Nutritional based articles straight from cutandjacked.com's specialist writers
Muscle pumps in the gym is the most satisfying feeling for gym-goers. This blood rush into the muscle cells giving you the pumped up look also contributes so much to muscle growth factors.
Besides it has extremely motivating and inspiring effects. A good pump in the gym is one of the biggest reasons that will lead to muscle growth, along with proper post training nutrition and supplementation. But before we get to that lets talk about behind the scenes of what really goes on in the body for the skin tearing pumps to occur:
Here is what occurs during the pump in the muscle cells:
* The release of Nitric Oxide.
*Relaxed Endothelial cells.
*Expanding of Blood Vessels.
*Enhanced Blood Flow.
*With increased blood flow, testosterone, Growth hormone, amino acids,
insulin-like growth factor gets delivered to the muscle cells.
*As a result, more blood flow allows for more anabolic
nutrients to feed your muscles.
* Try to use plateau breaking techniques such as double/triple drop sets, triple add sets, giant sets, negatives, FST-7 style training etc… which activates all your muscle fibers to achieve maximum blood flow.
* Take Pre workout supplements such as NO (L-arginine) and creatine based supplements with GLYCERIN (see clinical study below about Glycerin).
* Take caffeine for pre-workout which lets the supplements work even more efficiently as well as boost strength and power output (fat burning products include caffeine).
* Immediately take your whey protein along with some simple carbs post workout to feed the muscle cells.
*Drink plenty of water.
Scientists in Brazil conducted an 8 week study where athletes were given 3 grams of L-Arginine along with 1 gr. Of Vitamin C. After the 8 weeks athletes experienced a significant increase in lean muscle mass and strength levels.
CLINICAL RESEARCH GLYCERIN:
Glycerin is the is a part of triglycerides that is not stored as fat and is converted into glucose by the liver and used as fuel. It is commonly used as a sugar replacement in protein bars but does not spike your blood sugar levels.
Research has proven that glycerin (also known as glycerol) taken with creatine for 7 days hydrated the muscle cells 50% more than normal and also brought more water into the blood vessels causing more vascularity.
Take 10 grams of glycerin with 20 grams of creatine for maximum results about 50-60 minutes pre- workout…
Pre Workout Supplements: Protein Shake with added BCAA’s, creatine,
Arginine (for NO production),
Training Technique: Triple Drop Set:
Exercise 1: Flat Bench Press
* Sets: 3, * Repetitions: 6 reps with 245, 6 reps with 225, and 6 reps with 205 lbs (have a spotter drop the weight allowing you only with little rest in between every 6 rep)
Exercise 2: Incline Hammer Strength Chest Press
* Sets: 3, * Repetition: 8 reps with high weight 8 reps with medium
8 reps with lot to moderate weight
Exercise 3: Cable chest fly
* Sets: 3 * Repetition Range: 12 reps with high weight 12 reps with medium weight
12 reps with low to medium weight
After this last set you should already have the skin tearing pump effects.
Chocolate Whey & Casein Protein mix with added BCAA’s, creatine with glycerol
and Arginine, Grenade Fat Burner for Caffeine!!!
Training with the right techniques combined with proper nutrition and supplementation, you can now achieve full and rounded muscles!
Written by: Melih F. Cologlu ACPT
Team Grenade Athlete
It seems to me like we are always hearing about the latest and greatest “superfood.” Whether it’s acai berries, kale, pomegranate juice, or the cure-all grapefruit diet, there is always some “healthy” new trend, which at first sounds great, but then research goes on to prove that it was definitely over-rated. Sure, acai berries are great for you, and are loaded with antioxidants, which have proven health benefits. But will these magical berries help you lose weight, cleanse your digestive system, reduce skin wrinkles and help you live forever? Nope. They are just another healthy fruit. It’s hard to have faith in the new trends and superfoods, which seem to pop up every few months.
That being said, there is one healthy trend that is backed by research, and I feel hasn’t received enough exposure. By now, most of us know that healthy fats are good for all sorts of things in the body, such as lowering cholesterol, reducing inflammation, and reducing the risk of heart disease, along with tons of other benefits. I know plenty of people who cook with olive oil, eat extra salmon, and take fish oil capsules every day. This is all good and well, however, the majority of people don’t include macadamia nut oil in their daily diets, which would be a pretty good substitute for olive oil or flaxseed oil.
Here are some benefits of using macadamia nut oil, which I recommend you use instead of olive oil (in certain cases).
