Gaining Muscle Guide.

How to build lean muscle ?

Muscle building can only be achieved by adhering to certain principles: adjust your diet and tailor your training! We are not all the same. We will all react differently to a particular workout and a particular diet. Learn to understand your differences to make as few mistakes as possible.

Monitoring your progress !

Also, make sure you're on the right track! If your progress is good, it means you've found what works for you! If you're no longer progressing, it's time to change your habits. For this, don't hesitate to regularly take measurements: your weight, measurements of your arms, legs, and chest, as well as your body fat percentage, will give you precise indications of your progress. To build good muscle, you should also rely on a good coach who will measure you and ensure your progression. Of course, there's no miracle coach! It's a collaborative effort that will ensure your success.

Muscle building is sometimes a lengthy process: A good progression in muscle mass will be around 3 kilograms of lean muscle per year. However, it's possible to gain a bit more when you're starting out or when you've just finished a period of dietary restriction for leaning out or during special circumstances.


The goal is obviously not to gain weight, but muscle. However, most of the time, muscle gain also comes with some fat gain. If that weren't the case, athletes would focus solely on building muscle before a competition.

What everyone would like is to gain as little fat as possible while gaining as much muscle as possible, and this will only be achievable by monitoring your progress and maintaining your calorie intake slightly above your basal metabolic rate.

This is the number of calories your body needs to meet its needs throughout a day. As you can see, achieving lean muscle mass is not easy.

Differences based on body type ?

However, there are certain rules that can help you. The morphological differences that characterize you can also guide your progression:

If you are Endomorphic, you tend to gain weight and even fat very quickly. Therefore, you should limit deviations as much as possible and be very careful not to exceed your basal metabolic rate uncontrollably.

If you are Mesomorphic, you easily gain muscle and not too much fat. Even without exercising, you appear muscular (yes, I know, it's not fair) and you can increase your calorie intake a bit more in your muscle-building process, which will remain effective most of the time.

If you are Ectomorphic, you remain thin, even skinny, no matter what you do, and you gain weight more difficultly no matter what you eat. Even deviations will only help you to a limited extent. So, you can increase your calorie intake significantly without fearing that your stomach will be covered with a layer of fat. Still, be cautious; as you age, you remain thin, but you may risk gaining belly fat if you're not too careful.


Sure, if every individual could definitely fit into a morphological category, it might seem to simplify progression. Unfortunately, most of us are influenced by 2 morphological categories. It's very rare to see a perfect mesomorph or ectomorph.

Often, an individual may be more mesomorphic than endomorphic but will also have some characteristics of that morphological category.

It is therefore illusory to think that your muscle mass gain will be a walk in the park. It will be more like an obstacle course!

You'll have to pay attention to your diet, which may change every year as your body also changes. You'll need to pay attention to your training and see what benefits you the most, but also regularly modify it, and you'll also have to adapt your dietary supplements to your progression.

If you do it seriously, you're going to learn something that will serve you for your entire life: the power of self-reflection! Look at how many lives a champion like Arnold has lived! Sports, cinema, politics, back to cinema, he succeeded in everything. Each of his careers is the result of self-reflection. And it's in his sport that he acquired this quality! Lean muscle mass gain, controlling his body, he knows it!

Avoid the "miracles" of social media !

You'll easily find on social media those who claim to perform miracles: they could promise you lean muscle mass gain with the snap of their fingers! Miracles don't exist!

Some will even post photos of their lean physique all year round when they've only been lean for a month out of the year. But for their image, they'll post photos of their fit body all year round.

This allows them to tell their fans that they are the best athletes, the best coaches, when it's all just smoke and mirrors.

It's often because of such practices that the concept of lean muscle mass gain is so misused, and people think it's so easy to gain 10 kilograms of lean muscle.

Bodybuilding, weightlifting, power training—they're synonymous, but if you want visible results, you absolutely must add nutrition to your training. If you don't, you won't be able to gain lean muscle, and perhaps no muscle at all.

But if you see that your weights are progressing, that your training is becoming more intense, even if your muscle volume doesn't change, you're on the path to progress. It's up to you to refine it and try to gain lean muscle.

We'll do our best to help you.



Building muscle involves gaining muscle with a focus on performance in a particular sport. Gaining muscle mass, on the other hand, is primarily for aesthetic purposes. So, there are two quite different approaches to the subject and, of course, two different measures. Measuring your muscle mass gain will involve weighing yourself, taking measurements of segments, and assessing body fat percentage. To measure muscle building, you'll also need to measure performance in the sport where you excel. Otherwise, how do you distinguish between lean muscle gain and fat gain?

Don't forget that muscle qualities are multiple: strength, endurance, resilience, flexibility, explosiveness or speed, and coordination.

