(The following article is an excerpt from my new book, Superior Muscle Growth.)
Stop me if you’ve heard this one.
Your goal is to gain muscle. Nice, lean, awesome-looking muscle. So, you come up with the perfect workout program, set up the perfect diet, and then proceed to put them both into action to the best of your ability. Awesome!
But then, as time starts to go by, you begin to notice something. You might be gaining some muscle, but there’s something else that seems to be happening as well.
Oh No, You’re Getting Fatter!
Not “super fat” or anything. Just slowly and gradually gaining body fat along with the small amounts of muscle you’re building. You’re not happy about it, but you continue on with what you’re doing anyway.
As more time passes, you’re noticing something else. You’re still kinda building some muscle (although it’s much less than you had hoped, and it’s happening much slower than you had hoped), but yet the amount of fat you continue to gain along with it is increasing by the week.
And it’s ruining everything!
Your abs – assuming you actually had visible abs when you started – are fading away or have already been covered under a layer of new body fat. You can’t even fully enjoy the new muscle you’ve gained (or even the old muscle you already had) because that too is being hidden under a new layer of fat. Maybe even multiple layers.
So although you might be building muscle, you’re just gaining too much body fat along with it.
And the longer you continue, the worse it all gets and the closer to “super fat” you become. Now instead of looking muscular, lean, defined, toned, ripped, sexy, awesome and just better overall, the opposite is happening. You’re certainly getting “bigger,” but you’re looking softer. And fatter. And just worse, period.
In fact, many people notice that they’re gaining more fat than muscle. HA!
I’ve Been There, Done That
Does this scenario sound a little too familiar? Have you been there before? I certainly have. I’ve soooo been there and done that. It seems the majority of the people trying to build muscle have been there too.
Hell, most are still there and will remain there for the foreseeable future.
And if your scenario goes anything like mine always did, these less-than-ideal “bulking” results would then be followed up by trying to “cut” and lose this unwanted new body fat only to end up losing some, or most, or maybe even all of the new muscle you’ve built right along with it.
So maybe you start out semi-lean. You then proceed to build a lackluster amount of muscle slower than you could have while simultaneously gaining more body fat than you should have right along with it.
As if that wasn’t bad enough, in an attempt to then lose this ugly new fat, you lose the lackluster amount of muscle too… thus ending up right back where you started. You’re essentially just spinning your wheels and repeating the same shitty process over and over again.
Some poor bastards (like me, for example) may actually end up in an even worse position than they started out in by becoming even more “skinny-fat” after each cycle of failure.
Ah yes, the memories.
And as horrible as this type of scenario is, and as much as people will try to avoid it, it still happens ALL THE TIME.
So I guess the obvious question is… why?
Why Do We Gain Fat When Trying To Gain Muscle?
There are two reasons:
- The first one is your fault. It’s because you went about building muscle in a way that was just not as effective as it could/should have been (or possibly was just flat out ineffective, period). Maybe your workout routine was suboptimal. Maybe your diet failed to provide what your body needed in the amounts that were truly needed. Maybe you just failed to do things as well as you could (and should) have done them.
- The second one isn’t your fault at all. It’s reality’s fault. Let me explain…
At this point I’m going to assume that you already know the basics of what’s required for a person to successfully gain muscle. On the diet side, one of those requirements is a caloric surplus.
A caloric surplus is of course what exists when you consume more calories than your body needs to maintain its current state. So, for example, if 2500 calories is your maintenance level, consuming less than 2500 calories would put you into a deficit (which is the sole requirement of fat loss) and consuming more than 2500 calories would put you into a surplus (which again is one of the dietary requirements of building muscle).
Additional details here: Calories In vs Calories Out and The Muscle Building Diet Plan
Why is this surplus required? Because your body simply needs some amount of additional calories to synthesize new muscle tissue as well as support the recovery and training performance needed to make progressive overload happen.
And it’s this fact that presents us with a huge problem.
Calorie Partitioning: Where Can The Surplus Go?
In addition to being needed for muscle growth to happen, a caloric surplus is also the only thing needed for body fat to be gained.