Macadamia nut oil has higher levels of monounsaturated fat than olive or flaxseed oil, two popular alternatives. As far as healthy fats go, this is one of the best kinds for us. It has 11 grams per tablespoon, compared to 9.8 grams in olive oil.
Oleic acid has been shown to reduce inflammation, boost memory power, increase testosterone, and reduce symptoms of asthma. It is also one of the good cholesterol sources, as it helps lower LDL levels (bad cholesterol) and increase HDL (good cholesterol).
Trans fat is bad right? Well, macadamia has less of it than olive oil. Per tablespoon it has 120 calories, the same as extra virgin olive oil, however it has zero trans fat and only 0.3 grams of polyunsaturated fat, compared to the 1.4 grams in olive oil. Trans fat is never a good thing, so anytime we can remove it from our diet, we should.
Macadamia nut oil typically has a smoke point about 40 degrees higher than olive oil. This means you can cook it at a higher temperature without burning out the good fats and benefits associated with them. I suggest using macadamia nut oil instead of olive oil when cooking with frying pans or greasing baking pans.
It might have a bit of a bitter aftertaste, but going down it tastes like macadamia nuts! I have tried drinking olive oil, fish oil, and flaxseed oil plain, and all three almost brought my lunch back up. Disgusting. I probably wouldn’t substitute macadamia nut oil if I was baking with a recipe that called for olive oil, simply because the nutty flavor could potentially throw things off. I would however substitute it for greasing pots and pans, and using on salad.
Now I’m not saying you should drink macadamia oil plain, but it tastes great on salads or in oatmeal as a healthy fat; it gives your food a nice “nutty” flavor. Try a salad with lettuce, a little bit of feta cheese, and a few shaved pecans with plain macadamia nut oil for dressing... healthy and delicious! Balsamic vinegar and olive oil seems to be a pretty standard “healthy” dressing, but I would definitely recommend trying plain macadamia nut oil instead. Not only do you save yourself from consuming the sugars found in balsamic vinegar, but also it’s easier to mix and tastes much better. It’s also good in oatmeal, with a little brown sugar or sugar free maple syrup. It gives it a nice nutty taste.
There is only one minor catch, it can be a little tricky to find at your local grocery store. I usually get mine at Whole Foods, but I have seen it at “regular” grocery stores as well, and supplement stores. If you really can’t find any I would go ahead and order some online, it’s cheap and definitely worth a try.
There it is folks, macadamia nut oil, the super-fat. I believe it should be added to the cooking arsenal of anyone serious about getting healthy, in fact I hardly ever buy olive oil anymore. Worst-case scenario, you spend a little money, try the oil, and if you don’t like it then the bottle sits with all the other condiments you don’t use or need. Best case, you love it, start consuming it regularly, and get fantastic health benefits!
Note: most of the benefits aren’t things you will necessarily “feel.” The fact that it is high in monounsaturated fat and oleic acid is great, and these two things will bring a whole host of benefits. Just enjoy the taste, and trust that your body is running smoother with this oil.
Written by Matt Dustin
HIIT (high intensity interval training) will not only help you shred your body fat faster than endurance cardio, it’s going to help you hold onto more of that hard earned muscle mass as your cutting as well. It’s the old analogy of the sprinter and the marathon runner. Look how they train and look at their body types. Marathon runners train at a steady pace for long amounts of time while sprinters train by going as hard as they can for a short amount of time followed by a recovery period to get the heart rate back down and then they go hard again. Marathon runners generally have less muscle and more body fat while sprinters have low body fat and hold an impressive amount of muscle mass. Fat burning is a strategy of hours not minutes and interval training will keep your metabolism burning fat for hours after your done while endurance training allows you to come back to normal minutes after being finished.
I have two favorite routines I use for my HIIT training when I need to get my abs ripped for a photo shoot or a competition.
30/30 – 30 seconds fast followed by a 30 second rest interval, repeat. This can really be done on any cardio machine or even on foot outside. My choice is usually the stairmill or stair climber. Start by setting the machine to it’s slowest setting and just go through the motions for the first 30 seconds. Then at the 30 second mark, ramp up the speed to as fast as you can handle for 30 seconds. It should be at speed that makes you struggle to get 30 seconds. After 30 seconds bring the speed back down to super slow and focus on catching your breath, calming your heart rate, and getting your legs back under you during this short 30 second rest. Repeat.
