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What does it feel like to be jacked?
I can tell you in a single word: it feels incredible.
Being very strong and taking up a lot of physical space changes the entire way you feel about yourself and the way that others perceive you as well. Suddenly, you become a physical presence and people can’t help but sit up and take notice. You become indomitable, immovable and powerful and as a result, everything you say has more weight and more gravity to it.
Bulking changes other things too. When you feel that powerful and you notice the way people start treating you, you can’t help but feel far more confident too. This changes the way you walk, the way you hold yourself and the way that you present yourself. You walk like someone unstoppable and that only increases that sense of presence.
And then there are all the direct and practical ways that gaining muscle changes your life. You start to win play fights with your mates, you become better at sports and people start asking you to help them lift things.
You know, it’s just a great feeling to be thought of as someone capable and powerful – instead of being the little guy who is the butt of jokes all the time!
And being jacked also helps you to get attention from the opposite sex. You look amazing in all your clothes – you can fill out a suit and your arms pop from white vests – and all that power and confidence is simply highly attractive to people.
You’ll even find that you start getting your way more in work and in the rest of your life, as people start to take you more seriously. That, and physical prowess correlates with improved brain power, you can expect to start thinking better too!
But maybe you’re not bothered about all that. Maybe you’re simply looking for a way to bulk up so you can become stronger and better at your sport. Perhaps you’re a bodybuilder?
Whatever the case, this book is going to act as your ultimate guide. Here, you will find everything you could possibly need to know in order to GROW and you’ll be given simple, straightforward steps that you can follow to do that.
And the difference this time is that we’re going to organize it all in a way that actually works. No more half-hearted attempts and no more disappointments. The science is simple, all we have to do is put it into practice…
What You Will Learn
This really is a science and not an art. The way you go about building muscle is very simple and once you know the formula, it’s a simple matter of following it through to completion. There’s no mystery to this formula either – it’s something that athletes have been using for decades. All we’re going to do that’s a bit different, is adapt that bodybuilding formula and make it a little more adaptable so that you can fit it around your busy schedule.
Here’s what you will learn, specifically:
- What your genetic potential for gaining muscle is
- How to eat for bulk
- How to fit your eating plan around your lifestyle
- How to eat big while saving money
- The secret to staying (relatively) lean while bulking
- How to increase your strength massively
- The optimum amount of training and way to train for building muscle
- How to dress to look stronger
- How to focus on the muscles that will create the biggest visual impact and strength gains
- How to train and bulk from home
- The best supplements for accelerating growth And much more!
So get ready… let’s do this!
Chapter 1 – Your Current State
Before we dive into how you’re going to bulk, the first thing we need to do is address your current state. That means we’ll be looking at your current muscle mass, your height and how much muscle you’re likely to gain. We’ll also be looking at the metabolic demands of your body, which will tell us how many calories you’ll burn in a given day. That’s going to be very important for building muscle, as we will see in a moment.
So for now, we’re going to start by assessing you and your current situation. We’ll find some numbers to put to your name and while it might all seem a little random, stick with it. In the chapters that follow, these numbers are going to serve as your guide. Knowing yourself is crucial when it comes to gaining muscle!
So first, let’s calculate your current body fat percentage and lean mass…
How to Calculate Your Body fat Percentage and Lean Mass
Finding out how much you weigh is very easy: all you need to do is step on a set of scales and you’ll be given a precise number denoting your weight.
But that on its own is not a particularly useful metric because it doesn’t actually tell you anything about your muscle. Anyone can be ‘big’ – they just have to eat huge amounts of cake! But you’re not trying to get fat, you’re trying to get jacked. That means you’re interested in adding muscle and that’s why you need to know just how much of your current mass is muscle already.
So to do this, you’re going to step yourself onto a set of scales and get your weight in llbs. Done that? I’m 176.4lbs at 5’8’’ by the way, so I’ll be playing along with you.
