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Fast Mass - Gain Your First 15 Pounds of Drug-Free Muscle

Legal Disclaimer

Warning: All the information presented in [_Fast Mass _]is for educational and resource purposes only. It is not a substitute for or in addition to any advice given to you by your physician or health care provider.

Consult your physician before making any changes to your lifestyle, diet, or exercise habits. You are solely responsible for the way information in [_Fast Mass _]is perceived and utilized and so, you do so at your own risk.

In no way will Alain Gonzalez, Human Evolution LLC, or any persons associated with Fast Mass be held responsible for any injuries or problems that may occur due to the use of this book or the advice contained within.

Personal Disclaimer

We are not doctors, nor do we possess a degree in nutrition. The advice we give is based on years of practical application, dealing with the needs of our own health and physiques as well as the needs of others. Any recommendations we may make to you regarding diet, including supplements and herbal or nutritional treatments must be discussed between you and your doctor/s.

Muscle-Building Disclaimer

Required Legal Disclaimer: Due to recent laws from the FTC, it is required that all companies identify what a “typical” result is. The truth is that most people never do anything when it comes to trying building muscle. They might buy a million products, including this one, but never do anything with the information they have in hand. The testimonials that you saw were of people who took action, followed a healthy lifestyle, exercised, and ate a balanced nutritional diet. If you want results like them, you should do this too.

 

Copyright Notice

Published by:

Human Evolution LLC

 

Copyright © 2017 All material in this guide is, unless otherwise stated, the property of Alain Gonzalez and Human Evolution LLC. Copyright and other intellectual property laws protect these materials.

Reproduction or retransmission of the materials, in whole or in part, in any manner, without the prior written consent of the copyright holder, is a violation of copyright law.

 

 

Table of Contents

 

[]Chapter 1 3 Principles of Muscle Hypertrophy

Chapter 2 The Fast Mass Diet

The Golden Ratio

[+ Chapter 3 The 5% Advantage +]

Meal Frequency

Nutrient Timing

The Post Workout Meal

The Pre-Workout Meal

Chapter 4 Flexible Dieting

How to Track Macros

Chapter 5 Muscle Building Foods

Why We Need Protein

Why We Need Carbohydrates

Why We Need Fats

Chapter 6 The 4 Most Important Factors of Muscle Growth

Volume

Intensity

Frequency

Progressive Overload

Chapter 7 Fast Mass Workout: The Rules

Chapter 8 Fast Mass Workout

FREE GIFT!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

BOOKS BY ALAIN GONZALEZ

References

 

Chapter 1[
**]3 Principles of Muscle Hypertrophy

Want to know the secret to unlimited muscle growth?

The secret is: there is no secret.

Eat enough, get stronger, and do it consistently. Perhaps a bit of an oversimplification, don’t you think?

Truth is, though, the mechanisms by which we build muscle are quite simple.

There are 3 main factors that dictate muscle growth—and if you act in accordance to the 3 principles I have outlined here, you’re guaranteed to grow, despite “good” or “bad” genetics.

There are a thousand ways to skin a cat—likewise there are just as many ways to train and diet to build muscle.

So whether you’re a vegan or eat paleo, a powerlifter or a bodybuilder—if the goal is to gain size—the same laws apply.

 

  1. Eat Enough to Facilitate Growth

Think of building muscle mass as remodeling your kitchen. When you go into the gym, you’re essentially ripping out the cabinets, destroying the counters, and removing the old appliances. Without providing the necessary nutrients, however, you’re leaving the kitchen unfinished.

This remodel can be quick and painless or drawn out and stressful. If you want the former, you’ve got to ensure you have the workers, tools, and supplies available for the job. The latter, however, occurs when you’re unprepared and shorthanded. Making sure you’re consuming the right amounts of the right foods, on a daily basis, is the only way to finish your proverbial kitchen renovation in time.

Fortunately, eating for muscle growth is quite simple.

First, we must be in a positive energy balance to ensure we’re providing our body the necessary nutrients for growth. This simply means that we should be consuming more calories than we’re burning.1

Second, we must consume the necessary protein to achieve a positive protein balance. This ensures that we are synthesizing more protein than we’re breaking down. If the opposite occurs, we can forget about building new muscle tissue.

Third, we’ve got to make sure we’re getting in enough of the right fats. Failing to consume enough dietary fat can result in lower testosterone2—making building muscle and losing fat more challenging.

Lastly, we’ve got to eat enough carbs to fuel intense training. If your performance sucks, so will your results.

Thankfully, most people who adhere to the first rule (positive energy balance) find that meeting their macronutrient requirements (adequate protein, fats, and carbs) comes as a byproduct.

 

  1. Aim for Progression

Progressive tension overload refers to lifting progressively heavier and heavier weights. You see, muscles need to be given a reason to grow and eating a ton of protein, alone, just isn’t going to cut it.

Here’s how it works: When we introduce a stress, our body is forced to adapt by building new muscle in hopes to handle the given stress again in the future. If we fail to increase that stress, however, our body will find no need to repair and/or grow. It’s really that cut and dry.

This is why progressive overload is the most critical pathway by which we build muscle.3 As long as we can continue to add stress, over time, we’ll be forced to adapt and grow. There are a number of ways to achieve this, but the main idea is simple: if you want to get bigger, you’ve got to get better.

 

  1. Stay Consistent

If you’re “eating enough” 5 days out of 7, you’re not eating enough.

That 1 or 2 days of skipping meals, missing calories, or eating intuitively, could determine whether or not you make any progress that week. Similarly, missing training days will reduce the amount of work you’ve done in a given timeframe.

