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Complete Diet, Exercise, and Supplement Regimen,
Crafted By Experts to Help You Pack On Dramatic Mass!
Here it comes, guys. The days are getting longer, and the first day of spring is upon us. For many people, that means it’s time to get outside, enjoy the fresh air, and commune with nature.
But not for you. As a person dedicated to the fine art of physique enhancement, you know it’s time to heed the call of the iron with increased urgency, while focusing on nutrition with renewed intensity and discipline.
Why? Because the first day of spring means that summer is just 90 days away, and NOW is the time to put the final touches on a physique that will strike awe into the hearts and imaginations of everyone you encounter in the summer months to come.
Did we say, “final touches?” What we meant was adding 15 pounds of rock-hard muscle mass to your physique in 90 days. Does that sound like an impossible task? Well, rest assured it isn’t, and we’ve brought in two experts who have seen it done and are here to show you how.
The Experts Weigh In
Handling the nutrition and supplement half of the equation is noted researcher and ProSource columnist Dwayne Jackson, PhD. Dwayne is that rare specimen: a combination of respected health and fitness scientist and dedicated amateur bodybuilder. At age 44, he’s got the physique of a man half his age, and the wisdom of a sage with decades of scholarship and investigation behind him. For state-of-the-art training protocols, we’ve got Noah Bryant, CSCS, a two-time NCAA champion in the shotput, with a RAW 501-lb bench press to his credit. Noah has 5 years' experience coaching some of the best collegiate athletes in the world. Welcome aboard guys!
Dwayne Jackson: As bodybuilders, we all strive to put on as much high quality mass as possible in the shortest period of time. This requires having a well-put-together training plan, a high calorie (clean) diet, and a well-designed supplement program. In this article, I’ll focus on determining proper caloric intake and a supplement strategy aimed at putting on 15lbs of quality mass in 90 days.
Noah Bryant: So, you are looking to put on some mass? You say you want to add 15 pounds in 90 days? This is no easy task, it is going to take consistency, hard work, and full dedication to the task at hand both inside and outside of the gym. You cannot gain fifteen pounds of lean mass with training alone. Your diet and supplementation have to be on point as well, so I’m glad we have Dwayne on hand with us. Take it away, Dwayne!
Lots Of Calories With an
Emphasis on Complete Proteins
Dwayne Jackson: If your training is consistent and intense, then you must re-fuel your muscles with high quality calories in order to grow. This means developing a diet that is rich in complex carbohydrates, healthy fats, and (most of all) high in quality protein. During bulking you have to aim for 1.5 to 2 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight. Believe it or not, diet is where 99% of wannabe bodybuilders fail in the quest for size.
How many calories do you need? Fundamentally, you need to consume more calories than you expend. A good starting point is to calculate your basal metabolic rate (BMR). BMR is the amount of calories your body needs to carry out daily body functions (while maintaining body weight). This can be easily calculated using any online BMR calculator. Algorithms for calculating BMR have been developed to include the amount of calories expended at work and workouts. In order to gain 15lbs in 90 days you will need to consume about 625 extra calories per day (EVERY DAY!). Make sure you weigh in every week, if your weight is not increasing by at least 1lb per week then slowly add more calories.
As for your meals, you want to stick to the basics. This is no time to get fancy. Eat early (never skip breakfast!) and often (consume small meals throughout the day!). Emphasize complete proteins! That means plenty of lean beef, chicken breasts, tuna, and eggs. That’s egg whites or whole eggs. Don’t worry about eating too many eggs. The more we learn about the correlation between dietary cholesterol and blood cholesterol, the more tenuous that link becomes. It may be that some people have high cholesterol simply because their bodies create more of it, not because they eat it. Certainly one or two eggs per day won’t adversely affect you.
Include complex carbohydrates in your diet. Carbs are important! You’ll need them for energy. Low-glycemic carbs like brown rice, quinoa, rolled oats, sweet potatoes, and whole rye are ideal for slow-release energy that won’t be stored as fat. Spinach, broccoli, and green leafy vegetables are all good sources of dietary fiber, which help remove waste from the body.
