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Category Archives : Muscle Gain

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Size Rules

Ironclad laws you need to learn if you want to add serious muscle
By Jay Ashman
 
PQ: “Progressive overload is the number-one rule for gaining strength and size. As you increase workload, you will increase muscle.”
 
Since man began lifting weights, we have sought to gain muscular size and strength. That pursuit is a huge reason why you read this magazine and step foot into the gym. In the 1940s there was a popular comic-book advertisement from Charles Atlas that promised skinny kids the secrets to gaining size and confidence, and all you had to do was send back the little cutout piece of paper with your address for his free book. I never read that book. I was born in 1974, so I can’t vouch for its contents, but I have studied the iron game, and lifted long enough, to understand that the universal truths I’m about to write down for you will apply now and through the next several hundred years.
 
FOOD
The first set of rules pertains to food and how to eat to gain size. The commonly asked question is usually about protein intake. Ideally you want to eat approximately one gram of protein per pound of lean body mass (LBM). I don’t mean your bodyweight, I mean fat-free mass. If you’re 250 pounds with 25 percent body fat, then you’ll eat about 188 grams of protein per day. Protein can be increased up to 1.5 grams per pound if you wish, but that just takes away from other macronutrients that have a critical role in building muscle. Start with one gram per pound of LBM and adjust from there.
To find your carbohydrate intake, you just double your lean mass. If you have 188 pounds of lean mass, this means you’ll be eating 376 grams of carbohydrates a day. Finalize

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Omega Man

How fish oil supplements can promote growth and combat crippling muscle soreness
By George L. Redmon, PhD, ND
 
PQ: “These fatty acids decrease exercise-induced elevation of cortisol, known as the muscle-wasting hormone.”
“Our research demonstrates that 3,000 mg·d-1 omega-3 fatty acid supplementation minimizes the severe, delayed-onset muscle soreness that results from strenuous eccentric strength exercise. This information has obvious relevance to athletic populations but also to other groups such as physical therapy patients and newly admitted cardiac rehabilitation patients, as muscle soreness, if left unchecked, can slow the progress in adapting to a new exercise program.”
—Doisy College of Health Sciences, Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, Saint Louis University
 
Over the last decade, the list of products and foodstuffs that help improve muscle performance and assist individuals engaged in a variety of athletic endeavors recover more efficiently have skyrocketed. Some of those well-known products are arginine, beta-alanine, branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), carnosine, casein protein, citrulline malate, creatine, glutamine, leucine, whey protein, as well as various antioxidants ( N-acetylcysteine-NAC, resveratrol, vitamin E, vitamin C). Despite these heavy hitters, one of the most underutilized and underpublicized recovery agents that is gaining more attention is omega-3 fatty acids. Best known for their ability to reduce the risk factors associated with heart disease, which is based on research conducted by two Danish scientists in 1978. These scientists discovered that Greenland Eskimos had less coronary heart disease than Americans, Europeans, and even present-day Japanese in spite of existing on a diet predominantly composed of fatty fish. Today, it is now a widely known fact that omega-3 fish oils comprise exceedingly high amounts of polyunsaturated fats called EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) that play a major role in maintaining heart health. In 2002, following years of conclusive data and a mountain of established research findings, the American Heart

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Legend Training

An industry veteran pays homage to an IFBB Hall of Famer with this timeless shoulder workout.
By Tony Estrada
 
In January of 2002, an elderly giant walked into Club Fit Pembroke Pines in south Florida and turned nearly every head in the facility. He had a shoulder-length ponytail and the complexion of Ovaltine. I was working as the fitness manager, and he told me he recently celebrated his 60th birthday. After having been a professional bodybuilder back in the day, he was ready to fulfill another dream: becoming a personal trainer. I asked him to come do a workout with me as an informal interview.
It turns out, I was in the presence of greatness. Harold Poole is a member of the IFBB Hall of Fame and still holds the record for being the youngest athlete to compete in a Mr. Olympia. He won Mr. Universe when he was 19 years old and became the first African-American to be crowned Mr. America. (Harold was half African-American and half German—a combination he credited for his great genetics.) In 1965, at the age of 21, he competed in the very first Mr. Olympia. Harold was the only bodybuilder to compete in the first three Mr. Os, placing second all three times. He lost twice to Larry Scott, and then to the legendary Sergio Oliva. He’s still considered to be the best teenage bodybuilder of all time.
In his prime, Harold had the kind of physique that has come back in style today. If a 22-year-old Harold Poole entered a Classic Physique competition in 2017, nobody could touch him.
During our introductory workout, it was obvious Harold knew his stuff. We traded ideas and switched back and forth on who called the next exercise. He loved the Olympic military press while I added the dumbbells. It was

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Just Say NO

Get the ultimate muscle pump with these proven nitric oxide boosters.
By Jenevieve Roper, PhD, CSCS, CISSN, SFN
 
Let’s face it, one of the best things that happens in the gym is about mid-workout when you see that sick muscle pump in your arms. You know, when your veins are popping and you look super shredded because you’re so vascular. I know I get a little excited when that happens to me. There is a specific reason for this effect and an even better reason to have it happen all the time.
When you work out, your body releases a series of hormones, one of which is nitric oxide (NO). Nitric oxide resides in the endothelium, which is a thin layer of special cells that surrounds smooth muscle vessels (arteries). When certain hormones attach to specific receptors, NO gets released and acts on the arteries to reduce vascular tone, causing the blood vessels to dilate and allow for increased blood flow. This vascular dilation increases the flow of substrates, or fuel, to the muscle, which can help improve your performance in the gym by reducing fatigue.
While there are many ingredients that claim to boost NO, we went through the research and found a few of our favorite ingredients that we think will keep your muscles pumping and make your gym session one for the ages.

Arginine
Arginine is an amino acid found in the diet that directly produces NO by increasing the enzymes that make NO. It is metabolized from citrulline and plays an important role in immune function, cell division, and the release of hormones, among other things. It is also necessary for the synthesis of creatine and facilitates mTOR signaling and activation, which is one of the main pathways for protein synthesis. It has been shown to improve nitric oxide levels; however, the

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Hypertrophy Bacteria

A beneficial bacteria found in pickled cabbage has been shown to improve endurance, boost strength, stimulate muscle growth, and even reduce body fat. Researchers from the National Taiwan Sport University call the bacteria Lactobacillus plantarum TWK10 and found some impressive results when they subjected mice to the body-friendly bug. After giving animals the bacteria every day for six weeks, they showed significantly greater gains in strength and astonishing improvements in endurance when compared to the animals who did not receive the bacteria.
The body composition of the bacteria group of mice improved, with a notable decrease in their epididymal fat pad, which correlates with a human’s abdomen. This loosely translates into losing more fat off of their six-pack. Scientists hypothesize that Lactobacillus plantarum TWK10 enhances glucose utilization and stimulates growth of type-1 muscle fibers, but feel that more research is necessary before it is dubbed a super-supplement for humans.

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