1% Fitness FAQs – Looking to Gain Mass

This is probably the most popular question I get from men. To which I usually respond:

“Does your leanness call for it?”

I’ve never been a fan of bulking and cutting because carrying excess body fat makes you carry more excess body fat.

People bulk up because they think it gives them more strength, and then they cut down with an extreme caloric restriction diet and lose all the strength they gained. Which may make them look jacked for a couple days (or weeks at best), until they’re back to being fat and weak again. Except now their hormones are a little messed up, and they’re carrying fat in areas where they REALLY don’t want it.

Long story short, the first step is getting lean. And the best way to do that, without sacrificing strength and muscle, is to eat a crap-load of protein.

Hate to generalize, but it’s usually the guys that tell me they’re struggling to put on muscle that aren’t coming close to 0.75g of protein per lb of bodyweight. So, my first recommendation is to focus on hitting that EVERY day for a few weeks, and then reassess.

Step 1 – Track Protein Intake – Get AT LEAST 0.75g per pound of bodyweight.

After the protein box is checked, try increasing your intake of ‘good’ fats. Eat as much protein as is physically possible and top it off with more fat than you’re eating now.

  • snack on avocado’s and olives instead of broccoli and carrots
  • add nuts and seeds to salads
  • cook with more coconut oil and butter

Step 2 – Eat More High-Fat Foods

Once the leanness is acceptable (i.e. visible abs), you’re ready to start increasing your post-workout carbs. In addition to the classic post-workout fruit and protein discussed in the book, consider adding starchy tubers to the meal that follows that.

This is when your tissues are insulin sensitive, so glucose will go to muscle. Especially if you’re favoring LOW-fructose fruits, and higher-carb vegetables.

Step 3 – Increase ‘Good Starch’ Post Workout (Low Fructose is Optimal)

I’d also recommend laying off the fasting once optimal leanness is achieved, and prioritizing better starchy carbs (like rice, yams) on cheat days, instead of junk food. Even call it a ‘Carb Day’ if that helps…and please give me a call if you’re doing all-you-can-eat sushi!

Step 4 – Drop the Fast & Carb-Up the Feast

As far as exercise goes, try swapping the HIIT day for a 3rd lift, and take a look at my ‘Advanced Program’ article on how to increase volume while maintaining efficiency.

Step 5 – Swap the HIIT for an Extra Lift (see Advanced Program)

If none of that works, you’re either a 72 year old man, or you’re not sleeping.  And something tells me it’s the latter.  So:


Stay Lean!
Coach Mike


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The Science Behind The Cheat Day

Beyond 1% Fitness - The Advanced Program

Why Carbs Are Best Consumed AFTER Exercise

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