How to win the hyper - trophy
Is swole the goal and size the prize?
Are you competing for the hyper-trophy?
Did neither of those jokes make sense to you because you’re not a sad gym nerd like me, but you still want to know the best approach to building muscle?
Then listen up friend, this episode is for you.
Welcome back to the Bite Me Nutrition podcast.
Today I'm going to give you my top number of tips to maximize your muscle building.
If gaining muscle is your goal, the reason I pause then is because I don't actually know how many tips I've got. I'm kind of doing this a little bit off the cuff. So I'm going to try and rank these tips in order of importance. I apologize if you guys feel like the order is wrong, you're probably wrong. But also I'm open to, maybe open to discussion.
Anyway, let's get into it. The number one tip. This one is definitely number one when it comes to building muscle actually has nothing to do with nutrition. Even though I'm biased towards nutrition. If you are not following a well structured resistance training that is weight training program, nutrition is probably not going to do very much of anything.
Training, resistance training, weights. Training gives your body the signal to grow. It triggers growth. Nutrition doesn't really trigger growth. What it can do is it can absolutely support and maximize it, both your growth and your recovery and your performance in the gym. So of course nutrition is very important.
But I have sometimes had clients whose main goal is muscle building. And unfortunately they're only doing something like running or they're only doing sort of cardio activities. Now there's a little bit of muscle you can build on that, but you're definitely going to reach a ceiling fairly quickly compared to something that involves weights. Look, I'm not going to go into the training specifics, but it's not just picking up a weight. There are lots of other factors that you would need to consider, like progressive overload and things that are basically outside my scope to talk about. But number one thing, if you want to gain muscle and you're not doing some form of structured resistance training, start there if you've got that under control.
Here are some of my nutrition tips that I would focus on. The first one is protein. Surprise, surprise. This is really, really important. It kind of gives you the building blocks to grow the new muscle and to repair the muscle that you break down during normal training sessions without getting. I probably should do a podcast on protein now that I think of it. But to keep it simple. For this format, aiming for about one point five to 2 grams/kg of body weight of protein as your total daily protein intake across the day. So for an 80 kilogram, you want to be aiming for 120 to 160 grams. I think that was right. Yeah. Grams of protein per kilogram of body weight, remembering that that's not 100 grams of protein containing foods.
So for example, 100 grams of chicken breast provides about 28 to 30 grams of protein. So making sure that across the course of the day, you get to around that amount. Next, you kind of want to break that up into at least three serves of protein, less than three serves of protein. So like two protein serves in a day is not optimal. Don't stress if that's you, but it's better to try and get that in with at least three serves. Going from three serves to five serves of three serves to six serves, though, doesn't seem to have an impact as long as your total daily protein is adequate. If you don't want to track or weigh your food, pretty much if you're getting a quarter of your plate or roughly a palm and a half size of protein at three main meals and then you're having a snack with a bit of protein in it, you're going toget pretty close to that number anyway.So just make sure that you're focusing on that.
The next important thing for resistance training sorry, no. For muscle building is your total daily calorie intake. So this is just how much food you're eating in general.
You might have heard a whole bunch of mixed messages around this. We've got a calorie deficit where you're eating a bit less energy than your body requires, maintenance calories when you're eating the amount of energy that your body requires, and a calorie surplus when you're eating more energy than your body requires.Now, you can build muscle in all three of these scenarios. There's just different rates and different levels of success that you're going to achieve.
So starting with a calorie deficit, you can still build muscle in a calorie deficit. Now, the longer you have been training, the less likely that is to occur. And when I say longer you've been training, I mean if you've been training properly for 12-18 months, two years after that, you probably have less and less potential to gain muscle in a calorie deficit. But if you're someone who's new to training and you're in a bit of a deficit, so you're not in a massive 50% calorie deficit, you may be in a 15% to 25% calorie deficit. And you're training hard.You've got your protein amount, you've got your protein timing, you're nailing a few of these other things I'll go through, then you can totally build muscle in a calorie deficit. It just maybe isn't the most efficient way to gain muscle, so you're not going to gain the maximum amount of muscle that you otherwise could have.