For example: if your workout program requires you to train 4 days per week for 12 weeks, that’s 48 total workouts in the next 3 months. If you skip 1 day each week, you will have completed just 36 workouts—a total of 3 weeks’ worth of work; taking the workload that you could have done in 12 weeks and extending it into 15 or more. Extend that into 6 months and now the progress that you could have made in 24 weeks, takes you 36 instead; and on and on and on.

 

Conclusion

With each factor, there’s a common theme: they’re powerful together, but alone they’re useless.

If you’re eating enough, consistently, but you’re not progressing in the gym, you won’t achieve the adaptive response necessary for growth and the excess calories will be more likely to end up as fat.

If you’re progressing in the gym, consistently, but you’re not providing your body the necessary nutrients, your body won’t have the resources available to supply the demand.

And if you’re consistently undereating and/or missing gym sessions, well, you get the idea…these 3 principles work synergistically and if you don’t have them all in order, you’ll never maximize your true muscle-building potential. If, on the other hand, they’re all in line, you’ll have absolutely no problem building muscle.

 

Chapter 2[
**]The Fast Mass Diet

Most people eat intuitively and manage to maintain their bodyweight. As someone new to weight training, eating at maintenance is more than enough to produce great results; something that becomes damn near impossible as you transition into the intermediate stages of your training.

If that isn’t enough to consider your first year of training “magical”, then consider this:

The newbie ‘jump start’ is simply large enough to overpower the muscle-related disadvantages of a calorie deficit, which still slow down muscle growth but can’t halt it altogether.” – Mike Matthews

But if we are talking about maximizing muscle mass, then it’s imperative we consume more energy than we are expending.

It doesn’t matter how much protein you’re eating, how many meals you’re consuming, or when you are consuming them; without eating enough calories to facilitate growth, you won’t build muscle as fast as possible.

 

How Many Calories to Achieve a Caloric Surplus?

[_Note: Don’t worry about doing these calculations manually. I’ve created a free software (The Fast Mass Calculator) that will do the work for you. _]

If you are a male with a healthy metabolism who exercises regularly then the number 16 is a great place to start.

 

Where does this number (16) come from?

• Resting Metabolic Rate
• Thermic Effect of Activity
• Thermic Effect of Food

 

Calculating Your Caloric Intake

Bodyweight (in lbs) x 16 = Estimated Maintenance

 

Example:
170 lbs x 16 = 2,720

 

Ensuring You’re Eating Enough

1. Weigh yourself every morning for an entire week while adhering to the prescribed calorie intake.

2. Get an average of your weigh-ins for that week.
3. Weigh yourself every morning for another week while adhering to the prescribed calorie intake.
4. Get an average of your weigh-ins for week 2.
5. Subtract the week 1 average from the week 2 average.

If the average weigh-in has increased, good, keep it there and continue with this intake until you’ve stalled. From there you can increase your intake by 250kcal and repeat.

If the average weigh-in has decreased, then this means you are in a caloric deficit and will need more calories to achieve a positive energy balance. Increase your intake by 500kcal and repeat the process.

If the average weigh-in remained the same, then you are at maintenance. Simply increase your intake by 250kcal and that should be enough to put you into a surplus where you can start growing.

 

How Much Weight Should I Gain Per Week?

The overall consensus is that, as a natural trainee, you can expect to gain 40-50 pounds of total muscle mass in your lifetime. And according to author of The Protein Book, Lyle McDonald, we can expect to achieve half of that (20-25 lbs) growth in the first 12 months. Alan Aragon, another expert in the field, suggested more or less the same thing—18-27 lbs in your first year.

This is due to our bodies being hyper-responsive to the newly introduced stimulus during the beginning stages of our training.4

In the book The Max Muscle Plan, Brad Schoenfeld suggests that for a novice lifter to gain 15 pounds of muscle (or more) within the first 6 months is not unusual. And because you’ll likely gain a bit of fat in the process, gaining 15 pounds of muscle may translate into about 20 pounds (give or take) of scale weight.

If you’re reading this book, you’re either (1) completely new to weight lifting or (2) you’ve been training for a certain amount of time with little to no success. In either case, you’re primed to take full advantage of the rapid gains that come from proper training and nutrition as an inexperienced lifter. For you, gaining 2 pounds (or slightly more) of muscle, per month, is realistic.

If the maximum amount of muscle tissue that we can gain, per month, is 2 pounds, then aiming to gain a bit more than that would be ideal. This is due to the simple fact that not every single pound we gain will come in the form of muscle tissue; we will gain some fat too.

Assuming that you fit all of the criteria and your goal is to maximize muscle growth, then I’d recommend aiming for an increase of 0.8-1 pound of bodyweight per week for the first 3-6 months.

 

The Golden Ratio

Now that you know you’re eating enough to build muscle—but not so much that you’re going to get fat in the process—it’s time to adjust your macronutrient distribution for a better muscle:fat ratio.

If you’re in a slight surplus and gaining about 0.8-1 pound per week, but your calories are coming from a high amount of fats, low carbs, and low protein, then chances are you’re going to end up gaining more unnecessary body-fat than someone on low/moderate fats, high carbs, and high protein.

 

The Perfect Macronutrient Breakdown

Fats – Low/Moderate: A healthy fat intake has been associated with better hormone production, reduced risk of heart disease, decreased inflammation, and the list goes on. But more does not always mean better. Research has shown that consuming 0.3-0.4 grams of fat per pound of bodyweight is more than enough to reap all of the benefits associated with a healthy fat intake.5 And although a higher intake isn’t inherently bad, it could lead to faster fat gain. This is due to dietary fat being more efficiently stored as body-fat than carbs or protein.6

Protein – Moderate/High: Proteins are comprised of amino acids. The building of muscle proteins requires a variety of amino acids. Failing to consume enough protein will lead to impaired muscle growth. There is plenty of research out there about protein intake for building muscle mass, but the overall consensus is somewhere between 0.8-1 gram per pound of bodyweight.7 I typically recommend the higher end of the spectrum just as a safety measure.

