Every month for the past few years, I've endeavored to give you practical information about bodybuilding nutrition. Now, in response to popular demand - based on the letter's I've been getting and questions I've been fielding at seminars and clinics - I'm going to switch gears. I've decided to focus exclusively on mass building tips to help you pursue the Holy Grail of bodybuilding: packing on maximum size in a minimum amount of time.
- Bump Up Your Protein
Most bodybuilding experts advocate consuming at least one gram (g) of protein per pound of bodyweight daily. To accelerate the muscle building process, I'm advising that you increse your daily protein intake to one and a half to two grams per pound of bodyweight. Increasing protein intake helps to enhance protein synthesis while preventing protein breakdown. The net effect is anabolism (gaining quality muscle size) rather than catabolism (getting smaller due to losing muscle mass).
- Jack Up The Carbs
Ingesting three grams of carbs per pound of bodyweight daily will provide your body with plenty of calories for energy, ensuring that your protein derived calories will be left to support muscle growth and repair. Another cheery result of increasing carbs is taht the body won't tear down muscle tissue for energy during training.
- Eat The Right Fats
All fats are not created equal. the omega-3 fatty acids in salmon and swordfish help to prevent muscle inflammation, improve glycogen formation and enhance protein synthesis. Eat salmon or swordfish three time per week or take five to seven grams of fish oils daily
- Increase Rest Intervals During Training
Taking time to rest between sets allows for immediate recovery within the muscle. That will enable you to train with heavier weights. It's amazingly simple. Heavy poundages (plus good form) equal more mass. My recommendation is to rest for no less than two minutes, but no more than three minutes, after each set.
- Eat Six Meals A Day
I know it is a pain in the neck to eat so aften, but gaining mass on four meals a day is simply not going to work for most people; only the genetically blessed mass monsters can gain substantive size on a four a day meal plan. Schedule each of your six bodybuilding friendly meals every two to three hours. This installment plan allows you to increase the absorption and assimilation of your precious nutrients.
- Don't Snub Sugar
Fast digesting carbs - a.k.a. simple sugars - get a bum rap. Including simple sugars in the posttraining meal helps to suppress the production of cortisol - a muscle wasting hormone - and promote the release of insulin. Shoot for 80-130g of carbs immediately after training, with at least half coming from fast burning carbs such as fruit juice, bagels, fat free ice cream or white flour based bread products.
- Use An Anabolic Cocktail
My cocktail of choice is glutamine with a creatine chaser. Two grams of glutamine in the meal immediately following your training can increase growth hormone levels; 10 grams of creatine can drag water into the muscles to turn on protein synthesis.
- Experiment With Low Reps and Heavy Weight
Include low reps - two or three per set - and heavy weights in your program, especially with compound exercises like squats, bench presses and deadlifts. These heavy multijoint movements are a prerequisite for building a maximum amount of muscle.
- Design An Insulin Boosting Stack
Let's get creative and devise a three supplement stack of goodies that will release insulin when ingested with your high carb posttraining meal: 400 milligrams of alpha lipoic acid to promote the uptake of carbs by muscles - even without the presence of insulin; 200 micrograms of chromium to increase the muscles' sensitivity to insulin; and six grams of branched chain amino acids to provide a shot of leucine, an amino that helps to trigger the release of insulin.
- Limit Workout Volume
Volume in a workout context can be defined as the number of sets you perform per bodypart. Doing too many sets promotes catabolic hormones and adversely impacts recovery and recuperation. The ideal volume for building mass is six to eight sets comprising two exercises for smaller bodyparts, and 10-12 sets comprising three exercises for larger bodyparts.