2 Common Gym Trainess Mistakes Must Avoid
#1 – Provide your body with a surplus of calories by ensuring that your caloric intake exceeds your caloric expenditure.
Beyond planning a proper workout schedule with all of the right exercises, sets, reps and rest periods lies this one simple rule of muscle growth… In order to build muscle, you must consume more calories than you burn!
This is a basic biological law of muscle growth, and if you fail to consume an adequate number of calories per day you will NOT build muscle, plain and simple. The work that you perform in the gym is simply the “spark” that sets the muscle growth process into motion. However, the REAL magic takes place when you are out of the gym, resting and eating. This is when your body will use the nutrients that you consume to begin repairing your damaged muscles and increasing their size and strength in preparation for your next workout.
If you don’t provide your body with the raw materials needed to facilitate growth, this process simply cannot take place.
In order to provide your body with the calories necessary to fuel muscle growth and to keep your body in an anabolic, muscle-building state at all times, you should be consuming anywhere from 17-20x your bodyweight in calories every single day. So if you weigh 150 pounds…
150 x 17 = 2550
150 x 20 = 3000
Then you should be consuming anywhere from 2550-3000 daily in order to build muscle.
a) Your Metabolic Rate – Are you naturally thin and have a hard time gaining weight? Or do you seem to put on body fat just by looking at food? Depending on your overall body type you can adjust the number higher or lower.
b) Your Activity Level – Do you play sports or work a physically strenuous job? If so, you’ll need to consume more calories in order to compensate. If you’re fairly sedentary and aren’t very physically active (besides your weight workouts of course), then you probably won’t need as many calories as someone who is more active.
c) Your Goals – Are you aiming to bulk up and build as much overall body mass as you possibly can? If so, you’ll obviously want to consume as many calories as you reasonably can. Are you simply trying to build a little bit of extra muscle and look better overall? If so, then a slight caloric increase is all you’ll need. Based on these 3 factors above you can decide where to place yourself on the caloric range.
Do NOT overlook this aspect of the muscle growth process!
Most trainees are so concerned with their workouts that they highly underestimate the importance of proper nutrition. If anything, nutrition is even MORE important than what you accomplish in the gym.
If you fail to eat properly by not providing your body with an adequate number of calories each day, building muscle will be physically impossible.
#2 – Consume the right types of calories from the proper food sources.
We’ve just established that in order to build muscle, you’ll need to always ensure that your caloric intake exceeds your caloric expenditure. That’s all fine and dandy, but it really only tells us half of the story.
Sit down and feast on big macs, ice cream cones and potato chips and your caloric intake would easily exceed your caloric expenditure… but do you think this would be an intelligent approach to building muscle?
Of course not. You need to realize this…
All calories are NOT created equally!
The raw number of calories that you consume determines whether you’ll lose weight, maintain your weight or gain weight… but it is the type of calories that will determine what kind of bodyweight is lost or gained (lean muscle mass, fat, water etc.)
Your obvious goal is to build lean muscle mass while keeping body fat gains at a minimum, and therefore you’ll need to focus on consuming the right types of calories from the proper food sources.
The 3 main food groups that you should be concerned with are…
1) High Quality Protein – Protein builds and repairs muscle tissue and is the most important nutrient for those trying to increase their lean mass. Stick to high quality, easily absorbed sources such as lean red meat, poultry, fish, eggs, skim milk, cottage cheese, peanuts/natural peanut butter and whey.
2) High Fiber, Low Glycemic Carbohydrates – Carbohydrates aid in the absorption of protein, provide your muscles and brain with energy throughout the day and also help to maintain an optimal hormonal environment within the body.
Stick to slow-release, low-glycemic sources that will provide you with a steady stream of sugars throughout the day such as oatmeal, yams, certain fruits, brown rice and whole wheat products.
3) Healthy, Unsaturated Fats – Not all fats will make you fat, and essential fatty acids fit that profile. EFA’s are highly beneficial to the muscle growth process by increasing testosterone levels, improving the metabolism and volumizing the muscle cells. Some good sources of EFA’s include fatty fish, nuts, seeds, avocados and liquids like flaxseed and olive oil. These 3 food groups should make up the bulk of your diet, and should be spread out over the course of about 5-7 small meals daily. It may seem like a lot of work at first, but over time you’ll get used to it.
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Filed under: Body Building
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