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Workout Frequency and Diet

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    Workout Frequency and Diet

    I thought about making two separate posts but I thought this would be easier for me, so it's gonna be a long one.

    I'm in my 3rd week of my journey to gain muscle mass, I took the advice from people on this forum and started the Total Abs and HIIT Advanced programs. I have no difficulty in doing them aside from time management; the workouts themselves are certainly challenging but doable for me. What I'm asking about is whether or not I should do it on the weekends or if it doesn't drastically affect my results. I'm currently doing it only 5 times a week and picking up where I left off the Monday after. The big question is, does my situation need correction?

    Also, on the weekends, since I am still trying to gain weight, is it acceptable to eat out almost every weekend? Or should I completely cut that out? Also, what is the take-away on snacking such as pretzels or something? Should I stick to 3 square meals a day and eat a bit more during those times to put on weight?

    Sorry to bombard with so many questions but if anyone has a good answer to at least one of these, it'd be greatly appreciated.

    Atlas_FTW Having two rest days should be fine. I was on a continental schedule for most of this year which meant that I could work out at best every second day, and I still made a lot of progress towards muscle building and weight loss. You should be fine with that ... unless you two off days are really off days. The fact that you are eating out so much is something which might be an indication that you are going too lax on your days off. This is true for me, and maybe not true for everyone ... but the more that you get into fitness, the more that you realize that it starts in the kitchen. That being the case, it should start in your own kitchen, not someone else's. Not to typecast all restaurants as horrible places, but a lot of them use tricks to make their food very tasty. One of these that I have heard of is that a lot of dishes start out with an unhealthy amount of butter in a pan. Whether it is for weight loss or muscle gain, you want to know what is going into your system so that you know what to expect as an output.

    Personally I would avoid pretzels. Low enough in calories, but almost completely pointless in terms of any nutrition. They are just made of bleached flour with very little else. They therefore leave you feeling hungry shortly after, and therefore potentially feeding yourself with the wrong things. If you are after muscle gain, I might recommend looking at nuts. They are have enough fiber and have lots of protein (also pretty tasty).

    Personally, I load on large breakfasts, that are about 80% fruits and vegetables and then have a light supper later, but you need to experiment with what works for you.

    Overall, biggest piece of advice would be to control your fitness through the kitchen.


      Up until recently I have been running a 5 day schedule for exercise but I am at a point where I need to step up to meet my goals. So 7 days now. I find it easier because I know I get up then start. No excuses.
      If I'm injured or sick I just adjust.
      Diet wise I try to focus on primary product (fruit, veg, meat, eggs etc). It's better quality fule for your body. You get out what you put in.
      You don't fill your car with rubbish and expect it to perform.
      I don't do supplements and processed food is in moderation.
      Ockham's razor- keep it simple.


        1) It's fine to have two rest days.

        2) Eating out will (most likely) increase your calories (certainly in USA), but you don't want to eat only for calories. You want to gain weight in a healthy way - meats, cheeses, eggs, fruit, vegetables, nuts, legumes. The trouble with eating out is most restaurants give you a lot of calories, but very few give you healthy calories. So you might even be hungry an hour or two later anyway. And, that will get expensive! Do what works for you; if you're satisfied with the results, keep at it, but I think an unstructured day would be a great day to experiment with cooking your own food, or at least maybe doing that for one day with the other day for eating out.

        3) If you're trying to gain weight, you'll need to eat more. Whether that's three meals + snacks, or five meals, or six meals, or whatever - you need more calories. As for what snacks, I'm with CaptainCanuck - skip the pretzels. Super boring, essentially no nutritional value. I would do some nuts, cheese - something that packs a bit more nutritionally.

        Good luck to you!


          Two rest days are fine but keep in mind that Darebee programs are written to be done without a day off. They have high and low days do that you take active rest. I would say if you want to get the most out of the program you should push for 30 days (depending on program) straight. If you are supplementing in other workout options then the situation may need some adjustment but just Darebee alone should be done as written if possible.

          I agree with everyone else here food wise. Eating out is fun but should still be considered a treat even when bulking.

          I do eat pretzels though (almost everyday) but you have to take them for what they are, a simple carb with little else. I really enjoy the taste and I use them to boost my carb count while keeping my fats lower. However they are one of the first things to go when I move out of maintenance or bulking because they have little to offer, as soon as I start a cut (even very minor ones) pretzels and cereal are out the door fast.


            Hey yo Atlas_FTW ,
            Firstly, you are pretty consistent with your workouts, well done.
            Secondly, when you are finally done with those programms, please go for Strength & Tone ones! Choose one and do all over again Total abs on a higher level or reduce your rest time. Also do a lot of stretching, don't you dare forget about that.
            Thirdly, the healthier you eat the stronger muscles you'll have.You are young and skinny as you said ,which means that you need to have a higher calorie intake in order to bulk. So go for more carbohydrates along with protein.
            Remember...cheating now and then is totally fine, but doing it consistently you are literally mocking yourself.
            I suggest you read some articles/see youtube videos about bulking to go deeper into this topic. On how much you need to eat you'll see it one in the mirror, two in your scale and three on how you feel. Don't rush it.


              Don't forget to take rest days. They are crucial in any diet. Too many people are forcing themselves and end up in a hospital because of this. Your body is telling you when it's time to take a break and you should definitely listen to it. I've recently started following some diets from and I've started to realize that my body is not prepared yet for this kind of thing. After all, I don't want to damage my health, so I'm going to take things slower. I've only been working out for 3 months and there's a long way to go.