PACKING ON DENSE MUSCLE IN A HURRY MEANS GETTING CRITICAL AMOUNTS OF THE RIGHT FOODS AND SUPPLEMENTS INTO YOUR BODY.
< TRAINING INTRODUCTION >
THIS FOUR-WEEK NUTRITION PLAN WILL HELP YOU DO JUST THAT.
Beginner misconceptions aside, major muscle growth isn't achieved solely by training," If your goal is to gairi'io pounds of muscle mass in just four short weeks, you need to eat a lot of protein, a. lot of carbohydrates and even a good bit of fat. But it's not as easy as eating anything and everything you can get your hands on.
Sure, going to McDonald's and scarfing down two Big Macs, large fries and a Coke on a regular basis will help you gain weight - but it'll be the. wrong kind of weight. Building quality: muscle minus a protruding belly takes a well-formed plan, one that has you eating the right types of foods at the correct times and in optimal proportions. It might seem complicated, but we'll break it all down for you, nice and simple. Then all you'll have to do is train, eat and track your results in the mirror.
Let's talk specifics: You'll need to consume at least 25 calories per pound of bodyweight per day, made up of at least 2 grams of protein, close to 3 grams of carbs and about 0.5 gram of fat per pound of bodyweight. That's more than 4,500 calories, 360-plus grams of protein, nearly 540 grams of carbs and 90 grams of fat daily for a 180-pound bodybuilder.
For those wanting to pack on quality mass, the most critical window of nutritional opportunity is around the workout. This is when you can put down a plethora of protein and carbs without worrying about them turning into bodyfat since they'll be used to grow muscle like at no other time of the day. Not only do we recommend the usual pre- and postworkout shakes, but we also advise drinking a shake during your workout to gain more mass. In addition to providing ample amounts of protein and carbs, each shake includes supplement ingredients such as creatine, glutamine and branched-chain amino acids (see "Shake It Up" on page 94 for specifics). The more the merrier, since they'll all be used by your muscles to support recovery and growth.
Another key time for mass-gaining is the first few minutes after you wake up in the morning. Do you like to brush your teeth and shower first thing? Change that habit real quick by incorporating two breakfasts into your mornings - one as soon as you wake up and the second 30-60 minutes later.
In fact, those first few moments of the day can make or break your muscle-gaining efforts. Why? Your body uses liver glycogen for fuel overnight, and when those levels get low, your body then uses muscle protein for fuel. To stop this you need fast-digesting protein and carbs, so your first breakfast should include whey protein and a piece of fruit, white bread or Vitargo (an advanced carb supplement). The aminos from the whey will rapidly enter your bloodstream so your body can use them, not muscle, for fuel. The fast-digesting carbs will quickly restock your liver glycogen and signal your body to stop feeding off your muscle.
Right before bedtime is the day's last important window of time in terms of bodybuilding nutrition. You'll want a slow-digesting protein such as casein to provide a steady supply of amino acids to your muscles throughout the night to keep the body from catabolizing too much muscle while you sleep. Another option is cottage cheese, which is high in casein protein. Our meal plan combines the healthy fats from flaxseeds, walnuts, mixed nuts and peanut butter with the aforementioned protein sources at bedtime to further slow protein absorption.
At buildingmuscleworldwide.com, we tend to emphasize a few foods time and again. Such foods have been proven in clinical studies to be superior for gaining muscle. If you're serious about your goals, you should include these foods in your diet every day:
- EGGS - We're talking about whole eggs, yolks plus whites. Researchers at Texas A&M University (College Station) found that subjects who followed a weight-training workout and consumed three whole eggs per day gained roughly double the muscle mass and strength as subjects who ate no more than one whole egg per day. We provide a non-egg breakfast option in our meal plan, but we strongly suggest you do your best to choke them down daily.
- WHEY PROTEIN - It may be considered a supplement to some, but at buildingmuscleworldwwide.com we label it as a food, and a superior one at that. A milk protein, whey is the fastest-digesting protein you can swallow. It's also rich in branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) and provides peptides (small protein fragments) that enhance blood flow. To build muscle, you'll want to drink a whey protein shake every day upon waking, as well as before and after workouts.
- CASEIN PROTEIN - The other milk protein, casein, is also critical for gaining mass. Research shows that when subjects add casein to their postwork-out whey shake, they gain more muscle mass than those who don't. Another study found that while whey significantly decreases hunger and leads to reduced food intake, casein protein doesn't. When you're trying to pack on mass, you need to eat - a lot. Casein will help you get in plenty of protein and calories without filling you up.
