Purposefully gaining weight seems easy but is actually quite a challenge! The first thing that one might think when trying to gain weight, is that you can eat whatever you want, whenever you want. This is definitely not the case!
Kristina started on a 12-week mass with the help of a coach at CrossFit Eminence. Her weight was monitored twice a week. She worked hard to purposefully gain on average, half a pound per week. Eating to gain weight is structured similar to eating on a fat loss plan. However, carbohydrates and fats are increased in appropriate amounts based on a variety of factors. If too many calories are consumed, weight can be gained too fast. This would leave the dieter with a larger gain in body fat instead of lean muscle mass. We can also utilize weight gain in order to improve body composition. With this in mind, Kristina stayed conservative throughout the 12 weeks, eating a variety of healthy foods in certain proportions. She also made sure to stay consistent in the gym, and we enjoyed seeing her regularly at our Eminence Barbell Strength/Powerlifting class! This combination of hard work at both her diet as well as the consistency in the gym, ultimately resulted in the addition of lean mass, and minimal fat. Great job, Kristina!
Summer Bulk Overview: Kristina’s Key Takeaways
- A better understanding of personal goals for nutrition and exercise
- Learning about nutrition, counting macros and types of different types of diet modification for muscle growth
- Changes in workout pattern motivated by nutrient intake and,
- Increases in strength and mental clarity in a relatively short period of time
Learning about portion sizes
The 12-week bulk program was very beneficial to me for a variety of different reasons. I learned new skills to help me understand how to plan my own personal nutrition and exercise goals. This was in order to see results and achieve consistency through my workouts. By having the guidance of my coach, I was able to learn the differences in food nutrients. Some foods are much better for gaining or losing weight than others. Despite my previous thinking that I had a balanced and healthy diet (because I ate a lot of vegetables and protein), I now understand that my portions were completely dysregulated compared to what they should be for healthy weight gain.
Challenges of a busy schedule
Some of the challenges that I faced were not eating enough food for each meal. I also had the challenge of keeping my workout routine consistent despite my busy work schedule. Sticking to my meal plan when having to eat out or when traveling was also difficult. I believe that I was overall consistent with the meal plan but, there are places that I could have improved. The main goal I had was to stick to the plan as far as eating all of the macros in the day, and not overeating foods on my non-workout days. This proved difficult as I felt the urge to snack throughout the day. Drinking a protein shake or eating foods that were filling made that easier.
Better mental clarity and consistency
The most beneficial change that I saw during this process was the positive change in my mental clarity and consistency in my daily routine. I never thought I could be a person who eats the same things every day. This diet made it significantly easier to identify foods that are staples to me and easy to make quickly. I would like to continue to eat this way, and utilize the guidelines laid out to me. I would like to continue growing muscle and strength, while also keeping my portions appropriate!