I gotta be honest with you guys……
The nutrition and muscle building industry really make eating a lot more complicated than it has to be.
They say that you have to eat these exact nutrient ratio’s to build muscle, you have to eat at precise meal times and you have to eat xxx times per day………. The list goes on and often times most of the rules conflict with each other!
Well I got news for you – this is complete BS.
In fact, a muscle building diet is very simple. You really don’t have to eat 6-8 meals a day……. Unless you want to put on a bunch of FAT and not have a life! Seriously who can live normally eating 6-8x per day?
The truth is and this is what I recommend: three meals per day plus two protein shakes is perfect for building solid muscle.
Remember this guys:
Your body can only put on so much muscle and any EXTRA calories that are not being used to build muscle will be stored as fat!
So from my experience if you’re getting plenty of rest and lifting weights 3-5x per week your body has the potential to put on 0.5-1.0 lbs of muscle per week. That’s IT! Nothing MORE.
Stop listening to the muscle magazines and infomercials that CLAIM you can put on 10 lbs of muscle in 10 days. This just isn’t gonna happen. I mean if this was possible then almost every guy would be muscular.
For those that say they put on 10-20 pounds of MUSCLE in a MONTH. Well there’s no way. Even on steroids this is unlikely. Chances are they probably gained 10-20 pounds in a month – mostly of fat.
Besdies 0.5-1.0 lbs of muscle in a week isn’t bad at all. Especially if you’re doing strategic muscle building that makes that 5 pound muscle gain look like 15+.
In three months of training you can put on 6-12 pounds of muscle and it will probably look like you gained 20 especially because you didn’t put on any fat!
Now it takes 2500 calories to build a pound of muscle. So by knowing this you only really have to eat 200-400 calories above maintenance (the number of calories it takes to maintain your weight) to reach a muscle gain goal of 0.5-1.0 lbs per week. This could be as simple as adding one or two protein shakes into your daily diet. Seriously this isn’t very complicated at all.
This is why the whole bulking up bodybuilder approach to muscle building is complete nonsense. These guys eat 1000-2000 calories above maintenance and most of that converts to fat. But for some reason these guys think that if they eat WAY ABOVE their maintenance level they will force their body into gaining more muscle! Sorry the body doesn’t work like that.
Here’s a sample meal plan that I would recommend for someone that wants to build muscle
3-4 egg spinach omelette
piece of fruit
complex carbs – gluten free cereal
Brown Rice or Sweet Potatoes
Sub / Sand-which and fruit
Post Workout Meal
Yams, Brown Rice Pasta, Wild Rice or Brown Rice
Salad or Veggies
Notes and Recommendations
- The goal here is to get plenty of protein, vitamins/nutrients and only about 200-400 calories above maintenance
- Track your progress every week to see if your improving. I recommend measuring your waist circumference and weight. The goal is for your weight to increase about 0.5-1.0 lbs per week without your waist increasing. If you gain any fat then reduce your calories – if you aren’t gaining at least 0.5 lbs per week then increase your calories.
- I recommend supplementing with a natural multi vitamin/mineral supplement to ensure your body is getting all the nutrients it needs. Veggie Greens by Progressive is one I recommend
- It is also a good idea to take an omega 3 fish oil supplement. There are so many benefits to fish oils / omega 3’s including testosterone functioning
- Protein Supplement I recommend is Gold Standard All Natural Whey
My New Bulking Nutrition Plan
If you want to build muscle while getting even leaner, I’d suggest reading my new article on a nutrition plan for lean bulking.
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