Want to gain 10 pounds of muscle? Who doesn’t? But wanting something and being able to do it are two different things. The good news is we have the info to help you get it done.
The goal for most athletes is to put on more muscle mass. Sadly, it is easier said than done. However, it is possible. You just need to dedicate your body and time to proper nutrient consumption and weight training. Of course, bulk muscle mass is not to be confused with lean muscle mass. Bodyweight training is effective at getting you lean muscle gains. But to build muscle mass in a short timeframe, you must use weights.
Weights provide plenty of resistance for your muscles to contract against. This causes your muscles to become damaged and in need of repair. And, that’s when the muscle building begins. The more resistance used means the more power and mass you are capable of placing on your body.
Bulking Mass Gains
Bulking means you are eating a lot of calories and doing heavy weight training for usually around one to three months. Some people go longer simply because they want to. This muscle gained is mixed with a little fat and water that gets retained. The 10 pounds of muscle you will be gaining from this short guide is this type of muscle mass.
But why not build lean muscle mass instead?
Science shows that the average person is unable to quickly gain more than a maximum of 2.5 pounds of lean muscle because muscle cells simply can’t expand that quickly. The average person is only able to gain around 18 pounds of lean muscle in a year, and this applies to a lot of athletes as well. Essentially this means it would be impossible to stack on 10 pounds of lean muscle on your frame in only a month. Our bodies just don’t work that way.
As mentioned, for bulking to work, you need to do two things. First, you must be eating more calories than your body requires for daily energy use. Second, you should be lifting heavy loads during compound lifts and even some of your isolation moves. Let’s take a better look at these two factors so you have a better idea of what is going to be needed. Hold on tight because things are going to sound a bit extreme, but this is the only way to put on bulk muscle mass.
Bulking Diet & Your Nutrient Intake
Okay, so we already covered you need to consume plenty of calories. Here is an example to get a better idea for things. A man requires 2,800 calories for energy on a day that he trains. He would need to add an extra 300 to 500 calories on top of this to allow extra gains to occur. The reason why is pretty simple. If you are only consuming enough calories for energy use, then your body has nothing left to allow further weight and muscle gains. This is obviously working against your efforts of gaining muscle mass.
This is obviously working against your efforts of gaining muscle mass.
If you consume fewer calories, your body burns fat and may even dip into your muscle reserves. This again is not something you wish to have happen when you are trying to gain more mass.
Keeping it simple, you simply eat more calories than your body needs. These calories should come from protein and dietary fats, but carbs are your friend as well. Just do not get carried away with carb consumption to where you are gaining more fat than muscle or putting your body on the edge of diabetes from constant high blood sugar levels.
You have to eat and eat a lot. You almost have to get to the point of getting sick of eating. But this is something that you have to do to gain 10 pounds of muscle in one month. There is no way around this factor, which is why you must be dedicated to your easy diet plans.
Bulk Up Diet For Muscle Repair And Recovery
Nutrients for muscle repair and recovery are a crucial part of your diet. Muscle repair is essential for growth to occur, and this is accomplished by having enough protein to support protein synthesis.
You will need to research how much protein do you need for building muscle.
Protein synthesis is when your body sends this nutrient to your muscle fibers to assist with repair. It only happens after you have damaged these cells through intense training. When protein enters your cells, they either repair or remove the damaged proteins already in there, and the new or refurbished ones are stronger and denser each time this occurs.
This process must continuously happen for your muscles to grow.
Carbs play a role for post workout recovery because they enter your bloodstream to replenish the carbs lost from your glycogen storages. No carb replenishment means your body will feel fatigued and lack the energy it needs to do simple tasks.
Protein synthesis is going to last around 24 to 48 hours. That’s why you should not be training the same body part more than once every 24 to 48 hours. For example, if you targeted your chest, then the next best area to focus on is leg muscles or your back muscles. Shoulders are a no-go because they are used quite a bit during chest pressing exercises, and your triceps are used for both shoulders and chest workouts.For example, you would have to do a chest and tri workout together.
Supplements For Post Workout
Simple, they make it much easier to consume protein and carbs within an hour after you train. Studies show that this speeds up the rate of protein synthesis and the carbs expedite the replenishment of energy. Post workout therapy is vital for proper gains to occur and is not just a “bro science” concept.
Why these two?
Whey protein digests quicker to enter your bloodstream and naturally contains BCAAs since it is dairy based. Creatine monohydrate is used for recovery, assists with muscle fatigue prevention and helps boost growth. It’s a good idea to digest up to five grams post workout.
Both supplements are fine to consume together. The only reason they wouldn’t be is if any of the extra-added ingredients did not mix well together. Whey protein should only have protein, BCAAs, minimal amount of carbs and only a little fat.
Consume Nutrients Prior To Rest For Recovery And Growth
Rest, in this sense, is the time you are actually sleeping. Your body is at full recovery mode while you are out cold for the night. You need six to eight hours of sleep if you wish to give your body the time it needs to heal torn muscle fibers and reduce some of the soreness.