Maintenance it's sort of a similar story, but you've got a lot more potential to gain muscle than you do, say, in a deficit. Surplus, of course, is going to be the best scenario for gaining muscle because muscle is energy intensive and it's an expensive process for your body. And so if you're giving your body more energy from food, it's going to have more energy to direct towards growing muscle. Now, the bigger the surplus, not the greater the muscle gain. There is a certain amount of muscle that your body can gain even when everything is optimal. And so if you go in a massive, massive surplus you'll gain maximum muscle but you're also going to start to accumulate body fat. And so if that's not part of your goal, that's something to be aware of. And a very important thing that I see pushed around a lot is to gain muscle you need to eat in a calorie surplus. And I think for a lot of I people that's not always the best advice.
What I would do instead is I would add an extra step of advice and I would first ask you the question do you struggle to gain weight or lose weight? Most people are going to fall into one of those camps either struggle to gain or struggle to lose. Just historically in the last twelve to 24 months if you're not really thinking about your food or your body weight, what does it typically do? If you struggle to gain weight then I would suggest you get into a mild surplus. If you want numbers aiming for about 105% to 110% of your maintenance calories if you struggle to lose weight I would be very careful about jumping straight to a surplus and I would instead focus on eating at maintenance calories for quite a while. That step I think can save people a lot of grief either by spinning their wheels and not gaining any muscle initially or overshooting and gaining muscle but also gaining more fat than they're comfortable with. So ask yourself that question and then decide the appropriate action.
The next one.I would say that the next important thing is not actually nutritionally related but it is sleep. Shock surprise. Good thing about sleep it's free so you can kind of just add that into the mix. I don't know if 6 hours of sleep is contentious seven to 9 hours of sleep a night. The sleep research is kind of mixed like that why we sleep book is apparently not as rock solid as everyone thinks it is but if you're getting about seven to 9 hours of sleep as often as possible, preferably every night, your body is going to be primed to gain more muscle than it might.
If you were trying to do all of those same things but in a slightly sleep deprived state, the next thing coming back to some nutrition tips I was going to talk about nutrient timing but then I was going to talk about macro distribution. These are an equal tie. I don't know if I can split those. I'll start with nutrient timing. Basically nutrient timing is like when are you eating throughout the day and really it's just about focusing on making sure you've had something to eat before you train and making sure you've had something to eat after you've trained.
Before you train. Ideally you want to have something to eat within 30 to 60 minutes prior. I've done another podcast on training faster so there's way more info in there about that. But basically if you want to get your maximum performance out of that training session, which if you want to grow muscle, you do need to always try to do that. You need to be pushing yourself. Pushing yourself with fuel in the tank is always going to be easier than pushing yourself faster. So making sure you've got some kind of easily digestible carbohydrate rich snack before you train is important.
I don't really think you need protein before you train. Specifically, there's no real studies saying you must do that. You need to have protein in your workout window though. And so this kind of brings me to your post training meal. You also need to be eating within, I would say 30 minutes to 2 hours after you've trained. If you have eaten before you've trained, you can be a little bit closer to that two hour mark. If you haven't eaten before you've trained, firstly, shame on you. Secondly, no, that's okay, everyone's different. But secondly, if you haven't eaten before you've trained, then try and get that meal alot closer to that training session. Now it doesn't need to be within five minutes. It doesn't need to be a shake. There are a few common misconceptions, but don't delay the meal for the sake of delaying the meal. If you can get it in within 15 minutes, then heck yeah, go for it. But if you kind of feel sick because you've just finished legs, you can wait 60 to 90 minutes and you won't lose any muscle in that way.
