How to Calculate Macros for Mass Building – What Really Matters in Nutrition

Alain Gonzalez November 27th, 2014 No Comments

When it comes to optimizing your nutrition for muscle gains, there are a few simple, but extremely important factors you must consider.

You see, although many trainees have achieved great results by simply lifting and eating, they are the exception to the rule.


The majority of trainees who attempt an uncalculated nutrition approach will end up spinning their wheels, hitting plateaus, gaining too much fat, and even potentially damaging their hormone levels.

Despite what you’ve been told, read, or assume…

Hitting plateaus is not inevitable.

Getting fat past a point of being comfortable with your shirt off is not necessary.

And hindering the production of our most important muscle building hormones is not “part of the game”.

Today I am going to give you a very basic formula that you can use in order to start packing on lean mass. But first, I want to give you a better understanding as to why this formula works and why others may potentially do more harm than good despite giving you enough protein.

Factors To Consider Include…

Energy Balance: Whether we are consuming enough total calories to gain weight, lose weight, or maintain.

Nitrogen Balance: Whether we are synthesizing more protein than we are breaking down or vice versa.

Anabolic Hormones: Chemical substance produced in the body that controls and regulates the activity of certain cells or organs (i.e. Testosterone).

Energy: Glycogen stores and our ability to perform at our peak.

Macronutrient Breakdown: The ratio of your fats, carbs, and proteins. This is responsible for your overall body composition.

Pretty basic stuff right?

Despite the simplicity, there are typically 1 or more of these factors being completely ignored in most fad diets.

But I’m not here prey on the weak…

I am here to help pack some muscle on to your frame.

One last thing I want to touch on are macronutrients and the rolls they play. This should give you a better understanding as to why these numbers should be in order if you want to optimize muscle gain while minimizing fat storage.


We have once been lead to believe that we needed are more protein than we actually do. In fact, even I at one point recommended as high as 2 grams per pound of bodyweight (which won’t hurt). However, more recent research has shown that the average person only needs about 0.4 grams per pound of bodyweight in protein per day.

Now, obviously the average person is a couch potato and that’s not you.

For the active person, 0.7-0.9 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight (per day) has been shown to be enough to keep us in a positive nitrogen balance. That means that if you are 200 lbs, you could get away with consuming as little as 140 grams of protein per day.

7 Obvious Signs Your Training Routine Sucks

Alain Gonzalez November 22nd, 2014 No Comments


I would also like to say that some training protocols are more optimal than others. So because I say most training programs will produce results, this does not mean that they will work as fast as a good training program.

So if you’re not progressing as quickly as you’d like, then there may be a chance that it is in fact your training that sucks.

“How do I know if my training sucks?”

I’m glad you asked!

Because today I want to share 7 obvious signs that your current training approach sucks.

1. You’re not on a program at all

If your training split is dependent on what muscle(s) you want to “pump up” that day, then your training sucks. This shows that (1) you’re not even on a program, (2) your training is purposeless, you are inconsistent and thus your gains will be too.

My Advice: Get on a damn training program! (Mass In A Flash FREE Download)

2. You’re still bench pressing 135 lbs

Do me a favor.

Think back a few months.

Now tell me…how much were you benching 3 months ago?


If you’ve been bench pressing (or squatting, deadlifting, overhead pressing, dumbbell curling) the same weight for the same amount of reps, then you’re not progressing.

No Progress = No Growth

This is happening because either (1) your program sucks, (2) you don’t track your lifts, or (3) all of the above.

My Advice: Start tracking your lifts…especially the big focal point movements. This will allow you to walk in the gym, every single time, with a goal.

3. Training each muscle group once per week

If your split is divided up in a way that only allows each muscle to be hit once per week, then you’re leaving a lot of growth on the table.

Volume may be one key to hypertrophy, but without progress, volume is meaningless.

Want progress? Increase the frequency!

If your chest workout consists of 16 sets, then break those 16 sets up into 2-3 sessions over the course of a week. Not only will you benefit from more regularly increased protein synthesis but, your chest will always be fresh when you’re training it thus allowing your total weekly workload to be higher.

My Advice: Adjust your program by decreasing volume so that you can incorporate more than one muscle-group in a training session. Then adjust the frequency so that each muscle group gets hit at least twice per week.

3 Reasons You Haven’t Made Any Gains Lately (Hint: It’s Not Your Workout)

Alain Gonzalez November 10th, 2014 No Comments


How long has it been since you’ve seen significant improvements in your physique?

Has it been weeks?


Maybe it’s been years?

Either way, if you’re not seeing results, any time span is too long.

Chances are you are making the same mistakes I made, and the same mistakes most people make after they’ve exhausted their newbie gains.

These are the same mistakes that leave most trainee’s muscle gains dead in their tracks. The good news is, these mistakes are very common and easy to fix.

VERY EASY to fix…

Today I want to go over 3 reasons why you haven’t made any gains lately so that you can finally get over that hump and start packing on muscle mass once again.

Oh…and by the way…

The 3 reasons you’re not gaining muscle have NOTHING to do with your training.

That’s right…

Most people are already training enough to produce muscle gains but are failing at the most important aspect, the diet.

Training hard at the gym without having your diet in order is like building a brick house without the cement….in a hurricane…with tsunamis crashing it…every day.

Reason you’re Not Growing #1
You’re not in a Positive Energy Balance

All this really means is something that you probably already know. If you are not growing, then you are not eating enough, period.

