facebook_pixel

Articles Tagged: muscle gain

Balance is Crucial: Bulking and Cutting

Do you ever feel like you’re on a “perma-bulk” or always seem to be in a cutting phase?

Most of us are genetically predisposed to either carrying more body fat than we’d prefer, or less muscle mass than we’d like. Only the lucky few are naturally inclined towards those lean bodies packed with muscle.

While there’s a greater proportion  of the lucky individuals in the world of competition compared to the general population, plenty of competitors still land on either side of the spectrum.

As such, we tend to gravitate towards the eating/training style that matches our natural struggle–those of us who struggle to lose weight are always eating at a calorie deficit and doing a lot of cardio, while the “hardgainers” among us pack away calories day after day and spend a lot of time pumping iron. Continue Reading Balance is Crucial: Bulking and Cutting »

Troubleshooting Weight Gain

A couple of years back I wrote an article series on troubleshooting weight loss that was quite popular with my clients who were struggling with identifying the reason they’re weight loss efforts had stalled.

I have been meaning to write a companion article for some time now on the other side of the coin–weight gain, for my hardgainer athletes who find themselves in plateaus on the other end of the spectrum: where they feel like they should be gaining weight but are either maintaining weight, or even losing weight.

I unfortunately got distracted by other obligations but now I am getting this article out there once and for all.

When I talked about the issues with weight loss plateaus, they mainly centered around unwittingly eliminating the calorie deficit that weight loss requires through one or more factors.

These same factors are typically responsible for stalls in weight gain for those looking to put on size, so it behooves us to review them, but from the perspective of someone desiring to add mass rather than reduce it. Continue Reading Troubleshooting Weight Gain »

Consistency: The Most Important Factor in Long-Term Success

It’s day 1 of your new fitness journey.

You have your workout clothes all color-coordinated… your new playlist loaded into your phone… all your first week’s meals prepped and tupperwared.

You’re unstoppable, and visions of your goal body and what it will feel like to achieve it are filling your head 24-7.

You kill your first workout, and eat perfectly your first day. Second day, same thing.

After a couple of days, you can’t help but weigh yourself… and to your delighted surprise, you’ve dropped 4 pounds already! Suhweet!

This just motivates you more and you keep pushing onward… heck, at this pace you’re going to get to your goal a lot faster than you thought! Continue Reading Consistency: The Most Important Factor in Long-Term Success »

Developing a Success-Based Mindset

Your ability to successfully reach your fitness goals begins with an area that is commonly ignored completely–your state of mind.

In this article I’m going to outline the importance of aligning your beliefs and behaviors with your goals, as well as why it’s crucial to drop any excuses lingering in your mind as to why you can not stick to your commitments and achieve success.

Having a goal is great. Without one, you’re aimlessly wandering without direction, and can never reach a destination because there is no defined destination to reach.

Just having a goal is not enough though, and unfortunately this is where many people stop the process, and then wonder why they’re not able to achieve their goals. Continue Reading Developing a Success-Based Mindset »

Two Critical Factors to Natural Muscle Gain That You’re Currently Ignoring

“I work out hard all the time and I just don’t grow!” Sound familiar? How about, “No matter how much I eat, I can’t gain weight!” or, “My bench has been stuck at __ lbs forever and I just can’t get stronger!”—any of those sound like something you’ve heard recently, or perhaps even said yourself?

Every day, thousands of hopeful hardgainers travel to their local gyms, diligently work through the latest muscle magazine or bodybuilding.com workout program, and summarily fail to achieve any of the incredible results promised by these programs despite their best and continued effort.

While some maintain a headstrong attitude in the face of continued failure for years, most eventually burn out and give up. And who can blame them? Nothing is less motivating than working excruciatingly hard at something, only to see literally nothing for your hard work.

The reason I am so familiar with this feeling is because I went through the same thing myself as a young adult. Throughout high school and early college, I was a scrawny, muscleless weakling and was treated as such by everyone around me.

Continue Reading Two Critical Factors to Natural Muscle Gain That You’re Currently Ignoring »

3 Mass-Gain Recipes for the Alpha Athlete, Pt. 4

Intro by Coach B: Continuing our bulking recipe series from last week (see part 1 here, part 2 here and part 3 here), this week’s installment includes 3 all-new recipes for your mass-gaining pleasure.

Article Series: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4 and Part 5

Coach Tracy here again! I must say, despite being hard-gainers, you are some pretty lucky guys. This is now a total of 12 recipes for you, and still one more part on the way! 12 recipes and a whole lot more gains. I don’t think there’s a single hard-gainer blog out there with recipes that taste as good as these. Lots of them are either generic or pretty gross. I wouldn’t want to eat a pound of potatoes and beef stew meat OR cottage cheese mixed with fruity yogurt. Yuck.