Make sure that meal is a mixed meal. And what I mean by that is make sure it's got a great serve of protein, it's got some carbohydrates, and if it does or doesn't have fats, that's not a huge deal. But people over complicate post training nutrition, the simplest way to do it is eat a main meal, try and get a breakfast or lunch or dinner meal to land within 30 to 90 minutes of finishing training and you're killing it.
The next thing. Again, like I said, not necessarily less important, but equally important is your macronutrient distribution. So we've already talked about how much protein you need. So I guess what we need to talk about is should I eat more carbs or more fats? For weight loss, it doesn't matter. For muscle gain, I typically tend to push people towards higher carbohydrate and lower fat. That's because higher carbohydrate intakes are correlated with better training performance. Again, like I said, to grow muscle you really to push that body.And so if you're performing at a higher standard and at a higher level, it's going to be easier to do that.And so a higher fat and a lower carb intake unfortunately doesn't necessarily support the higher intensity of that training that's required.
So if you did want to get into those specifics, I would always be going for a higher carb, lower fat, dietary intake, what's next? Probably supplements. That's how far down the list they are.
The two main ones I would focus on would be caffeine and Creatine. Now, caffeine would only be if you tolerated it well, and if you weren't training within eight to 12 hours of needing to go to bed. So if that's not you, wait is you, whatever. If you tolerate caffeine well and you don't need to go to bed within the next 10 hours, then having some caffeine 30 to 60 minutes before you train again can help support that performance of that training session. Don't get too hung up on needing crazy amounts. Yes, the research says three to six milligrams per kilogram of body weight.If you do that math, that's actually a scary amount of caffeine.So find the amount that gives you a bit of a bump personally and just stick with that.
Creatine is another great supplement. I've just recorded a podcast episode on that, too, so if it hasn't gone up by the time you're listening to this, it's going up soon. Otherwise, there's a blog on the website. I've talked about it at length on social media. Basically, it's really helpful supplement to help you get an extra rep or two out of your set. An extra rep or two? Each set, each training session, each week, each month, each year, accumulates helps you accumulate volume, which helps trigger more muscle growth. Bada bing, bada boom.Over time you get bigger. Hopefully.
The last two supplements, I don't know, these are more sort of honorable mentions. Beta in and Citrus and Malate. I'm not going to go hugely into those. If you want to check them out, jump onto Examine.com. As always, my recommendation for supplement research, but there's some growing research to suggest that they may help with supporting muscle growth as well. Now, they are definitely last on the list, because if you're not doing all of those other things, I wouldn't bother with those supplements. But if you're largely hitting all of those other big rocks and you're looking for that last half a percent or the 1%, that could be it.
But I think that brings me to the end of my muscle gaining muscle growth discussion.
So if I've missed anything, please send any hate mail to Aidan at Ideal Nutrition. But if you've really loved this review, or this, I really hope that actually happens, that would be amazing. But if you've enjoyed this episode, or you've got someone in your life who struggled to gain muscle, please consider sharing it with them. No, don't consider it, do it. And if you just enjoyed it in general, it gives me warm, fuzzy feelings when I see the podcast episodes pop up. Pop up on social media. So please make sure you throw out your stories and give me a tag and I'll chat to you guys soon.
Episode Links & References
- International society of sports nutrition position stand: protein and exercise
- How much protein can the body use in a single meal for muscle-building? Implications for daily protein distribution
- A systematic review, meta-analysis and meta-regression of the effect of protein supplementation on resistance training-induced gains in muscle mass ad strength in healthy adults
- Is an energy surplus required to maximise skeletal muscle hypertrophy associated with resistance training
- The effect of sleep restriction, with or without high-intensity interval exercise, on myofibrillar protein synthesis in healthy young men
- Relationship between sleep and muscle strength among Chinese university students: a cross-sectional study
- Nutrient timing: a garage door of opportunity?
- ISSN exercise & sports nutrition review update: research & recommendations