
- Here is where I would like to venture a bit into the scientific parts of exercise physiology (EP), as well as human anatomy/physiology (Human AP). I'm only going to cover the situations and things that are relevant to mass/strength gaining. I also like to ramble a lot and point out observations, so once again bare with me.
First off, let me make a statement. The human body is one of the most complicated things nature made that is on this planet. The body is a system within a system. Through evolutionary processes, your body was made to be able to cope with whatever challenges one may face throughout their lifetime to increase survival, allowing for the ability to reproduce; the process repeats itself over and over.
Working out is one of these "challenges" that your body may face. So working out can be looked at as having a negative impact, but leading to a positive impact. I'm not sure where to start with this, so I'm going to give a quick overview of everything and then piece it together bit by bit.
The Energy Systems
- I'm going to start off explaining what happens when one weight lifts. When an individual picks up a weight, a lot of things occur. There are metabolic actions, central nervous system actions (CNS), peripheral (muscle) nervous actions (PNS), etc. This is pretty complicated, which is why a lot of people don't modify their training to produce really great results; even better than what they are already achieving.
First let's start with energy expenditure. Weightlifting is an anaerobic experience, which means "Living without oxygen". That is not to taken literal in this case, although it hits the point right on. The role of oxygen as far as energy goes, is to help fuel ATP. What I mean by this is oxygen is needed to allow for chemical reactions to take place which allows for ATP to be created or used. Your muscles always have slight levels of ATP. ATP (Adenosine triphosphate) is probably the biggest key factor when dealing with energy produced within the muscle.
ATP is a molecule that has energy stored within the three phosphates, and it can be used when it is broken down. Weightlifting requires the breakdown of ATP for utilization of energy, and the ATP breaks down into an AMP (adenosine monophosphate) molecule, which is just what ATP is, but with only 2 phosphates not 3.
- Energy is released when the phosphate bond is broken, which is why ATP turns to AMP when energy is needed by the muscle. Since such a large burst of energy is given, your muscles always contain levels (a small amount) of ATP, to allow for an immediate reaction. This is probably once again an evolutionary effect due to the fact that if one was needed to run for survival, this would be absolutely needed.
ATP can be produced in 3 various ways (or systems), but were only going to focus on two of them, as this post is going to get real long, and those are the only ones which are actually relevant to weightlifting and gaining mass. The phosphocreatine-ATP complex (or phosphagen system), is a pretty important and interesting system. This allows for a quick fix for energy, such as sprinting short distances, or quick bursts of energy.
When an ATP molecule is broken down to ADP, the phosphate needs to be added back so you can get ATP again. Creatine Kinase (sounds familiar?) is the enzyme that does all of this, but this "creatine mini-system" will start to wear out after around a good 10 seconds, and another energy system is required.
The next system is the glycolysis/glycogenolysis complex (or glycogen-lactic acid system). This goes back to your diet. Carbohydrates (glucose) can be complex molecules, but are broken down to smaller ones or grouped together so that they can be stored. If not used right away, they can be changed into a form known as "glycogen", where this molecule will be stored in a muscle, and eventually be used for energy. Glycogen is simply a bunch of glucose molecules bonded together.
The glycogen helps the ATP through metabolism and will cause that burning sensation in your muscles. This is due to the waste product that is given off from the process; this is called "lactic acid". This is why people think that the burning sensation is required for growth; there partially right. Now that you understand the energy systems, we can understand how to maximize these effects fully to achieve the most muscle mass while working out.
- There are 3 different types of muscle in the human body, but the one we are concerned with (AND WANT TO GROW!) is skeletal muscle. Skeletal muscles (striated muscles) are attached to bones by tendons and ligaments (joints), and are the actual muscle fibers.
We're going to dig a bit deeper though. I'm sure you have heard of the terms slow-twitch, fast-twitch, etc., or at least seen them come up. Well I'm going to go into details on what they are so you know which ones are the most susceptible to growth, and which ones to minimize training on.
Despite how small a muscle fiber is, it is a very complicated thing. I'm going to keep this short and sweet though as I'm already rambling on too much here.
