There is so much information and advice out there it can at time be really overwhelming. If you are looking
for the basics for some simple rules for keeping and adding lean muscle mass without getting fat, read ahead.
If we all followed every piece of nutritional advice, we wouldn't have time to eat, train or sleep because
we'd be so busy preparing food and timing supplements.
That isn't to say nutritional advances such as prebiotics, probiotics and thermogenics aren't valid, but you
have to determine which ones are right for you. It sounds as if you're a "back to basics" kind of guy, and
fitFLEX respects that. If your goal is to train and eat to get big, we can certainly help.
Here are our top nutritional guidelines in descending order of importance.
You can't add mass without providing your body with a surplus of calories. No amount of training and
macronutrient manipulation will allow you to put on muscle unless you consume more than you burn. Of course,
indiscriminate eating can lead to the wrong kind of weight gain, so adding muscle isn't just a matter of
gorging on, say, doughnuts.
Muscle requires an adequate supply of protein in order to recover and build. We recommend you eat
at least one gram of protein per pound of bodyweight. For instance, if you weigh 180 pounds, you need a
minimum of 180 grams of protein each day. Roughly, that equates to a little more than a pound and a half of
lean red meat, but other protein sources, such as fowl, fish, milk, peanut butter, eggs, whey and soy, are
all viable as well. If you want to keep it simple, don't worry too much about where you get your protein; just
make sure you get it.
EAT COMPLEX CARBS
Starchy carbs such as rice, pasta and potatoes help feed your body, allowing protein to be
spared for muscle building. It's difficult to put on much size without complex carbs. However, carbs are easy
to eat and full of calories - over consumption of carbs will quickly pack on the pudge, so try to keep
overall carbohydrate consumption to about half of your daily food intake.
EAT HEALTHY FATS
All fats are not created equal. Fat such as that found in avocados, olives and fish has long
been overlooked because of the stigma attached to saturated fats and even their undeserved reputation for
making you fat, but the problem with bodyfat comes more from excess calories than excess fat. Mono- and
polyunsaturated fats (which tend to be liquid at room temperature) are a necessary part of the muscle-building
process. They provide an important energy source to improve workouts and help supply the body with the basics
for making hormones. Total fat should account for about 20% of your daily intake, with saturated
(animal-derived) fats accounting for one-third to no more than half that amount.
As an athlete, keeping your body hydrated is essential: You can't perform at your best without
hydrated cells, Bodybuilders need much more water than sedentary people, who require eight eight-ounce
glasses of water per day. We recommend that bodybuilders drink almost twice that amount. That may sound
excessive, but you do get to count a portion of the fluids in milk and juice, as well as that in caffeinated
beverages, such as tea, coffee and sodas. Still, there is no substitute for pure water. Drink as much as you
In addition to following these basics, consider supplementation. Again, the supplements you
choose to take will be based on your needs and your sense of how well they work for you. Here is a list of
basics presented in general order of importance: glutamine, creatine, multivitamin and multimineral. Other
supplements can provide a host of benefits, but these are the supplements to consider first in the most basic
bodybuilding diet. As you've noted, it's easy to make bodybuilding nutrition much more complicated with
complex schemes of timing and dosages, some of which may provide you with slightly better results. However,
90% of bodybuilding nutrition is in the food itself. Eat the proper quantity and quality and you'll obtain
the results you're seeking without giving yourself a headache.