Hey Mike – Love your cookbook! Great recipes and have been enjoying them for about 8 months now. I’m down 25 pounds from 190 to 165! I’m starting to get back to a focus on building muscle and I know by now that you are against calorie counting, but everything I’ve read says I need a caloric surplus to build muscle. So, it seems I need to know/track these numbers in some way, right? I’m sure you get a ton of emails, but I’ve done a ton of reading and feel more confused than ever. Any insight/guidance/suggestions would be hugely appreciated. Thanks in advance, Mike.
First, congratulations on changing your life!!! A weight loss of 25 pounds is a huge accomplishment and a testament to your character. Much respect to you, my frined.
As to your question of now adding lean function muscle to your newly lean physique, this is a question I get often and recently answered on my podcast, The Mike Dolce Show.
Since I have a few minutes, let me offer you a personalized answer.
Muscle gain is as much a product of external stimuli (training) and recovery (sleep) as it is nutrition. It seems your nutrition is on point, so we won’t want to make any drastic changes. The only simple change I would suggest to your current meal plan is to add a little extra protein to each meal and double your carbohydrates every third day. Do nothing else and chart how your body reacts. If after 10 days you do not see a change in energy, strength, muscle fullness or increased numbers on the scale, I would next increase my carbs every other day and again chart my response. The last change I would make, if needed, would be to increase my protein intake to double of my current daily average.
The goal here is to add lean functional muscle, not simply body weight for the sake of body weight. If you can gain two full pounds of functional muscle per month, as a drug-free trainee, you are making incredible gains. Any more than this will often result in added bodyfat, which is pointless.
Next, I would focus on brief and intense bouts of resistence training through the performance of compound movements with strict form for approximately 8 to 12 repetitions. For mass gain, I prefer to train every other day using the following split.
MONDAY: Thighs, Calves, Abs
WEDNESDAY: Chest, Triceps
THURSDAY: Back, Abs
SATURDAY: Shoulders, Tris, Bi’s
Last, in order to build muscle tissue, you must sleep. This is the time the body repairs and rebuilds the damage you have done in the gym. If you are not sleeping a full 7+ hours per night (I personally shoot for 9 hours) you will not grow sufficiently. So sleep!!!
That is it. My simple and easy advice to build nasty, functional muscle and take one step closer to the body of your dreams!!!
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