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5 Steps to Increasing Your Muscle Mass

How-to Increase Muscle Mass

How-to Increase Muscle Mass, is not for the faint hearted, it requires grit, determination, courage, and knowledge. The 5 steps to increase your muscle mass below will help considerably towards this task. They are by no means the only steps that one could take to increase your muscle mass and there will be more to follow these 5, however, it’s an important start and one you should implement as soon as possible…

Step 1 – Provision of Calories

Doubble Front Bicep Poss

Double Front Bicep Poss

The most effective way to get bigger is a strategy combining exercise and good nutrition. It’s vital to pay attention to both halves of this formula. If you’re completing the correct exercise, but not eating adequate calories, you’ll find it impossible to increase muscle mass or strength significantly.

The key is eating regular meals (every 2 – 3 hours) and increase daily calories to 500 above your weight maintenance figure. Try to consume the high quality protein and calories you need throughout the day.

 

Step 2 – Protein Quality Over Quantity 

Increase Your Protein intake

A lack of quality protein will result in loss of muscle tissue and tone, a weaker immune system, slower recovery, and lack of energy. If your goal is to put on muscle while maintaining definition and tone, extra protein from high quality sources is a MUST. Meal replacement performance products such as Reflex, Pro-Mass, all contain whey protein to satisfy your body’s requirements. These products should not be your only protein source, but should complement the proteins in your diet such as fish and lean meats.

 

Step 3 – Overcompensation & Eliciting a Training Effect

woman doing dubble front bicep poss

Double front bicep poss

When you exert your muscles, especially during high intensity resistance training, your muscle fibres are naturally broken down. Your body overcompensates for this, so you are able to do the same amount of exercise with less effort next time. This is known as the ‘training effect’. As you train your strength increases, thanks to an increase in muscle size and increased stimulation of muscle fibres. Products like Creatine, Pro-Male will allow you to train more intensely, for example, enabling you to increase the weights you are lifting in the gym or squeezing out a few extra reps.

 

Step 4 – Help to Prevent Muscle Breakdown

SkeletalMuscleConstruction

Muscle fibres

 

 

Our bodies are in a constant state of building, repairing, and breaking down cells. By helping to prevent muscle breakdown after training, you can support your muscle and strength goals further. Formulas such as HMB can help to do this. Add them to a sensible diet and training regime, for best results.

 

Step 5 – Introduce Additional Herbs, Vitamins & Minerals to Aid Your Results

Supplements and Bodybuilding 2Herbal and amino acid formulas are popular for accelerating muscle gains. It is also important to make sure you are getting your full complement of vitamins and minerals. Immune Support and ZMA can all be used to support the vitamin and mineral needs of the bodybuilder.

Making wise choices with supplements and foods is one key towards success. The following herbs, spices or foods should be avoided in your quest to develop the perfect physique, soy, soy milk, soy protein powders, licorice, red clover, dong quai, damiana, black cohosh, verbana, motherwort, thyme, oregano, tumeric, hops – sorry guys, but beer lowers your testosterone levels, while having the opposite effects in females, bloodroot, mandrake, pennyroyal, yucca and mistletoe.

It seems like a no-brainer, if you want to maximize the testosterone and anabolic hormonal response to weight training, avoiding or minimizing the amount of estrogenic herbs, spices and foods that you eat, you should be eating organically and smartly. If you want to ensure that you are helping tilt your body to fight off estrogenic items in the environment, you should consider using dietary supplements. And perhaps overall health can ever only be obtained through eating meats and dairy items that come from farms or facilities that do not use hormones in their rearing of the animals.

Step 6 – Understanding Carbohydrate and Proteins

If you are toPotato_galettes_with_quail_eggs grow healthy, fit, or increase muscle size then you must understand what ‘Carbohydrate and Proteins’ are ALL about.

Let’s take a look at carbohydrates and proteins in this very simple to understand way.  Carbohydrate is the petrol you put in your car to power the engine, and proteins are like the mechanic who services, repairs, and fits new parts to your car.

Without carbohydrates you won’t have the required energy to breakdown muscle fibres during your workout, and without the necessary amount of protein, your body would find it hard to repair muscle fibres. In fact, it will cannibalize it from other muscles, shrinking, and inhibiting their growth in the process. You need to also understand one very important factor about cannibalized proteins from muscles, it will not aid in cell growth, understand your body will not use this protein to increase ‘MUSCLE VOLUME’.

 

Keep coming back, because there are more Steps coming later…

 

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Carbohydrate And Your Muscle Growth

 Carbohydrates & Your Muscle Growth

Could What You Think About Carbohydrate And Muscle Growth be ‘Wrong’?

What you need to know about carbohydrate

In my experience most, if not all, bodybuilders tend to focus far too much on the amount of protein they have in their daily diet, believing, because that’s what they are told, that protein is the most singular important muscle building foods, and ignore ‘Carbohydrates’ at their own peril.

What most people tend to be afraid of is weight gain, but carbohydrates are very important when training hard and for ‘Protein’ synthesis, more on this subject later. Diets like the ‘The Atkins Diet’, has left lots of people very bewildered over whether or not to eat carbohydrate, which must be bad for you.

The American Dietetic Association also has concerns about the Atkins diet. Gail Frank, PhD, former spokeswoman for the organization and professor of nutrition at California State University in Long Beach, says, “The body needs a minimum of carbohydrates for efficient and healthy functioning — about 150 grams daily.” Below that, normal metabolic activity is disrupted…source http://www.webmd.com/diet/atkins-diet-what-it-is

I know it’s true that if you need to control your weight, then you may need to control your carbohydrate intake, but if you want to gain muscle mass, then it’s important to ensure that you’re consuming enough of the right carbohydrate within your diet and at the right times.