Gaining muscle mass can decrease your flexibility if you don't work on it. Not working on your flexibility and focusing solely on explosiveness can lead to injuries such as strains, sprains, or tears. Therefore, it's important to include muscle building work in a broader performance-oriented program. However, the visual result will also be less significant than in a mass gain phase.

These considerations will also need to be taken into account when gaining muscle mass; however, performance is not the primary motivation. Visual appearance is the main driving force.


It always depends on your goal: If you're a competitor in a sports discipline, it will mostly be the competition schedule that dictates when you can rest and when you can go all out and build muscle. If you're not a competitor, you can adjust your muscle building to your personal goals and perhaps, like many, take advantage of vacations to show off your best physique on the beaches.

However, be aware that your calorie intake will vary depending on the time of year: In winter, you'll need more calories than in summer. This is entirely logical: your body temperature averages 36.5 degrees, and it will need to respond to the temperature difference compared to the outside environment. If it's 30 degrees in summer, it will need to warm your body temperature by 6 degrees. In winter, on the other hand, if it's 0 degrees, it will need to make a greater effort to raise your body temperature from 0 to 36 degrees.

Your age will also influence your muscle gain. It's easier to gain 3 kilograms of muscle at 20 than at 60. So, sometimes you'll need to find another motivation than performance as you age. For example, staying healthy and limiting the effects of aging by maintaining good muscle mass. Because gaining weight, even muscle, can, from a certain age, cause tendon or joint problems.




When you embark on a muscle-building process, you must adjust your diet to your goal! It seems quite logical that gaining muscle mass will make you gain some weight, so you'll need to increase your nutritional intake. Foods are divided into several categories: proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. The basis of muscle building is proteins. An intake considered normal based on current knowledge is between 0.83 and 2.2 grams per kilogram of body weight per day. 0.83 for a sedentary person and 2.2 grams for an athlete. For bodybuilders, this can go up to 3 grams per kilogram of body weight.

The first thing to do is to assess: how many grams of protein do you consume per day? Once you know that, increase your daily intake significantly, and you'll have taken the first step on your journey to a constructive diet.


The second category of foods is carbohydrates. If we were to compare the construction of your body to that of a house, we could say that proteins are the bricks that make up the wall, and carbohydrates are the energy that the builders put into constructing the house. So, you need energy! And this energy will be provided by carbohydrates. Be careful! The quality of carbohydrates is very important! There are fast carbohydrates or sugars and slow ones! Fast sugars enter the bloodstream very quickly, causing a significant insulin response, which occasionally leads to a drop in blood sugar and sometimes fatigue. Slow sugars, on the other hand, release carbohydrates more slowly into the bloodstream, providing limited and sustained amounts over time, allowing your body to have more energy for longer periods.

However, you can consume fast sugars right after your workout because your body is in demand; it will directly absorb the sugars present in the blood. Similarly, endurance athletes will need to regularly absorb fast sugars to avoid experiencing the "energy crash" effect.

As with proteins, you'll need to gradually increase your carbohydrate intake while ensuring you don't end up in a caloric surplus.


Finally, there are lipids, or fats. Your body needs them! For cell membranes, certain hormones, cell signaling, the composition of certain vitamins, but most importantly, lipids are an energy reserve. Basically, when you provide your body with too many calories, it doesn't eliminate the excess; it stores it in fat cells called adipocytes. The problem with these cells is that when they're full, they multiply to meet demand, but when you reduce your calorie intake afterward, they empty out but don't disappear. So, it's more difficult to revert back when you've had excessive weight gain. Hence, the importance of controlling your diet.

Regarding lipids, the only significant intake will be in the form of fat-soluble vitamins, unless you're ectomorphic.


It's always recommended to eat in several small quantities rather than in a single caloric intake per day. Always prefer 5 or 6 meals a day with a balanced caloric intake rather than a daily caloric imbalance. Indeed, if you frequently supply your body with food, it will react naturally: it will store less because it knows that every 3 hours, it will receive enough to properly fuel all its vital functions.

If, on the other hand, you only feed it once or twice a day, it will tend to react by thinking it needs to store reserves for safety, and most importantly, it may eliminate what costs energy and isn't essential for the proper functioning of the human body: muscle. It's therefore important to make your body react in the right way by providing all its essential needs in a timely manner. So, make sure not to skip meals but to stick to your meal plan.


Our body is composed of over 60% water. So, it's important to stay hydrated, especially if you're increasing your protein intake. Exercise has the effect not of building muscle but of breaking it down! In response to this breakdown, your body will use the new proteins you provide it to rebuild the degraded muscle stronger, so as not to undergo such an uncomfortable situation again. Muscle growth is therefore a reaction to uncomfortable training for the muscle or muscle chain.

But if there is elimination of proteins, it will be the job of the kidneys. So, liquid is needed to eliminate these muscle breakdowns. An athlete should drink between 2 to 3 liters per day, depending on their weight and activity level. A large part of this should be consumed during the sport they practice. A good way to see if you're drinking enough is to look at the color of your urine. If it's yellow, you're not drinking enough; if it's almost white, you're sufficiently hydrated.