10 second incline sprints, 50 sec rest – Set the treadmill to a 15 degree incline and while straddling the belt, crank the speed up to a speed that’s going to make you struggle to run at for 10 seconds. When the treadmill hits the 1 minute mark, carefully step on to the front middle of the belt holding yourself with your hands until you get your stride, then pump your arms and sprint for 10 seconds. After 10 seconds lift yourself up and straddle the belt. You need to be running at a speed fast enough that you wouldn’t be able to run for 12 or 15 seconds. For the next 50 seconds, just standing there catch your breath, calm your heart rate, and get your legs back. At the 2 minute mark, get back on for another interval.
You only have to do 10-15 minutes of either of those routines at the end of a weight workout to kick start that resting metabolism for hours and hours after you’re done. If you can go much longer, you didn’t go hard enough during speed intervals.
You get all of your daily calories from either fats, proteins, or carbs. The body needs all of these to function properly and when one of them is absent you’re going to crave it like there’s no tomorrow! In the ideal diet, you can incorporate all 3 three of the macros while shredding fat and hanging onto muscle mass. I even put on 4 lbs of muscle in the last month while dieting down to a shredded 3.6% bf for my last show. These principles will also allow you to have more energy and not go brain dead while dieting. When I write a diet for myself or a client I get much more specific about percentages of carbs at certain times but for the general population these rules of thumb will work.
Protein should be the constant. Get about 40 grams (25 for women) every 2- 3 hours that your awake. For fats and carbs, don't mix them in the same meal. You need both but when having them together you increase the chance of storing bodyfat. Eat all carbs in 3 meals, breakfast, pre workout, and post workout. Guys take about 50 grams in each meal and ladies get 30. In all other meals add good fats. I use flax seed oil. Take spoonful of flax down with the 40 grams of protein your eating.
If I only have a couple of weeks to get ripped I have a couple of carb rotations that I go to but I don’t like to do those for more than 2-3 weeks.
The number one reason why people stray from their diet plan is that the good food they know they should be eating isn’t immediately available and when they find themselves starving in the middle of the afternoon they turn to a quick fix and shove down the first thing they can get their hands on. Often you’ll find that you may be craving a cheeseburger and ice cream but once you’ve eaten that healthy, scheduled meal that craving goes away. You must have meals planned and prepared before leaving the house for the day. Know exactly what you’re going to eat and when you’re going to eat it and stick to the plan. This means making a habit of cooking all food, getting them into individual containers and taking them with you.
Whatever you do, if you screw up and have an unplanned cheat meal or miss meal, get right back on track with the next meal. Too often I see people throw their whole day away because they messed up one on meal.
If you’ve built all that muscle mass by lifting heavy in the 6-10 rep range don’t suddenly cut the weights in half and start doing sets of 20 with the hopes of burning more fat. Your muscles became that size because they had to get accustomed to moving heavy weight, if they don’t have to move that heavy weight anymore they will decrease in size. Heavy training will also do a number on your EPOC (excess post-exercise oxygen consumption) which keeps the resting metabolism elevated, allowing you to burn fat for hours after a workout.
You’ve heard it a million times and I’m going to tell you again. Drink water throughout the entire day! Muscles are made of up of approximately 75% water and they don’t get hydrated through chicken breast and salad. Keeping hydration levels up has a number of benefits. If dieting water is going to help keep your appetite in control and also have a positive effect on resting metabolism as your body works to process all that water. It’s also going to help hydrate your muscles, which in turn keeps ATP (your muscles energy source) levels high. I add a BCAA supplement to my water a couple of times a day. Not only does this add a little flavor to that bland water, it also helps support lean muscle mass while cutting. ROCK SOLID NUTRITION makes a product called “MUSCLE PUNCH” that combines a healthy dose of BCAA’s with arginine to pump them into your muscles and taurine for a little mental clarity, and who doesn’t need more of that when their dieting! You can find that at rocksolidsupps.com. I recommend the strawberry margarita ☺. Drink 1-2 gallons of water a day depending on your size.
Over the years I have received numerous questions from men and women who have tried to lose weight by drastic measures in order to try and achieve the body shape they desire; including those who have essentially starved themselves for months, if not years.
When you cut your calories drastically it’s actually very restrictive on your body, and prevents your body from loosing fat. Your body goes into ‘starvation mode’ and starts protecting its fat stores making it very difficult to shift any weight! If you continue in this way your body will start using your muscle stores, and we know that the less muscle we have the fewer calories we require, all contributing to slowing your metabolism down!
