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These tips will have you making some major gains during growing season!
Summer is almost over. That means the tank tops will go away, the sweatshirts will come out, and it’s growing season! We’re going to talk about the 4 main tenets of growing some big slabs of muscle:
The biggest factors to consider here are total calories and consuming enough protein. Beyond that, it’s up to you how you fill out your carbs and fats. The safe approach is to add 300 calories to whatever you’re eating now that’s not changing your weight and stick to 1g/lb bodyweight protein. If you’re eating 3500 cals right now and staying the same weight, up it to 3800. If you weigh 240lbs, consume 240g protein per day.
After you’ve stopped gaining weight on that amount of cals, increase it another 300. Do this repeatedly until the end of growing season. This is based on the concepts of basal metabolic rate, total daily energy expenditure, and muscle protein synthesis. Essentially, you need to eat enough to overcome the amount of energy you expend. That is a caloric surplus. By being in a caloric surplus with sufficient protein intake, muscle protein synthesis can occur at a maximal rate to allow for new muscle growth with minimal fat gain.
Lifting heavy weight for as many reps as you can with good form to act on the right muscles is the name of the game here. Stick to compound movements for chest, back, shoulders, and legs plus isolation movements for arms and calves. That includes bench press, shoulder press, bent row, lat pulldowns, squat, deadlift, and lunges basically plus calf raises, dips/extensions, and curls. Aim for a total set count of 15 sets per body part per session and try and beat your previous bests on either weight lifted or reps with the same weight. A sample program might look like:
Day 1 and 4:
Bench Press: 20, 15, 12, 10, 8, 6
Shoulder Press: 20, 15, 12, 10, 8, 6
Dips: 20, 20, 20
Tricep Extension: 20, 20, 20
Day 2 and 5:
Bent Row: 20, 15, 12, 10, 8, 6
Lat Pulldown: 20, 15, 12, 10, 8, 6
Face Pull: 20, 20, 20
Curls: 20, 20, 20
Day 3 and 6:
Squat: 20, 15, 12, 10, 8, 6
Deadlift: 10, 8, 4, 2
Leg Extension: 20, 20, 20
Leg Curl: 20, 20, 20
Calf Raise: 20, 20, 20
You are going to want a cycle that favors muscle growth, protects your joints, and allows maximal hunger (if you can’t eat enough it’s all for naught). Look to hire a coach or mentor that you trust to design this type of cycle while ensuring that your health is taken care of with regular blood work checks. My forum ProBBForum.com also allows a space for discussing this type of material.
Having a poorly designed cycle or one that scientifically does not make sense can and will hurt you more than it helps. There are tons of horror stories of guys injecting testosterone propionate once per week or using anadrol even though they can’t hold down one meal on it. Don’t let this be you. Approach this aspect intelligently and look to the experts for guidance.
Outside the Gym and Kitchen
You should be sleeping 8-10 hours per night. This is critical to allow your body to fully recover and grow that muscle you’re working so hard to earn. You should be drinking 1-2 gallons of water per day to allow your body to effectively absorb and utilize the nutrition you’re eating daily. Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, you should be minimizing stress, which will go a long way in allowing your body the environment it needs to pack on the muscle.
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Nick Trigili is a respected IFBB Pro bodybuilder and trainer. Check him out on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook for more informative content. Also make sure to visit his official personal training website – World Class Trainers.
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