Protein Assimilation Rates: How Much Protein is Needed to Build Muscle?

In bodybuilding nutrition circles, it’s long been debated exactly how many grams of protein should be consumed at each meal in order to deliver the best possible gains. Scientifically, you’ll have a 145-pound “guru” saying one thing while using his PhD, and on the other hand, at the street level, you will have the actual 260-pound muscle monster saying something completely opposite. His only testimonial will be, of course, the physique he wears. Which one of these men should you believe? Very often, real live and the book world meet in a gray area in the middle, where many factors will influence how “black” and how “white” your direction will run. Let’s examine a few of the factors which can lead to variations in protein assimilation rates.

Natural vs. AAS users
Right off the bat, if you use steroids, you are going to be able to enjoy MUCH more protein from your diet than a natural lifter would. This is a simple, cold heart fact which is not even up for debate. Protein assimilation – particularly, the amount of amino acids from your bloodstream that muscle fibers are able to absorb – are elevated along with red blood cell count when you are using supplemental testosterone. If you believe that AAS usage is in the cards for you, or are already using steroids, then your daily protein consumption should be 400 to 500 grams – period.

Training capacity and habits
What kind of trainer are you in the gym? Do you subscribe to high volume training, spending 90 minutes in the gym, 4 to 5 days each week? Or, do you tend to take it easy on yourself (at least time-wise), and use a HIIT low volume, high intensity kind of program? The greater number of muscle fibers you tear down each workout, the greater amount of protein you will require to recover and grow. Longer workouts typically lead to more muscle fiber damage, so take this into consideration as well.

Genetics & Current Bodyweight
Look at those in your family, and compare your ‘starting line’ to your peers. If you were a solid 215 pounds before you ever touched a weight, you may just require a bit more daily protein to maintain your current levels of muscle mass than someone who was 135 before starting weight lifting. Of course, your basic caloric requirements will naturally be higher, and since you know that protein should encompass at least 30% of your daily calories, it stands to reason that your total number of protein grams consumed daily will increase along with your total number of calories.

Getting the Formula Right
How much protein to build muscle will be answered by applying the answers to these questions to a little bit of common sense! Start with a baseline of 30 grams of protein per meal. Considering you will probably be consuming about 6 meals per day, this actually only comes out to a (comparatively) paltry 180 grams per day. While this is probably way more protein than the average non-training American consumes each day, it is certainly below the numbers eaten by most top bodybuilders. Sure, you’ll always have the exception that will make great gains eating candy and Oreo cookies all day, but most of us need to subscribe to a high protein diet in order to make the right kinds of consistent gains.

Best Protein Foods
Your sources of protein should include a list of the usual suspects! Whey protein is a fast delivery system which is very effective in the mornings and post-workout. Casein protein is good before bed, since it takes up to 8 hours to fully digest. Your daily sources should include a wide variety of pork, poultry, beef, egg, and daily products. Mix it up to keep things fresh, but never resort to empty fatty sources such as beef jerky or cheeseburgers. Keep your health in mind!

In Closing…
Remember that you aren’t just fueling your body’s current levels of muscle mass – you are working to fuel FUTURE levels of muscle mass. If you are currently 180 pounds and pretty solid, you shouldn’t eat like a 180-pounder. Rather, you should be eating like a 210 pound man. After all, that is your goal. You need to walk and talk like a 210 pound man. You need to eat, sleep and train like a bodybuilder that weighs 210 pounds. If you do what you’ve always done, then you’ll get what you’ve always gotten! However, if you bump up the protein consumption, train harder than ever, and give your body time to recover, you will definitely see some new muscle gains!

Via pmXfit – Build Muscle & Strength & Get Shredded!

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Injury Prevention and Recovery Tips


If there’s something that’s known to kill your motivation for working out it’s injury. Imagine walking into a gym with all the enthusiasm you could gather to pump more muscles and get into shape as summer draws neigh, only for you to live the gym with every single cell in your body screaming out in pain.

There are different types of injuries that are caused by various reasons. Also there are different types of injuries in relation to the part of the body or the muscle that’s injured and the extent of that injury. Here are just a few of the various gym injuries that are common.

The inflammation of the tendon; the part that connects the muscle and the bone, is called tendinitis. Over stretching of the muscle is called a strain while over stretching the ligament connecting two bones is called a sprain. Inflammation of the bursa is called bursitis and bruising due to impact is called a contusion. The total tearing of a muscle is called an convulsion while breaking of a bone whether complete or partial is called a fracture. Now when you hear the pros using terms like a pectoral tear or elbow tendinitis, you’ll have a clear idea of what it is they are talking about. And when you get one, you can tell the first aider what exactly you think it is apart from describing it as excruciating pain.