A muscle fiber is made up of a nucleus and filaments. A muscle is made up of "Myofibral (myofibers bunched together)". A myofibril is made up of two filaments, one being "Myosin", and the other being "Actin". A myofibril is basically referred to as a muscle fiber.
What cause the actual contraction in a muscle are the filaments Actin and Myosin. Myosin (thick filament) contracts together with Actin (thin filament) through cross bridges, and use ATP. This is why you're able to "flex" your muscles or contract your muscles. To make this more complicated, there are different kinds of muscle fibers (isoforms) of myofibrils.
A myofibril can be fast-twitch or slow-twitch. Fast twitch fibers contract the fastest and are anaerobic. They also have the tendency TO GROW THE MOST! Slow twitch on the other hand contracts slower, and is recruited more often in aerobic activities. So fast twitch fibers are the ones we want to target. With that being said, pay close attention to the following:
Fast twitch fibers are split into two different isoforms, one being IIA and the other being IIX. Type IIX is the fastest and usually can hypertrophy the most. But bodybuilders tend to have a higher ratio of slow twitch fibers. Why? Because they overkill themselves with too much volume, and sometimes even too many reps. We want to aim to get the most out of our training, not try and get smaller.
There are two types of growth within a muscle, one is Myofibral growth, and the other is Sarcoplasmic growth. Sarcoplasmic growth is the increase in size/function of non-contractile proteins in the muscle; this includes mitochondria, fluids, etc. This will increase the cross area section of a muscle, which is why bodybuilders can be "weaker" then a powerlifter, even though they are bigger.
Myofibral growth is the increase in the muscle protein fiber itself (HYPERTROPHY!) This is very important, a lot of people train with too high of reps and volume and get a lot of sarcoplasmic growth, but training with lower reps is the more ideal thing to do as this will lead to a direct increase in protein in the muscle fibers!
So now with all this being said, I'm just going to quickly review the nervous system, so we can finally get on to what can make the most out of our training.
The Nervous System
- I'm going to be real quick here. There is the central nervous system (CNS), and the peripheral nervous system (PNS). A motor unit is a motor neuron attached to muscle fibers. When an electrical pulse (action potential) is generated, it activates the motor units.
A muscle recruits the motor units, and the motor units start to "fire", allowing them to contract the muscle. Motor units become more efficient when they start "synchronizing" better, which is why at first you can barely stabilize yourself, but then can easily perform the exercise.
The central nervous system is made up of the spinal cord and brain. They control the nervous system and send out the "signals" for motor units to be recruited. Motor units will generally recruit fast twitch fibers when low reps and heavy weight is performed.
What Will Make Us Gain As Much Mass As Possible - Training.
Now we're finally up to the good part. I'm going to finally explain how to fully maximize training/dieting/supplementation to achieve the greatest results, so you can indeed "gain as much mass as possible". I'm going to have to ramble one last time though.
A muscle is made up of myofibrils as I mentioned earlier. The muscle also contains hormones, as well as a sarcoplasm, among other things. When you pick up a weight and perform the exercise (mechanical load), stimulation (MICROTRAUMA) upon the sarcolema (think z-lines) occurs.
The weightlifting (the negative portion of the exercises specifically) leads to damage (micro trauma) in the muscle cell, and this is where the fun starts happening. From here, the exercise (more specifically the negative portion) causes a "disturbance" and damages certain parts of the muscle cell.
Now the growth is going to finally occur when the "growth factors (hormones)" ooze out and activate anabolic events, such as satellite cell differentiation/proliferation. IGF-1 is one of the anabolic hormones as well as FGF. Satellite cells allow for re-growth of the muscle fiber as they donate there nucleus (to keep it simple).
So now we have an idea of what makes a muscle grow, how do we maximize this though? I'll explain right now.
- For a muscle to grow, it must be stimulated (mechanical load), and micro trauma must be placed upon the muscle. This will lead to the anabolic events described earlier. What most people don't understand is that a muscle recovers (the anabolic activities return to there normal levels) within 48-72 hours.
So if you work a muscle once a week, your growth isn't maximized at all! You are missing out on a good 4 days where you could be getting growth, but are not.
A lot of people are misinformed and think that once a week is enough if they "hit the muscles hard enough they won't need to work it again" or because they may "overtrain". As I said, the muscle is recovered within days, it's the CNS that still has a toll taken on it (which may or may not lead to overtraining).
