Whether you’re starting up your fitness journey or just adding some much needed steam to your workout program, I thought it would be a good idea to talk about the foundational items you need to know if you want to grow some SERIOUS MUSCLE!
HOW MUCH You Eat is Key!
For your muscles to grow, you HAVE to eat more than your maintenance calories Nation. Your body will first consume the calories you eat to perform its essential functions then it will use the extra calories to grow. A calorie surplus is a MUST for bigger muscles. If you don’t know your maintenance calories or your BMR as we call it, you can go to the MEAL PLAN section and I have a calculator that does it for you.
My recommendation is that you eat 250 to 500 calories above your BMR per day if your goal is muscle growth.
WHAT You Eat Is Also Key!
The right ratio of protein, carbs and fat is critical for growth. Carbs are important for energy and muscle growth but in this video I want to focus on fat and protein.
Believe it or not, FAT is very important! Why? Because it helps with testosterone production! Testosterone, or the male sex hormone, is the most anabolic hormone in your body. Your body uses cholesterol to make T and saturated fats help with the transportation of cholesterol into your testicle cells which is where T is produced. If, as a male, you don’t eat enough fat, not only you will be lacking performance “where it really counts” but you also will not gain as much muscle as you could.
My number one source of saturated fats is coconut oil. I put it in my protein shake or if I’m in a hurry, I eat it right out of the container. So, in very general terms, about 20% of your calorie intake should be fats and 7% should be saturated fats. Just for your reference, my calorie goal is 3200 calories per day and I eat about 100 grams of fat with 30 grams being saturated fats per day.
Now let’s talk protein! You should be eating 1 to 1.5 grams of protein per pound of lean muscle per day. If you don’t know how many grams of protein you eat a day, you’re not serious about bodybuilding. Period! I cannot tell you how many people complain to me at the gym that they are not growing and when I ask them how much protein they’re eating, they have no idea! Proteins are made of amino acids which are the building blocks of your muscle tissue. So guess what? Not enough protein, no muscle growth. It’s that simple!
Focus on the Eccentric Part of the Exercise!
The eccentric part is the lowering part where you extend the muscle. For example, on a bicep curl, it would be when you lower the dumbbell. Here is why: when you exercise, you get micro tears in your muscles and the process of repairing this damage with new tissue is what we call muscle growth. Research has shown that you make the most “damage” to the muscle on the eccentric part of the movement. So do you want to maximize your gains? Then don’t “drop” your reps. Always go slow and controlled!
There Is No Optimal Number of Sets and Reps for Muscle Growth!
It really depends on your genetic makeup guys! If you have a higher ratio of fast twitch fibers in your muscles, good news! You can lift heavy with lower reps and that should do it for you! If you’re like me, with a higher ratio of slow twitch fibers, you will have to do a lot more sets and reps to grow muscle!
But how do you know which category you follow under? There are 2 ways: You can do a genetic fitness test with muscle genes and they will send you a report with lots of great information including which type you are OR you can just learn your body.
Experiment with high weights and lower reps for 6 weeks and then switch to high volume workouts and see which one gives you better results. There is no magical universal number!
We focus so much on the workout part that sometimes we forget that rest and recovery are just as important! When you reach deep sleep or slow wave sleep (SWS) that is when your body releases HGH or Human Growth Hormone, another key hormone for muscle growth. Also, lack of sleep lowers testosterone levels and if you want to be big and strong, the last thing you want to happen is for your T to fall below normal levels!
There you have it guys! You’re not maximizing your growth if you don’t have these five items in check!
What’s your maximum output? #HTH #SHFAthlete
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