Festivities and holiday season are in some ways a stressful time for people who are into muscle building, strength, fitness and general health.
For others, it is a reason to start a fresh new period and actually start going to the gym and eating healthily.
Both are for the same reasons, namely you eat and drink a lot and feel bad about it and either worry about fitness or muscle mass loss, or worry that you haven’t started that fitness drive you should have years ago.
Here’s a few points to get you thinking, or get you started.
Food: Bodybuilding Bagels
Ed: “One of my favourite muscle foods of all time is this bagel. I probably had four a week during my first real bulk cycle, and I still eat a couple a week. They take no time to make and are easy to take with you. It feels like each one packed on to my muscle mass like a lump of clay. Awesome.”
For this Bodybuilding Bagel you’ll want the following ingredients:
- Carrots – 2 tbsp grated (enough to pack a couple tablespoons)
- Pickles, dill cucumber – 1 tbsp finely chopped
- Cheese Spread – whatever flavour you like
- Cheese – 2 square slices (swiss, cheddar, something strong if you love it)
- Arugula lettuce
- Bagel – wholewheat or brown with flax, or something healthy sounding
Cut the bagel in traditional halves. To make room for all that stuff, you want to do one of two things: scrape some of the softer bread out of each half, making a nice trough OR push it down with your thumbs to make a similar groove. Don’t overthink this, the difference is a few calories.
Toast bagel, tap fingers while waiting.
Now, line each half of the grooves with a thick layer of cream cheese, push the grated carrot in, push the chopped pickle in, put some arugula leaves over it all and cover each half with a slice of cheese. Eat like that or push them together and go burger style.
Your body and especially your muscles will enjoy this influx of rich protein, calcium, Vitamin A, nitrates and more.
Oh, and you can make it in about 3 minutes.
Supplements: The Must Haves
There’s a couple training supplements we’d say are necessities if you want to take your muscle building seriously. This is especially important when your life is one the scale of busy to frantic.
Some guys talk utter nonsense about creatine being bad for some reason. They are wrong. Get Creatine Monohydrate, it’s still the best and it’s also the cheapest. Take 3 to 6g a day whenever you like. It gradually saturates your system and provides you with the best value strength and muscle gains you’ll get in a lifetime.
Some dudes experiment with casein, egg, vegan, rice, whatever protein. We tend to use whey isolate. It’s the protein content that really matters anyway.
Anything saying it’s a super fast absorption rate is unnecessary. Research tells us that as long as we have our protein shake within a couple hours of the gym we’re good.
It’s necessary because it’s a low calorie way of getting the amount of muscle building amino acids into your system.
North of the 37th parallel, which isn’t really that north, most of us don’t get enough sunshine all year round to get a sufficient amount of Vitamin D. In fact, Summer is the only season most of us do get enough.
With that said, the second issue is most governments’ recommended allowance, which is just enough to avoid rickets and is still pathetic. There are benefits from more Vit D than this.
Get a highly rated brand of soft-gel (transparent oil capsules) based Vitamin D3 supplement and take 2000 to 4000 IU (international units) per day. Thank us in 6 months when you feel awesome.
Pre-Workout: Get Pumped!
A pre-workout supplement is a little different to the creatine and the protein powder because you can get excellent ones and terrible ones…so don’t go out and get just anything.
The basic role of a pre-workout is to get your body amped and your mind right for as good a training session as you can get. Starting to workout out on water alone, or heaven forbid – gatorade – you might not realize your full potential for the hour or so you spend in the gym.
Vasodilation, aka the ‘Muscle Pump’, aka ‘SWOLE’ – is one of the most effective means of upping your game in the gym and yielding long term muscle growth and strength benefits.
The best ingredient for getting pumped is NOT L-Arginine, but IS IN FACT L-Citrulline (here’s why).
The pre-workout supplement we use also has a natural vasodilator in it in the form of beets, which raises nitrate levels and thus gives a staggered NO response and even longer effect in the gym.
It’s called 4 Gauge.