Building Muscle for FMP
Now that I've completed FM30X, how can I build muscle moving forward?
With some solid weight-lifting experience under your belt, it is certainly possible to build some muscle moving forward. However, the way we approach the routines, our dietary intake, and mental approach will now change.
Many of the lessons you have learned in FM30X Phases 1-3 will still apply in this new journey. You have built a nice foundation of resistance training but now it's time to shift our process into more muscle-building than weight-loss. With that said, the way you "attack" your routines and the way you consume your calories will shift slightly. And with that physical shift, it becomes apparent that a psychological shift is in order as well. You have been working to lose lose lose for so long, that now it's time to focus on gaining. All your sleeping/recovery and hydration habits will remain the same but check out some exercise and dietary shifts below.
In Phase 4 of your FM30X programming, you will find new strength workouts, where the goal is to use heavier weight than you may be accustomed to using. The idea is to use a weight heavy enough where you are struggling and can no longer go past your designated rep range. If you can work past your recommended rep range, the weight is too light. From this point, you can use the upper/lower body split days (as laid out in Phase 4) OR check out a sample Dumbbell-Only Old School Muscle workout from our brother FFP programming.
The main difference is that the OSM version is a full-body split, that can also be done 3x/week rather than alternating between upper and lower body days in FMP. The 3 days are split in a Heavy, Light, and Moderate lifting days, with corresponding rep ranges. Additionally, the OSM version utilizes a Reverse Pyramid protocol where you subtract 10% of your weight each set, while adding on an additional rep. For example, if on Set 1 your weight is 50lbs of 8 reps, on Set 2 you will use 45lbs but complete 9 reps. Both are tremendous for muscle building with just a different "feel". And if you have any questions about the protocol, please email email@example.com.
Another major change is the introduction of Calorie Cycling. Calorie Cycling is a protocol where you will consume extra calories on your lifting days only. This surplus of calories is what helps allow you to gain muscle, while limiting fat accumulation. To help promote growth, we need a surplus of calories and this is especially important on days you are lifting. By only doing it on lifting days, you can prevent your body from storing a constant accumulation of extra calories. The easiest way to do this is to add a post-workout shake to your lifting days only. Now this shake will be in addition to your normal meals/snacks so if you are used to having a shake for breakfast, you may want to consider switching to another form of breakfast OR simply having 2 shakes on those days. The post-workout shake will differ from the normal shakes in FMP as it will be higher in calories and carbohydrates. A sample post-workout shake can look like the following:
- 1.5 scoops protein (150 calories)
- 1/2 Banana (50 calories)
- 1/2 cup oatmeal (80 calories)
- 1 large handful of spinach (negligible)
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk (30 calories)
- Desired ice for consistency
At this point, it might be prudent to hide the scale as it may be challenging to accept that the weight will probably no longer come off. The scale was a great tool for success in the past but now that you are looking to build muscle (rather than lose weight) the scale may no longer be your friend. Using measurements, how your clothes fit, or how strong you look/feel are better indicators of success moving forward. This is as much a psychological shift as a physical one but you are STRONG, have shown the ability to succeed in the past, and can do it again!
Yours in Health & Friendship,
- The Fit Mother Project
Customer Success Team