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Eating to Build Muscle

TeamCaptain —  February 24, 2012

Team Uppercut workouts have started. Building core cardio and muscle strength is in process.  Many of you have been asking about what to eat.  Building muscle and improving our cardio is important, but filling your body with empty calories will cause all your hard work to be useless.  Two of the greatest enemies of eating right are lack of knowledge and not being prepared.   It is impossible to eat right when you don’t know what constitutes “right”.  It is difficult to eat right unless you have a plan.  Having a good plan is essential to eating right.  What is your goal in eating right?  Goals are dreams with deadlines.  So, it is important to set  a goal and a dead line to complete your goal.

Example:  to add ten pounds of muscle and still reach my ideal weight goal of 185 lbs. before Tough Mudder Race, May 19, 2012.     (First, my wife needs to stop making homemade banana bread.)

So now that we have a goal, we need a plan.  Your plan will be dictated by your goal.  My goal is about adding muscle and loosing fat.  Easier said than done.  So the question is: “How can I eat to build muscle?”

Eating to build muscle.

First, gain knowledge.  Do some searches online about how to eat to gain muscle.  You will find more information then you can possibly digest in one sitting.  I have been reading about how my body process food since August 2011 and I am just starting to gain a basic understanding of what it takes to eat healthy. In my case: eating to build muscle.   One book that was a great catalyst for getting my body back into shape was  this book really helped me understand what I need to do to drop weight.  Most of my other knowledge came from Bryce Becker and a variety of different articles on the internet.

My Daily Eating Plan

  • Upon Waking:  30g of Syntha-6 Whey Protein with 5g of Creatine & 1 serving of BCAA’s
  • With Breakfast:  2 eggs + 4 egg whites, 7grain double protein bread with peanut butter and honey. 1 Men’s Multivitamin & 1 Serving of BCAA’s
  • Snack:  Apple or 1/2 cup cottage cheese or granola.  Something to keep my metabolism up.
  • With Lunch: Chicken & Spinach Salad with veggies or a Turkey Sandwich.  1 serving of Fish Oil
  • Snack:  Apple or 1/2 cup cottage cheese or granola.  Something to keep my metabolism up.
  • Pre-Workout:  30g Syntha-6 Whey Protein + 5g Creatine + 5g Glutamine
  • Post-Workout:  30g Syntha-6 Whey Protein + 5g Glutamine
  • Supper – Very Light, I eat a light portion of what the family eats or one of the above protein shakes because I usually weight train before or after supper.
  • Snack – greek yogurt & 1/4 cup of granola (Kashi is my favorite)  or apple with peanut butter…etc.
  • Before Bed:  5g Glutamine  ( Hard gainers:  those of you who have a hard time gaining weight. You should drink a 30g casein protein shake just before bed.)
  • I drink 1 gallon of water every day!   This is not a option.  Sometimes more.  I carry a gallon jug wherever I go and work on it all day.
  • **each of these items linked are available via our Amazon Store.

I try at all cost to get 30g of protein in my body in the first 30 minutes of my day.  It kick starts my metabolism and keeps it rolling all day.  To gain muscle and lose weight, six small meals that are high in protein are ideal.  When it comes to protein I eat it all. However, fish, turkey and chicken is the best.  But a good steak or pork chop are hard to resist.    How much protein is recommended?  I try for as many grams of protein as my weight goal.  My goal:  185 lbs that means 185g of protein a day for me.   I try to eat protein, veggies (leafy greens are a plus) and complex carbs in that order.  I stay away from anything white:  Enriched flour, white rice, refined white sugar, white potatoes and of course the largest gut buster,white pasta.  When I do eat carbs I want them to be complex.   Sweet Potatoes, brown rice, whole grains, legumes (beans). I try to eat all or at least most of my complex carbs before 4:00 p.m.  I also try to stay away from domino foods.   That is foods that cause me to eat, eat, eat, eat, eat and eat some more.

It is important to experiment and find out what works for your body and your schedule.  Remember to plan ahead.  That means if you’re super busy and work and skip lunch then you are not allowing your body to consume and burn calories.  Plan ahead…if that means cooking 7 chicken breast and having them prepared and bring a sack lunch to work, then do it.  Buy 14 apples and eat one in between each meal and drink loads of water.  This will keep you from eating large piles of whites at dinner.   Listen to your body and eat small amounts when it’s telling you it is hungry. Instead of 3 HUGE meals try 6 smaller meals.  The point is to understand what to eat and when to eat it.  When you find that sweet spot you will notice you will become faster, bigger, stronger and have the ability to recover quickly.

Weight Training for Muscle

I follow this plan for weight training:  Monthly Training Plan.  I have been following this plan for the past 50 days.  According to my Body Composition Report in the first 30 or so days I have gained 3 pounds of muscle and increased my Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR)  up by 52 points.  The Average person BMR for my body type is 1800. My BMR increased 53 points in 30 days.  This was all before we started training as a team for Tough Mudder.  So I am slowly but surely on my way to reaching my goal.

This is what my weekly workout and weight training plan looks like.

  • Monday:  Heavy Weight Training: Chest, Shoulders, Traps, Triceps
  • Tuesday:  Light Weight Training:  Back, Biceps, Forearms  & Uppercut Circuit Training
  • Wednesday:  Heavy Weight Training:  Legs, Calves, Abs
  • Thursday: Light Weight Training: Chest, Shoulders, Traps, Triceps & Uppercut Insanity Training
  • Friday:  Heavy Weight Training: Back, Biceps, Forearms
  • Saturday:  Light Weight Training:  Legs, Calves, Abs
  • Sunday: Uppercut Outdoor Training.