So we want to be able to maximize our muscle growth potential by INCREASING frequency of hitting a muscle, but DECREASING CNS toll. This will lead for a higher amount of anabolic events taken weekly, allowing us to maximize for growth.
This means that we want to hit each muscle a good 2 times a week (at least). I would recommend 3, but 2 seems to be working great for most people including myself. What we want to avoid though is CNS failure, and we're only going to get CNS failure by training to positive "failure".
To minimize CNS fatigue, we can avoid training to failure; this means stopping a rep short or two before hitting failure. Training to failure should only be used as a tool, not in every workout. It's good to use every so often to get a full effect of hypertrophy, but can lead to more negative damage when used wrong.
Also, stopping a rep or two short of failure produces similar results as mechanical load is still placed on the muscle. Also, divide up your volume. If 8 sets for chest work the best for you, you would do 4 sets if you hit chest two times that week. So now we were able to minimize CNS fatigue yet MAXIMIZE muscle growth. This will get us to our goals at a way quicker pace.
Cliff notes for gaining as much mass as possible for frequency:
- Train more frequently to lead to longer anabolic periods.
- Stop a rep or two before failure to allow for less CNS fatigue to in return allow for us to train more frequently.
- The two combined will put mass on an individual a lot faster.
- This is perhaps the most important key to putting on mass, and this is why most bodybuilders fail to be able to put on mass. I can write a whole article on this itself, but I'm going to keep this shorter. Progressive load is the key for hypertrophy (muscle growth), keep repeating that over in your head.
A bodybuilder's worst nightmare is not overtraining. It is the repeated bout effect (RBE). This "effect" is when bouts of exercise are useless for the muscle, so they don't respond and grow. You can call it a plateau to keep it simple. Most bodybuilders don't progressive load enough, or a lot, and in return there gains are diminished. They don't gain fast, and they don't gain much.
What you want to do is be able to go up in reps or weight in every workout (this would be ideal, but of course we can't keep going up in reps and weights all the time) to promote the most amount of hypertrophy consistently. With more frequent training, this is possible, but other training techniques should be employed as well to promote for strength gain (to allow for progressive load LEADING TO MASS GAINS).
Use of lower rep ranges (around 3-6) will lead to myofibril hypertrophy, this will lead to a direct increase in the size of a muscle fiber. This is a great rep range to use to get "functional" size, allowing for size, yet strength to go along with it. Training in the higher rep ranges to allow for more sarcoplasmic hypertrophy is also smart, as it will cause for large mass gains fast.
There should be a balance in between the two. Real low rep ranges (1-3 reps) should be used every so often (just like failure) to allow for strength gains within the nervous system (motor unit recruitment, etc).
Cliff notes for gaining as much mass as possible for Progressive Loading:
- Always try to be adding reps or weight.
- Emphasize on the use of the 3-6 rep range to allow for "functional" size.
- If progressive loading is stalled, the Repeated bout effect (RBE) will occur, which stalls muscle hypertrophy.
- This is the most important portion of the exercise, it's referred to as the "negative" part. It's the eccentric part of the exercise, for instance, in bench press it is when you bring the weight down to your chest. Most people think positives cause the most growth, but they are wrong. Negatives are superior, and the positives should only be looked at as "primers" to allow for negatives to be done.
Negatives lead to the most micro trauma in the muscle. The micro trauma as we talked about earlier is the most important stimulant for growth. With micro trauma inflicted upon the muscle fibers, the anabolic events will take place, which will allow for our satellite cells to donate there nuclei allowing for more/larger protein structures (muscle fibers).
So you want to keep a nice controlled negative (which most people don't). You don't want to keep real slow negatives as this won't cause micro trauma (you would need a lighter weight), but you want to keep them nice and "controlled". The positive portions of the exercise are useful, but look at them as priming yourself up for the negatives, so it's best to do a fast/explosive positive.
Cliff notes for gaining as much mass as possible for Negatives:
- Negative causes the most micro trauma leading to anabolic events.
- Keep your negatives "controlled" as opposed to cheating yourself out of them.
- Fast and explosive positives should be done.
