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Struggling to build a solid foundation of muscle?

New to fitness?

Tried to build muscle but nothing seems to work?

Unsure of your Calories or macros?

Then this blog is for you!

Hot topics of discussion🔥

  • Introduction

  • Calories & macronutrients

  • Training principles

  • Training techniques

  • Our FREE 6 week muscle building programme


When it comes to building muscle it can be a long process of ups & downs. It’s hard work, and many people get too disheartened and quit as they don’t look like the cover model of Men's health magazine, after a matter of weeks. A big problem people face is the huge amount of controversy when it comes down to the Do’s & Don’ts. So this blog today is to help you understand what it takes to build muscle!

This Blog is also the introduction to our FREE 6 week muscle building programme, to help our app users understand the principles of building muscle when undertaking our programme.

Firstly, and most importantly, we are going to talk about nutrition! 🍎

When trying to gain muscle, it’s critical you look into your nutritional habits. In order to gain muscle you need to be what’s called a ‘calorie surplus’. This in basic terms means to consume more calories than your body burns per day.

But can’t you build muscle, and lose fat at the same time? What then, calorie surplus or calorie deficit? This will be covered in our next blog!

So, to workout our calorie surplus we’re going to follow these simple calculations:

  • Firstly, we will work out how many calories your body burns at rest...

Bodyweight (kg) x 25 = RMR (Resting metabolic rate)

  • From here, we need to work out how many calories you will burn taking exercise/ activities into account

RMR x 1.2 (Exercise 1-2x per week)

RMR x 1.4 (Exercise 3-4x per week)

RMR x 1.6 (Exercise 5-6 per week)

RMR x 1.8 (Exercise 6+ per week)

= TDEE (Total daily energy expenditure) - the amount of calories you burn when exercise is taken into account.

  • From here, we recommend you add 300 - 700 calories on top of your TDEE to support a 1 to 2lb weekly gain.

E.g. Timmy weighs 60kg, and trains 5 days a week. So we follow the guidelines above:

60 (bodyweight kg) x 25 = 1,500 (RMR)

1,500 X 1.6 = 2,400 (TDEE)

2,400 + 500 (Added calories) = 3,000 Calories

Therefore Timmy would aim to consume 3,000 calories per day in order to be in a calorie surplus.

AWESOME! So you now have the calories you need, so now what? We are going to quickly run through the Macronutrients which will make up your calories, and their primary functions.

Protein: Builds, maintains and repairs muscle

Carbohydrates: Provide the energy to fuel your workouts

Fats: Secondary energy source, and help assist with brain function and hormone production.

When choosing your macro-nutrients, you want to concentrate on hitting your protein targets which should be between 1.6-2g protein per kg of bodyweight. Then the remaining calories fill between carbohydrates and fats.

*Remember, calculating your calories is just a frame of reference, it is pretty much impossible to calculate your exact calorie needs *

Fluid intake

Fluid intake is meant for replenishing what fluid your body uses (e.g. sweating, urine, ect), and to stop your getting dehydrated. Having between 3-4 litres a day should be adequate for most. Just remember to get plenty of fluid before, during and after training.

Training principles

In order to have sufficient lean muscle gains, having a combination of a diet, and progressive training is important. When designing your programme for weight gain, you need to look for;

Progressive overload; is your training plan adapting to your gains? When your body adapts, your plan should adapt with you, making it harder and more stressful on your body. The Most commonly used method is increasing the weight being lifted, or changing your sets/reps. Progressive overload is a very overlooked principle when it comes to training. Far too often people will go to the gym, Squatting 30kg, then 3 months later still Squatting 30kg, doing the same sets/reps. Your body will only adapt if you give it a reason to. Next time you go to the gym, try to increase the weight by even 2kg!

Variation: Are you doing the same plan, week in, week out for months? If so, you need to change it up! ‘Your body will adapt to new surroundings’. Changing up your volume, intensity, frequency, exercise selection is essential in a training plan. Again, like with progressive overload, it's far too easy to get stuck doing the same plan each gym session. Periodisation really comes effective here, this basically means to undergo phases of training. For instance, the plan attached to this blog is 6 weeks, predominantly a pyramid setting phase, where you increase the weight of each set, but decrease the amount of reps. For example:

Set 1, 30kg, 12 reps

Set 2, 32kg, 10 reps

Set 3, 35kg, 8 reps

Set 4, 37kg, 6 reps

Then after this 6 week phase, you could then go for a more strength & hypertrophy (muscle gain) based programme, of 5-8 reps.

Adding advanced training techniques

Adding advanced training techniques can be a great way of blasting through plateaus, increasing muscular stress, and varying your workouts. In our 6 week muscle building plan we primarily focus on:

Dropsets: Go to failure, drop the weight by ½ to ⅔ then go again to failure without rest

Rest, pause, sets: Go to failure, rest up to 10 seconds, then go again to failure.

Supersets: Doing 2 exercises on the same muscle group or opposing, without rest in between.

Other considerations:

Time under tension: This is the time your muscle spends under tension during a set. Research (Charles Poliquin) has shown that 30-70 seconds per set is optimal for muscle gains. But if you want Strength & muscle gains, 30-50 seconds. So for our plan, doing the 12,10,8 pyramid setting at a rep rate between 4-6 seconds would put you right on target!

Rest periods: Personally i listen to my body as I'm training, if its been 120 seconds since my last set, but I'm still worn out and don’t feel like i will get the most out of my next set, then il rest a little longer, and vice versa, if i feel good after 30 seconds, I'll get straight back into it! Between the ranges of 60-120 seconds is a great focus.

Our FREE 6 week muscle building plan

Join us on our free fitness app, and gain access to our FREE 6 week muscle building programme.

Frequency: 4-6 days per week

Length: 5-8 weeks long (Depending how often you train)


  • In depth training plan for you to follow

  • Video Exercise tutorials for each exercise

Join today via link:

Many thanks,


Flexibull Fitness

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