When it comes right down to it, it is up to you.  What is motivating  you to eat right?  Hopefully Team Uppercut workouts are motivating you to get your body into shape.  But at Team Uppercut we are not just about lean body mass and incredible cardio. We are about becoming the complete person God designed us to be.  That means strong mind, spirit & body.

The Proverb of the Day says this:

 Proverbs 24:5-6  It’s better to be wise than strong;
intelligence outranks muscle any day.
Strategic planning is the key to warfare;
to win, you need a lot of good counsel.

Eating for muscle is good.  Eating the Word of God each day is better.  This is what it takes to throw life a knockout punch.  Yes, comments are welcome.


Basic Vitamin Essentials

Sea Bass —  February 16, 2012

vitaminsTaking a multiple vitamin, fish oil, and vitamin D3 daily are what I consider to be the most basic supplements we should all take.  Keep in mind that this is my opinion based on positive feedback and results from patients over the years.  Patients who supplement vitamins, these three vitamins in particular, at the proper dose will seem to respond better to care and feel better as a general rule.  From my own personal experience I feel I respond much better to life’s challenges and get sick much less.  When I couple proper diet and exercise into the equation I feel like I am on top of the world.

I supplement these three vitamins daily and will share with you what I believe to be safe and effective doses for each.  If we all ate a perfect diet and received adequate amounts of sunlight then one could argue that supplementation would not be necessary.  The problem is, we as Americans eat far from adequate diets and so we need to supplement just to meet the minimum nutrient needs our bodies require.

Multiple Vitamin:

It is always better to get our nutrients through real food.  I would like to be very clear that supplementation is not a substitute for a healthy, clean diet and adequate sunlight.  According to the Nutrition Journal 2007 (1.) : “This group of long-term multiple dietary supplement users consumed a broad array of vitamin/mineral, herbal, and condition-specific dietary supplements on a daily basis. They were more likely to have optimal concentrations of chronic disease-related biomarkers, and less likely to have suboptimal blood nutrient concentrations, elevated blood pressure, and diabetes compared to non-users and multivitamin/mineral users. These findings should be confirmed by studying the dietary supplement usage patterns, health, and nutritional status of other groups of heavy users of dietary supplements.”
My interpretation of this is that one or two multiple vitamins a day should be safe and effective in reducing nutrient deficiencies and the likelihood of some disease processes.  I take two Metagenics Brand Multigenics vitamins per day. (see store for link)

Vitamin D3:

Vitamin D is a very popular topic right now. What we know is that the further we are from the equator, the less sunlight we get.  Our primary sunsource of vitamin D is sunlight.  Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin and along with vitamins A,E, and K you can take too much.  Medical doctors are doing blood work to monitor patients’ levels and administer high doses of Vitamin D with seemingly positive results.  I believe that all of us here in Minnesota are essentially a bit deficient and taking 2000IUs of Vitamin D3 per day seems to be a safe and effective dose for the average adult.  I believe anything higher should be monitored with blood work.
Michael F. Holick states:
“The discovery that most tissues and cells in the body have a vitamin D receptor and that several possess the enzymatic machinery to convert the primary circulating form of vitamin D, 25-hydroxyvitamin D, to the active form, 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D, has provided new insights into the function of this vitamin. Of great interest is the role it can play in decreasing the risk of many chronic illnesses, including common cancers, autoimmune diseases, infectious diseases, and cardiovascular disease. In this review I consider the nature of vitamin D deficiency, discuss its role in skeletal and nonskeletal health, and suggest strategies for its prevention and treatment.”  (2.)

He further goes on to recommend 800IUs of vitamin D per day at the very least.
Bottom line is start taking a dose in the area of 800 to 2000IUs per day and if you want to be very accurate and safe get your blood levels checked at your local clinic. I take 1 Metagenics Iso-D3 2000IU tablet per day.

Fish Oil:

fish oilResearch shows the positive effects that supplementation of fish oil capsules (omega-3 fatty acids) may play on inflammation in our bodies.  It just so happens that inflammation is the new plague of our times and is a major factor in allergies, asthma, Alzheimer’s, arthritis, cancer, heart disease, fibromyalgia, diabetes, bowel disease, lupus, osteoporosis, overweight/obesity, and depression.

A typical dose is anywhere from 1000mg to 8000mg per day.  The average adult should take 1–8 1000mg capsules per day.  It is important to buy a reputable version of fish oil due to high levels of mercury found in fish.  The mercury is deposited in the fish fat and thus it is extracted with the oil.  The company that manufactures the fish oil capsules needs to put the oil through an expensive process to extract the mercury out while still leaving the oil in a viable state.  **If you are taking prescription blood thinners you should consult with your medical doctor as fish oil capsules will thin your blood.**

I tend to be a strong believer in fish oil and since my body seems to have a propensity to inflammation I take a high dose of fish oil a day.  I take 5 Metagenics EPA/DHA 720 pills per day.  This is equal to 12 regular strength fish oil pills.  I feel it helps my concentration as well as helping to reduce my body aches and pains.

As with any health related information it is always important to educate yourself and then discuss the information with a trusted physician to make sure that you make the right choices for you.  No one person is the same and we all have slightly different requirements and circumstances.  These are simply my opinions based on experience and personal choices which I share with you to discuss with your own personal doctor.

Nutrition Journal 2007, 6:30doi:10.1186/1475-2891-6-30
24 October 2007

2.  Vitamin D, NEJM 2007
Volume 357:266-281July 19, 2007Number 3NextVitamin D Deficiency
Michael F. Holick, M.D., Ph.D.