I am 10lbs heavier in the picture on the right.
Useful Links: July 2019 Update | One Month Update | Three Months Update
I haven’t written a “bulk update” since July 2019 because there was nothing new to add. I continued to eat, gain weight at what I considered an appropriate pace, train hard, and learn more about myself as a lifter, which helped me design better and better programs for myself overtime.
No one likes to read a story that starts well and ends well, so I figured I would wait until something interesting came along.
Well, what came along was a world-wide pandemic and an order from the British government to maintain social distance and stay at home as much as possible.
My gym and all others in the UK closed down at the same time as many other fitness facilities across the world.
I haven’t done a home workout since September 2018, when I moved from London to Portsmouth, went back to university, and joined a local commercial gym. At the time, I was only three months into serious lifting, so a pair of adjustable dumbbells still posed an adequate challenge to my strength.
I am a bit further along my training career now, so, at first, working out at home felt like a problem rather than a solution.
How was I going to make progress? Was I going to make progress? How much would I eat?
Read on to find out what I chose to do and why.
Sorry, there’s no magic bullet. You gotta eat healthy and live healthy to be healthy and look healthy. End of story.
What’s the best diet? If you have read my content for any length of time, you might remember that, in simple terms, a good diet to gain muscle involves a caloric surplus, whereas a good diet to lose fat involves a caloric deficit.
Any diet can be great as long as it accomplishes either task, depending on your goal.
A more effective question would be: What’s the best diet for you?
In this article, I am going to outline some benefits and downsides of three of the current most popular dieting approaches, so that, if you are considering any of these, you can make an informed decision.
The dieting strategies I will touch upon include:
I would like to clarify that perhaps none of these methods will be appropriate for you in the long term. In fact, I would rarely implement them with my own clients.
However, these diet trends still exist, and I thought that writing this post instead of ignoring their popularity might help people realise that none of these are “special” or in any way superior to others.
When it comes to a long-term way of eating, these are signs that the particular diet you are thinking of will work for you:
To eat is necessity, but to eat intelligently is an art.
In my previous article, I outlined the basics of flexible dieting and focused on one approach that I believe to be a stepping stone to more complex ways of flexible dieting: counting calories and macros.
In this piece, I want to cover some guidelines on how to design a diet for either fat loss or muscle gain, including a proposed diet duration, macros and calories calculations, and how to transition away from dieting.
It is not enough to have a good mind; the main thing is to use it well.
Following a maintenance phase, in the last month I have resumed high-volume training and a calorie surplus to induce hypertrophy and gain more muscle.
I feel like I am in a better mental place to welcome this process than ever before, as I find myself better equipped, from a psychological standpoint, to deal with the inevitable fat gain and the increasing number on the scale.
Sharing my thoughts on the topic on Instagram, I received some great comments about the relatability of the fear of weight gain. So, in this article, I aim to provide some strategies that have helped me and might aid others in the mental struggle against the scale and the mirror.
Trust the process.
To complement last week’s article on fat loss, this week I aim to cover three of the most common reasons why you might be struggling to gain muscle despite your best efforts.
A personal trainer who likes bodybuilding, superheroes, and bread.
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