Right now I’m basically trying to “bulk up” and gain around 15 pounds before I start toning up, and I’m not quite sure I’m doing the right thing. As a skinny person, I do realize I have a fast metabolism and never pictured myself as a “chubby” person. In one of your articles, you suggested that I include one cardio workout in my daily routine and I realize that it might stop me from gaining weight. In fact, it might help me burn the fat I have right now.
Last year I had 22% body fat and I’m pretty sure that it has increased over time but I’m still about the same weight (145 pounds)t. Should I include cardiovascular workouts and tone down at the same time or should I wait to get bigger first and then start doing more cardio workouts to work on my definition?
Another concern I have is the excessive candies and chocolates and ice cream that I eat. Surely, if I decide not to eat those foods, I can certainly put it to a stop. It really isn’t that much of a big deal but I was wondering if it does indeed stop me from getting bigger and gaining more muscle, strength and weight?
With your body type, I really don’t recommend “bulking up” before trimming down (cutting). The reason is because when someone tries to gain mass, they usually pack on a substantial amount of body fat during the process. Then, when it comes time to trim down (cut up), they end up needing to really restrict their calorie levels and increase their cardio to rid themselves of the excess fat. This turns into a nightmare, because their body’s metabolism slows way down and they end up losing some precious muscle mass in the process.
I recommend adding high intensity cardio sessions to your overall fitness plan. These cardio sessions should consist of explosive movements such as sprinting, jumping rope or spinning on a stationary bike. Make sure you’re training at about 85% output and really push yourself through the workout. Limit each of these cardio sessions to 20 minutes max. Your goal is to hit it hard and fast, then give your body time to recover. You will want to do cardio about 3-4 times per week.
Along with cardio, make sure to weight train with very high intensity also. Your muscles will only grow when they’re being overloaded, so make sure to always focus on increasing the amount of weight per exercise and taking every set (after warm-up) to positive failure. By combining a high intensity weight training routine with a high intensity cardio program, you will be hitting it from every angle and your body will drop fat and build quality muscle mass. A great way to track your progress is by using our exercise journals here:
In terms of your diet, I really can’t stress enough how important it is to eat a clean diet that excludes all empty calories such at candies, chocolates and ice cream. These sweet/sugary foods are the worst for you because they contain large amounts of sugar which causes your insulin levels to go crazy. You end up packing on unwanted body fat and always become hungrier and hungrier. If you’re truly serious about making substantial changes in your physique, you really need to focus on cutting these “cheat foods” out of your diet. Stick with a lean protein and non-starchy carbs. A great meal would be a grilled chicken breast salad with romaine lettuce, sliced cucumbers and a little balsamic vinaigrette dressing. You could also opt for a nice chicken breast and veggie stir fry. Throw some broccoli, mushrooms and chicken into a stir fry pan with a touch of soy sauce.