Looking at how to get bigger and stronger at the same time? I got you!
If you have been training for a while or planning on starting soon, you probably have a few goals in mind. Maybe you are after weight loss, muscle gain or simply to improve your health.
The good news is that you are going to notice a wild change in your body once you start taking care of it. You will lose fat, your muscles will start to get more defined and you will feel a lot better overall.
But for now, we have one goal in mind: getting bigger and getting stronger. If you are interested in weight loss, this post will not be the best for you.
Something to keep in mind here is the level from which you are starting. If you are starting from a higher fat percentage, it would be advisable to regulate that first, which means avoiding a diet that will put you on an additional calorie surplus.
Here, we are going to go after a few basic principles that you should keep in mind when you are building yourself up.
The wholy grail of putting on size: The Diet
I know, surprise surprise. I have to improve my diet if I want to improve my fitness.
But this is not just about that. When you want to reach a new or next level, chances are that you might have to perform a few things differently. Your diet is going to be one of those things.
You have to eat big to get big!
You have probably heard that phrase 100 times already I know, but…..
Unless you are aware of at least how many calories your body requires to maintain its current weight, I cannot believe that you eat enough.
There are some basic principles to dieting, to learn more about how to eat have a look at All About Dieting.
Your diet is vital to succeeding in getting bigger, you cannot look past it!
You must know your maintenance calories. Once you do, you need to eat on a calorie surplus to reach a steady and achievable weight gain. That means increasing your calories between 250-500 kcal. a day. It will be important to track how much you eat to be sure that you get in enough food. At first, eyeballing it is not going to cut it!
Spread your meals to make it easier for your body to handle the extra volume. If you find that you can’t get there, start with a small increase that you can handle, then slowly increase the volume.
For hard gainers or for people who generally struggle to put on weight, have a look at How To Gain Weight as a Hard Gainer.
Tips on dieting for increasing SIZE:
Let’s go through them one by one:
- Calorie-dense food: Your best friend when you are looking to get bigger and stronger will be calorie-dense foods. When by the end of the day you must have consumed a number of calories that is greater than before, calorie-dense foods will help you do just that without having to force-feed yourself.
- Maintain clean eating: Increasing the number of calories, will inevitably mean widening your options on food. While you do need some “less healthy” options in your diet in order to get the calories to go up, do not overdo it. Your goal is to put on muscle, not as much weight as possible. Your diet should maintain a healthy basis and you still need to eat healthily. Some cheating is allowed but that is not the goal.
- Get all of your macros in: This is not the time to cut down on fats and this is not the time to cut down on carbs. We are after muscle mass as well as performance. In order for your body to be able to go beyond your current level, you need to provide for all its needs.
- Split your meals: There is no time where the strategic placement of your meals is not important. Smaller, easy-to-consume meals can help stack up those calories in no time. Waiting until you have to consume one super big meal is not going to be easy or efficient. Time your meals within your day and according to your workouts.
- Don’t wait until you are hungry: Not everyone’s metabolism works the same. Some people do not feel hungry in the morning and some do not feel hungry in the afternoon. As long as you are not force-feeding yourself massive meals or eat way too much before bed, you should not wait until you are hungry to eat. Smaller meals can be consumed even when you are not starving.
Want to get bigger and stronger? Train like it!
Training is going to have its own role in getting bigger as well as stronger.
Most of the time, we hear that strength training has nothing to do with training for size or hypertrophy. Which is not the case.
While training for hypertrophy will get you bigger, it will not do much for your strength gains.
On the other side, strength training will definitely improve your strength, but it will also be great for muscle mass gain as well.
But there is a way that we can get the best of both worlds.
The way to do that is by training with an upper-lower split that focuses the first half of the week on strength training and the second part on hypertrophy. For your strength training days, big movements such as squats, bench press, and deadlifts are performed on a low rep higher weight basis.
For the hypertrophy part, you can accessorize with different movements that focus on the roundness and diversity of your workout. It is a good opportunity to lower the weight and focus on technique as well.
Training with heavy weights too many times within a week might lead to fatigue and recovery issues. Try to go hard at the beginning of the week and work on your form and accessory movements for the second half.
For just that kind of workout, have a look at the Upper Lower Split.
If you are only now starting your fitness journy I would reccomend a Full Body Workout that is focuesed on compound movements.
How to get Bigger and Stronger while Sleeping:
You lift hard and your diet like a champ, why can I see no progress?
For an all-around view of your fitness journey as well as your progress, have a look at Why Am I Not Seeing Progress.
But for now, the one thing that could be sabotaging your progress, muscle gain and performance, could be your rest.
Think about it, you put in all this work, you break down your muscles and your diet to keep your body fuelled. That is the difficult part. Resting and allowing your body to recover as well as grow is your next big thing!
If you are after getting bigger and stronger, a proper night’s sleep is going to be crucial. Lack of sleep is not only going to affect your performance, meaning how energetic you feel, how much you can lift, and how often you can train. It is also going to be big on how you recover.
You may have heard some say that there is no such thing as overtraining. That can vary depending on how you structure your entire day. Overtraining is about training so much and so hard that you do not allow your body to recover properly.
By not taking the time to manage your sleep, you may be overtraining your body even if you do not train all that much.
As long as you rest for a minimum of 8 hours a day, get all your meals in, and take a break now and then, you can feel confident in yourself to make it through the most demanding of workouts. Learn more about How To Sleep Better Here.
Struggling with night sleep? Maybe grab a quick nap.
You can get bigger and stronger as long as you understand a simple thing. When you ask a lot of your body, you need to give something back.
Getting big and strong is almost addicting when you start to see progress, it gives you the motivation to train that much harder. It would be a shame to hit the breaks on how much you can do when there is so much you want to do.
So do yourself a favour then. Prioritize big lifts like the squat, deadlift and bench press for strength training, work on mobility and form, eat like a champion and sleep like a baby.
As long as you give yourself time to learn and grow, there is nothing that you cannot do!