You see, when a caloric surplus is present and you’re taking in an excess of calories, a little something called calorie partitioning comes into play.
Calorie partitioning (also called “nutrient partitioning”) refers to where these extra calories and nutrients will go (or how they will be “partitioned” in your body) when you consume them. It also refers to where they will come from when you’re in a deficit and consuming less of them (meaning, your body can potentially burn stored body fat or muscle tissue for energy).
Now obviously, in a surplus, we want every single calorie we eat to go toward muscle growth only, but it turns out there are actually three places for them to go:
- Toward new muscle.
This is what we want.
- Toward new body fat.
This is what no one wants, but it’s what every fat person got. As I’ve explained before, this is how every fat person in the history of mankind ended up getting fat. They consumed too many calories and a “surplus” existed. Taaadaaa! Combine this with the fact that A) there was no muscle-growth-signaling workout program in place, and B) the surplus in these cases was often both excessive and long lasting, and you get a common scenario where most/all of the extra unused (surplus) calories consumed were stored as fat.
- Toward a combination of both.
This is another one we don’t want, but it’s something most of us are quite familiar with getting. For every X pounds of muscle we gain, it seems Y pounds of fat always come along with it. (The exact amounts for X and Y will vary significantly for reasons I’ll explain shortly.)
So that’s why gaining fat while trying to build muscle is not only a possibility, but an extremely common reality. The caloric surplus we need to consume can just as easily go toward muscle growth (yay), fat storage (boo), or both (boo again).
If only there was a way to partition ALL of our surplus calories toward muscle growth and ensure NONE of them go toward fat storage. If only there was a way to build muscle WITHOUT gaining any body fat whatsoever in the process.
That would certainly be awesome.
But the question is, can it actually be done?
Can You Build Muscle Without Gaining ANY Fat?
Well, that’s going to depend on your answers to the following questions:
- Do you have amazing genetics?
- Do you have drugs/steroids?
- Do you have amazing genetics and drugs/steroids?
- Are you a complete beginner to weight training that maybe also happens to be fairly fat (in which case, building muscle while simultaneously losing fat is a short-term possibility) and/or in your teens (in which case, puberty is your friend and hormones are in your favor)?
- Are you regaining lost muscle? Did you previously lift consistently and build a decent amount of muscle at some point in your life, then stop lifting and lose most/all of that muscle, and are now starting to lift again, thus putting you in a position for the legitimate magic of “muscle memory” to come into play? (In which case, again, simultaneous fat loss and muscle growth is a short-term possibility.)
Did you answer YES to any of those questions? If so, congrats. There’s a good chance you’ll be able to build some muscle without gaining any fat at all. Although, this will mostly only be a temporary, short-term thing. After that, you’ll be human just like the rest of us.
Speaking of the rest of us…
Did you answer NO to all of those questions? If so, then please allow me to welcome you to the reality of muscle growth for the majority of the population…
You will need to accept some small amount of fat gains in order to gain muscle.
Go ahead and read that again.
Not what you wanted to hear, is it? I know the feeling. But it’s the truth. And trust me… it’s what you need to hear.
Why? So you understand what your real goal needs to be. It’s NOT “building muscle without gaining a single drop of fat whatsoever” or “building muscle while remaining exactly as lean as you currently are” or “building muscle while getting even leaner than you currently are.”
That would all be fantastic, but unfortunately, unless you happen to be one of the exceptions listed above, it’s just not going to happen. Sorry.
And attempting to make it happen anyway – as many people often do – will just lead to you wasting a lot of time and effort, getting absolutely nowhere, and never building any muscle at all.
That’s why our goal here is something slightly different…
Maximize Muscle Gains, Minimize Fat Gains
You can’t avoid it completely, but you sure as hell can minimize it significantly. And for us, that’s a goal of equal importance.
Say it with me… maximize muscle gains, minimize fat gains. THAT’S our true goal here.
So what does this mean exactly? I’ll tell you. It means that one of the biggest keys to reaching our muscle building goals will be our ability to improve our calorie partitioning in the right direction.
