Are you doing everything that the pros advise, yet you’re still not getting the results that you’re looking for?
Don’t know if you should bulk or cut, because your gains are unsatisfactory?
Eating enough yet only gaining fat and no muscle and/or strength?
How much more time are you willing to let go by before you decide that you had enough?
Well, what if I told you that you can get out of the rut, right now, if you want to?
See the problem is, the “pros” only focus on eating more and training harder without taking a few very important factors into consideration, such as nutritional deficiencies, hormonal levels, overtraining, eating unhealthy foods (just as long as it provides calories), etc. And one of the biggest reasons why they don’t have to be so bothered with these factors is because of the use of steroids.
And what do the “pros” have to say when their advice doesn’t work for you anymore? They usually just say you’re not eating enough or not training hard enough or they just give up on you because you’re not their problem. It’s simple, eating more and training harder won’t necessarily get you big and strong. It can even just make you more fat and weak. Read further to find out why.
Eating more and training harder only works for those who are young and healthy. Once you hit your late twenties/early thirties, you can’t benefit from your youthful metabolism and health anymore (as you already spent what you had) and suddenly start to realize how much nutrients, foods, lifestyle, specific training methods, hormones, etc., actually matter. And unfortunately, this realization only occurs once you’ve harmed your metabolism and you suddenly start to realize that your one and only “Lamborghini” is now a wreck.
Remember, an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure. Do what is right from the start and prevent harming your metabolism in the first place.
So let’s get into the good stuff…
Important hormones for building muscle
Hormones are most important for building muscle. Without it, muscle gains will be very slow and even non-existent. IGF-1, thyroid hormones, testosterone, DHEA and DHT are a few of the hormones that are very important for gaining muscle.
Not only is it important to promote these anabolic hormones but it’s also very important to lower the negative regulators of muscle growth, such as cortisol, serotonin, myostatin, etc.
Macros for building muscle and strength
Do you know how much protein, fats, and carbs you should be eating in order to be in an optimal muscle building state?
As we all know, protein is essential for repairing and creating new muscle and should be at least 1.6g/kg/LBM. Eating even more could help to further boost hypertrophy and strength, and keep fat off.
Fats are essential as an energy source and for testosterone production. However, there are different types of fats, such as polyunsaturated-, saturated-, monounsaturated- and trans fats, and each has a different effect on the body. For instance, polyunsaturated fats promote inflammation, slow the metabolism and inhibit muscle protein synthesis and steroidogenesis. So much for the famous peanut butter right (peanut butter is very high in polyunsaturated fats, as well as mold that is estrogenic). Saturated fats are very beneficial for your metabolism, steroidogenesis and muscle protein synthesis. A good fat intake for a lean bulk is at about 20-30% with the majority being from saturated fat. Great sources of saturated fat are dairy, beef, bison, lamb, goat, game, cod, tilapia, coconut and cocoa.
Carbohydrates have a protein sparing effect and boost the metabolism and energy production, replenish glycogen stores, boost brain function, speed up recovery after a workout, lower fatigue, and so much more. People have so many misconceptions about carbs and think that carbs are fattening, but that is actually because of an imbalance in hormones, nutritional deficiencies, an excess of polyunsaturated fats, sluggish liver function, etc. In a healthy state, only about 3-5% of carbs are converted to fats when carbs are eaten in a big surplus.
(All these macros are discussed in much more depth in my Supreme Lean Bulk ebook with references to support all statements.)
Only a few supplements are proven to be effective for building muscle and a large number of them are overblown. A combination of supplements can be used to boost exercise performance (such as caffeine, creatine, beta-alanine, etc.) and increase hypertrophy (creatine, gelatin, ashwagandha, etc.). Some are unconventional (such as ATP, gelatin, activated charcoal, etc.), yet most effective and are ignored or remain unconsidered by others, which makes them the secret weapon that can accelerate your results.
What is the best training program to do for maximal results?
Well, the thing is, there is no such thing as a “one size fits all” program. There is a multitude of studies that will help point us in the right direction, but at the end of the day, each program needs to be tailored to you specifically; which is why I provide a foundation program to work from and also teach you how to train distinctively in order to reap the best results.