So, without spending too much time on the science, I will give you a few suggestions on how you can start firing up a slow metabolism!
Firstly... as mentioned our metabolism is somewhat measured by how much muscle we have, generally if you have more muscle mass you will have a faster metabolism. Muscle also burns more calories than fat! So, a good first step would be to start a weight-training program. An intense weight training session can burn far more calories, and obviously engage many more muscles than what you would train if you were opting for a cardio workout only.
Try planning 5-6 meals per day, little and often. When I commence a competition diet the first changes I make to my regular diet are to begin splitting my meals up more throughout the day. Often during my diets I can eat up to 7- 8 times per day... every 2-3 hours depending where I am in my diet plan. You should never let yourself feel hungry, and eating every few hours will prevent this. Be mindful that if you do start eating like this you must exercise portion control with your food. I personally weigh my food so that I don’t make any mistakes. However you don’t have to be this strict about it. But keep in mind that portions should be small!
Eat breakfast!!!!! This is a sure fire way to kick-start your metabolism! I take on the majority of my carbohydrates during this meal, and add some protein. It’s normally my largest meal of the day and one I would never consider missing!
Eat more protein, it contributes to building muscle and will also help you feel full – which is a feeling that many people dislike about ‘diets’, that they never feel full! If you start eating protein with every meal you will definitely feel fuller for longer. Additionally it actually helps the body release the stored fat so that the body can use it as energy!
Be mindful of what you drink... Remember juices from concentrate, alcohol etc are all packed with calories. However a coffee in the morning can help increase your metabolism.
Try and take some time out to relax... increased stress levels give rise to cortisol, and too much can slow your metabolism. Stress can also cause cravings, and you might find yourself wanting to eat fatty and sugary foods.
Ensure you’re getting adequate sleep each night; sleep helps our bodies repair and grow. Some theory suggests that if you continually go without enough sleep your ability to process carbohydrates is lowered; your body will also struggle with the ability to function properly during the day meaning that it could struggle to burn calories if you’re trying to follow a diet.
If you were looking to speed up your fat loss my best tip would be to exercise on an empty stomach before breakfast. There is a huge body of research to support this tip but in short, upon waking from sleep your body is depleted of glycogen (energy stores), so in theory if you do some form of exercise before breakfast you can utilise your fat stores. This method seems to promote more effective weight loss, although I’ve read other theories that contest this. However if I recall each diet I’ve followed to compete I have always done some steady low impact exercise before breakfast and it certainly works for me!
Written By Louise Rogers, Website: louise-rogers.co.uk
Most competitors look at the week or two following a contest as a time to cheat and eat junk foods. This is actually wasting a very unique period of time where the body can be an anabolic machine. Muscle gains may still occur even with a higher fat diet, however, a higher level of fat tissue is also very likely to form. After dieting for 10-12 weeks, the body is extremely insulin sensitive., and insulin is the most anabolic hormone. So this is a time to keep good carbohydrate sources high, protein high and fat low in order to turn those workouts into muscle. Not to mention the strength levels are starting to skyrocket due to the increase in overall caloric intake.
The reasons of extreme pumps in the gym is a result of many different variables including muscle restoration due to water restoration and super compensation glycogen storage. However these factors causing the huge pumps during workouts following a competition brings in more nutrients into the muscle tissue which in return could result in solid muscle gains. Considering the huge pumps in the gym, the timing of taking in your protein shakes and other supplementation becomes even more crucial for optimum muscle recovery.
This window of opportunity is estimated as the 45 minutes following a training session. The unique qualities of this phase include the body’s need to replenish itself and its improved ability do to so. Ivy and Portman summarize the characteristics and goals of this phase as a shift from catabolism to anabolism. Enhancement of muscle blood flow, replenishment of glycogen stores repair and growth of tissue and reduction of muscle damage and bolstering of the immune system. Immediately following exercises, a myriad of factors create an environment for glycogen repletion and muscle tissue growth and repair. Thus anabolic hormonal increase.
As far as training intensity goes, at this stage it is recommended to use high volume training techniques. Using drop sets, super sets, DTP (Drastic Transformation Principle), and FST-7 style training technique etc… These techniques are mostly performed with moderate to moderately heavy weight and allow for a lot of blood to be pushed into the muscles, which help prevent injury. This makes the few weeks followed by a contest safer for the athlete since the body fat levels are still considerably low and the body is more susceptible to injury especially with the body being stronger due to caloric increase.
