Image : Amy Texter
In order to build some serious muscle, you need to have every single nutrient directed at the right place. Unfortunately, if you push your body too hard, it will need all the substance you are already providing just to function properly, so it would be virtually impossible for it to gain any muscle mass. This is what is commonly known as catabolism. Because of this, you need to know how to organize your trainings, your nutrition and your lifestyle in general in order not to enter a catabolic state. Here are some tips that we hope you might find to be of assistance.
The first thing that you need to do in order to remain in an anabolic state is to you eat enough. However, knowing how much is enough may not be that easy. First of all, these things are quite situational, which means that what is enough for one person may be much more or much less than someone else needs. The factors that affect this are gender, age, size and how active a person is.
For example, a 200lb male in his twenties, with 4-5 hours of trainings a week would need around 3,000 calories a day just to maintain his weight. Still, in order to gain some muscle mass, he would have to eat more (a lot more) than that. Even though counting this may seem quite complicated it is in fact quite simple and there are numerous online calculators you can use to keep things simple.
Not everything is just about the quantity of nutrients you intake every day, and their nature plays a significant role as well. First of all, you need every single nutrient out there for your body to function properly, which means that you need proteins, fats and carbohydrates alike. Naturally, if you are serious about muscle building, you need to up your daily protein intake. What this means is that you should turn to nutrients such as lean meat (preferably chicken) and fish. However, even though these three groups (carbs, fats, proteins) are of major significance, you also need to get your dosage of vitamins and minerals every day. For this reason alone, your side dishes in the form of salads, fruit and vegetables are equally as important.
Frequency, pre-training meal and supplements
Even though there are those who claim that the frequency of meals has no effect on your weight gain/loss ratio, eating frequently can prevent you from entering a catatonic state. Everyone knows that eating before training can make you nauseous and reduce your athletic performance, however in order to remain anabolic you must at least have a snack before training. Your safest choice is to have either a banana or a power bar. Last but in no way the least important tip is that you shouldn’t avoid supplements. People always fear what they are not familiar with, but consuming Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Whey on a regular basis can make a significant contribution to your athletic performance, without any fabled side-effects.
Do not over-train
Finally, what you want is for your training to help these nutrients make muscles, but by pushing yourself too hard, you will make this impossible. This is why you do not want to over-train or push yourself too hard. What exhausts your body the most (and consumes the most nutrients) are strenuous cardio sessions (like sprinting), which is why you should abstain from doing so more than 4 times a week. If you absolutely feel compelled to do it more often, it might be for the best if you were to tune down the intensity of these trainings.
Building muscles is a long and difficult process and not something you just do for an hour or two in the gym every day. This being said, in order to do so successfully, what you need to do is adjust your entire lifestyle to get optimal results. So, what you eat is as important as how much you exercise. Moreover, you need to turn your body into an ally. This is why you need to avoid catabolism for as much as you can.