This is one of the hardest parts of building a really great physique for most people. It is also one of the most crucial parts of gaining lean muscle.A main misconception is that the more protein you eat the more muscle you will build. This is not true! Your body needs a certain amount of protein depending on the amount of physical activity you do. If you are weight training, it is usually recommended that you take 1 gram of protein for every pound of body weight. Over and above this amount of protein, your body will start using it either for energy if you haven’t eaten enough carbs or it will convert it into fat.
The second part to nutrition consists of getting enough Carbs and Vegetables (which would contain your vitamins and minerals). The best way to check how much carbs you should be eating is to find out how many calories you need to consume to maintain your current weight. This can be calculated from your ‘resting metabolic rate’. This tells you how much energy you use during the day, while not doing any activities. Obviously from here if you are interested to build muscle you need to balance the amount of calories used during training with this amount. For example: If your resting metabolic rate is 2500 calories and you burn 450 calories during a weight training session, you should then aim to consume roughly 2950 calories from food for that day (from protein, carbs, vegetables and any drinks you consume). Over and above this, feel free to experiment with L-Glutamine, Creatine and all the other supplements on offer. For my body however, powdered creatine tends to retain more water than anything else. But hey, what’s to lose?
Firstly you must note the importance of warming up before any strenuous physical activity which will decrease your chance of injury and allow your joints to move more freely, thereby allowing you to lift heavier weight thus allowing you to build more muscle. A proper warm up should entail 5 – 10 minutes of cardiovascular workout, without tiring the muscles too much and then stretching the muscle you are about to work first.
For example: if you are doing the bench press as your starting exercise, instead of doing 4 sets at rather low reps, do 5 sets, with your first set at 15 reps of a lower weight and then continue as normal. For example:15 reps x 88 lbs10 reps x 120 lbs8 reps x 160 lbs6 reps x 190 lbs4 reps x 230 lbsMany people wonder how much training they should be doing to build lean muscle. This all depends on how long you have been training for.
If you are a beginner, I would suggest starting out with low weight and getting your technique nailed down. Once your technique is right, you can start adding more weight to your workouts. Do each muscle group three times a week eg.
Monday – Chest and Back, Wednesday – Shoulders, Bi’s and Tri’s,
Friday – Legs.
On Tuesdays and Thurday’s aim for 45 minutes of cardio & abs.
Rest on Sunday.
Note: abs can and should be done daily regardless whether you are beginner, intermediate or advanced.
Once you can do that and have sort of reached a plateau you can start doing a three day split.
Thus on Monday & Thursday – Chest & Back, Tuesday & Friday-Shoulders, Bi’s & Tri’s and Wednesday & Saturday – Legs.
If you still need to cut some fat you should wait 8 – 10 hours after one of your weight sessions and then get your cardio in.Then again, when you have grown accustomed to this and you still feel you want to build more muscle you can try a two day split! Your training would then look like this:
Monday, Wednesday & Friday:
Morning: Chest & Back Evening: Legs (preferably 8 – 10 hours after the morning session)
Tuesday, Thursday & Saturday:
Shoulders, Bi’s & Tri’s
Remember to do abs daily. The great thing about a two day split, is that you are training so rigorously that you don’t really need to be doing cardio to drop fat