Stacked and Jacked! Part 3: The Nutrition and Supplementation plan to get huge!
- 08 Jun, 2017
In parts 1 and 2 of this series, I introduced you to the Legends Stack from Gaspari Nutrition. Next I laid out a training plan designed to pack pounds of thick new muscle mass on your frame. But as you should know, even with the best workouts and supplements, good nutritional support is critical for building muscle. If your nutrition is lacking, you won’t make gains, period. Training stimulates muscle growth, but without nutrients to feed those muscles, they won’t be able to recover and grow.
Think of food as being the raw materials needed to build muscle; just like lumber, steel, and concrete are needed to construct buildings. The workers can show up and be ready to work hard, just like you train hard, but without the building supplies, nothing gets built! So even though I own a supplement company and I honestly believe my products are the absolute best you can use in your quest for a superior physique, I still want you to understand that nutrition can never be underestimated or ignored. Quality supplements will enhance your results on top of a solid diet of whole foods, but they won’t make up for a poor diet, nor can or should they ever entirely take the place of real food.
A steady supply of nutrients
It takes a certain level of dedication to get to the gym just about every day and challenge yourself to break past your previous barriers of intensity with the weights. But even so, training is something you probably enjoy immensely. There’s nothing quite like the feeling of crushing a new PR on a lift, or seeing your muscles pumped up to dimensions you’ve never seen before. As for eating, most human beings find that pleasurable too. But there is a big difference between the way most people eat, and how bodybuilders eat. We don’t just eat when we’re hungry, and we don’t eat whatever we feel like, or is convenient. Instead, our meals are specially designed to provide a constant supply of nutrients to our bodies. These nutrients give us the energy to power through brutal workouts, then replenish what was lost in training and get the process of recovery and growth underway. Needless to say, the standard ‘three square meals’ consisting of breakfast, lunch, and dinner are woefully inadequate to serve these demands. If you want to build a lot more muscle mass than the average Joe, you will need to eat a lot more food than regular folks do. And that larger amount of food can’t simply come in the form of three huge meals a day, because our bodies are only able to absorb and utilize limited amounts of nutrients at once. You could get 300 grams of protein in three meals with 100 grams each, for example, but there is no way your body could process 100 grams at once. That’s why seasoned bodybuilders eat every 2-3 hours from the time they wake up until the time they go to sleep. It typically works out to an average of six or seven ‘meals’ a day, though 2-3 of those can be in the form of shakes. Some of you are probably a little overwhelmed at the thought of eating all these meals every day. And yes, it’s going to require that you both shop and cook in mass quantities. But believe me when I tell you that it’s well worth the effort. Of all the people who train hard and consistently, only a smaller percentage will invest the time and effort to eat this way. Those are the ones who have the best physiques! Eating needs to almost become a job, but this job pays very well. You’ll reap the full benefits of all your hard work in the gym, while others spin their wheels and watch you grow.
All meals count – but especially these 4!
As those who strive to build exceptional physiques, our meals are all important. Yet there are four meals that you should pay special attention to, making sure you always get them in on time, and that they contain the right combinations of macronutrients to serve specific purposes.
First up is Breakfast. The cliché says that it’s the most important meal of the day, and that’s not so far off the mark. Aside from a protein shake that you should have in the middle of the night to keep that stream of nutrients constant (see ‘Mass Gaining Diet’), it’s been many hours since you’ve eaten. Your body truly is famished and in dire need of substantial nutrition. Your breakfast should be large, and contain plenty of protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats. If you think you can skate by on a muffin and coffee, think again! This starts your day off with a hefty dose of what your body needs to grow.
Next is the Pre-Workout Meal, which may or may not be breakfast, depending on what time of day you train. This meal must contain both protein and carbohydrates. Without enough carbs, you won’t be able to blast your muscles with the fullest intensity possible, and you certainly won’t be able to sustain a good pump. Always be sure to drink plenty of water too.
The Post-Workout Meal replaces the amino acids and muscle glycogen that were burned while you attacked your muscles in the training session, so it too needs to be comprised of plenty of protein and carbs. Opt for leaner proteins like chicken or turkey breast, egg whites, or white fish so that it digests faster and gets right back into your system where you need it. As for the carbohydrates, great choices are various types of potatoes, sweet potatoes, white or brown rice, oatmeal, or cream of wheat.
