Monday, February 23, 2009

You think you know big?: Highschool

Alright, So I have a couple guys that I really care about but don't get to train or see on a regular basis simply because of distance. Both want and need to gain weight, both are still in high school, so both are still in a very heavy growth phase whether they are lifting hard or not. This changes the game a bit, but it doesn't need a new set of rules. If you know what I mean? Just to let you know, I'm not getting into lifting or supplements today, but I'll hit them soon.

1) Eat as often as possible. At least every 2-3 hours. NO MATTER WHAT. You gotta eat and eat often, and you should be eating about 6-8 meals throughout the day. By doing this correctly based on the other rules below will raise metabolism and the higher it is the more food you can eat, the muscle you can gain, the more fat you can burn. It will also increase endocrine system activity in a safe natural way. So you will see a rise in testosterone, HGH, and IGF-1, and an increase in insulin sensitivity. All these hormones are your anabolic types, the ones that make you grow muscle and lose fat.

2)Develop a drinking problem, Water that is. Drink yourself full all day long. For a high schooler trying to gain lean mass the old 1/2 your bodyweight in ounces of water per day is not enough. I say get up to 2/3 your bodyweight in ounces of water/day, and that is outside of meals and workouts . You're going to feel like you need to head #1 all the time at first, but after a couple weeks your body will adjust, your blood plasma levels will expand and you'll be able to retain more of that water, which is where you are trying to get. This does a ton of stuff, but you're mind will work more efficiently, your muscles will be much healthier, you will have dramatically decreased your risk of injury, and you'll start seeing muscle build up and fat dissipate.

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Most need to get close to 1 gallon/day

3)Don't eat like a horse. Who does that? I'll tell you who, vegans do that. Ever met a muscular vegan? I'm guessing probably not. You wanna get big? Eat like a freakin LION that's how you're gonna get big. MEAT, pile it up. You need that protein, you need it with every one of your meals throughout the day. Especially complete protein, which means it has all 8 essential amino acids. Anything that comes from an animal is going to be a complete protein. And aside from putting on muscle this will also lead to an increased thermic effect. Your bodies temp will rise, which means an increase in metabolism, more fat loss during cuts, and less fat gain with high calorie diets like these two high schoolers need.

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Lions are huge and eat alot of food.

4)Stay healthy too. You need vegetables and fruits. They are going to enhance everything: your workouts, competition, and all your other day to day stuff. You need more than 6 servings of each everyday. A serving can be as simple as a cup or what you can fit in the palm of your hand. Now, I may not be going on and on about this one, but it may be one of the most important. You will not grow near as quickly as you could've if you miss this step. Get your vegetables and get your fruits.

This link will send you to a great resource for making this stuff taste better

So you've got all these things down so far. Great, lets move on.

5) EAT, EAT, EAT!!!
I said to eat every 2-3 hours before but I didn't say how much. You gotta eat till you're almost sick. When I was in high school I gain 40lbs in one summer and I went from 145lbs at the beginning and end of my freshman year to weighing well over 215lbs at the end of my senior year, I maintained a low and healthy body fat percentage the whole time and only grew 2 inches taller. How? Well, looking back I could've gained more and done much better had I known then what I know now, but I did pretty well.

Try this out for a week. For 3 of your (at least 6) meals/day weigh in before and after the meal. If the scale does not go up 5lbs by the end of the meal go back and eat more. Sound ridiculous, well that is what it's gonna take. But you're not done yet, once you've downed 5 lbs of food, start drinking milk, put as much as you can down. That oughta do you well.

To some of you 5lbs may seem like alot to others it may not. For me, this is still a typical meal, and people wonder why I can put on 10lbs of muscle in a one or two months when they've been trying for months upon months for minimal gains. It's because I can put down about 12lbs of food at almost any given time, and I can do it multiple times during the day.

It is not going to be easy, but this is what it takes. I hear all the time about how athletes will do anything, well this is one of those things. It takes conditioning, just like training and lifting. When I'm in a growth phase my diet is just as hard as my lifts. Sometimes its a grind. Especially in the morning, which brings my to my next point.

6)The breakfast of champions is not a bowl of wheaties, but yes they are tasty.
This needs to be big, your biggest meal of the day. Breakfast means at least 4-6 eggs, a big bowl of oatmeal, add some healthiness with some ground flax seed and fruit, you can add bell peppers, onions, garlic and stuff like that to your eggs as well, and get at least one glass of milk. You need water in the morning as well, or you could get some decaf tea's if you like something warm but stay away from juices and sugar filled crap like that.

7)Lay off coffee and soft drinks
You are too young to be having coffee. Unless you want to stay the same size you are right now, then go ahead, but that would defeat the purpose of you even reading this. At this stage caffeine is not going to help you one bit, neither will tons of sugar and all the other crap that is in pop. Your body is going to have to work just to get rid of that stuff rather than be working on building your muscle like you told it to do when you were putting in that grueling workout.

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8)Get your pre workout meal in.
The Preworkout meal is 6x more important than your post meal because it has 6x the affect. You cannot grow from a crap workout. Eat to fuel your workouts first and recover from them second. Treat your workouts like competition, which you should already know.

1-1.5 hours pre workout/competition you need:
  • High glycemic foods like: White rice, pasta, bread
  • Lean protein: Turkey, lean hamburger, ostrich, stuff like that
The high glycemic foods spike the sugar in your blood that you are going to need during a strenous workout, and the protein is going to kind of 'grease the load' when it comes to amino acids. You will be delivering many more amino acids to your muscles while you workout not just after, and it will help you perform. Protein during a workout actually improves mental acuity, and endurance (anaerobic endurance obviously), and enhances recovery.

9) Get bedtime and midnight snacks.
Eat before you go to bed every night. Lots of vegetables, lots of protein, and ONLY LOW glycemic carbohydrates (oats, quinoa, most fruits). You want your metabolism rolling all the time, especially when you sleep. Tons of stuff is going on then and you want you body to be using those nutrients to repair itself and let you get stronger and faster, and gain muscle.

Midnight snacks, some can get away with this, but don't be setting an alarm or anything to wake up in the middle of the night. Sleep is way to important for that. But do keep something to eat beside your bed in case you wake up. BCAA's and a protein drink are a frequent favorite of mine. It's quick, it's easy and I like the taste.

You're in high school, you have tons and tons of time. Sleep is anything but overrated. At your age you need 9 hours a night and a nap in the middle of the day. When you sleep you recover. Not enough sleep is going to lead to a decrease in hormone production, especially HGH and Testosterone. It will also lead to increased stress, which means more cortisol and that means your body is going to be storing more fat and gaining less muscle. It will lead to crappy workouts and it'll make your school work harder (snowball affect). This may be the most important tip of all. So if you are reading this at midnight, stop and go to bed, it'll be here later.

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