If you want to build muscle, the truth is that you will have to gain both muscle and fat. But should you gain a bunch of weight in order to pack on muscle? Starting Strength Coach Grant Broggi takes you through the blueprint of exactly how to build muscle using one of his clients as an example.
One of the biggest reasons I think people should lift weights is to improve their overall health and longevity.
I mean after all, who does not want to live a long and capable life?
With that said, I can tell you right now that despite my best efforts, that is not the reason MOST people go to the gym and lift weights.
Most people (regardless of age) go to the gym for one thing: they want to look better.
Every guy wants to look more muscular and better with his shirt off and every woman wants to look lean, tone, and great in a swimsuit.
There is nothing wrong with this. If you spend a few hours in the gym every week training VERY hard, you are allowed (and should) want to look like you work out or at least, come across as a generally fit person.
Even though I want to look good on the beach this summer as much as the next guy, I still try to point my clients toward what I think should be their overarching goal: health and function.
So what should you be focused on?
Well, it depends. For most people I am rarely a proponent of bodyweight gain to drive strength gains. I would rather coach healthy eating, sleeping, training, and recovery habits. I want to promote things that are sustainable and promote longevity - not ONLY performance.
One of the reasons for this is because I have found that people who tie their physical strength progression directly to their food intake end up at an unhealthy bodyweight and a composition that they are not happy with.
So, with that in mind I rarely encourage massive weight gain for the general strength trainee. But there are outliers for sure. Drastically underweight males and females sometimes need to eat a whole lot more than they think and pack on some LBs.
My little cousin Placido fell into this camp. In this week’s video, we cover his progression from 175 -> 230 and then back down to 205lbs.
Whether you're looking to bulk, cut, or neither, I think there are some good takeaways for every lifter. Hope you enjoy!