Post contest or post dieting (for those who do not compete)
*Increase good carb sources
*Avoid junk foods
*Keep fats fairly low
*Keep Protein High
*Make sure to immediately drink post workout shakes and take supplementation
*Use high volume lifting techniques
*Do not lift too heavy and remember your body fat levels are still low making injury more likely to occur
*Many research studies have been done on having more blood in muscles lets muscles use nutrients more efficiently so take advantage of this window!
During this phase add the most muscle tissue possible along with the
minimum fat tissue possible.
References: Ivy, J. & Portman, R. Nutrient Timing: The Future of Sports Nutrition. North Bergen, NJ: Basic Health Publications Inc.
Melih F. Cologlu ACPT Facebook fanpage: Facebook.com/pages/Melih-F-Cologlu
Yes they may be covered for the majority of the year, but that doesn't mean that they should be left out of your exercise routine. Squats and deadlifts work the entire body, and research has shown that they can activate the ab muscles far better than many traditional ab exercises, especially overhead squats. As you progressively train your lower body your core will become much stronger. Your core is required to stabilise your body in many other exercises, most sports, and day-to-day life, therefore your improvements in these areas should soar.
Your legs form the largest muscle group in the body and training with resistance weights will aid in the release of growth hormones. The benefit of stimulating a growth hormone response is important to bodybuilders and athletes as it has a positive effect on protein synthesis. It also promotes muscle growth and it affects the metabolic functions of your body in such a way that it can increase your use of stored fat while decreasing your use of carbohydrates for energy. So that's more muscle, less fat (therefore greater visibility of abs), greater strength, improvements in sport, and greater ability to do day to day activities...I still get puzzled when people say they never train legs...
For a bigger chest, train (not exclusively) on a slight incline, this will hit more of the upper part of the pectoral muscles which, when in a t-shirt, will give a much fuller appearance. Keep the incline to 30-45 degrees, as too much of an incline will bring more of the front delts into play, and take some of the strain off the pecs. At the top of the concentric phase of the lift, keep your elbows ever so slightly bent and don't lock out. Doing so also alleviates some of the tension placed on the chest.
Swap the barbell for dumbbells. Although barbells are easier for spotting, and great for negative reps, your hands are kept in a fixed position, which can limit the contraction on your pecs. Dumbbells will allow for a greater (wider) range of movement (ROM), and due to requiring more stabilisation, they can help even out weaknesses you may have between the right and left sides of the body. By increasing the ROM you are increasing the likelihood of more micro-tears in the muscle fibers. These will repair and become stronger. After a couple of weeks of using dumbbells, switch back to the barbell and you should feel a noticeable difference in your strength.
I see people doing 100's of bicep curls day in, day out, with the hope of getting bigger arms. And they get nowhere. Your biceps only fill up 1/3 of your t-shirt sleeve, with the other 2/3 being your triceps. Want big arms? Then you need to train your triceps too!
If you want to increase size, then you need to have the foundations of your program centered around compound movements. For the arms, this means close grip pull-ups, close grip bench press and dips. Reasoning is the same as the above point – when these large muscle groups are activated, a lot of growth hormones will be released. Very simply put, the more of them floating through your body, the greater the potential to grow, (growth is also dictated by a sound nutritional diet, so make sure you are taking in enough calories).
Then, by all means move onto isolation exercises – which should be performed using strict technique, aiming for 6-10 rep range, and don't train them more than twice a week. Also, don't do the same moves week in week out – your body needs to be continually challenged to induce growth, so mix up the exercises.
Personally speaking, late last year I focused loads on weighted pull-ups and dips and I hardly did any isolation movements. The result meant that when I eventually came round to changing my program, I noticed huge gains in strength with bicep and tricep exercises, and a noticeable difference in size.
Whether you've changed your program, introduced new moves, or are concentrating on the eccentric muscle contraction, DOMS are going to happen. That's a given! DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) is commonly thought to be caused by microscopic tears in the muscles and the swelling associated with those tears. The pain kicks in 1-2 days following a workout (it can be sooner though), and rarely lasts more than 5 days. If it lasts over 7 days, go and see your GP.
The best methods I’ve found to deal with them are as follows:
Warm up: Make sure you perform a thorough warm up, which will also reduce your chance of injury! Increasing blood flow to muscles makes them more elastic, so they are more resistant to micro-tearing.