Unfortunately, this is a huge and very complex issue, so I will do my best and concentrate on the three main reasons ‘why’ carbohydrate is important for muscle growth…

1.‘Why’ is carbohydrate so important

First, it’s important to know that carbohydrate is stored within your body’s muscles, called glycogen, and when you train hard this stored carbohydrate get’s used by the muscle as energy.

As you continual to train hard, the glycogen stores in your muscles becomes depleted, this is because your muscles can only store a limited amount of glycogen. As the glycogen starts to run out, your body starts to consume protein, and fats, for energy, which is also stored in your muscles too!

This is the reason ‘Why’ we loss energy if we haven’t eaten at least one hour before we train. If it’s normal for your energy levels to drop during your workouts or if you are left feeling a bit lethargic towards the end of the week, then try this little trick, which will help to keep your energy levels up for your next workout. In turn helping you safeguard against muscle lose too…you will notice a massive difference in your workouts.

Don’t worry about storing this carbohydrate as fat, because your body will use the carbohydrate in the drink burning it off as you train. The important thing here is to stop your body’s carbohydrate levels from crashing, leaving you feeling lethargic when you train next time around.

2. ‘How’ does carbohydrate help build more muscle

‘Now’ this is probably the most miss-understood or unknown fact, among bodybuilding’s today. But did you know that carbohydrate and protein need to work together to help stimulate muscle growth…’Yes’ suck on that fact one more time…”Carbohydrate and protein need to work together to help stimulate muscle growth”.

It doesn’t matter which one you cut out, by doing so you will seriously jeopardise any real kind of muscle size progress. 

‘Now’, listen up, because this is the real exciting news…’Carbohydrate helps to lower ‘Cortisol’ levels’!

Cortisol is known as a stress hormone and is the number one killer of muscle growth. So ‘what’ is cortisol and ‘why’ is it a nasty hormone to promote when training.

Well cortisol as an important role to pay to help repair body tissue. You see when cells brake down; cortisol eats the damaged cells so your body can replace them with newly created ones.  

Ok I here you saying, so ‘How’ can that be a bad think, one of the things I do, as a bodybuilder, is brake down muscle tissues during training so that when they are fully repaired they grow. The problem starts when your body over produces this hormone and at a consist level, because when there is no damaged cells to consume they start consuming muscle fibres…therefore, a lot of cortisol will stop any muscle growth!

Some Japanese researcher as shown that when your blood sugar levels drop during exercise, cortisol levels go UP also! But by consuming a carbohydrate drink during your training these levels are kept in check, even lowering cortisol levels.  

Some interesting research published in the International Journal of Sports Medicine’, indicated that drinking carbohydrates when exercising dramatically strengthened the immune system. This helps to keep infections or illnesses at bay, as these slow down your training periods and healing times.

So next time you train, make sure that you keep up your carbohydrate levels and the more muscle you will build!

3. Will Excess carbohydrate get stored as fat

The answer to this question is an easy one to answer…no…’Not’ if you take it during you training session!

Normally, when you eat food that is high in carbohydrates this prompts your body to store any surplus carbohydrates in the fat cells, but when you exercise this activity prevents any release of the fat-storing hormones.

Therefore, it’s very unlikely that drinking carbohydrates during your training session will lead to any form of fat gain.

In fact, take another look at the above 3 main points again, which  clearly show that drinking carbohydrates as tons of advantages, more energy, more power to lift more weight for more reps, or maintain far higher levels of intensity during aerobic exercise, such as running or cycling, especially toward the end of your session, for example.

Remember that protein can’t work without carbohydrates; therefore, you shouldn’t shy away from a-least giving it a go.

Getting your timing right

How to time your protein intake for maximum muscle growth – just when should I eat?

If you intend to train to purely build muscle mass without gaining any body fat, then you need to pay close attention to the timing of your meals. This is also a very hit & miss affair among many bodybuilders.

One thing is for sure, you must learn to feed your muscles 24/7, because muscle can take anywhere from 4 to 7 days to repair and a constant supply of nutrients, proteins and carbohydrates, are required to active that goal…so aim to eat 4 – 5 small meals a day.

Some very interesting studies have thrown up some extraordinary results, they discovered that consuming protein and/or carbohydrates directly before’, and straight after’ exercise, dramatically increased muscle growth…something we older bodybuilders kind-of realised some years back.

In one study scientists supplied bodybuilders with either a protein or carbohydrate drink either right after their training session or up to three hours later. There was a far greater muscle growth when taken IMMEDIATY after their training session, compared to those who consumed it up to three hours later, as general rule you should take a protein or carbohydrate drink within 30 – 45 mines of training

‘Now’ if you think that’s good news then think again, because still further research done by the University of Texas, has conclusively shown that taking a protein drink along with a carbohydrate drink ‘Before’ you train as a greater effect upon muscle growth.

This they believe is due to the increased blood flow during your exercise session, compared to the lower volumes during rest, transporting more blood faster to the muscles during training, helping to start the repair process quicker.

What you really have to bear in mind is this; by combining pre-exercise protein with post-exercise protein and carbohydrate, you are infect delivering a very powerful anabolic boost, virtually guaranteeing you much quicker muscle growth.

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