Don’t forget healthy fats! You should get about 25% of your calories from healthy fat sources such as fish, nuts (walnuts, pecans), flaxseed and pumpkin seeds, and olive and sunflower oils. And finally, drink plenty of water. Hydration is essential to muscle recovery, and men should drink 3 to 4 liters of water per day.
Once you’ve worked out your caloric needs, you must carefully devise a supplement strategy that will synergize your workouts and diet for maximum muscular gains. This is usually a tough task, but we have done the homework for you. So keep reading to get the details on “what, when, and how” to use supplements to support massive gains. But first, let’s bring back Noah to introduce the basic philosophy of the workouts you’ll be doing to attain your highly ambitious goal of adding 15 pounds of muscle in 90 days.
Big Compound Movements
Noah Bryant: In order to gain that much muscle mass, we are going to have to hit the gym hard and use an array of different lifting modalities. The meat and potatoes of this 90-day program is going to be big, compound movements. But in order to maximize muscular hypertrophy we will also be doing a fair amount of isolation movements.
We will employ the use of normal sets and reps, drop sets, and rest pause training in order to maximize our muscular gains. Building slabs of muscle is tough work, it’s not for the faint of heart, so if you don’t have a penchant for working hard, find another workout.
Also, obviously, you’re going to need to consume great quantities of calories, as Dwayne has said, to fuel this kind of effort. Pre-workout supplementation will be necessary, to maximize performance, and post-workout supplementation will be essential in making sure you attain and maintain the gains you achieve form each and every workout. Dwayne will walk you through the diet and supplementation protocols, and I’ll be back, toward the end, to share training strategies, methods, and other information you need to know, plus some complete training regimens that will convey you on your 90-day journey to physique success. Back to Dwayne!
Dwayne Jackson: Proteins are chains of amino acids that are needed to build muscle and support metabolism. In an effort to maximize protein synthesis and minimize catabolism, bodybuilders require at least twice as much protein as the regular guy on the street. Thus, it is no mystery why protein supplementation is necessary to make significant lean mass gains.
Protein Powder Blends
Protein blends are well-thought-out protein supplements that incorporate proteins from more than one source, which have different absorption profiles. Most simply put, these are products aimed at raising blood amino acids quickly and keeping them elevated over extended periods of time (i.e., several hours). But it cannot be overstated that not all protein sources are equal in muscle building potency. In fact, published research in recent years has shown that protein source, quality, and timing play a primary role in the degree of anabolism achieved. When combined with heavy resistance training, whey protein isolate (WPI) and whey protein hydrolysate (WPH) hold the top scientific honors for anabolic response, increased protein synthesis, and muscle recovery response. On the other hand, micellar casein is noted for its anticatabolic effects---due to its extended duration of amino acid release.
As a preworkout protein source, ProSource's NytroWhey Ultra Elite holds top honors. It is very low in carbohydrates, high in fiber, and contains the highest grade of USA produced WPI and WPH. The R&D team at ProSource has balanced the WPI:WPH ratio perfectly to achieve benefits of both fast acting WPH and moderate digesting WPI. The result is a product providing instantaneous aminoacidemia (i.e., flooding of amino acids into the blood) upon ingestion, all the while maintaining high levels of blood amino acids throughout your training session.
For a sustained day and nighttime blended protein, ProSource’s NytroPlex-GF is the top choice. It contains a combination of the highest grade WPI, egg albumin, and micellar casein that is designed to keep blood amino acid levels elevated while you work or sleep. NytroPlex is unique in its category in that it contains NO whey protein concentrate or other inferior protens of any kind.
When and How to Supplement: Drink 1 serving of NytroPlex-GF (56 grams of protein) upon waking and another immediately before bed. Drink 1-2 servings of NytroWhey Ultra Elite (approx. 20-40g of protein) 30 to 60 minutes prior to training.