Putting It All Together
Now let's put all that we learned together right now. We want heavy weight, low reps, high frequency, and controlled negative portions of reps. There are a lot of training programs out right now with cool acronyms, but they never generally follow all these principals, therefore they stop working after awhile.
The best programs I seen out are dogcrapp training (DC training, warning: not for beginners), and Hypertrophy-specific training (HST). Both are very sound programs where I have taught a lot from, so check those out as well. Periodization is also a good way to manage all these principals, but that's another article itself.
So for higher frequency, we can do a lot of things. I'll outline a few right now:
- Monday: Full body
- Tuesday: Rest
- Wednesday: Full body
- Thursday: Rest
- Friday: Full body
- Weekend: Rest
- Monday: Upper body
- Tuesday: Lower body
- Wednesday: Rest
- Thursday: Upper body
- Friday: Lower body
- Weekend: Rest
- Monday: chest/back/shoulders
- Tuesday: Legs/limbs
- Wednesday: Rest
- Thursday: chest/back/shoulders
- Friday: Legs/limbs
- Weekend: Rest
- Monday: Back/arms
- Tuesday: Chest/legs
- Wednesday: Rest
- Thursday: Back/arms
- Friday: Chest/legs
- Weekend: Rest
These are just a few examples. My personal favorite, as well as a lot of other peoples, is choice number 2. This generally is the easiest to put together and design, and works the most effectively. So we got frequency covered, let's move onto volume.
You generally want to get in a good 8-12 sets for larger muscles and 3-6 sets for smaller. If you were to do 10 sets for chest, and use example 2, you would do 4 sets for chest each upper body workout. I would vary your exercises as well, so this is how it may look:
Upper Body A
- Flat Dumbbell Bench Press 3 sets
- Weighted Dips 2 sets
Upper Body B
- Incline Barbell Bench Press 4 sets
- Cable Crossovers 2 sets
I recommend that you "favor" some muscle groups on different days. For example, on upper body workout A, work all your upper body muscles, but favor chest the most that day, and do more chest work then back work.
Then upper body B, you would favor the other muscles, like do more work for back that day. This will allow for better results as you can focus more, yet still get your more frequent training in.
Now here comes rep ranges, for rep ranges, we want our compound exercises to have anywhere from 3 to 6 reps. For our isolation exercises, we are better off with higher rep ranges, such as the 7-11 rep range. Now we are going to get hypertrophy in several ways. I would also do an exercise once per week where we focus on pure strength and only do 1-3 reps. I'll give an example:
Upper Body A
- Incline Barbell Bench Press 4 sets 4-6 reps
- Cable Crossovers 2 sets 8-10 reps
- Barbell Rows 3 sets 5-6 reps
- One Armed Rows 2 sets 1-3 reps
- Lateral Raises 3 sets 9-12 reps
So now we got frequency, rep ranges, and volume covered. Next time is to control your negative, this is a must. Always have a nice controlled (not necessarily slow) negative portion of exercise. Now lets move on to the final thing, progressive loading.
With these low reps and more frequent training, strength increases should come A LOT faster. This will allow for more progressive loading. Add weight whenever you feel you can, while staying in the "rep range" required. I have gone for weeks where I can keep adding 5lbs to an exercise and still stay in the rep range. I usually PR on everything, whether it's as small as one rep, or as large as adding 10lbs to an exercise.
Occasionally, drop sets should be done as they induce secondary growth through fatigue, and heavy negatives should be done to induce primary growth through heavy tension.
Here is my split that I have been using for months now and has been working great:
Upper Body Workout A (sets X reps):
- Flat Barbell Bench Press 3 X 4-6
- Incline Barbell Bench Press 2 X 4-6
- Bent Over Barbell Rows 3 X 4-6
- Weighted Pullups 2 X 9-12
- Dips 2 X 9-12
- DB Militaries 3 X 4-6
Lower Body Workout A (sets X reps):
- Deadlifts 3 X 4-6
- Stiff-Legged Deadlifts 3 X 4-6
- Barbell Curls 2 X 9-12
- Close Grip Bench Press 3 X 4-6
- Skull Crusher's 2 X 9-12
Upper Body Workout B (sets X reps):
- Decline Barbell Bench Press 2 X 4-6
- Incline Barbell Bench Press 3 X 9-12
- Bent Over Barbell Rows 3 X 9-12
- One Armed Rows 3 X 4-6
- Barbell Military Press 2 X 9-12
Lower Body Workout B (sets X reps):
- Squats 3 X 9-12
- Lying Leg Curls 2 X 9-12
- Dumbbell Curls 3 X 4-6
- Close-Grip Bench press 2 X 9-12
Notes: - I can personally handle all this volume as I accustomed myself to it, beginners will probably need a lot less volume, so use what works best for you.
