Whether you want to improve your athletic performance or enhance your physique for personal satisfaction, gaining lean muscle mass can be beneficial. Unfortunately, gaining muscle and keeping fat at bay can be a difficult task. Follow my guide below and you can't go wrong.
Before you begin let's get the basics right, with out the right diet you're setting yourself up to fail. Plan five to six healthy meals throughout the day to boost your metabolism and provide energy. Begin with breakfast being the largest meal of the day and finish off with dinner being the smallest. Load complex carbohydrates in the early part of the day so that your body has time to burn them off.
Design and implement a specific weight training and cardio program that will allow you to reach optimum fitness levels. This is where a Personal Trainer comes in handy if you really don't know how to construct a program specific to your goals. A personal trainer will push you to lift more weight safely and get that extra rep or two out when you want to quit. He/she will know just when to increase or decrease the weights from set to set in order to get the most out of you in relation to your goals. Your form will always be monitored which is key when trying to gain size and prevent an injury which could set you back weeks. Not only that but the appointment alone will ensure that on those days when you just don't want to go to the gym you really don't have a choice. It's planned, it's paid for and it's not going to go down well if you say you can't be bothered today.
You should take a multivitamin every day. If your body is lacking in just one important vitamin or nutrient then your ability to build lean muscle mass can be greatly effected. As yet we don't full understand the exact role that every vitamin plays within the human body so it is important to get the recommended daily amount of each. The "International Journal for Vitamin and Nutrition Research" found in 2008 that, vitamin C can help prevent fat deposits. In an issue of "Hormone and Metabolic Research" studies indicated that increased levels of vitamin D can increase your levels of free testosterone. Testosterone helps increase muscle mass and reduce body fat, which can aid in producing a lean muscle body.
My choice - Men/women's - One a day.
Taking an O-mega 3 fat supplement can aid both muscle growth and fat reduction. Research from the December 2007 issue of the "American Journal of Clinical Nutrition" found that fish oil supplementation can reduce body fat. In addition, a study from the February 2011 issue of the "American Journal of Clinical Nutrition" found that omega-3 fatty acids can stimulate muscle protein synthesis, which aids in muscle growth.
Protein is a macronutrient that is used to repair and maintain existing muscle tissue as well as to build new muscle. The best lean muscle protein supplement is milk protein isolate, a protein-rich, low-fat, low-carbohydrate product with nutrients conducive to building muscle and losing fat. Milk protein isolate is a powdered protein supplement derived from milk in a process that concentrates the protein and strips out fat and carbohydrates. Milk protein isolate is superior to other supplements in that it contains both of the two protein types found in milk, whey and casein. These protein types have different physiological benefits, so combining them can help you get the most out of your workouts. You should look to consume at least 1.5 to 2g of protein per pound of body weight daily, in divided doses.
My choice - Gold Standard 100% Whey
Glutamine is an amino acid naturally produced in muscle tissue that aids the body in recovery and prevents muscle loss. You should take a glutamine supplement about 45 minutes to an hour before your workout. Take 5g of an L-glutamine supplements daily.
Adenosine triphosphate, or ATP is the energy used by the muscles for fast, powerful movements. Creatine is naturally produced in the body and helps to power explosive movements such as heavy lifts, by increasing ATP production. Creatine also helps speed up muscle recovery so you can spend less time resting between workouts. A creatine supplement should be taken post workout within one hour. Take 20g of creatine monohydrate in divided doses, every day for seven days, then reduce the dosage to 2 to 5g daily
CONJUGATED LINOLEIC ACID
Take a conjugated linoleic acid, or CLA, supplement daily, according to manufacturer's directions. The Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center describes CLA as a form of fatty acid that has significant antioxidant properties. CLA has also been found to reduce body fat in men who are overweight. Studies also suggest that CLA can help individuals attain a healthy weight through apoptosis, or the burning off of white adipose tissue.
My choice - GNC Total Lean CLA
BRANCHED CHAINS AMINO ACID
Branched Chains Amino Acids, or BCAAs leucine, isoleucine and valine are used for fuel during intense workouts thus preventing your body from scavenging hard-earned muscle for energy. At other times of day BCAAs help stimulate protein synthesis and ward off cortisol, the catabolic hormone. You should take 5-10 grams both pre and post workout.
My choice - Optimum Nutrition BCAA 1000
Before beginning any diet, exercise and/or supplement plan you should always check with a doctor that it is safe to do so and follow the recommended guidelines on the products.