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  • Getting back into the gym after a lay off

    Post From https://www.needtobuildmuscle.com/bodybuilding-blog/2015/02/24/getting-back-gym-lay/

    We’ve all been there. Injuries happen. Life happens. Regardless of your reason, I am here to help you get back into the gym and on a structured eating and supplement regiment. You have a dream about what your body should look like, so put down the Bud Light, it’s time to get to work.

    healthy-n2bm

    Chances are you currently aren’t eating small meals through out the day, haven’t been to the gym regularly in weeks or even months and don’t even know where to start. That’s okay. Over the next 5 days, we are going to evaluate your current eating, supplementation and training habits and then implement 5 changes (minimum) to get you where you want to be by the end of the 5 days.

    At the end of the 5 days, my goal is to have you back into a routine. Once you are back into a routine of going to the gym regularly, eating small meals throughout the day and following a proper supplement regiment, you can start perfecting things. Remember that you need to walk before you can run.

    Chapter 1: Working the Steps.

    Step 1: Assess your current eating and training habits. Decide where you want to be

    A) Ask yourself what you want to change. Pick a minimum of 5 things. Be honest with yourself. Don’t just do this mentally. Write this down so you have something concrete. Be specific with your goals. Here are 5 examples but please do set some of your own.

    1) Drink more water

    2) Eat a minimum of 2 servings of vegetables per day

    3) Eat 6 small meals a day that all contain protein

    4) Weight train 5 days a week

    5) Perform 30 minutes of cardio 3 days a week

    1) __________________________________________

    2) __________________________________________

    3) __________________________________________

    4) __________________________________________

    5) __________________________________________

    B) Different people have different ideas of clean eating. An example of clean eating is listed at the end that includes animal protein sources. You have the option to make substitutions based on personal and religious reasons.

    Expanding on that, everyone has different goals when it comes to training. An example workout program is listed at the end. If you have any current injuries or specific goals you can modify the program to your specific needs. However, this program will be a good starting point for most people looking to add lean muscle mass and decrease body fat.

    Step 2: Know your caloric needs

    Calculate your energy expenditure to see what calories you require daily and what portion sizes you should be eating. The macronutrient breakdown I recommend is 40% carbohydrates, 40% protein and 20% fat. You can use calculators to find out the macronutrient contents of your favorite foods, or follow the diet example I have listed at the end.

    To find out how much you should be eating: calculate your TDEE. A good simple way is juts to take your desired bodyweight and multiply it by 12. That equation should give you your caloric maintenance level. So a guy that wants to be 200lbs would multiply that number by 12, which would give him about 2,400 calories per day to maintain that much muscle mass. An athlete trying to cut down to say 185 would need to times that number by 12, which would give him 2,220 calories per day. This is the best way to find the caloric maintenance for your desired bodyweight. For guys bulking, you may want to add an extra 10% – 15% of your caloric intake on training days to offset calories burned.

    Most people are surprised to find out how much they are under-eating. Muscle is a very energy demanding tissue in the body. Each pound of muscle requires approximately 50 calories per day just to maintain its function. Eating too little is just as bad as eating too much. Remember it’s all about balance. Think of your body as a high performance racecar. You want to fuel it optimally so you can perform at a high level, look and feel great.

    If you are currently under eating you will need to slowly work your way up to the required calorie level over weeks and months. Start with 60-70% of the calories you should be eating and add 100 calories to your diet every 2-3 weeks. Don’t ever force food and make yourself feel sick.

    Step 3: Take action now

    Implement the 5 changes (minimum) over the next 5 days. Keep them quantitative so you can measure progress and make sure you implemented all the changes. For example, if your goal is to eat more frequently, set a number of how many meals you want to eat per day, and track yourself. Give yourself a nice big checkmark on a calendar (paper or your smartphone) every day that you accomplish this goal.

    Keep that checklist on the fridge or on your phone so you are currently reminded of the changes you want to make. The first few days are the hardest because you are redeveloping a routine.

    Chapter 2: Putting It All Together – The diet

    A) Diet characteristics

    • 6 small meals a day
    • Protein at every meal
    • 10 cups of water a day
    • 1-2 treat meals a week
    • Any spices you like except salt which is to be used in moderation
    • 1-2 pieces of fruit
    • Coffee is okay but with no cream and low calorie sweetener/honey

    PLUS whatever changes you wrote down in step one that isn’t already included in the above list.

