Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Building Muscle Mass During The Off Season

Building muscle during the off season is easier said than done for most people. It's great to have the idea of doing an off season to put on quality muscle so you can make improvements in your physique, but it's another story to commit yourself fully do doing everything that it takes to make those gains. Muscle gains come easy to some people and not so easy to others, so if you are an easy gainer or a hard gainer, I think you'll find this posting helpful when you want to develop more muscle on your frame.

Training in the gym is the only way that you'll be able to put on quality muscle mass because you'll need to overload your muscle with weight training. Your training plan should always include complex exercises that are focused on a push/pull/lower body split. This will allow you to hit each muscle group twice a week and engage as many muscle fibers as possible to develop growth. Keep in mind that some days you hit the muscles harder than others, but the point of going to the gym is to stimulate not alienate your muscles. Over training will only lead to increased chance of being injured and hamper your muscle gains. When you are working large muscle groups such as legs or back, I would recommend that you spend no longer than 90 minutes working out. For smaller muscle groups such as shoulders and arms, 45-60 max is all that you need to stimulate your muscles for growth.

Cardio will limit your gains! I know what it's like to want to stay lean and trim all year around, but you have to limit your cardio and focus more on weight training if you want to develop overall muscle mass. Too much cardio will limit the growth in your legs and take away the valuable calories that you take in from food.

Food is another important part of gaining muscle, you only need to consume 400-500 extra calories a day to put on proper muscle mass. Anything more is simply not needed by the body and it'll be converted to fat. Once you determine how many calories you burn in a day, add the extra 400-500 and make sure they come from clean sources. I shoot for 2 grams of protein per pound of body weight per day from sources such as: ISO XP whey protein, Egg White, Ground Beef, Chicken, Salmon, Turkey. Carbs are another story that can be hard to group into a range because it's a matter of how a particular persons body metabolizes the carbs. I would say you should be safe with 1 - 1.5 grams of carbs per pound of body fat a day. Fats are another important area that should be worked in to the diet, things like avocado, nuts, almonds, nut butter, olive oil, are all good sources of healthy fats. 0.5 to 0.75 grams per pound of body fat per day.
Train Hard, Get Sweaty, Live Well 

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