Eating every 3 hours requires adapted logistics and isn't always easy to implement. To avoid too much hassle, you need to organize yourself and use supplements that will make your life easier. Cooking once or twice a week is a way to simplify your organization. If you have to prepare food every 3 hours, you'll likely spend a lot of time in the kitchen. Dietary supplements can make your life easier or boost your program and goals: vitamins and minerals, protein powders like Whey or casein, gainers, creatine, BCAAs, glutamine, hormonal boosters, pre-workout supplements, and omega-3s are all elements that can help you achieve your objectives. A protein shake can save you from cooking, and if you calculate how much a balanced meal costs you, you'll see that this shake will save you money.


As you can see, building quality muscle is not simple. Even though there are basic principles, it's possible that you may be an exception. The best thing to do is to learn about yourself, observe how your body reacts. Seek help at the beginning, and don't forget to keep a logbook where you'll note your results, workouts, and diet. Remember, we're here to help you!

Many preconceived ideas circulate in conversations among athletes as well. A good lean mass gain is around 3 kilograms per year. I'm talking about 3 kilograms of LEAN muscle, of course. This might discourage some who thought they could step on stage after 3 months in the gym, but if you count properly, 3 kilograms per year adds up to 30 kilograms in 10 years. A lean mass gain of 30 kilograms in 10 years through weight training and nutrition is still a good result! If you weigh 70 kilograms initially, you'll reach 100 kilograms after 10 years of weight training!

Of course, these figures are approximate averages. Everyone is different, and everyone evolves differently in bodybuilding.

However, if you're a beginner, you can gain much more in the first few years.


There isn't just ONE training method, but it's important to vary your workouts and exercises. However, to track your progress effectively, it's important to carefully note all your performance during training. Just as it's difficult to start a journey when you don't know where you are, it's hard to progress in training without knowing your starting point and what you're currently doing. Again, it's essential to distinguish the goal you've set for yourself, whether it's gaining muscle quality for a specific sport or gaining muscle mass.


It's widely known that muscle mass training involves multi-joint exercises and performing sets of 10 to 12 repetitions. The ideal number of sets depends somewhat on the muscle group being worked. For larger muscles like the legs, you can perform sessions of 16 to 20 effective sets. For intermediate muscles like the back and chest, aim for 12 to 16 sets, and for the arms, 10 to 12 sets. Of course, everyone should adjust their number of sets based on the results they achieve. Your training may not suit another athlete, and vice versa.

However, it's important to push each of your sets to failure! This means continuing until you can no longer lift the weight. If you can lift the weight more than 12 times, increase the weight for the next set. Conversely, if you can't lift the chosen weight more than 9 times, decrease it for the next set. By increasing and decreasing your weights in this way, you can acclimate your body to the necessary muscular overload for proper progression.

Principles for Muscle Quality Training.

In this case, the focus will be more on performance than on pure mass. However, performance in a sport does not only mean muscle volume; other important factors come into play: flexibility, nerve impulse required for explosive contraction, pure strength...

So it's more difficult to give a basic principle for training without knowing the purpose or specificity.

Basic principles for training.

However, some principles are common to anyone who wants to improve in any field:

  • Give it your all! Don't save your energy for the next exercise or the end of the workout. If you can't move by the end of the training, it will only be proof that you've given your maximum effort, and your performances are likely to improve.
  • Train each muscle once a week. Each muscle has its own optimal recovery period. Small muscles like the biceps may have fully recovered after 2 days, while the thighs require 5 days. This would mean that for optimal results, you should train your arms every 2 days, your chest and back every 4 days, and your thighs every 5 days. This would lead to days where you have to train everything and days where there is nothing to do. In theory, this is possible. In practice, the body would be too exhausted to truly maximize progression. Therefore, training each muscle once a week seems like a good compromise for optimal progress.
  • Don't forget to stretch! Without it, you are more prone to injuries. And with injuries comes training cessation and therefore a halt to the progress you were hoping for.
  • Don't be afraid of stagnation even if you give it your all! Your body needs periods of stagnation where it must integrate your progress into its new body schema. You will rarely progress in a linear pattern, but rather in a stair-step fashion.
  • Don't train if you're sick! Your body is already using a large portion of its energy to fight off the illness. If you feel better after a workout, there's a good chance that the next day will be worse.

How to increase the difficulty or intensity of my training ?

Increasing intensity isn't just about adding weight or more repetitions. You have several ways to increase the intensity of your workout:

  • The weight or resistance used in the exercise, of course.
  • The number of repetitions with the same weight.
  • You can reduce your rest times, thereby shortening the duration of the session while keeping the same content or even increasing it.
  • You can improve the quality of the movement. This means maintaining strict form during an exercise and not cheating by using other parts of the body to move the weight.

