arnold  schwarzenegger doing barbell curls

So it’s now officially 2012, and I have decided to take part in a weight gain diary which I’m going to update once a week until 2013. Over the years I have tried a number of regimes and workout plans, some for weight loss (normally shedding the belly fat before going on holiday!) but most have been for increasing overall size and strength. During this time I have, through trial and error, worked out what works for me and what doesn’t. I’ve also realised that in my past efforts I have always had one element of my regime that was always lacking, and in most cases this was normally nutrition. In most cases I was consuming the wrong amount of calories, the wrong kind of calories, or my timing for eating was not right.

My last weight gain efforts were back in September-November 2011, as I aimed to get to a goal weight of 200lbs (90kg) in time for my 30th birthday, and this was my greatest success so far to date as the accumulation of all my experience came together. Within this 3 month period I managed to increase my weight from 184 pounds to 201 pounds, and although my body fat went up, most of this was weight was muscle and I got a lot of compliments from friends and family that could see the difference, especially in my shoulders, chest and arms. Since then I was quite ill with a stomach virus followed by a very indulgent Christmas period, so I have lost some of that hard earned muscle and put on some additional belly fat! Very disturbing.

The weight gain programme is going to start on Monday 9th January 2012. I will be mainly using the Anthony Ellis Gaining Mass programme (I love this programme), but I may well switch after the second cycle onto another programme depending on how things are going. I will be tracking all my food/calories on an iPhone app called myFitnessPal, and I will be adjusting my calorie intake depending on my body measurements (weight/body fat/measurements etc). I will benchmark everything in week 1, as well as taking progress photos as I go both for myself and so you guys can see how I’m getting on. I will also be using a few supplements, more for convenience than anything else due to my busy lifestyle

My aim is to achieve a weight of 220 lbs, and then cut my body fat right down so I have a lean weight of around 205 lbs. I have a holiday booked for Lanzarote in November 2012 which will be near the end of this 12 month diary, so hopefully I’ll look good and close to achieving my goal by this point!