Not getting the results you want from weight training? Nine times out of ten it’s got something to do with what you eat, how how you train! Most lifters place so much importance on sets, reps, drop sets, negatives, routines etc etc but totally leave their diet out of the picture! It should be done the other way around, get your diet and nutrition plan zoned in and then hit the gym.
Without the right diet for weight training you’re going to limit your results severely! If you don’t have the right nutrition to back up your intense workout routine you will not gain. In fact, you could actually LOSE MUSCLE through catabolism.
So I thought I’d bang together some solid tips on nutrition for weight training, some points everyone who wants to build muscle, get ripped and increase strength should work into their plan.
Nutrition For Weight Training – My 10 Tips:
1. Know The Protein / Carbohydrate / Fat Ratio
You need to grow and build your nutrition plan around that. Work out the amount of calories you need every day using a bmr calculator to work out how many calories your body needs each day to maintain weight, then add 500 or so. Once you have that figure you need a P/C/F ratio. Let’s use 40/40/20. So you diet is 40% protein, 40% carbs, and 20% fat. Take the total calories you have and work out how much of those calories need to each element. For example, 4,00 calories total per day. 4,000 x .4 = 1,600. So you know you need 1,600 calories from protein and carbs and 800 from fats. If you’re still with me, now we need to work out how much P/C/F we need. 1g of protein and carbs equals 4 calories, and 1g of fat equals 9 calories. So we know we need 400g of protein, 400g carbs and 90g of fats per day. Now we need to spread this over 6 meals. So divide by 6. There you have the amounts of protein, carbs and fat you need for EACH meal. That gives you the foundation to plan your food.
2. Fruits and Vegetables
You MUST eat fruits and vegetables, 5 portions a day or more. Intense weight training depletes the body’s store of essential vitamins and minerals. Sure, by taking a good daily multivitamin supplement we can reduce that but it’s not enough. Being deficient in nutrients can hamper growth because the body knows it’s more important to be healthy than build muscle, so it prioritizes.
3. Whey Protein
Start the day with whey protein, and then eat a solid breakfast of complex carbs. It’s a good idea to immediately drink whey protein upon wakening. Your body has just been through an 8+ hour fast and it hungry for nutrients. Nothing delivers that quicker than a whey shake with water.
4. As Soon As You’re Hungry, Eat
Don’t wait, as soon as you even feel the slightest bit hungry go and have something to eat. When you’re looking to build lean muscle you need to supply your body with a constant stream of incoming nutrients. This means proteins, healthy fats and complex carbohydrates.
5. Keep Simple Carbs To Post Workout Only
There is absolutely no other time of the day that you need simple carbohydrates! This means staying away from foods that contain high sugar. Chocolate, soda, candy etc, all out. Eating these foods creates insulin spikes when you don’t need them and can lead to more fat storage.
6. Use Clean Weight Gainers
Weight gainers or meal replacements are perfect for our lifestyles because unless you’re working from home or don’t have a job, finding time for the right nutrition to back up your weight training program is going to be difficult. With weight gainers you know exactly what you’re getting calorie and nutrient wise as well, so you can easily work them into your nutrition plan.
7. Learn How To Cook In Bulk
Cooking in bulk and portioning is THE KEY to sticking to a solid diet for muscle gain without gaining too much fat. Learn recipes that serve 10, then portion up those meals and freeze them for eating throughout the week. This is what the professionals do, and this is what you’re going to have to learn if you want to clean bulk or cut down fat.
8. Never Train On A Empty Stomach
Want to lose muscle? I doubt it, but it could happen if you train without the correct pre-workout nutrition. The last thing you want is your body having to use protein from muscle tissue as energy for a intense workout. Have a big meal around 3 hours before you routine, then top up with a smaller meal around 1 hour before.
9. Post Workout Nutrition Is Vital
Check out my post on post workout nutrition, that pretty much sums up the importance of post workout nutrition and shows you want you need. Make sure you have your shake as soon as possible after you finish training, the sooner the better!
10. Stay Consistent
Consistency is the key to building a good physique, and this applies to nutrition as well as training. Plan your nutrition every week, plan what you’re going to get from the supermarket, and plan your meals in advance. They are the first steps to succeeding!
Good luck. Hopefully this post will help you plan the nutrition you need to reach your goals!