Importance of Rest and Overtraining.

Rest and overtraining are often linked. Too much of a good thing is bad, as the saying goes. If you want to travel far, you must spare your mount. Yet many athletes believe that the more they do, the more they will progress. This is completely false. What will make an athlete progress is the balance between intensive sessions and rest days. But again, it is necessary to make a distinction according to the objectives and according to the sports. A marathon runner will have many long sessions, and a strength athlete will have fewer sessions, shorter and more intense ones.

So, how do you know if you're overdoing it? Listen to your body: if you're unusually tired, if you keep getting injured, if you're fed up with training, you've asked too much of your body, you may be close to overtraining. It's time to take a break, take the time you need to regain the joy of training, and above all, the effectiveness of a good program.

In general, for weight training, two rest days per week seem to be a good compromise if you're putting your body through very intense sessions. But of course, every case is different.

Several Workouts (Non-Exhaustive List).

- The 10 to 12 Repetitions: As mentioned earlier, this is the classic approach for building muscle mass.

- The Heavy-Duty: Developed by Mike Mentzer, it involves few sets but very high intensity and especially heavy weights.

  • Training 3 days a week with 2 rest days between workouts.
  • 7 to 9 sets per workout.
  • Example: 3 sets of 12 and 4 sets of 8.

- MAX-OT or Maximum Overload Training:

  • 2 muscles per workout
  • 4 to 6 repetitions per set
  • 6 to 9 sets per muscle
  • Rest for 2 to 3 minutes between each set
  • Maximum of 30 to 40 minutes per session and 2 days of rest per week
  • Take a regular week off to avoid overtraining

- FST-7 or Fascia Stretch Training: The principle is to finish each workout session for each muscle with 7 sets of isolation exercises interspersed with 30 to 40 seconds of rest to stretch the membrane surrounding the muscle and promote its development. It's also important to stretch your muscles before, during, and after the workout.

  • 6 sets of 8 to 12 repetitions with a multi-joint exercise for smaller muscles and 11 to 12 sets for larger ones.
  • Immediately followed by 7 sets of 8 to 12 repetitions with an isolation exercise interspersed with rest periods of 30 to 40 seconds.

SST, or Sarcoplasm Stimulating Training, is circuit training until exhaustion.

Variety in training. Here are 2 examples:

  • 1st example advanced: Circuit 1: 1 set of 8 repetitions with an appropriate weight, then 10 seconds of rest, a set of 5 repetitions with the same weight, 10 seconds of rest, and a set of 1 repetition with the same weight. Circuit 2 in the same session: reduce the weight by 20% from the previous weight and perform the same circuit, except for the second set where only 3 repetitions are done.
  • 2nd example: 1 set of 6 repetitions with an appropriate weight, 15 seconds of rest, a set of 4 repetitions with the same weight, then 15 seconds of rest. Decrease the weight and perform a set of 5 repetitions in a 5-second eccentric phase (slow), decrease the weight again, take 15 seconds of rest, and perform a set of 5 repetitions in a 5-second concentric phase. Rest for 15 seconds and perform an isometric set for 45 seconds. After this, take 2 exercises for the same muscle and combine them into sets of 10 to 12 repetitions.

The training is very short but very intense.

The list is not exhaustive but may give you some ideas for your next session. The goal here is not to provide the "best" workout, as everyone may have different sensations when they try them. We are all different and therefore may not react in the same way to each stimulus generated by a particular workout. However, there's nothing stopping you from trying them out and observing the results, sensations, and enjoyment they may bring. Nonetheless, don't forget that each workout is intense and requires you to warm up beforehand. You should also stretch, but above all, be mindful not to overdo it or do too little.

Never forget to warm up before subjecting your body to a workout of this intensity, or else you risk causing injuries that will slow down your progress.

Most athletes have experienced a decrease in motivation at some point. If that's the case for you, try finding one of these workouts in a book, magazine, or online. It might be just what you need to boost your motivation and progress.

However, there is no "miracle" workout. Moreover, a workout that you felt really worked well for you and helped you progress a lot this year might not have the same effect next year. Don't hesitate to innovate, search, and experiment.

Nutritional Program.

When you decide to engage in sports, it's important to control your diet to be both performant and efficient. However, it's also important to understand that your needs will be different from those of a sedentary person. You'll consume more metabolites, vitamins, minerals, and so on.

The quality of food also constantly changes in our society and becomes poorer from decade to decade. Before discussing dietary supplements, I would like to give you some important information about sports nutrition.

The number of necessary calories.

What is good for you may not necessarily be good for your neighbor. If you build muscle mass with few calories, it's something specific to you and may not be true for everyone. In fact, there are basic rules in nutrition that will apply to a majority of individuals, but there will also be many exceptions, each different from the others.