Okay, so we finally covered the working out aspect to gain as much mass in the quickest amount of time possible. Now let's move onto dieting and supplementation.
What Will Make Us Gain As Much Mass As Possible - Dieting & Supplementation.
I will not be spending as much time on dieting as I did on training, simply because it is not nearly as complicated. We want to grow the most, which comes from protein synthesis.
Protein turnover (protein synthesis - protein breakdown) is what the final outcome is, so to increase protein synthesis other then weight training, we want to eat... A LOT Of protein!
Simple enough, you should be eating at least 1.5 grams per pound of protein. These days I get in double my bodyweight in protein. People can much easier when there eating more then there weight in protein, then someone eating at there weight. This is something I observed and noticed myself. So in conclusion, MORE PROTEIN = MORE GAINS!
- I'm going to list some good protein sources, as these are what I try to consume daily:
- Red meat/beef
- Fatty oil fishes (salmon, etc)
- Protein shakes (whey, casein etc)
This is simple; just get as much protein as you can.
- Carbs is a little harder topic to touch upon. You want to keep glycogen levels (discussed earlier) filled and maximized to allow for maximum strength, leading to maximum muscle gains.
To do this, a lot of complex good carbs should be eaten, I'm not going to give numbers, but after you eat all your protein, eat carbs to keep you "satisfied". If you find your feeling flat, or not strong enough, add in more carbs. Some good carb sources are:
- Plain Oats
- Whole Wheat pasta
- Whole Wheat bread
- Brown rice
- Sweet potatoes/yams
Those are the staples. Fruits and fibrous leafy vegetables should always be eaten as well.
- As far as fat goes, stay away from the bad fats, as those will cause body fat gains. This includes junk food, potato chips, desserts, etc. They are usually in the form of trans-fatty acids (hydrogenated oils), or too much saturated fats and simple sugars mixed together. Instead, aim for some better sources of fat, such as:
- Fishy oils (supplement with fish oil)
- Olive Oil
- Egg Yolks (occasionally)
- Animal fats
- EFA's/flax oil
- Nuts (almonds, pecans, etc)
Keep in mind fat is needed for hormone production and other vital things; I actually like to keep fat high, just very clean fats with lots of EFA's. Fish oil is really a must.
The reason why I didn't touch up on diet that much is because nothing fancy is required. My favorite type of dieting to maintain body fat, yet put on the most muscle is Twin Peak's Carb cycling plan. Since I am not the creator, I didn't want to explain it, I strongly suggest this plan is checked out: [ Article 1 ] [ Article 2 ] [ Article 3 ]
Carb Cycling (with high protein) combined with the training routine outlined will indeed lead to the fastest mass gains possible. We are still missing one last thing though, and that's supplementation.
For the Past 8 months, I have researched supplements extensively. The supplement section is now my favorite part of the forums, when I used to hate it the most.
A good supplemental program will help one out so much. I'm going to explain what is needed for any weightlifter, and then explain the hottest/best supplements on the market right now, and what is working for me.
This supplement should be taken simply for health, as well as the hundreds of other benefits it provides. At least one multi-vitamins should be taken daily, preferably in the morning.
Fish oil has EFA's which provides many benefits for fat loss and cholesterol, as well as joint help and other benefits. A good 3-6 grams should be taken daily.
"and in just the right concentrations for optimal performance in the body. Both hormonal and cellular responses seem to be greatly enhanced with supplementation of whey protein..."
This is probably the second most important supplement you can have, next to a good multi vitamin. Whey is one of the greatest stable supplements, and should defiantly be taken, post workout, and when you miss a meal, or want to make a MRP.
