Doesn't it just drive you crazy? I'm talking about all the conflicting information, misinformation and downright deception that runs rampant in bodybuilding circles. The good news is, there's one strategy that everyone agrees on. It works for everyone, and by the time you finish reading this article, you'll not only know exactly what the strategy is, but you'll also understand why it works, and you'll have a practical game plan for making use of it right away. I don't care how frustrated you are with your progress, if you follow this one strategy, you will build muscle and you will burn fat. The kicker is that the advice you're about to get isn't new or sexy. In fact, you've heard it again and again. Frankly, if you'd taken this advice to heart and practiced it consistently from the beginning, you'd be well on your way to achieving your goals. It's the single most important thing you'll ever do in bodybuilding. Do I have your attention? Good.
The Magic Wand
There is no magic wand'just good sound advice that works: The most important thing you'll ever do in your bodybuilding career is to eat six meals a day every day'no excuses, no exceptions, no whining and no wimping out!
Five meals won't cut it. Four definitely won't, and three or fewer is a total copout. Do it, or you might as well take up tennis or badminton because if you can't or won't eat six meals a day, every day, then you will never, ever reach your full potential. You simply don't have what it takes'or aren't willing to do what it takes.
So stop making excuses, stop blaming your genetics, stop calling yourself a hardgainer or blaming other obstacles. Eat six meals every day. Don't waste your time'or anyone else's'searching for the magic wand that's going to transform your physique.
Think about it. If the top bodybuilders in the world, with their superior genetics and daredevil drug doses, have to eat six meals a day, then why do so many hopefuls think they can get away with four or five, even though they have average metabolisms and no pharmaceutical help? (I'm shrugging my shoulders.) Is that argument strong enough for you? Good! Eating six meals a day, every day
is simply critical. Do it, and six months from today you'll have an entirely new body. A year from now you won't even recognize the image in the mirror.
Read the last four paragraphs again and think about what I said. Read the rest only if you're willing to make the commitment to eating six meals a day.
Still with me? Good, because if you're willing to make the commitment, then you've joined the ranks of the few who do vs. the many who wish, hope and dream. Congratulations! The plan isn't for crybabies, lazy bodybuilders, cheaters or those looking for the easy road to success. It's for the rest of us, who work damn hard for every ounce of precious muscle. It's for those who know the price of success and are willing to pay it day in and day out, when no one's watching.
How the Six-Meals-a-Day Plan Works
Your metabolism works optimally when it's well fed throughout the day. Six meals spread throughout the day, no more than three hours apart, is ideal. Divide your food evenly among your six meals. Eating turns up your metabolism and stimulates your body to burn energy. So when you eat six smaller meals throughout the day, you burn more energy. Plus, your body craves a steady supply of amino acids to make muscle and to perform other vital metabolic functions. If one system within the body needs amino acids to function and there aren't enough from food, then it goes to the warehouse'a.k.a. muscle tissue. That means muscle breaks down and gets smaller as your metabolism slows and enters a fat-storage phase.
Eating enough protein throughout the day guarantees that your body will pull the needed amino acids from food rather than depleting your muscle tissue. When you eat six well-timed, protein-rich, lowfat meals that include fibrous carbohydrates, you'll stay healthy, maintain muscle, build new muscle and lose fat.
What if you could eat the same number of calories a day as you're eating right now'let's say it's 3,000'but you could free up 1,000 of those calories to build muscle? That's without adding one calorie to your daily intake.
I know what you're thinking: 'Is this guy Looney Tunes?'
And what if you could eat the same number of calories as you're eating now but you could get rid of 1,000 fat-building calories a day? Now you really must think I'm crazy, but let's do some quick math. If you somehow get 1,000 usable calories a day, that's an extra 364,000 muscle-building calories a year. Do you seriously think you could avoid building more muscle'even if you tried?
And if you get rid of 1,000 fat-building calories a day, that's a 364,000-calorie deficit in the fat-packing department. Would you get ripped and hard? Absolutely.
Let's assume the human body can only handle'that is, digest and use'so many calories at any one meal. Let's say it's 500 calories. In addition, it can only handle so much protein per meal, so much carbohydrates and so much fat.
So, if you're eating 3,000 calories a day in four meals, that equals about 800 calories a meal, which means 500 are going to build muscle and 300 are either dissipated into the air or stored as bodyfat. What's more, it means your body uses only 2,000 calories during the day to build muscle and 1,000 to add ugly fat.
Now let's look at six meals a day. Three thousand calories divided by six equals 500 calories per meal, right? If you can use about 500 calories per meal to build muscle, you get zero calories from that meal going toward adding fat. What's more, you add 1,000 usable calories a day by adding two more 500-calorie meals'while you're getting rid of 1,000 fat-building calories. Plus, you're eating the same number of calories and have the same food bill. Yes, it's that freakin' simple'but how profound.
A Killer Action Plan
Let's assume for a second that you're convinced that the six-meals-a-day plan is awesome. The next challenge is doing it (oh, I can hear some of you already whining). 'But I don't have time to eat six meals; it's so time consuming. I have to work for a living. I travel all day.' Man, I could get drunk on all that whine, whine, whine!
Here's an arsenal of quick meal ideas to make the whole thing workable.
'Always cook more than you need and keep your refrigerator stocked with cooked chicken, fish, turkey or steak. Also stock your refrigerator with cleaned and cut carrots, celery, lettuce, cucumbers, onion and just about any vegetable that you can eat raw or cooked. Baked potatoes, cooked rice, lowfat cottage cheese, yogurt and corn tortillas are all great staples to have on hand as well.
'Keep your cabinet, car and desk stocked with tuna. And keep your car, desk and gym bag stocked with eating utensils.
'With that you can combine any protein, vegetables and/or starch within minutes. I like food to be quick, simple and easy, so this strategy fills the bill for me.
'Grab some chicken, turkey, fish or steak and wrap it in a corn tortilla. Also pack some celery sticks and carrots, and you're good to go'and grow.
'Fast-food restaurants usually have grilled-chicken sandwiches and salads. Order the sandwich and a salad, throw away the roll and put the chicken on the salad.
'You can always find apples and cottage cheese at convenience stores and cafeterias.
'And, of course, the new shakers with screens in them make it easy to mix a meal-replacement drink in less than two minutes just about anywhere.
Once you get in the habit of keeping these items on hand, you'll find it's easy to stay with the six-meals-a-day plan, and the results will speak for themselves. Do it, and you'll be on your way to steady progress and a killer body. IM