Posted by Dayne Hudson in Muscle Building
Estimated reading time: 5mins
The first strategy for those who were bulking before the lockdown hit is to prevent weight gain. Tell me if this sounds familiar: you were disheartened upon hearing about the lockdowns and threw the towel in. You ate everything in sight because what does it matter? You can't train "properly" anyway, so why not just eat whatever, whenever? Such is a normal reaction and one you shouldn't beat yourself up for. But it's also the perfect time to switch over to what is referred to as maintenance calories.
Eating at "maintenance calories" refers to eating the same amount of calories you burn daily. The benefit of this approach is that you don't gain fat. For example, let's say Jenny's TDEE (total daily energy expenditure) is 2100 calories. Jenny would tune her macronutrients to 2100 calories to ensure no weight was gained. And so many have opted not to train at all. So that's strategy number one.
Just make sure you're getting enough protein to maintain muscle: ~1.6 - 2.2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day. The lower end is advised if you're opting to do no weight training. This will help you maintain as much muscle as you can despite no muscle work.
Strategy number two involves maintenance calories again, but with added weight training. This is a great way to maintain what you have until the gyms open again, without gaining any fat. If this is what you want, then we'd advise you to order a home barbell, and take a look at this home workout we've put together for you below:
Monday: Chest, quads, back, hamstrings.
Tuesday: Shoulders, Triceps, glutes, biceps.
Wednesday: Quads, chest, back, hamstrings.
Friday: Repeat Monday (Chest, quads, back, hamstrings)
Saturday: Shoulders, triceps, rear delts, biceps
We've touched on this workout in previous posts, but it's critical you understand just how challenging and effective it really is!
Monday: (Chest, quads, back, hamstrings) Aim for 12-15 reps (and do more on all days where you can)
Tuesday: (Shoulders, Triceps, glutes, biceps) Aim for 12-15 reps.
Wednesday: (Quads, chest, back, hamstrings) Aim for 12-15 reps.
Friday: Repeat Monday's workout. Aim for 12-15 reps.
Saturday: (Shoulders, triceps, rear delts, biceps) Aim for 12-15 reps.
Also, as touched on above on "back" day, you can mix it up by attending playgrounds to do chin-ups (outdoor exercise is currently acceptable by law at the time of writing). There are also parts of a playground you can use for step-ups and inverted bodyweight rows (pictured below).
The third strategy involves going all out with the above gym program but eating for muscle growth with a mild calorie surplus.
We don't need to eat a huge surplus for muscle growth. Research shows a small surplus of 360 - 480 calories only!
So if Bulk Nutrients customer Jackson has a TDEE of 2000 calories, then he'd simply need to eat 2360-480 calories per day during the lockdown, whilst doing the program above (and sticking to the aforementioned protein requirements).
Now let's be clear: the program above isn't the same as going to the gym. But when pushed to muscle failure, growth can still occur with a home barbell. And it's certainly better than nothing!
So there are three strategies to prevent you from "giving up" during the covid-19 induced lockdowns; the best strategy is the one you're more inclined to follow, and how motivated you are to do so. All the best with your bulking goals!