Building a bigger, better physique requires a demanding combination of hard work and quality calories. The workout should be planned in advance so that you aren’t spending more than an hour lifting weights in the gym. After about 60 minutes, your glycogen reserves are going to be pretty well used up and you might end up sacrificing amino acids from muscle to power your lifts. Obviously, that’s counterproductive to your goal.
Your exercises should focus on basic compound movements that utilise several muscle groups allowing you to load the barbell or dumbbells with 70% to 85% of your one rep max (the heaviest amount of weight you can lift for one rep). Keep your reps in the 6 to 8 range per set, and don’t perform more than 3 sets of any exercise. NOTE: These rules don’t apply to isolation exercises for the abdominals, calves and forearms.
To give your muscles 48 hours to recover from an intense whole body training session similar to the example offered here, plan your workouts every other day: Monday, Wednesday and Friday with Sunday as a day off; or Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday if that fits best into your schedule.
Incline Sit-Ups 2 sets 30 reps
Incline Knee Raises 2 sets 20 reps
Barbell Squats 3 sets 6-8 reps
Stiff-Leg Deadlifts 3 sets 6-8 reps
Barbell Bench Press 3 sets 6-8 reps
Barbell Rows 3 sets 6-8 reps
Clean and Press 3 sets 6-8 reps
Parallel Bar Dips 3 sets 6-8 reps
Barbell Curls 3 sets 6-8 reps
If you have a hard time gaining weight, ON’s Serious Mass makes a great post-workout shake. Mix one up with low-fat milk within 30 minutes of completing your training. Pro Complex® Gainer can be substituted as a lean gainer. Both of these shakes can be enjoyed between meals for extra calories and muscle recovery support.
When planning your diet, put the emphasis on complete proteins and complex carbohydrates. A complete protein includes all 8 Essential Amino Acids. Since your body can’t produce them, they must be taken in through diet. Red meats, fish, poultry, eggs and dairy products are good sources. Complex carbohydrates digest slowly to provide sustained energy. Examples include sweet potatoes, asparagus, oatmeal, nuts and whole grain bread.
Here’s an extremely important tip that is often overlooked or misunderstood. To keep muscle growth fuelled with amino acids from protein and to keep energy levels up with carbohydrates, you should sit down to a smaller than normal meal every 2 to 3 hours throughout the day. You’re basically dividing the traditional breakfast, lunch and dinner into 6 or 7 smaller meals. Here’s what your daily meal plan might look like:
7 AM 3 eggs, 1 cup of oatmeal, 2 slices of whole wheat bread, Multivitamin
8 AM Workout
9AM Wholly Oats! Bar & Gold Standard 100% Whey shake made with skimmed milk, banana
Noon 4-5 oz. chicken breast, garden salad, 1 cup brown rice
2:30PM 4-5 oz. lean ground beef, sweet potato, broccoli
5:30 5 oz. round steak, 1 cup brown rice, 1 cup black beans, 1 cup sweetcorn
8PM 6 egg whites, 1 cup oatmeal, 2 slices whole wheat bread
Before Bed Gold Standard 100% Casein shake
You don’t have to eat the same items every day, of course. And, you shouldn’t keep doing the same workout routine week after week either. Add weight, increase the reps, change the order of exercises or split your routine between upper and lower body movements so you’re training two days in a row, followed by a day off. The possibilities are limitless.