The number one factor that determines if you build muscle, strength and power is your diet.
It’s not genetics or even training intensity. It’s all about what you eat! And it starts with the food choices you make.
I’m going to tell you how to get ripped without ever lifting a weight again. I’ll show you exactly which foods are best for building muscle mass, increasing strength and burning fat while keeping your metabolism high.
And I’ll give you the exact workout routine that will ensure that you never have to lift a weight again.
THE NUMBER ONE FACTOR THAT DETERMINES IF YOU BUILD MUSCLE, STRENGTH AND POWER: WHAT YOU EAT!
If you want to build muscle mass, strength and power then you need to eat right. Period. End of story. There is no debate here; there is no grey area.
Now before I go any further, let me say that I am not some nutritionist or health nut. My opinions are based on my own research and experience. However, I do believe that everyone can benefit from eating better and following a healthy lifestyle. So please don’t take anything in this article as gospel truth; just something to think about when choosing what to eat.
So what does it all mean? What does it really mean?
Well, there are 3 main things that matter when it comes to building muscle mass, gaining strength and power:
1) Your overall daily caloric intake (how many calories you consume in a day)
2) Your macronutrient composition (the ratio of proteins, carbohydrates and fats you consume)
3) Your meal timing (the times of the day at which you eat your meals)
And understanding these three factors is the key to having a great body and a lean physique.
Note: I’m going to give you a lot of information in this article, so if you don’t need to know something just skip past the parts that seem too technical.
Let’s get started!
CALORIES DO MATTER… A LOT!
I’ve always heard that “a calorie is a calorie” and that “if you want to gain weight then there is no such thing as a bad food” and I’ve heard many other similar pro-fitness fallacies.
Well, unfortunately, this isn’t true.
While it is true that a calorie is a calorie from a mathematical standpoint (e.g. 500 calories of Broccoli is the same as 500 calories of Coca-Cola) we have to take in to account absorption rate, the food’s effect on the body and the long-term affects that they have.
For example, while 500 calories of broccoli and 500 calories of Coca-Cola are equal in a mathematical sense, the way your body processes these calories are quite different. The broccoli will be absorbed much faster, provide more vitamins and nutrients, and (most importantly) will not have any negative effects on your body.
Conversely, the Coca-Cola will take longer for your body to digest, will have a lot of negative affects on your body and will offer virtually no vitamins or nutrients.
The same idea goes for protein, fat and carbohydrates. The mathematical caloric value may be the same but their effect on the body is quite different. There are good calories and there are bad calories.
A calorie is not a calorie when you’re talking about building muscle mass, gaining strength and power.
You have to eat a lot of food in order to gain muscle mass and get stronger. Let me say that again. You. Have. To.
Eat. A. Lot. Of. Food. If you don’t believe me, go ask any skinny guy (or girl) what their eating routine is like. You can’t gain weight if you aren’t eating and you certainly aren’t going to gain muscle mass if you aren’t eating enough.
So to gain weight, you need to create a caloric “surplus” which means you need to be eating more than your body is burning (and yes, exercise does play a minor role in all this, but eating is still the main factor).
How much of a surplus?
Well, it varies from person to person based on your weight, height, age, activity level and a bunch of other factors. There is no definite answer to this question.
Sources & references used in this article:
The endocrinology of aging by SWJ Lamberts, AW Van den Beld… – Science, 1997 – science.sciencemag.org
The effect of heavy-vs. light-load jump squats on the development of strength, power, and speed by JM McBride, T Triplett-McBride, A Davie… – … Journal of Strength & …, 2002 – libres.uncg.edu
Sarcopenia: current concepts by R Roubenoff, VA Hughes – The Journals of Gerontology Series …, 2000 – academic.oup.com
A phantom menace? Cosmological consequences of a dark energy component with super-negative equation of state by RR Caldwell – Physics Letters B, 2002 – Elsevier
Compatibility of high-intensity strength and endurance training on hormonal and skeletal muscle adaptations by WJ Kraemer, JF Patton, SE Gordon… – Journal of applied …, 1995 – journals.physiology.org