Studies show that 15 weekly sets per muscle group are better than 9 weekly sets per muscle group for strength and hypertrophy, whereas others don’t. The amount of volume a person can do depends on many factors such as nutrition, sleep, rest, hormones, digestion, mindset, time, etc. So for one person, 9 weekly sets per muscle group will actually provide better hypertrophy and strength than 15 weekly sets, just because his body takes a bit longer to recover.
It’s generally considered that heavy weights are superior for strength and that higher reps are better for hypertrophy. This is generally true… you can build bulbous muscles with heavy weights (4-6reps), but you can rarely define and sculpt your muscles at that rep range. Both rep ranges are necessary for hypertrophy, so don’t stick to just one rep range and think that it’s the best for hypertrophy. If the weekly frequency is high, it will also help to use different rep ranges, for example, do 5 sets of 5 reps on Monday, and then 10 reps or so for that same muscle group later in the week. It’s better to give the muscle time to recover properly than to continually bash it with heavy weights. It’s rarely sustainable and will lead to a stall in progression.
Long rest is generally better for strength, while short to medium rest periods are utilized for hypertrophy. Long workouts, due to long rest periods will reduce glycogen stores, induce fatigue and hamper muscle gains. Progressively shortening the rest will not hinder strength gains, but can actually promote it. Plus, resting shorter will shorten the workout duration, prevent glycogen depletion, as well as a rise in catabolic hormones, such as cortisol.
Training a muscle frequently, 2-4 times per week, can be better for hypertrophy and strength than training it only once a week. This is because muscle protein synthesis is only elevated for 24-48 hours, in trained men after a workout, before it returns to baseline again. Keeping MPS elevated by training more regularly might lead to greater hypertrophy, plus reduce fatigue and risk of injury. More on training frequency for hypertrophy here. Furthermore, a higher training frequency might also help to improve your strength as you get to train the movement more regularly, which helps with learning/perfecting the form/movement, and will boost strength.
Both concentric and eccentric are equally important for muscle growth. The eccentric part tears the muscle down and stimulates MPS, whereas the concentric part promotes the synthesis of new mitochondria, which will increase energy production and adaption. So both parts of the exercise need to be done with utmost control. To master the movement, start doing the exercise slowly, with an eccentric and concentric speed of about 3 seconds each. As you improve your mind to muscle connection, muscular control and “groove”, you can speed the exercise up, but not so much that there isn’t constant tension on the muscle. Keeping constant tension on the muscle during the exercise will lead to superior muscle gains.
Training to failure
Training to failure isn’t necessary to maximize strength or size gains, and I personally find it much easier to recover and progress strength wise when leaving 1-2 reps in the tank.
Training to failure doesn’t have a lot of merit in untrained men, when it comes to hypertrophy, but it does seem to become more beneficial the more trained someone is. Every bodybuilder ever has used the training to failure technique to stimulate muscle growth. But training to failure doesn’t mean you bash your muscles to a point of no recovery. It should be done smartly.
Because everyone is so different and responds differently to exercise, each training program should be tailored to each individual. I provide a great training program, which serves as a template, and in the book, I provide lots of guidelines on how to personalize the workout if/where needed. There are many factors that can be tweaked, such as sets, reps, frequency, rest, movement tempo, etc. And then there is a multitude of other techniques that can and should be utilized to improve hypertrophy, such as mind to muscle connection, logging your lifts, time under tension technique, maximum pump training, etc.
It becomes really easy and highly beneficial when you have all the tools to personalize your own training program. When you train in synergy with your body, gains will appear. It just takes clever hard work, which is what my book is all about.
Diet and meal plans
What diet is cheap, easy to prepare and enjoyable to maintain?
When it comes to bulking, milk, potatoes, oats, eggs, rice, sugar, fruits, etc., are some very good and cheap choices. It’s healthy, high in quality carbs, protein and fats as well as vitamins and minerals to support your bodily functions, metabolism and muscle protein synthesis.
However, some foods can easily influence you negatively, hinder hypertrophy, promote gut irritation, belly fat gain, inflammation, etc.
In the book, I also explain how to make the most out of your diet, how to choose the foods that are right for your body to optimize results.
If you have any questions, leave a comment below. Now that you’re ready to take your future gains into your own hands and empower yourself to grow as fast as possible, don’t stall any longer. Get the Supreme Lean Bulk eBook to find out the science and the secrets to gaining maximal muscle while staying lean!