I get asked questions like this several times a week…
Question: “I realize I have only been doing CrossFit for about 6 months, but I am trying to gain some weight and get stronger. I have been a hard gainer all my life. I have a high metabolism. How can I tailor the workouts to avoid the rowing, running, and jump rope, to add more muscle mass to my body?”
Answer: My response to these types of questions are typically pretty similar to this.
“Cardiovascular based movements like rowing, running, biking, and jump rope. For some mythical of a reason are associated with muscle loss, and decreasing muscle gains. This is not always the truth. In general long duration low intensity cardio is responsible for creating more Type 1 muscle fibers. Such as long and lean muscles, like marathon runners, and Iron Man participates. High intensity, short duration based training like CrossFit, will not yield the same effects, it will develop more Type 2 muscle fibers. It will not cause muscle loss, it will actually add muscle mass.
I will advise my two biggest suggestions for those looking to add muscle mass:
1) Nutrition – It is the hardest to follow, but always will pack the most results. You need to be eating for muscle mass, and eating about 1500-2000 more calories a day than what you are burning. Generally with exercise and your daily body functions, you burn around 3500-4500 calories a day for a male aged 20-30, depending on your activity level for that day. That means you need to be eating about 5000-6500 calories a day. You need quality of food, and not just any food. Lean meats and lots of them, healthily fats, and even more of these. Fruit, vegetables, and simple carbohydrates such as oatmeal, whole wheat breads, and pasta. To pack on the muscle, you MUST pack in the food.
2) Develop a fitness/weightlifting base – If you are new to CrossFit and the Olympic Weightlifting world, what is going to benefit you for years and years, and for a total life of health and fitness. Is developing the best fitness base that you can. Such as proper movement patterns, skills, techniques, and understanding how to correctly preform lifts. That will help you more 2 years from now, then what just lifting a bunch of weight now with little technique will.
I know these might not be the answers you wanted to hear, but they are the honest truth.”
So bare down, eat a lot of almond butter, and stick to your training.
Your desired results will follow.
Please post your comments, and questions below, and we will respond.