Now that we got the stables down, let's look at the most popular supplements on the market that are effective.
Creatine Ethyl Ester
- Now we all know how well creatine monohydrate works, but now, a new creatine form is out, and is known as "CEE". The results are reportedly a lot better, without the side effects of monohydrate (bloating, cramps, etc). It's a bit more expensive, but is worth every penny. Usually a creation non responder will respond to CEE.
The more popular CEE's on the market are:
I have used bulk CEE for a few months, it worked really well; the effects wore off a bit, but it still worked nicely. It was a lot better then creation monohydrate. I'm currently using Omega Thunder, and it's awesome! It's the best creation product I ever used, and I heard the results from green bulge are similar.
- This is a relatively new product compared to creatine, and is sweeping the markets and causing a new "fad". A No/Arginine product causes a pump, as well as other things, which can lead to growth and larger passage ways.
"The fact that Nitric Oxide acts to reduce inflammation should also make it of interest to bodybuilders as it has the potential to reduce the pain associated with subjecting muscles to extreme stress."
The most popular products right now are:
A NO/Arginine product stacked with a CEE product really brings out the effects of both products. Put together, you will have even better results.
Currently I am using Omega thunder stacked with white blood, and my workouts are so great these days. I'm gaining mass really quickly, pumps are great, and my strength is going through the roof.
Branch Chained Amino Acids (BCAA)
- BCAA's have been around for awhile, but only recently have become a big hit, due to the fact that people mega dose on them. Mega dosing seems to maximize the effect of BCAA's a few times folded. I myself will be BCAA overdosing when I get to my cut, to retain or possibly even gain some lean muscle out of the whole situation.
The most popular BCAA out right now is SciVation's Xtend: I have tasted this product before (watermelon), and it tasted great. It also has other goodies like high dosed glutamine, and citrulline malate. Watermelon is an always talked about flavor of Xtend, as it is very good.
Optimum nutrition has plane BCAA's for cheap.
- This is a revolutionary fat loss product, which is actually found in sesame seeds/oil. Sesamin is lowly concentrated though, and you would have to eat pounds of sesame seeds to get the right dosing as a supplement would give you. Sesamin works great for fat loss, cholesterol loss, as well as many other benefits.
"Particularly episesamin is extremely potent boosting these two actions buy 2.1 hold and 5.1 hold in rats. When coupled with a diet rich in omega-3 fats (they seem to work synergistically) episesamin boosted them by 12.2 and 20.1 respectively.
"Now that's freaking impressive. It does this buy causing the DNA transcription of CPT (carnitine palmitoyl transferase) which is the rate limiting quantity in beta oxidation of fats in skeletal muscle and liver cells. So the gist is you burn more fat plain and simple"
The most popular sesamin's right now are:
Those are pretty much the big supplements right now. If you dose a sesamin product at one half the recommend dosing, you will limit fat gains severely, allowing one to bulk longer which means, YOU WILL GAIN MASS QUICKER.
With Proper Training, Diet, & Supplementation, How Much Muscle Mass Can One Expect To Gain During A 6 Month Bulk?
A lot of muscle mass can be expected to be gained with these techniques. I myself have went up 50 lbs on my bench from May to September, and I have been training for awhile now and consider myself advanced.
I have trained my fare share of people, and when people follow these principles, they usually end up going up about 40 lbs in 6 months. That translates to about a bit under 2 lbs gained per week. Most is muscle as well. Strength sky rockets through the roof.
As of late, I have been training a new friend using these techniques, and he's on his 2nd week now. His lifts are already going through the roof. He's increasing around 20 lbs on pretty much everything and he has worked out prior so it's not all newbie gains.
With good training and good dieting/supplementing, a good 30 lbs at least (of muscle) I feel can be gained in 6 hard months of training.
I can't honestly give a solid number that's truly accurate, as everyone is different. But I will tell you that training right will make you gain fast; just depending on your genetic limits is how fast you will gain.
So I have outlined everything you need to know to gain mass the quickest. I hope that someone at least learned something from this, and read through all of it even though it's really long.
If something is unclear, I hope someone points it out so I may change it; I tried to do my best to make this short, yet very understandable. Thank you for your time and good luck everyone.