Bearded Beast of Duloc
Join Date: Jul 2009
Training Exp: 20+ years
Training Type: Powerbuilding
Fav Exercise: Deadlift
Fav Supp: Butter
Rule #10: Eat More Good, Nutritious Foods And High-Quality Protein
Weight trainers need more protein than the normal individual. Each weight training session causes your muscles to be broken down and rebuilt a little stronger than they were before. If you want to progress at the fastest possible rate then you’ll need a healthy dose of daily dietary protein to fuel the process. The FDA and most physicians would argue this …but they know absolutely nothing about bodybuilding. Roughly 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight per day has been reliably shown many times to be a near optimal amount (actually, a bit less than 1 gram seems to be optimal, but 1 gram keeps the math easy). The muscle magazines and commercial websites may sometimes tell you that you need even more than this, but that’s simply because they want you to buy their protein powders – they’ve been enthusiastically pushing high protein intakes and the use of protein powders as a main means of profit for their supplement companies since the 1950s. Just get about 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight per day and you’ll have the bases covered. More than that and your kidneys will simply break it down and excrete it, a lot less and you might not gain muscle as rapidly as possible.
Eat lots of stuff like eggs, milk, beef, tuna, chicken, cheese, liver, etc. Essentially, if it comes from an animal it’s good. Get yourself one of those protein counter booklets at the bookstore or supermarket and pick out some high protein, animal-based foods. Then use these to meet your protein quota. If you’re healthy don’t worry about the saturated fat and cholesterol in these foods. You need both to grow properly (especially since you’re drug-free). Every bit of testosterone in your body is made from cholesterol (if you don’t believe me, look it up yourself – try “steroidogenesis” in Google). Trust me, I’ve read a lot of research dealing with dietary fats, cholesterol and health – they aren’t the villians the profit-driven food and drug industries would have you believe. Am I a “conspiracy theorist”? No. But you won’t bullshit me either. Natural foods are wholesome, healthy, conditionally anabolic, and quite safe. If they weren’t, humans would have died out thousands of years ago.
It might be a good idea for you to buy a protein powder and some desiccated liver. Those are okay “supplements”, but remember this: There’s nothing that protein powder and desiccated liver can do for you that food couldn’t. But the powder may allow you to mix up convenient shakes and it may turn out to be cheaper. Liver is an all-round worthwhile supplement because it has many nutrients important for building muscle and fueling heavy workouts (including enzymes that process steroid hormones and break down estrogen). Don’t spend your money on the most expensive supplements you can get, either. Any protein powder made from whey, milk and/or eggs will do fine. I know there’s much more to the protein story than that, but right now those details simply aren’t worth your attention. Most of the brands of desiccated liver I’ve seen on the market are made from Argentine beef liver, which is, by law, free of artificial hormones. Go for the cheapest ones and build up to taking about 20-30 per day if you want the best results.
You also need plenty of healthful fats, such as those found in fish, olive oil, coconut oil, seeds, nuts, dairy products (remember CLA? – it’s found in dairy fats) and meats (yes, I said meats) to support and promote growth. Like I said, as a drug-free trainee it’s a mistake to avoid all saturated fats and cholesterol – that would decrease your testosterone levels. You should eat plenty of natural, unrefined carbs such as vegetables and rice, but avoid products laden with sugar and while flour. “Good” carbs give you energy to train and also provide your body with the energy (in the forms of muscle and liver glycogen), vitamins, minerals, enzymes and phytonutrients that it needs to build and maintain muscle. Too many “junk” carbs only make you fat and sick.