Some of the most common injuries are the neck and back strain. This is due to placing too much stress on these muscles. The back sprain especially is a result of lifting weights when your body isn’t correctly balanced. This means that the weight isn’t equally distributed to the rest of the muscles but that the back especially the lower back bears most if not all the weight. Other common injuries are knee strains and sprains, muscle soreness and elbow tendinitis.

The good news is that there are ways of preventing these injuries. Some of these precautionary steps are so basic such that many ignore them. Warming up allows your joints to become lubricated as well as allowing your body to produce the energy required for the oncoming exercises. After warming up for about 5-10 minutes, take time to stretch your muscles. This allows your muscles to elongate preventing muscle strains. Eating a high protein diet and having an adequate supply of calcium ensures that both your bones and muscles are strong. A poor diet can lead to weak bones which may fracture after a very minor exercise. Knee wraps help strengthen the knees especially during the heavy squats. Wrist wraps improve your grip and enable you to safely lift heavier weights. Wear correct gym shoes, those goes out especially to the ladies. Just because your toes are freshly pedicured doesn’t mean that you should attempt wearing open shoes to the gym. Believe me you don’t want a weight no matter how small to fall on your open toe! Pay attention and don’t let your mind wander, you may end up bouncing the weight around and get an injury.

This article is provided from BodybuildingToday.com, the world’s leading bodybuilding training information site. You can find more free information about Training, Supplement, Diet and Nutrition articles by visiting BodybuildingToday.com.

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10 Steps to Adding Ten Pounds of Muscle


You’ve been working hard to add some muscle to your body, and you’ve made great improvements. However, you have not yet made it to where you want to be. Let’s set a reasonable goal of ten new pounds of pure muscle added to your frame in the next calendar year. How will you do it? Will you utilize some novel approach to diet, or some secret Chinese spice to change things up? Of course not. You will make minor adjustments to your daily regimen which will work together to deliver a small bit of growth each week – which will lead to major changes over a course of a year. Here are ten steps you should follow to add some muscle to your frame.

Add a salad
One additional Caesar or garden salad, added to your daily diet, will move your entire daily food consumed through your digestive system much faster. This will not only make you healthier and give you a trimmer midsection, but it will also make you hungrier throughout the day for other meals. This will mean you’ll begin eating more – and growing more.

Add a whey shake
Just an extra 40 grams of protein per day will make a meaningful change to your physique over the course of a year.

Add 20-rep squats
Once a week, at the middle or end of your leg day, add one set of 20-repetition squats to your routine. The combination of growth hormone release and thigh slow-twitch muscle fiber stimulation will be unbeatable!

Add two handfuls of nuts
Just two handfuls of healthy nuts such as almonds, at 10 am and 2 pm daily, will add healthy fats and calories that your body needs to grow.

Add three naps per week
Your brain releases growth hormone when you sleep. Three small Gh releasing sessions each week will make a huge difference over the course of a year.

Add Aminos
Visit your favorite supplement store and pick up a bottle of amino acids. Add two caplets to your diet, three times per day. You’ll notice the changes in just a few weeks.

Add ten chins
However many wide-grip chins you are completing each week – add ten to that number. If you’re currently doing none, you will now be using ten. If you’re currently doing 30, you just moved up to fifty. Your back will grow, and your body weight will increase as a result.

Add a single supplement
Have you been looking at adding a new supplement to your morning meal? Add it! Creatine, glutamine, and scores of others can make a huge difference in your growth and progress in the gym.

Add your anti-oxidants
The simple addition of a few more oral administrations of Vitamin E and C to your daily diet will deliver some better muscle recover, repair and growth. Plus, anti-oxidants keep you healthy!

Add time
Be patient. Growth of the positive, pure-muscle variety doesn’t happen overnight. Stick to these principles for a year and you’ll see significant changes to your physique.

This article is provided from BodybuildingToday.com, the world’s leading bodybuilding training information site. You can find more free information about Training, Supplement, Diet and Nutrition articles by visiting BodybuildingToday.com.

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Pre-Workout and Post-Workout Nutrition Tips


Whereas what you actually do in the gym during the span of your training session determines greatly how well you are progressing towards building your body, what you do 90 minutes before and after the work out determines how fast you achieve that goal. It’s called “the four hour window”, one and a half hour before and after the one hour of work out. Miss it and you will toil in the gym for more than twice the time you would have achieved your goal.

