MUSCLE WEIGHT GAIN WITHOUT STEROIDS
Avoiding any steroid or growth enhancing aid is a wise health decision for athletes and non athletes. A drug-free muscle weight gain program can be very effective with considerable dedication to both diet and exercise. For high school and college athletes, sound, safe approach strives to add NO MORE than a half-pound of muscle per week, two pounds per month. This is about as quick as the body can add lean muscle. Faster approaches involving too many calories are almost certain to add adipose (fat) tissue. For some high school and college athletes, an even more conservative, effective approach is one-fourth pound per week, one pound per month, 12 pounds in one year.
To guarantee success, you must link up with a knowledgeable Strength and Conditioning Coach since your overall objective is to improve performance in a sport; rather than to meet body building objectives. It is also advisable to consult your physician to make certain there are no medical reasons for you to avoid a change in your nutritional program and exercise routine.
Obviously, a sound strength training program, such as weight training, is an absolute must for muscle-weight gain. The general suggestions below will get you started with the specifics worked out by your coach or trainer.
Progressive Overload is the main exercise principle you need to be aware of in order to obtain results. You will be taught to complete each exercise with perfect form and technique to prevent injury and obtain maximum results. In some workouts you will push to muscle failure as you overload targeted muscles beyond their normal limits. You will also cycle in and out of a multitude of different weight training programs and exercises using low, moderate and heavy weight.
Training Frequency will be carefully regulated as you begin your workouts 3-4 times weekly, resting 48 hours between each session to obtain the full benefits. Weekly sessions may increase as training progresses and muscle groups are alternated each workout. The rest or recovery period is critical to muscle weight gain and avoiding over training that will have a negative impact on your objectives.
Exercise selection requires a careful analysis of your body type, needs, and sports performance objectives. Choice of exercises depend upon the areas of the body and the biomechanical traits of the areas you are targeting for improved performance in football. Even the order in which you perform each exercise is important and should correspond to your training objectives. Your trainer is well experienced in this area and will devise a personalized program.
Exercises Intensity is regulated by the number of repetitions, sets, exercises, and rest period between sets and exercises you complete each workout. Your trainer will discuss the many available approaches to weight training such as single sets, multiple sets, rest-pause method, supersets, burnout, pyramid sessions, double pyramids, super slow training, negative resistance training, split routine, priority system, forced repetition system, contrast training and others. Lowering the amount of rest period between exercises and sets (less than 1 minute) has been shown to aid muscle hypertrophy and is therefore commonly used in a program to add muscle
Your trainer will also make use of periodized resistance training, shown to be superior to constant training, and use a wide variety of workouts, training programs, and cycles that employ proper progression and rest needed to meet your objectives and coincide with specific competition dates.
The nutritional support for a sound muscle weight gain program involves an increase in food intake of 400-500 additional calories daily that provide high calories in as small a volume as possible to keep you from getting uncomfortably full, a slight increase in protein intake (15-20 % of daily calories), and a slight reduction in total fat intake (18-20 percent of total calories). Extra calories should come from complex carbohydrates (fruits, vegetables, and grains) and account for 65-68 percent of daily calories to provide long term energy and for proteins sparing. Most athletes who have difficulty gaining muscle weight do not eat enough calories to support their vigorous workout schedule. According to Williams (Nutrition for Health, Nutrition and Sport, pgs. 410-411, ©1999), the exact number of calories needed to gain one pound of muscle tissue is unknown. Since 1 pound of muscle tissue equals 454 grams, a range of 2,300-3,500 additional calories is a reasonable estimate. With a recommended weight gain of 1/2 pound per week, 200- 250 additional calories above your daily intake would put you in the needed range.
The exact amount of protein needed for each pound of muscle tissue can be closely estimated. Although one pound of muscle tissue is equal to 454 grams, only 22 percent (about 100 grams) is protein. To add one half pound of muscle tissue per week, you would need to increase protein intake by only 7 grams per day (100 grams per week for 1 lb., 50 grams for one-half pound, divided by 7 days). Studies clearly reveal that the rate of protein used by the body is considerably lower than the amount commonly taken in from food and supplements by most athletes. The maximum intake for protein usage is less than 2 grams per kilogram of body weight. For a 190 lb. athlete (90 kilograms), this amounts to 180 grams of protein daily (540 calories). This is more than twice the amount of protein recommended for the average 190 lb person (1.0 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight). Some authorities recommend 1.6 to 1.8 grams per kilogram of body weight for athletes training to increase muscle mass. According to reputable studies, even this change is easily met with only a slight increase in an athletes normal protein intake. In the majority of cases, athletes consume more protein from food sources than they need already; adding more in the form of supplements is unnecessary, hazardous and a waste of money. Excess protein is burned as fuel or stored as fat and cannot be used to add more muscle.