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Force Phase: 4 Tips for Putting on Size

It’s grow season for most of us right now and all of the measures we have put in place with regards to training and eating, have been geared towards growing at exponential rates. Putting on size is something that almost every single person who is training with weights, wants to do. Whether it’s putting on size for a particular position in a sport, or to increase your size because you’re a strength athlete and mass moves mass or because you’re a bodybuilder and want to be bigger with every year that passes, getting bigger matters. Regardless of what your motivation for mass is, here are four great tips you can follow to ensure the size of your shirts change out of necessity while you proceed with your force phase seasonal plan.

Tip #1: Force the Food

No one every really wants to be uncomfortable because it’s not a nice feeling. That said, if you really want to pack on the size and gain new tissue, you will sometimes just have to force the food in whether you want to or not. Eating is going to feel like a job in itself and depending upon how many calories you have to take in during the run of the day or how big your appetite is, you may be eating all day long. Your best course of action here is to find good, calorie dense foods that lend themselves to providing you with the nutrients you need to grow without bogging you down too much. Again, when your food volume is high it’s tough to get it in but find ways to do so no matter what.

Tip #2: Lower Your NEAT

You may be a very busy person just by nature of your job or your personality, but if you really want to make those extra calories count, you have to take into account your calories in versus calories out equation. Your NEAT score (non-exercise activity thermogenesis) has to be on the lower side unless you want to offset it with more food. That might seem like a better idea to you at first but you’ll quickly realize more food isn’t always the best option. Instead, take a look at how much you do during the day that doesn’t include exercise, limit those obligations if you can and allow for the calorie equation to trend the way you want it to.

Tip #3: Lift Big

The stimulus for building muscle can come in many different forms. All that really matters is the intensity that you employ while training. That said, no one who every got huge did so by focusing on the pump instead of maxing out weight. Simply put, you have to train heavy to grow and you have to focus on using the heaviest weights possible, with maximal intensity, and train close to or right to failure, in order to grow the most. Compound movements will always be your friend as they will allow you to load up the most weight possible while taxing your body the most. Any movement that requires you to completely load your entire structure for performance or support, will work best here.

Tip #4: Keep doing Cardio

This may sound contradictory to what was mentioned in lowering your NEAT score, but it’s very important that you keep a respectable level of cardiovascular conditioning in place; here’s why. Not only will this practice go a long way in keeping you healthy, it will also go a long way in keeping your abilities to train hard with the weights for lengthened times and at heightened intensities where it needs to be. If you’re gassed after every set because your cardio conditioning is nowhere to be found, how do you expect to keep this sort of output going for the duration of your workout? You won’t be able to so to avoid this, keep your cardio training in as a regular part of your routine and allow yourself to train at the level you should be at.

Getting huge in the offseason is fun and always a time we look forward to. You can stay covered up, enjoy the extra food you don’t get to enjoy while on prep, be looser with your food options and fill your muscles up with so much glycogen that the pumps in the gym and the strength gains always seem to be on the rise and get better with each training week that passes. Just make sure you don’t get too sloppy and forget the reasons why you’re bulking up in the first place.

Author: Dana Bushell

Gym Star Team Member