I recently found your website after starting a healthier lifestyle, you have a ton of information here! I spent three days binging on your posts and I have really learned quite a bit. One question I have though is what are gains? I see this term used on fitness websites, yoga Instagram pages, and various places on the Internet. I am just confused on what it means.
“Gains (or “Gainz”) is a term used to refer to muscle building, but it is often used incorrectly to refer to progress. Make no mistake, gains is all about gaining muscle.
How do you achieve gains? It’s a combination of macronutrition and the right exercises to build muscle. You can bulk (carb heavy with high caloric intake), cut (protein heavy with low or moderate caloric intake), or just maintain (balanced eating with moderate caloric intake). Bulking adds size the fastest, cutting is dropping bulk (this is where people show more muscle striation and use terms like “shredded”), and maintaining is eating enough protein to maintain muscle mass with the current exercise plan (not really seeing gains unless you’re doing muscle building exercises..you’re typically just reshaping what’s there).
You won’t achieve gainz/gains through yoga or weightless cardio, or without a solid amount of protein, meaning if you think you will be able to add muscle by eating three meals a day with 10-20g of protein per meal, you’re wrong. 0.8 to 1g of protein per lb of body weight is the baseline. Yes, if you weigh 160lbs, you should be consuming 128-160g of protein each day. If you’re not, you can be toning up your body without really adding muscle mass, which is where fat burning really takes off.
Obviously, there are calorie burning exercise plans and supplements out there that cause people to lose weight quickly, and some muscle becomes visible, but if you’re not adding in protein and weight training, you’re cutting yourself short in the long run. Your salad won’t cut it if you’re looking to gain muscle, nor will a calorie deficient diet with one protein shake after each workout. If you want to make some real gains/gainz, you will need to be more strategic about how, what, and when you eat.
Do some research on macronutrition and figure out what works for your goals. Add in some heavy weights, and go to town. You won’t get bulky unless you’re following a plan that is designed to add bulk. All in all, heavy weight and the right eating plan can be beneficial for everyone.