Carbohydrates – High: Carbs are broken down into glycogen in the body. Glycogen is the body’s primary source of energy for intense exercise. Full glycogen stores equal better gym performance, and better gym performance equals faster adaptations and muscle growth. Once you know how many calories you’ll need, find out how many of those are going to come from fats and protein and then allocate the remaining calories to carbs (if this seems complicated or time consuming, fear not, The Fast Mass Calculator will take care of this for you).

 

Conclusion

I’ll be honest, eating enough calories from the right macronutrient sources is more than enough to achieve 95% of your potential. In fact, you may be able to achieve 100% of your potential newbie gains without even considering the next section at all.

 

Chapter 3[
**] The 5% Advantage

In the past we were led to believe that if we wanted to build muscle, we had to:

• Eat 6 meals per day
• Chug a protein shake 15 minutes after training
• and eat “clean”

Over the years, the science of nutrition has evolved and so have our stances on the topic. But although we know that we don’t need 6 meals per day, we still have one question:

Does Meal Frequency Matter?

 

Meal Frequency

Some say it doesn’t matter if you eat 1 meal per day or 1 meal per hour; others say you have to stick to the magic number 6.

The logic behind the first group is that the Thermic Effect of Food (TEF) is the same for someone eating 2000kcals in 1 sitting or in 10 sittings. This is 100% accurate.

The logic behind the second group is, well, I am actually not sure. There doesn’t seem to be much logic in that thinking.

What about protein frequency?

Studies have shown that consuming 20 grams of protein 4x per day with 3 hours in between meals produced the greatest elevations in protein synthesis.8 It worked better than 8 meals with 10 grams of protein per sitting and it worked better than 2 meals with 40 grams of protein per sitting.

So does meal frequency actually matter? No, but protein frequency does. The question then becomes: to what degree? The answer: I can’t say with absolute certainty.

My suggestion would be to consume 3-5 meals per day, with 3 hours in between sittings, and at least 20 grams of protein per meal.

That said, however, if you:

• Are too busy to eat every 2-3 hours, then don’t.

• Must follow a schedule, then create one that fits your day.
• Want structure and must follow a schedule, but are limited on time, then precook your meals.
• Have the luxury of cooking and consuming as you see fit from day to day, then do so.
• Would rather follow a meal plan, then create one.

 

Nutrient Timing

Over the years, peri-workout nutrition has been deemed a nonnegotiable in any bodybuilding diet. “Experts” have labeled pre and post workout meals—or shakes—the holy grail of muscle-building nutrition with which without you’d be doomed to remain skinny and weak.

After all, Arnold ate a pre-workout meal and drank a post-workout shake, so it must be necessary, right?

But let’s take a more objective look at the topic.

 

The Post Workout Meal

Most “experts” have proposed that there is a post workout “anabolic window”. This theory suggests that one must consume adequate amounts of protein and fast-acting carbs, 15-30 minutes following their workout, in order to avoid muscle loss.

You see, whenever we work out, we start a process whereby muscle proteins are broken down. The effects are of only moderate severity while you’re in the gym, but it accelerates quickly thereafter.9

The goal of the post-workout meal, however, is to mitigate muscle breakdown and, concurrently, stimulate protein synthesis.

Truth is, though, not eating for more than 15-30 minutes following your workout has no negative effects as long as you are consistently meeting your nutrient requirements.10

You see, for most of us, this “anabolic window” is actually quite large: 4 to 6 hours, give or take. The reason is simple: food takes several hours to work its way through your system, which means that if you’re eating a good amount of calories, chances are, those nutrients will still be available after your workout.

 

Post Workout Carbs

The argument for post workout carbs is twofold: (1) we need to replenish the muscle glycogen that we burned during a workout and (2) it generates an insulin response that blunts muscle breakdown.

The fact is this: 95% of the guys reading this won’t have to worry about significant glycogen depletion—the other 5% shouldn’t be reading this.

For starters, we’re not performing endless bouts of glycogen depleting training for the same muscle-group. And even if we did manage to burn through a good amount of our energy stores, consuming as many carbs as we should will ensure that they’re replenished in time for our next session anyway.

As for the insulin spike, it’s hogwash. Not because carbs don’t spike insulin, but because protein does, too, to the same level as carbohydrates. More importantly, most of the research we have on the topic shows no significant difference in muscle mass—or strength—between trainees who consume protein and carbs post workout and trainees who had the same protein and carbs at some other time in the day.

Now, this is not to say that it is a bad idea to consume a meal or shake following your workout (which I still recommend you do), it simply suggests that there is no need to speed through traffic on your way home from the gym to beat the window.[* *]

 

The Pre-Workout Meal

It’s no secret that carbs are an essential fuel for prolonged, strenuous exercise. In fact, research studies have provided evidence that carbohydrate depletion is associated with fatigue and a decrease in exercise intensity.11

A good reason to consume carbohydrates prior to an intense workout, don’t you think?

Consider this, though: while in a growth phase, most individuals are equipped with sufficient energy stores and protein to both perform and preserve muscle mass without having to consume any carbs or protein prior to a workout.

On the other hand, most trainees cannot function 100% in the gym without having a pre-workout meal. Either way, this is totally optional.

What I recommend is this: consider your schedule and how you feel when you do or don’t eat before a workout. From there, make an educated decision as to whether or not you want to include one.

 

In Closing

If you’re reading this then you’re probably having a tough time gaining weight and building muscle. That said, choosing to pass on pre and/or post-workout meals, just because they don’t provide any magic benefit, isn’t doing you any favors. You see, your metabolism is extremely adaptive, and thus, you can essentially train your body to be hungry at certain times of the day. If you never eat before your workout, you’re not likely to ever be hungry then.