Already, as mentioned above, your body type will determine a large part of your reactions to food. If you are an Ectomorph, you will need significant calorie intake to hope to change your morphology, and it may be slow. Conversely, an endomorph can quickly gain bad mass. Your profession and your level of physical activity will also influence your calorie intake. Your nervousness, your stress are also influential factors as well as the type of sports activity.

In general, if you know your basal metabolism, you just need to aim slightly above it. Start by adding about a hundred calories and check if you're not gaining too much fat. If that's the case, increase by another 100 or 200 calories. If you're gaining more fat than muscle, then you may have gone a bit too high...

However, if you don't know your basal metabolism, then try to find it. It's the number of calories you need per day to meet all your energy needs. Basically, you observe your progress... When you hit a plateau, you've approximately reached your basal metabolism. What's certain is that we can't control everything. So, we'll try to control as much as possible, knowing that some factors may escape us. You'll have to work with some approximation.


Your body needs several types of foods.

  • Glucides: Also known as sugars or carbohydrates, they primarily provide the "energy" your body needs. They also play a role in other areas such as DNA and cell membrane constitution. They influence satiety and sleep. You may notice that after a meal rich in carbohydrates, you quickly tend to feel sleepy.
  • Lipids: Also known as fats, they play an important role in storing the energy your body doesn't need immediately. They are also crucial for cell membrane constitution, transporting fat-soluble vitamins, and hormone production.
  • Proteins: They make up muscle tissue, enzymes in our bodies, play a role in the skeletal system, tissues, DNA, energy transmission, and cellular signaling.

You've understood it well, each of the different macronutrients has its role to play. And if some gurus push you to avoid one food or another, know that it's not natural and your body will always react. So, it's always important to maintain a certain balance between these foods, but this balance will change depending on your goal, your body type, and other factors as well.

Examples of reactions.

  • Imagine you eliminate all sugars. This can happen in some competitive sports. Know then that your brain requires sugars to function properly. It will therefore convert your proteins into sugars and produce ketone bodies for this purpose. This means that your protein intake will be used for this, or alternatively, your body may also break down your muscles to use their proteins. This process can also occur if your body needs energy, in which case it will convert proteins into carbohydrates.
  • It is very rare and difficult to completely eliminate proteins, and if that were the case, it would quickly lead to significant and severe deficiencies and dysfunctions. However, animal proteins are more easily absorbed by the human body. So, if you are vegetarian, vegan, or follow a plant-based diet, it is important to ensure a balanced intake of plant proteins. Spirulina, for example, is one of the plants that provides the most proteins, along with soy, beans, seeds, and others.
  • If you eliminate fats, be aware that every food is composed of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. Some foods contain less fat than others, but there is almost always a small amount present. The question to ask is, "Is it enough?" If you want to ensure that you consume as little fat as possible while still providing your body with the necessary amount to function properly, then you may need a supplement in the form of capsules. However, if you eliminate fats and consume an excess of calories in the form of carbohydrates or proteins, you will have an energy surplus that your body will store as fat anyway. Therefore, there is no need to eliminate everything, but it is important to maintain a balance between proteins, carbohydrates, fats, AND calories.

Be careful !

  • When you take in too much fat mass, your fat cells will fill up. But once they are full, your body will have to store fat elsewhere. It will then multiply the fat cells. However, once you have multiplied the number of cells, there's no going back when you lose fat mass. The number of cells (and thus your capacity to store lipids) will not change.
  • Consuming fast sugars is not particularly good: for diabetes, for the fat storage it can quickly lead to. However, sugar calls for sugar. Sometimes, it's easier to go on a diet without fast sugars than to indulge in a sweet treat that might lead you to dive into all the sugar you have left in the pantry. If you eat enough slow sugars, this phenomenon is less likely to surprise you. Your body will be less in demand for sugar. You can also get help with a chromium supplement that reduces sugar cravings.
  • When you increase your protein intake for muscle mass gain, make sure not to forget to hydrate yourself. You can go up to 3 liters of water per day, depending on your body weight, of course.

Here are some tips !

Everyone has their own unique calorie needs. The first thing to do when you start towards a goal is to know where you stand. Here, it's the same: if you have a goal but don't know where you are, you won't know the path to take to get there. Check how your body is doing, measure it, look at your body fat percentage. Start your training and diet, and regularly check if you're on the right track. Don't hesitate to question yourself!

Don't be afraid to gain a bit of fat when bulking. You can't avoid a slight increase in fat when you want to increase your muscle mass. Lean bulking is a challenging concept to achieve, naturally and for most individuals.

However, avoid exaggeration and try to gain more muscle than fat. All the fat you have gained will need to be shed anyway if you want to improve the aesthetics of your body. A good balance between your weight training, cardio, and diet is the key to your success.

