Remember to consult your doctor before starting any diet and exercise plan.
It's tough to improve your physique and put on new muscle if you're following a super-clean, calorie-restricted diet all year long. There should come a phase in your program where you trade the baked white fish for a grilled sirloin steak, the brown rice for a loaded baked potato, and add a heaping scoop of muscle-volumizing creatine! We've covered massbuilding nutrition in previous articles so this is where we share our top five picks for the best massbuilding supplements.
Carbohydrate Powders:Never underestimate the musclebuilding power of carbohydrates. For starters, many of the carbs you eat end up getting packed away as muscle glycogen, where they serve as the primary fuel source for your high-intensity training sessions. As if that wasn't good enough of a reason, carbohydrates can also help to make you look bigger by pulling large amounts of water with them into muscle cells. This volumizes your cells to create a fuller, harder and more muscular appearance. A quick source of glycogen-replenishing carbohydrates can be found in both Cell-Tech Hardcore Pro Series and Mass-Tech.
Digestive Support:To get bigger you'll need to consume more calories, plain and simple. The only challenge that some athletes run into is that with more protein, carbs and fat to process, the digestive system may have a tough time keeping up with the increased workload. Supplementing your diet with digestive enzymes, probiotics and a complete greens product can help with digestive support.
Strength Support:Just as it's important to eat more to get bigger, you'll also have to lift heavier weight than you lifted last year. We're not saying you need to break the bench press record for your next chest workout but you should be steadily and progressively adding a little bit of weight or reps to your sets from week to week. If your form gets sloppy and other muscles are helping you lift the added weight, you're not going to get much bigger. That's why it's important to keep your technique strict and keep the tension on the primary muscles being trained. Two key supplements shown to help increase strength and muscle performance in the gym are creatine and beta-alanine. To get a simultaneous dose of both of these powerful supplements, take a serving of NeuroCore before your workout.
Testosterone Support:Testosterone plays many key physiological functions related to musclebuilding, including increasing protein synthesis, which is directly related to the amount of muscle mass you can build. The first steps you should take to help support testosterone levels are to train heavy (6-10 reps to failure), get enough sleep (8 hours minimum) and avoid overtraining (take at least two days off per week). On top of that, you can supplement with an advanced test supplement with ingredients shown in human research to increase testosterone levels. The AlphaTest formula contains ingredients designed to increase testosterone production as well as control the catabolic actions of cortisol.
Sleep Support:You don't build new muscle in the gym. It's created during your recovery period, most notably when you're sleeping. It's when you're sleeping that the tissues you caused micro trauma to in the gym are being repaired and new tissue can be synthesized. Bottom line: if you want to put on size and increase strength, you've got to take your recovery phase just as serious as your training. Depending on your training split, most athletes will do best by taking a rest day at least every 3rd or 4th day to allow for adequate recovery. Sleep is the next component and if you want to grow, that means getting 7-8 hours of quality sleep every night. Consider daytime naps a "bonus" to this and not added on. If you have trouble falling asleep, be sure not to take any caffeinated or stimulant-type products after 5pm, which may mean switching your pre-workout supplement over to a non-stimulant based formula such as naNOX9 Hardcore Pro Series if you train in the evening. You can also supplement with natural sleep aids such as melatonin in the evening before bed. This can help encourage a deeper, more restful sleep and help you to wake up refreshed.
You've now got all the supplemental support it takes to pack on some serious size this off-season. Don't forget to make it a "clean" bulk without too much added fat. Many athletes still somehow forget that any fat you put on now will just have to come off when you decide to start your cutting phase!