If you want the biggest, best, and fastest gains possible – you need to ensure that you can check off all 6 points on this list.
No matter what diet you choose for your muscle-building campaign, there are certain fundamentals that you should adhere to.
It could be a carb-cycling diet like my MANS diet, a higher-carb diet like my GLAD diet, a vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, wheat-free, or whatever! There are certain recommendations that apply to them all!
Take a look at the following and make sure you can check them all off your list.
(1) Get Enough Protein Every Day
Get Enough Protein To Build Muscle. To get your daily protein, multiply your lean body mass (LBM) in kilograms by 2.75.
LBM (kg) x 2.75
Or more simply, take 1g protein for every pound of body weight: 180lbs = 180g.
If you don’t know your LBM, use the body fat percentage calculator in the sidebar of this site to help you.
Do you NEED to split it up into 6 separate servings? No, not necessarily. The body can and will absorb more than 30g of protein in 1 sitting. However, if you believe that you are carb-sensitive and want to control your insulin levels, you should eat smaller, more frequent meals for that purpose (especially on a higher-carb diet like GLAD).
(2) Get Enough Calories Every Day
Your Calorie-level depends on your goals. When on a Gain Cycle, the key word I always stress is “SUFFICIENT”, not “surplus”.
A workout does not “produce” muscular growth. It merely “stimulates” it. From there the body goes to work repairing, compensating, and then over-compensating for the damage done. At no point does a “surplus” come into the equation. But you do need sufficient or adequate nutrition for sure.
I recommend you figure out your maintenance calories and add on 200-300 to ascertain your Gain Calories. See this post on gaining 12 pounds of muscle in a year for more.
Note: Cutting is a whole different animal, and yes, my Total Six Pack Abs program is the way to go for fast fat loss. If any readers haven’t yet seen MuscleHacker Brandi McAtee’s article in here local paper about her recent triumph, go here (there’s a nice shout-out to MuscleHack there too).
(3) Use Creatine
A lot of people fall into the ‘more is better’ mentality with creatine. More is not better with this supplement. By taking too much it is possible to cause creatine saturation outside the cell. This can prevent effective muscle uptake of creatine. 5g per day is the dosage I recommend. I also recommend taking this AFTER your workout.
Remember that creatine is NOT a pre-workout “energy” supplement. It doesn’t give you a buzz; that’s not the purpose of creatine. See here for more on that. A great and cheap creatine supplement for my US readers here.
(4) Eat Carbs
Yes, carbs are necessary for optimal workouts. I often get referred to as the “low-carb guy”, but that’s obviously by people who don’t know the full scope of my work.
Even MANS has a 36 hr carb-up, and the option of another carb-load during the week. Carbs are simply required to fill the muscles with glycogen, which is the energy the body will start to tap into once your training crosses a certain threshold of intensity.
(5) Eat Fat
Fat IS necessary in your diet. Especially relevant for bodybuilders is the requirement of fat for the production of testosterone. A diet low in natural fats (both saturated and unsaturated) is a disaster for the natural bodybuilder.
But additionally, fat:
- Supplies essential fatty acids (and they are essential). EFA’s must be obtained from diet as the body cannot manufacture them
- Forms the structure of cell membranes
- Is required for the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins (vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin E, and vitamin K).
(6) Take Intra or Post-Workout Protein
Intense training is a catabolic activity. Like I stated above, a workout does not actually “produce” growth. It stimulates it. This is because anabolism is stimulated by catabolism.
The body works with these type of “negative-feedback loops” that signal an opposing mechanism to kick into gear when something goes too far in one direction. Another example of this is the regulation of blood sugar.
Many people seem to be under the idea that catabolism is some evil to be avoided at all costs. The truth is that you need it to stimulate its opposite: anabolism. This is exactly what we do during a THT bodybuilding workout.
The process of recovery and growth will start to kick in after the workout. Since protein synthesis is what we are after, it only makes sense to supply the body with a fresh batch of the building blocks of muscle: protein.
While strictly speaking you could just eat food, you aren’t normally in the mood to eat a meal straight after a workout. Also, taking protein in the form of whey will supply the fuel a lot quicker than eating a chicken breast for example.
Take about 40g whey protein after training to give your body what it needs for optimal growth.Take about 40g whey protein after training to give your body what it needs for optimal growth Click To Tweet
Also, read my recent post about why I switched my post-workout shake to an “intra” (during) workout shake.
I’m hoping y’all can check all 6 off your list, especially if you’ve been coming to MuscleHack for a while!
If you’ve any questions or need help, just ask me below. I’m always happy to help.
If you want muscle gains in the fastest way possible, download THT training below. After inputting your email, you will be taken directly to the download page for instant access to the workout. You don’t need to log into your email to click on any confirmation link.
Train With Intensity & Eat Intelligently!
Can I give you my free muscle-building workout?
Join thousands over the world who are packing on slabs of new muscle for free with Targeted Hypertrophy Training (THT)