Because the worse our calorie partitioning is, the more fat and less muscle we’re going to gain.
But the better our calorie partitioning is? That means the better our ratio of muscle to fat gains will be. Which means we’re building more muscle (and doing it better/faster) with the least amount of body fat possible coming with it.
Sounds pretty good, doesn’t it?
And that brings us to our next big question: what factors affect calorie partitioning?
The Stuff You Can’t Control
First, the bad news. It turns out that three of the biggest factors influencing our calorie partitioning and overall ability to build muscle are things we have no control over.
In this case, I’m using “genetics” as a blanket term to cover a variety of factors. For example:
- Testosterone levels.
- Cortisol levels.
- Thyroid levels.
- Insulin sensitivity.
- Muscle fiber types.
- Muscle belly lengths.
- Bone structure.
- Joint size.
- Tendon insertion points.
- Recovery capabilities.
- Volume tolerance.
- Work capacity.
- And more.
And unfortunately, short of using those wonderful drugs/steroids I mentioned earlier, you can’t change or improve your genetics.
And even more unfortunately, genetics are going to play a hugely significant role in how your body handles those extra calories in a surplus.
With all else being equal (same diet, some workout, same effort and consistency), someone with above-average genetics will automatically partition more of their surplus calories toward muscle and less toward body fat, while someone with below-average genetics will automatically go in the opposite direction (more fat, less muscle). Someone with average genetics can expect something in between.
This, of course, is yet another reason why people with amazing genetics have it so much easier when it comes to both building muscle and losing fat compared to someone with awful genetics.
It’s also why the people we jealously refer to as “genetic freaks” are often surprisingly lean and muscular long before they ever picked up a weight or cared about their diet. That’s just part of what makes having awesome genetics so damn awesome.
And why having bad genetics is… uh… hmmm… what’s the complete opposite of awesome?
Age is yet another factor we can’t change (although again, various drugs can be used to make our hormonal profile unnaturally “younger”).
And once again, it’s a factor that’s also going to play a fairly meaningful role.
With all else being equal just like before, the muscle to fat gain ratio will generally be better for someone younger than it will be for someone older. Which is why a 25-year-old version of you will do better than a 35-year-old version of you, and a 35-year-old version of you will do better than a 45-year-old version of you. And a 15-year-old version of you will put every other version to shame.
Just one of the many reasons why getting older sucks.
Another factor that is out of our control is our gender. Although yet again, the magic of drugs can certainly get you pretty far as evidenced by people who are transgender and of course the various “manly” looking female bodybuilders that most women are scared to death of looking like (even though it’s completely impossible without taking the same insane amount of drugs every single one of those female bodybuilders purposely took to look that way).
But taking that out of the equation, men are just going to be capable of building much more muscle AND doing it much better and faster than women because guys are just hormonally (especially in terms of testosterone levels) and structurally better suited for it.
What’s the exact difference? I don’t think anyone knows that for sure (and individual variance will play a role as well). But, the estimate I’ve seen most often is double. Double the total amount that can be built in a person’s lifetime, and double the speed at which it gets built.
For this reason, the average guy is generally going to be better at putting surplus calories toward muscle growth rather than fat storage than the average girl because the guy is just physiologically better at building muscle.
The Stuff You Can Control
Now that I’ve depressed the shit out of most of the people reading this, it’s time for some good news.
And that is, there are quite a few key factors that you CAN control that will GREATLY influence calorie partitioning, your ratio of muscle to fat gains, and your overall ability to make muscle growth happen.
- Your body fat percentage.
- Your rate of weight gain.
- Your calorie intake and the size of your surplus.
- Your protein, fat and carb intake.
- Your approach to providing those calories and nutrients (aka “calorie cycling”).
- Your nutrient timing.
- Your meal frequency, eating style, food choices and diet organization.
- Your weight training program.
- Your cardio program.
- Your supplementation.
- Your lifestyle.
- Your tracking.
- Your ability to take action, be consistent and put forth the required effort.