On the other hand, if you get your body used to having calories right before you hit the gym, you’ll likely begin to experience hunger during that time of the day. The same goes for post workout nutrition. Not only that, but eating a nice sized meal during a point in the day where you’re likely to be hungriest—some would even say ravenous—is probably a good idea.

 

Chapter 4[
**]Flexible Dieting

Knowing how many calories and what sources they should come from is half the battle. The other half is actually eating that much. In this section I am going to give you step by step instructions for tracking your nutrition intake and ensuring you stay within your allotted fats, carbs, and protein.

On paper, tracking everything you eat may seem a bit tedious—and in the beginning it may be—but after a while, like most things, it becomes second nature. Not to mention, despite how complex it may seem in theory, the practice of tracking nutrition is far from rocket science. I plan to prove that to you here in this chapter.

But first, some guidelines:

  1. Aim for 1 serving of vegetables per 1000kcal. For example, if you’re consuming 3000kcal, you should aim for 3 servings of vegetables per day.
  2. Aim for 1 serving of fruit per 1000kcal. For example, if you’re consuming 3000kcal, you should aim for 3 servings of fruit per day.
  3. Keep an eye on your fiber intake. Make sure you’re getting at least 10g of fiber per 1000kcal. For example, if you’re consuming 3000kcal, you should aim for a minimum of 30g of fiber per day.
  4. Try to consume 80-90% of your total calories from whole, minimally processed food.

That said, you’re probably wondering why we’re tracking just macronutrients and not macros, micros, and fiber. Truth be told, anyone adhering to the macronutrient distribution laid out in this program, while ensuring that 80-90% of their calories come from whole, minimally processed foods—and are adhering to the fruit and vegetable intake recommendations—will, without fail, get plenty of these essential nutrients.

 

Getting Started

Step 1: Use the Fast Mass Macro Calculator to determine your daily intake.

Step 2: Download a free food tracking app like My Fitness Pal to record your intake for the day.

Step 3: Consume foods of your choice while tracking to ensure you stay within your macronutrient limits. I’d recommend, in the beginning, plugging in meals prior to consumption to ensure you’re staying within your allotted calories. After a week or so of weighing and tracking, you’ll begin to find your own way of doing it. For now, however, just start developing the habit of tracking whatever you eat.

 

 

How to Track Macros

 

Step 1: Look Over the Nutrition Label

There are two things that are accomplished by looking at the nutrition label. First, finding out whether or not you can (or want to) fit this food into your daily intake. Secondly, finding the serving size for an accurate measurement.

Step 2: Decide the Amount of Servings

Whether you need a ton of a specific macro or are low on another, choosing the serving size is critical. So whether you want just ¼ of a serving or 3 whole servings is up to you and your individual needs/preference.

Step 3: Weigh Your Food

Now that we know exactly how many servings we need/want, it’s time to weigh it out. For example, if you wanted half of a serving (using the nutrition label above), then you would weigh out 86 grams. If you wanted 1 serving, it would be 172 gram. And 2 servings would be 344 grams.

Other foods may show serving sizes in ounces so make sure you grab a food scale that has that option.

In the event that you don’t have a food scale available to you, don’t call it quits. Simply eyeball the servings to the best of your ability and track it that way. The longer you weigh and track, the more accurate you become at eyeballing your food portions.

[*Step 4: *]Plug Your Food In

Once the food is measured, simply open up your food tracking app and plug in the name of the item. Choose the item and ensure you have selected the correct serving size.

Once you plug in the food item, it will automatically add that to your daily numbers.

[*Step 5: *]Repeat Until You’ve Hit Your Macros!

In a perfect world, you’ll hit the mark on each macro. Realistically speaking, however, you’re always going to be slightly over—or slightly under—any given macronutrient. This is perfectly fine. Give yourself an allowance on each of the 3 macros—aim to stay within 10 grams on carbs and protein, and 5 grams on fats.

 

Chapter 5[
**]Muscle Building Foods

Now that you know exactly how many calories you need, what macronutrients they should be made up of, and how to track, you’ve probably got one last question: what foods should I eat?

In this chapter I’ll go over not only what foods we should consume, but why we should consume them.

 

Why We Need Protein

75% of your muscle is water and the other ~24% is protein. The other 1% is glycogen, fat, and salt.

Protein makes up about 20% of your body’s mass. For the average person (people who are not active), they can survive with very little protein due to a survival mechanism we inherited from our ancestors. This mechanism allows us to recycle broken down protein. So although you will die if you don’t consume protein, you can easily survive with very little amounts.

But this doesn’t matter to you…

The reason is because you’re kicking ass in the gym pretty frequently. Therefor you’re breaking down much more protein than the average Joe.

And if the goal is to create new muscle tissue at an even higher rate than you are breaking it down, then that requires sufficient protein.

 

Protein Sources

Different foods have different combinations of 20 different amino acids. Fact is, some combinations are more potent than others. 9 of the 20 are considered essential because our body does not create them (thus we must consume them). Out of those 9, 3 are considered branched chain amino acids (BCAA). Out of those 3, 1 is the most powerful and most important nutrient for building muscle. Leucine.

Protein Sources High in Leucine:

Whey Isolate
Pork
Chicken
Beef
Whitefish
Milk
Eggs

Although these foods do contain leucine in higher amounts, this essential amino acid is present in most of the other protein sources that we consume regularly.

Protein Sources:

Turkey
Cheese
Cottage Cheese
Fish
Beans
Bison
Lamb
Veal
Greek Yogurt

 

Why We Need Carbohydrates

The only thing carbohydrates are responsible for is energy.

