Eat to Grow
Whilst training stimulates your muscle growth, you need energy in the form of food & supplements to get the maximum benefit out of this training. Exercise creates demand for nutrients, and the actual nutrients you supply to muscles will determine your results. The right combination of diet and supplementation will enable you to gain muscle fast and train with enough energy to get the most out of every workout to facilitate muscle growth. To gain size fast, you need to increase your macronutrient intake, (i.e. protein, carbs and fats). Unless you can manage calorie intake perfectly to support muscle growth, some fat gain is possible. To achieve mass gains, you will have to achieve a caloric surplus whereby more calories are ingested than those burned off. Over time you will get a feel for how much of these macronutrients you require on an individual basis so that your body fat percentage is not blowing out. Excess fat gain will have to be trimmed through dieting and training later on so the less fat you add at this stage, the less you will have to work off later, which may in fact compromise the gains you have already worked so hard for.1
Supplements For Muscle Size
Whilst nutrition is the cornerstone of mass gaining, without combining it with good training, sleep, and recovery, growth will be difficult, if not impossible. Here are some recommendations to help you in a Mass Gaining Program. Use quality supplements to help you reach your full potential, including:
- Multivitamin – e.g. Animal Pak
- Joint protection to support your heavy lifting.
- Essential Fatty Acids for building muscle tissue and protecting joints.
- MCT Oil as an energy source.
- A protein powder to help you get your daily protein requirements. If you are a hard gainer use a Mass Gaining formula.
- Testosterone support supplements to help with muscle gains.
Pre-Training Supplements For Muscle
- Glutamine, to replenish this amino acid. L-leucine: BCAA's come with a 2:1:1 ratio of Leucine:Isoleucine:Valine. Ideally you'd want this ratio to be 4:1:1 so add in extra Leucine to the BCAA.
- Testosterone support supplement. Try a formulation that includes anti-estrogen ingredients. Take this 60-90 minutes before training to maximise strength.
- Creatine to help with mass building.
- A carb/protein supplement to ensure that glucose is readily available for the training muscles.
Intra-Training Supplements Enhance Gains
- Carbs and WPI with beta alanine or histidine.
Post-Workout Supplements Aid Growth
- Take creatine in a waxy maize starch mix, Glutamine. 20 mins later have a WPI shake for faster absorption. (At other times use a protein/carb mass gaining shake).
- Consume glutamine and BCAAs. Within 45 mins have a meal.
Grow While You Sleep
- Growth Hormone for improved protein synthesis or GABA for restful sleep. Miscellar Casein Protein for sustained nitrogen balance during fasting, ZMA for increased size.
1 Arnold Schwarzenegger – The New Encyclopedia of Bodybuilding, by Arnold Schwarzenegger with Bill Dobbins, p. 703