Adding impressive size takes a dedicated approach to both training and nutrition. You can’t grow without proper stimulation in the gym and the right amount of food and calories to support your efforts.

Back in my days as a competitor, I used my “off-season” to add muscle to my frame. For noncompetitive bodybuilders, summer and winter dictate when to shred down or bulk up, and with winter on our doorstep, it’s time to add mass. Here’s how:


The first rule is more food, more often. Plan on six small meals per day so as not to overload your system; expect to absorb about 35 grams of muscle-building protein per sitting. Protein should come from red meat, poultry, and fish; consume milk by the quarts and lots of cottage cheese and eggs. Rely on whole-grain carbs and veggies to get your fiber and simple carbs like rice and potatoes for pre- and post-training meals. They burn clean, and with intense training they’re not likely to store as body fat. Never let your nutrition falter, even slightly. Keep extra food, protein drinks, and supps at work, in your gym bag, and in your car. We’re on a mission.


Remember that nutrition is half the battle. Only with heavy training will your heavy eating be productive. Add grueling sets of squats and deadlifts to your workouts, and don’t neglect your aerobic work: 20 minutes four times a week will increase your blood volume, raise your metabolism, and help you maintain maximum endurance for intense training sessions.

Above all, don’t contemplate your navel—to get big and muscular, you’ll need to carry bulk. Bulk is fun. Your back, shoulders, and arms spread out, tugging on the seams of your shirt. With size comes power, and power enables you to train heavier, harder, and meaner.

Proper training combined with more food equals big muscle. So ignore cuts and a trim waistline. Focus on the mass, separation, and balance. There’s a season for everything, and whether you’re training for the stage or the beach, you’ll want to be ready. – FLEX