Nutrition plays a huge part in the bigger, stronger and more defined body strength training will bring you. In fact, even if your training is perfect you won’t get close to your muscle building potential without eating right.
Thankfully, it’s really not that complicated. Here are my personal trainer’s 3 simple guidelines to eating for size and strength.
- Eat more
Building muscle is an energy intensive process for your body. Calories provide the energy your body needs to build and sustain new muscle tissue. Without consuming adequate calories your body simply won’t have the resources it needs to turn your training into muscle gains.
I know that you might be uneasy about eating too much and gaining fat but trust me when I say that if you’re training hard your body needs a whole lot of energy. All this food you’ll be eating will go to building your muscles, it will not just sit on your belly. Over and over again I see people who aren’t putting on muscle because they are not eating enough. I almost never see people putting on fat while strength training because they’re eating too much clean food. Don’t be that guy that undermines all his hard work in the gym by not eating enough.
To consume enough calories you’re going to need to be eating carbohydrates (ideally wholegrain) such as bread, rice, pasta and potatoes. These are a great source of energy.
- Eat more protein
Muscles are made from protein. Your body needs this raw material to create new muscle and so providing enough is very important for your goals. As a rough guide try to consume 1.8g of protein per 1kg of body weight per day. This would be 135g of protein for someone weighing 75kg. It may be useful to begin to read the nutritional information on your food to get a sense of what this means.
For a rough guide: a can of tuna or a large chicken breast will contain about 25g of protein.
Great sources of protein include poultry (chicken, turkey), fish (salmon, tuna), lean meats (lean beef, lean lamb), lean game (venison, rabbit), vegetarian proteins (tofu, soy, legumes) and protein supplements.
I often get asked about which protein supplement to use, there are so many out there.
My company uses Whey Isolate and Whey Impact from www.MyProtein.co.uk
They’re both good and very reasonably priced but the Whey Isolate is a little better quality. If you’re interested they can be found here:
- Eat a source of protein and carbohydrates soon after exercise
Your body is most receptive to nutrients right after you exercise. Research shows that consuming a source of protein and carbohydrates within an hour of strength training is your most direct route to size, strength and performance gains.
An oat bar and a protein shake are really easy ways to make this happen. Put them in your bag to eat right after you finish your gym session.
Follow these 3 guidelines and you can be sure your nutrition is doing everything it can to help you get bigger and stronger.