Stretching: Although studies show that stretching does not relieve the pain associated with DOMS, stretching the muscles when sore will help to build more elasticity in the new muscle fibers. Thorough yet gentle stretching of the muscle groups you've worked after each session is always a good idea, and make use of foam rollers if you access to them. Stretching will improve circulation to the given area, bringing nutrients to your cells and removing waste byproducts.
Supplementation/nutrition: Vitamin C and E are well known for their anti-oxidant properties and their ability to reduce the proliferation of free radicals. These are thought to be generated during the inflammatory response, which could potentially cause more damage to the affected muscle. Protein, EAA + BCAA and L-Glutamine will get to work repairing damaged muscle tissue – so consume your post workout shake as soon as your workout is over. It will assist the recovery process, but not necessarily reduce the recovery time.
Massages and Ibuprofen: If they are really bad, then a gentle massage and ibuprofen can help relieve the pain, but will not speed up your recovery time.
Yes there are lots of different supplements you can take, but all I'm going to cover here is protein, and the ideal times during the day that you should be consuming it. Whether dieting down or bulking up, protein should be consumed with each meal of the day. It is important to keep a constant supply of amino acids in the blood, so ideally you should be aiming to eat a meal every 2-3 hours. Just make sure your macro nutrient breakdown of each meal is linked into your goal. The result - if you are cutting or aiming to lose weight, this will keep your metabolism high. If you are bulking and looking to put on muscle, you will be providing your body with a constant supply of calories to help you grow.
Outside of those meals is when a protein shake can really be useful. As it is in liquid form it is fairly easy for your body to process quickly. So, if the budget will allow it, when are the most essential times of the day to be having a shake?
First thing in the morning: As you (hopefully) have been sleeping for a good 7-8 hours, and therefore technically fasting, a fast absorbing whey protein drink first thing in the morning will put a halt to your body's catabolic state.
Pre workout: 20g before a workout will ensure that your body is saturated with amino acids ready to start the repair process. Failing that, try to consume 8g of EAA (essential amino acids).
Post workout: 30 - 40g whey (or 50/50 split whey/casein) post workout will enable your muscles to begin repairing.
Before bed: As you will not be eating again for another 7-8 hours, consuming 45g micellar casein right before bed will keep your body drip-fed with amino acids while you sleep. Micellar casein forms a gel in your gut, slowing down the absorption process and keeping your body in an anabolic state for longer.
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Getting ripped is not about suddenly transforming the look of your muscles by doing high repetition isolation work. That is so ineffective and won't overload your muscles like the exercises that train several muscle groups simultaneously. What do you think burns more fat: pedaling on a Mini-stepper or running in deep sand? The latter option, right. Same idea about choosing the right exercises. Do not spend sets on a peck deck machine when you can do dumbbell presses where you need to balance the weight. Balancing the weight recruits more muscle fibers than letting some dumb machine do half the work for you.
Always always ALWAYS measure up oils. Do not ever pour it on a salad. When you order a salad at a restaurant, never get the dressing, croutons or what have you. Corn is also not a good food for leaning out: it's a grain and fast carb too.
Eat to control your hunger. You can make your oatmeal double sized but no extra calories by adding whole flaxseed or psyllium husk. *Do it like this: Cook the oatmeal according to the package. Then stir, add 3- 5 tablespoons of whole flaxseed or 1 tablespoon of psyllium husk. Stir. Cook for another 3 to 5 minutes. The fiber in the seeds bind with the oats/brans and you get a better serving.
Want to burn more calories? Add one set more on each exercise. If you add six different exercises that will yield six more minutes tops. In one week that might be 30 minutes more training which burns more calories for you.
Make it boring to eat. Take your bowl or plate and sit where there is no TV, no magazine, nothing - look at the food, be present. You will find out that you will get full faster than if you eat while watching Seinfeld.
Checkout Paulines website at: FighterDiet.com
You squat, you bench, you curl your way to a better body each and every day you set foot in the gym. Your goals are set, you drive up more weight for more reps. You are a disciplined hard worker who accepts nothing less than the best from your workouts and nutrition strategies. Sets and reps are counted and documented as well as grams of protein and carbs. Unfortunately you sometimes find that your gains have slowed or stopped or perhaps even regressed! You need that extra boost. You need a good supplement strategy to get you on the road to gains once again. But how much and when do you take them?