- BEEF - Red meat has gotten a bad rap nearly everywhere except in the bodybuilding community. The saturated fat and cholesterol in beef has been shown to increase testosterone levels as well as strength and muscle mass. Beef also contains vitamin BI2, creatine, iron and zinc, among other nutrients, all of which support muscle growth and strength. Mass-seekers should eat at least one beef meal every other day.
- OMEGA-3'S - The omega-3 essential fatty acids found in salmon are now known to encourage muscle growth, decrease muscle breakdown, increase fat loss, aid joint recovery and provide numerous other health benefits. Try to consume at least 2-3 salmon meals per week. Walnuts also pack a decent amount of omega-3s, as do flaxseeds, which are great sprinkled on cottage cheese or peanut butter.
If you want to pack on 10 pounds of muscle (or more) in just a few short weeks, you'll need to coax your body into turning the majority of the foods you eat into pure muscle. How? With the following supplements. We aren't just suggesting you add these to your diet; we're telling you flat out that without them your chances of adding io pounds of pure muscle in a short period are highly unlikely.
- BCAA's - This group of three amino acids (leucine, isoleucine and valine) is the most important for the manufacture, maintenance and repair of muscle tissue. BCAAs, particularly leucine, stimulate protein synthesis, the process in muscle cells that builds muscle protein and, as a result, creates growth.
Research shows that BCAAs decrease levels of cortisol, a catabolic hormone that blocks testosterone's anabolic effects and leads to increased muscle breakdown. Since cortisol levels rise after workouts and in the morning, you should take BCAAs at these critical times. Take 10-15 grams with your first breakfast, preworkout, midworkout and postworkout shakes. Start off slow - about 5-10 grams at first, then work up from there as your stomach better tolerates them.
- ESSENTIAL AMINO ACIDS (EAAs) - The group of amino acids termed essential includes leucine, isoleucine, valine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan and histidine. These are the aminos the body can't produce on its own and which must be obtained from your diet. EAAs are critical for building muscle, and taking them during a workout prompts growth because they get to the muscles rapidly, even faster than the aminos from whey. Put 20 grams in vour midworkout shake.
- CREATINE - Taking creatine before and during workouts helps your muscles continually produce the rapid energy they need to perform rep after rep in the gym. It also makes muscles stronger by pulling more water into the muscle cells, which gives them a biomechanical advantage and helps you lift more weight or squeeze out an extra rep or two.
For bodybuilders, creatine's effect on muscle growth may be the most significant benefit: Drawing water into the muscles increases their size and places a stretch on the cells that instigates growth. Creatine also boosts levels of insulinlike growth factor-1, which leads to hypertrophy. Take 3-5 grams of creatine in your preworkout, midworkout and postworkout shakes.
- GLUTAMINE - This amino acid aids growth by increasing levels of leucine in muscle fibers, inhibiting breakdown and encouraging muscles to store more glycogen, which makes them fuller due to the water that glycogen holds. It's also a critical nutrient for the immune system, helping to ensure you don't get sick and miss precious gym time. Taking glutamine before and during workouts can decrease muscle fatigue and boost growth hormone levels. Go with 5-10 grams of glutamine in your pre-workout, midworkout and postwork-out shakes, and before bedtime.
- HIGH MOLECULAR-WEIGHT CARBS - These carbs are typically made from waxy maize starch. This type of starch passes rapidly through the stomach and intestines, where it's quickly absorbed and enters the bloodstream - even faster than sports drinks and sugar. It's critical to restock your muscles with carbs as soon as possible after training, both for fuel and to replenish glycogen stores for growth. These carbs also boost insulin levels, which is a must postworkout to drive muscle growth and recovery. Take about 30-40 grams of Vitargo (a popular brand of high molecular-weight carbs) in your first breakfast shake, 50 grams in your midworkout shake and 75-100 grams in your postworkout shake.
Ten pounds of muscle, four weeks. Without a plan of attack, the idea would be nothing more than a pipe dream. But here, we've given you the tools to succeed - all you need is the will to meet the challenges of the workouts, and the focus to stay true to the food choices and timing prescribed in the diet. When in doubt, just remember that every rep, every set and every preworkout, midworkout and postworkout shake is inching you ever closer to that goal.
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