Whey Protein Hydrolysate (WPH) and Dextrose
Whey protein hydrolysate is made from WPI by enzymatic degradation (hydrolysis). It is the fastest digesting protein source available and research has shown that the faster amino acids enter the blood after exercise, the greater the anabolic
response. As a result of rapid digestion, WPH ingestion loads water into muscle cells (cell volumizing), speeds recovery,
drives anabolism, and supports immune function. The rapid absorption rate of dextrose makes it the perfect post-workout carbohydrate supplement. It enters the blood stream immediately, leading to a rapid and robust increase in blood insulin, which drives sugars and amino acids into depleted muscles.
When and How to Supplement: MyoZene from BioQuest is the number one product in this category, as it contains exact dosing of the purest WPH and dextrose, along with many other muscle building ingredients. Indeed the power and effectiveness of MyoZene has been documented in a landmark clinical study in which subjects taking MyoZene experienced 24% to 32% gains in strength/endurance over the course of a single month. That's the kind of validation that keeps serious bodybuilders coming back for more! Drink one shake as soon as you finish your workout.
Muscle Building Supplements
Creatine is synthesized by the body from arginine, methionine, and glycine and is stored in skeletal muscle. During exercise, it plays a fundamental role in energy production by forming the ATP needed for muscle contractions. In terms of muscle growth, it increases the amount of water taken up by muscle cells---which swells the muscle and signals for increased repair (it also makes your muscles look bigger). Second, it increases the release of the anabolic hormone, insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) and decreases myostatin levels (the ‘anabolic brakes’) during recovery from heavy training.
When and How to Supplement: Always choose products that contain pharmaceutical-grade Creapure creatine monohydrate to ensure the highest potency. ProSource Creatine Monohydrate is made with 100% Creapure. Although creatine monohydrate dosing is body-weight and tolerance dependent, a good starting point is to first complete a loading phase of 5 grams, 4 to 6 times per day for a week. After a week take 5 grams 30 minutes before and immediately after training. On rest days take 5 grams with breakfast and 5 grams later in the day.
Beta alanine is a non-proteinogenic amino acid, meaning that it is not involved in synthesizing proteins. In skeletal muscle, beta-alanine and histidine form carnosine—where the level of beta-alanine limits carnosine production. Research illustrates that 4 weeks of beta-alanine supplementation can increase muscle carnosine levels by more than 60%. Keeping carosine levels elevated keeps muscle acidity low during intense exercise bouts and into recovery, resulting in strength and performance increases. Research has shown that beta-alanine stacked with creatine produces synergistic increases in strength and muscle mass, with decreases in fat mass.
When and How to Supplement: Take 2-3g of ProSource Beta Alanine 30 minutes before and right after training. ProSource was one of the first manufacturers to bring a quality beta alanine product to market, and their Beta Alanine continues to be the standard bearer in the category. On rest days, take 2-3 g with breakfast and 2-3 g later in the day.
L-Carnitine L-Tartrate (LCLT)
LCLT is a stable form of L-carnitine and is completely absorbed by the body. Research has shown that LCLT supplementation upregulates skeletal androgen receptor expression (the receptors that testosterone binds to) and increases luteinizing hormone (LH) secretion (which signals for greater testosterone production). Together this boosts testosterone and testosterone receptors for enhanced anabolic interaction. Furthermore, it has been shown that LCLT supplements reduce exercise-induced muscle tissue damage---likely due to increases insulin-like growth factor binding protein.
When and How to Supplement: The best LCLT supplement on the market is BioQuest's AndroCept. BioQuest's superior manufacturing protocols and attention to detail ensure that the LCLT content you're supplementing with will deliver maximum results. On training days, take 2 grams of AndroCept immediately postworkout. On rest days, take 2 grams with breakfast.
Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs)
The BCAAs (Leucine, Valine, and Isoleucine) are three unique essential amino acids that share a branched chain structure and are preferentially taken up by skeletal muscle and broken down during exercise. Traditionally, bodybuilders used BCAAs to replenish lost amino acid stores due to heavy training, but new research illustrates that BCAA ingestion directly stimulates anabolism by acting as an “anabolic switch”. In addition, BCAAs are anti-catabolic, reduce exercise-induced muscle pain, and decrease mental fatigue during intense exercise.
