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Hey Guys,


So I used to be about 330 pounds. Then I underwent a very similar to that of a  paleo diet for about 4 months and dropped a total of 150 pounds in this time frame(this was two years ago).


I returned to University and started working out endlessly but drank protein drinks, had supplements, etc. I had the muscle I wanted but had a thick layer of fat over it and had a bit of  a tummy. I then had a serious enjoy and was not able to do any sort of gym activity for a year and naturally I lost my tone. Though, I still kept my weight off due to me still eating clean(for the most part). 


About a month ago, I wanted to do a proper whole 30(I did two before, though I skipped meals and didn't do it well). I finally decided with my best friend that this was going to be our "proper one". I'm currently in re-intro as I write this post, though I have a few questions if anyone could answer them.


I have a goal of being as toned as possible but also gaining as much muscle as possible by next year for my Mixed martial arts meet. I was wondering if you guys had any tips on how to gain muscle mass? I've seemed to be on a good start ( my 30 days ago, I was 200, I'm currently at 214). I'm just worried it's going to fall off quick.


Anyways, I'm writing this at 11:00PM so It's probably not making sense. If you need any specifics, feel free to let me know!

Thanks so much, you guys are awesome. 


P.S the one with the towel is after a proper whole 30 and gym 4x a week. Also including belly dancing and Muay thai.




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  • Whole30 Certified Coach

Are you currently lifting?  If you aren't I'd try Starting Strength.  If you are an experienced lifter look into a more intermediate program like Wendler or something.  I think following any serious weight lifting program will make you stronger if you follow the program.  There is always CrossFit too if you have some disposable income around and enjoy that atmosphere.  

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To add to what Littleleg said (Starting Strength is a great program), the key to gaining muscle mass is lifting heavy and progression in your lifts, nutrition and adequate rest.  Starting Strength will give you guidelines on how to determine where to start weight-wise with your lifts.  You want to be able to complete the 5x5 with a heavy weight FOR YOU but you DON"T want to be at failure on your last rep.  Progression is important also, because your body will adapt to anything you do, so, of course, if you don't increase the weight that you are lifting, over time your muscles will stop growing.  Starting Strength has you progressing quickly, i.e. adding weight EVERY time you lift (2.5-5#).  If you can't increase the weight for a given lift, the program instructs you what to do.


Nutrition is key. You need to eat in a caloric surplus in order to gain muscle mass, or a more Whole30 politically correct term would be to fuel your activity adequately, since we don't like to count calories specifically. 


Remember to rest.  Not to keep harping on Starting Strength, but as an example, you lift heavy, full-body 3 days a week on this program and you don't want to be doing to much else other than maybe walking on your off days.


Good luck!

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To gain muscle mass, you have to lift heavy and rest a lot. Kettlebell Muscle: The Secrets of Compound Kettlebell Lifting for Faster, More Efficient Gains in Strength and Power by Geoff Neupert, Master RKC is a guide that I used to put on about 5 pounds of muscle over the course of several months. Five pounds may not sound like much, but it was a big change for me at the time. 


The part that is hard to get used to is limiting exercise sessions. You cannot hit the gym constantly and work out if you want to grow muscle. Muscle grows when you are resting. To make them grow, you have to lift heavy and then rest. The Kettlebell Muscle program limited workouts to 3 sessions per week. Those sessions averaged less than 30 minutes each, but I got a lot stronger and my arms, back, and shoulders got noticeably bigger. If you decide you are smarter than Geoff and add extra work to your sessions or additional sessions per week, you almost guarantee that you will grow less muscle. 


I took a lesson from this program and nowadays, I try to organize my time to train no more than 30 minutes per day, 5 days per week. I am the strongest and most muscular I have ever been in my life. I do 2 sessions some days and come close to 45 minutes of work between the two because I start my workout in my home gym and then go to a professional gym to work on deadlifts. Here is a recent report of my work: http://www.tomdenham.com/2014/10/two-more-new-personal-records/

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