T Nation

Gaining Size After Losing It All


hello everyone, at one point in my life i was weighing 185 lbs, an benching up to 240lbs. Although this may not seem like that big a deal for everyone, it is it me. I since had severe rotator cuff damage and now i find myself and 158lbs and not being able to lift anything at all. im just starting to get back into the swing of things. however, after i was hurt i started playing tennis and doing a bit of cardio. my question is should i keep up my cardio or give it up in order to gain mass. i dont want to go on a massive build and end up with a gut only so i have to go on a cutting phase later. id just like to build size. what suggestions/recommendations would you guys have for me? any and all input is appreciated!


eat, eat, eat, eat and eat some more.


Get a handle on what your maintenance level is. Then add a small surplus (300 cals should do it). Gain weight at a controlled rate if you're worried about getting fat, but it sounds like you might get some good muscle memory gains right off the bat so I wouldn't slow things down too much. Keep track of your waist measurement as you go and take appropriate measures if it increases more than you are comfortable with.

Take care not to aggravate your injury, and work around it if necessary.


As a former tennis player with the same issue, I guess it just depends on how badly you'd like to gain size. Although it may be hard to gain muscle and stay lean, it's possible.


The answer would depend on your metabolism. Some guys can do 30 minutes of cardio a day and still eat enough to have a calorie surplus. Other guys may have a fast metabolism which makes it almost impossible to eat enough for mass gains let alone cardio.

The key would be for you to find your maintenance level as someone said. From there you will want to come up with an eating plan that gives you a small 300 calorie surplus after the weight training, cardio, daily expenditures. After all that activity you should still have approximately 300 surplus calories for your body to use to build new tissue.

LBM x 1 = Carbs
LBM x 1.5 = Protein
LBM x .5 = Fats

^^^^My opinion of a good maintenance starting point.
From here you will need to go up or down slightly to pinpoint your true maintenance level.


For those with 'Top Shelf- genetics maybe.......for the rest of us....doubtful.


Excellent Advice!


thanks for the advice everyone!