When and How to Supplement: The BCAA product you choose should have at least twice as much leucine as the other aminos. The best product in this category is ProSource Mega BCAA, which combines high-quality amino content and value pricing in a way that no other manufacturer can match. Take 5-10 g of Mega BCAAs upon waking up in the morning, another dose 30 minutes pre-workout and another immediately after training.
Testosterone Boosting Supplements
It is common knowledge that bodybuilders need to maintain high testosterone levels to sustain the body’s anabolic environment. After all, testosterone is the most potent muscle building hormone. In the past several years supplement research teams have toiled to produce natural and safe products that boost testosterone to maximize muscle growth.
Of all the testosterone boosters available, the one that stands out in terms of research and potency is AndroTest by ProSource. To produce AndroTest, they use only the most potent raw materials and an advanced multiple-phase extraction method. In contrast to conventional alcohol extraction methods, this extraction process reduces the involvement of solvents and high heat, which yields significantly higher purity, reduces residual solvents in the final product, and reduces thermal damage to active compounds. With such stringent levels of quality control, AndroTest is the only full spectrum protodioscin-rich botanical super compound standardized (and guaranteed) to contain a minimum of 80% total steroidal saponins, 60% total furostanol saponins, with an unprecedented 40% protodioscin ---a level of potency that is not offered by any competitor. In independent case studies, subjects who used AndroTest noted up to a three-fold increase in their testosterone levels!
When and How to Supplement: Take AndroTest 3 times daily between meals. Cycle on for 4 weeks and off for 2 weeks---repeat.
Used in combination, these supplements should get you well on your way to a prodigiously muscled physique in time for June. But of course, that’s only half the story. For the grueling workout regimen that will get you over the finish line, let’s turn it over to Noah.
The Mass-Gain Philosophy
Behind Compound Movements
Noah Bryant: Big, compound movements are proven to be the best way to add pounds of punishing muscle to your frame. Heavy compound movements elicit a much more favorable hormonal response than small, isolation movements. The more muscles involved in the lift, the more anabolic the hormonal response. For this reason, our program will be based upon the foundation of the squat, bench press, deadlift, and overhead press.
During this 90-day program you will see that each lift has its own prescribed rest period. Follow it! Shorter rest intervals have been shown to create a more favorable hormonal response post workout, something we definitely want to take advantage of.
Some Training Methods You Need To Understand
Drop Sets. I think we all know what drop sets are, but for those who do not, I will explain it. You start with weight on the bar and do a set to failure, you then have spotters on either side take off a pre-determined amount of weight, you then rep to failure again. You keep doing this until you have reached the prescribed number of drop sets.
Rest-Pause Sets. There is not really one set definition for this method, so I will explain how I want you to do them during your 90-day program. Start with weight on the bar (or dumbbells in your hand) and do as many reps as you can, stopping one shy of failure. Re-rack the weight and rest for 30 seconds. Now do another set with the same weight, once again stopping one shy of failure. Re-rack, rest 30 seconds, and do one last set to failure. That equals one rest-pause (1 RP) set.
Other Information You Need to Know
Everybody is different when it comes to muscular endurance and how many reps they can do at certain percentages. Some people can 3 reps at 85% while others can do 7 reps at the same percentage. Because of this, I don’t like to prescribe percentages unless I know how each lifter responds to them.
For this reason, during this program the choosing of weights is mainly up to the individual (some lifts have percentage prescriptions). The reps should be challenging, push yourself. Try to make it hard without actually failing the lift (unless that is prescribed, ex: drop set.)
This is a 12 week program consisting of 3 mesocycles and a deload every three weeks. Increase weight each week during each of the mesocycles, sometimes they are prescribed increases, sometimes you have to use your judgment.
A lift that says 4 sets of 16, 8,4,20 repetitions means you will do one set of 16, one set of 8, and so on. Make sure you adjust your weights accordingly. You want to push yourself on each set!
You are going to have to push yourself for this to be effective, so train hard and have fun!
Click here to read more about MyoZene.
Click here to read more about NytroWhey Ultra Elite.
Click here to read more about ProSource Creatine Monohydrate.
Click here to read more about Mega BCAA
Click here to read more about AndroTest.
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.