This guide will lay the foundation for a solid supplement program; one that is detailed and tactfully assembled for maximum benefit. It will be perfectly timed for the greatest results and even spelled out for the beginner to the advanced bodybuilder. So if it is mass that you seek, grow on this!
First let us list and describe the supplements used in this schedule. A thorough explanation is a must regarding timing and dosages. As with all workout and supplement programs, please consult your doctor before beginning.
Whey Protein: As the “Big Man on Campus” of supplements whey is a staple of any supplement program. Easily digested, portable and effective, whey is a must for anyone seeking gains in lean muscle mass. It will serve as a foundation for this supplement program. Protein powders, in general, are great for when you have no time to fix a meal or need extra protein without downing another chicken breast or steak. Whey is a convenient way to feed the muscle and boost gains especially when you need it most.
Regarding timing and dose whey is most effective when taken as follows (note: most dosages in this article will be for a bodybuilder weighing around 200 pounds):
20 grams upon waking in the morning: Your body has fasted for up to eight hours or more, so it is imperative that you down a shake first thing when you wake up. This will shut down the catabolic state you may be in and get you on that road to growth once again. Now, you want the protein to get in rather quickly so no complex carbs or fats, just protein, some simple carbs, and a few other things (which we will get to in a moment). Your body will thank you for the surge of amino acids!
20 grams pre-workout: It is time to get the levels of aminos in the bloodstream up once again. Taking whey prior to your workout will ensure that your muscles will have a steady stream of protein during your workout so that it can actually begin the rebuilding process early.
40 grams post-workout: This is prime time to get a quickly digested protein in the body along with about twice the simple carbs (80 grams). No later than 30 minutes after a workout down this cocktail along with a few other ingredients to boost insulin levels which will stimulate protein synthesis by driving glucose and amino acids into the muscle.
Creatine: Another well-known and effective supplement is creatine. As it gets converted into creatine phosphate in the muscles, which produces energy for contractions during training, supplementing with creatine can ensure that levels of it are topped off. Plus, creatine will force more water into the muscle cells creating an anabolic environment increasing protein synthesis. For strength and size, it can’t be beaten!
3-5 grams pre-workout: Taken with a moderate amount of complex carbs and 20 grams of whey protein taking creatine at this time will guarantee your levels are filled up.
3-5 grams post-workout: Within 30 minutes after training combine creatine with 40grams of whey protein and 80 grams of simple carbs to get a potent growth-producing shake. After training your muscles are screaming for nutrients so why not give it to them? The insulin response from the simple carbs will also shuttle that creatine right into the muscle.
Casein Protein: Another convenient protein source, casein is slow digesting so it will be digested and released into the bloodstream at a steady rate feeding the muscles over a longer period of time. Whereas whey is used for rapid absorption, casein is used when you need protein to “stick around” a little longer, maybe between meals or for when you know you will not get in another meal for a while.
20 grams post-workout: Take in 20 grams of casein along with your other post-workout supplements. Whey is used to get instant nourishment to the muscles while casein is taken for when the whey is digested and the muscles still need aminos for recovery. This will also help you stay satiated until you eat your post-workout whole meal.
20 grams in the middle of the night: Since it is slow digesting, you can also benefit from drinking a shake in the middle of your sleep to ensure your body is getting the protein it needs. During sleep, the body is basically fasting and this may cause your body to dip into a catabolic state. Ingesting a shake at around three or four hours after going to bed will guarantee your quest for mass is still on track. Now, you may have to set your alarm, but hey, it is all for a good cause.
Glutamine: Glutamine is considered a long-term commitment. Though not as noticeably effective as creatine, glutamine has many unseen benefits. As one of the most plentiful amino acids in the body, glutamine assists in recovery by helping muscle cells take up glycogen after a workout, boosting growth-hormone levels, and maintaining immune function so you can stay healthy. It can also help delay fatigue during a workout so you can turn up the intensity for a longer period of time. The digestive system requires so much glutamine to function that it will take it from muscle tissue so supplementing is a no brainer.
7-10 grams upon waking in the morning: This will be taken with your small whey shake mentioned above. Again, this will be absorbed quickly to help get your body out of a catabolic state it may have slipped into overnight.
7-10 grams pre-workout: This will help you work out longer and keep up your intensity.
7-10 grams post-workout: Again, taking glutamine after a workout will help with glycogen uptake to quickly start the recovery process and get you in that anabolic state.
7-10 grams 30 to 60 minutes before sleep: This is another great opportunity to protect your hard-earned muscle right before you go to bed. This taken with the small casein shake will help fend off the nightmare of catabolism.
