A less than adequate nutrition plan will hinder both your recovery and your body’s ability to put on mass.
As the saying goes, “You are what you eat”.
You can’t out train a bad diet.
Some people go on an all out “dirty bulk”.
They eat pretty much everything in sight.
Yes, they do put on mass.
They also put on a lot of fat.
The goal of this workout split is to have you gaining lean mass, i.e. with minimal fat gain.
4 Key Tips for Gaining Lean Mass
Following these 4 tips will ensure that you are consuming the optimal amount of calories and macronutrients to fulfill your particular nutritional needs.
Key Tip#1: Carbohydrate Source Must Be at least 1/5th Fiber
Following this first tip will ensure simplicity and eliminate confusion.
Say you consume a tortilla that is 20g carbs and only 2g fiber.
The tortilla has a carb-fiber-ratio of 10:1.
Eating the tortilla will give your insulin levels a spike, only to have them crashing down a little while later.
This mechanism will negatively affect
If the tortilla was instead 20g carbs and 4g fiber, then it would be allowed according to these nutritional guidelines.
Key Tip#2: Optimal Amount of Protein
Research indicates that the optimal amount of protein consumption for protein synthesis is anywhere from 20-40g per meal1.
Any more than that is excess, i.e. goes to waste.
Aim for anywhere between 30-40g of protein per meal.
Eat 4 meals distributed every 4 four hours or so.
Key Tip#3: Don’t Consume Fat and Carbohydrates Together
Consume carbs and fat separately to increase the use of fat for fuel.
You will put on more lean mass compared to fat.
In an experiment performed in 1996 they had two sets of subjects2.
The first set of subjects were infused with fat straight into the bloodstream.
The second set of subjects were infused with fat, followed by carbohydrates straight into the bloodstream.
What they found was that the first set of subjects simply burned the fat off.
The second set of subjects, on the other hand, stopped using fat for fuel.
They became insulin resistant.
What this means is that they also stopped using carbohydrates for energy!
When the body becomes insulin resistant the carbohydrates just float in the bloodstream until being stored as fat.
Key Tip#4: Eating the Right Stuff At the Right Time
What you eat at certain times of the day actually affects your metabolism for the rest of the day.
A recent study performed by Dr. Molly Bray confirms this3.
The gist of it is:
A high fat breakfast will have your body using fat for fuel throughout the day.
A high carb breakfast will have your body using carbs for fuel throughout the day, likely resulting in excess fat storage.
The first thing you will want to calculate is the amount of calories you will need to consume.
You can use online calculators, but they will always just be estimates.
The best thing to do is to experiment with how your body reacts and adjust your nutritional intake accordingly.
With this routine, the main objective is to put on lean mass.
Aim for a caloric intake of about 500 calories above maintenance.
After all, gaining mass comes down to just two processes:
- The increase of protein synthesis
- The decrease of protein breakdown.
Recommended protein sources:
- Lean meats
- Ground meats
- Whey Protein
During this workout routine you will want to aim for about 4 grams of carbs per kilogram of bodyweight.
How did I come up with this number?
Research indicates that even if you do up to 20 sets of exercises for a particular body part, your body will use only 20-40 percent of the stored carbohydrates in your muscles4.
This means that even after a hardcore workout, your body will retain up to 80 percent of its glycogen stores.
A consumption of more than 4 grams of carbs per kilogram of bodyweight will not result in an increase in muscle mass.
Rather, it will result in an increase of body fat.
Recommended carbohydrate sources:
- Brown rice
People are beginning to gain awareness of the fact that fat is not the enemy.
Consuming fats at the right time, as discussed above, will encourage your body to begin to use fat for fuel.
Research has shown that a particular type of fat, medium-chain triglycerides (MCT), is the body’s preferred type of fat to use for fuel5.
Coconuts are high in MCT.
Using coconut oil in your cooking will prove efficient at getting an adequate amount of MCTs in.
Recommended fat sources:
- Olive oil
- Organic butter
- Fish oil
Putting it All Together
The goal of this workout routine is to put on mass.
I will lay down recommended macronutrient amounts which you can follow to get an estimate of how much you should be consuming.
The key will be to see how your body responds.
Keep track of everything and adjust the ratios accordingly.
Protein: 1.3 x bodyweight in pounds
Carbohydrates: 1.5 x bodyweight in pounds
Fat: 0.4 x bodyweight in pounds
Weigh yourself after every week.
If you see your weight going up, then continue with the recommended amounts.
If you see your weight remaining the same, increase your calories.
Notice how more emphasis is put on the actual macronutrients than the calories.
The recent trend of “if it fits your macros” fails to acknowledge the fact that the source of calories is a major determinant of your body composition.
- Philips, SM. “Dietary protein for athletes: from requirements to optimum adaptation“. Journal of Sports Science.
- Labros, Sidossis. “Glucose and insulin-induced inhibition of fatty acid oxidation: the glucose-fatty acid cycle reversed“. University of Texas Medical Branch.
- Bray, Molly. “Time-of-Day-Dependent Dietary Fat Consumption Influences Multiple Cardiometabolic Syndrome Parameters in Mice“. International Journal of Obesity
- Burke, Louise. “Carbohydrates and fat for training and recovery“. Department of Sports Nutrition.
- PJ, Jones. “Physiological effects of medium-chain triglycerides: potential agents in the prevention of obesity“. Journal of Nutrition