Advice Sections

Week 1

Welcome to the Gain Train!

But first, here’s important advice for a successful bulk:

A standard caloric surplus is 500 calories to gain about 1 pound per week. This means you would add 500 calories to your maintenance calories. Keep in mind, the activity level you select may add a lot of calories to your BMR which is why I always like to underestimate rather than overestimate my activity level. Here is a quick outline of the activity levels to make sure your do not overestimate yours:

  • Sedentary – (5000 steps per day) you sit most of the day. You minimize the amount of walking you take to get to your destinations. You may go on a short walk (<15min) from time to time.
  • Lightly Active – (5000-7500 steps per day) – You do small workouts most days. You may go on walk more often than not. 
  • Moderately Active – (7500-10,000 steps per day) – You workout hard most days but you do not intentionally do any extra cardio. You may have a physically demanding job.
  • Heavily Active – (10,000-12,500 steps per day) – You actively do some cardio or have a physically demanding job most days in addition to going hard at the gym to workout most days.
  • Athlete – (+12,500 steps per day) You have a very physically demanding job or you actively do a LOT of extra cardio most days. You also go to the gym and workout hard most days. Most of your day is spent moving.

Once you have your maintenance calories, add a caloric surplus with this in mind:

When you choose to bulk more aggressively, anywhere between a 500-1000 calories surplus on top of your maintenance, you run a risk of gaining much more fat than muscle over time, but you will build the maximum amount of muscle in a given period of time. I would recommend only gaining for 8-12 weeks, running a maintenance block (maintenance calories and lower training volumes for 4 weeks) to assess your physique composition and let your body return to normal physiological levels before deciding what to do next (bulk or cut). 

When you choose to do a more slow lean bulk, anywhere between a 250-500 calorie surplus on top of your maintenance, you run a risk of not being in a caloric surplus and not changing your weight at all, but you will minimize the amount of fat you gain. This approach is better for more advanced lifters, and those who are concerned about gaining excess fat. I would recommend 8-16 weeks, before running a maintenance block.

Once you have the amount of calories you need to eat, download the appropriate calorie amount from the site.

If you need more guidance to talk through your particular situation, reach out to schedule a time for a 1-on-1 coaching session.

Week 2

Have an ego about how you lift, not what you lift.

  • Make sure you are lifting better, not just more.
  • It is okay to gain some fat!
  • It is not okay to eat like a jackass and gain weight too fast.
    • The holy grail is gaining as much muscle as possible while minimizing fat. They are built together.
    • The better your training and diet = more muscle per fat gain
    • The farther from your genetic potential = the faster you can gain
      • HOWEVER, A slow conservative rate or a more aggressive approach is up to you! => You live and you learn!

Week 3

This is a great week to make any small adjustments to your approach.

You should see some progress in your weight by now:

  • Some people hold onto water which may make the weight scale misleading
  • Your lifts should feel really good.
  • If you are beginning to feel lethargic after meals, consider adding more cardio.
  • REMEMBER, your number one goal is to gain muscle:
    • Do better reps per set. Do more sets. Do more weight. Push yourself hard. There is no replacement to a bulletproof mindset with laser-like focus.
    • Gain weight and trust that you are improving your physique as you push heavier weights for more sets.
    • HOWEVER, you should never start to look sloppy. For hormonal reasons, you will begin to gain proportionally more fat than muscle as you start to climb to higher and higher body fat percentages.

Week 4+

Time to decide on some questions:

Option 1: Continue Your Bulk

Option 2: Maintain

Option 3: Mini Cut

If you need more guidance to talk through your particular situation, reach out to schedule a time for a 1-on-1 coaching session.