Branched-Chain Amino Acids: BCAAs leucine, isoleucine, and valine are used for fuel during intense workouts thus preventing your body from scavenging hard-earned muscle for energy. At other times of day, BCAAs help stimulate protein synthesis and ward off cortisol, the catabolic hormone.
5-10 grams upon waking in the morning: BCAAs first thing in the morning is just another weapon in your arsenal to ward off the catabolic effects of fasting most of the night. Your body can readily utilize BCAAs as fuel while whey and glutamine quickly get to muscle tissue.
5-10 grams pre-workout: Again, taking BCAAs before a workout can fuel the body with energy so you can spare muscle tissue and it will also keep you in an anabolic state for growth.
5-10 grams post-workout: This will enhance protein synthesis and depress the catabolic hormone cortisol, which can enhance muscle breakdown and limit testosterone’s effect on muscle growth.
Arginine: Readily converted to Nitric Oxide (NO) in the body arginine is a powerful supplement with a host of benefits. It allows more blood flow to the muscle by dilating vessels to allow more nutrients in such as amino acids and glucose as well as hormones like growth hormone, testosterone, and insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1). Also, having a greater water delivery into the muscle cells means an increase in protein synthesis, which, in turn, spells more muscle growth.
2-3 grams upon waking in the morning: At this time arginine will dilate blood vessels to shuttle in the nutrients of other supplements.
2-3 grams pre-workout: This will enhance the natural increase of growth hormone before a workout.
2-3 grams 30-60 minutes before sleep: This is another time to take advantage of the burst of growth hormone, as arginine will only enhance this effect.
Tribulus Terrestris: As a proven hormone booster Tribulus Terrestris can increase testosterone from cholesterol in the testicles. It also has the ability to enhance the firing of nerves in muscle for increased strength during workouts. If you need that extra boost in power before a workout Tribulus delivers.
250-500 mg pre-workout: Get that extra surge of testosterone before heading to the gym.
ZMA: ZMA (the combination of zinc magnesium plus vitamin B6) has been shown to increase IGF-1 and testosterone levels. Zinc has very powerful recovery benefits and magnesium will actually calm the nervous system down so the body has an easier time resting. The better you sleep the more opportunity your body has to grow.
30-60 minutes before sleep: 30 mg of zinc, 450 mg of magnesium, and 11 mg of B6.
Antioxidants: Antioxidants have the ability to rid the body of free radicals, which are produced from periods of severe stress such as from an intense workout. It is wise to supplement with vitamins C and E to combat this damage and keep your body in an anabolic state.
500 mg of vitamin C at your post-workout whole meal: Vitamin C will help with joint health and immune function.
200-400 IU of vitamin E at your post-workout whole meal: Vitamin E has the ability to reduce muscle cell damage and helps with recovery. This antioxidant is also important for skin, nail and hair health.
Upon waking in the morning
|20 g whey protein
2-3 g arginine
7-10 g glutamine
5-10 g BCAAs
|Mid-day||Whey (20 g)-casein (20 g) protein shake|
|Pre-workout||20 g whey protein
2-3 g arginine
7-10 g glutamine
3-5 g creatine
5-10 g BCAAs
250-500 mg Tribulus Terrestris
|Post-workout||40-80 g simple carbs
20 g whey protein
20 g casein protein
7-10 g glutamine
3-5 g creatine
5-10 g BCAAs
|Dinner||500 mg vitamin C
200-400 IU vitamin E
|30-60 minutes before sleep||20 g casein protein
2-3 g arginine
7-10 g glutamine
ZMA (30 mg zinc, 450 mg magnesium, 11 mg B6)
|Middle of the night||20-30 g casein protein|
So there you have it. All of your supplement questions answered from timing to dosages, now you can get on the road to growth. This may seem like a lot to “digest” right now, but if you are new to supplements start by taking some whey protein at the specified times of the day and then experiment with the others to see what will work for you. Everyone is different so some supplements may be a better choice for you than others. Just make sure you are eating a bodybuilding friendly whole food diet because without it supplements will not save the day. Eat plenty of complex carbs such as potatoes, wheat pasta, rice, wheat bread, and oatmeal along with lean proteins such as lean beef, turkey, chicken, eggs, and fish. In no time you will be on your way to a bigger self.
Written by: Brad Borland, M.A., CSCS: WorkoutLab.net
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