Want to reach new heights in your workout program? Tired of slow and sluggish muscle building results that just aren’t on par with the amount of time you’re spending in the gym? If you feel like you need to do something to give yourself a boost, the following tips are going to help you do just that.
You need to remember that for optimal muscle building, you’ll want to take all factors into account – nutrition, exercise, as well as lifestyle.
Everything you do adds up, so the more you can get everything working in your favor, the better your chances of seeing the success you desire.
Here’s what to know.
Eating For Muscle Growth
When it comes to muscle growth – or fat loss – success, about 80% of the results you see can be attributed to your diet plan.
Simply put, nothing is going to matter more than eating the right foods on a day to day basis. Nothing.
It’s time to get this right once and for all so it’s not the missing link in your picture any longer.
When seeing up a muscle building, testosterone boosting diet plan, you need to focus on four key things.
1. Sufficient calories.
2. Sufficient fats, especially saturated fats
3. Adequate protein
4. Properly timed carbohydrates
Getting in adequate calories is the first must do for success. If you don’t eat enough energy, it won’t matter what you do, you aren’t going to be seeing the muscle building results you’re looking for. It’d be like trying to build a house without the bricks – you wouldn’t get very far. Aim for at least 17 calories per pound of body weight and if you aren’t gaining at that intake, increase it up higher from there.
Next, you need to check your fat content. This is one place where so many men go wrong because they figure lower fat diets will help build leaner mass tissue.
The opposite is true. Dietary fats are required for the generation of testosterone, so are a must have in your diet plan. Saturated fat in particular is very important as testosterone is made up of cholesterol.
In fact, one study published by the American Society For Clinical Nutrition noted that subjects who consumed diets made up of either 18.8% dietary fat or 41% dietary fat and those with the higher fat diets noticed testosterone levels 15% higher.
In addition to that, since dietary fat is so calorie dense, it can help you reach your overall intake needs.
While you obviously don’t want to go sky-high for health reasons with this nutrient, don’t go too low either. Around 30% of your diet should come from fats, with 15-20% of your fat intake coming from saturated sources.
You also want to make sure you’re getting in adequate protein as well. As you work to increase your testosterone, this is going to mean that protein synthesis is taking place at a faster rate. That then means that you need to provide more protein in order to complete the protein synthesis process.
Men who eat a little additional protein while working to boost their testosterone levels will see superior results compare to those who don’t.
The standard recommendation for protein is set at one gram per pound of body weight each day, but you could increase this to 1.2-1.25 grams/lb to see superior results.
Finally, you need to make sure your carbohydrate is in check. The right carbohydrates are going to help ensure that you are able to fuel each intense workout session that you do and make sure that you are boosting insulin as well, the most anabolic hormone in the body next to testosterone.
Carbohydrates should be timed so you’re taking your highest dosage right before and after the workout period when your body is most in need of those nutrients.
Keep your carbohydrate choices the rest of the day also focused around slower digesting, complex carbohydrates such as brown rice, sweet potatoes, oatmeal, quinoa, and barley, along with the high fiber vegetables that provide a wealth of nutrients as well.
It should also be noted that in order to maximize your testosterone levels, you’ll also want to be sure that you are not eating highly processed foods or a large intake of sugar. Sugar will really decrease overall testosterone production, so you definitely want to aim to steer clear of it as best as possible.
If you take all of these into account as you go about your diet plan, you can rest assured you’ve set up a diet primed for muscle growth.
Supplementing For Muscle Growth
When it comes to supplementing for muscle growth, there are a number of key factors to remember. First, you’ll want to get a good quality protein powder to use right after your workout session. Your muscles are hungry at this point for protein, so supplying it should be a top priority.
After that, you’ll also want to ensure that you are getting a good testosterone boosting supplement. Find one that contains both naturally occurring herbs along with key nutrients designed to increase testosterone levels.
You’ll also want to add some fish oil to your supplement regime as well. Fish oil is important because it will deliver you the omega-3 fats that you need to maintain adequate insulin sensitivity, which boosts your lean muscle mass generation. Those who are insulin resistant are more likely to gain body fat in the face of higher calorie intakes than lean muscle tissue.
Fish oil will also help to speed up your recovery rate as well, ensuring you come back to each workout feeling stronger than before.
You don’t need many supplements to see excellent results – use these three and you will be on the road to results.
Training For Muscle Growth
Finally, the last piece of the equation is training for muscle growth. Since the weight lifting stimulus is what sparks your muscle growth in the first place, you clearly want this to be on track as well or you’ll just be gaining body fat rather than lean muscle mass.
In terms of training for muscle growth, you need to remember to lift heavy and make sure your workouts are intense.
By nature, if you are lifting heavy weights, this will add an element of intensity into your session as-is, but in addition to that, you should also focus on a few other factors.
First, you want to ensure you are using compound exercises. This includes moves such as squats, deadlifts, lunges, the bench press, the shoulder press, and bent over rows.
These exercises are going to earn top marks for muscle mass building because they work so many muscle fibers at once, giving you a higher testosterone release and working more overall muscle tissues in the process as well.
In addition to that, you should aim to keep your rest periods on the shorter side as well. If you let your rest periods drag on too long, this will decrease the intensity level and could mean stagnant results as well.
One study published in the International Journal of Sports Medicine noted that subjects who utilized one minute rest periods versus subjects who utilized a three minute rest period between sets showed a marked increase in the anabolic hormone profile present in their body after training.
That said, you don’t want to decrease your rest periods so much that you sacrifice good form. Proper form is an absolute must, so never compromise this. You should, at minimum, rest for 30 seconds during isolation exercises, and 60 seconds during compound exercises unless you’re doing a drop set or superset protocol.
You’ll want to also monitor your work to rest ratio throughout the week as well. Remember, you only build muscle and get stronger when you’re at rest. When you’re in the gym, you’re actually breaking your muscles down, causing them to grow weaker.
Sacrifice rest and you simply stay in that weakened state. You should ideally have 1-2 days off each week, preferably spread out for full recovery purposes.
Keep your cardio training limited for optimal strength and muscle gains as well. If you are doing too much cardio, this can counteract the muscle building stimulus you’re sending your body through heavy lifting and it can compromise recovery as well.
One study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism noted that when men increased training mileage up to 56km’s/week, they showed a significant decreases in total testosterone as well as free androgen levels. Both of these would seriously counteract the hard work you’re putting forward in your gym sessions.
If you’re going to do cardio, do either one sprint session per week or two, moderate paced sessions of 15-20 minutes.
So there you have the main elements to get lined up in your mass building program. If you get these all set up and into the picture, you should be well on your way to seeing unstoppable muscle gains.
Campbell, W.S. et al. (1996). Effects of dietary fat and fiber on plasma and urine androgens and estrogens in men: a controlled feeding study. The American Society For Clinical Nutrition. Vol. 64, No. 6.
Gordon, S.E. et al. (1991). Endogenous Anabolic Hormonal And Growth Factor Responses To Heavy Resistance Exercise In Males and Females. International Journal of Sports And Medicine. 12(2):228-235.
Cumming, D.C. et al. (1990). Endurance Training Decreases Serum Testosterone Levels in Men without Change in Luteinizing Hormone Pulsatile Release. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. Vol. 72, Issue 2.