Most of the time, athletes who want to progress in muscle volume and for whom gaining lean mass is important alternate between bulking and cutting phases. To determine if you have indeed gained lean mass, you can compare your measurements at a given time with the same body fat percentage. If you notice that you have more volume and weight for the same body fat percentage, you will know the exact progression of your progress.


Most of the food in our diet is processed. The way they are grown, as well as soil depletion and many other factors, mean that their nutritional value is no longer the same as it was 60 years ago. Dietary supplements can help you compensate for the deficiencies caused by this problem. They can also save you time by making your life easier.

When aiming to increase volume or muscle mass, here are the ones that seem most suitable:


It is very important to take a vitamin and mineral supplement when you want to improve your muscle quality or mass. Regardless of the goal you set for yourself, to be effective, you will need to adjust your diet. However, it is sometimes necessary to eliminate certain types of foods for a specific goal. But sometimes, these eliminated foods also contain elements that are sometimes essential. Being able to bulk up is something important.

On the other hand, an athlete will also need more metabolites. They push their body to use more energy, to undergo more chemical reactions. So, they will need more fuel but also more carriers, more catalysts, in short, more elements that characterize the biochemical reactions specific to the human body.

Vitamin and mineral supplements are therefore an essential element for the proper functioning of your athlete's body! Imagine that you take everything you need to progress, but you lack only one transporter, and therefore there is no way to deliver the fuel to the cell! So, make sure you have everything you need so that your body lacks nothing.

  • Vitamin C: In winter, your body needs to react to cold weather and viral or microbial attacks. If you take a small supplement of vitamin C, it will surely help you better combat the common cold and flu.

Don't be afraid of taking too many vitamins; if you take too many, you will eliminate them naturally. However, when it comes to fat-soluble vitamins, do not exceed the recommended daily intake as you will not eliminate them.


As we have seen, proteins are one of the essential components of muscle. It is therefore imperative to have a properly dosed intake of proteins according to your goal. You can increase your protein intake up to 3 grams per kilogram of body weight, but then you will also need to drink much more.

Don't hesitate to drink up to 3 liters of water per day; it won't be too much.

The different types of protein powder.

Proteins are available on the market in various forms. So, you may wonder: which type of protein should I consume to be as effective as possible?

  • Whey Protein: This is a fast protein. It is made primarily from whey, the liquid part of milk. It is used for both muscle building and fat loss because it should be included in a suitable diet. It is a protein that assimilates fairly quickly, so it is suitable for consumption in the morning or directly after training.
  • Casein is a milk protein. It has a rather slow assimilation. Therefore, you can take it at any time during the day or in the evening before sleeping, if your diet requires it.
  • Whey Protein Isolate: This is a protein with very fast assimilation. Made from whey protein, micro-filtered, it has the big advantage of containing extremely low carbohydrates, fats, and lactose. If you develop a lactose allergy, this is the one for you.
  • Vegan proteins are made from peas or other vegetables. If you are vegan, muscle building is still possible. Of course, there is slightly less protein concentration when they are plant-based, but if the assimilation of animal proteins is easier, you can still achieve very good results even if you stick to a plant-based diet.

Gain supplements.

Gain supplements, or gainers, are generally richer in carbohydrates than in proteins. You should not take a gainer without having an appropriate diet, as you may end up gaining more fat than muscle. Indeed, gainers often contain fast-acting sugars, which lead to a greater insulin response and promote the accumulation of energy in the form of fat if not properly utilized by the body. However, if you are ectomorphic and struggle to gain any weight, this product is for you!


A protein is a chain of amino acids linked together. So, amino acids can be seen as the "building blocks" that make up proteins. However, proteins cannot be assimilated in their primary form; they are too large molecules to pass freely into the bloodstream. They must be broken down, "digested" until all their amino acids are separated. Once the amino acids are released, they can then be assimilated by the body, reaching their destination, and our body can then rebuild the proteins according to its needs.

It is impossible to start a mass gain or simply engage in effective bodybuilding without amino acids.

  • BCAAs, or Branched Chain Amino Acids, are essential amino acids. Our body can convert any amino acid into another, except for essential amino acids or BCAAs. They must come from your diet. They are found in certain foods such as meat, fish, dairy products... But a BCAA supplement after training will give you more beneficial effects.
  • AAKG is a combination of arginine (an amino acid) and alpha-ketoglutarate. It plays a role as a precursor to NO (nitric oxide). It promotes vasodilation of blood vessels. But arginine also promotes muscle building and, to some extent, helps mobilize fat during your training.
  • NO, or nitric oxide, improves the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the muscles. It also leads to vasodilation of blood vessels. It can also promote an increase in growth hormone production.


It is the most effective supplement for someone looking to increase their strength. Numerous studies have been conducted on the effectiveness of creatine and have highlighted its benefits for increasing muscle strength.

However, be careful! If you take creatine, it is preferable to take it with sugar! Many studies show that its effectiveness is increased. For example, a glass of grape juice. And above all, do not take caffeine if you want it to remain effective!

