Mass Acceleration - A beginners guide to adding size

By Teiko Reindorf

It's damn near inevitable; every time I leave the house a stranger will approach me and make a comment about my size.

The comments range from "Damn bro, you're huge" to borderline creepy remarks about my ability to squeeze them to death.

The truth is, despite the odd eyebrow raising remark - being a big man is pretty damn awesome.  

Things weren't always like this though.

Like many kids from my generation, I spent an exorbitant amount of time in front of a TV screen. All those years of neglecting my body caused me to gain a ton of weight.

Things got really out of control once I hit the seventh grade, for I had eaten myself to the point where I weighed twice as much as all the other kids.

As you can imagine this made things difficult but all wasn't lost - my propensity for gluttony would prove to be beneficial a few years later when I discovered weight training.

A history of overindulgence had inadvertently set forth a pattern of fearlessness when it came to food - an ideal scenario for a lifter looking to gain mass quickly.

I figured with a bit of discipline I could steer my ravenous appetite towards foods which would actually help me become more muscular... which leads me to the first of four strategies I am going to share with you today, when it comes to training for mass.

Eat As If Your Life Depends On It

When Mass (and we have to say it using a capital M) is the goal, it's deathly important you eat often and without remorse.

Many young lifters are overly cautious when eating for size. They fear frequent feedings will have them looking like dead ringers for Rob Kardashian. Nothing could be further from the truth. If you are going to train to pack on the pounds, you will need to provide your body with adequate nutrition to build and repair itself. 

Though there are a million different strategies for eating to get big, I recommend you stick to the age old adage of eating a high protein, moderate carbohydrate meal every few hours. 

Admittedly, frequent feedings take some planning but rest assured a knapsack loaded with food will get you further than any fancy shakes and powders.

Make Volume and Intensity Your Best Friends 

When it comes to packing on mass, you must train with both volume and intensity. In the context of training, volume denotes a high quantity of work within a given workout whereas intensity refers to a percentage of maximum load being used. 

Though its damn near impossible to train with both volume and intensity simultaneously, you can include both parameters within a given training cycle to yield incredible mass-building results

Big boys start their workouts with high intensity training; this primes your nervous system and primes you to lift weight once you move on to your higher volume lifts.

This hybrid approach to training is beneficial to the newbie because it allows him to maximize neural adaptation (get stronger) while providing sufficient stimulus to illicit muscular adaptations (get bigger).

I’m a fan of Elliot Hulse's Lean Hybrid system, but it’s important you find one that you can stick with. Don’t program hop.

Learn When to Back Off

I liken training for mass to trying to win over a bouncer and walk into a swanky club. It requires a high level of finesse and a keen awareness as to when you should back-off.

The reason so many newbies fail when attempting to move-up a weight-class is because they neglect planned recovery.

As commendable as balls-out training sounds, it often leads to injury and or burn-out.

If you want to be smart, safe and strong - train with the peddle to the metal mentality for three weeks during each training cycle, then back off from training on your fourth and final week. 

This periodic approach to de-loading gives your body ample time to recover from rigorous training as well as repair connective tissue and rebalance your muscle-building hormones.

In terms of the de-load itself, you can either opt for a complete break from training or partial de-load. If you absolutely can't stay away from the gym, choose the partial de-load and cut both volume and intensity in half. Use the remaining time as an opportunity to catch up on soft-tissue and other types of restorative exercise.

Sleep Hard And Deep

Many newbies fail to pack on size because they would rather spend their evenings emulating the cast of Jersey Shore than resting-up and allowing their bodies to recover.

High quality sleep has a direct correlation to your body’s ability to secrete muscle-building hormones (testosterone and growth hormone) while keeping the fat storing hormones (cortisol) in check.

If mass is your goal make sure you get 6-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep in a pitch black room without external stimulation.

It’s amazing how neglected sleep is. The guys from Examine.com wrote a great post on what the research says about how important sleep is (these are the same guys who wrote the Protein Bible here).

Okay young grasshopper, it's now time to put the lessons I've taught you about gaining mass into action. Start by eating frequently and without fear - once you've got that down move onto training with both volume and intensity. Then finish off your mass attack by scheduling in periodic de-loads. If you can put all three of these techniques (and make sure you get enough sleep) into place you too will reap the rewards of head-turning size.



Teiko Reindorf is a modern day renaissance man hailing from Toronto, Canada. When he isn't busy training private clients he spends his time illustrating www.mightytrainer.com, writing on his personal blog at www.teikoreindorf.com and belting classic eighties tunes at the top of his lungs to anyone willing to listen

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