Muscle Building Diet
Back when I was a freshman in college, my head basketball coach said to me: “I need you to put on 25 pounds of muscle by next season.” At the time, I was 165 pounds standing at 6’6″ tall. When my coach first said that me, I thought he was crazy. I had tried in the past to put on muscle only to fail miserably.
This time however, I had the guidance of my great friend and strength coach Levi, and the motivation of my best friend Brian to get me there (Brian at the time was 6’7″ 165). Plus, I took this challenge my coach gave me and made it my own. I wanted to put on 25 pounds because I knew it would make me a better basketball player.
With the research I started doing and all that Levi was telling me, I knew nutrition was going to be the biggest factor. Although most people think that their muscles grow while in the gym lifting, it is actually the opposite. Muscles grow and develop during recovery periods. This means through nutrition and rest.
Because I was so active, I knew I needed to take my time outside of the gym seriously so I could achieve what I had set out to do.
Being an athlete, I didn’t just want to put on 25 pounds; I wanted to put on 25 pound of muscle. There were four main areas of focus that I took into account when constructing my muscle building diet:
The Muscle Diet That Helped Me Put on 30 Pounds of Muscle in 3 Months:
1. Consume 25-30 grams of protein every 2-3 hours
Aside from when you are sleeping, you must be on a strict schedule to make sure you are fueling your body with protein every 2-3 hours. Whether this comes from a piece of chicken or steak, or simply a protein shake, do not ever miss getting your 25-30 grams of protein every 2-3 hours.
If you aren’t that hungry, it doesn’t matter. You force it down!
2. Properly time carbohydrates
The majority of your carbohydrates should come immediately after workouts and first thing in the morning (with protein too of course!). Most days I was working out in the morning so this meant I was consuming most of my carbs around workout times (before and after).
Because I was so active (playing basketball, practices, lifting weights, going to the beach, shooting baskets on my own, etc.), I needed to make sure that I was consuming more calories than I burned. Therefore, I would include some carbohydrates with most of my meals, just a little less than what I was eating before and after workouts.
For those who are not as active as I was (remember I was in college at the time), focus on having your higher carb days on workout days and slightly lower carb days on off days (see carb cycling). I had a lightening fast metabolism back then so I was able to handle a high amount of carbohydrates without putting on any fat. Figure out the amount of carbohydrates your body can handle without putting on fat and stick with that amount.
3. Eat real food
Any nutrition plan that you are on, this should be number one. Eating lots of eggs, chicken, grass fed meats, fish, nuts, seeds, fruits, and vegetables are going to aid in lean muscle growth, eliminate unwanted fat, and keep you healthy.
4. Have biggest meal of the day immediately after working out
This was a big key to the success I had. A typical post workout meal would consist of 50 grams of whey protein, and a Chipotle bowl with extra rice and beans, and chicken. I always tell people that all the money I made in college went straight to post workout Chipotle bowls. Although I am somewhat joking, there is some truth behind that.
Brian, Levi, and myself went to Chipotle so much that about once per week they would give us our meals free. Not a bad perk if you ask me!
After workouts your muscles are primed for growth, so having a big meal with lots of protein and carbohydrates is important! This should be your highest carb and protein meal of the day.
Looking back, as tough as the workouts were, the nutrition plan was even tougher. It took round the clock focus on eating in order to force the muscles to grow. If you are serious about putting on size, you must get serious about how you are eating.
Eating junk foods, skipping meals, and not getting enough calories simply won’t get you there. If you are trying to put on muscle and want to have that ripped, muscular physique, follow the guidelines above.
Don’t just lift then go eat crap because in the end you will look and feel that way too. The steps above are the right way to put on muscle so you look and feel great!
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