This energy comes from a sugar called glucose. So whether you are consuming carbs from candy or carbs from brown rice, it converts to glucose during digestion and then becomes the preferred energy source for both the mind and muscles.

Now, our body could also convert amino acids into glucose (gluconeogenesis) and thus we could easily survive without carbohydrates. However, we are not simply trying to survive. We are trying to become strong, jacked, alpha males who can lift heavy shit on demand. Thus we need to consume enough carbs to ensure we are performing at our peak. Now this doesn’t mean that we should simply load up on candy and bread to ensure we are consuming enough carbs. It just means that getting a small portion of your carbs from these sources isn’t going to harm you.

The reason we want the majority of our carbs from starchy (complex) sources is simple: They contain more nutrients, more fiber, and help stabilize blood sugar levels better.

Carb Sources:

Grains
Rice
Oats
Potatoes
Sweet Potatoes
Yams
Pasta
Bread
Fruits
Vegetables

 

Why We Need Fats

The main role of dietary fat, as it relates to building muscle, is anabolic hormone production. Not only does a diet with a healthy fat intake increase energy, brain function, and help prevent disease, but it also allows us to maintain a healthy hormone balance. Namely the mother of all muscle building hormones: testosterone.

Unsaturated Fats: Monounsaturated and Polyunsaturated. These are considered “Healthy Fats”.

Monounsaturated fats are considered to be a great source of energy. This may lead you to believe that, again, carbohydrates are not necessary. However, like any dietary fat, they’re more easily converted to body-fat than any other macronutrient.

Polyunsaturated fats are essential fatty acids known as omega 6 and omega 3. Both have been linked to increased prevention of cardiovascular disease and brain development.

Fat Sources:

Avocado
Nuts
Nut Butters
Coconut Oil
Seeds
Olives
Eggs
Fish Oils

Saturated Fats: These are the fats that most people consider to be “unhealthy”. Perhaps because they do raise cholesterol levels. However, unless you already suffer from high cholesterol, there is no evidence that these types of fats will have a negative impact on your health.

 

Final Thoughts

As far as muscle building nutrition is concerned, you know everything you need to know. If you can eat in a slight surplus and ensure you’re getting the right distribution of protein, fats, and carbs, you’re going to build muscle—conducive with you being on a sensible training program like the one outlined in this book.

 

Chapter 6[
**]The 4 Most Important Factors of Muscle Growth

I don’t care how great your nutrition is, how “hard” you go in the weight room, or how many times per week you check into the gym on Facebook—if these 4 variables aren’t in order, you’re not building muscle maximally.

Truth is, muscle hypertrophy has very little to do with what exercises you’re doing or how slow and controlled you’re moving a weight. What really matters is work, and how much of it you’re doing.

Once you’ve understood why and how these variables play a vital role in muscular development, you won’t be able to doubt the effectiveness of the Fast Mass program.

On the other hand, if you ignore these principles, you’ll end up stuck and confused, wondering why you’re not getting bigger or stronger, no matter how hard your train.

If you’re ready to take your training—and your physique—to the next level, then it’s time to take the next step in your journey; learning the basics of training for muscle growth.

 

Volume

_Volume refers to the amount of exercise you perform over a given time. _

Some experts define volume as the total number of sets and reps performed in a single training session (sets x reps = volume).

Others, on the other hand, like to factor in the amount of weight lifted (sets x reps x weight = total volume).

Either way we look at it, though, volume refers to the amount of work we do in our training.

Why Is Volume Important?

You’ve heard it before: 6-12 reps for size, 1-5 reps for strength, and 15-20 reps for endurance. We use this model because the rep range regulates the amount of time we spend under tension. The duration of the set thus dictates what energy system(s) we use. The energy system we use will then determine whether we’re training for strength, endurance, size, and so on.

Another reason we utilize rep ranges is because they attribute to our overall workload (total volume).

Here’s what I mean: We stimulate the muscle using a given stress, our body then adapts to the stress by building new muscle tissue in order to meet the demands placed on it.

For example: If we perform a 225 pound bench press x 4 sets x 8 reps, [*our total volume is either 32 reps or 7,200 lbs *](depending on how you want to gauge volume). If we go in the gym again the following week and perform the same total volume on the bench press, our body has no reason to adapt.

If we want to increase the total volume, we have a couple of primary options:

  1. Increase the amount of weight used without sacrificing sets and reps.
  2. Increase the amount of reps performed without sacrificing weight and sets.

And before you assume that more sets equate to more hypertrophy, consider this: A meta-analysis comprised of 19 treatment groups within 8 different studies^{color:#000;}12^, suggested that the difference between 2-3 sets (per exercise) and 4-6 sets (per exercise) were insignificant. Meaning that, although one could continue to add sets, it’s only possible to a short degree before you’ll experience diminishing returns.

They did, however, conclude that multiple sets are associated with 40% more muscle growth than single set training, in both trained and untrained men.

A more recent study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research took 48 untrained men and, at random, assigned them to one of 3 training groups; 1set; 3 sets; and 5 sets.13 They concluded that multiple sets per exercise where superior to a single set per exercise for strength, muscle endurance, and hypertrophy.

I think the evidence is pretty clear that, if we’re looking to maximize muscle hypertrophy, we should be regulating volume.

And before you assume that you could maximize muscle growth by simply doing more and more push-ups each week to increase volume, let’s jump into the next important training variable: intensity.

 

Intensity

Intensity refers to the amount of physical power that the body uses when performing an activity.

Gauging training intensity is typically done using a very simple method: with a percentage of your 1 rep max.

Here’s an example of using a percentage of your 1RM: Your program calls for 80% of your 1RM for 5 sets of 5 reps. If your 1RM is 315 pounds, this might translate to something like 252x5x5.

