If you want to gain muscle mass, you need to be sure that each muscle group gets at least 12 sets for that one session. Look into split programs on Bodybuilding.com for size gain. You also need to progress. Lift more reps every week. Go heavier. Add and extra set. Bottom line, if you do not work harder and push your limits every workout session, you will not change your muscles.
If experimenting on your own doesn't work well for you, maybe you can try a few sessions with a trainer to help design a program.
Fitness Minutes: (12,489)
520 6/5/13 11:56 A
When I was losing weight I ate from 1800 to 2000 calories per day. I lifted weights once per week and did cardio 3 days per week. When I decided to try to gain muscle I started eating 2300 calories per day. When I lift weights I like to do compound exercises, like squats, bench presses, dead lifts. I try to pick a weight that I can do 3 reps of 10. I have been going heavy. I also started lifting 3 times per week and cardio once per week. I am going to check into some books about this as I have a couple of months to read them.
I am not sure I understand why you want to get down to 160 before you start to strength train again. I lift weights to improve my strength for running and cycling. Muscle is metabolically active tissue that helps me lose weight and size. There are times when I have gained 5 pounds but have lost a belt notch around my waist.
The absolutely best book I have found on fitness, functional strength is "Power Eating" by Dr. Susan M. Kleiner.
Dr. Kleiner knows her stuff. There is no "all protein weirdness" in this book. As a matter fact, her diet recommendations look a lot like SparkPeople's balanced nutrition approach. You need carbs so you have energy to workout. The amount of protein needed to build muscle is not as high as some people would think. The human body can turn excess protein calories into fat. Just like any excess calories can be stored as fat.
For resistance workouts I lift weights doing 3 or 4 sets of 12 to 15 reps. Proper from is extremely important. For functional strength, I have one word "core"!
Here is a link to a weight workouts. I don't recommend buying body-building supplements.
Don't fall for the advertising on this site. Good old-fashioned wholesome food is the best thing you can do for fitness and health. I sometimes use a few products, including Muscle Milk, Weider Dynamic Body Builder and Champion Nutrition Met II. A make a shake with these powders, kind of like an instant recovery meal. Generally, I will have a shake after a brutally long hot mountain bike ride.
There are lots of opinions on this topic and I can only offer my personal opinion but here is what I think:
Yes you usually do need excess calories to build muscle. You have to experiment after weight loss to see what your maintenance range is (it will not necessarily be what SP gives you - it will be the calories that you eat daily for 1 month and not gain or lose anything) and then add 200 calories/day to that.
More than 200 calories over your maintenance range is too much.
You need adequate protein, but you don't have to go crazy.
By the way, I have spent the past 9 months building muscle on a severe calorie deficit. I don't talk about it on SP because it is so rare and so "holy grail-ish" that I don't like to invite disbelief/criticism from people who don't know me but the truth is that even as a woman, even without supplements, a super intense strength training program will build muscle even at 1320 calories/day (for me) -- but it means NO CARDIO (bring on the criticism!) and total 100% effort on heavy weights. I've been lifting very heavy for about 75 minutes/day, 5 days/week, for 9 months eating an avg of 1320 calories/day, avoiding cardio, and have managed to lose 40 lbs of fat and to gain several pounds of muscle while doing this -- and I'm a woman! So don't go thinking you need to overeat to do this. Incidentally I've done all this on only 60g of protein / day!!!!
You need to lift heavy and consistently and stay away from cardio in my opinion. But it's just that. Everyone else at my gym does loads of cardio, of course they don't look like me either. Everyone's goals are different.
How many calories were you eating per day during weight loss mode? How many calories did you increase it to, and did you do that all at once? What is your strength training routine like? What kind of exercises are you doing, how many sets and how many reps of each exercise?
Fitness Minutes: (12,489)
520 6/3/13 1:37 P
I got my weight down to 158 about 3 months ago. I decided to increase calories and increase resistance training to add muscle. I have been successful at adding about 15 pounds of fat. I ate more proteins when working out. How do I add muscle, at least some muscle. I am going back to a 2000 calorie a day diet and will get back down to 160 and try this again.
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