Give you the energy you need to power through these demanding workouts, while supporting the accelerated muscle growth the training template generates. I’m also not going to ask that you weigh, measure food etc.
We’re going to make this easy, for once…
TIMING – IT’S EVERYTHING
Calories on training days will be your bodyweight x 20. So if our hypothetical lifter is 200lbs, he’s eating a minimum of 4,000 calories/day. Now here’s the twist: He’s going to get 2000 of those 4,000 in the 2 hours after the workout. It’s not that hard. A 1000 calorie shake post workout, and 90 minutes later a 1,000 calorie meal. It’s also important to get at least 20g of whey, beef or other quality protein in that shake btw. Adding just 2.5 grams of creatine mono would be a good idea too.
The rationale here is this: During those 2 hours, your muscle is like a sponge, literally soaking up glucose, amino acids, water etc. Virtually everything you eat will go into your muscles, no question about it. The enzyme glycogen synthase for example is jumping post workout, and readily stores carbs as glycogen in the muscle. And for every gram of glycogen stored, your body stores nearly 3 grams of water with it!
Bob Bodybuilder needs 4,000 calories/day and is training today. He has a 500 calorie (high protein) breakfast and another 500 calorie meal (low protein) at least 90 minutes away from his workout. Big meals make you sleepy, so you wouldn’t want to eat more than 500 at a whack. That’s 1,000 calories down for the day with 3,000 left to go.
In the 2 hours post workout, he bathes his worked muscles in 2,000 calories of high protein, hi carb shakes/food – maximizing the growth window. That’s going to hold him for awhile, so he saves the remaining 1,000 calories for dinner. I don’t know about you, but I can’t sleep on an empty stomach.
You may have noticed I call for high protein/low protein meals. This is because recent research points to the fact that a certain “refractory” period must exist, before another protein bolus can be introduced. Eating in this way, you have much better 24 hour nitrogen balance. For clarity’s sake, just make sure you let at least 4 hours go by, before your next HIGH protein meal.
On off days, eating 5, 800 calorie meals is ideal
CALORIC ZIG ZAGS
Unlike past Blueprint zig zags, here we introduce the 3 weeks heavy eating, 1 week eating maintenance approach. So during the first three weeks, Bob’s eating his 4,000 calories/day every day. Week 4, he’s going down to 3,000 cals/day (always a 1,000 calorie/day drop, to make things easy).
Upon resuming heavy eating, he’s going up to 4500 calories/day. This, to ensure the new muscle coming on has that little bit extra Bob needs to keep growing. His next maintenance week then is going to b e 3,500, given he has that much more LBM to maintain.
This is to mitigate any fat gain. The longer you over-feed, the more active the enzymes become that store fat.
MAKING IT EASY
If you find calculating how many calories/day you need a pain in the ass, consider the eat by feel method.
- Eat until you’re quite full for 3 weeks.
- The following week you eat until you’re satisfied, not stuffed
- If you’re feeling chubby of find you gained too much around the waist, leave the table a little hungry during your light eating week
2 things: A scale and a flexible tape measure. Every 3 weeks, we’re going to weigh in and take our upper arm, chest (around the nipples), waist (around the navel), thigh (halfway down mark) and calf measurements.
If your weight is going up and your gaining strength in the gym while the waist measurement holds steady, you’re on the right track!. Even if the waist is up, suggest re-measuring at the end of week 4. It should be down by then, and your other measurements up.
Macro’s for hyperplasia type training should be set at the following:
20% healthy fats
Why so many carbs? To fuel the demanding training! 20% protein will look low to some, but given our trainee is 200lbs, that’s still 200 grams of protein/day. If anything, it’s still overkill as the research points to 1 gram of protein per pound of LEAN BODY MASS. So you’ll be getting plenty of protein.
TYPES OF CARBS
ALL KINDS OF VEGETABLES
POTATOS – Probably the cheapest, most “anabolic” food on the planet. Plain white baked with butter, red or yams are all excellent
FRUITS – In moderation and to be eaten by itself. Consider 1-2 pieces/day.
BEANS (all kinds), LENTILS
SPINACH, KALE and ASPARAGUS – I’ve separated these out because I consider them “superfoods”. Spinach improves nitrogen retention by virtue of its Ecdysterone content. Kale is a powerhouse cleanser and Asparagus is an excellent alkalizing agent, as well as being fantastic for the kidneys.
FATS/TYPES OF FATS
The 20% healthy fats isn’t without some thought on my part. Eating big isn’t easy, and fats carry the highest calories per gram. 9g for fats, 4 each for protein and carbs. Quality fats include olive oil, natural peanut butter, mixed nuts and Omega 3 and 6 essential fatty acids, from fish.
MCT oil is an interesting alternative, not the least because Canadian super-trainer John Parillo espoused liberal use with his athletes. The so called “fatless fat”, Medium Chain Triglycerides bypass normal digestion, are used readily for fuel while encouraging the burning of bodyfat.
Parillo wrote in the 1990’s that the days of the 300lb, ripped bodybuilder would be here soon. Everyone scoffed and laugh at him. Who’s laughing now, huh? He was also big on loaded stretching with his athletes and yes, I borrow some of his techniques to refine 4.0’s training template… J
As such, consider consuming 2 tablespoons pre-workout eventually building up to 5. Word to the wise: Too much MCT oil at once = explosive diarrhea. Seriously, go slow folks.
I favor whole food proteins vs. powders, but they do have their place – like immediately post workout! Having said that, let’s talk about why this plan does NOT call for ultra-high protein intake…
When you eat excess protein, your body gets real good at burning…. Protein for fuel. This is costly, inefficient and throws off a LOT of metabolic waste in the form of ammonia and urea. If you ever stink like cat piss while training/sweating, now you know why. More worrisome, once the body runs out of protein for even a few hours, it’ll rob your muscle tissue of it. Yep, you’re stuck on the high protein/big $ and metabolic nightmare merry-go-round.
Moreover, it’s protein TIMING that matters most. You want to bracket your workout with a scoop before training, and/or a scoop after. If you have to choose, try the pre-training intake, as there is new research showing it’s superior.
WHAT ABOUT WHEY?
It’s a fine protein, but many people are allergic. How do you know? A food allergy test is best, but subjectively you want to be looking for the following:
- Runny nose
- Stuffed up nose
- Discharge from the eyes
- Swelling of the tongue
Regardless, it’s good policy to rotate protein sources every month. Whey, Milk and Egg, Micellar Casein, Hemp, Rice, even pea protein fits the bill.
DIETARY TEMPLATE SUMMARY
* Bodyweight x 20 to 25 for 3 weeks
* Bodyweight x 15 for 1 week
* 60% Carbs/20% Protein/20% healthy fat macro split (or thereabouts)
* 50% of the day’s calories in 2 hours post workout
* Week 5 up the calories by 500 on both training/non training days to support new growth
What I’ve given you here is a reasonable eating strategy, that’ll fuel your workouts and provide for that little bit extra growth every week. It also has a built in “fat loss” week, such that the majority of weight we’re putting on isn’t whale blubber. Finally, the caloric zig zags are progressive meaning like your training, they keep going up – in reasonable increments.
I hope you’ll agree, this kind of diet fits the training program like a glove. Eating like this will fuel ever increasingly intense workouts, and ensure most if not all of your gains will be muscle.
Now get eatin’!!!