It is advisable to do 3-month cycles to prevent the body from becoming accustomed to exogenous intake and stopping the production of its own creatine.


They are as different as there are brands on the market. Their purpose is to stimulate your workout, either by providing elements that will boost its effectiveness (beta-alanine, Arginine, creatine, inulin, vitamins..) or by stimulating your body's level of excitement (caffeine, taurine...). The latter are double-edged swords: if you take caffeine because you're feeling a bit sluggish, it will wake you up and allow you to have a good workout. But if you become accustomed to it, you won't get the desired effect anymore. At that point, it's best to only take stimulants when you really feel the need. Whatever your motivations, pre-workouts can enhance your workouts.


The male hormone stimulates muscle growth, helps to eliminate fat more quickly. Unfortunately, it decreases with age. A small supplement of hormone precursor or booster can help you have more effective sessions, increase your strength, burn excess fat, but also stimulate your libido. Essential for lean muscle mass gain. Tribulus terrestris is a plant that has this reputation, but also zinc, maca, fenugreek, they are often present in all hormone boosters.


If you develop your muscle mass, you also risk increasing your strength. So, you will lift heavier weights and your joints will also bear more strain. Therefore, it is important to prevent as much as to heal your joints!

Especially since not long ago, it was believed that a joint could not "heal" once it was damaged. Then, studies were conducted on glucosamine and chondroitin, and substantial improvements were observed following regular intake of these two supplements.


As soon as you finish your workout, your muscles are depleted and need nutrients quickly to rebuild. Protein, of course, but also fast-acting sugars. This is one of the only times when you can consume fast-acting sugar without harmful consequences. A sugary drink, such as the Carbo Load, or a protein shake with added sweetness, like the Pro Shake, are good examples.

Many resources are available to assist you in your nutrition. However, nothing is easy. These are supplements; they are not miracle products like Asterix's magic potion or Popeye's spinach. Nevertheless, they are very effective if you start with a good diet.

But these supplements are often an effective aid for a good mass gain.

Ideas for Meals.

It's not always easy to eat well and stick to your diet. Just because you're on a diet doesn't mean you have to force yourself to eat unpleasant foods. If your coach has told you to eat chicken, rice, and broccoli in your diet, try not to separate them and eat your chicken, then dry rice, then broccoli. No, mix all your foods together; it will give them flavor!

Provençal Chicken.

  • 200 g of chicken breast
  • 100 g of rice (weighed raw)
  • 150 g of vegetables (tomatoes, eggplants, zucchini, garlic, onion)
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil

For a total of approximately 710 calories, 50g of protein, 80g of carbohydrates, and 17g of fats, this will make a good meal for mass gain, knowing that you can increase the carbohydrate intake if it's not sufficient by increasing the quantity of rice.

To make the recipe tasty, sauté finely chopped garlic and onion in a non-stick pan (stir well to prevent burning). When they start to cook and turn a nice translucent color, add the vegetables cut into strips or cubes and the olive oil. Cover the pan with a lid to prevent burning; this will allow the water from the vegetables to come out well. Then add the diced chicken. Add the spices you like (such as Espelette pepper, ras-el hanout, etc.) and let it cook. When ready, you can also add parsley, chives, tarragon, or fresh coriander.

You have prepared a delicious dish !

Fish Pâté with Bell Peppers.

  • 170g of Cod (or similar fish)
  • 150g of bell peppers, one clove of garlic, one shallot
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 100g of rice (weighed raw)
  • 100ml of egg whites

For a total of 591 calories, 47g of protein, 82g of carbohydrates, and 7g of fat.

Cook the garlic and shallot in a non-stick skillet. When they are almost translucent (stir well to prevent burning), add the fish and cook briefly. When it's ready, transfer everything to a blender, add the olive oil, some of the bell peppers, and the egg whites. Blend everything together and pour the mixture into a loaf pan lined with parchment paper. Bake for 20 minutes at 160 degrees Celsius. Once done, check the doneness with a knife. Insert the knife into the middle of the pâté. If it comes out hot, it's cooked; if not, put it back in the oven for a bit and keep an eye on it. Once cooked, remove the fish pâté from the oven and let it cool.

With the remaining bell peppers, cook them in a saucepan and season to your taste. Then, blend them, optionally strain them if there are any pieces of bell pepper skin left, and you have a sauce to pour over your fish pâté. This is also a recipe that you can eat as a snack since it is served cold.

Each of these recipes is an example. You can, of course, adjust the calories of each of them to your particular case. But with a little imagination, you can eat dietetic and appetizing !



