Protein King’s Tips to BULK UP and GET HUGE!

March 17, 2011

Looking to bulk up?

Here is a rundown of what you need to eat to put on quality muscle, with as little body fat as possible.

Protein is made up of the amino acids required to repair damaged muscle tissue, and assist new muscle growth. An adequate protein intake when trying to add quality mass is essential, generally around three to three and a half grams of protein per kilo of bodyweight (around 250 grams for an 80kg person). The high protein foods you should be eating are lean chicken breast, lean beef, fish and egg whites. Eating this amount of food is not easy, and that’s where a good protein powder can help you to get sufficient protein in your diet.

Carbs are the body’s most convenient fuel source, and are essential for maintaining strength and energy levels. The majority of your carbohydrate intake should be from complex carbohydrates such as brown rice, pasta, oatmeal, sweet potato, white potato, whole grain bread, fibrous vegetables, beans and lentils. This will keep your insulin levels steady, maintaining energy levels throughout the day and preventing excess fat gain. Simple carbohydrates should only be consumed around workouts, especially immediately after, where they can help spike insulin levels and force nutrients into your muscles quickly. Simple carbs such as dextrose, maltodextrin and even table sugar work well immediately post workout. Aim for about five grams of carbohydrates per kilo of bodyweight (around 400g carbs for an 80kg person).

Adequate fat intake is essential for a number of reasons, including heart and joint health, boosting testosterone levels, and adding calories to a diet. The majority of fat intake should be poly or mono unsaturated fats, with a small amount coming from saturated fat. Good fat sources include olive oil, egg yolks, nuts, avocados and peanut butter. You should aim for about 1.5 grams of fat per kilo of bodyweight (120g for an 80kg person).

Bodybuilding Supplements
There are a number of supplements that can assist with a bulking diet:

Weight Gainer Powders
A convenient way of getting lots of calories into your diet, weight gainers are great for those who struggle to put on weight. Each product varies in the amount of carbs and protein in each serve. Generally the harder it is for you to gain weight, the more carbohydrates your weight gainer shake should have. Weight gainer shakes are best consumed around workouts, and first thing in the morning.

Creatine Supplements
Creatine can help you recover faster from workouts, increase strength and muscle mass. Take creatine before and after your workouts to help your muscle gains.

Preworkout Supplements
An N.O. booster, or pre-workout supplement helps promote bloodflow and the ‘pump’ throughout the body, delivering nutrients to the muscles, delaying fatigue and increasing recovery speed.
Sample Meal Plan

Meal 1
Weight gainer shake

Meal 2
3 whole eggs, 3 egg whites, 4 slices whole grain bread

Meal 3
½ cup (dry measure) brown rice, 200g chicken breast, vegetables

Meal 4
300g sweet potato, 200g fish, green salad

Meal 5
100g (dry measure) pasta, 200g chicken breast

N.O. supplement/creatine

Meal 6 (Postworkout)
Weight gainer shake, creatine

Meal 7
Large baked potato, 250g steak, green salad

Final tips

Combine this diet with a high intensity weight training program 3-4 days per week. Keep cardio to a minimum, and at low intensity on off days or after weight training.

Monitor food levels and be sure to increase/decrease food intake if you aren’t gaining weight or are gaining too much weight. Anything more than about 1kg gained per week will be too high a percentage of fat gain.

Keep cheat meals (junk food) to a minimum, but reward yourself with one or two treats a week.

Get plenty of rest. You do all your building outside of the gym, and especially while you sleep. Get as much sleep as possible, at least 7-8 hours per night.


Which Pre-Workout Supplement Is Best?

March 13, 2011

Why Take a Pre-Workout Product?
Pre-workout products are amongst the most popular category of supplements available. Their ingredients vary greatly, however most pre-workout supplements are designed to give the user an added energy boost in training, as well as assisting with increasing stamina, delaying muscle fatigue and soreness, increasing strength levels, and boosting nutrition.