Another thing, as soon as you get up eat a good breakfast – and that doesn’t mean Pop-Tarts and Fruit Loops. Get some of the good carbs, proteins and fats that I spoke of above. After sleeping all night (and, therefore, not eating) your body needs nutrients to grow with. If you deny it that you will hamper your growth. Have some milk, eat some eggs, eat a steak if you want, but get some protein. Add a little oatmeal (it digests slowly and will hold you over until your next meal) or some whole-grain bread and you have a good breakfast shaping up. Have an omelette and a glass of orange juice. If you can get some natural sausages, the kind that aren’t full of processed “meats” and artificial flavourings and preservatives, then that’s good too. In other word’s, eat a man’s breakfast. Don’t be some castrated pussy who’s afraid of an egg because it has cholesterol in it. Natural, hearty foods never hurt anybody …and don’t believe the pseudo-expert fools who tell you otherwise.
And eat some protein before you go to bed. Overnight your body will need protein, so give it some just before you go to sleep. It could be some meat, some cheese, a few hard-boiled eggs or something else solid. Solid proteins, generally, take longer to digest than liquids, giving a steady supply of amino acids to your body – so use them.
What about eating 5 or 6 meals per day, like most mainstream sources recommend? Well, research doesn’t appear to clearly support or refute that. My advice? Eat three good meals per day and add a couple of nutritious snacks in between. If you want to lose weight eat smaller portions and if you want to gain weight eat larger ones. For people without thyroid and/or adrenal problems, it’s as simple as that, and for now it’s all you really need to know. Save the “tricks” for when you’re more advanced and really need them. Trust me, I’m not holding out on you – I’m giving it to you straight. And in case you don’t believe me, you should know that I lost 170 pounds of fat before I began seriously training, then I built back up 25 pounds of drug-free muscle to settle at about 10-12% body fat. I’ve read almost everything there is to read about nutrition that’s been published since the 1800′s (no joke) up to the latest research. I know a thing or two about diet.
Before I leave this rule, heed this warning: If you skimp on your nutrition you may potentially cancel ALL of the growth that you stimulated in the gym. Yes, nutrition is THAT IMPORTANT.
Rule #11: Get Plenty Of Good, Sound Sleep
Most beginner’s don’t realize this but let me assure you, sleep is just as important as training and nutrition when it comes to muscle growth. DON’T just skip over this rule and think it isn’t that important. Critical repairs and maintenance are done by the body (muscles, organs and nervous system) when you sleep. If you skimp on your sleep then you won’t recover from your workouts properly and your nervous system won’t fire your muscles optimally. Sleep deprivation results in reduced glucose sensitivity of the muscle cells, higher resting cortisol and decreased testosterone levels (and that’s bad). There are reasons why training, nutrition and sleep are considered to be the “big three” keys to weight training success. PLEASE, treat good, sound sleep as a full ingredient of your weight training program.
Rule #12: Immediately After Your Workouts Consume Some Carbs and Protein
After your workout your body needs carbohydrates, protein and electrolytes – and it needs them fast. There are lots of ways of getting them, but I’m going to give you a simple, quick-digesting shake recipe to illustrate the point. Of course, this shake isn’t at all a “magic bullet”, and of all the Rules covered in this article this one is probably the least critical, but good post-workout nutrition is still an important factor if maximum progress is your concern (and of course, it is) and the shake given below is an example of that. It won’t do anything for you that a good meal wouldn’t, but it often isn’t easy or convenient to have a good cooked meal immediately after training …use this instead.