315 × 0.8 = 252

This may be a bit harder to gauge with smaller isolation lifts such as biceps curls and lateral raises—most of us have no clue what our 1 rep max is for a front raise (as we shouldn’t)—in that case, I’d recommend using RM (Rep Maxes).

For example: If your 10RM for barbell curls is, say, 70 lbs, then perhaps using 60-65 lbs for sets of 8-10 will ensure you’re training with sufficient intensity.

Simple enough, right?

Why Is Intensity Important?

According to another study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research^{color:#000;}14^, you would have to perform 3x the total volume, when using a lighter weight, to get the same exact results you would from a moderate load. This isn’t to say that building muscle with lighter weight isn’t possible, but it’s certainly not practical.

Another study showed similar findings when they compared a low, moderate, and a high rep group.15 The difference here was, the low and moderate rep groups produced significantly more hypertrophy than the high rep group. Again, not because you can’t build muscle with a lighter load, but because intensity is critical for maximizing growth.

So when the question becomes: Which is more important—volume or intensity? The answer is always neither. If you want to maximize muscle growth, they must both be in order.

 

Frequency

When we talk about training frequency, we’re talking about one of two things:

1. The number of times we’re training per week.

2. The number of times we’re training a particular muscle-group per week.

Both are of equal importance but because I will assume that you’re already training more than once per week, we’ll discuss the latter.

Why Is Frequency Important?

Here’s what we know: When we equate for volume, training 3 days per week produces greater muscle growth than training once per week.16 That’s enough to solidify the importance of frequency when the goal is to maximize muscle hypertrophy.

I’d be willing to bet that these results were due to two mechanisms:

  • Repeated Bout Effect: the adaptation whereby a single bout _][_of eccentric exercise protects against muscle damage from subsequent eccentric _][_bouts.

It’s been shown that, when training a muscle-group more frequently (to a degree), we increase our ability to recover and adapt.17

  • Muscle Protein Synthesis: the driving force behind adaptive responses to exercise and represents a widely adopted proxy for gauging chronic efficacy of acute interventions, (i.e. exercise/nutrition).

Studies suggest that MPS is more than doubled at about 24 hours following a workout.18 By the 36 hour mark, however, it has dropped back to baseline. It’s not hard to see that, despite volume being equal, the person spending more time in this anabolic state will produce greater muscle growth.

Now before you decide to start hitting your biceps 7x per week, consider this. A recent meta-analysis by Brad Schoenfeld concluded that frequencies of training twice per week promoted more muscle growth than once per week, on a volume-equated basis^{color:#000;}19^; however, they also added, “whether training a muscle group three times per week is superior to a twice-per-week protocol remains to be determined.”

Now before you ditch the idea of training a muscle-group 3x per week because you’re unsure of whether or not there is any added benefit, consider the fact that this meta-analysis only accounted for higher frequency with volume being equal. That said, training at a higher frequency can be a great way to accumulate volume.

 

Progressive Overload

Progressive Overload refers to a gradual increase in volume, intensity, frequency or time in order to achieve the targeted goal of the user.

Although the list of ways to achieve progressive overload is long, I’ll leave you with the ones I find are the more practical methods.

  • Lifting the same load for more reps
  • Lifting a heavier load for the same number of reps
  • Doing the same amount of work (total volume) in less time
  • Doing more work (total volume) in the same time
  • Lifting the same weight, faster
  • And on and on and on…

Ultimately, the goal is to get stronger and the methods listed above are all viable options for doing so.

Why Is Progressive Overload Important?

It’s no secret that progressive overload is the most critical pathway to building muscle mass. 3

As long as we can continue to add stress, over time, we’ll force an adaptive response that results in growth.

 

Tying Them All Together

By now you should have a pretty firm understanding of why—and how—these 4 principles play a vital role in muscle hypertrophy. In order to produce the best results possible, these 4 training variables must work synergistically—neither one is more important than the other.

 

Chapter 7[
**]Fast Mass Workout: The Rules

Now that you understand what drives muscle growth from a training aspect, it’s time to put those principles into practice.

Before we dive into the Fast Mass Workout, let’s first go over the rules you’ll follow when performing the workouts. Showing up to the gym with a list of exercises may be somewhat helpful, but can prove useless unless you’re applying the proper training principles.

 

  1. * Warm Up Properly*

The role of the warm up is simple: to prepare the body to be primed and ready for the working sets.

If you warm up just enough, you’re going to feel primed and excited, and you’re going to dominate your working sets. If, however, you overdo it, it’s going to have a negative impact on your lifts.

Warming up before an intense training session is critical, but not complicated. In the case of this program, the warm up should fit the workout. Because we are weight training, then we must utilize a warm up method that will prepare the body for this specific activity. For example, if you’re going to bench press, then the warm up should consist of a few lighter sets on the bench press.

 

Go straight to the exercise you are starting off with. Perform 1 set with an empty bar using a full range of motion—a basic rep range of 8-10 would be ideal. Slowly add weight to the bar in even increments until you are ready to handle the work set. Make sure your warm up—not including the set with the empty bar—does not exceed 3-5 sets. Once you start to add weight, warm-up reps can be tapered down to save gas for the working sets.

 

  1. * Linear Progression*

As someone who is relatively new to training (or at least proper training), you can expect to progress quite rapidly without any strategic periodization.

Progressive Overload: Compound Lifts

If Day 1 prescribes a squat for 3 sets of 5 reps, and you’re able to push 135 pounds for the recommended sets and reps, then next time you perform the same workout , you’ll aim to squat 140 pounds, and so on. Occasionally, due to certain external factors, you may fail on a set and instead of reaching the prescribed 5 reps, only be able to push it for 3 or 4. If this happens, the first step is to give it another go. Next time you perform the workout, use the same exact weight you failed with previously. If, for whatever reason, you fail again, simply reset. The next time you perform said workout, decrease the weight by 10-15% and make gradual increases from there.

