Understand the bodybuilding basics in 5 points:
To find the perfect menu to build your body and promote muscle mass gain, you must first understand that the practice of bodybuilding is based on three indivisible principles: training, rest and nutrition. These three principles do not merely apply to bodybuilding, they are a real living moto. Unfortunately, some body builders prefer to over-train rather than choosing a well studied proper meal plan: in doing so they endanger their health and the proper functioning of their body.
To learn how to prepare your daily meals to build muscles effectively and maximize your gains, it is necessary first of all to integrate some basic balanced diet and nutrition principles.
1.The 3+3 rule:
When you train on a daily basis, you need to focus on a long term meal plan. To build muscles quickly, the body requires a balanced diet involving meals at regular intervals during the day. Eating every 3 to 4 hours prevents the loss of muscles which consume a lot of energy. To maintain or take mass, make lean mass or increase physical activity, you need multiple meals throughout the day. The ideal ratio is to concentrate 30% of efforts on training versus 70% on nutrition. The 3 + 3 rule is to take 3 solid meals a day (breakfast / lunch / dinner) and have 3 snacks during the day (in the morning /after a weight training session and before bedtime). It’s up to you to manage your intake and your snacks according to your daily schedule, your sports training and your mass.
Macronutrients are the proteins, carbohydrates and lipids that the body needs to function well. All your meals must have a fair balance of these 3 elements according to your meal plan objective (weight gain or lean mass).
- Proteins are essential for your muscle growth: prefer animal proteins which are more easily digested and adapted to our needs in amino acid needs compared to vegetable proteins: egg, dairy products, white meat, red meat, fish, seafood. Adapt your protein intake to your weight: start with 2 grams of protein per kilogram per day, once your body has gained muscle, this amount can increase.
- Carbohydrates, also considered as the body’s fuel, should preferably have a low or moderate IG (low glycemic index) to avoid insulin peaks in the blood. Whatever meal plan you choose, avoid fast-acting sugars (sweets, candies, bread, cookies, potatoes or rice) at all costs. Choose foods such as fruits, vegetables, cereals, some gluten-free cereal products or legumes.
- When it comes to lipids, unlike the common perception it is necessary to consume! Fatty acids must represent about 1/3 of your caloric intake because they are an energy reserve which provides the body with the basic energy requirements to function properly. Moreover some lipids play a key role in the transport of certain proteins in the blood. A good amount of essential fatty acids is needed (polyunsaturated fatty acids like Omega 3 or Omega 6) because they cannot be synthesized by our body. They are found in certain vegetable oils (rapeseed, flax, borage, evening primrose), nuts and some meats for example.
3. Consume vegetables and fruits:
Too often shunned by bodybuilding practitioners because of their low caloric contib vegetables and fruits are nevertheless essential for good nutrition for their intake of vitamins and minerals. They not only bring vitality to your body to stimulate it but they also help reduce the acidity in your body as muscle gain and your workouts. In the long run, this acidity could cause health problems. However, avoid fruit during lean mass programs, their carbohydrate intake is often too high.
Any sports coach or nutritionist will encourage you to adapt your diet according to your needs and your physical activity. For this you will need to determine your daily calorie needs. Depending on your daily physical activity, metabolism, weight, muscle mass and sex, your normal daily energy expenditure (TDEE) to maintain a stable weight will not be the same.
To establish a personalizes food plan, it is essential to knowing your Basal Metabolic Rate (MB) (ie minimum energy needs without doing any activity) and nonetheless physical activity factor is the key factor to know your TDEE and be able to establish a personalized food plan
Hence, to maintain the the same weight your daily consumption should be indicated by the (TDEE), as follows: TDEE (Daily energy expenditure) = BMR x Activity Factor
Here is the formula to calculate the basic metabolism of a man or a woman to give you an idea of the basic food plan to adopt for an effective weight training program. It is calculated for a time span of 24 hours in kilo calories:
Female Basal Metabolic rate (kcal) = 655 + (9.6 x weight in kg) + (1.7 x height in cm) – (4.7 x age)
Male Basal Metabolic rate (kcal)= 660 + (13.7 x weight in kg) + (5 x height in cm) – (6.8 x age)
Then you need to multiply your BMR by the activity factor to know your TDEE and adapt its food plan accordingly.
- Sedentary activity: 1
- Very light (sedentary work, no sports): 1.2
- Light: no sport but light physical exertion in the work: 1.4
- Moderate activity: a little training but non-physical work: 1.6
- High activity: active work + bodybuilding training every day: 1.8
- Very high activity: work and intense training: 2
Take the following example:
For a 90 kilos, 1m80 and I am 44 years old man who works as a computer scientist and I do a little weight lifting at home every night to stay in shape in shape.
BMR = 660+ (13.7×90) + (5×180) + (6.8×44) = 3092.2
His theoretical daily expenditure is 3092.2 x 1.6 (moderate activity) which amounts to a total of 4947 kcal per day.
4.Mass Gaining/Mass leaning:
To understand how good muscle development works. It is important to understand the two basic principles:
Weight gaining: It consists of gaining the most muscle and the least fat possible, it is a slow and progressive weight gain! Your calorie intake should gradually be higher than your energy expenditure. It is necessary follow strict food plan (your TDEE + 250kcal per day approximately) for an optimum energy intake to stimulate your organism and prepare it for muscle gain. Determine your need for protein, in fat and supplement with low GI carbohydrates and of course fruits and vegetables: apply this diet and carefully follow your training program. You must consequently adapt your diet to the results obtained and desires. Ideally take 500 grams every week and increase your diet by 100kcal. Remember that the higher your muscle volume, the higher your calorie needs. It is essential to avoid taking fat.
The period of mass leaning: This period is necessary if you reach a sufficient stage of muscle gain to get rid of your potential fat accumulated during the mass gain. The process is identical to the Weight gaining but inverted. You must gradually reduce your caloric intake until your weight remains stable. Subsequently, reduce by another 250 kcal per day to lose fat (still target 500 grams per week but mainly fat loss this time). Continue to consume the same amount of protein + amount of lipids representing 1/3 of of intake. It is mainly the amount of carbohydrates which must be reduced. Do not lose weight too fast to maintain muscle mass.
Goody Tip: Never rush into drastic diet changes, because when you start bodybuilding, your progress will not be noticed overnight and your body got gain muscle at one go. Patience and determination are the keys having that athlete’s body you dream of!