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  • Gaining Muscle



    While I realize that Mark has covered this topic quite extensively in a previous article, I had one more specific question. Is it necessary to follow a special eating and lifting plan in order to gain lean mass? Assuming that I pay relitively strict attention to the 10 primal laws; I eat enough of the right foods, and exercise correctly(1 day HIIT, 1 Day Sprinting, 2 Days lifting, plus lots of walking) will I naturally gain lean muscle mass?


  • #2
    1



    The best way to gain lean muscle mass is to lift heavy things. Following that plan should increase your muscle mass. Of course reducing your body fat percentage is the best way to get sculpted. We all have decent muscle mass on our bodies but it is often covered with fat. Reduce the fat and you'll look more muscular.


    Since maintaining muscle takes a lot of energy your body won't do it unless it senses that it is necessary and it is provided the resources. That's why you have to lift heavy two to three times a week and provide it with proper nutrition.

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    • #3
      1



      I agree with DaveFish. Lift heavy things a few times a week and challenge yourself. Couldn't be simpler, but we like to complicate things and meddle with simple processes when we don't see results as quickly as we'd like.

      You lousy kids! Get off my savannah!

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      • #4
        1



        Can you please elaborate on "lifting heavy things"? What is considered heavy lifting?

        On a mission to help others master movement, build unbreakable strength, & eat MORE food (can't beat that.) Weekly fitness, health & nutrition articles at indulgentfitness.com.

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        • #5
          1



          Jess- lifting heavy things is weight training that isn't easy for you. Something that you can lift, push or pull for at least 5 times. it should be challenging.

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          • #6
            1



            Jess, Ecala is right. What's heavy for you might not be heavy for me but that doesn't matter. It should be a challenge for you. Search this site for Slosh Tube, Sledgehammer, and sandbag to get some ideas of Primal heavy lifting. But you can do it with dumbbells too.


            A lot of women worry that they will "bulk up" but that is very unlikely to happen. You need a lot of testosterone to build muscle. I recommend lifting a weight that is heavy enough that you can do no more than 8-10 reps without struggling to maintain good form. Some even recommend no more than 5 reps. I don't recommend 12-15 (or more) reps though. If you can do that many reps, the weight isn't heavy enough.

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            • #7
              1



              First post


              One of the only programs I know of that works for literally everybody that follows it correctly is Starting Strength by Mark Rippetoe. I'm doing it right now and it's definitely working. It certainly follows the above suggestions of lifting heavy things.


              There's a free Starting Strength wiki but I'd definitely recommend buying/borrowing the book. There's 50+ pages on the squat alone.

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              • #8
                1



                I do my strenght training with 1 to 5 reps and LOVE it. No sore muscles ever (excluding first week)

                I will be normal. I will be NORMAL again
                Yeah!

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                • #9
                  1



                  Rippetoe's Starting Strength is the best beginner's strength training program out there. StrongLifts 5x5 is great too. 10climbe, If you are not following one already I would recommend a barbell training program like Rippetoe or StrongLifts 5x5. Incorporating heavy squats and DLs to your lifting regimen will stimulate enough hormone production to make every muscle in your entire body to grow while making it almost impossible to store body fat.

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                  • #10
                    1



                    I'm trying to regain some lost muscle mass, particularly in my upper body. Here's what I did today; it's different every day:


                    *Pull-ups/dips 4 super-sets/5-6 reps (Gravitron-assisted-can't quite do a "real" pull-up yet, but getting close).

                    *Bench Press w/dumbells (don't have a spotter, hate to get caught under a bar) 5 sets/5-6 or until failure.

                    *Seated tricep extensions 5/5-6

                    *Squats with barbell, 5 sets/5

                    *Dead Lifts, 5/5-6


                    *Run 6 blocks home...stretch, cool down and eat a whole bunch ;-)

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                    • #11
                      1



                      kuno1chi, I know that you mentioned that your routine is different every day, but do you usually do squats and deadlifts last (or even in the middle, opposed to in the beginning)?


                      That looks like an extensive (and exhausting) workout. How were your energy levels when the time came to finally squat and deadlift today?

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                      • #12
                        1



                        hfox,


                        There are some pretty serious bodybuilders using my gym, so I will usually try to work in around them (they have started calling me, "Scrappy-Doo", and "Mighty Mouse"). Usually I do try to do the heavy lifting earlier in the workout if I can.


                        Energy levels were pretty okay; had a late dinner last night. I was pretty much toast by the end though.

                        The run home was not pretty at all...


                        I suspect I might feel this one tomorrow; maybe I can get the boy to give me a massage when he gets off work.


                        Since I know I'm going to be doing this a couple of times a week, I've been trying to eat around 100 gms of protein every day, carbs under 50 and lots of good fat. Fitday says: 1,975 cals, 148.4 gms fat 31.4 gms carb 91.4 gms protein. (I was a pig...I admit it).

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                        • #13
                          1



                          Ah, that makes perfect sense. I know what it's like to have to work around people. And I do the exact same thing of using dumbbells opposed to the bench press; unless I have a friend with me, I'm not about to ask someone to spot (even if I have seen him/her around over the years).


                          Have they given you these nicknames in a playful, affectionate manner or the opposite? Luckily, at the Family Y, everyone is pretty friendly/low-key and keeps to themselves.


                          I'm impressed by your routine. They won't be calling you Mighty *Mouse* for long, kuno1chi ;-)

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                          • #14
                            1



                            I genuinely feel it's affectionate.


                            Although a lot of the women seem to feel it's attractive to wear spandex and kind of drape themselves over the machines rather than sweat...the "big boys" upstairs really seem to enjoy a woman who's interested in applying herself.


                            I just go in with my ratty t-shirt and sweats.


                            I think I will be Mighty Mouse until the day I die, 'cause I'm a girl, and some of these guys outweight me by like 100 pounds. But there are much worse nick-names :-D

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                            • #15
                              Gaining muscle is a noble goal! I recently did a whole podcast on the subject: How to Build Strength and Muscle Mass Most Effectively | FITNESS PAIN FREE

                              Tips:
                              1) Consistently lift with compound exercises with good technique, progressively getting stronger from week to week, month to month.
                              2) Eat enough to support your goals
                              3) Be patient - It takes years
                              4) Be disciplined - Get on a program you can realistically follow for the long run.

                              Good Luck,
                              Dan Pope Fitness Pain Free

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