Progressive Overload: Isolation Lifts

Adding 100 pounds to your bench press, over the course of a year, as a beginner, isn’t easy but it’s certainly possible.  Adding 100 pounds to your biceps curls, however, is not likely. This is true for a couple of reasons. Number 1, your chest, triceps, and shoulders, working together are far stronger than your biceps alone. Secondly, the rate of progression would simply be too fast for anyone to achieve, naturally.

How to Progress with Isolation Lifts

  1. Choose a weight you can perform for the prescribed sets, for 8 reps.
  2. Once you are able to complete every set for the prescribed (8) reps, aim to hit 10 reps, using the same weight.
  3. Once you are able to complete every set for the prescribed (10) reps, aim to hit 12 reps, using the same weight.
  4. Once you are able to complete every set for the prescribed (12) reps, increase the weight by 5 lbs.
  5. Perform x sets for 8 reps using the new weight and repeat steps 2-5.

Simple enough, right?

 

  1. * Straight Sets*

The easiest way to progress, especially as someone transitioning into a new program, is to keep things constant. It’s why we’ll be performing straight sets for every workout. Unlike the traditional pyramid loading, straight sets rely more on cumulative fatigue. This means that the second set will be more challenging than the first, the third more challenging than the second, and so on.

How to Perform Straight Sets

If you’re going to squat for 3 sets of 5 reps, you’ll perform the first set with a given weight, rest, perform another set with the same weight, rest, and finish the last set with the same weight.

 

  1. * Resets*

Failure is inevitable. Although you’ll be able to progress in a linear fashion for a prolonged period of time, at some point or another you’ll miss a rep or two. This could be caused by various factors such as stress, lack of sleep, inadequate nutrition, dehydration, and the list goes on. If this happens, don’t be discouraged as it’s part of the game.

When this occurs—because it will—you’ll simply reset. The role of the reset is to prime the muscle to start responding to the training stimulus once again so that you can continue to get bigger and stronger.

How to Reset

Say for example you deadlifted 185 pounds for 4 sets of 6 reps last week. This week, you attempt to pull 190 pounds for the same number of sets and reps; however, do to some external factor or another, you’re only able to hit 4 reps on your last set. Understand this: you’ve still gotten stronger as intensity has increased—this is still progress. But, of course, the main goal is to match the previous volume with a heavier weight. First, dust yourself off and try again. It’s very likely that you were just having an “off” day. If, however, you fail again next week, something has to change. In this case, you’d decrease the total weight by 10-15% for your next deadlift session. So instead of attempting 190 pounds again, you’d scale back to 160-170 pounds and start gradually increasing the weight from there.

 

  1. Adherence

There is no physiological difference between working out on Monday and working out on Tuesday. What matters is not the day of the week it is, but the total work done in a given period of time. On top of that, everyone’s schedule is different, and since adherence is key, it’s less about what you should do and more about what you can do.

The workout won’t be broken down into specific days (e.g. Monday, Wednesday, Friday), instead, it’ll be broken down into a given number of workouts (e.g. Workout 1, Workout 2, Workout 3). So whether you’re taking a rest day after every session or performing them all back to back—what’s really important is that (1) you perform them in order—so Workout 2 will never be done before Workout 1 in the week—and (2) that all of the workouts are completed within the training week.

Although it may be ideal to rest every other day—and if that’s an option, it’s what I’d recommend—doing all 3 workouts back to back—even if you’re feeling a little banged up, will always be better than missing a session that week. Remember, it’s not about a specific schedule, but rather, a specific amount of work that must be performed in a given timeframe.

 

Recommended Training Schedule:

Monday: Workout 1
Tuesday: Rest
Wednesday: Workout 2
Thursday: Rest
Friday: Workout 3
Saturday: Rest
Sunday: Rest

At first, this may all seem a bit complicated, but after referring back to this chapter enough, it’ll all begin to make more sense. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, don’t—like all else, with a little practice it becomes second nature.

 

Chapter 8[
**]Fast Mass Workout

 

Workout 1

^.
p=. Sets
^.
p=. Reps
^.
p=. Rest
^.
p=. 3
^.
p=. 5
^.
p=. 2-3 Minutes
^.
p=. 3
^.
p=. 5
^.
p=. 2-3 Minutes
^.
p=. 3
^.
p=. 6
^.
p=. 1-2 Minutes
^.
p=. 3
^.
p=. 6
^.
p=. 1-2 Minutes
^.
p=. 2
^.
p=. AMRAP
^.
p=. 1-2 Minutes
^.
p=. 2
^.
p=. 8-12
^.
p=. 60 Seconds
^.
p=. 2
^.
p=. 8-12
^.
p=. 60 Seconds

*AMRAP denotes performing as many repetitions as possible.

Workout 2

^.
p=. Sets
^.
p=. Reps
^.
p=. Rest
^.
p=. 3
^.
p=. 5
^.
p=. 3-5 Minutes
^.
p=. 3
^.
p=. 6
^.
p=. 1-2 Minutes
^.
p=. 3
^.
p=. 8
^.
p=. 1-2 Minutes
^.
p=. 2
^.
p=. 8-12
^.
p=. 1-2 Minutes
^.
p=. 3
^.
p=. 8-12
^.
p=. 1-2 Minutes
^.
p=. 2
^.
p=. 8-12
^.
p=. 60 Seconds

Workout 3

^.
p=. Sets
^.
p=. Reps
^.
p=. Rest
^.
p=. 3
^.
p=. 5
^.
p=. 2-3 Minutes
^.
p=. 3
^.
p=. 6
^.
p=. 1-2 Minutes
^.
p=. 3
^.
p=. 6
^.
p=. 1-2 Minutes
^.
p=. 3
^.
p=. 5
^.
p=. 2-3 Minutes
^.
p=. 2
^.
p=. AMRAP
^.
p=. 1-2 Minutes
^.
p=. 2
^.
p=. 8-12
^.
p=. 60 Seconds
^.
p=. 2
^.
p=. 8-12
^.
p=. 60 Seconds

*AMRAP denotes performing as many repetitions as possible.

