It is critical to remember that training might only account for 1-2 hours of your day. That leaves more than 80 percent of the day for nourishment, adaptation, and transformation. It's important that you think of fitness adaptation as something that occurs throughout the day. If you want results, you'll have to do more than just train hard for an hour or two.
Train your mind to think of fitness as a 24-hour project. Even sleep has an effect on your body! Watch the video below to learn how you can get better results by thinking 24/7.
Law 4: Think 24/7 10 Laws Of Muscle-Building
Watch the video - 5:12
Get Your Protein
Muscle protein is in a constant state of flux. It's either being made during muscle protein synthesis (MPS) or being broken down during muscle protein breakdown (MPB). In general, you want MPS to exceed MPB, or you won't build muscle efficiently. In order to keep MPB from exceeding MPS, you need to keep a steady flow of amino acids coming into your body. In other words, you need to eat protein!
To build and maintain muscle, protein should be the basis of every meal you eat, from breakfast to right before you go to bed.1-3 Protein is also critical right around the time you exercise. You can increase MPS by increasing the amount of available amino acids before, during, and after your workout.
I always tell my clients to build their meals from protein out. Start with at least 20-25 grams of protein per meal, and eat every 3-4 hours. That protein can come from meat, eggs, protein powder, or dairy.
As long as you're eating a lot of protein and training hard, you can still potentially build muscle in a slight calorie deficit. As calories get more and more restricted, you'll need more and more protein to continue to progress. Otherwise, you run the risk of MPB taking over MPS, which mean you could lose your hard-earned gains.
Protein is every bit as important when you're trying to build mass. If you're eating extra calories in order to gain weight, half of those extra calories should come from protein to support gains in muscle. The other half should come from carbs and fats to support energy demands in response to harder training.
Optimize Morning and Evening
Morning and evening are important for optimizing a net positive muscle protein balance. While you sleep, MPB can eventually supersede MPS, resulting in a negative balance in the morning. To thwart this negative balance, have some protein before you go to bed.
This bedtime protein snack is especially important for people who train in the evening, because those nighttime hours are an extension of their post-workout period.2,3 Casein protein is an especially good choice at night because it digests more slowly than whey.
- Groen, B. B., Pennings, B., Hertle, E., Senden, J. M., Saris, W. H., & van Loon, L. J. (2012). Intragastric protein administration stimulates overnight muscle protein synthesis in elderly men. American Journal of Physiology-Endocrinology and Metabolism, 302(1), E52-E60.
- Groen, B., Pennings, B., Beelen, M., Wallis, G. A., Gijsen, A. P., Senden, J. M., & Van Loon, L. J. (2012). Protein ingestion before sleep improves postexercise overnight recovery. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 44(8), 1560-1569.
- Snijders, T., Smeets, J. S., van Vliet, S., van Kranenburg, J., Maase, K., Kies, A. K., ... & van Loon, L. J. (2015). Protein Ingestion before Sleep Increases Muscle Mass and Strength Gains during Prolonged Resistance-Type Exercise Training in Healthy Young Men. The Journal of Nutrition, jn208371.