So, while those uncontrollable factors are always going to be there in the background putting some sort of natural limit on your progress, the key to achieving superior muscle growth is going to be optimizing every single one of these controllable factors to the best of your ability.
Optimizing them how, exactly?
Well, it’s time for some more good news and bad news.
The bad news is that showing you exactly how to strategically adjust every single one of these controllable factors to your advantage so that A) calorie partitioning is improved to the highest degree possible, B) lean muscle gains are maximized as high as possible, and C) body fat gains are minimized as low as possible… is the kind of thing that would require like, an entire book.
But the good news is, I just spent the last year writing that book.
I call it Superior Muscle Growth.
And as I mentioned back at the beginning of this article, everything you just read is one small excerpt from that book.
So what is Superior Muscle Growth? It’s a lot of things. It’s a book. It’s workouts. It’s a diet. But above all else, it’s a system of adjustments designed from top to bottom with one very specific goal in mind: allowing you to maximize lean muscle and minimize body fat to the best of your ability.
If that’s something you’d like to do, I HIGHLY recommend it: Superior Muscle Growth
56 thoughts on “How To Gain Muscle Without Gaining Fat”
Good stuff. Keep it up amd God bless. Your book is fantastic.
Thanks dude, glad you liked it!
Hey Jay, I already have your old book. Should I get your new book too? Any new things?
Literally 315 pages of new things that aren’t in that previous book. 😉
Basically, The Best Workout Routines has now become just the “workouts” component of SMG.
How many pages total is smg?
SMG itself is 315 pages. Not included in that is the second book of workouts that comes along with it.
I’m pregnant at the moment and found this article interesting, makes me wonder how similar the process of gaining muscle is to what is going on in pregnancy. It seems that if the body wants to grow something extra (like muscle tissue or a tiny human) some degree of fat gain tends to go along with it. I find that optimizing the controllable factors as you nicely put it is key to keeping my weight gain in a non insane level (I’m generally in the “average” pregnancy weight gain range, but have the odd week where I go over, usually coinciding with allowing high calorie foods into my house (bad idea!). I’ll be coming back to your stuff when I want to get off the baby weight!
There are a handful of topics I know absolutely nothing meaningful about, and pregnancy is one of them. 😉
Congrats on the baby, though!
I wish I could show your articles to every person at the gym!
Now, i’m not sure if i got the ratio of muscle/fat which would be ideal to gain.
I’m a girl which means that ideally I can gain about 1 pound of muscle per month. But it would be hard to do it without gaining little extra fat right?
Well it’s been 1 month since I started doing progressive overload routine and I can definitely see some muscle growth. However, since I didn’t really count my daily calories, I gained 8 pounds in that 1 month (even though i’m an ectomorph) because i kept eating like an idiot.
But ideally, i should’ve gone from 115 pounds to 116 in 1 month (with adding the pure 1 lb of gained muscle), So what would be an ideal weight for me to reach from 115 lbs in 1 month? ( Because becoming 123 lbs is obviously not correct 😀 )
My book (Superior Muscle Growth) has an entire chapter answering this question. 🙂
I just have one question. Is the book an ebook or paper? I’d MUCH rather have a paper copy.
The book is currently only available as an ebook.
I am currently using the 3 -day split in which I started Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays; but had to since switch it up to Sundays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays due to the kids’ extra curricular activities. On your split day routines it is advisable to stick with the 1/off 1/off 1/ two off schedule, Sundays aren’t usually a big deal, but what happens when something comes up during the week and you are just unable to make that schedule work? Would it hinder your progress that much if you happen to go 1/off 1/two off 1/off or 1/two off 1/off 1/off for that particular week and get back on the regular schedule the following week?
Either of those options should be perfectly fine.
With winter season coming up, especially here in Canada, can or should a person continue working out while fighting a cold? I don’t have a cold at the moment and hope to not have one but it is practically inevitable with the kids in school surrounded by other snot dripping kids bringing everything under the sun home.
Anyhow, I have personally done (I’ve also worked out while hungover, that was a very bad idea) and heard both sides of the equation. There are the “Yes you should continue just not at the full capacity” people. Or the “no you shouldn’t as you let your body rest, get healthy, and then get back into the gym” type people.
