The ideal mass building plan is one that will allow your whole body to grow proportionately. Quite a lot of gym buffs make the mistake of going overboard in their journey to bulk up that all the food intake ends up in their belly. Some, on the other hand, are very precise in putting together their meals but are never able to store enough for one sitting.
For your mass building journey to be successful, there are two key elements that you always have to keep in mind. First, eat the right amount of food at the right time of day. Second, eat the right types of food at specific times of the day. Doing one or the other is not enough. To make this effective, you have to do both simultaneously and religiously.
Try these mass building tips for yourself and compare the effects it will have on your physique. Most importantly, in the end of this experiment, you will have created for yourself a personalized muscle-building nutrition program that will synchronize right in with your workout training.
Small Frequent Meals
Eating for three to five times a day will not be enough to maximize your muscle growth and mass building. Instead, try pushing for six to seven smaller meals a day. Portion your meals into smaller servings with the appropriate amount of calories, protein, and carbohydrates.
Smaller meals can easily be absorbed and digested by your body. This means that it will generate more amino acids, vitamins, and minerals compared to eating fewer larger meals per day. More frequent meals also increase testosterone and insulin levels while driving down your cortisol levels. In other words, it increases the hormones that drive muscle growth while lowering the effects of the growth-inhibiting hormone released by your body during workouts.
Ramp Up Your Protein Intake
Protein is composed of amino acids which are the building blocks of muscle tissue. Appropriate amounts of amino acids are therefore necessary to build muscle in its maximum capacity. You need to consume at least one gram of protein per pound of your body weight daily. For example, if you weigh 190 pounds, you need 190 grams of protein in your daily diet.
It is wise to divide the amount of protein required into the six to seven meals per day that you will have. This ensures that you have a consistent amount of protein in your system for 24 hours. Likewise, your body maximizes the nutrition it receives from the protein for effective mass building.
Make Necessary Protein Intake Adjustments
Mass building is an entire process that sometimes needs re-calibration. Religiously do the one gram per pound protein rule for two to three weeks. If results still don’t show and you are not seeing much gains, make the necessary adjustments to your protein consumption. Re-schedule your protein intake to these two critical times: after workout and in the middle of the night.
For post-workout, double your protein intake to 40 to 60 grams through a fast-acting whey protein drink. This gives your system an immediate protein boost and shoots amino acids up your bloodstream within the 30-minute critical post-workout nutritional window.
At midnight, down another 30 to 40 grams of protein shake. This midnight “snack” will keep your body in an anabolic state overnight. It will ensure that you have enough nutrients for your body to feed on and avoid it from burning your muscles.
Ramp Up The Carbs
Carbohydrates help amino acids transport from the food to your muscles so they can be made into new muscle tissue. It works side by side with protein in amplifying your mass building. Your body also uses carbs to repair damaged muscle tissues from workouts. It is stored in your muscles in the form of glycogen which is an additional source of energy.
For mass building, it is best to split your carb intake over the first 5 or 6 meals of the day. As much as possible, keep the last meal of the day carb-free. The optimal carb to weight ratio is 2 grams per pound of body weight, twice as much as the protein intake.
Adjust Carb Intake
Like your protein intake, carb ingestion is part of the mass building process that sometimes needs some tweaking. In case the standard “2 grams per pound of body weight” ratio doesn’t show results after two to three weeks, make some adjustments. Bump up your carb intake by 50% of your usual serving on the first meal of the day and post-workout.
Increasing your carb intake during breakfast helps in kick-starting your metabolism upon waking up. A healthier metabolism increases your potential for mass building. When paired with protein every morning, carbs also help in halting the protein breakdown that usually happens while you are asleep.
Distinguish Good Fats from Bad Fats
One of the most common misconceptions among those trying to gain muscle is that all types of fats are equal. However, there are good fats and bad fats. It’s important to know how to distinguish between the two to manage your intake.
Healthy fats such as omega 3 and omega 6 can boost your body to gain mass. Some specific examples of food you can include in your diet are salmon, nuts, seeds, avocados, and healthy oils like olive and canola. Intake of other types of fats should be minimized, but continue consuming lean meat, chicken breast, turkey breast, and eggs. Saturated fat and cholesterol are necessary for muscle growth and mass building.
Make Fiber Part of Your Diet
Fiber helps in digesting the food that you eat. Usually, the digestive system of hardgainers on mass building diets cannot handle all the additional calories. By upping your fiber intake, you will get the most out of your nutritional diet by flushing out the unnecessary contents of what you have consumed.
Some common examples of healthy fiber sources are brown rice, oatmeal, and vegetables. It is best to include these fiber-rich goods in most of your meals except for pre-workout and post-workout meals. A general rule is to include a couple of servings of vegetables in up to 6 meals a day.
Hydrate Hydrate Hydrate
Generally, most people just don’t drink enough water. If you want to gain mass, keeping hydrated at all times is essential. Water not only keeps your digestive system healthy in processing food intake, but it also increases strength and performance.
It is advisable to drink a gallon of water a day if you are trying to build mass. Feel free to intake other fluids in addition to your water consumption. Sports drinks usually give a quick boost of hydration, which can help replenish your body if its much-needed fluids.