Sunday, November 28, 2010

Big Enough?

I have been on a "Get Big" plan since October 10, that's six weeks now. I am wondering if I should stop or keep going?
I have to gain weight to gain lean mass, and I have been doing a good job keeping the fat at bay, but when you gain, it's not 100% muscle, there is always some fat in the mix.

Don't get me wrong, no one would say I am fat in any way, shape or form, but I am not the mean, lean machine I used to be and it's hard to get used to it.

My stomach certainly isn't tight and flat any longer, in fact it looks similar to many mid sections I see on bikini competitors- and that's not a look I particularly care for, soft and smooth.

I was grocery shopping on Wednesday and the clerk said "your arms are really getting big!"....hmm, that's the plan but when do I stop?

My back is looking fairly wide too, and with a good taper.

I guess I am a bit afraid that I will just get so big, that it will be hard to drop down again when I want to, although I have actually plateaued at 127 pounds, which is only 7 pounds over competition weight, so I really could gain a bit more and be OK.

I am eating more, incorporating fruit, beef, some low fat cheese and bread on occasion, even some pasta now and again.

You see,  to gain weight, you must have a caloric surplus (eat more calories than you expend in a day), and to lose weight, you must have a caloric deficit (eat less calories than you expend in a day).

It's not as simple as either eating more or eating less though, that is where the novice fails. When gaining, most people don't want to gain fat, they want to gain lean mass. This means that you increase calories a slight amount, it can be as little as 300 calories more a day, or in the case of a very large male, it could be a couple thousand. Those calories cannot be any calories, if you ingest a bunch of saturated fats and alcohol and empty calories (junk), it will be fat you gain and not lean muscle mass.

So I have been eating more of the same foods I regularly eat, but I have also been enjoying life and eating some regular foods, foods I will probably have to start cutting back soon.

To make sure I am gaining, I have increased  my carbohydrate immediately after lifting, and the two meals following. I have incorporated more healthy fats, and then relaxed on the proteins (meaning I am eating more beef and not so much fish).

I am lifting really heavy, and sticking to the basics like squats, lunges, pull ups, chin ups, t-bar rows and some kettlebells. I am still running those 300 stairs everyday at work too, rain or shine.

I guess a few more weeks won't hurt, then I can pull back a bit and see how things are looking.

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