    B) Meals ideas

    The ideas follow this pattern: Pair one serving of protein (vegetable or animal) with 1-2 servings of vegetables and (option) one serving of complex carbohydrates. Examples:

    1) Braised beef with grilled broccoli, onion and sweet potato

    2) Whey protein powder mix with almond milk

    3) Beef & vegetable chili

    4) Veggies with hummus

    5) Egg whites with oats

    C) The following sample diet is an example of how to eat in a given week. You may substitute things of similar caloric value while keeping in mind the challenge characteristics listed under A. You may also switch the meals around. The diet plan is created for a 180-pound male who is getting back into the gym after a lay off. Either increase or decrease portion sizes to make the diet tailored to you.

    The suggested whey protein listed in the diet program can be purchased from: https://www.needtobuildmuscle.com/store/Proteins/Isolation-p67.html

    Sample diet:

    Day 1

    • Meal 1: 3 egg whites, 2oz/50g cup steel cut oats or 2oz/50g steamed red potatoes, 2oz/50g fruit
    • Meal 2: 1 apple, 1 teaspoon peanut butter
    • Meal 3: 4oz/100g grilled or baked chicken, 4oz/100g sweet potato, ½ cup veggies
    • Meal 4: Ground turkey wrap: 4oz/100g turkey, 1 small whole wheat tortilla, lettuce, tomato and mustard
    • Meal 5: 4oz/100g chicken, salad with lettuce and veggies
    • Meal 6: 1 scoop of whey protein shake with water or coconut milk

    Day 2

    • Meal 1: 1 whole egg, 5oz/125g fat free cottage cheese (dry if you want to mix it with the egg), 2oz/50g tomato
    • Meal 2: 1oz/30g hummus, 4oz/100g veggies
    • Meal 3: 4oz/100g chicken breast, 4oz/100g veggies, 4oz/100g brown rice
    • Meal 4: Celery sticks with 1 tablespoon peanut/almond butter
    • Meal 5: 4oz/100g tilapia (or other fish) with 4oz/100g grilled veggies
    • Meal 6: 1 scoop of whey protein shake with water or coconut milk

    Day 3

    • Meal 1: 5oz/125g of low sugar fat free yogurt, 2oz/50g fruit
    • Meal 2: 1 apple with 1 tablespoon peanut butter
    • Meal 3: 4oz/100g chicken breast, 4oz/100g veggies, 3oz/75g quinoa
    • Meal 4: 1oz/30g hummus, 4oz/100g veggies
    • **Meal 5: Treat/cheat Meal 6: 1 scoop of whey protein shake with water or coconut milk
    • **You may opt to eat one less meal on this day if your cheat meal is big.

    Day 4

    • Meal 1: 3 egg whites, 2oz/50g cup steel cut oats or 2oz/50g steamed red
    • Meal 2: 1 peach, 2oz/50g unsalted cashews
    • Meal 3: 4oz/100g chicken breast, lettuce, 2oz/50g avocado, red wine vinegar, hot red pepper (optional)
    • Meal 4: 2 hard boiled eggs, 1 medium orange
    • Meal 5: 4oz/100g extra lean ground beef, 4oz/100g grilled or stir fry veggies
    • Meal 6: 1 scoop of whey protein shake with water or coconut milk

    Day 5

    • Meal 1: 3 egg whites, 2oz/50g cup steel cut oats, half a medium orange
    • Meal 2: 1 apple, 10-12 almonds
    • Meal 3: 4oz/100g chicken breast, lettuce, 2oz/50g avocado, red wine vinegar, hot red pepper (optional)
    • Meal 4: Celery sticks with 1 tablespoon peanut/almond butter
    • Meal 5: 4oz/100g chicken breast, 4oz/100g broccoli, 4oz/100g quinoa
    • Meal 6: 1 scoop of whey protein shake with water or coconut milk

    Chapter 3: Putting It All Together – The workout program

    A) Workout program characteristics

    • Every body part is trained at least once per week
    • Minimum three 20 minute cardio sessions per week
    • Training everyday during the week. This allows the weekends off
    • If you miss a workout during the week you can make it up on the weekend
    • 10-15 minutes of stretching at the end of every workout
    • PLUS whatever changes you wrote down in step one that isn’t already included in the above list.

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