How did I gain my muscle?
Well, that came about after my love affair with Mary Jane(MJ).
You see, I was addicted to MJ throughout college, I would miss all my classes to spend time with MJ.
When I got home, I would sneak around with MJ.
It was your typical first love scenario and you want to do it all the time.
Whenever you are in situation like that, you are unaware of the negatives until 1 day you find your mirror looks a bit strange.
Unfortunately Mary Jane gave me the munchies and that lead to sweet and sweaty nights.
This is me on my 21st birthday. Do not be fooled by the clothes, I was skinny fat.
When you are skinny fat you look skinny with your clothes on but when it is off, you can be used as modeling clay.
“It is not me Mary Jane, it is you. You have to go”
Later that year I joined the gym with the goal of getting big and shredded.
Over the next 3 years I started reading about everything fitness.
Fad diets, fancy training and bullshit supplements.
I consistently tried new things to get the edge. I wanted quick results and I was not going to spare any cost.
About 3 years later.
As you can see, my progress was not much to write home about.There had to be a better way. 7 years later.
It is safe to say I rectified what I was doing wrong but this should have not taken me 7 years.
What was I doing wrong?
Here is what I learned.
My diet is a variation of these foods when trying to add muscle.
- Diet – Ignore your diet and you will not go anywhere in regard to fat loss or muscle building. I was eating take outs regularly and my sweet tooth controlled me. Food is a natural athlete’s anabolic, use it as such.
- I figured out my maintenance calories and added 300 to gain lean mass.
- I focused on getting 1 gram of protein per lb of body weight. You don’t need 2 grams as many say, studies have shown you can build muscle on a lower protein intake.
- My fats were set to 0.45 gram per lb of mass and the rest I filled in with carbs.
- I occasionally fit in my favorite treats like doughnuts and cupcakes.
- Training – This was a mess, my form was non-existent. My partner and I were benching 120 kg together, he would spot me and I would lie to myself that it was all me.
- Master the basics and you will achieve a great body that you may never need to experiment with other training methods. The edge only works when you got the basics down. The basics are you lifting compound movements with the correct form.
- Progressively get stronger, this does not mean you should rush to bench a 100 kg. It means you must lift a weight that is challenging. That could be 50 kg 60 kg etc. Overtime you want to get stronger
- Control the weight, there’s 3 parts to the lift, eccentric, concentric and isometric. You need to do all 3 things to gain mass.
- I started to lift with intent, my mind to muscle improved. I could visualize the muscle working.
- I used variations of push pull legs, upper lower body split and bodybuilding split.
- Rest – I would love going to gym 7 days a week, I never believed in rest. Now I go in 4 to 5 days and usually it is an hour-long workout.
- Tracking – How do you know where you are going, when you don’t know where you are coming from. You make changes based on what you see in your training journal.
- I tracked my workouts, every single lift and focused on getting stronger.
- I measured my waist to know if I am gaining fat.
- I took progress pictures over time to see the results.
- I tracked my calories and adjusted them as needed on .
- Supplements – They are optional and most cases never needed. I relied on supplements to do the work for me, unfortunately they don’t. I now use them when I cannot get my calories in from whole foods
- Consistency – The most important of all, you have to be consistent with the above. Find what works for you and do that consistently over the years and you will get the results.
- Cold days, lazy days, long work day, I still get it done.
- I have found bulking and cutting in 6 weeks cycle works best for me and so I have used this consistently over 3 years.
Only when you have a good grasp of the above can you make real changes.
I got to my leanest condition ever using the above.
Building muscle is simple, focus on the basics and filter out all the noise, the fancy plans, supplements and fad diets.
PS: MJ is not a person.
About the Author:
Akram Khan has inspired many people through his remarkable transformation and also through his informative answers on Quora. He has over 1300 followers on Quora and just in a couple of months , he was the most viewed writer on Quora in the topics of Bodybuilding , Fitness , Muscles , Weight Loss , Working and Strength Training.I would like to thank Mr. Akram Khan for sharing his incredible transformation with the readers of this blog and with me. I know this will inspire and motivate others to follow the healthy path he has followed.
If you wish to learn more from him , he can be followed on Quora via the below Link:
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