The biggest and most often neglected piece of the gaining muscle experience especially by those who have been self diagnosed as “hardgainers” (those who are unable to gain muscle quickly) is the eating portion of the equation. Which, is like 80% of it.
For shame hardgainers, for shame.
But here’s the secret. Don’t tell anyone. If you’re looking to put on some muscle, and haven’t been able to do it before, the secret lies in the 90 minutes from the middle of your workout on. If you do this one thing, then eat your normal food the rest of the day (provided it’s got some nutritional value) you will gain solid lean body mass.
Part 1) starting at about the halfway point up until about 10-15 min after your workout, start drinking a protein shake with 1/2 of your body weight in grams of carbohydrates ( i prefer waxy maize, but other people use maltodextrin, fructose, or dextrose) and 1/4th of your body weight in protein. Add in some creatine, and you’re going to be large and in charge in no time at all.
My recipe: 2 scoops (60 grams) of waxy maize, 1 banana, 3-6 strawberries, and a handful of black or blueberries, 2 scoops of Syntha 6 protein, 5 grams of creatine, and 8-16 oz of milk, depending on how thick I want it.
Rough estimation on calories : 800. roughly 50 grams of protein, and 100 grams of fast acting carbs.
Part II. And this is the hard part.
Within an hour of your workout, (often called the golden hour) you need to concoct and consume your body weight in grams of carbs, and 1/2 your body weight in grams of protein.
This one easy secret suddenly isn’t as easy any more.
Here’s my new-found recipe that allows me to consume this amount of food without hating myself a lot. Credit goes to Tim Harris for this one.
1 box of whole wheat macaroni. (I have been using the Fresh and Easy Brand.)
2 cans of Tuna,
1 can of chili.
Boil the macaroni, add in about half the bag of that orange faux-cheese, and add in a can or two of tuna, and a can of chili. Fast, easy and efficient. Real cheese and hot sauce to taste.
It’s fast, easy to eat, and doesn’t require a lot of chewing, which is key for me. Because eating that much food is horrible, and takes a long time.
Rough caloric estimation: 1500
Protein: 110 g
So, if you’ve ever had any aspirations of bigness, this is a good place to start. And for those of you who would never in your life dream of eating something in order to get bigger, here’s the takeaway from this post: Eat good carbs and proteins within an hour of your workout for best results. If you’re going to have a cheat meal, have it within an hour of your workout, and your body will use in in the most effective way possible.