Supplements 101: Why Every Bodybuilder Requires Protein

May 12, 2009 by  
Filed under Bodybuilder Tips

588-supplementsYou’ve seen it – advertisements on television or in magazines which proclaim: “Phenomenal muscle gains in six weeks,”  “Super Growth Enhancer,” or even “Gain Strength – Lose Body!” More often than not, these are common advertisements for supplements used by bodybuilders. Be they pills, powders or liquids, supplements are a business — more so, a BIG business in the fitness industry. Bodybuilders often result to the use supplements in combination with their workout simply because supplements offer them that extra edge. For the serious day-in and day-out bodybuilder, the one who enters those contests you see on daytime ESPN broadcasts or in the bodybuilding magazines, they likely do provide a slight advantage. However, this is only true if the supplements are used correctly and if they happen to work well with the particular bodybuilder’s body chemistry.

But as for the average John (or Jane) Doe, their effectiveness remains to be questioned. While the average Joe can get a little help from supplements, they’re not for everybody. The main thing that increases muscle size is lifting weights, and the main thing that causes fat loss is proper diet and aerobic exercise.

There are hundreds of supplements on the market designed for various purposes. For the bodybuilder, the most widely sold supplements always revolve around their protein intake. Protein supplements are designed to add muscle mass. They provide bodybuilders with increased strength and energy during workouts, as well as act as fat burners to enhance the bodybuilder’s metabolism.

Most proteins can be found in a well-balanced diet. They are basically the same as what you would find in milk, eggs (whites only), meat, poultry and fish. However, if your diet is lacking these essential foods, you have the option to purchase powdered protein drinks which are basically raw protein. The stimulants are high-powered carbohydrates which give bodybuilders an extra boost to get through a tough workout.

If you find that you don’t have the time or desire to mix powdered drinks, there are many different kinds of protein drinks on the market, most already in liquid form. Consider them a sports drink like Gatorade, yet on steroids as they contain more carbohydrates in one serving.

Whichever form of protein you choose, understand that in order to receive its benefits you must participate in a workout that allows you to make use of the added amounts of protein in your system. Drinking a protein shake or popping protein pills will not be effective nor lend itself to any results if you’re flopping on the couch shortly after. Combine the proper protein supplement intake with a well balanced diet and workout regimen and you’ll be on your way to increasing your muscle mass in no time.

Train, Don’t Strain Your Body: A Word of Advice for Beginning Bodybuilders

May 12, 2009 by  
Filed under Bodybuilder Tips

Considering the fads about eating that surround bodybuilding it might be proper to say that a person on such a fad could be eating his way to a heart attack. Some bodybuilders mistakenly think you have to eat rich foods that contain a lot of fat and to restrict your endurance activity such as running. That is not necessary and is ill advised.

When you’re working out, keep in mind that the body breaks food down and reassembles it for growth or uses it for energy. If you want to grow a pound of lean muscle the best food for it is a pound of lean muscle, such as round steak. If your body is stimulated by exercise to increase its muscle size one pound and you eat a pound of lean round steak, the body will use that muscle protein from beef to build your muscle protein. The proteins in beef or muscle from any animal are about the same as the protein in your body muscles.

The average growing male requires 56 grams of protein a day and there are 100 grams of protein in each new pound of muscle you grow. All of which means if you consume 100 grams of good protein a day from milk, or dairy products and from the meat group you will be getting plenty of protein to build all the new muscles your exercise program can support.

The other requirement then is to eat enough calories so you won’t need to use the protein in your food for energy to run your body. You can get those calories from vegetables, fruit or cereals so you can eat a good wholesome balanced diet for your program without resorting to fads or supplements.

In general you need to work out about every other day, or three days a week with a day of rest between workout days. And the most important feature of your work out is to select the right weight, one you can lift easily three times in succession but have difficulty lifting nine times. By progressively increasing the weight you have to lift you can stimulate your muscles to increase in size. When you’re just starting out on a workout plan, it’s best to wait until the skeleton matures to do really heavy lifting. That means you should not try lifting weights in excess of your own body weight. Instead, build up to more heavier weights. You’ll end up with a better body if you don’t do too much too soon. And remember you should train — don’t strain. The end result is a lot more satisfactory.