So just a quick disclaimer before we get into nutrition because it’s often a very controversial subject with a lot of different opinions. Everything I’m about to say has been derived from my own experience with my own body. I’ve been into fitness and training for about six years now and I’ve been doing the ‘diet’ for about 3 or 4 years. I would also feel dishonest if I didn’t highlight the fact that everyone’s bodies are different and so what I’m about to say might not work for you, you might need less of one thing or more of another or you might even be on keto or vegan or something and that might be working for you. everyone’s different. there. I said it. I’m simply documenting the things I’ve learned about myself.
So before you run and hide and/or give up on your goals because of the word diet or nutrition I’ll open with a statement assuring you that you absolutely, 100% do not need to go on the ‘nothing but chicken and rice every meal, 6 meals a day’ diet… not even close. You simply need to be consuming enough protein to allow your body to repair and regrow after each workout, you need enough carbs to carry you through your workouts with enough energy to push harder than you did last week, and enough water to not be thirsty 24/7. that’s literally it. it’s not hard.
You might be yelling at your screen right now and saying “well how do I know how much protein I need?” simple. Take your bodyweight in pounds (for me, I’m 200 pounds) and then take that number and consume it in grams of protein daily, so me, for example, I’d need to consume a bare minimum of 200 grams of protein daily in order to build muscle and recover properly after each workout. Carbs are the same, just a lot less specific. The general formula for how much carbs is somewhere around 2 times the amount of protein your getting but it could be a lot more or a lot less. See, everyone’s different. some people need lots of carbs to be able to perform, whereas some people don’t need many at all. Plus the majority of the time you won’t even need to worry about carbs because most of us get more than enough on the modern diet. and for water you just need to be drinking often. if you want to get specific then take your bodyweight in KG and times it by 0.04 and you’ll get how much water you want to be consuming in liters daily, its also important that you have a good amount of water leading into a workout. about 500ml 30 minutes before. Take all of this information with a grain of salt, again, I’m simply documenting my experiences. I do not have a degree in nutrition or anything like that.
The last part of my ‘how to build muscle’ series is on something I’m betting a lot of people wouldn’t think of at all. It’s something I see almost no one doing in the gym and yet it’s so important. And that something is goal setting. You’d never see the pilot of a commercial airplane take off without figuring out all the things pilots need to figure out, or the captain of a cruise ship setting sail without plotting where they’re going and how they are going to get there. So why would you do that for something that’s probably going to take a lot longer and require a whole lot more effort? (granted there are no lives at stake if you stuff it up, you’ll just end up wasting your time and effort) And I’m not just talking about the whole ‘I want to lose weight’ or ‘I want to build muscle ‘ – no. a specific goal. A smart goal…
S.M.A.R.T. goals are something I’ve talked about before but it’s something I feel doesn’t get enough credit. Smart stands for specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-frame. So instead of saying I want to lose weight, Say something like this…
S. – ‘I want to add 5KG onto my bench press every month for 6 months. (setting both a long term and a short term goal)
M. – This goal will be measured by the weight I am able to lift during my 3 sets of 6 rep maxes that I will perform every week, twice a week, during my push workouts.(stating how it will be measured)
A. this goal will be achieved by me applying the progressive overload principles to my training and constantly striving to push more weight than I did last week..(clarifying how you’re going to achieve this goal)
R. – this goal is also very realistic in the sense that I’m not asking to add 20KGs a day to my bench press, I’m taking a smart, calculated approach with steps put in place to allow me to achieve this goal. (realizing the limitations of the human body and how things won’t change over night and planning with that in mind)
T. – I’ve also set a timeframe around this goal to give myself a sense of urgency and to create consistency with gym sessions.
I know it sounds a whole lot like the crap our teachers had us write out in our books at the start of each school year but I promise you that this time its actually important. So many times I’ve asked people what they are training today and they say I don’t know or I ask what their goal is and they just say a general statement like I don’t want to be skinny anymore or I want to lose weight, that’s not a goal, that’s a desire. You need a plan with procedures put in place to help you get there. That’s what this ‘how to build muscle’ series is all about, It’s showing you the steps necessary to build muscle!!! The combination of a smart goal, a workout program, a weekly training split and entry level knowledge of nutrition and the training principles is all you really need to achieve your goals.
once again team, thank you so much for reading, it means the world. as always if anyone has any questions feel free to slide into my DMs and ask and I’d honestly love to help!