The two problems with sports and dietetics are that everyone has their opinion, and most of the time, after a few months of practice, many people think they know more than anyone else. The second problem is that everyone is different, and a rule that seems obvious to you may be the complete opposite for someone else. Therefore, you must regularly question yourself and not take anything for granted. However, you can try out your partners' workouts and diets without betting on the result but for the information and experience you can gain from it. But you will evolve, change your physique, improve, and age! So, it's not guaranteed that everything you take for granted this year won't change in 1 year or in the next 5 years. Stay open to questioning. Muscle mass gain often requires regular adjustments.


Not everything on the internet is necessarily true! But you can use it for more in-depth research on the subject that concerns you! When you find the same idea approved by scientists on several sites, there is a good chance that you are still approaching some truth.

You can also find training programs and testimonials (but be careful).


No matter the sport you practice, you will need certain qualities that will develop in the sport itself or through weight training to hope for a return or transfer to your favorite sport. You will need strength, endurance, resistance, flexibility, and coordination.

Therefore, each sport requires training tailored to its particular case and also adapted weight training.

When you go to the gym, don't judge the guy training next to you who isn't lifting half of your weights. Does he seem to be training poorly too? Ask him! He might be a 10,000m champion with a completely different approach than yours. He might not be a great athlete in weightlifting, but don't try to keep up with him in running.


Very often, if you're an ectomorph, you proclaim loudly that you can eat whatever you want but don't gain muscle or fat. If you want to gain muscle, the rules will be the same for everyone: a minimum of protein, water, complex carbohydrates. But for you, when you've already eaten what you need to gain muscle, then you can also eat "anything." Of course, within reason. Alcohol is not within those limits. Moreover, over time, some ectomorphs remain thin but with a small belly. So be careful if you want to keep your figure in the long run.


If you want to avoid underperformance, lower back pain, and hamstring muscle injuries, you MUST take the time to work on your flexibility. Sometimes, just a few minutes are enough. Of course, you've understood that we're not all equal in terms of this muscular quality either. There are several schools of thought, and everyone has their own ideas on the subject: some advocate working when cold, others when warm; some on days when you don't train, others precisely on training days. Some prefer static stretching, while others prefer dynamic stretching. What is the right way?

Let's look at who the most flexible athletes are. Without a doubt, it's dancers and gymnasts. It can therefore be said that their work is effective in achieving good flexibility. And what do they do to stay flexible? Well, they work on their flexibility before training, after training, sometimes even during training; they perform full-range movements (not half movements); they do a lot of dynamic stretching as well as static stretching.

Try now to tell me what is the best way ?

What is certain is that if you don't work on it, you expose yourself sooner or later to lower back pain, strains, or, more seriously, tears.


The "too much" is the enemy of "good". Thinking that the more you do, the more you progress is a mistake that many beginners make, but sometimes even experienced athletes. So, how do you know if you're training enough or too much?

It's really quite simple: if you're making progress, your training and diet are on point. If you hit a plateau, lose motivation, feel abnormally tired, or start getting injured, then you may be overtraining.

The only solution is rest! But when you're resting, you're not progressing, so it's important not to let your body reach overtraining.

Be careful when you want to increase your muscle mass to remember that 'too much' is the enemy of "good" !

Not warming up.

To avoid injuries, you should never perform a heavy or difficult exercise without proper preparation: warming up.

The ideal would be a general warm-up with a cardio exercise, but also some exercises that will lightly and progressively work the targeted region during the session.

As one ages, warming up becomes increasingly important. The elasticity of tissues decreases each year, making it difficult to adapt to sudden exertion. This can result in micro-tears in muscle fibers that may develop into larger tears in the event of muscle strain.

So never start a heavy weightlifting workout without proper warm-up.

No "miracle" products.

Supplements are indeed what they claim to be: a supplement to a well-balanced diet. One common mistake many people make is replacing all their meals with shakes! Try to vary your diet, have diverse meals, and provide your body with foods that offer different nutritional values. This way, you'll benefit from a wider range of vitamins, minerals, and it's also more enjoyable to have a varied diet.

Incorporating one or two protein shakes into your diet per day seems reasonable to me. However, relying solely on shakes is excessive and reduces the variety of foods consumed, leading to imbalance. This doesn't seem beneficial for effective muscle gain.


Everyone makes mistakes. But everyone can also correct them. The internet gives you access to information, but sometimes that information is not accurate. If you think that an athlete who posts photos of their six-pack all year round is really in top condition all year round, nothing is less certain. It may be true, but it is also possible that they had a photoshoot in the summer and are spreading out the photos on their account throughout the year. Be cautious! Be ready to question yourself, but also to question the information. Don't hesitate to consult experienced specialists to confirm or refute your research.

The progress you make will be your only truth: as long as you're progressing, it means you've found the right solution for effective muscle growth at that moment. If you're not progressing, have the courage to question what you've read, what you know, or what you've been told. It may not be suitable for your case for muscle gain.

Regarding this, we remain at your disposal if you have more specific questions.

Yves Bondroit, coach for QNT.

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