What is in Pre-Workout Products?
Pre-workout products are made up of a variety of ingredients, and vary between manufacturers and products. Here are some of the more popular ingredients, and their roles in pre-workout supplementation:

Arginine & Arginine Alpha-Keto Glutarate (AAKG)
Arginine is an amino acid manufactured within the body, but also contained in various food sources such as meats, dairy, nuts and seeds. AAKG is a form of another amino acid (a glutamine precursor), which may have a glutamine-sparing effect in muscle tissue, leading to more available glutamine. It is one of the most common ingredients in pre-workout supplements due to its role in forming Nitric Oxide (N.O.). N.O. is a vasodilator. When produced in the body, Nitric Oxide dilates the blood vessels, increasing bloodflow throughout. When bloodflow is increased, more nutrients are delivered to the body’s cells, and stressed muscles grow larger. This is what is commonly referred to as ‘the pump’.

Caffeine is a popular stimulant to the central nervous system, found in many foods and drinks such as coffee, tea, chocolate and energy drinks. Caffeine has a host of benefits to those undergoing strength or cardiovascular training, including: increased energy levels, increased mental alertness and delaying of muscle fatigue and soreness.

Creatine is naturally manufactured in the body, and is found in many foods, especially meats and fish. Creatine is one of the most popular supplements on the market, due to the great benefits it provides weight trainers and endurance athletes. Creatine is well-known at speeding recovery rates, increasing muscle strength and size, and accelerating fat loss.

Beta-Alanine (BA)
Beta-alanine is a naturally occurring amino acid which is widely used in pre-workout products. It is highly researched, and is widely believed to be important in increasing energy levels and power output, especially when combined with creatine.

Carbohydrates are the body’s most efficient energy source and are used by the body for fuelling activity, especially aerobic and anaerobic activity. When taken pre-workout, carbohydrates such as dextrose, will increase the body’s energy levels, allowing a more intense and longer workout.

Electrolytes are salts, found throughout the body’s cells which maintain and carry electrical impulses to other cells. An electrolyte balance within the body is important  for nerve and muscle function. In athletes, having insufficient levels of some electrolytes will cause muscle weakness and failure. Electrolytes such as sodium, potassium and calcium are vital for muscle function, and pre-workout products containing these salts are designed to replace what is lost through sweat during intense exercise.

Taurine is an amino acid which provides a number of benefits to resistance trainers and cardiovascular athletes. Taurine is believed to act similarly to creatine, filling up muscle cells with water, making them appear larger and absorb more protein and other nutrients. Taurine is also believed to increase strength levels, especially in combination with creatine.

When Should I Take a Pre-Workout Supplement, and What are the Dosage Sizes?
Directions on the products label should ALWAYS be followed, but as a guide, pre-workout supplements should be taken within an hour before a workout for maximum benefit. This will allow the body to absorb the nutrients contained in the product, and allow processes such as nitric oxide production to take place. Dosage sizes vary greatly, depending on the ingredients of the product, but are always detailed on the label.

If you’re after the Best Pre-Workout Supplements, Protein King Recommends…

1) Gaspari Nutrition SuperPump 250

One of the most popular supplements in the world, Gaspari SuperPump 250 is the benchmark for pre-workout supplements. It is clinically researched, and contains creatine, caffeine and arginine, as well as a number of ingredients designed to increase power, endurance and strength during workouts.

2) BSN N.O.-Xplode

A close second to Gaspari SuperPump 250, and again, one of the most popular products in the world, BSN NO-Xplode is designed to give a great pump, as well as increase training intensity and endurance.

3) MusclePharm Assault

A great pre-workout product containing one of the highest amounts of essential ingredients on the market. Musclepharm Assault focusses on three separate processes – nitric oxide production, strength and recovery support, and mental focus.

4) Nutrex Hemo-Rage Black

One of the more ‘hardcore’ supplements, Nutrex Hemo-Rage contains 56 ingredients, and promises to deliver the most intense workouts possible.


NOTE: The information contained on this website is “as is” without any representations or warranties, expressed or implied.  Protein King makes no representations or warranties in relation to the medical information on this website. Protein King recommends to ALWAYS read the label of the product, and use only as directed. You must not rely on the information on this website as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or other professional healthcare provider.