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The complete guide to mass gain

The complete guide to Mass gain

The complete guide to mass gain

Gain mass and muscle in record time! This is a seductive idea, and it is all the interest of the period of mass gain: to gain raw weight but a lot of muscles. But how to do a good mass gain? How to promote muscle gain rather than fat? What are the keys to making it work?

This article will help you set up all the necessary conditions for a successful mass take.

Mass gain is a time of year when the goal is to gain maximum muscle mass as quickly as possible. Not everyone is obliged to go through a mass take, but it is highly recommended for beginners who need to expand or to pass a pallier if you have been stagnating for a while.

To succeed in mass, you need to pay more attention to your nutrition, your diet, adapt your training and perfect your recovery. The law of all or nothing takes precedence. To achieve this, everything must be done properly.

What is a mass socket?

To make it simple, taking mass consists of eating more than usual to put the body in good conditions to make muscle. Gaining volume quickly is not easy. You need to act on the diet, increase calorie intake, work hard in the gym without forgetting to recover well.

You will gain muscle quickly but also fat, more or less important depending on the calories swallowed. It will therefore be necessary to determine this calorie intake in order not to fatten up too much, because a successful mass intake is a mass intake that limits the intake of fat. In general, a good pace is the intake of 1 to 2 kilos per month, with if possible 2/3 of muscle for 1/3 of fat.

Of course, it is not mandatory to engage in a mass take. But without this phase that can last a few months, progress can be quite slow. And since most beginners want quick results, it’s best to direct them to the ground.

Who needs to do a mass take?

It depends on your physique and your goal. If you are a beginner in bodybuilding, here are 3 classic cases that can suit you:

  • If you have a normal physique, not too fat or too dry, you can make a mass take, eating more or less healthy. To gain muscle, you have to gain weight. How? By eating more than you need, above maintenance. But there is also no question of stuffing oneself in this particular case. You must remain vigilant in monitoring your weight gain and especially your waist.
  • If you are thin in nature, and you are struggling to gain weight, and you are told that you need to gain weight, do a conventional mass gain. Do not limit yourself to more of this or less of that, eat! Your goal is to grow.
  • If you are overweight or obese, go on a fat loss diet and combine training with weights and cardio training. You will gain muscle and lose fat at the same time, at least during the first few months. Then, you can make a clean mass, limiting the intake of fat, eating only slightly more than your maintenance.

A mass take can also be considered even if you are no longer beginner, to stimulate your muscle gains in case of stagnation, but also your strength and performance in the room.

Those who do not do strength training, athletes and athletes of various disciplines can also benefit from it. For example, rugbymans who need to gain muscle or martial arts practitioners who need to strengthen their bodies.

What should I eat during the mass?

One of the most important factors is the power supply during the grounding. You need to assess your needs, create your grounding menus and monitor the results. It’s not that hard to put in place if you have the right tools.


The first thing to do is to determine your DEJ, the daily energy expenditure. With this figure, you’ll know exactly how many calories you need to eat. There are formulas on the Internet, calculators, and that may give you an idea. But the best thing to do is to calculate the calories you eat over a week and average. This will give you your daily calorie intake. If you stay at the same weight, it will be your “maintenance”.

To gain mass, just eat a little more than this maintenance. In general, 200 kcal more will be enough for a normal person; 300 to 500 kcal for a lean person. If you do not gain weight after 3 or 4 weeks, slowly increase in stages. Decrease if the scale goes crazy, if you take too much fat in some places.

Be careful, it is not a question of feeding oneself by ingesting astronomical amounts of unnecessary calories. And you should not eat poor quality food. The goal is to gain muscle mass, feed the muscles and stay healthy; not to fatten up like a pig and feed him junk food.


In general, when taking mass, it is advisable to multiply meals. There is no rule, but spreading calories over several meals helps to better assimilate and avoid too much heavy meals more difficult to digest.

Three classic meals and one or two snacks is a good base. Each meal should contain protein (20 to 40 grams), medium to low GI carbohydrates, and quality fats. We can eat every 3 hours, taking a snack in the morning (10 hours) and in the afternoon (16 hours). The important thing is that the total of 3, 4 or 5 meals corresponds to your calorie needs determined above


In terms of macronutrients, proteins, carbohydrates and fats, make it simple:

  • For protein, mass gain, take 2 grams per kilogram of body weight. A sportsman of 80 pounds will take 160 grams of protein a day, every day. For example, 30g for breakfast, 20g for the morning snack, 40g at noon, 30g for the four o'clock, and 40g in the evening. These proteins will come from diets such as meat, fish, eggs, dairy products, legumes, and possibly supplements (whey protein, casein) for practical reasons. The important thing is that the total is 160 grams, for this example.
  • For lipids, 1 to 1.5 g/kg body weight. Take no less, they are essential. But select the good ones, like the good oils (olive, rapeseed), oilseeds (almonds, nuts), fatty fish (salmon, sardines), whole eggs, avocado etc.
  • For carbohydrates, the right amount is the one that will allow you to reach your calorie intake decided above, the one that exceeds your maintenance. If you need 3000 kcal to start the mass intake, that proteins (2g/kg) bring 160 x 4 = 640 kcal, 1080 kcal lipids (1.5g/kg), this will make 1280 kcal of carbohydrates or 320g of carbohydrates to distribute over 3 to 5 daily meals. Choose good carbohydrates, those with low or moderate GI (glycemic index). For example, whole or semi-complete cereals, legumes, fruits and vegetables. Basmati rice, quinoa, buckwheat, sweet potatoes, yams, lentils, peas, beans, etc. Avoid refined, industrial, IG high foods. To help you, you can easily find a table of glycemic indexes on the Internet.
  • And drink enough water! Hydration is an essential aspect, but often forgotten. Know that for athletes, water consumption is increased. Then drink up!

Finally, nothing is carved in stone. Adjustments will probably have to be made based on the weight gained.

And after the grounding, what do we do?

In general, a weight gain ends with a dry bodybuilding, the goal of which will be to lose all the excess fat accumulated, trying to keep the muscle gained during this weight gain. The objective will be to display a physical drawn and «dry», with muscles clearly visible.

If you have gained a lot of fat, the dry will be long enough, hence the advantage of not taking mass without control. It must be understood that this mass intake, more or less clean, is necessary to generate a rapid and important muscle intake, because the dry mass intake (without fat) is illusory, or really very slow. Understand that you can not take a lot of muscle without accepting a parallel fat intake. Being very muscular and dry all the time is not possible, except to use dopants.

What kind of training should I take in a mass attack?

You should know that the diet does not do everything. You bring more energy to your body, fine, but you have to train seriously and intensively, doing short and intense workouts. During this period, you will try to break your records in the room: more weight on the bar, or repetitions, and force your body to adapt. In short, it is time to put the package on the basic exercises such as squat, raised ground or bench press.

We often see beginners only practicing isolation exercises, which is not an optimal way to proceed. Do basic strength exercises first!

In order for the body to adapt, it will be necessary to rest and recover. Do 3 to 4 full sessions a week, ideally in full-body if you are starting. And get enough sleep because lack of sleep can affect your performance and hormones, so your muscle gains. Not to mention the increased risk of injury when you are tired. Do not hesitate to take a nap if your schedule allows. Finally, follow the old adage: Eat, sleep and practice 

What supplements should I use when taking mass?

If you are following a mass-taking diet, it can be interesting to supplement yourself to speed up progress and maximize recovery. Here are 4 supplements that we consider the best for mass taking.


Sheaths are a mixture of protein and carbohydrates in powder form. Mixed with water or milk in the form of a «shake», they bring you calories easily. Especially recommended for people who have difficulty growing and eating, they are not recommended for people who make fat easily in their traditional form. There are nevertheless «lean gainers», nutritional powders called complete, more balanced and rich in protein (30 to 40%), better adapted to normal people. Sheaths are a must for thin, ectomorphic people who are desperate to be thin. The others can go for a lean gainers or a homemade mix of protein (whey) and healthy carbohydrates (instant oats, sweet potato flour)


Whey, one of the proteins in milk, is one of the best bodybuilding supplements for muscle mass. Easily and quickly assimilated, it brings you high-quality protein, rich in BCAA, and promotes anabolism, that is, muscle building. Very practical on the move or in progress, as after the effort, this type of supplement is highly recommended.


Creatine will allow you to gain muscle in the first few weeks. Ideal for strength training, it has proven effective in the practice of short and intense efforts. With this supplement, you can train harder and boost both your strength and performance. Creatine leads to a significant increase in weight, boosts growth hormone and recovery. Nothing better.


In mass intake, we tend to eat more calories and less fruit and vegetables. A vitamin and mineral supplement is therefore strongly recommended. Especially since the needs of athletes are much more important and our food is no longer as rich in micronutrients as before. In plain sight .

Don’t make a mass take!?

Recently, I have seen that some youtubers strongly advise against making a mass take by showing themselves as an example. It is easy not to do mass gain when you are loaded, muscle gains come alone with the power of these products. Indeed, with these products you take more muscle by sitting on your couch than by training hard in the weight room. This is not a joke, this is what we could see in the article Steroids vs Natural: There is no photo with supporting studies.

Of course, this is not a reason to fatten up like a pig: you should not confuse muscle and fat intake! As you can imagine, there is a middle ground; the grounding will have to be adapted on a case-by-case basis. A lean, highly active metabolic will be able to move towards a conventional mass gain and quickly gain a lot of weight, while a person who tends to make fat easily will have to be careful and aim for a clean and slow mass gain.

Finally, if you want to get an athlete’s body you will have to arm yourself with patience, will and perseverance. That’s how it works.

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