I started Huel with the intention of doing a mass-gaining program of some sort. Initially, I was going to go with 5x5 but I was glad to find James’ Huel Guide to Gaining Weight, and I decided to go with his Initial Basic Hypertrophy plan for 12 weeks. I’ve been doing mostly bodyweight exercises (pushups, pullups, dips, backpack squats) since January at home, with little focus on my diet except for getting enough fresh fruit and veg, and low GI carbs, and some protein.
I’m 5 weeks in, so nearly halfway. Here is the plan I set out at the beginning. Note that my maintenance is 2850 cals per day.
Initial Basic Hypertrophy for 12 weeks (18 April - 10 July)
3350 calories a day with 5 Huel meals, 1 food meal
Goal: Bulk with roughly even split of muscle and fat gain
Looong-Term Goal: 90kg at 10-12% body fat
Start: 81.7kg, 19.7% BF (65.6kg muscle, 16.1kg fat) After 1 Week: 82.8kg, 20.5% BF (65.8kg muscle, 17.0kg fat) After 2 Weeks: 83.9kg, 21.3% BF (66.0kg muscle, 17.9kg fat) After 3 Weeks: 85.1kg, 22.2% BF (66.2kg muscle, 18.9kg fat) After 4 Weeks: 84.0kg, 21.4% BF (66.0kg muscle, 18.0kg fat) After 5 Weeks: 83.8kg, 21.1% BF (66.1kg muscle, 17.7kg fat)
Week 4 was a monstrous work period where the diet went out the window and nothing went as planned. I lost 1.1kg of weight. Week 5 (this past week) I had a stag-do out in the wilderness that meant we basically didn’t eat for most of the day. Oddly enough, gained a small bit of muscle and lost a tiny bit of fat. Must have been the axe-throwing.
In the other 3 weeks out of 5, I put on 0.2kg of muscle and 0.9kg of fat. Certainly not _un_happy with that, but I’ve dropped the caloric intake slightly and will keep dropping it as long I’m not losing weight. Hopefully the fat will come down to 0.2kg per week as well.
So overall, in 5 weeks I’ve gained 0.5kg of muscle and gained 1.6kg of fat, using this program. Since January then, I’ve gained 1.0kg of muscle and actually lost 0.1kg of fat, which is great.
I do have a couple of questions so far, and I would be ecstatic if @JamesCollier could offer his opinion on them.
(1) Is a 2.5kg increase per week on the big lifts (squat, deadlift, bench) enough? I understand this isn’t a strength-gaining program so I’ve been going for the minimum increase.
(2) As mentioned, 0.2kg of muscle and 0.9kg of fat appears to be a good week for me. Is this a pretty normal rate of weight-gain?