I also say you’re lucky because I’m not a hard gainer and I can’t make this fantastic food fit my measly macros. Maybe if Coach B allows it, I’ll bulk hard during the winter and give these a try. 😉

Remember gents, eating a pound of chicken and broccoli every two hours is not going to get you the HUGE results you’re looking for. I imagine after your fourth hour, you will be sick of food anyway if you tried to eat that way. These recipes are packed with flavor AND low volume which will make you wish you doubled the recipe.

Here’s a tip for you guys, especially if you’re the type that works all day and uses the “I don’t have time to cook” excuse: pick ONE day out of the week, do your shopping, and just make a bunch of food for the week. A lot of the recipes can be made in bulk and will taste even better the next day or two. The only exception would be the shake recipes, previous pizza fries, and these “tatchos” here.

Alright guys, no more time for games. Only GAINZ. Continue Reading 3 Mass-Gain Recipes for the Alpha Athlete, Pt. 4 »

3 Mass-Gain Recipes for the Alpha Athlete, Pt. 3

Intro by Coach B: Continuing our bulking recipe series from last week (see part 1 here and part 2 here), this week’s installment includes 3 all-new recipes for your mass-gaining pleasure.

Article Series: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4 and Part 5

What’s up all… Coach Tracy here! How has being a passenger on the “gain train” been treating you so far? Here we are, already on part 3 of our bulking recipes series, and luckily for you, I’ve created three new amazing recipes that are easy to make—and even more importantly—easy to eat!

Remember, these recipes are designed to fuel you for growth without making you explode out of your pants if you know what I mean. Why sit down and eat almost 9 cups of green beans when you can have just 2 cups of hash browns for the same amount of carbs and calories? If you’re a hardgainer, you have a fast metabolism, which is a blessing, so let’s use that to our advantage.

Sounds like a pretty good deal to me! OK, enough talk! Pick your fork back up and let the gainz begin. Continue Reading 3 Mass-Gain Recipes for the Alpha Athlete, Pt. 3 »

3 Mass-Gain Recipes for the Alpha Athlete, Pt. 2

Intro by Coach B: Continuing our bulking recipe series from last week (see part 1 here), this week’s installment includes 3 all-new recipes for your mass-gaining pleasure.

Remember, if you want to get big, all the weight lifting in the world won’t amount to anything if you’re not in a calorie surplus. Many guys spend so much effort trying to find that magical combination of exercises, sets, reps and/or weekly routine splits, while completely ignoring their calorie intake and falling short of a surplus each day (or at least, many times per week).

They then scratch their head wondering why they can’t grow. But if you think about it logically, it makes sense. Without excess calories, your body has nothing to make new tissue with. It can’t spontaneously appear from the ether… muscle gain (like fat loss) is a byproduct of energy balance and without the energy balance in your favor, you’re on the road to no gainz, baby.

So grab your fork, do a few jaw stretches and get ready to put away some serious calories.

Article Series: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4 and Part 5
Continue Reading 3 Mass-Gain Recipes for the Alpha Athlete, Pt. 2 »

3 Mass-Gain Recipes for the Alpha Athlete, Pt. 1

Intro by Coach B: Small guys gotta eat big to get big. One of the biggest hurdles hard-gainer guys face when it comes to gaining and retaining mass is simply eating enough without feeling like they’re going to explode like the Michelin tire man sitting on a pin.

Luckily for you guys, recipe-maker-extraordinaire and resident coach Tracy has drummed up a series of high calorie recipes that taste awesome, are easy to hork down and have macros designed for maximum performance and accumulation of lean mass—in other words, high carbohydrate, moderately-high protein and moderately-high fat.

Also, these recipes pack a nutritional wallop so they’re exponentially better than eating a bunch of crap like Pizza Hut, McDonald’s or another form of fast food that tends to make up the majority of the hard-gainer’s diet.

Without further ado, here’s the first three recipes. We will update the blog with many more recipes in future weeks so you guys have a large variety to choose from and can still be confident that you will get the calories in each day that you need.

Article Series: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4 and Part 5

Continue Reading 3 Mass-Gain Recipes for the Alpha Athlete, Pt. 1 »

Dangerous Curves Ahead: How to Build a Better Butt

It seems like lately, it is all about the bum–it has taken over the internet, literally. This booty-licious trend is one that I actually like. I mean, what female wants a flat, flabby behind? None that I know of! Sure, some abs and biceps will look nice and probably fill out your clothes well–but ladies, you need some curves. The backside is where it’s at… am I right?

Having a great behind isn’t only something to be achieved by professional fitness competitors or models anymore. Every woman on the planet wants one. It is an essential part of our female physique, so it’s important for us not to ignore it. I am pretty sure that most of the time when you check your Instagram feed, you see women who embrace their curves, especially if they’ve worked hard for them.

I am constantly flooded with questions from females asking, “Lucy, how can I get a nice butt?” Well, there is definitely more to it than just genetics, and believe me that when I say that for my own rear, I have put a ton of work into it! This didn’t just happen overnight… and I wasn’t simply blessed with good genetics–I had to bust my ass for my results (no pun intended). Continue Reading Dangerous Curves Ahead: How to Build a Better Butt »