Let’s face it: There’s no point in spending hours in the gym unless you end up building a great-looking physique, one that causes double-takes and earns compliments. It’s nice to be healthy, but no one’s going to stop you to tell you how great your heart rate is. A lack of visible results will only kill your motivation.
Yet so many people spend countless hours training’for years on end. They empty their wallets on gym memberships, buy all the latest supplements and read every book and magazine they can get their hand on, and yet they still fail to build even a fraction of the muscle they’d hoped for or decrease their bodyfat noticeably.
More Than 94 Percent of Trainees Fail to Reach Their Goals
That’s right, more than nine out of every 10 trainees fail to accomplish their goals in the gym. The sad thing is that most of them could make improvements at a rate and to an extent that they never thought was possible if they’d just take advantage of the anabolic window of growth. I train at several gyms in Southern California and throughout the East Coast, and it always amazes me that so few trainees know about the anabolic window of growth. Most who do barely understand it, and even fewer know how to make the most of it. What’s even worse, those who do know how to take advantage of it seldom do. It just friggin’ baffles me because it’s easy to apply and they’re cheating themselves out of most of the progress available to them. Are you one of those trainees?
I’m going to ask you to take maximum advantage of the anabolic window for 120 days. I promise you’ll never, ever look back’and you’ll wonder why anyone would ever go through a workout without applying this technique. I must warn you, however, that you’ll have people talking about you. When they start seeing steady improvements in your physique, you’ll start getting compliments, and you’ll inspire some people. You’re also going to cause some jealousy and envy, so be prepared!
What You Take in Right After Your Workout Determines Your Success
The last set of your last exercise is complete. You rack the weight. You had a great workout. At this point an alarm should be going off in your head. It’s your countdown to a metabolic explosion.
What you consume’or, more accurately, don’t consume’immediately after this and every training session, during the first 30 minutes and up to three hours afterward, will play a critical role in determining your success or failure. That three-hour window is the most productive time for nutritional enhancement, and the urgency that you place on taking advantage of it will measure your level of commitment. Are you up to the challenge?
The workout depleted the energy and nutrients stored in your muscle cells. That created a cellular atmosphere for absorbing the nutrients you’ll be taking in shortly after you train. The kicker is, your muscles will devour more of the nutrients you provide during that three-hour time period than at any other time. The smart money says to load your postworkout drink with nutrients designed to enhance muscle growth during that critical time.
So right after your workout you’re either going to trigger muscle growth and fat loss or you’re going to fall victim to catabolism and actually lose muscle as a result of your workout. That’s right. If you fail to provide the right nutrients during that critical time period, it will wreak havoc on your muscle growth. It’s like going 65 miles per hour in a Mercedes and then throwing the car into reverse.
The term anabolic refers to the building-up part of metabolism, which means you develop strong, hard muscles, Herculean endurance and a general sense of well-being. Insulin is the most anabolic of all hormones; it’s the primary hormone in charge of muscle recovery and growth. When it’s released into the bloodstream, it drives amino acids and carbohydrates into your muscle cells. That’s the reason most elite bodybuilders today use insulin, and it’s probably the reason they’re packing 40 to 50 pounds more muscle than the bodybuilders of just 15 or 20 years ago did. Today’s top physique athletes take the same drugs as the guys in the past took’plus insulin!
Stimulate Protein Synthesis by 400 Percent
High blood insulin levels increase protein synthesis in your muscle up to 50 percent. Furthermore, weight training stimulates protein synthesis up to 100 percent. Amino acids introduced into muscles also increase muscle-building rates by 150 percent. So when you take in amino acids immediately after a heavy workout, you can stimulate a tremendous amount of protein synthesis.
A great strategy for making use of the anabolic window of growth is obvious: Take in amino acids and stimulate high insulin levels immediately after resistance exercise. That combination produces the highest protein synthesis rates of any metabolic event. Incredibly, protein synthesis is stimulated by up to 400 percent.
The anabolic window is also the best time to increase and replenish your supply of ATP, the chemical your muscles need to work. ATP is lower after a workout and can lower protein synthesis.
So the optimal strategy is to stimulate and replenish ATP levels to ensure proper recovery and introduce amino acids and key nutrients that raise insulin levels directly after resistance exercise.
Putting the Strategy Into Action
The following nutrition and supplement plan was specifically created to help you make the most of the anabolic window of opportunity. It’s extremely effective and designed to repair and regenerate ATP, increase protein synthesis, release insulin, provide amino acids, enhance muscle cell nutrient uptake and saturate your muscle cells with the key nutrients that prevent muscle tissue breakdown. That means it will speed recovery and trigger muscle growth during the critical time.
This combination of supplements and food leaves no stone unturned. Every possible threat to muscle growth has been considered. The plan will maximize the opportunity caused by the muscle-starved state that follows each and every workout.
The example below assumes that you train at 5 p.m. If you train at another time, it’ll still work great. Simply adjust the times in the example to your own three-hour window following every workout. It’s easy, and the results will motivate you to make this technique a permanent tool in your training strategy.
