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I want to gain mass, but I lead a cardio intensive lifestyle


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Hello good people,

 

I've been a vegan since late '09 and I'm loving it. I feel great. I'll never go back to an omni diet. I am what you call a natural ectomorph. I'm tall and lanky, about 6'2" and 170lbs. My job requires that I get lots and lots of exercise. I work with dogs. I run them, train them, care for them when their owners are out on trips. I love cycling, so I ride my bike to appointments year round, which results in an average of 150 miles a week at a pretty good click. Add that to 20 miles of running a week and you get the idea. Lots of cardio. And I'm not interested/able to stop or draw back. This is just part of my life.

 

So I'm in good shape and feel great, but I'd like to gain some mass purely for aesthetic reasons. I'm fairly self conscious and the constant "you look thin" and "are you eating ok?" comments from my family don't exactly help matters.

 

I'm not trying to be Mr. O or anything. I'd like to gain and maintain an extra 15lbs of lean body mass. Some extra definition wouldnt hurt, either.

 

Would gaining 15lbs of lean body mass be a reasonable feat considering my lifestyle? As of right now, I do no weight training whatsoever. I havent touched a weight in several years. What do you folks think?

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  • 4 weeks later...

Here is an update, I weighed in at 181lbs today. 11lbs heavier than when I started.

 

I am currently doing a kettlebell strength circuit. This one:

It is great for me because its also an intense cardio workout, which is beneficial for cycling and running. I feel pretty good.

 

I'm eating a lot more now. Lots of dates, bananas, avocado, beans, sweet potatoes, and a spinach salad every day. I'm quite surprised how quickly I was able to add 10lbs. I'll be at my goal very soon at this rate. Perhaps I should shoot for 200lbs instead of 185...

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I don't get why you need a workout which is great for the cardio considering the amount you are already doing?

 

You need to first log meals & then compare this to what you are burning off...Then you need to see where you can increase calorie in takes. With the amount of cardio I would recommend getting a weight gain shake (are vegan ones actually out there) the high volumes of cardio you do is serious, I know this isn't the best/ healthiest option but seriously you need calories anyway never mind to gain. The amount of food you will need to eat will be large so also you need to consider transporting meals with you.

 

 

Don't go ramming calories up right off the bat, you need a steady increase to the numbers you will eventually know after logging

 

As for kettle bell workouts, these are great but they won't be as beneficial as compounds

Edited by veggiesasquatch
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Thanks for the input.

 

I think the kettlebell provides a different kind of cardio workout than cycling or running for distance does. If you watch the circuit video I posted, It's one movement straight into the next. No rest between movements. The only 'rest' you get is 60 seconds of active recovery such as skipping rope, jogging around, or jumping jacks in between circuit sets. I feel miserable while doing this workout. My heart is pounding, and I'm gasping for air. After about a month of this, on the bike I can climb steep hills much better than before because I'm able to sustain a higher level of exertion for longer.

 

Yeah, writing everything down is probably a good idea. I just don't have the time or desire to do such a thing. Keeping track of the calories I burn would be almost impossible, unless I had special equipment on my bike that measured speed, distance, and power output.There is a huge difference effort wise between riding 20 miles at 17mph and riding 20 miles at 20mph. I have no idea what the difference in burned calories would be. I'm trying to run a business, so there are other thngs on my plate. So I'm just going to make sure to eat a lot of good food all the time.

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Thanks for the input.

 

I think the kettlebell provides a different kind of cardio workout than cycling or running for distance does. If you watch the circuit video I posted, It's one movement straight into the next. No rest between movements. The only 'rest' you get is 60 seconds of active recovery such as skipping rope, jogging around, or jumping jacks in between circuit sets. I feel miserable while doing this workout. My heart is pounding, and I'm gasping for air. After about a month of this, on the bike I can climb steep hills much better than before because I'm able to sustain a higher level of exertion for longer.

 

Yeah, writing everything down is probably a good idea. I just don't have the time or desire to do such a thing. Keeping track of the calories I burn would be almost impossible, unless I had special equipment on my bike that measured speed, distance, and power output.There is a huge difference effort wise between riding 20 miles at 17mph and riding 20 miles at 20mph. I have no idea what the difference in burned calories would be. I'm trying to run a business, so there are other thngs on my plate. So I'm just going to make sure to eat a lot of good food all the time.

 

 

If you check any of my posts on diets, I don't really believe in calorie counting, macro's & all that jazz.

 

I use to be heavily into cardio & I would run a large hill range where I lived 3 times a week for 6-8 miles per session. I also would do martial arts & some light weight work at home. Like you I wanted to get bigger as I was extremely lean. SO I gradually cut down the cardio to nothing (I'm now adding in some cardio as I'm working towards strong man stuff) & started eating more.

 

My rule was to have 1 scoop of protein & a food source of protein per meal. Also things like 100g pasta, cup & a half of rice ect I'd go as far to say stomach as many carbs per setting as you can.

 

Regardless for what type of cv work the kettle bell session provides it's still cv work. It is raising your heart rate, your lungs are working hard ect It's a decent routine & you will gain some decent muscle off it. But nothing is ever gonna come close to compound lifts if you are wanting to add a good amount of muscle mass. If you are aiming for a bit of muscle then have at it with the kettle bells & I respect the healthy life style don't think I'm trying to take that away from you. I actually think kettle bells have their place for explosive movement & I will my self use them.

 

I have however been there with cardio work & wanting to get bigger...I was treading water for weeks. If you are stuck for time I can help you put together a 2 day program even one if times even tighter

viewtopic.php?f=48&t=26623

 

this needs updating as I have gotten bigger but you get the idea

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  • 3 weeks later...

Another update. Weighed in at 185.2 lbs today. Feeling better than ever. I'm definitely hooked now.

 

I've gotten much better at blasting through the kettlebell circuit with intensity. I'm going to have to switch up the movements soon so things don't stagnate. Time to start practicing some of the more challenging kettlebell maneuvers. I'd like to keep the circuit format though. I really love the strength training/cardio blast combination that it provides.

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