weight gain diary starting point

Current weight: 190lbs
Current body fat: 21%
Weight gain so far: 0lbs

So it’s finally time to start! I’ve been desperate to restart my training regime, and this week all the hard work and dedication starts again. Last year I had some great success with a weight gain plan, where everything seemed to come together and I made it to my goal weight of 200lbs in the last week of November. I was really pleased with my results, and although I had increased my body fat I really liked the increased size and volume in my muscles. I felt strong and was getting a lot of compliments.

In the first week of December, I became very busy again at work as we tried to wrap up as many projects as possible before the Christmas break and my training had to take a temporary back seat. I could have continued training if I really wanted to, and it wasn’t a case of making excuses, but I wanted to spend some quality time with my wife and son. Unfortunately, not only did my training suffer by my diet became very disorganised again.

On the last day of work (23rd December) I became ill with a sickness bug, which really took it out of me for a couple of weeks. Initially I thought it was food poisoning, but soon found out it was incredibly contagious (sorry everyone!), and we later discovered it was likely to be the Norovirus. I didn’t eat for a couple of days as a result, and when I did finally start consuming food again it was either a festive dinner, treats, mince pies, chocolate etc. Not great nutrition. I also felt extremely weak, and I tried a light workout to see if it would help, but suffered badly from muscle cramps and felt very dehydrated. Because of this my weight dropped substantially in the weeks between the 23rd December and now (from 201lbs to 190lbs) and I also increased my body fat from 16.4% to 21.0%! Yikes!!

The good thing is I’m now feeling really motivated as I’m looking forward to getting back into shape, and keen to replicate my successes from the end of last year. Here’s an overview of what I’m going to do:

I will initially be following the Anthony Ellis programme

  • It uses a 3 day split routine (about 3 hours of heavy lifting per week)
  • Chest & shoulders on a Monday
  • Legs on a Wednesday
  • Back & arms on a Friday

I will be experimenting with calorie intake; because I have a very sedentary lifestyle (I’m sat a computer for most of the day!) I will be starting at 3,200 calories per day and depending on the results I get each week, I will increase or decrease the overall amount

I will be eating 6 meals a day all around 500 calories each, with a nutrient split of 30/30/40 (protein/fats/carbs). Eventually I may look at carb cycling, but for now I’m keeping it simple

I keep my diet quite strict by having a “cooking day” on a Sunday, and preparing my meals for the week. I will allow myself one cheat day per week if I need it!

I will be taking supplements:

  • USN Muscle Fuel Anabolic
  • Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Whey
  • CLA
  • Vitamin supplement
  • ZMA
  • BCAA

Although I’ll be minimising cardio during the weight gain, I will be making sure I do at least 30 minutes of walking per day

My primary focus is weight gain, however if my body fat gets too high, then in between training cycles I will do a few weeks of HIIT (high intensity interval training), which has been a very effective method for me for reducing body fat while maintaining muscle

I train at home. I have a home gym setup that is pretty good, with lots of weights, dumbbells, kettlebells, a bench, pull up bar and much more. The only issue I have is using really heavy weights on squats; I may have to start using a local gym once per week for that as my strength progresses

The photo above shows my current physique. I’m pretty unhappy with it at the moment, but it should provide a good benchmark. I’m only going to measure my progress once per week and I will record everything I this blog.

So, here I go! Wish me luck…