While weight loss is generally more commonly desired than gain, many people look to increase muscle size and strength. Some may be seasoned athletes and regular gym-goers, while others may be completely new to weightlifting or body transformation practices. For many, the aesthetic appeal of building muscles is high on the list of fitness goals. It is a request we encounter with our clients regularly, and we are commonly asked how it is attainable.

While the proposition may be more challenging for many people than it initially seems, it’s certainly not impossible. Yes, there are those that are naturally muscular and gifted with the ability to put muscle on muscle with minimal effort or dietary attention, but those individuals are rare. So it really comes down to hard work and dedication for the rest of us mere mortals to gain the strength and physique we have in mind as our ideal. Whether you have aspirations of body-building to Arnie-like proportions or prefer a lean and defined body, this article is for you and will help you get started on your journey. 

Healthy Meal Prep Essex

First, Let's Chat Diet

A substantial part of that hard work to get your ideal, chiselled or bulked up body is diet. But dieting usually evokes the idea of restrictive eating, subsisting on rabbit food, and being in a calorific deficit.

That’s not what we want for a program like this. That approach will make you lose fat, but long-term sustainability is questionable if the program is too restrictive, even for the most committed dieters. But, importantly for this discussion, a restrictive eating program will inhibit any athletic and muscular development you actually want. To gain muscle mass, it’s essential to be in a calorie surplus. Why? Because your body needs a range of nutrients, minerals, and elements for growth and development.

Muscle can’t grow and develop while your body is in starvation mode or if it lacks sufficient fuel to accompany gruelling workouts. So if leaning down to low body fat while increasing in power and strength and muscular development is your goal, or you want to bulk, you need to be in calorific surplus. 

Let’s Define Surplus

A calorific surplus is when the number of calories consumed is higher than what’s being burned by exercise and daily bodily support functions. The quantity required varies per day between males and females, whose biology builds muscle and stores fat differently. Calculations need to be based on your body type, height, and current weight. Consideration also needs to take into account how much exercise is going to burn calories consumed and get you to the results you want. When striving to gain muscle, your average surplus needs to be 350–500 calories per day over your individual daily requirements, while bulking maybe more still.

All Calories Are Not Created Equal

In a caloric surplus, the body mass will increase. This means fat gain can occur quickly if calculations are off or if the wrong foods are consumed. As we have established, the correct surplus consumed must promote muscle gains while minimising fat storage.

As with any hypertrophic goal program, there are different goal posts and requirements. For example, increasing lean muscle mass and lowering body fat may require more protein, whereas increasing bulking and increasing size may need more carbs. Generally, bulking is sustained long-term by sustaining this calorie surplus to maintain muscle gain, or it will revert to fat instead. To avoid this happening, it’s essential to eat a healthy diet with all the macronutrients required – protein, carbohydrates and nutrients to build muscle fast. Getting these from natural sources while avoiding junk food or incomplete sources is the key for many people to see success. 

Include Tailored Strength Workouts and Lift Heavy

It goes without saying that if you are embarking on a surplus diet to build muscle, it’s imperative to have a robust and regular exercise routine designed specifically to put on that extra muscle. Lifting heavy, lower reps is one method to gain; another is HIT with short, fast bursts of power and speed to develop lean muscle.

There are many possible exercise styles and configurations, so it’s up to you what works best. The one caveat is being regular with the routine you choose as consistency is the best and only way to succeed. Add a great rest and recovery routine to that, and your long-term goals will quickly become a reality.

Be Consistent & You Will See Results

Many people start out excited and all-in on a new program. The first couple of weeks on your new healthy surplus diet with an intensive exercise routine are filled with optimism and drive. But over time, interest wanes, life creeps in, and it may feel harder and harder. But the key is consistency if you genuinely want to see results.

If you can maintain your exercise routine, eat correctly, prioritise foods rich in protein and complex carbs, and make sure you rest too, you will see results. Remember, the physical transformation you want won’t happen overnight. So it’s vital to be patient, keep doing the work each day, and you’ll reap the benefits over the long term.

Contact Us For Professional Support

Whether you are just starting on your journey or just need a little extra help to maintain or exceed your current success, our Expert and Friendly team at Recipe For Results can provide support and guidance. Whether you want a strength-building diet and in-person coaching or access to full-service food preparation and delivery assistance to maintain your great eating habits, our team has you covered.

We also offer personalised exercise programs that fit your strength and muscle-building goals or in-person personal training in and around Essex. So no matter what you need on your health and fitness journey, we have a solution that can be tailored to you. Your health and wellbeing are our business, and we are always consistent and committed to helping you reach your goals.

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What They’re Saying About Us

I started Personal Training with Recipe For Results recently with a very specific goal in mind, but I had no idea how to achieve it or if it was even possible. When I met Martyn he was very knowledgeable and encouraging.

Fauzia Godwin

I started Personal Training with Martyn as I had recently had a hip replacement and I was very overweight and unfit. I had been doing a gentle, boring routine for a while and lost some weight but needed motivation to increase my fitness.

Lynne Keeling

Martyn keeps the Personal Training sessions interesting by teaching you different exercises each week and really pushing you forward so you can achieve your goals.

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Started training with Martyn before my wedding and the benefits I saw in only a couple of months was enough to keep me going! Felt great on my hen do and wedding day too! Thanks! #SweatingForTheWedding

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