Lifting Q: Eat for Size


Q: I’ve been lifting heavy and keeping my training volume low, but I don’t seem to have made any size gains in a while. My strength keeps going up, but what do I need to do to gain more muscle mass?

A: That’s simple: eat more. “Focus on eating calorie-dense foods that don’t fill you up,” says MF training adviser Jason Ferruggia. Nuts, pasta, and rice all pack meat on your bones without leaving you feeling stuffed for hours, so you’ll be hungry for more muscle-building calories in short order. “Also, get used to force-feeding yourself,” says Ferruggia. Set a timer, write yourself a note, and pack several meals in advance to ensure that you remember and are able to eat every two to three hours.

Whatever you do don’t change your training. Many times, guys add sets, reps, or exercises to their workouts in hopes of “shocking” their muscles into new growth. This will only lead to overtraining and cause you to lose size and strength. Gaining strength is the first step toward gaining muscle, so stick with what’s working. Eating more calories will provide the raw material for more muscle growth.