In previous articles, we looked at various characteristics that your workouts would have to have for maximum muscle building. But training is only one part of the overall process.
Your muscle building program will never be ‘complete’ unless you have the right diet.
When trying to building muscle, the first thing you need to think about is your overall caloric intake. You’ve heard it a million times, and it’s true – gaining weight and losing weight is all about calories in vs. calories out. If you consume more calories than you burn up, then you’re going to gain weight. If you burn up more calories than you consume, then you’re going to lose weight. It’s as simple as that.
Now, most people think of that little equation when they want to lose weight, or keep from gaining fat. They’re usually worried that if they take in more calories than they burn up, they’re gonna gain weight, and that weight is going to be fat. Now, for the most part, that’s true. However, the same principles apply when talking about putting on muscle.
See, you can never put on more bodyweight (be it muscle or fat) unless you’re consuming enough calories. You’ll never add 20 pounds of lean muscle or add an inch to your arms when if you’re barely eating. It just won’t happen. It would be like trying to build a huge office building with only one truckload of bricks. It’s just not going to be enough.
So the first thing you need to make sure of is that you’re eating enough. You don’t have to go crazy and eat 8000 or 9000 calories per day like some of the bodybuilding magazines tell you to do. You can start off by just adding 500 calories per day to your diet – that will do a lot more than you probably think. And 500 calories isn’t that much on a daily basis – you wouldn’t be adding crazy amounts of food to what you already consume.
If you’re really small and have a fast metabolism, you could even go for 1000 extra calories per day. (I’ve got a fairly extreme example you could follow that I’ll tell you about at the end of this article.)
After ensuring that you’re consuming enough calories, you need to make sure that a fair number of those calories are coming from protein.
Protein essentially is muscle. Protein is made up of amino acids, and it’s amino acids that are known as the “building blocks of muscle”. So when you consume protein, you’re consuming the very thing that’s going to directly go toward building extra muscle. So you have to make sure your protein consumption is high.
That doesn’t mean you have to go totally overboard, though. There are some recommendations out there that are just nuts – 2-2.5 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight, 400-500 grams of protein per day…wow. That’s nuts.
For more no nonsense muscle building information then check out No Nonsense Muscle Building #1.