The reason I ask is that I just came off a deload period and plan to not take another week off until at least Christmas time.
The depends on the person and the extent of the cold.
Here’s what I do. If it’s just a basic cold, I’ll usually train through it. If it’s anything more significant than that (e.g. fever), I won’t. I will also adjust if needed based on how I feel. So if I started a workout feeling okay and part of the way through I was feeling less okay, I might reduce volume a bit or make whatever adjustments I feel are needed.
Great article, planning on picking up your book soon. I’ve been doing the upper/lower 4 day split routine for almost 3 months now. I feel like my whole body has changed, I’m lifting weight I’ve never lifted before, and feels like my back exploded. I went from barely being able to do a couple pull ups on a good day to doing up to 10 from a dead hang. Just wanted to say thanks.
Also had one question, I’ve been lifting on and off for the last 4 years or so, but have stuck with it for about the past 5.. I continue to make gains consistently, but am not really putting on any fat, while not eating a calorie surplus. Would these gains mostly be attributed to strength/muscle memory rather than muscle mass?
Without seeing progress pics/measurements to tell what the visual difference is, it’s hard to say for sure. It is technically possible to gain strength without gaining muscle (the new book has a small section about this). And if you had previously built and then lost some muscle, it would certainly be possible to regain that muscle without being in a surplus. At least for a little while.
Awesome progress dude! Glad to hear things have gone well thus far. Keep the updates coming!
I’m getting the book really soon, hope the price won’t go up for a while (righttt?)
Just an observation, you talked about meals/overall calories (in acaloriecounter), and said that the meal frequency/timing is basically BS as long as your calorie totals and macro totals are good (which was a great relief for me, because my schedule for the next few months is very messed up).
But here it says it actually does matter?
Wanted to clarify, so is it a minor thing, or is there actually a difference by what you mean here by nutrient timing/meal frequence vs what you meant in the ‘best diet plan’ article?
Nope, I don’t expect the price to ever go up.
As for your question, you would need to read that section of the book to truly understand it. But, generally speaking, I don’t ever go against anything I’ve previous said about this topic. You’ll see.
I want to gain weight/muscle, but i dont know if i should gain that by lifting or doing a caloric surplus, am starting out new, am also thin.
If you want to gain muscle, you need BOTH (intelligent training + small caloric surplus).
Your comment regarding calories:
“a deficit (which is the sole requirement of fat loss)”
Surely that should read “which is the sole requirement of WEIGHT loss.” ?
…since you a calorie deficit alone cannot determine whether it’s muscle or fat that you lose.
You could technically go on a calorie deficit and lose no fat.
It’s virtually impossible to go into a deficit and lose 100% muscle. Not going to happen in any remotely typical situation.
But even if it was possible, it wouldn’t change the fact that fat CANNOT be lost without a caloric deficit.
I understand. Thanks for responding. I just wanted to make sure my understanding of fat loss was completely wrong, since there is so much conflicting information available.
Hi Jay! First off, thank you so much, your dedication to educating the masses is appreciated. Veering off topic and slightly embarrassing question but:
Let’s say I’m eating a burrito that’s 290 calories in total. Let’s say I get full mid-burrito but I manage to finish it. Does it matter that I’m “overeating” even though I’m still eating below my maintenance level? Thanks
Ha, while that may feel like “overeating,” the answer is that you’re not truly overeating (at least to the point where it effects body composition) unless your total calorie intake is above what it should be.
Every seated leg press machine I have ever encountered only has two bars where you put the weights, one on each side naturally. This one at the gym I have going to has four bars to put the weights two close to the ceiling and two close to the floor. Is this to create more emphasis on a certain area of the leg muscles? Meaning, if you put majority of the weight on the top two rungs then you target the quads more? Or if you put the weight on the bottom two rungs then the hamstrings get the focus? But if you were to distribute the weight evenly on all four rungs then both the quads and hamstrings would get the work.
