Improvement season is finally here; colder weather, holiday baked goods, and extra clothing! There is no better time than now to increase your calories in the kitchen and 1 rep max in the gym. After all, summer bodies are built in the winter. Not sure where to start? We’ve got you covered.
Get the Most out of Your Improvement Season Regimen
Challenge Yourself in the Weight Room
Pushing past your current max weights, specifically in compound movements like squats, hip thrusts, deadlifts, and bench, will help to pack on dense, powerful muscle. Bring a lifting partner to spot you during the compound lifts to allow yourself to really increase your 1 rep max (1RM).
Create a simple ledger to record your 1RM for each movement week by week. Challenge yourself to increase the weight by 5-10 lbs each week. This method is referred to as “progressive overload” and has been used by champion bodybuilders since the beginning of the sport. Trust us, Arnold’s methods won’t let you down.
After completing the compound movements listed above, add accessory exercises to your program (plate loaded machines, cable movements, etc.). Lift heavy for 5-8 reps. Once your muscles are burning and fatigued, have your lifting partner spot you to perform 2-3 more reps. Pushing past the burn to complete a few more reps is when the most muscle is built.
Increase Your Caloric Intake
Muscle needs fuel to grow. Increase your caloric intake to ensure that your providing enough nutrients to rebuild your muscles. Keep your foods as nutrient dense as possible, especially in the meals directly before and after your workouts.
Track your daily caloric intake by using easy-to-navigate apps, like My Fitness Pal, to ensure that you’re eating in a caloric surplus. These types of apps will help you determine the number of calories you burn each day, and will then recommend a specific number of calories, proteins, carbs, and fats you should be eating daily to reach your muscle-building goals.
Supplement with Research Proven Nutrients
There are several products on the market that when taken in the correct doses and at the correct times, are research proven to help you build more muscle.
Creatine Monohydrate is the most researched supplement in the industry. It has been proven time and time again to help put on pounds of muscle. Creatine works by supplying more energy to your muscle tissue, resulting in more strength and power. This allows you to lift more weight during your workouts, therefore, building more muscle. It also has several other health benefits including cellular health, heart strength, and muscle recovery. Gains in Bulk has several different supplements that contain Creatine to help fit every individual’s personal needs.
Our Instantized Creatine Monohydrate is an unflavored, completely soluble creatine powder. Simply mix into your favorite drink before and after your workout for insane muscle building benefits. Best of all, it has no gritty-mouth texture like other creatine powders.
Our Crea-Nitric 100 contains the breakthrough molecule Creatine Nitrate. Simply put, it is creatine and nitrate molecules bound together, to form one super molecule. The creatine helps to provide power to the muscles while the nitrates work to boost nitric oxide levels in the body. Nitric oxide is a naturally occurring gas that increases the flexibility of the blood vessels, allowing blood flow to increase without blood pressure having to rise. This results in insane pumps, increased vascularity, and more nutrient delivery to the muscles. Simply take 3-4 capsules of Crea-Nitric 100 half an hour before your workout for it’s muscle-building benefits.
Our N.O. Chews contain the same Creatine Nitrate molecule, but in a chewable tablet instead of a capsule. For individuals who need an energy boost prior to their workouts, we also included 30mg of natural, herbal caffeine per chew, along with 35 antioxidant rich fruits and vegetables for cellular health (and a delicious fruity flavor). Take 3-4 chews right as your walking into the gym for crazy pumps, increased strength, and focused, clean energy.
Branch Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs) are essential to rebuilding your muscles after a hard lifting session. Research shows that 5g of BCAAs in a 2:1:1 ratio in favor of L-Leucine during your workout is the most beneficial. While most BCAA products on the market contain this ratio, many products are filled with flavorings, dyes, and additives that take up room in your precious 5g scoop. Your scoop might hold 5g of powder but, chances are, not all of that powder is truly BCAAs.
Our Instantized BCAA powder does not contain any flavorings, dyes, additives, or artificials. You simply get 5g of pure BCAAs in an unflavored powder that you can mix into the drink of your choice. Take 5g during your workout, and another 5g first thing in the morning if you’re sore.
