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Mass PROvisions - Nutrition
In order to pack on as much lean mass as possible you need to strive to do as many parts of the muscle building equations as intelligently and consistently as you can.
We talked about mindset and the actual training schedule, now we need to take a look at a hugely important part of the mix – nutrition.
Last week I mentioned that intense heavy training is the catalyst for packing on mass. In other words, that’s the first step in the process. Pounding the weights day in and day out creates the stimulus for muscle growth and in order to fully respond to the stimulus you create with all your hard work in the gym, you need to supply the right nutritional support on a daily basis.
My off season nutrition and supplementation approach is very similar to last year at this time with only a few changes, mostly regarding caloric intake. I had great success last year by doing a better job with post workout nutrient selection and timing and those highly effective timing strategies will remain firmly in place.
We’ve added more carbohydrates in the pre and post-workout “bracket” by combining DGC with Creatine HSC and VP2. This addition of DGC is to get a carbohydrate level more suitable for my current body weight and take advantage this ultra important time tailor made for enhanced glycogen storage, greater recovery and accelerating mechanisms of muscle growth.
We’ve also added more carbohydrates in the form of potatoes to my post workout meals. Again, this is to satisfy the body’s high demands for carbohydrates directly after training and its ability to utilize carbohydrates at this specific time of the day.
The other primary diet modification comes in the form of adding more “good” fat with flax seed oil. Flax seed oil provides a rich source of linolenic acid. Linolenic acid is one of the essential fats, along with linoleic acid, that our body needs for optimal health and performance. One important benefit provided by linolenic acid is enhanced insulin sensitivity within muscle cells.
In the past I was meeting the need for linoleic acid with CLA 1000 but wasn't getting any good source of linolenic acid. Recently Paul suggested I add flax seed oil to my diet to take care of that deficiency. Now I am getting both important essential fatty acids.
I take 4 tablespoons of flax seed oil a day, spread among afternoon and evening meals.
As is my usual pattern in the off season I follow the nutritional plan listed below Monday through Friday. Saturday I focus on consistent quality protein intake every two to three hours and I take Sundays as my day off to eat pretty much whatever I want.
Current Nutrition Plan: Monday - Friday
Current Supplementation Plan:
This off season is a little bit different in a couple aspects. One, I am not doing a show in 2004 so I have a longer off season than I’ve had in about 10 years and two, I no longer have to worry about competing in the light heavyweight class as there are no weight classes in the pros.
These two aspects allow us to experiment with caloric intake throughout this off season. Paul and I will discuss my diet after every 8-10 weeks of training and at that point decide if and where we will add any calories.
Remember, the muscle building process is put into motion with your efforts in the gym but the speed and degree to which you respond to that stimulus depends largely upon your nutritional habits once you set the weights down.