Here’s what to do: Get some dextrose (you can buy this at any brew supply shop – it’s usually called “corn sugar” – and it only costs around $1 per pound. Supermarkets often have it too). Get some potassium-based salt substitute. You can get this at the supermarket – stuff like “Nu-Salt”, etc. If you’re not sure about it just look at the ingredients for “potassium chloride”. If that’s the main one then you’ve got it. Get a bottle of some magnesium tablets. These are only a couple of dollars and you can get them at any health-food place (again, probably the supermarket). Anything with 250 mg of magnesium per tablet is good. Get a box of regular table salt (i.e. sodium chloride). And you should get some protein powder, like I recommended in Rule #10. So here’s your grocery list:
* Bag of dextrose (also called “corn sugar”)
* Potassium-based salt substitute
* Bottle of magnesium tablets
* Box of table salt
* Protein powder
To make the shake, first figure out how much dextrose you need. Divide your bodweight in pounds by 2.2. If you’re a naturally thin guy trying to build up, then this is the number of grams of dextrose you need after a tough workout. Each heaping tablespoon of dextrose contains 20 grams. So if you weigh 154 pounds this would be 154/2.2 = 70 grams of dextrose. That would be equal to 3 and a half heaping tablespoons. Then put in 1/4 of a teaspoon of salt substitute and 1/4 of a teaspoon of salt. Throw in one magnesium tablet. Use one-third the amount of protein that you did dextrose (by the gram). So if you used 70 grams of dextrose then you’ll want 70/3 = 23 grams of protein. You can figure out how much this is by looking on the label of your protein powder and seeing how much protein is in one scoop. Now, add at least 1 quart/liter of water (more if you can) and blend it all up until the magnesium tablet is dissolved. Put it in a container and take it with you to the gym. Drink it immediately after you finish your workout (you may sip on it during the workout if there’s enough to make it worthwhile, but leave at least half of it for afterwards).
If you have a tendency to get fat, or are planning to do an “easy” workout, you’d be better off if you didn’t use as much dextrose as suggested above. Go through the calculations as usual but after you’ve calculated the amount of protein you’ll be using double this and that will be the amount of dextrose you should actually use. So, in the above example we first calculated 70 grams of dextrose and 23 grams of protein for a 154 pound person, well now we’d use 23 grams of protein and only 46 grams of dextrose (23 x 2).
As a note regarding protein powder after training, the idea is to get protein into the system fairly quickly, so the best kind of protein would be a pre-digested whey type. I really don’t trust many of the supplement companies, though. After all, several of them have been busted, several times, for lying on their product labels – and there is no regular testing of their products by any government establishment. So, really, why would I trust a company who has some drug-built monster in their ads, trying to mislead me into thinking that their product is responsible for such muscle? I usually just go with the cheapest protein powder, or the ones with no drugged-up bodybuilders endorsing them, because there’s probably not a great deal of difference in them. On the other hand, possibly the most reputable and established brands do contain what they say – but it probably doesn’t amount to a hill of beans anyway.
Getting back on track… Believe it or not, that shake doesn’t taste too bad. I’ve been using only Strawberry flavour protein powder for the past several months, so I don’t remember what the other flavours tasted like, though.
If you just don’t want to make the above shake, you can always go with yogurt. Yogurt contains high-quality protein and carbs and it digests very quickly …and if you make your own it can be pretty cheap. All you need is a packet of active yogurt culture (you can get that for a couple of dollars at a health-food store) or even just a few tablespoons of store-bought yogurt and some milk (use skim milk powder and mix some milk up – it’s cheaper). The instructions to make the yogurt will be on the culture packet or you can find it online if you’re using store-bought yogurt as your “starter”. If it’s too tart when you make it just add some dextrose (which would be ideal for after a workout) or sweetener like stevia or “Splenda” or something (especially if you’re trying to lose weight). 2 cups of yogurt will have around 18 grams of protein and 26 grams of carbs (without the dextrose added).
That’s sort of the sophisticated approach. If you can’t afford any of that, or haven’t got the patience to bother with it, then buy a bag of skim milk powder and mix up 1 – 1.5 liters (or quarts) of milk and drink it immediately after your workout – 1 liter if you’re under 170 lbs and did a fairly “easy” workout, and 1.5 liters if you’re over 170 lbs or had a “tough” workout. (I believe regular milk is better than powder – it’s less processed – but I know a lot of you might be pinched for money and milk powder is cheaper.) Milk has been supporting muscle building for a long time. In fact, some research in 2007 actually showed milk to produce a greater anabolic response after weight training than a store-bought bodybuilding supplement …sort of a slap in the face for all those companies pushing “metabolic optimizers” and supplement “stacks” based on “modern science” and nutrition theory. Modern science actually seems to support very old-fashioned milk in this case. Don’t underestimate “simple” nutrition.
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