anabolic diet

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Are you not building much muscle?
Are you perhaps not building muscle as fast as you would like?
Are you frustrated with your current progress?

Check the following 10 factors against your current lifestyle to ensure you’re not making some fundamental errors.

(1) You’re Not Eating Enough. Your workouts should be fueling a massive appetite. This is one sure-fire way to know if your workouts are effective. If you find that you haven’t much of an appetite the day after a workout, something’s wrong. Go back and assess your training. If all is well and you’re body is craving food like crazy, feed it! Eat, Eat, Eat!

The MANS diet is so perfect for this as it allows you to eat BIG without worrying about adding fat. You’re body can’t carry out the repair and growth process without you feeding it the nutrients it needs.

(2) You’re Not Drinking Enough. Getting enough water is crucial for peak strength and energy levels. You should shoot for around 12 x 8 ounce glasses of water per day. You can include any protein shakes, tea or coffee you have towards your daily water intake.

(3) You’re Using Poor Form In The Gym. As many of you know by now, I’m a real stickler for form. You’re movements should have a full range of motion and you should be letting the muscle in question do the work. This means you’re not swinging your back on Dumbbell Curls, or arching your back on the Bench Press. Be less concerned with how heavy the weight is, and more concerned on how much muscle stimulation you’re causing. If you don’t stimulate the muscle, it won’t grow.

(4) You Eat a Low-Fat Diet. A diet high in fat encourages the release of anabolic hormones. These are:

  1. Growth Hormone
  2. Testosterone
  3. IGF-1

Why go without them? A high-fat diet calls for a low-carbohydrate intake which is excellent as you therefore won’t have chronically elevated insulin levels. This is great for muscle gain without fat gain. You can still build muscle on a low-fat diet but why make things hard for yourself? Take the fast lane to success

(5) You’re Over-training. It is optimal for the natural bodybuilder to train each body part once a week when hypertrophy is the main goal. Each body part should have been hit so hard that it needs a week to recover.

Unfortunately, some people in an effort to get big fast, train body parts two or three times per week and sometimes even more; this is counter-productive. You’re not giving the muscle enough time to repair and therefore not enough time to grow. Allow each muscle to heal completely before tearing it to shreds again; a week will suffice.

(6) You’re Training with Low Reps. Low Reps i.e. 1-6 reps per set, is good for strength building but not muscle-building. It all depends what you want. If you’re primary focus is on getting stronger with some muscle growth as a side effect, go ahead and lift with low reps. However, if the goal is to build some serious muscle mass with strength increases as a side effect, work in the 8-12 rep range.

(7) You Don’t Progress Every Workout. What do you mean you don’t keep a workout log? Seriously, you really need one. Take your log to the gym and record the results of every single set. Write the exercise performed, weight and reps completed. Then next time around you know what you have to beat. If you beat your previous record, you’ll grow (as long as you eat).

I workout at home these days but in the past I noticed that I was the only guy in the whole gym that carried a piece of paper and pen with him. Every time I’d finish a set I’d record the result. It might have looked strange to some people but results speak for themselves.

Almost all the guys performed the same workout every week! That blows my mind. If you dumbbell curl 15 KG for 10 reps now and still dumbbell curl 15 KG for 10 reps in six months, what do you think will happen? That’s right, not a damn thing. Your body simply has no reason to grow, you’re not forcing it to adapt. Keep a log and aim for progressive overload every single workout.

cardio(8) Cardio when Building Muscle. Why perform cardio when your goal is to build muscle? I don’t get it but so many people do it. If your goal is general fitness then go ahead, but if building muscle is the goal, cardio will work against you.

Too much cardio releases catabolic hormones in the body, breaking down your muscle tissue. Some people will counter – ‘But if I don’t do any cardio, I’ll get fat’. Quite possibly, if you’re eating a high-carb diet. I’ve heard people say, “I don’t need to low-carb, I lift and also do cardio to burn up any excess blood sugar arising from the carbs.” Hmmm, why not just ditch the carbs in the first place?

The protein and fat is much better for building muscle anyway and you’ll avoid those nasty catabolic hormones your body is releasing. Just look at runners and cyclists – these are very skinny people.

Lifting and performing cardio is like driving a car with one foot on the accelerator and one foot on the break! Take your foot off the break friends and stop the cardio until your main priority is losing fat.

(9) Your workouts are Too Long. Staying on the subject of catabolism, workouts lasting more than 45 minutes are counter-productive. The law of diminishing returns states that in any endeavor there is an amount of work past which ‘each additional unit of input yields less and less additional output.’ With working out, this is roughly around the 40-45 minute mark. Past this mark your body, like we mentioned with cardio, releases those catabolic hormones. Steroid users can get away with 90 minute workouts, us naturals can’t. However, that’s good news as ‘MuscleHack 6-9 | 8-12’ calls for workouts that last no longer than 45 minutes and sometimes a lot less.

(10) You’re Stressed Out! Something not spoken enough of in bodybuilding is the role of stress. Again, like the previous 2 points, it’s catabolism that arises as a result. One such stress hormone released is cortisol, which is catabolic. Cortisol can be produced as a result of

* Too little sleep

* Too much Cardio

* Shopping (Just us men on this one)

* Fighting with your spouse 😉

The point is: a calm, relaxed demeanor creates a more anabolic environment in the body than a stressed one.

Conclusion

Avoid these 10 Deadly Sins of bodybuilding to ensure continued progress. If you look at the list again you’ll see that the general message is to make life easier for yourself not harder.

Shorter workouts, no stress, no cardio, more food, training each body part only once a week. We oftentimes make life hard for ourselves because we think it has to be. Building muscle is not one of those things in my opinion. A lot of people start making better gains once they make things easier on themselves. Does this apply to you?

Your Buddy,

Mark McManus

image credits: liface and steve_living

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