You see, no matter how hard we train in the gym, our body needs a certain amount of nutrients (macros and micros) in order to build muscle. And 9 times out of 10, it is going to require that you are in a positive net energy balance.

In simple terms, you should be consuming more energy than you are expending.

Or as you probably know it, a caloric surplus.

So for those of you who say “I can’t gain weight no matter how much I eat!”…

You, my friend, are out of your mind. YOU cannot defy the laws of thermodynamics.

Maybe you’re like me and require more food than the average human (slight exaggeration…maybe), but this does not mean that you can’t gain weight. It simply means you’ll just have to eat a little more than you are now.

Reason you’re Not Growing #2
Maybe You Are Growing…Slowly

I know what you’re thinking.

“Alain, I would know if I was growing or not.”

But here’s the deal. In the beginning, putting on pound after pound of noticeable mass is doable. But after a certain point, those gains will slow down…dramatically.

Let me ask you this…

How often do you weigh yourself?

Chances are, you are weighing yourself once per week. You may have also noticed that some weeks you’re slightly lighter, other weeks slightly heavier, or maybe you’re at the same weight.

Here is the problem…weighing yourself from one Monday to the next is not going to be an accurate measurement of whether or not you are growing, shrinking, or staying the same.

Take this weight tracking table as an example:

Weigh In

3 Rep Ranges You Must Train In After Your Newbie Gains

Alain Gonzalez October 7th, 2014 No Comments

Stop searching for a magical rep range…it simply doesn’t exist.

You see, the idea behind inducing hypertrophy is simple.

Increase the workload slightly over time in order to continuously stimulate the muscle into new growth by forcing an adaptive response.

As a beginner, this can easily be done by sticking to one specific rep range. In fact, I would encourage that you keep it as simple as possible while focusing on linear progression. As a beginner, despite rep range, you will be able to increase workload (get stronger) damn near every session.

Unfortunately, at some point in your training career, these super human adaptations will slow down dramatically. Once that happens, it is critical that we begin to implement proper periodization into our training.


Periodization is the systematic planning of athletic or physical training. The aim is to reach the best possible performance in the most important competition of the year. It involves progressive cycling of various aspects of a training program during a specific period.

Just to be clear, periodization is not the topic of this discussion.

Instead, I am going to discuss different rep ranges and their benefits towards overall strength and muscle growth.

You see, it’s no secret that if we want to build muscle, we must increase our performance (get stronger).

We also know that getting stronger is linear while we are in the magical stage of our training (novice).

So what happens when we are no longer able to increase workload by simply adding weight to the bar?

Well that’s when periodization comes into play. But to put it simpler, it’s when different rep ranges become much more beneficial.

Hypertrophy can be achieved by achieving:
1. Mechanical Stress
2. Metabolic Stress
3. Muscle Damage

Now let’s look at a few different rep ranges and their benefits.

Rep ranges

Now that we see what each rep range can provide, let’s talk a little about how they can work together to aid in hypertrophy.

E.M.O.T.M. Squats For Powerful Gains In Muscle and Strength – Guest Article

Alain Gonzalez September 17th, 2014 No Comments

E.M.O.T.M. Squats For Powerful Gains In Muscle and Strength

by: Travis Stoetzel

Everyone who knows a thing or two about building muscle and full body strength knows that SQUATS are king for this.

Load up a bar, put it on your back and squat away.

Maybe you’ve heard the story about Arnold going off into the woods and squatting for hours on end??


Well, Arnold wasn’t crazy when he would go out into the woods with just a barbell and weights and squat for hours on end until he passed out…

While that might have been a bit of overkill, Arnold sure knew that the results he’d achieve in doing something nuts like that would sure pay off.

Now, I’m not telling you that you need to go off into the woods and squat for a few hours on end until you pass out and can’t walk all in order to gain more muscle and strength.

Actually I’m going to share with you now is how you can SAVE TIME while still gaining more muscle and strength while also shredding off some fat as well.

No need to go off into the woods and squat until you can’t walk ;)

However, just note that the method I’m about to share with you is NOT easy.

Far from it actually, but the struggle and pain (all good pain of course) will only lead to more GAINS in powerful muscle head to toe.

And if gains are what you want, then read on.

So, what is this specialized squat method I speak of that will save you time, but still get your fast and explosive gains in return??

It’s my “E.M.O.T.M. Squats Method” and it’s one of the many different go-to methods of use with squatting to gain muscle and strength quick.

This is something I’ve been using for years with amazing results not only with myself, but with my athletes as well.

Now, before I go any further I think I should probably explain to you about what the hell “E.M.O.T.M.” stands for and what it is.

E.M.O.T.M. is an interval training protocol that stands for “Every Minute On The Minute” and basically how it works is simple – Start a clock and at the top of the minute, start your set. Once your set reps are complete, rack the weights and rest for the remaining amount of the minute. Once the top of the minute comes back around, you’d then start your 2nd

For example, let’s say we’re doing 5 reps of squats at around your 70-75% squat max E.M.O.T.M. x 6 minutes.

With this you’d start off by cranking out 5 reps of squats at the top of the minute. Once you’re done you’d rack the weight and wait until the clock hits 1:00. At the top of that minute, you’d start your next set and keep on going until the full 6 minutes were done.

The faster you get your set done within the 60 second time frame, the more rest period you get.

Maybe now you can see where this might get a little gritty especially if you’re using a fairly heavy load ;)

No worries as it’s all apart of the plan.

Now, if you look at the overall set up, you’re getting in 30 reps of squats within just 6 minutes.

That’s some pretty good amount of volume at a fairly heavy load