So you might ask yourself does sleep affect muscle growth, the answer is simple YES.
During this time, studies show your body is highly anabolic. Of course, that’s a fancy way of saying there’s cellular growth happening. Take advantage of this timeframe and eat proper nutrients to supply your sleeping body.
The best nutrients for this period of growth and recovery are casein protein and a little bit of carbs from fruit. Casein protein is slow digesting. That’s a great option for this period of rest because it means you are slowly feeding your body protein while you rest. Without this, you are basically fasting the entire night. The carbs from fruit give your body energy while you sleep, but you shouldn’t over consume them. An easy snack before sleeping would be cottage cheese with peaches or strawberries.
Heavy Resistance Is Chosen For Training
Heavy resistance is different for everybody because we all lift different weight amounts. So we can’t give you a specific amount to use. But, we can send you in the right direction. Heavy resistance means you should struggle at doing four to six reps in each set. You may even need a spotter by the last two sets to achieve the task.
Heavy resistance is usually reached from progressive overload. You start with a warm-up set, and then add weight to where it is just above your moderate capabilities. After this set, you progressively add more weight.
The choice of lowering the amount of reps each set is yours. You can stick with five sets that have five reps, or you can go 5, 4, 3, 2 and 1 in the reps each set. Obviously, a one-rep set means you are doing 95% of your one rep max (1RM) for that exercise.
For example, your 1RM for deadlifts is 300 pounds, so your single digit rep would be 285 pounds. You should not be able to do five reps using 95% of your max. If so, you need to max out again and find your true amount or calculate your 1RM based off of the five reps you performed.
No Muscle Group Left Behind
The common joke we see on the Internet is “bros don’t let bros skip leg days.”
As funny as this is, the truth is you should be making sure you and your friends are targeting all muscle groups. Your body benefits more from doing leg workouts for mass along with upper body exercises during the week. Skipping leg day to focus on your arms basically makes your body look strange unless you plan on hiding chicken leg syndrome by wearing pants every day.
Compound exercises also offer an interesting advantage you should consider. Studies show that compound lifts activate the release of extra free testosterone and growth hormones. This carries over to muscle and strength increases. The next time you want to skip squats, think about this.
Your body will appreciate it.
All muscle regions need to be recruited on separate days while also giving your body enough time for rest.
This would break up your muscle regions. Day 1 is for chest and triceps. Day 2 is for legs and glutes. Your shoulders and triceps are worked on day 3. On day 4, you do back and biceps exercises. Do moderate cardio and abs work on the fifth day. Then, give yourself two days of rest. As you can see, you are able to get rest for each muscle group without taking an actual full rest day following each workout.
This prevents overtraining, although this is something that is pretty hard to accomplish. You literally have to train very hard and do it often for quite a while to cause this to happen. You do not want to reach this point because it could put you out of training for three months or more due to chronic fatigue and your body not being able to distribute nutrients properly. While overtraining is hard to reach, getting injured from training without proper rest is a different story.
All sets with reps counts of five or lower will be with heavy resistance. Other exercises that are 8 to 10 reps will be with moderate resistance. You should take a two-minute break after each set.
Gain 10 Pounds of Muscle Workout Plan
Day 1 Is For Chest And Triceps
Exercise Sets Reps
Barbell Bench Press x5 x5
Dumbbell Incline Press x5 x5
Close Grip Barbell bench Press x5 x5
Dumbbell Flye x5 x8
Dumbbell Overhead Triceps Extension x5 x8
Day 2 Is For Legs And Glutes
Exercise Sets Reps
Barbell Back Squat x5 x5
Bulgarian Spilt Squat w/ Goblet Hold x5 x5
Barbell Hip Thrust x5 x5
Calf Raise x5 x20
Leg Curl x5 x8
Day 3 Is For Shoulders And Triceps
Exercise Sets Reps
Standing Barbell Overhead Press x5 x5
Seated Arnold Shoulder Press x5 x5
Wide Grip Upright Row x5 x5
Cable Triceps Rope Pulldown x5 x8
Decline Dumbbell Triceps Extension x5 x8
Day 4 Is For Back And Biceps
Exercise Sets Reps
Conventional Deadlift x5 x5
Barbell Yates Row x5 x5
Lateral Pulldown x5 x5
Dumbbell Biceps Curl x5 x8
Preacher Curl x5 x8
Day 5 Is For Cardio And Abs
Exercise Sets Reps
Elliptical x1 20 Minutes
Hanging Leg Raise x5 x25
Elbow to Knee Crunch x3 x25
Standing Dumbbell Oblique Crunch x3 x20 (alternate side)
Decline Sit-Up w/ weight x3 x20
Plank x3 Hold for 30 seconds
Day 6 is for rest. No training!
Day 7 is for rest. No training!
This workout program will definitely put some muscle mass on your body when supplemented with a proper diet. Remember to sleep enough, eat plenty and train hard. You will not gain any bulk mass without making sure that you address these key factors.
By Brian Pankau, CPT