“The weights, the gym, the training, I can do that part in my sleep; it’s fun and relatively easy. It’s the other stuff, the dieting and supplementing, that demands the discipline. ” Those words, spoken by Pro Bodybuilder Shawn Ray, underscore the number one reason why so many guys are sweating blood in the gym for a relatively small pay off in muscle gain. Does that sound like you?
Then it’s likely that the problem lies, not with your workouts, but with your nutritional intake. When first Mr. Olympia Larry Scott stated, in 1965, that bodybuilding was 90% about what you eat, most people thought he overstated the case. It’s taken nearly 40 years for us to realize just how right he was. Simply put, if you want to succeed in this game, you’ve got to be on top of your nutrition. And that means that you have to avoid the nine major nutritional mistakes that could leave you spinning your wheels forever. Check them out:
(1) Not Eating Enough Protein – In the gym you pound, tear and generally tyrannize your muscle cells. At the kitchen table you rebuild and grow them with – protein. How much? Recent studies with strength trainers suggest that one gram of protein for every pound of bodyweight is about ideal. That’s roughly double the Food and Drug Administration’s RDA. But there’s more to it than that. All proteins, you see, are not created equal.
For muscle growth to be activated you need “complete” proteins – those that contain all of the essential and non-essential amino acids in the exact amounts required by the body for growth. Not only must your protein be complete, it must also be lean (fat free). Chicken breast, fish, egg whites, lean red meats and whey protein powder should be your staples.
(2) Not Eating Every Three Hours – There are two critical reasons why you should eat small, nutritionally balanced meals every three waking hours. Firstly, eating every three hours will supercharge your metabolism, turning it into a fat burning furnace. Secondly, supplying lean, complete protein to your muscle cells every three hours is the only effective way to build muscle. Protein you see, cannot be stored in the body and lasts about three hours in the blood stream. So, to create and maintain the ideal muscle building environment, you have to keep supplying it every three hours.
(3) Not Taking in Enough Calories – If you want to gain muscular body weight, you need to eat – a lot. If you don’t you will never put on muscle – regardless of what you do in the gym. To put on mass plan to eat 18 to 20 times more calories than your bodyweight in pounds. Of course, those calories must be clean – they must prioritize lean, complete proteins and follow the one, two, three rule of macronutrient intake, which says that at every meal you should have one part fat, two parts protein and three parts carbohydrate. Use whey based protein powders to help get your calorie intake up.
(4) Not Drinking Enough Water – The body is 67% water. Heavy weight training can easily lead to dehydration - unless you keep replacing the water you lose. Once your muscles are dehydrated, they’ll take a lot longer to repair themselves – halting the muscle building process. Without sufficient amounts of water the kidneys will struggle to remove the metabolic waste products generated by the increased amount of protein you’re eating. It also appears that drinking ice cold water will help speed up the metabolism.
(5) Drinking Too Much Alcohol – If you are serious about bodybuilding, you cannot afford to drink your potential away. Alcohol consumption needs to be minimal or non-existent. Here’s why: at 7 calories per gram, alcohol is the second most calorie dense nutrient behind fat, alcohol will sabotage your body’s fat burning ability, alcohol dehydrates the body and alcohol suppresses testosterone production. Bottom line; Getting drunk may be what it takes to make a man, but he’ll be a fat and pathetically muscle free one – and you deserve better than that!
(6) Not Planning Meals – It doesn’t matter how good the intentions are, the crushing pace of modern living is bound to threaten your nutritional plans. It is absolutely vital, then, that you plan your daily eating in advance. Here’s how: Each night plan your coming day’s activity and figure out how you’re going to get the food you need every three hours, prepare the coming day’s food the night before, cook in bulk, plan ahead for when you’re traveling and prepare foods that help you avoid buying junk.
(7) Not Keeping A Nutritional Journal – Keeping a log of what you eat is cumbersome but it is the only way that you’ll be able to identify what is causing your body to shed fat and grow muscle. Without it you’re never learning, never benefiting from your nutritional past. A good nutritional journal will include the date, time, food type, carbohydrate, fat, protein and caloric breakdown. A short note about your energy levels will also be helpful for future reference. Every week record your waist measurement with muscle girth and body-fat analysis every month.
(8) Not Taking A Multi-Vitamin – If you are deficient in any vitamin, mineral or trace element, your muscle building endeavors will be compromised. Today we can’t just assume we’ll get those essentials from the mythical ‘balanced diet’ – over-processing and pesticides have killed that idea. A good multi-vitamin, then, is essential. Look for one that contains the recommended daily allowances of the following: A Complex, B Complex, C, D, E, K vitamins and the minerals calcium, magnesium, zinc, iodine and selenium.
(9) Eating Too Much Sugar – Arnold called sugar ‘white death, ’ and for good reason. Now, just because you can’t see it doesn’t mean it’s not there. This is especially true of soda. In fact your average 2 liter bottle of soft drink contains over 100 table spoons of sugar – that’s a lot of white death! So stop fooling yourself and cut out those muscle depleting hidden sugars.
About the Author: Dane Fletcher is the world's foremost training authority. He writes exclusively for GetAnabolics.com, a leading online provider of tesosterone and testosterone cypionate . For more information, please visit http://www.GetAnabolics.com .