Can you gain muscle with Vigorous 75 Programming?

Is it possible to gain muscle with the Vigorous 75?

The easy answer to that is yes, it is. How could it not be? Training with weights using high intensity while focusing on movements as prescribed by Vigorous-75 will help you gain the muscle you want.


It’s not true that you can only train for aesthetics, strength, or function one at a time. In fact, those are all disciplines that can complement each other perfectly. The best part is, you don’t even need to spend hours in the gym to work on all your muscle goals.

Of course, if your only goal is to compete in a bodybuilding or physique show, a traditional specialized hypertrophy program is still going to work best for you. But, for those of you who want to look like you lift and perform like an athlete, try it the Vigorous 75 way.


The most important part of building muscle is nutrition. Nutrition is the biggest obstacle for the person who wants to gain muscle. When trying to gain muscle, nutrition makes up 70% with actually working out only making up 30%.

If you want to build muscle, getting the majority of your calories from protein and fat is not going be enough.

This means your first step is to find out how many calories your body needs to maintain its current weight, and go from there. Remember, if you want to build muscle, then you are going to need to eat big. To find your maintenance caloric intake, we need to first figure out your basal metabolic rate (BMR).

BMR is the total amount of energy (calories) your body requires just to maintain normal daily functions, including digestion, circulation, respiration, temperature regulation, cell construction, and every other process in your body. BMR is the total of all the energy you use for basic bodily functions at rest. This does not include physical activity, so it’s not that applicable to our everyday lives, but it’s a starting point.


There are a hundred different formulas to determine BMR, but for now let’s just keep it simple.

  • Men: BMR = (body weight in pounds x 8-10)
  • Women: BMR = (body weight in pounds x 7-9)

The next step is to multiply by an activity multiplier. Again, there are many forms of activity multipliers, but this is what we have found to work best with our Vigorous 75 Programming.

Activity Factor Multiplier:

  • BMR x 1.3-1.4: Lightly Active (active a few days a week, exercise 1-3 days)
  • BMR x 1.5-1.6: Moderately Active (where most people are at, train 3-5 days a week with an active lifestyle)
  • BMR x 1.7-1.8: Very Active (training hard for a specific sport or purpose 5-6 hours a week, could be a hard labor job as well)
  • BMR x 1.9-2.2: Extremely Active (endurance training or hard charging athlete who spends 10 or more hours training a week and/or lots of activity outside of training, can even require more calories than this depending on metabolic capacity)

Now we simply take that number and add calories to create a caloric surplus. Start small with the surplus and go from there. Add between 250-500 calories and see how your body responds. If you are not gaining any weight or a small amount (~under 1/2 pound a week) add more calories. If you are gaining too much weight (~more than 2 pounds a week) decrease calories.

Here is how we recommend dividing up your caloric intake into macronutrients:

  • Protein: Eat between .8g-1.2g of protein per pound of body weight.
  • Fat: Eat between 20-35% of overall calorie intake from fat. The total will depend on how many carbohydrates you prefer.
  • Carbs: Fill the rest of your calories in with carbohydrates. Make sure you are getting between 25-45g of fiber a day.


Training to be functionally fit and muscular seems a lot more difficult than it is. If you’re looking to gain muscle, then your aerobic conditioning may suffer for some time.

You can focus on building muscle for a specific period of time and then go back to a more balanced program later, but with added muscle. If this is starting to sound a lot like periodization, don’t freak out. Periodization is just a fancy word for planning. Right now we are going to plan to build muscle while maintaining other aspects of your fitness.

Building muscle is going to require a few changes from a typical Vigorous 75 Programing:

  • Shorter Metcons: When the goal is muscle, you will want to favor shorter duration training with higher intensity. Anything longer than fifteen minutes is going to be working against the goal. You can still metcon to maintain conditioning, just keep it brief.
  • Incorporate Programming: Random training is going to have to be limited. Jump on a strength-training program. It doesn’t matter which one as long as it is progressive.
  • Add Some Assistance Work: The best program for hypertrophy goals will be built around basic compound movements with accessory work in a varied multi-planner, multi-angled fashion to ensure maximal stimulation of all muscle fibers.


Building muscle with Vigorous 75 training might not be as hard as you originally thought. Start eating like you want to build muscle. Add in more strength work and limit long conditioning sessions. With a few small changes to your nutrition and training, you will be on your way to looking jacked in no time.

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