Wanna know how to add muscle? Eat Better. These 5 tips will help you put on good, lean, muscle.
So you wanna put on weight and get jacked because, well, why the hell wouldn’t you? You’ve looked through 1R, picked up a workout plan, and maybe thought to yourself, “Yeah this workout plan is money, and I’m down with weight gainers and creatine, but this nutrition plan thing is NOT my style…” Join the club. “Diets” aren’t fun, and if you’re like me, you’re probably just looking for an easier way to get the same results.
Well, you’re in luck you animals. If a nutrition plan is too hard to follow and you’re just looking for some guidelines, like my 10 Foods to Get You Jacked piece, that’ll help you get shredded without forcing you to over think it, peep the below and be on your way.
1. Eat a big breakfast
You’ve probably heard it a thousand times: breakfast is hands down the most important meal of the day. Why? Because after 7-8 hours of sleep, or likely 10-12 if you’re still in the dorms, your body’s been starving for an extended period of time. Eating a big breakfast fires up your metabolism, makes you less hungry the rest of the day, and helps refuel your muscles from the night before.
What’s a good breakfast? Complex carbs (think oatmeal, with protein powder and berries), some protein (go hard at those eggs, Rocky style), and a little bit of fat (maybe a scoop of natural peanut butter) will do the trick. Start there and you’ve got a solid, lean muscle building, foundation for the rest of your day.
2. Eat 5-6 small meals a day
If you wanna be fat, do what fat people do and eat three enormous meals each day and go hard at high glycemic index foods. If you wanna get cut up, go with 5-6 smaller meals every 3-4 hours. Simple, right? Eating more frequently will keep your energy levels up, prevent crashes, and keep your metabolism going throughout the day.
Please leave your excuses at the door and don’t tell me that you don’t have time for 5-6 meals. If preparation is your problem, grab a meal replacement shake or a small snack, and bring it with you to class or the gym. I never said these “meals” had to be complicated. I just said you gotta get ‘em in if you’re gonna get jacked.
3. Pack in the food post workout
There are two times you should eat like an absolute house. Already touched on the first one (breakfast, for those of you Neanderthals that just skipped right over point one), but you need to really pack in the carbohydrates and protein post-workout as well.
While there’s some debate as to how long the “golden window” is after you lift (some say 1 hour, some say up to 6), the point is you should eat as much as you possibly can during your post lift meal (about a half hour after your shake). You’re probably thinking, “But JShez, I don’t wanna lose my six pack and eating that many calories will make me fat.”
NONSENSE, YOU PANSY! After you workout all of the carbs and protein you eat are being used to recover and rebuild new muscle mass. What does that mean for you? It means if you’re not crushing a shake and a ton of food after you train you might as well not even waste your time in the gym.
4. Go easy on the late night carbs
Yeah, that means going easy on the late-night pizza runs. If you wanna look good, you have to have some understanding of carbs and where they play a role in your diet.
Carbs provide energy and help you recover. The most important times to annihilate carbs (as we’ve discussed) are at breakfast and after you workout. Do you need carbs other than that? Not really. Should you lay off of them completely at all other times of the day? Some would say yes, low carb diets work.
All I’m saying is that if you aren’t working out in the afternoon, you’d do wonders for that six pack by laying off the carbs in the evening. Why? Because you don’t burn off the carbs as energy at night, which means you’re just storing them as fat. Yeah… gross.
5. Go hard at the lean protein
You’re a dude so you’ve probably heard once or twice that protein provides the bricks that build the house. But how much protein do you actually need? Ideally, you should aim to get at least 20-30 grams in with each meal, as it’ll keep that furnace burning, help support your lean muscle mass, and prevent you from filling up on processed crap at other points during the day.
Need examples of lean protein? Turkey, chicken, eggs, and flank steak are some of my go-to’s, but any food that’s high in protein and low in fat will do the trick. Whatever you choose, just get after it every meal.
And that’s that fellas. 5 rules that’ll have you in a much better place come time for the next gun show. Stop ignoring nutrition, and get involved… or don’t, and continue hoping that Force Factor and Hydroxycut will magically make you look like Brad Pitt.
Oh, and should you want some protein suggestions to help you maximize your muscle and strength gains we at 1R would recommend the following supplements: