A beginner’s guide to adding bulk and size

A in-depth look into adding size and mass for the beginner looking to build an impressive muscular frame!
22.01.2016

This week sees the new year in full swing and by now you should have some kind of idea about what your goals are and how you want to achieve them, even if you aren’t 100% sure of how yet. As a result we take a look at what is involved in one particular training goal some people set out, getting bigger and adding considerable size and mass to their frame.

There are many people who have the goal of adding some mass to their frame and really expanding the good work they may have started. The only issue is that some people go the wrong way about creating size and it can lead to a downfall in strength and overall results. When thinking of beginning to add size and mass we have to think about what that entails before we actually start.

Eat smart not hard

When the words size and mass are used in weight training there can sometimes be a misunderstanding about what is good and what is bad. Some when training, can indulge in the idea that you have to eat everything in sight in order to add to a growing frame. Whilst it is true that you need to focus on a steady feeding and calorie intake for your body it is not true that ‘anything will do’. Aim for a high protein, mid to low carb intake when eating your various meals and you will only add all the good nutrients and keep off the unwanted excess fat and the wasted carbs.

If you just fill your daily eating routine with too many fats, carbs and sugars then you will build a frame that is mostly made up of extra fats and carbs and you will look like you have! The saying of ‘you are what you eat’ is too true a saying for anyone to ignore. If you feed your body a constant supply of high quality and high protein mostly natural foods then you will see the body respond with a refined high quality well fed frame to keep adding to.

Train with volume and be intense

When it comes the training portion of your mass adding goal think about your intensity during training and try to really use an intensity during your lifting that you maybe didn’t know you had. This type of training helps to prime your body and your nervous system in particular for the volume of lifting you will be doing later. Think of a percentage of your maximum load and try to aim for just below when thinking of raising your intensity during training. This should set your body up nicely for the sheer volume of training you’ll be undertaking later.

It can be difficult to train with both intensity and volume but it can be achieved in a well thought out cycle of training. The volume portion of your regime really means that the amount of work you will be doing will increase. So maybe the rep range will increase per set or the amount of sets you achieve will grow as you start to really try to work your body. Remember to always think about your body and it’s limits and be sure to listen to your arms if they are struggling with that heavier dumbbell, no matter how much you scream in the mirror!

Don’t be afraid to rest up

When people adhere to the above rules regarding eating and training it can be easy to get a tad carried away and really overtrain, which can be a dangerous thing. Overtraining can lead to exhaustion and possibly injury so it is always good to try and listen to your body’s needs and if you are feeling the week’s efforts and you are eager to get one last workout in, maybe just stay at home and re-fuel for the next available day to train. This resting period can sometimes just be a single day or maybe three or four, the key is to realise when you need it and to make sure you are eating well in-between and feeding that growing frame of yours.

De-loading can be a great way for the iron addict to give their body a little rest during the cycle of training. De-loading is simply a way to still train but using a lower weight range or a decreased time spent training. This way if you still feel like you need your ‘lift fix’ then you can stay active but with at least half the workload going in, you’ll be giving your body some much needed rest time.

Sleep is your friend...don’t ignore him

Alongside training and eating it is always key for beginners to give their bodies the correct amount of time to recover from such a blasting at the iron bars. You should always aim to have at least 6-8 hours of solid uninterrupted sleep without any outside interference. This is such a key part of the mass and size building process but it is often overlooked by many starting out so make sure you are doing yourself the favour of being one step ahead of the crowd and hit the pillow and not the cocktail bars!

Following the basic principles of adding mass can be difficult at times but if you can follow the guidelines and feed your body well and efficiently then you will really begin to see the benefits. In a few short weeks or months you will be noticing your hard work paying off and have the frame stacked with size and mass you have wished for.

For tips on how I train, eat and supplements follow me on

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