1) Creatine and D-ribose. Immediately after the last set of your last exercise take in a serving of Ph-adjusted creatine such as CreaSol from Muscle-Link, Creatine Titrate from IDS or effervescent creatine, and add three grams of D-ribose. Your muscle cells will be low in ATP reserves, and that combination will provide the building blocks to replenish it.
Why those particular types of creatine? They’re the only versions that are 100 percent water-soluble. Only the dissolved creatine makes it into the cell’period. If it’s not dissolved in water, it can’t get into the muscle cell, and if it can’t get into the cell, it’s worthless.
Combining creatine with D-ribose more than doubles the benefits of taking creatine by itself. Creatine and ribose work together, contributing to two different halves of the ATP molecule. Creatine gives up part of its phosphate molecule to create more ATP. Ribose combines with adenine to form adenosine, the A in the ATP molecule.
Your ability to regenerate ATP depends on your supplies of creatine and ribose. The more creatine and ribose available in your muscle-building warehouse, the more ATP your body can make and the more effective and result-producing your training will be.
2) L-Glutamine. Twenty minutes after your workout drink 10 to 15 grams of L-glutamine mixed in about eight ounces of water. Glutamine is the most abundant amino acid in blood and muscle tissue. It’s critical to all life-sustaining processes in your body, and that includes building muscle, or anabolism, and preserving muscle, a.k.a. anticatabolism, along with the proper functioning of every organ. It’s the chief source of fuel for the immune system and the gazillions of cells that line the intestinal tract.
There are several quality manufacturers that offer straight L-glutamine products, so I’m not going to make any recommendations. Just make sure it’s pure pharmaceutical-grade L-glutamine and get the best buy you can.
3) Amino acids, carbohydrate, methoxyisoflavone, L-arginine and N-Acetyl-Cystene (NAC). The creatine and the L-glutamine reach your bloodstream 30 minutes after your workout, so that’s the best time to add the amino acids, the other key nutrients and the carbohydrates to spark the release of insulin that drives those nutrients into the muscle cells.
Recover-X from Muscle-Link provides a great blend of nutrients for postworkout anabolic acceleration. It contains 40 grams of the quick-acting bioavailable protein’amino acids’from hydrolyzed whey, which is extremely fast protein for immediate delivery. It also has whey protein concentrate, glutamine peptides, L-arginine and methoxyisoflavone. Plus, you get 60 grams of simple carbohydrates to give you the necessary insulin spike.
According to research, the L-arginine helps force 30 to 40 percent more glycogen storage, and that’s a key element in what you’re trying to accomplish.
Methoxyisoflavone is a nonsteroidal compound that has many of the positive effects of anabolic steroids but without the negative characteristics. It’s highly anabolic for both bone and muscle tissue. It also increases endurance, lowers cholesterol and decreases the size of fat stores.
Methoxyisoflavone has no estrogenic activity, no carcinogenic or teratogenic activity and, finally, no chronic or acute toxicities. It’s also effective at defeating cortisol, and as you probably know, cortisol can have a highly destructive effect on muscle growth, strength and recovery.
You’ll have to buy N-acetyl-cystene separately, but it’s worth it. Research shows that taking 200 milligrams or more after a workout will help prevent muscle loss and assist in burning bodyfat.
4) Water. Always stay hydrated, particularly throughout the anabolic window. Always drink an abundance of water when using any of the nutrients, since they attract huge amounts of water. You’re already dehydrated after your workout, and you have to provide those nutrients with ample water or they’ll draw water from anywhere they can so they can be digested. That will cause stomach discomfort and bloating. Avoid the problem by drinking more water.
5) A high-carbohydrate, high-protein, lowfat meal, plus a multivitamin and -mineral complex and phosphatidylserine (PS). One hour after your workout you have to get some whole food into your body or it will start to burn muscle. You’ll also want to take a multivitamin and -mineral supplement at that time to replace what was lost during the workout.
Studies show that phosphatidylserine supplements, such as Muscle-Link’s Cort-Bloc, act as an anticatabolic agent that lowers your cortisol levels very effectively. One researcher calls P.S. the most powerful bodybuilding supplement of the past two decades. PS has the power to unleash your body’s true potential to build muscle without the side effects of drugs. By lowering your cortisol, you enhance the effects of your other supplements because you get greater amino acid uptake, accelerated glucose utilization, increased protein synthesis and increased nitrogen retention. Lowering cortisol puts you a giant step closer to creating the proper body chemistry to make rapid and continuous progress. Use 400 milligrams.
6) Meal-replacement drink. Take it three hours after your workout. Remember, you’re not out of the woods yet. Your body is in a desperate fight to replenish liver glycogen, replace energy nutrients, preserve and build muscle, so a quality MRP is just what you need to turn the tide in your favor.
Muscle-Link’s Muscle Meals is an ideal choice because it combines the long-term anticatabolic effect of micellar-casein protein with the short-term anabolic effect of whey protein to provide the growth effects of complete milk protein. It also has essential fatty acids, additional glutamine peptides and additional vitamins and minerals as well as low-glycemic-index carbohydrates, which are ideal at this point in the anabolic window of growth.
So there you are: the perfect postworkout plan. When you follow it, you’ve got a new world of building muscle in store for you. This plan will do more for your fight to build muscle and burn bodyfat than anything else. IM