 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Alain Gonzalez is a former skinny guy turned jacked fitness professional. He’s a personal trainer, consultant, and has written for some of the most prestigious online fitness magazines.

His transformation has been featured in articles on websites all over the internet and has given hope to countless “hardgainers” all over the world.

He is the founder of www.MuscleMonsters.com, a free fitness website dedicated to helping guys (and gals) to build muscle, get lean, and achieve a physique they never thought possible.

Over the years, Alain has helped thousands of naturally skinny guys to finally move the scale and pack on pounds of rock hard muscle mass, regardless of their genetics, and he hopes to do the same for you.

 

Stay In Touch!

 

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References

 

  1. Hand GA, Shook RP, Paluch AE, Baruth M, Crowley EP, Jaggers JR, Prasad VK, Hurley TG, Hebert JR, O’Connor DP, Archer E, Burgess S, Blair SN. The energy balance study: the design and baseline results for a longitudinal study of energy balance. Res Q Exerc Sport. 2013;84(3):275-86.
  2. Hämäläinen EK, Adlercreutz H, Puska P, Pietinen P. Decrease of serum total and free testosterone during a low-fat high-fibre diet. J Steroid Biochem. 1983 Mar;18(3):369-70.
  3. Goldberg AL, Etlinger JD, Goldspink DF, Jablecki C. Mechanism of work-induced hypertrophy of skeletal muscle. JMed Sci Sports. 1975 Fall;7(3):185-98.
  4. Wallace MB, Mills BD, Browning CL. Effects of cross-training on markers of insulin resistance/hyperinsulinemia. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1997 Sep;29(9):1170-5.
  5. Manore MM. Exercise and the Institute of Medicine recommendations for nutrition. Curr Sports Med Rep. 2005;4(4):193-8.
  6. McDevitt RM, Bott SJ, Harding M, Coward WA, Bluck LJ, Prentice AM. De novo lipogenesis during controlled overfeeding with sucrose or glucose in lean and obese women. Am J Clin Nutr. 2001;74(6):737-46.
  7. Phillips SM, Van Loon LJ. Dietary protein for athletes: from requirements to optimum adaptation. J Sports Sci. 2011;29 Suppl 1:S29-38.
  8. Areta JL, Burke LM, Ross ML, Camera DM, West DW, Broad EM, Jeacocke NA, Moore DR, Stellingwerff T, Phillips SM, Hawley JA, Coffey VG. Timing and distribution of protein ingestion during prolonged recovery from resistance exercise alters myofibrillar protein synthesis. J Physiol. 2013 May 1;591(9):2319-31.
  9. Fujita S, Dreyer HC, Drummond MJ, Glynn EL, Cadenas JG, Yoshizawa F, Volpi E, Rasmussen BB. Nutrient signalling in the regulation of human muscle protein synthesis. J Physiol. 2007 Jul 15;582(Pt 2):813-23.
  10. Aragon A, Schoenfeld BJ. Nutrient timing revisited: is there a post-exercise anabolic window? Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. 2013 10:5
  11. Lambert CP, Flynn MG. Fatigue during high-intensity intermittent exercise: application to bodybuilding. Sports Med. 2002;32(8):511-22.
  12. Krieger JW. Single vs. multiple sets of resistance exercise for muscle hypertrophy: a meta-analysis. J Strength Cond Res. 2010 Apr;24(4):1150-9.
  13. Radaelli R, Fleck SJ, Leite T, Leite RD, Pinto RS, Fernandes L, Simão R. Dose-response of 1, 3, and 5 sets of resistance exercise on strength, local muscular endurance, and hypertrophy. J Strength Cond Res. 2015 May;29(5):1349-58.
  14. Schoenfeld BJ et. al. Effects of Low Versus High Load Resistance Training on Muscle Strength and Hypertrophy in Well-Trained Men. J Strength Cond Res. 2015 Apr 3.
  15. Campos GE, Luecke TJ, Wendeln HK, Toma K, Hagerman FC, Murray TF, Ragg KE, Ratamess NA, Kraemer WJ, Staron RS. Muscular adaptations in response to three different resistance-training regimens: specificity of repetition maximum training zones. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2002 Nov;88(1-2):50-60. 
  16. McLester, John R. JR.; Bishop, E; Guilliams, M. E. Comparison of 1 Day and 3 Days Per Week of Equal-Volume Resistance Training in Experienced Subjects. Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research. August 2000.
  17. McHugh MP, Connolly DA, Eston RG, Gleim GW. Exercise-induced muscle damage and potential mechanisms for the repeated bout effect. Sports Med. 1999 Mar;27(3):157-70.
  18. MacDougall JD, Gibala MJ, Tarnopolsky MA, MacDonald JR, Interisano SA, Yarasheski KE. The time course for elevated muscle protein synthesis following heavy resistance exercise. Can J Appl Physiol. 1995;20(4):480-6.
  19. Schoenfeld BJ, Ogborn D, Krieger JW. Effects of Resistance Training Frequency on Measures of Muscle Hypertrophy: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Sports Med. 2016 Apr 21.

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  • Author: Alain Gonzalez
  • Published: 2017-01-28 16:35:32
  • Words: 8959
Fast Mass - Gain Your First 15 Pounds of Drug-Free Muscle Fast Mass - Gain Your First 15 Pounds of Drug-Free Muscle