The main components of muscle growth are regular training and proper nutrition. Moreover, as a rule, proper nutrition is the key to success. It’s not enough to just eat more protein . You need to count calories , BZHU and observe the diet.
Yes, planning is an additional “work”, and most athletes are too lazy to do this. But it is precisely the understanding of what proper nutrition should be for muscle growth, as well as the ability to apply this knowledge in practice, distinguishes bodybuilders from the cover from ordinary visitors to the gym.
Not sure where to start? Remember the 10 rules that will help you with building muscle.
# 1 - MORE CALORIES
An increase in calorie intake by only 100-200 calories per day (so as not to gain too much fat) will not help you steadily build muscle. The increase in metabolic rate caused by the increase in calorie content already “eats” half of these additional calories. Because of this, muscle growth will be so slow that you will not notice it. And the lack of visible progress always leads to a loss of motivation.
For muscle growth, you need a 10-20 percent caloric surplus . For a thin guy, 2000 calories per day is not only not enough to gain muscle mass, but vice versa, such a diet can lead to muscle loss (the body will get rid of muscle fibers, which are not enough energy to maintain). How to calculate calories for stable muscle growth can be found in the article Nutrition for gaining muscle mass: Calories and BJU . On average, a calorie surplus will be 500 kcal above normal.
It is not possible to gain exceptionally lean muscle mass. Weight gain will come from both muscle and fat. Limit fast carbohydrates so you don't get too much. You can also add cardio 2-3 times a week, for example - Interval running .
# 2 - REGULAR POWER
Do not skip scheduled meals. You should never be hungry! How many times a day you will eat is not as important for muscle growth as the total number of calories and BJU . It’s not always possible to consume 1000 calories at a time, so many bodybuilding professionals recommend 4-5 meals a day to gain the right amount. Eat as and when it is convenient for you - most importantly, do not endure hunger and watch for calories and proteins / fats / carbohydrates . It makes no sense to plan 5 meals if you can not adhere to such a regime every day.
# 3 - PROTEIN COCKTAILS AND GINERS
When it’s hard to gain 3,000 to 4,000 calories from regular, “tough” foods, you can use protein shakes and gainers.
A gainer is a protein-carbohydrate mixture containing digestible proteins and carbohydrates. Choose weight gainers containing high-quality protein ( isolate or concentrate ), pay attention to the caloric content of the mixture (it should not be too high - all the "extra" calories go to fat).
Want to make a gainer at home ? Take cottage cheese and / or whey protein, oatmeal, nuts, banana, or other sweet fruits / berries. Mix everything with a blender and you will get a great cocktail that can serve as a separate meal!
# 4 - PROTEIN CONTAINING PRODUCTS
For muscle growth, you must always monitor the amount of protein obtained from food. On average, you need to use 1.5-2.5 g of protein per 1 kg of body weight. Foods like sausages, sausages, meatballs and ravioli (semi-finished industrial products) are low-quality sources of protein that contain harmful fats and excess carbohydrates (starch and flour), as well as preservatives and flavor enhancers. Buy lean meat (chicken, turkey, beef, liver), fish (including fatty), and seafood. Eat more egg whites (yolks need to be limited to 2 pcs per day) - this type of protein has the best set of essential amino acids. Choose cottage cheese and other dairy products with low% fat. But it is not necessary to buy cottage cheese 0%. You can use 5% or even 9%. In addition to animal protein, include vegetable (legumes, nuts) in the diet.
# 5 - USEFUL FAT
Very often, planning the right diet for muscle growth, we calculate proteins and carbohydrates, and we minimize fats in order to gain lean muscle mass and as little fat as possible. This is mistake! If you consume too little fat, then the level of testosterone decreases. This hormone plays a key role in muscle growth. In addition to helping testosterone maintain strong bones, maintains red blood cells and is responsible for libido, this hormone is also indispensable for muscle growth and strength.
Healthy fats - Omega-3 and Omega-6 are found in fatty fish, nuts, vegetable oil (linseed, olive, etc.). Be sure to include these foods in your nutrition plan.
# 6 - CORRECT NUTRITION BEFORE AND AFTER WORKOUT
For maximum results, pay attention to nutrition before and after training . The foods consumed at this time have a direct impact on the effectiveness of the workout and recovery from it.
30-60 minutes before training and 30-60 minutes after it you need to provide yourself with enough energy and building material. Carbohydrates are the main source of energy, and proteins are the building blocks for muscle growth. The fat content in these meals should be minimal, as it is digested longer and slows the absorption of proteins and carbohydrates.
# 7 - BEFORE NUTRITION
During sleep, muscle recovery and growth occurs. Proteins consumed with food are broken down into amino acids and are used to build new muscle fibers. Protein “loading” before bedtime will also protect you from catabolism (muscle destruction) during the 8-hour period of “fasting” while you sleep.
Slow-digesting proteins, such as cottage cheese or casein protein, are best at night.
If you are hard to gain muscle mass, then take a protein shake at night, but only if you wake up yourself, and not by the alarm clock (you can drink a couple of glasses of water before bedtime).
# 8 - BODY TYPE
You need to plan meals according to your body type .
Ectomorphs need much more calories, carbohydrates and even fats. Endomorphs, on the contrary, are more careful in increasing caloric intake, so as not to gain too much excess fat.
Mesomorphs were the luckiest - they achieve good results with an increase in calories by 10-20%.
# 9 - CARBOHYDRATE CONSUMPTION TIME
For a set of lean muscle mass it is not necessary to completely abandon fast carbohydrates . But it’s best to use them in the morning , after an eight-hour “hunger”, when you need readily available energy, and also after training to replenish glycogen stores and provide the body with energy for muscle recovery and growth.
Slow carbohydrates, eat when you need to provide energy to the body for a long time - for breakfast, lunch, 1-2 hours before training.
Eating a couple of hours before a workout must necessarily contain a sufficient amount of slow carbohydrates so that you have a lot of energy during training.
# 10 - DAY PLAN
Try to plan your menu in advance for the day — what, when, and how much. A well-thought-out plan is already half the success. It’s not enough to just “eat more” for muscle growth, just as eating less is not enough for drying . Calorie counting is indispensable. You may think that you are eating in excess, but in fact there are too few calories to ensure muscle growth. At first, it might seem that counting BJC and calories is long and difficult, but over time you will remember the composition of the foods that you regularly eat and calculations will take 10-15 minutes a day.