This window is the opportunity to enhance your body’s ability to build muscle. This is because it is the time your body will be in most need for muscle building foods and also most receptive to the foods taken.

Pre-workout meal

This is the most important meal of your entire day, save for the post workout meal. Its entire purpose is to ready the body for the rigors of weight training. During the actual workout, your body depletes all “liquid” sources of stored energy such as blood sugar. As the workout intensifies, the body initiates Glycolysis a process that oxidizes fats, stored in an insoluble form to soluble sugars that are quickly dissolved in blood for transit to the muscles for respiration to generate energy.

Towards this end, the pre workout meal should consist of easy to digest and absorb energy giving foods such as carbohydrates. This provides a ready source of energy for your body during the session rather than opting for Glycolysis which not only takes time to occur but also requires energy. This would be counter productive for one working out in the gym as they need all the energy that they can spare.

If you are eating to gain mass, your average meal suffices for a pre work out meal. However, it should be taken ninety to sixty minutes before the weight training session begins to provide enough time for the body to digest and avail the nutrients to the cells of the muscular tissue for energy synthesis.

Stick to simple carbohydrates preferably in juice form as liquid food is easily digested with the least amount of energy expended than solid food which has to first be broken down to particles.

Post workout nutrition

The essence behind intense weight training to gain mass is the simple fact that muscle tissue gets torn and thus during rebuilding which is inevitable, stronger muscle tissue will be synthesized to withstand the workout routines as the body tries to adapt to the new environment. In the process additional muscle tissue is synthesized to supplement the existing muscle. This is visible outwardly as increased muscle mass and a well built body.

Thus the post work out meal should provide nutrients that are necessary for tissue repair and growth. This is mainly carbohydrates to replenish energy sources such as glycogen and proteins to provide amino acids necessary for the rebirth of new and hopefully stronger tissue. The sooner the body get’s these rebuilding materials the faster it will repair and build new, stronger and bulkier muscle.

This article is provided from BodybuildingToday.com, the world’s leading bodybuilding training information site. You can find more free information about Training, Supplement, Diet and Nutrition articles by visiting BodybuildingToday.com.

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The Guide to Strength Training at Home

The Guide to Strength Training at Home

By Dane C. Fletcher

When you are seeking to get in shape or even to tone up the body muscles the best way is to get involved in strength training activities. Most of the people talk of life strength training not knowing what it is all about. Strength training is very crucial in each and every person’s life because it allows individuals to live healthier lives and undergo development strategies with commitment and with ease in order to reach maximum heights of productivity as well as successfully achieve personal fitness goals.

For one to reinforce the commitment, he needs to take note of his achievements. When dealing with the fitness professional, you should ensure that the fitness assessment is done at the beginning of the program and after some days or months for you to see how your routine is paying off. Fitness is a lifetime commitment that one should take in to account. Always note that setting the obtainable goals is very essential for one to achieve the health and fitness potential. It is a great idea to consult the life fitness trainer to assist in assessing ones short and long term fitness goals.

The most advantageous thing when it comes to strength training is that an individual is in a position to note the results and he or she can also begin the body building program in his or her own house, it only requires minimal resources and a couples of spare hours. Before one starts any thing to do with body building, it is necessary to take into account his or her medical health and any hidden condition which he or she may be suffering from. It is recommended for one to take time and consult a doctor or the trained professionals and ask for a general health check. By doing so, you will be able to get advices on the best types of exercises that suit your body and your health and in turn you will be helped in selecting the course of action. Visiting a doctor frequently is encouraged especially when it comes to embarking on a program of strength training.

Strength training is one of the best ways which can be used to tone up and to keep it. It is proffered by the doctors since it is an excellent and a natural method which does not have any vital side effects when done as required. There are several exercises that one can do in his or her own home. Such exercises include the crunch where one is supposed to lie down flat on the back and bend the knees. When bending the waist, sit up till you feel the abdominal muscles crunched and then release. This process should be repeated continually for not less than ten reps each day so as to get the desired results. It is recommended for one to lie on a bed or on a mattress when the exercise seems to hurt his or her back. Another best exercise that can be done at home is the push up. This is done so as to strengthen the abdominal muscles and the arms as well.

Dane Fletcher is the world’s most prolific bodybuilding and fitness expert and is currently the executive editor for BodybuildingToday.com. If you are looking for more bodybuilding tips or information on weight training, or supplementation, please visit http://www.BodybuildingToday.com, the bodybuilding and fitness authority site with hundreds of articles available FREE to help you meet your goals.