Now, you need to work out your body fat percentage. This is the percentage of that weight that is accounted for by subcutaneous fat (the fat underneath your skin). And finding this number is fortunately very easy – all you need to do is to measure the thickness of your skin which will include that layer of fat.
To do this, you need to grab a pinch of skin from the side of the tricep. So this is the spot mid-way between your shoulder and elbow and on the outside of your arm around from the bicep.
Measure this and then use the chart below to get your current body fat percentage:
Skin fold thickness in mm Bodyfat % Men Bodyfat % women
6 5-9 8-13
13 9-13 13-18
19 13-18 18-23
25 18-22 23-28
38 22-27 28-33
This is a rough estimate of course but you can also get an idea by looking at photos of people at different body fat percentages. If you can see abs but aren’t covered in ripped veins, then you’re probably between 13-10% body fat. If you can see all the striations and the veins, then you’re sub 10%.
Find a number that you think is a fair estimate and then subtract that percentage from your current body weight to find out what you would weigh if all of your body fat were to be removed. If you weighed 100lbs and your body fat percentage were 10%, then you would have a lean mass of 90lbs. For me, that number is 158.76lb because I have 10% body fat (approx.).
Calculating Your Genetic Potential
Now it’s actually possible to get some more very interesting information from these numbers, which is your FFMI. That’s your ‘Fat Free Mass Index’, which is like a body mass index but a lot more accurate because it differentiates between muscle and fat.
And what’s more, is that there is an upper limit to what your FFMI can be naturally without using steroids or other performance enhancing drugs. This is good because it lets us see just how much stronger we can get!
To work out your FFMI, all you need to do is use the following equation:
FFMI = (LBM in kg) / (height in meters)2
So convert your lean body mass to kilograms, then divided it by the square of your height in meters.
So when I do this with my numbers, I get a score of 23.065. The maximum it is generally agreed that you can score here is 25. Any higher than that and people will (perhaps rightly) suspect that you may be using steroids. This was the finding according to one study that surveyed a lot of natural athletes to see where they would peak. This is your ‘genetic limit’ and beyond that, you’ll only really be able to add fat. It’s not a ‘perfect’ score either though and some individuals genuinely have been able to break through and go even further beyond (Dragon Ball Z quote…) even without steroids. But as a rule: this is how far you can expect to go.
So if I have an FFMI of 23.065 and the maximum is 25, that means I have achieved 92.26% of my genetic potential. Work out how close you are to achieving yours and you can start to picture just how much bigger you could potentially get.
Know this though: the closer you start to get to your genetic limit, the harder it will become to add on more muscle. This is why experienced athletes can often be quite jealous of beginners who still experience ‘noob gains’. But it’s good news if you’re currently very skinny, because it means you’ll be able to start really piling on the pounds quickly with the right regmine.
Calculating Your AMR and BMR
With that out the way, we can finally work out your AMR and BMR.
So what exactly are these numbers?
Well your BMR is your ‘Basal Metabolic Rate’. This is just how much energy (in calories) your body needs in order to live. This is assuming you’re not moving at all – just lying there. Your body will still need to use up energy simply to maintain your systems – to help you blink, breathe, digest and pump blood around your body.
Your AMR is this number + the number of calories you are burning through movement and exercise. When you combine those two things, what you’re left with is the total energy demand of your body on an average day. This in turn tells you just how much you need to eat if you want to avoid burning fat and how much you need to eat if you want to encourage burning fat.
Because if you were trying to lose weight, then you would need to remain in a calorie deficit. That would mean you’d be eating fewer calories than you burn throughout the day. As a result, your body would be forced to burn fat in order to fuel your various movements or just to keep your heart beating.
But you’re not trying to lose weight, in fact, you’re trying to gain weight (albeit a certain kind). That means you need to maintain a caloric surplus where you consume more calories in the day than you use up. This in turn will mean that your body then has extra calories to spare and it will most likely store these calories as fat around the body. Or use them to build muscle. Or provide you with fuel to move around with.