Arginine is an amino acid that, similar to nitrates, boosts nitric oxide levels in the body to increase the flexibility of blood vessels. However, arginine has another great benefit. When taken before anaerobic exercise or REM sleep, arginine will naturally increase HGH (human growth hormone) levels.
Increased HGH levels can affect growth and repair of most bodily tissue, including muscles, boost metabolism, burn fat, and provide several anti-aging benefits. Simply put, this means you can put in the same amount of effort in the gym, but see dramatically faster results.
Our tri-amino blend formula, Argi-pump, contains L-Arginine, L-Citrulline, and L-Ornithine in powerful doses to provide a major increase in both nitric oxide and HGH levels. Take 2-4 capsules before your workout and before bed for the best results.
Testosterone Boosting Herbs
It’s common knowledge that higher testosterone equals an increased ability to build muscle. There are thousands of products on the market directed towards increasing testosterone levels. But, how many of them can boost your T-levels though natural, and more importantly, safe, methods?
Research has proven that there are a handful of herbs that can naturally boost testosterone levels when taken in the appropriate doses AND when actually broken down so the body can put them to use. Two of the most promising herbs are Tribulus Terrestis and Eurycoma Longifolia (LJ-100).
Test Gain, our T-boosting supplement, contains both of these herbs, plus a wide range of vitamins and minerals to naturally increase testosterone levels. The key to this product’s success is its ability to be completely absorbed by the body because we pre-digest the formula prior to capsulation. The body is able to easily absorb and use the nutrients from these hard to breakdown herbs to boost your own natural testosterone levels.
Digestive Enzymes and Probiotics
As we previously mentioned, increasing your caloric intake is a key component to putting on size this improvement season. However, a more important component is making sure that the food your eating to increase your caloric intake is fully broken down to usable forms for your body to use while rebuilding your muscles and giving you energy.
Supplementing with digestive enzymes and probiotics will ensure that the food you eat is fully digested, helping you avoid gas, bloating, and indigestion. It will also ensure that those broken down foods can be easily absorbed into your bloodstream to be delivered to your muscles. Our best-selling product, Athlete Digestive Formula, contains a wide range of 14 digestive enzymes, 9 patented probiotics, and organic minerals to ensure you can fully break down your improvement season diet.
Whole Food Vitamins & Minerals
Have you ever eaten a meal lacking in nutrients and then tried to workout? Chances are you felt weak and sluggish during your lifts. That is because key vitamins and minerals directly affect your strength and performance in the gym. Simply taking a whole food multivitamin and mineral supplement, like Square 1, will help ensure that you have all the nutrients needed to perform your best during your workout.
While trying to increase your caloric intake, it’s important to keep an eye on how much protein you’re eating on a daily basis. It can be difficult at times to find high-protein options, especially if you have an on-the-go lifestyle. Luckily, protein powders were created to help fitness enthusiasts everywhere get in a high amount of protein, no matter what type of food they had available to them at the time.
We offer several different types of protein powder to fit every type of lifestyle and nutrition preference. GIB-100 contains a large amount of whole food vitamins and minerals (like those in Square 1), protein from whey, and nutrient dense carbs and fats. In flavors like Chocolate Malt and Vanilla Milkshake, it’s the optimal pre or post workout protein drink. GIB RAW is a completely hypo-allergenic, certified vegan protein powder plus fruit and vegetable powder in one for those individuals with food allergies or strict dietary needs. CutCake Lean Protein powder is a high protein, low carb and fat whey protein option for people that prefer to get their carbs and fats from other sources.
Best of all, each of these different protein options are pre-digested during manufacturing to help avoid gas, bloating, and indigestion that often occurs when taking other protein powders.
Ultimate Improvement Season Gains
Stick to these basic principles of training hard and heavy, increasing caloric intake, and supplementing with research proven nutrients for a successful improvement season. You’ll build dense muscle, increase your 1 rep max, and move into the next beach season with the muscle to turn heads.