Supplementation Guidelines For Bulking Up
By Harry Fessel, ProSource Website Editor / Senior Writer | Wednesday, February 1, 2017 2:11:00 PM America/New_York
Get Big and Prioritize Muscle Mass
Over Fat Gain With Targeted Nutrition
The most common error bodybuilders make when they’re trying to bulk up is they simply don’t eat enough. Even experienced bodybuilders often under-estimate the steep increases in caloric intake necessary to add significant mass. That’s a problem, because the most ambitious, aggressive workout regimen in the world won’t generate appreciable gains if your body is under-fueled. Under-eating is a recipe for failure.
Before we address guidelines for boosting your caloric intake into optimal range, let’s figure out how many calories we need to maintain your current mass. To do that, we’re going to need to figure out your Basal Metabolic Rate, or the number of calories required for basic bodily processes.
According to the definitive Harris-Benedict Equation, your BMR is as follows:
BMR = 66 + (6.23 x weight in pounds) + (12.7 x height in inches) - (6.76 x age in years)
Let’s say you’re 5’10”, 175, and 28 years old. Do the math and you get a BMR of 1876.25. That’s the calories you need to consume if you spend your day sitting around. But you don’t, do you? So you’ll need another number, which is the Physical Activity number for bodybuilding exercise. That’s 1.55. Multiply your BMR by 1.55, and you get 2908.19.
That’s a lot of calories to consume every day, but in terms of getting huge, you’re just spinning your wheels. Sports nutrition scientists tell us that you must increase caloric intake by at least 15% to support increased anabolism. So our last calculation (multiplying by 1.15) yields a figure of 3,344.42.
Think you’re done? Well, even THAT number isn’t ironclad. Hard-gainers will need to keep an eye on the scale. If you’re not gaining at least 0.5 lb per week, increase your total intake by another 250 calories and keep doing so until you see real (i.e. muscle, not fat) weekly gains in mass.
Good Eating Vs. Bad Eating
It should go without saying that you’re not going to doughnut your way to your goal. Lean cuts of meat (chicken, beef, fish), eggs (or egg whites), healthy fats (fish oils, flaxseed, nuts), and complex carbs (sweet potatoes, green leafy vegetables, beets, broccoli) will form the firm foundation of your diet. Unless you have a personal chef, you can expect to be broiling a lot of breasts and filets and steaming a lot of veggies going forward.
All of which brings us to the subject of supplementation. To attain muscle mass increases, you’ve got to keep the engine of protein synthesis stoked and firing at peak efficiency round the clock. Any gap in nutritional intake (including during sleep) carries with it the risk of your body slipping into a catabolic state in which the body begins to chew up muscle tissue for fuel.
What kind of nutritional intake? Proteins, first and foremost. Carbs are important both as a source of energy and for insulin potentiation, and fats are essential for more energy (as well as the absorption and utilization of key nutrients), but protein is king for the bodybuilder. The current protein RDA for the average sedentary person is 0.8 g/kg or 0.36 grams per pound. Bodybuilders, of course, require more. Most studies indicate that bodybuilders require a protein intake between 1.2 to 1.7 g/kg/day (figure 0.72 grams per pound). Going back to our original example of a 175-lb athlete, that’s roughly 130 grams of protein a day. That’s a lot of chicken!
That’s why a premium whey protein formula is the bodybuilder’s best friend. Whey protein has a high biological value and is ideal for consuming on the go; it’s low in fats and carbs, and the best sources are rich in the most fragile protein fractions (alphalactalbumin, lactoferrin, and glycomacropeptides) that are essential catalysts for boosting growth and recovery.
Make Or Break Time: Post-Workout Nutrition
Any discussion of bulking up has to begin with the most important nutritional hour of your day, the hour following your workout. After intense exercise, your body is in a critical state; muscle fibers are damaged, glycogen stores are depleted, cortisol is elevated. In such a state, your body will begin to break down muscle tissue in order to free up the amino acids it needs to do repairs, unless you intervene with precision-targeted nutrition that will fuel new protein synthesis.
That’s where a super-premium mass builder like MyoZene from BioQuest will prove essential. MyoZene is powered by a highly specialized whey hydrolysate technology consisting of extremely low di- and tri-peptide aminos that are absorbed directly into the bloodstream. Heightened levels of blood amino acids are a key driver of augmented nitrogen utilization, protein synthesis and a greatly elevated anabolic state. Speaking of anabolism, MyoZene also contains a revolutionary patent-pending peptide carrier technology that enables leucine to remain soluble and stable, primed to super-efficiently trigger muscle synthesis through the mTOR pathway.
MyoZene’s leucine-rich whey hydrolysates combine with potent amounts of Creapure® creatine monohydrate (the world’s best), a highly bioavailable N-acetyl-L-glutamine, and L-Carnitine L-Tartrate, which up-regulates androgen receptor content and helps augment luteinizing hormone secretion. Finally, MyoZene contains an advanced carbohydrate matrix which potentiates insulin release, activating ribosomal activity and growth initiation factors, while keeping skeletal muscle in a state of positive protein balance before and after a training session. All of these technologies, working in perfect synergy, ensure that you’re deriving maximum benefit from each and every workout.
