Ditch the unrealistic diets, pile on the muscle mass, hit your target weight!
This post is for people who are bulking, whoever you may be, hard gainers, ectomorphs, endomorphs, mesomorphs…anyone.
The ‘theory’ or ‘plan’ which I have devised is something I have called the 2-3-2 diet, (no it is not a 7-a-side football formation).
We have all read before that the key to get bigger is ‘just eat more and lift heavier’. Whilst, on surface level, if you are not getting bigger, you probably aren’t eating enough, this doesn’t really help you to gain and maintain serious size.
The basis of this diet is 2 heavy bulk days, 3 healthy maintenance days, and 2 relaxed days. The fact of the matter is, eating like a robot* every day of the week is unsustainable, and if you are anything like me, you have a sweet tooth that needs satisfying! So, allow me to break down the days:
2 Heavy Bulk Days – My best advice is to place one at the start & one at the end of the week. Preferably on days when you will be working out. These are days where I eat a very large amount of high protein and carbohydrate foods. Personally, on these days I aim for 4000 calories (look out for my meal plans for the 2-3-2 diet in the coming weeks). In order to hit my 90kg target, I need to eat daily 3300 calories. However, 2 high calorie, high protein and carbohydrate days, followed by a hard workout in the evening, is an effective way for me to reach this.
3 Maintenance Days – In between my 2 heavy bulk days, I will have 3 days where I maintain a good diet, with good macros, but do not have the same stresses of extensive meal prep as other days. On these days I will aim to be within a 300 calorie window of my 3300 calories, so not panicking if I only hit 3000, or not beating myself up if I have a few biscuits. I usually use these days to drink lots of water (3-4L), consume antioxidants like cranberry juice, and also normally do some cardio, alongside my workouts. They are stress free self care days and great for the body and mind.
2 Freedom Days – Last but certainly not least is our freedom days. Typically these would fall on weekends for me. I might still have a mass gainer shake on these days, make sure I drink plenty of water, and exercise on these days, but they are days where I am not tracking my macros, I am eating what I fancy, when I am hungry, alcohol may be consumed, and no stress is placed on diet. Whilst certain gym goers will swear by one cheat day a month, 2 days where you are not following what you are eating is a great reset. Usually, after these days you are feeling ready to go again with some good healthy bulking!
There are many ways, which I will go into in the future, to pile on the extra calories on the heavy bulk day, whether this be an extra mass gainer shake, or an extra meal squeezed in. It really can be as easy as you make it.
Two great websites for helping with the 2-3-2 diet are MyFitnessPal and Calculator.Org’s weight gain calculator. Utilising these two is a great way to reach your goals.
This might not suit everybody. But, if like me, you do not want extensive meal prep nightly, you want to still eat bad foods you love occasionally and want to gain size and strength at a healthy rate, you should certainly give this a go. Remember, weight isn’t the be all and end all. But, a wise man once said, setting goals is the first step to turning the invisible to the visible.
Have a fantastic week!
*Do robots eat?? Poor comparison!