Harmonize Fitness
menu
Harmonize Fitness

muscle growth

Fitness goals

Carbohydrate cycling for muscle growth

20
views
13

Some of us have more ambitious goals related to fitness and wanting to take our physiques to a new level. For some that means gaining more muscle but if we want to maintain a great physique which means gaining muscle mass with the least amount of fat this can get complicated.

Carbohydrate cycling is a tool that can help us gain muscle without too much fat so that we can stay lean and maintain a great physique. Carbohydrate cycling helps us cycle calories, we need to be in a calorie surplus to gain muscle which means that we need to eat more but if we eat too much we will gain fat.

When we want to build muscle, working each muscle group 2 times per week is more effective so we may be doing resistance training 6 days a week and 1 day for cardio or rest day, for nutrition we will have moderate carbohydrate days and high carbohydrate days. We need to schedule our nutrition program according to our workout program, on the more intense workout days we have high carbohydrate days, on moderate training days we have moderate carbohydrate days and you can have one low carbohydrate day if you have a rest day.

For high carbohydrate days you can increase calories around 400 to 500 calories per day, on moderate days you can increase calories around 200 to 300 calories, on low carbohydrate days you can keep calories at maintenance. This numbers are just a guide so we need to measure our progress and results every week to make the adjustments needed. If you want to calculate your macronutrient ratios you can check this post.

What we do with this tool is to give nutrients and energy to our body according to its needs, the day we train harder we give it more nutrients and energy so that it has everything it needs to recover and build muscle, on moderate days we lower it a little just to make sure that it still has everything it needs without being too much and we can use lower carbohydrates day to stay at maintenance on our rest days to make sure that most of the weight we gain is muscle and fat just a minimum.

Building muscle takes time, nutrition is key but if we eat too much and we don´t exercise the right way we will gain too much fat. Muscle growth is the result of the right stimulus to the muscle and enough nutrients. This is a combination of progressive overload, the right volume and frequency plus the right macronutrient ratios that can supply our body with energy for the workouts, our daily activities, recovery and growth.

This strategy is effective because muscle growth takes time and if we stick with the same macronutrient ratios every day for a long period of time our body adapts and we need to keep changing things to keep challenging our body, that´s what makes it change. But, this tool takes more time, effort and time, you need to have a clear idea of how portions look like  to eye ball what you eat, it´s hard in the beginning but with time we get use to it.

It would mean so much to me if you share this post with your friends and family and if you follow me on Twitter and Facebook, together we can help millions live a better life.

Pam

Fitness goals

How to use intermittent fasting for muscle growth

20
views
27

We´ve talked about the benefits of intermittent fasting not only for fat loss and to stay lean but also to improve our relationship with food and spiritual reasons. Here we´re going to see how this tool can help us stay lean while gaining muscle mass.

Many people when they want to gain muscle go through a “bulking phase” and when they want to lose fat they go through a “cutting phase”, I´m sure you´ve heard about this specially if you´ve been in a gym or if you know someone who loves training. Personally I don´t like to follow this scheme, in the bulking phase people tend to gain too much weight and a huge part of it is fat, I prefer to gain muscle mass while staying lean, this means gaining as less body fat as possible. Building as much muscle as possible with the least fat.

Intermittent fasting is a tool that help us gain lean muscle mass with the least amount of fat, staying lean and looking great all year round regardless of our goal is possible. What we need to do is fast for 16 hours and eat in an 8 hour window so we will be having 2 meals per day, and we need to schedule our workouts around our eating window, this can be the hardest part for some of us.

If you have lunch and dinner it will be great if you can workout before dinner, this way we make sure that you are giving your body the nutrients it needs right after the workout so it can recover. It is easier to skip breakfast because our morning are very fast paced so you don´t need to stressed out having a healthy breakfast when you are running late for school or your job and in the mornings there´s always so much to do between meetings, projects, important stuff, appointments so it easier to stay in a fasted state until lunch.

With this option you are giving your body the nutrients it needs when it needs them most and you´re also considering hormones, in the fasting window insulin goes down which improves fat burning and growth hormone is high which helps with muscle building, this works great specially when you fast in the morning by skipping breakfast.

There´s another option you can follow which is to have 3 meals per day, breakfast, lunch and dinner, in this option you won´t be following a fasting schedule, just make sure that you have those 3 meals only, no snacks in between.

For muscle growth we need to be in a calorie surplus, we need to eat a little more but if we eat too much we will gain fat. The calorie surplus needs to be just enough for your body to maintain your actual weight, to recover and to grow. If you want to get your macronutrient ratios check this post.

Intermittent fasting makes it easier to stay lean while gaining muscle mass if your goal is to improve your physique and to look as great as possible, this tools makes everything simple and effortless, there´s no reason to overcomplicate things if you have more ambitious goals and you want to compete in shows or you practice any sports professionally then this tool may not be the best option for muscle growth.

It would mean so much to me if you share this post with your friends and family and if you follow me on Twitter and Facebook, together we can help millions live a better life.

Pam