Nutrition for Muscle Hypertrophy.
Have you been training like a beast and noticed that your lean gains have started to dwindle or even diminished completely? The common notion is true, nutrition is absolutely the majority of the battle. If you aren’t eating properly then all those times you’ve devoted to crushing it at the gym have gone down the drain.
To maximize your efforts, first thing you should look into doing is completing a body scan to get your basal metabolic rate also known as your resting metabolic rate. BMR or RMR is the number of calories that your body burns at rest. This means if you were to lay in bed for a 24-hour period, you would burn said number of calories. There are a few less accurate, generic equations such as the Mifflin-ST Jeor and Harris Benedict equations that can be used to calculate your BMR. It is vital to remember that those numbers do not consider your actual skeletal muscle mass, as it is only loosely based on your body type and are not 100 percent accurate. Another thing to take into consideration is that BMR is only the number of calories you burn at rest and does not include the additional calories burned from exercise and performing your basic daily activities.
"The slower the gains, the leaner and more sustainable they will be."
With this knowledge, we can determine how active of an individual we are and increase our number of total calories burned daily accordingly. Once we have our total number of calories burned daily, we then consider how much lean mass weekly we would like to gain. The slower the gains, the leaner and more sustainable they will be. A considerably safe and reasonable amount of weight to gain weekly is between one and two pounds. To achieve this, one must consume between 500 and 1,000 calories above their total amount of calories burned daily. So weekly you must consume 3,500 above your totals burned to gain one pound and 7000 calories above your totals burned to gain two pounds. Again, you must be reminded that not all calories are good calories and if we want good, clean gains this is where macronutrient ratios come into participation.
For those who are unaware of what macronutrients are, a great buddy of mine and fellow TFA sponsored athlete Cooper Langham, ISSA-CPT, wrote a magnificent piece explaining just exactly what macronutrients are and why you should take them into consideration so be sure to go check out his article on our website.
"...we all will react uniquely to specific macronutrient intake..."
Back to the lecture at hand, to get the lean gains you desire, twenty-five to thirty-five percent of your calories consumed should be composed of protein, forty-five to sixty percent from carbohydrates and fifteen to twenty percent from fats. Say that your magic number is 3000 calories daily, a reasonable means to an end would be consuming 225 grams of protein, 375 grams of carbohydrates, and 67 grams of fats daily. Beware, due to genetic differences in everybody, we all will react uniquely to specific macronutrient intake and these numbers should be tailored to best fit your needs.
"This is a marathon not a sprint and you probably won’t perfect anything overnight..."
You have your personalized goal, your magic number you need to hit daily to achieve it, you have your macronutrient ratios perfected to a T and you’re ready to go; but before you do, a few more tips are: Know that BMR is based on how much skeletal muscle mass you possess as well as other genetic factors, so in time your numbers will go up as your lean mass does. Be sure to space your calories out evenly throughout the day to regulate your metabolism, this will keep you anabolic and out of a catabolic state. Know the difference between the various types of carbohydrates such as simple sugars and complex carbohydrates and certain types of fats such as your different saturated, unsaturated and trans fats. Research into nutrient timing of meals such as what to eat pre and post workout. Lastly, remember everybody is unique, every body itself responds differently to certain methods of training as well as what we put into it. This is a marathon not a sprint and you probably won’t perfect anything overnight, but eventually with some finetuning and tweaking things here and there you will find what fits your needs best. Happy gaining my friends!