Finally, your Final Meal of the day is going to hold you over until breakfast. This is when you want some fat in the meal to slow down digestion. You could eat a protein source with some fat in it, such as red meat, pork tenderloin, whole eggs, or salmon, or have a lean protein source along with up to one cup of raw nuts.
How much should I be eating?
By this point you might be wondering how much of the various macronutrients you should be aiming for each day. A good rule of thumb is to take in 1.5 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight, and 2 grams of carbohydrates. Fats should be in the range of 50-75 grams per day. If you aren’t gaining muscular bodyweight, increase your carbs to 2.5, or even 3 grams per pound of bodyweight, if needed. Your carbs should be heaver in breakfast, your pre, and your post-workout meals. Protein should be divided evenly among all meals and shakes. So if you need 350 gram of protein to meet the needs of a 200-pound man, you would want 50 grams in each of your seven meals/shakes per day. As for fats, don’t avoid them. Fats are needed both for the fuel calories they provide, and in the anabolic mechanisms of the body. Healthy fats can be found in whole eggs, salmon, raw nuts, almond butter, avocado, as well as in olive and coconut oil that you may use in cooking.
A final word on adding quality weight – forget junk and fast food!
The goal is to add quality weight that’s going to be mostly in the form of muscle mass. It’s okay to add just a bit of bodyfat in the process of gaining large amounts of lean tissue, but the key word is ‘just a bit.’ Anyone can gain appreciable amounts of bodyweight if he or she doesn’t care how much of that weight is fat. Just indulge in tons of items like donuts, candy, pastries, pizza, French fries, ice cream, and cookies. It should go without saying that those things are nutritionally void and will do nothing toward achieving the goal of a lean, muscular physique. It’s also going to be very tempting at times to grab fast food, particularly for those of you who aren’t used to cooking or who don’t have someone to cook for you. Sure, getting a drive-through cheeseburger or box of fried chicken is easier than grilling your own steak or chicken breasts. But don’t do it! Quality food contributes to quality gains. Garbage food will only give you garbage gains. Aside from that, fast food is loaded with saturated fat and massive amounts of sodium, both of which are extremely unhealthy if eaten on a regular basis. So, put in the extra effort to eat clean and healthy foods. Along with my quality supplements and the solid training routine outlined last time, you now have everything you need to transform into a more muscular, more powerful, and more confident you!
Mass Gaining Diet
Meal 1: 3 whole eggs, 4 egg whites, 1 cup oatmeal (dry measure), 1/2 cup fruit of choice such as blueberries, strawberries, or slices apples mixed into oatmeal. You may add sausage or ham to the eggs.
Meal 2: Large chicken breast or thigh, 2 cups white rice. You may add sauce of your choice to the rice for flavor.
Pre-workout: 1-2 scoops SuperPump 250,
Intra-workout: Sip throughout workout – 1 scoop Aminolast and 1-2 scoops SizeOn
Post-workout: 2 scoops Precision Protein, 1-2 scoops Glycofuse
Meal 3: Chicken or turkey breast, large sweet potato
Meal 4: 2 scoops MyoFusion Advanced with 2 pieces’ of fruit
Meal 5: 10-12 oz. salmon or ground beef, 2 cups white rice or potato
Meal 6: 10-12 oz. steak or ground beef, 1 cup mixed nuts
Meal 7: 2 scoops MyoFusion Advanced mid-sleep cycle
The Legends Stack
How to use it:
Take 1 tablet 30 minutes before you start your workout. On non-training days, take 1 tablet in the morning or afternoon. Do not take more than 2 tablets a day.
How to use it:
Take one tablet in the morning and one tablet in the afternoon. Do not exceed 4 tablets per day.
How to use it:
Take 4 capsules 30-60 minutes before training, with at least 16 ounces of water. Do not take on non-training days.
The Perfect Stack!
Here is the best way to use this stack to pack on solid, dry muscle mass over 60 days.
Halodrol: First 30 days
Novedex: Second 30 days
PlasmaJet: All 60 days