Now I just bumped myself up to the three day intermediate routine which leg press exercises and I did this last night. But I think I cut myself short as I blasted out 3 sets of 8 reps no problem by putting the weight on all four rungs.
About the leg press… it’s actually none of that at all. It’s just an additional bar to put plates on. This way when someone is strong enough to completely fill up one row of bars, they’d start putting plates on the next row. That’s all that is.
Hey there! I’ve been reading your posts here and on acaloriecounter recently and I’m glad to read some stuff that makes sense without all the misleading BS you see on any other health/fitness blog. Keep up the good work!
Anyway, to my question. I used to be fairly fit when I was younger due to partaking in sports and dancing frequently. But I’m not so fit anymore and am wanting to change that. I’m a 17 year old (18 on November 30) female and I don’t have a lot of equipment available for workouts. I’m wanting to gain/strengthen muscle but also lose some body fat. Mainly wanting to focus on muscle gain and fat loss in the abs and thighs. I guess I’m aiming for that stereotypical “hot” female fitness model body. I’m fairly average in terms of weight but I’ve got pathetic muscles. I’ve also got some minor respiratory difficulties.
I was hoping for some specific advice on how I could aim to achieve this goal despite my lack of available equipment.
Sorry for such a long comment! I’ve read quite a lot of your posts and they’ve been helpful but I still wanted to ask for specific advice regarding muscle building without much equipment..
This one would be a good place to start.
Great site! Quick question for you – I carry more fat on my lower body, aka butt and hips (my polite tailor calls it an athletic seat), and would like to essentially increase size on my upper body and not get any bigger on my lower body.
I’ve read a couple of similar questions on bodybuilding forums, and the individual asking the question is basically told to F off by the members because they think the question is “stupid”, or that big upper bodies and small legs look “stupid”. So much for advice.
I’ve been doing crossfit for about 8 months and read that certain exercises like squats and deadlifts help produce testosterone. I don’t want to completely neglect them, but again, don’t want to bulk up below the belt. I’m thinking of sticking with lower rep ranges for squats and dead lifts and doing these exercises less frequently? However, would it also not be important to vary the number of reps?
When you have a moment, and feedback would certainly be appreciated?
Train upper body twice per week (to grow) and lower body once per week (to maintain). You’ll do just fine.
Your site is absouletley amazing thanks for everyhting. Iv’e just got a few questions though. I started going to the gym at 14 and worked out like a dumbass for 2 years then finally found your site at 16 after. Once i found your site i figured i was at the intermediate stage and have been using this for the past 4 months.
Now though i wonder if i should have done that and instead started at the beginner stage. Would you recomend swapping to the beginner program or keep working at the intermediate program?
Additionally i heard from somenone who used to work heavily in the fitness industry that teenagers should preferably keep at the 10 and above rep range to prevent stunted muscle growth. This has resulted in me keepin at the 8-10 rep range and above for all exercises. Was what i told true or bullshit?
p.s. im very sorry if you’ve already explained and/or answered these questions previously but i cant seem to find the answer. thanks for all your help.
What you were told is bullshit. 😉
Thanks for your help. Things are a bit clearer now.
What about changing to the beginner program or do i stay on the intermediate?
If you’ve already been on the intermediate routine for 4 months, you can probably stick with it.
Hey Jay!, Great article as always!.. Quick question/s – is it possible for your body to store more body fat in certain areas much more than other parts because I find that more body fat gets stored in my stomach area, particularly the bottom, leaving other areas relatively as lean as they were when I started the bulk process. I was originally 125lbs, *4 months later* im now 132lbs, ive definitely gotten stronger and lifting heavier, while making sure to eat only a 250 calorie surplus. The body fat machines tell me im about 12-14% body fat, but im really not sure because they’re so inaccurate and I feel like I might be more than that, only because of the fat stored in my stomach area. So unless most/all or at least a huge amount of the fat stored has gone into my stomach area, I’m more likely to be maybe more than that perhaps?
Would it help if I sent you a pic, im sure you’d be a much better judge than me or any absurd machine lol xD
Thanks a million, much appreciated!!!
