Getting jacked is cool. It would be cooler if ate like it.
What does eating like Arnold look like?
You've made the smart choice. You've decided to get jacked. What now? Buy shmedium shirts and brag to all my friends the countless time consuming hours I spend in the gym? Easy but probably not the correct way to go about things. You probably want to consume enough fuel to continue your monstrous weight lifting gains because if you don't, you could be seeing the adverse affect of fatigue, injury, and worst of all - scrawniness. Think of the body as a fine tuned piece of machinery. The more you put into it, the more product, result, end goal is produced. The better you take care of this machine by making sure its well oiled, all the nuts and bolts are tight, and that the right raw material is going into it, the longer it will last and more you'll get out of it. When we take care of our bodies (give it exercises, proper food, sleep, hydration and rest) it runs at max capacity, burning all excess cargo (fat) to run. With the added caloric burn of exercising and tearing of muscles with progressive overload, we need to make sure that we recover properly and get the most out of our bodies. Thats were protein comes into play.
Protein is the key player in muscle growth. Gaining muscle is determined by your relationship between MPS (muscle protein synthesis) and MPB (muscle protein breakdown).
MPS > MBP = GAIN TRAIN
MBP > MPS = Wet Noodle Arms
To deter your body from MBP, a sufficient stimulus to the muscles through weight training and protein intake need to occur. MPS is the result through weight training and protein intake. We also need to make sure we take protein often enough.
A timeline for needed MPS looks like so:
You’ll stimulate it (by training & eating Protein)
You’ll get a “Muscle Full” effect after 1-2 hours
You’ll hit our Refractory Period after approx 2 hours
You’d then stimulate it again (by eating Protein)
The quick and dirty answer is that you need protein every 4 hours or so and the total protein intake only needs to be about 1.8x your body weight for daily intake.
Some simple math: 200lb person needs 160 g of protein in a day
Each time they eat (every 4 hrs in a 16 hr day) is 30 g
In an ideal world that could look like 3 square meals with a protein shake or 2 mixed in as little snacks.
Why Can't I just eat the 160g of protein whenever I want to??
Think of the muscles a cup and protein as water that you pour into the cup. You can only fill so much at once before it overflows. That overflow is just waste excreted from the body. So the cup needs time to drain before you're able to fill it again.
This would be your 'Muscle Full Effect.' Time is needed to create a positive relationship with the muscle and protein.
Protein is the most important factor but there is more to this dieting thing.
The second piece to this equation is the caloric surplus. You need more calories coming into your body than leaving. If you were trying to loss weight and get smaller, you'd reverse the process.
There is an equation to find out what your body is burning in order to find the right number for the caloric surplus but here is a simpler way of doing it below.
Once you have your magical number (your daily caloric expenditure +500) you need to start eating. The reason you need to be in a caloric surplus is because we need to combat the MPB and supply the muscles with enough energy to perform and recover.
Of course, you can still achieve muscle growth without being in a surplus but by being in a surplus, it makes it easier for you and your body to complete your goals.
You gotta think what's more important, muscle growth? Or small muscles?
In conclusion, muscle growth and your ticket to swole nation requires a positive relationship between MPS and MPB. To combat MPB, you need to synthesis your muscle through adequate protein intake and muscle stimulation through weight training. To make this process easier, you also need to be in a caloric surplus. A surplus is how many calories you burn in a day with an additional 500+.
If you follow this simple formula you might look me one day...
All Jokes hahaha
Until next time, happy lifting and may your gains be great.