I’ve been noticing a pretty consistent pattern of questions from guys in our support ticket system where they’re wondering what they can do to add mass. I or someone on my staff usually asks about their current training regimen, diet, rest, and body stats to see if we can recognize where the shortfall is in their approach.
Here are the 3 main things I see that are keeping guys from putting on quality mass. The good news: they are all very simple to fix!
Reason #1: Not Eating Enough Calories
This might seem a little elementary, but by and large, when we get into the nitty-gritty about what dudes are eating, it’s just simply not enough to support putting on mass. Listen – eating for mass is hard. Sometimes it downright sucks because you feel like you’re always pounding down something and you’re still full from 2 meals ago.
But if you ease into it over a couple of week period you can start to consistently get down to the 3500-4500 calories you need to grow (depending on your current size and goals, of course). Hopefully, it goes without saying that I don’t just mean any calories, but the right calories and breakout for your specific goals.
Reason #2: Not Lifting With Progressive Weight Intensity
Again, this might seem basic, but until you get the basics down, trying for the complex only slows and/or reverses progress. Muscle grows when it is taxed at a high enough level to initiate the rebuilding process during recovery. If you don’t push it hard enough, you’ll get a nice pump, but as soon as the pump is gone, so are your “gains”.
You must consistently be adding weight to your lifts and you must be pushing yourself. If you’re not working up a good sweat and breathing hard while you’re lifting, you’re doing it wrong.
You’ve also got to keep track of your progress if you ever hope to stay on track with your continually increasing weight. Trust me: you will forget what you did last week if you don’t write it down in a training journal.
Reason #3: Not Getting Enough Rest
In our hyper-paced society with 8 million things begging for our attention all the time, it’s hard to actually get a decent amount of rest. But if you really want to grow, you have to make it a priority.
Trust me – I understand what it’s like to be way busier than you want or should be for an extended amount of time. It sucks, it wears you out, and it wreaks havoc on your progress, both when you’re trying to add mass or cut down.
You need to get 8+ hours of sleep per night in order to let your body recover from what you put it through earlier in the day at the gym. If you don’t, your recovery is slowed and your performance the next day at the gym is sub-optimal… and the downward spiral ensues.
So take a look at your schedule and your life. Is there anything you can cut out? Anything that’s not really important but is making it hard for you to get the rest you need? If so, take some initiative, move things around and delete what isn’t helping you achieve your goals so you can be sure to get at least 8 solid hours of sleep each night.
If you do that, I’m positive you’ll start to see better results in all areas of your life, just from being rested.
Anyway, those are a couple of patterns I’ve been noticing, and I figure if I’ve got 20 guys asking the same thing, then there’s probably anywhere from a few hundred to a couple of thousand guys with the same question and they just haven’t asked yet.
Obviously, this is super-big-picture, but hopefully it helps bring your thinking in line with where you need to focus first.