Photo credit: Joan Escri
Muscle Development and Mass Gain
Apart from choosing the right approach for a strength training that focuses on muscle hypertrophy (growth of muscle cross-sectional area), the diet also has to be adapted accordingly. It is especially important to maintain a positive energy balance with enough protein but also carbohydrates - low carb diets should be avoided. It also makes sense to consume carbohydrates before and/or after workouts to ensure that the energy required to fuel high-intensity exercise is available. In addition, creatine supplements can be used to enhance strength and thus enable a more intense training.
Protein shakes containing fast-digesting whey protein are ideally consumed within 30 minutes after a workout or 30-60 minutes before, depending on the workout and daily routine. Unless carbohydrates are not consumed in any other way, protein shakes should either be enriched with maltodextin or replaced by a blend of both. Such a carbohydrate protein combination should be consumed again within two hours after the workout or replaced by a whole meal. Before going to bed another meal containing slow-digesting protein should be consumed in order to keep the usual catabolism phase during night as short as possible.
Training principles for muscle build-up
• Without suitable resistance exercise, no success in muscle building can be achieved.
• Pay attention to exercise variety and variation so that the training and growth stimulus for the muscles remains large enough.
• Every training session should also include exercises for large muscle groups, as these increase the growth stimulus.
• Ideally 3-4 strength training sessions per week.
• Pay attention to timing! Take a suitable, easily digestible protein-carbohydrate supplement immediately before and after training.
• Always start weight training with adequate energy stores and consume either a main meal or protein snack 60-90 minutes after training.