ALSO… I use your super amazing Muscle Building Programme, but when I run out of time due to the demands of my studies, I miss out the isolation excercies at the end (mainly the biscep + tricep ones for upper body and sometimes the calf exercises + the leg curl exercise on ‘Lower B’ for lower body, but I always work my abs). Would doing this quite often hinge my calorie partitioning?
It won’t make or break your success, but I do think it will help a small amount.
Yup, it is completely normal for your body to store fat more so in certain places than others. For men, it’s almost always the stomach. For women, legs/thighs/ass.
I am an older male, 47 at 180 lbs and about 15% BF. I am doing the Muscle Building upper\lower 4 day split and I am trying to add muscle with a minimum of fat. You have recommended adding 250 calories to your maintenance calories to build muscle.
Should I reduce the 250 due to the reduced ability to partition calories and if so, by how much?
I cover this in extensive detail in Superior Muscle Growth.
Hi i just stumbled across your site and im interested in your book.
I am a 46 year male and workout at home with dumbbells only and an adjustable bench. Does your book have a plan on how to build muscle with these tools? Sorry if its a repeat question. (I like your straightforward no bull approach)
Pretty much every exercise in the book can be replaced by some other exercise that uses whatever equipment you have available.
Hello Jay, I wanted to ask about “muscle memory”
I stopped training for 3 months and lost alot of size. I’m trying to come back now , but im not sure how
Should I eat in a calorie deficit? or surplus? I didn’t understand that from the article
Would eating at maintnance help me regain muscle faster than eating at deficit?
Also, I’ve been gaining strength back in bench press and push related exercises but I dont seem to regain back strength in bicep curls or back exersices.. what could be the cause of this?
Thank you very much
1. Unless you gained a bunch of body fat during this time off, coming back at maintenance would be a good idea.
2. Could be that you started heavier with those exercises when you returned.
Thank you very much for your reply, one more thing I forgot to ask
If I’m eating at maintenance , should I expect to go up in body weight?
Right now I’m getting stronger but I’m staying at the same weight , so I’m not sure that I’m getting bigger.
How can I be sure that I’m regaining muscle and not just strength? (I’ve read that gaining strength doesn’t mean gaining size)
(my goals are getting bigger mostly so it’s bothering me)
Thank you very much !
Hi Jay, great material, I enjoy reading all the articles. I have an I depth questions regarding building muscle. I have read that the maximum amount of muscle you can build is about 3lbs per month. However, in order to get the maximum you have to gain fat. This additional fat apparently aids in maximizes the muscle gain (hormonal balance for muscle growth). Therefore you should be eating enough calories to synthesize 3lbs of muscle plus the calories necessary to gain the fat that will help optimize the muscle building. My question is, how many calories above the calories for the muscle to be built should you go. 1lbs per month of fat? More? Do you agree with this theory?
I would classify myself as an ectomorph body type at about 12% BF with some muscle but still a beginner, working out and cutting from 20% BF for 3 months now. Does that play any part of role in determining the extra calories. Thanks.
This one goes well beyond the scope of a quick comment reply. If you’re interested though, most of what you’re asking about is covered in SMG.
Hello Jay, I’ve been working out for quite a while now (3 months to be exact), I had a decently big belly when I started, which I managed to drastically reduce till now, by exercising and dieting (Around 13 Kilos). Interestingly enough all the “good” techniques and theories I heard, and used are well stated and explained in your Website, thus why I am just about to buy your book. But before I do that I have one simple question: I am an employee, who works a 9 hour shift daily, so my concern is that will I be able to stick to your programs/diets, without having to go through an extensive hassle or time consuming process to prepare meals, and having to throw away large chunks of money on nutriments/supplements? I have access to a gym, so that is not an issue, but I want to know to what extent can the diets your book provide be simplified? I am mostly interested in the Lose fat/Gain muscle routines since that is where I am at the moment, but I don’t want to form eating habits that are too time and money consuming? Thank you!
The entire diet aspect of my program is designed specifically to suit you personally needs, preferences and schedule. It is quite flexible. And there is not a single required supplement whatsoever. You don’t have to buy anything.
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