If you’ve hit a plateau or you’re not getting the results you’d like from your training, take a close look at these simple strategies. They are based on the very latest bodybuilding research shown to boost muscle mass gains.

1.Carbohydrates boost muscle growth.

Do more carbs after training really mean fast muscle growth? You bet. Intense resistance training depletes muscle cells of valuable glycogen. A recent study shows that a short term bout of intense exercise followed by a high intake of carbohydrates produces a super-compensatory effect. The end result being super-high muscle glycogen stores [1]. This is a powerful mechanism that triggers muscle cell anabolism that leads to dramatic size increases.

Due to their fear of carbohydrates, most bodybuilders don’t get enough carbs to support intense training. The result is a carb-depleted athlete all year long and mediocre results from training. Introducing the right carbs at the right time will provide you with an incredible “fullness” in your muscles that transfers into tremendous strength improvements.

DGC - Fast Muscle Energy and Hydration - Best Energy Carbohydrate SupplementTo enhance the effects of weight training, bodybuilders should aim for at least 1-gram of carbohydrates per kilogram of body weight within the first couple of meals after training [2]. For a 180 pound bodybuilder, this could mean one serving of DGC immediately after training, followed soon after by 40 or 50 grams of carbs from white rice or potato. If you have a difficult time building muscle, then you may want to double this dose on your tough workout days.

This timing strategy will not impede the fat loss process but it will amplify your results from training. Follow this process along with the other strategies I’ve outlined below and your muscles will literally explode!

2. Blood amino acid levels determine muscle protein synthesis.

For bodybuilders, one of the most important revelations in exercise biochemistry for the last 50-years is the confirmation that blood amino acid concentrations control muscle growth [3,4]. A high protein intake maintains a high level of essential amino acids circulating in the blood. This is the key to stimulating muscle protein synthesis rates. When blood amino acid levels drop, muscle protein synthesis rates diminish. Research shows that this powerful anabolic effect is not achieved with “normal” dietary protein intakes. A high protein intake is essential for maximizing the anabolic effect of resistance training [4].

VP2 Whey Isolate - Best Whey ProteinThe best way to maintain high blood amino acid levels in the blood is to combine protein sources that possess different absorption rates. The simplest way to do this is to combine whole-food proteins with VP2 Whey Isolate.

Each protein source possesses different absorption rates that govern the entry of amino acids into the bloodstream. VP2 is ultra-fast in absorption, it literally floods the bloodstream with growth-producing amino acids but this effect is short-lived if other proteins are not consumed.

Muscle Energy 2-PackNew Muscle Energy is a powerful amino acid supplement with potent levels of BCAAs and a complete essential amino acid array. This is perfect to drink throughout the day and especially before and after your workout. Muscle Energy keeps a high level and steady flow of amino acids in the bloodstream that’s critical for new lean muscle.

But make no mistake, whole-food proteins are essential to the muscle growth process as they help stabilize blood sugar levels to ensure the protein in your supplements is directed towards muscle protein synthesis and not energy production.

Therefore, it’s important to combine your supplements with a high intake of whole-food protein sources like tuna, beef, chicken, and eggs. Try to consume a fast and slow protein source at nearly every meal to maintain a high level of growth-promoting amino acids in the bloodstream at all times.

3. L-leucine intake stimulates muscle growth.

Leucine is a branch chain amino acid that is tremendously important to strength athletes. Recent studies have revealed that leucine plays a key role in igniting the transcription pathways that accelerate protein synthesis rates in muscle [4]. An abundant supply of leucine delivered to muscle after training would enhance the stimulation of protein synthesis from intense weight lifting [5]. Higher protein synthesis rates in muscle promote more efficient recovery at the cellular level and greater synthesis of contractile proteins to speed your bodybuilding results.

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The trick is to use supplements that are high in bio-available leucine. VP2 Whey Isolate contains one of the highest doses of leucine found in any food or supplement (well over 10gms/100gms). Regular servings of VP2 throughout the day should maintain high levels of leucine in your blood. Regarding a dosage pattern, our research has shown that for an 80-kilogram bodybuilder, around 4 ½ scoops a day (divided into 4 equal doses) will provide a highly significant change in muscle mass – an 11-pound gain in pure muscle in 10 weeks. Is that significant enough for you?

4. A better way to use creatine.

Micronized CreatineNo doubt Micronized Creatine is the most powerful anabolic supplement available. However, getting creatine into the muscle in large amounts is the key to dramatic strength and muscle mass gains. The cycling strategy I’ve designed is new and based on the latest research on creatine transport [6]. To maximize uptake of creatine into muscle a precise supplementation strategy should be followed.

I have a simple strategy that produces mind-blowing results. However, I’ll go into this program in detail in future articles. For now just remember that in order to get maximum uptake into muscle, blood creatine levels need to be high for a few days followed by a short off period to prevent creatine receptor downregulation.

Achieve this with frequent doses (5 to 10 grams, four to six times a day) for only three days. Then cease creatine supplementation for the next 3 days. This strategy will ensure increased muscle creatine concentrations while preventing creatine receptor down-regulation. This short loading phase will maintain a high number of creatine transporters on muscle cells, 3 days without creatine re-sensitizes these transporters and keeps muscle creatine stores at their peak without downregulation.

5. Glutamine load after intense cardio exercise.

Don’t let anyone tell you that performing cardio exercise to get lean will lead to muscle loss. The reality is, if the correct supplement strategy is used you can enhance muscle growth during cardio exercise. Yes, it is true; you can improve muscle size while performing cardio exercise. The cornerstone of obtaining a powerful anabolic effect from cardio training is the amino acid glutamine.

GL3 L-Glutamine 300 GramsThe amount of glutamine contained within muscle determines protein synthesis rates and maintenance of a positive nitrogen balance (synonymous with muscle growth). Glutamine is the most potent substrate at increasing muscle cell volume – a potent stimulator of muscle anabolism. The latest research also shows that glutamine supplementation increases muscle glycogen resynthesis after exercise.

Remember strategy Number 1. – More carbs after training means better growth. This is because of glycogen replenishment. Glutamine is shown to enhance the muscle glycogen loading effect. When glutamine is taken after training, glycogen levels within the entire body increase. This is a calorie-free way to increase muscle glycogen levels. This triggers protein synthesis and enhances fat utilization.

Recent research now shows that supplementation with pure, free-form glutamine enters the bloodstream and gets delivered to muscle [8]. However, as 65% of the glutamine supplement is taken up by the gut, the dosage needed to get to muscle needs to be high. To obtain an anabolic effect from cardio exercise, I recommend bodybuilders take 10-grams twice in the hours immediately after training, along with their regular meals.

After exercise, this strategy will elevate blood glutamine levels to stimulate uptake by hungry muscles. In turn, this will promote powerful glycogen synthesizing and cell volumizing effect. Provided your nutritional intake after training is of high quality, there is no reason why you should not experience a significant anabolic effect from cardio training, an effect that will be noticeable over a period of time. You will become bigger and leaner as your D-day approaches, not smaller and weaker.

References

1. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise 34:980-986, 2002.
2. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. 17;187–196, 2003.
3. Curr Opin Clin Nutri & Metab Care 5;63-67, 2002.
4. American Journal of Physiol & Endo Metab 273:E122-E129,1997.
5. Journal of Nutrition 130:139-145, 2000.
6. Journal of Applied Physiology 94: 2173-2180, 2003.
7. Journal of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition, 23(5suppl):S45-8, 1999.
8. American Journal of Applied Physiology G & I 281; G267-G274, 2001.

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5 Research Proven Strategies For Maximum Muscle Gains

by AST Sports Science time to read: 7 min
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