You want to have dense muscles now and you are not willing to wait too much for the visible results? Okay, we got it, that is why we have prepared a small guide to help you out.
Leaving all misconceptions aside, muscle growth isn’t achieved only by training. Of course, training is important, but when you have a goal to gain 10 pounds of muscle in about 1 month, you need also to eat proteins, carbs and even good fat. But even though it sounds simple eating anything you would ever wish for, things are not exactly like this.
Of course, if you think that going to McDonald’s, eating Big Mac, XXL Coke and fries, will help you gain weight, you couldn’t be more wrong. It will help you gain weight, but the wrong one. Building muscles can be done following a rigorous plan containing the right types of food according to a tight schedule and in balanced proportions. It starts to get complicated right? It just seems, as after you will read this guide, you will see that you will be able to do it.
Enough with words, let’s go on some numbers: You’ll need to consume at least 25 calories per pound of bodyweight per day, made up of at least 2 grams of protein, close to 3 grams of carbs and about 0.5 gram of fat per pound of bodyweight. That’s more than 4,500 calories, 360-plus grams of protein, nearly 540 grams of carbs and 90 grams of fat daily for a 180-pound bodybuilder.
For those wanting to pack on quality mass, the most critical window of nutritional opportunity is around the workout. This is when you can put down a plethora of protein and carbs without worrying about them turning into body fat since they’ll be used to grow muscle like at no other time of the day. Not only do we recommend the usual pre- and post-workout shakes, but we also advise drinking a shake during your workout to gain more mass. In addition to providing ample amounts of protein and carbs, each shake includes supplement ingredients such as creatine, glutamine and branched-chain amino acids. The more the merrier, since they’ll all be used by your muscles to support recovery and growth.
Every minute from your day is important and the first few minutes after you wake up in the morning are the key. Do you like to brush your teeth and shower first thing? Change that habit real quick by incorporating two breakfasts into your mornings—one as soon as you wake up and the second 30-60 minutes later.
In fact, those first few moments of the day can make or break your muscle-gaining efforts. Why? Your body uses liver glycogen for fuel overnight, and when those levels get low, your body then uses muscle protein for fuel. To stop this you need fast-digesting protein and carbs, so your first breakfast should include whey protein and a piece of fruit, white bread or Vitargo (an advanced carb supplement). The aminos from the whey will rapidly enter your bloodstream so your body can use them, not muscle, for fuel. The fast-digesting carbs will quickly restock your liver glycogen and signal your body to stop feeding off your muscle.
Right before bedtime is the day’s last important window of time in terms of bodybuilding nutrition. You’ll want a slow-digesting protein such as casein to provide a steady supply of amino acids to your muscles throughout the night to keep the body from catabolizing too much muscle while you sleep. Another option is cottage cheese, which is high in casein protein. Our meal plan combines the healthy fats from flaxseeds, walnuts, mixed nuts and peanut butter with the aforementioned protein sources at bedtime to further slow protein absorption.
Eggs are good and we are sure that you think that only whites are to be used in this type of training. But we’re here talking about whole eggs, yolks plus whites. Researchers at Texas A&M University (College Station) found that subjects who followed a weight-training workout and consumed three whole eggs per day gained roughly double the muscle mass and strength as subjects who ate no more than one whole egg per day.
It may be considered a supplement to some, but at M&F we label it as a food, and a superior one at that. A milk protein, whey is the fastest-digesting protein you can swallow. It’s also rich in branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) and provides peptides (small protein fragments) that enhance blood flow. To build muscle, you’ll want to drink a whey protein shake every day upon waking, as well as before and after workouts.
The other milk protein, casein, is also critical for gaining mass. Research shows that when subjects add casein to their post-workout whey shake, they gain more muscle mass than those who don’t. Another study found that while whey significantly decreases hunger and leads to reduced food intake, casein protein doesn’t. When you’re trying to pack on mass, you need to eat—a lot. Casein will help you get in plenty of protein and calories without filling you up.
Red meat has gotten a bad rap nearly everywhere except in the bodybuilding community. The saturated fat and cholesterol in beef has been shown to increase testosterone levels as well as strength and muscle mass. Beef also contains vitamin B12, creatine, iron and zinc, among other nutrients, all of which support muscle growth and strength. Here’s one tip for the mass-seekers: you should eat at least one beef meal every other day.
The omega-3 essential fatty acids found in salmon are now known to encourage muscle growth, decrease muscle breakdown, increase fat loss, aid joint recovery and provide numerous other health benefits. Try to consume at least 2-3 salmon meals per week. Here’s another benefit, walnuts also pack a decent amount of omega-3s, as do flaxseeds, which are great sprinkled on cottage cheese or peanut butter.