Zig Zag Calorie Counting

Cut, bulk........ Or both?

Anyone who has decided they want to build their physique has without a doubt asked themselves this very question at least once since they started, do I gain, or do I get lean? You can of course, achieve both, obviously, it will be at a much slower pace, but it is possible to gain muscle without putting on the added fat....  Impossible? No! I talk of course, about calorie cycling, or zigzag calorie counting. The principle is quite simple, on days where you weight train, eat a little more calories than you normally would, and on a rest day, eat a little less than you normally would. This way your body will be getting the extra calories when the body needs it to build muscle, and when it is in a rested state, give it less calories to balance out your energy needs. A suggestion is eat 110% of your maintenance requirements on a workout day, and on a rest day eat 90%, or you can try 120% and 80%. Either way the calories work out over the week and the fat gain will be minimal, but you will be giving the body calories it needs when it is primed to repair (and build) muscle. Using this following method you can expect muscle gains and strength gains with a minimal amount of body fat gain, if you stick to the following rules.

1. Stick to your set calories

2. Make sure you are getting adequate macronutrients

3. Make sure you’re pushing yourself at the gym

4. Rest and sleep

5. Make sure you are hydrated throughout the day

1. Stick to your calories;

If you are reading this, and you are serious about building your body and willing to put in the hard work involved then you MUST know your required maintenance calories, or your results are going to be scattered, or in worse case scenario.. None existent You can find out your required daily energy needs from the hundreds of websites available with calculators which take in all the considerations and give you an accurate result... this will be your 100% On rest days you add 10% of those calories, rest days you omit 10%.

2. Make sure you are getting adequate macronutrients;

The golden ingredient with bodybuilding is of course protein.. If you are working hard, but your protein intake is low, then you are not giving the body the most efficient way to build (repair) the muscle fibres you spent all that time grunting for on the peck deck an hour before. Most experts will say that a minimum of 1lb of your body weight in pounds in grams of protein must be consumed daily, some experts suggest more than 1lb, but latest research is starting to suggest this figure is actually closer to 0.8grams (per pound in body weight) which is exciting news, but to be sure you’re doing right for your body, keep 1lb/1g protein everyday.. You need to have plenty of complex carbs and vegetables to give your body the energy it needs to push it as hard as possible at the gym. Low carb diets are not fun in any way, and not the way our bodies are designed to run, so do what your grandmother says, and eat your greens.

3. Make sure you’re pushing yourself at the gym

If you walk out the gym smelling as fresh as the fabric conditioner your mom uses, logic states that you haven’t pushed yourself hard enough. You need to overwork your muscles to the point where the small fibres in the muscles break, so the body can make them bigger and stronger. If you’re using the dust covered 1lb dumbbells every time you go into the bench room, and can easily push out 12 after 12 reps until you’re bored and leave, then your gym membership is a waste of your money.. You need to go for failure every time your work a body part, if at the end of a chest workout (for example) you can still do 20 press-ups, then you’re not pushing yourself. Don’t kill yourself, but you need to be to the point where you could prob do 2 embarrassing press-ups until you decide your chest is fully worked.

4. Rest and sleep

If you damage the fibres in your muscles, you need to let them heal.. doing 2 heavy back days in a row won’t do you any favours, in fact you could actually injure yourself... have at least 3 days in between working the same muscle, give it time to heal and get stronger. You need sleep, sleep will promote repairs, and give you the energy you need in the gym... No sleep, no Arnie guns

5. Make sure you are hydrated throughout the day

Our bodies are made up largely of water, as this water level drops, you can become weak and your body will start doing some strange things. If you’re not going to the toilet regularly, you’re not drinking enough, an added bonus when drinking plenty of water is that it will help you feel less hungry, which will help you out on your zag days. Zig zag calorie counting is still a very vague and unsupported method of dieting, but this doesn’t mean it doesn’t work..

Do enough research and you will find page after page of people who have had fantastic results from this technique... And of course, it going without saying that Rome wasn’t built in a day, so be patient.. Keep up the training, stick to your calories.. And you’ll be rewarded for your hard work.

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