Thứ Năm, 30 tháng 7, 2015


As the title of this chapter implies, your goal with eating over the next 12 months will be to gain muscular size. Despite the marketing that we see all around us about how you can get ripped while packing on mass, that is not what you are after right now. As a hard gainer, you cannot realistically get six pack abs while putting a dozen pounds of muscle mass onto your frame.

To gain muscle mass, you need to train hard and smart. You also need to give your body the time to recover, replenish and rebuild. The third ingredient is fuel, in the form of nutrition. If you are taking in more quality calories than you are burning, then the balance will be utilized to build muscle mass.

This doesn’t mean that you are going to throw yourself into the old school bulking up mentality. Clearly all calories are not equal. Gaining weight is not your goal here – gaining lean muscle mass is what this is all about. That’s why you will be eating clean nearly all of the time.

Neither will you indulge in an one the current crop of fad diets that are promulgating cyberspace right now. Intermittent fasting, the Keto diet or anything else that hits your inbox may work for some. But for you, as a hard gainer, right now it simply doesn’t apply. You are going to stick with a basic balanced, macronutrient program based on calories per day.

Your Maintenance Calorie Level

In order to determine how many calories you need to be consuming each day, you need to firstly work out how many calories you need to be taking in just to function. Everything you do , from breathing to scratching your nose, burns calories. If you don’t take in enough calories to meet these needs, then you will find yourself in a catabolic state (not a good place to be).

A simple formula to allow you to work out your maintenance calorie level is to multiply your current bodyweight in kilograms by 24.

Alternatively, multiply your current bodyweight in pounds by 0.45, then by 24

Let’s take a 180 pound guy. First we’ll multiply his bodyweight by 0.45 to get his weight in kilograms …

180 x 0.45 = 81 kilograms

Now, we do the second calculation …

81 x 24 = 1944

So, we now know that our 180 pound guy requires about 1950 calories per day to maintain his current bodyweight and supply the energy for his activities over a 24 hour period.

Our goal, of course, is not to maintain our body weight. We want to add muscle mass. We don’t want to add too many calories, as we are conscious of putting on lean mass only. A sensible amount to shoot for is 300 extra calories per day. 300 calories is manageable, without leaving your feel bloated. Yet, over the course of 12 months (and you need to be thinking of this as a year long program), you will have taken in an extra 109,500 calories. This will provide your body with a whole of quality fuel for building muscle.

So, let’s go back to our 180 pound guy, and add our extra calorie count …

1944 + 300 = 2244

We now have our daily calorie count of around 2250 calories per day.

Now, clearly, you aren’t going to take all of those calories into your body in one huge meal. But, neither should you do so over the course of three meals. To provide prime fuel for your body you need to give it a continual supply of nutrients. In fact you should be feeding it every two and a half hours. So, that is what you’ll be doing. You’ll learn more about why and how your should be eating every two-three hours in Chapter Six, but for now you need to establish how many calories you should be consuming at each meal.

To do this, we simply divide your total calorie figure by six.

So, for our 180 pound guy …

2244 / 6 = 374 calories

Our 180 pound hard gainer needs to be consuming 374 calories every meal, with meals spaced three hours apart.

Macronutrient Breakdown

The three macro-nutrients in our foods are proteins, carbohydrates and fats. Well examine them in more detail in the next chapter. Our job right now is to establish the ideal ratio between these foods for each of your six meals.

Carbohydrates are the energy source that your body relies upon for everything that it does. Carbs are especially important for those, like you, who are engaged in hard, intense weight resistance training.

Protein, of course, is essential for building muscle. Everything in your body is composed of amino acids, the building blocks of protein. In order to recover from your workouts and rebuild your body, you need to ensure that a steady supply of quality protein is flowing through your blood stream.

Fats come in good and bad varieties. The good fats are known as essential fatty acids (EFA’s). The two primary categories of EFA’s are omega-3 and omega-6. You need them for a whole host of health, wellness and muscle building benefits. The best sources are fatty fish like salmon, sardines herring, mackerel and rainbow trout as well as flaxseeds, walnuts, fish oil, avocado and flaxseed oil.

The ideal macronutrient for the hard gainer bodybuilder is …

50% Carbs / 30% Protein / 20% Fats

  • That means that, at every meal, half of your plate should be filled with complex and fibrous carbs, three fifths of the other half should consist of a quality lean protein and the balance should be a healthy fat.
  • Nutrition Guidelines Summary
  • Have your first meal when you first get up in the morning, then space them out every two and a half hours, i.e…

  • Don’t skip meals – work the plan. In the next chapter, you’ll find some great ideas on how you can ensure that you get in very single meal, even when you’re on the go!
  • Cut out calorie laden beverages. Stick with water.
  • Make wise use of liquid protein supplements. They are great way to help you get your protein and calories while you’re on the run. Don’t have more than two meals per day in the form of protein shakes, however.
  • Count calories for the first couple of weeks. From there you should be able to gauge your meal sizes by sight.
  • Allow your self one cheat meal every seven days. Make it a midday meal if possible. Enjoy yourself, but don’t go too crazy!
  • Make sure that your post workout meal allows you to get quality protein and carbs into your body within twenty minutes of finishing the workout.

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