Stacking for Athletes
Before I write a thing, I’d like to thank the guys over at Campus Protein for the opportunity to write this article. I’m humbled they’ve taken enough of an interest in my blog that they wanted me to write a guest post. When you’re done here, make sure to swing over and check out/follow my blog: myscalesaysimfrat.wordpress.com.
So, to give some background/perspective on myself for those of you who don’t know me, I graduated from Boston University this past May after wrestling on BU’s Division-I wrestling team for 4 years. I wrestled in about 5 conference matches and multiple tournaments as a 2nd string wrestler at both the 197 lb. and Heavyweight weight classes. My junior year was my lone year at 197, and, after analyzing the lineup, I figured I’d have the best chance of contributing at Heavyweight the next season. So, accordingly, it was time for me to put on good weight that summer.
One day, I spoke with one of our captains and we completely re-vamped my conditioning, exercise, and nutritional regimens. I weighed about 225 and wanted to be a real solid 240 by the start of the season. What I came to understand was that when it came to putting on muscle and mass, timing was EVERYTHING when it came to lifting and nutrition. Therefore, it’s crucial to map out your days (even weeks) so that your nutrient timing and stacks are on point. So, for this post, I thought I’d share my success with you, and explain my regimen in detail.
Now, I’m not a Health Science/Dietary Health major or anything, and I won’t claim to know the biological processes behind everything I talk about… some things, I won’t know WHY it works, but I’ll know that it worked for me, and might work for you.
The first thing that’s important to know about putting on mass is that your body needs to be assured it will get its vitamins every day. Therefore, it’s a great practice to start everyday with a mutli-vitamin; I used to take the generic Megaman Sport Multi from GNC, however, I know there’s a million varieties out there. Just ask the guy from CampusProtein.com (boom, like that plug?) the best multivitamin they carry when you call, and they’ll let you know. Additionally, I would take a B-12 pill to boost my metabolism right away in the morning. I wanted to make sure my body was ready to digest everything that I put into it, and that I would burn calories faster, as to not put on fat.
Additionally, throughout the day, I’d carry around a gallon jug of water mixed with 4 scoops of Xtend BCAA powder. Taking a BCAA (branched chain amino acid) throughout the day will help prevent the breakdown of muscle as you train, and they also increase the release of your naturally occurring Human Growth Hormone (like, the chill, natural stuff… not that Barry Bonds shit). Therefore, it’s good to drink throughout the day, especially during and afterworkouts. Also, I had a dank watermelon flavor that made water taste better. Oh yeah, Note: Don’t drink anything with sugar, basically. No soda, sweetened tea, etc. It’s bad for you, and might be a source of unwanted fat. Just overall not conducive to your goals.
I liked to lift in the morning, so I’d wake up at 6 AM and make a mini Protein shake to give my body something to feed off of. Just take a scoop of whey and a cup of milk, mix it up, chug it and go. This is essential to your mass building… it’s almost like trying to run a car with no gas if you don’t have something in your body before a lift.
I’m not going to go on a rant of how you should train, because everyone has their own ways… So, take whatever muscle-building plan you’re on, and do it at the gym. Put it this way, the only thing I’ll say is: If you’re not tired or sore after your lift, you’re either not working hard enough, or you need to lift heavier weights. So, do your own lift regimen, and mix in some cardio. Just make sure you target muscle groups with the goal of increasing the weight you lift over time… More weight you can lift=more muscle. Easy.
As you lift, you should be drinking at least a liter of water mixed with your BCAA powder. This will help your muscles recover over time, release some natural growth hormones, and aid in preventing tissue breakdown.
Your nutrition is most important immediately after a workout. I recommend doing the following. Immediately after each lift, take two Glutamine pills (aids in natural muscle recovery), and a protein shake with 2 scoops of Whey Protein. Chug it down, even if it doesn’t taste awesome. Your body NEEDS protein within 30 minutes of the end of a workout… If your body doesn’t get that protein to refuel, you just wasted your own time, because the protein is essentially what adds on to your muscle. Each time you lift (to put it in complete “For Dummies” terms.) you’re slightly tearing your muscles, and then the protein comes in and mends that tear and adds some more on top… this is how you build muscle.
About a half hour later, I’d have breakfast. Now, as I said, I’m a big dude… so my meals may be bigger than yours would be. Take that into consideration and cut down on intake if you feel you need to. Every morning, I’d have an omelette with 8 egg whites and as many vegetables as I wanted. 8 egg whites was so hard to completely finish, but I will say, it worked, and I put on a lot of good weight by the end of the summer.
Then, I wouldn’t eat again until lunch usually, maybe a small snack like a few slices of turkey or chicken… but I’d keep drinking my water with BCAAs.
Lunch: I’d eat a huge salad… like gigantic, with as many vegetables as I wanted. I ate a lot of broccoli because it was a “meaty” vegetable and had a lot of protein… filled me up good. You can put a light dressing on it, but not too much. Also, stay away from too much starch in your vegetable choices.
Then, around 2-3 hours later, I’d have another snack. Either broccoli with hummus or tabouli, or more turkey if you want that. Greek Yogurt is also pretty good… lots of protein.
Then, dinner. I’d have some kind of a meat or fish… another gigantic salad, and a half cup of either whole wheat pasta or rice as a good carb fuel to get me ready for the next day.
Finally, right before bed, I’d have a shake with one scoop of Casein protein. Basically, my trainer explained casein as a protein that your body feeds off of as it sleeps. So what does that mean? Well, if your body is eating all the Casein, it’s not going to touch the muscle you built in the gym that day… Makes sense right? Casein was, in my opinion, the most critical addition to my summer regimen.
It was also important I got to bed early every night. If you’re going to be up at the crack of dawn to lift, you need your 7 hours of sleep… end of story. Make it happen.
So, at the end of the summer, to quantify the above… I came back to wrestling at 243 lbs. and had put on 18 lbs. What’s even better? My body fat % only increased by 2ish %. What did that mean?
Lots more muscle. Accordingly, I felt stronger than I ever had that season. My bench max increased by 55 lbs over the summer, and my clean max went up by 35 lbs. Stick to a strong nutrient timing regimen and lift hard, and you WILL HAVE SUCCESS.
Thanks again to the guys at Campus Protein for the opportunity to write this, and make sure you visit/follow my blog:myscalesaysimfrat.wordpress.com, and follow me on Twitter: @bkc78
All the Best,
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