This week’s Chronicles of average Joe goes over the common mistake beginners make when getting into the muscle building game, comparing themselves to pro bodybuilders. Pro bodybuilders are inspiring and they are also great examples in some aspects, but not necessarily a direct example to follow for us all.
Client: So Adam, I was reading to gain mass I need to eat plenty of calories right?
AG: Yes, there is a little more to it than that but yes that is true.
Client: I was reading about Jay Cutler in FLEX magazine and how he would have two double cheeseburgers, fries and lemonade before bed in the off-season to grow. I was thinking I might try this as I am a hard gainer. I was also reading about a Pro who eats a litre of ice cream a day to add size fast. What you think?
AG: I know why don’t you add all your favourite junk food to it and just roll with that? Really, even if this is true (I believe it to an extent) you have to look at the facts. Cutler, a 4 times Mr Olympia champion might I add is circa 280lbs with 5-6% body fat. His volume of muscle mass affords him the luxury to eat in such a way and to an extent his muscles will simply use it. Remember, Cutler isn’t even your average pro bodybuilder – he’s one of the best, a freak therefore the rules are slightly different.
Client: So you are saying it won’t work? AG: I am saying to eat like this for mass you would need the insulin sensitivity of a fasted T-Rex!! Like I said, somebody like Cuter has the muscle mass to support this way of eating (he is probably 100-120lbs heavier in lean muscle than your average gym goer) and his insulin sensitivity will be pretty sharp too.
Client: So what should I do?
AG: Simple – eat plenty of calories (in realm of 18-22 per pound of lean body weight), have 1.5-2g protein per pound of lean body weight and the rest from healthy fats and some complex carbs around your workouts.
Client: What about junk? AG: Junk food is used for building ‘’size’’ due to its calorie content, that’s it – there is no other secret ingredient junk food hold. At the end of the day it is easier to grow muscle when you are lean, super compensation and the fact that your hormone levels are better balanced due to less aromatisation (estrogen to testosterone – aromatase enzyme lives in fat cells, fatter you are the more you have!)
Client: OK, so no junk.
AG: Like any other day of the year, treat it like a cheat meal and maybe a time to load some extra calories in post-workout after legs maybe, beyond that keep it clean to see results!