Guys and gals – wouldn’t it be a dream come true if we could make sure that all the food we eat…all those calories…goes towards muscle growth and not to fat gains?
It can be done! I identify 3 main factors in getting the job done! Do these…and gain muscle, not fat!
(1) EAT YOUR CALORIES FOR LEAN GAINS (BUT IF YOU OVEREAT, DO THIS…)
Your Calories for lean gains are about 200-300 above maintenance. Any more food will NOT make you more muscular…but it will make you fat. See my post on Building 12 pounds of muscle for a more in-depth explanation.
BUT IF YOU REALLY WANT TO OVEREAT…make it protein! Why? In order for excess protein to end up as fat, it first has to be converted to glucose (carbs) then into fat (de novo lipogenesis). In each of those 2 conversions, energy is lost, so every gram of protein (4cals) could end up as 2-3 cals worth of fat (1/4 to 1/3rd of 1g of fat). So a lot of energy/calories gets wasted in the conversion process – that’s good for us!
BUT IT GETS BETTER – exciting new research that I reveal in this article, showed that when people ate excess calories, the excess calories from protein actually had ZERO effect on fat gains. It ended up as lean mass…probably stored as glycogen in the muscle.
Anyway…if you’re going to blow your diet…do it with protein! (By the way, for whey protein, I highly recommend Impact Whey from MyProtein in the UK and also this Optimum Nutrition whey for those in the US)
(2) TRAIN WITH INTENSITY
Here’s a line from my free Targeted Hypertrophy Training manual (click here to download it):
“The necessary stimulation to force adaptation (growth) occurs in the last rep(s) of a set.”
If you think stopping at rep 7 out of a possible 10 reps to failure is better than going to the 10th, you’ve just got something really wrong with you.
- Muscle fiber recruitment increases with each additional rep
- Muscle damage increases with each additional rep
- Metabolic stress levels increase with each additional rep
All these (and more) are positively correlated with protein synthesis levels (growth levels). Maximizing these factors leads to optimal gains. For more on this, see my post – Should you train to failure. While a genetic freak can make gains by almost just look at weights, you can’t – you need to force the issue by training to high levels of intensity.
The point is this: all the food and protein in the world will not turn to muscle…IF YOU DIDN’T EVEN STIMULATE GROWTH IN THE FIRST PLACE. Make sure you get the job done by training with intensity.
Download my totally free 3-day and 5-day/wk THT training routines; just enter your details below for immediate download. It will tell you the best exercises to use, the best rep ranges, the right number of sets to do, the best training frequency – everything you need for the best gains ever in the shortest amount of time! Don’t worry, there’s no spam, no BS, no weirdness. If you don’t want to hear from me again, I wont be offended. You’re about to get the best gains of your life…
(3) DO NUTRIENT “PARTITIONING” – EAT IN THE POST WORKOUT PERIOD
I’m a big believer in giving your body what it needs…WHEN it needs it. In the period immediately after training our bodies are PRIMED for the intake of nutrients. These calories and protein will more likely be used to combat catabolism and promote anabolism like no other time of the day.
This involves 2 steps:
- A post-workout whey protein shake (or you can sip on it during training as I do)
- A solid food meal some time within 3hrs of finishing your training session.
Shoot for 40g of protein in your post-workout shake – a study I commented on in this post shows 2 scoops of whey promoted more growth than 1 scoop – and most people only take 1 scoop!
And I would also recommend you get about 40g protein in that post-workout meal. If you want to see what I usually eat in that 3hr “anabolic window”, see my post here. (Also see my Buff Baking Anabolic Cookbook for mouth-watering recipes to hit your daily protein targets).
On the subject of giving your body nutrients when it needs it, see my post from last week on how to eat at bedtime to build up to twice the muscle while you sleep.
NOTE: If you’re clueless about what supplements to take and when, gran my FREE supplement guide. It reveals all the supplements that work, the ones that don’t, and the ones that are actually dangerous. And it’ll save you a ton of money!
The download link appears here immediately after clicking the button, you don’t have to open your email. Enjoy!
So, there you go. The 3 keys are:
- Eat your lean gains Calories only (and if you blow it, blow it on protein)
- Train with Intensity
- Get your post-workout nutrition correct
This will virtually guarantee that all those calories go towards the anabolic/muscle-building process…and not converting to fat!
P.S. I know that putting together a diet for mass gains or getting shredded abs can be a pain in the butt, especially if you are new to this – that’s why I offer a service where I will do all the tough ground work for you.
You probably don’t know how many calories you need, or how many grams of protein, carbs or fat you need (based on your personal stats)…BUT I DO. Then I can take these numbers and create an exact meal plan for you to hit those numbers spot on! You’ll know what foods to eat and even when to eat them. All you have to do…is do it. No thinking involved. If you’d like me to take care of this for you, see the Get Me Shredded option on my Coaching Page here.
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