Going The Distance: Extended Release
Aminos, Plus High-Quality Fats And Carbs
Now that we’ve got one meal out of the way, we can start working on the other six. Seven meals per day, you say? Yes! Fueling growth is a 24/7 job. You want to keep your metabolism primed and your body at its fat-mobilizing, muscle-repairing peak. We’re going to assume that you have breakfast, lunch and dinner covered with some of the healthy whole foods options mentioned above.
What you need now is a premium-quality, calorie-dense, wide-spectrum-amino formula that will bridge the longest nutritional gaps in your day. NytroPlex from ProSource features a three-stage protein blend that provides a colossal 63.2 gram dosage of superior protein content. It keeps you covered anabolically over the short term with fast-acting crossflow-microfiltrated whey protein, while its second stage is instantized egg albumin for a clean and potent infusion of slower release protein. For longer durations, NytroPlex contains a pure, undenatured form of micellar casein that digests for as long as 8 hours, providing a continuous release of aminos and other bioactive peptides.
We’ve talked about the importance of carbs and fats in your diet, and NytroPlex reflects that dietary philosophy with 5.5 grams of an Anabolic Lipid Matrix containing flaxseed oil rich in Omega-3s and conjugated linoleic acid, plus complex carbs in the form of low-glycemic oat fiber. NytroPlex is well-indicated for any time of day, but is especially recommended for supplementation prior to bedtime, as its egg albumin and micellar casein will keep your growing muscles fortified with slow-releasing aminos as they repair and recover during sleep.
Bridging The Gaps: Protein On The Go
Five meals down, two to go. If we all lived the lives of famous athletes, we’d have nothing to do all day but eat and train and eat some more. Unfortunately, most of us have jobs to go to, errands to run, and maybe kids to care for, as well. For those of us with additional responsibilities, preparation is key. That means assembling meals in advance, so you can pop them into the oven quickly and easily, and it means having access to a premium-value protein wherever you go. Empty calories are the bane of a bodybuilder’s existence, and temptation is everywhere, whether it’s the snack machine at work or the dessert course at dinner in a restaurant. To achieve your bulking-up goals, get in the habit of keeping a jug of good-quality protein on your desk at work or in the gym bag you’ve got out in your car.
If you’re supplementing with world-class proteins like MyoZene and NytroPlex (or ProSource’s flagship premium protein NytroWhey Ultra Elite) during the day, the jug of protein you keep on hand at work can be a good, solid, basic whey protein product, formulated to meet the highest standards of the category. This is the protein you’ll be dipping into periodically during your busy day, bridging the gaps between breakfast and lunch and between lunch and dinner.
Our advice is to go with a protein that combines high biological value and excellent price. Precision Whey Protein from ProSource is superior to every other product in its category. It provides 100% whey protein, formulated via advanced low-temperature, ultra-filtration processing, with no cheap fillers or unproven blends, as found in many "bargain" whey products sold by less scrupulous manufacturers. This ensures that key growth factors and nutritional components of whey are preserved, resulting in a powerful stimulus for muscle growth. Each serving of Precision Whey Protein also provides a high amount of vital branched-chain amino acids that are essential for maximizing muscle recovery.
Another great option for this purpose is Original NytroWhey from ProSource. Original NytroWhey is the whey protein isolate that established the gold standard for the industry. Generations of elite athletes have achieved their physique goals with NytroWhey’s justly celebrated whey isolate, formulated via an ultra micro-filtration technology unparalleled in yielding powerful concentrations of highly anabolic protein fractions. Protein formulas come and go, but ProSource’s Original NytroWhey has stood the test of time because it represents, gram for gram, the best bodybuilding value in the history of the industry.
Wrapping up, we should also remind you that no bodybuilder’s dietary regimen is complete without a daily five-gram dose of creatine monohydrate, preferably in the form of ProSource Creatine Monohydrate, composed entirely of world-class Creapure® from Germany. Strength increase is indispensable for progress in the gym, and ProSource Creatine is unrivaled for its cell-volumizing, strength-enhancing power. Also crucial is a good BCAA supplement for post-workout recovery. ProSource has you covered there as well with its Mega BCAA product that provides the highest-quality branched-chain aminos in convenient powder or capsule formats.
The Bigger The Better
Winter is the season for bulking up. Eat intelligently (and often), train hard, and keep your eyes on the prize. When spring arrives, you’ll have a physique that will turn heads wherever you go. Of course, even then, your job is only half accomplished. Before you know it, we’ll be back with expert guidelines on completing a successful cutting phase for summer.
Read more about MyoZene here.
Read more about ProSource NytroPlex here.
Read more about ProSource Precision Whey here.
Read more about ProSource Original NytroWhey here.
Use as directed with a sensible nutrition and exercise program. Read and follow all product label instructions and warnings thoroughly before use. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
The articles featured herein are for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. Specific medical advice should only be obtained from a licensed health care professional. No liability is assumed by ProSource for any information herein.