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High Intensity Interval Cardio Training


Before I ever started training or doing cardio, I told myself, “the harder you work, the better the result.” Makes sense, right?

Well, then someone told me, “No, actually, when it comes to aerobic work, you’ll want to do longer duration, less intense exercise for the greatest fat burning.” It took awhile to buy that, but then I did – for years. So there I was, doing low intensity, hour long workouts on a treadmill, thinking I was burning adequate fat.

Truth was, I was dieting hard enough that the fallibility of that theory didn’t show itself.

But the other reason the theory about low intensity cardio came into being is that studies showed it burned a greater percentage of calories from fat, not carbs.

So years later, when someone else told me that high-intensity aerobic work would burn more fat than low intensity aerobic work, I had a hard time buying it.

“No, just try it,” he said.

So I did. And without dieting, without other efforts, I lost more body fat than I had ever imagined possible – and all from HIIT Cardio.

High Intensity Interval Training for Cardio is just that – a series of high intensity moves that work within intervals. That is to say, moderate cardio interspersed with high intensity work that works the heart rate between moderate and intense ranges.

The great thing about HIIT is its versatility – whether in the gym or out. I like running stairs or doing track sprints, but sometimes it’s just nice to get it all done in the confines of my gym. Driving to a track, with these gas prices, might be unnecessary. After all, you can sprint anywhere.

To gain maximum benefit from a HIIT program, you’ll need to perform HIIT exercises – two different types of cardio within two pace ranges that differ – at least four times a week. Off days are perfect for HIIT cardio days and I try my hardest to get most of them in on days I’m not training.

Studies show that HIIT burns up to 50 percent more fat. It also has been shown to burn more calories, by and large, than traditional cardio. But the greatest thing about it is that most of those calories and metabolic boost will occur after you’ve finished!

That’s because your body has gone into EPOC (excess post-exercise oxygen consumption). In English, that means, you have consumed a lot more oxygen recovering from the exercise session than you might have if you had just done a workout utilizing a steady pace.

The easiest way to work into HIIT, (and you will have to work into doing it), is by choosing one piece of stationary equipment in the gym – such as a stepper or elliptical trainer or cycle – and varying pace and resistance for short durations, back and forth.

So, in a first week, you’ll want to do 2 minutes of cardio at your normal pace, then bump it up for 1 to 2 minutes to a sprint, then back to normal and so on. You’ll want to do this for at least 15 to 20 minutes and just do what you can.

Seeing where you are is important, because it dictates how to proceed. If you suck wind at 1 minute of sprints, then stay there for a week or two and increase as you can – but try to push yourself.

Another good way is to jog for a minute or two and then sprint for a minute or two – going back and forth. With jogging though, you’ll want to do 30 second intervals of jog and sprint. And at the 10 minute mark, do a brisk walk instead of a jog or sprint, and resume, or quit, depending upon your fitness level. If it’s poor, 10 minutes of jog and sprint outside is about the equivalent of 20 minutes of the same on a stationary cycle. Fact is, it’s just harder outside moving your own full weight.

Some people recommend doing just 4 or 5 minutes total on your first day. Don’t kill yourself, but 4 or 5 minutes isn’t going to anoint you into the ways of HIIT. Every other workout, you’ll add a minute to your workout.

Here’s how a variety of HIIT workouts might look:

  • 10 to 15 Minutes:
  • 30 seconds jogging
  • 30 seconds stair run
  • 2 minutes moderate elliptical trainer pace
  • 1 minute sprint pace on elliptical trainer
  • 1 minute cycling
  • 1 minute sprints

Some people like sticking with 30 second intervals throughout, and just increase the span of time within which they are working. So, for example, in their first week, they’ll do 10 to 15 minutes of 30 second intervals, but after the sixth week, they’ll be working within a 22 to 25 minute total range.

Whichever is most comfortable to you, but the point is you don’t want to exceed 2 minutes of high intensity work, since it is anaerobic. You want to get in and get out. I recommend doing 1 to 2 minutes of sprint or high intensity work on stationary equipment mainly because you aren’t fighting the gravity of your own body, so you must work harder.

Dane Fletcher is the world’s most prolific bodybuilding and fitness expert and is currently the executive editor for BodybuildingToday.com. If you are looking for more bodybuilding tips or information on weight training, or supplementation, please visit http://www.BodybuildingToday.com, the bodybuilding and fitness authority site with hundreds of articles available FREE to help you meet your goals.

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