Ask The Macro Manager: How Do I Use Nutrition To Build Specific Body Parts?

You've seen bodybuilders cite nutrition as the secret behind their balanced, strong physiques. If your back is lacking, learn how to strategize for size!
Q

My goals right now revolve mainly around developing my chronically puny back. How can I gear my nutritional intake to help me?

When it comes to training and developing lagging body parts, the principle of muscle priority is generally seen as the standard approach. Muscle-prioritizing works, whether you add extra sets or extra workouts dedicated to making your back bigger and stronger. However, it works best when it goes hand-in-hand with nutrition.

If you are giving your back extra attention through increased volume and/or frequency, then you should give your body extra fuel and attention to recovery. By doing so, you'll be able to accelerate the growth and development of your back so it responds to the increased training and attention, as you'd hope it would.

Apply these strategies to your current mass-building nutrition protocols to make them more effective. Hone in on developing greater size, thickness, and strength to your back.

Pre-workout stimulants are all the rage, and they definitely have their use. I don't recommend using them every time you train. After a few weeks taking pre-workout supplements on a regular basis, you'll probably notice that the incredible boom in energy you once experienced gets harder and harder to find.

To maximize the effect of pre-workout stimulants, I recommend that you save them for body part-specific sessions. This will give you a noticeable boost when training the body parts you specifically try to grow, in this case your back. The added push during these training sessions will further drive your efforts to overstimulate your back, setting the stage for our prioritized recovery strategies.

During Training

If your training session lasts longer than 45 minutes, then you need intra-workout fuel. As a rule of thumb, you oxidize about 1 gram of carbohydrates per minute of exercise. But you don't need to provide all this fuel for your body during this time, because you want to use some muscle glycogen. I recommend taking 30-45 grams of carbohydrates per hour of training.

The range depends on body type. Ectomorphs can aim for 45 grams, while endomorphs use 30 grams. In addition to these carbohydrates, round out your intra-workout anabolic cocktail with 10 grams of BCAAs.

Post-Workout Refueling

If you have already pre-fueled and fueled your body before and during training, refueling isn't as crucial as it would otherwise be. However, it is still important to take advantage of your body's increased susceptibility to nutrient absorption post-workout.

Directly after you exercise, glucose uptake is increased, glycogen storage is increased, amino acid uptake is increased, and protein synthesis is also boosted. By taking advantage of this post-workout refueling window, you can improve your insulin sensitivity over the next several hours. The chart below is adapted from John Ivy and Robert Portman's book Nutrient Timing. It shows how proper refueling post-workout increases insulin sensitivity (solid line) compared to not refueling (dotted line).

Continued Feeding and Recovery

No matter how intensely you train, or fuel around your training, both represent a small fraction of your total time and nutrition. How you eat outside of training is still hugely important, and this starts with your first solid post-training meal.

Most post-workout shakes consist of fast-digesting and insulinogenic carbs like dextrose and maltodextrose, which cause your blood sugar levels to rise quickly. The downside is that they will also fall quickly, so you need to be ready with a solid meal to stabilize your blood sugar levels and start the recovery process. One of my favorite means for this time period is simple, but nutrient-packed: two yams with coconut oil and a grilled top sirloin.

In the 24 hours following your back training sessions, add an additional 500 calories to your current mass-building diet to compensate for the additional training and to support extra growth. Ideally, at least 160 of these calories will come in the form of 40 grams of casein protein taken before you go to bed. The science is pretty clear: Casein at this time can increase protein synthesis while you sleep by more than 25 percent.

From a recovery standpoint, you need rest in addition to your nutrition. If you train your back with increased frequency—which you should, because frequency is a major determinate of hypertrophic response—then you need to prioritize deep sleep. Deep sleep comes toward the end of your sleep cycles, which are generally 90 minutes in length. So in order to maximize the physical restorative properties of sleep, aim to add an extra 90 minutes of sleep to your nightly routine. If it is not possible to do this every night, at least add 90 minutes on the nights after you train your back.

Aside from improving your recovery, working an extra sleep cycle into your nightly routine will help you reap other benefits, such as enhanced motor skills. For a lifter, this translates to increased muscle control and better form, which means being able to lift more weight and stimulate more growth.


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About The Author

Author, speaker, and nutritional consultant Mike Roussell, PhD is known for transforming complex nutritional concepts into practical habits...

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Maech

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Maech

Not your greatest article...

"To maximize the effect of pre-workout stimulants, I recommend that you save them for body part-specific sessions. This will give you a noticeable boost when training the body parts you specifically try to grow, in this case your back. The added push during these training sessions will further drive your efforts to overstimulate your back, setting the stage for our prioritized recovery strategies. "

Pre workout on back days only... is this a joke?

Oct 11, 2012 9:18pm | report
 
debomonster

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debomonster

What he's saying is that lets say your back needs to catch up with the rest of your body.. say you didnt work it as hard as some other muscles so to hit it the hardest to make the most gains is to use the pre-workout on back days so that most of the power is emphasized to the back to catch up.. got it? To emphasize more gains in a specific area you want to put more power into that area and emphasize it the most.

Oct 11, 2012 10:04pm | report
patricktydean24

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patricktydean24

Its insane to use a pre workout every workout as it is..i got burnt out on them doing just that..so ive took 3 months off of them and gonna start using the curse monday.

Oct 12, 2012 7:05am | report
craigcapurso

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craigcapurso

after constant use your body adapts to the stimuli caffeine etc in a pre work out.. so he is saying use it intermittently in hopes to feel that energy pump on the days when you would need it most. .Not just back days but days that you may need the extra fuel .. read closer before you make bold statements.

Oct 12, 2012 11:13am | report
AdenosineT

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AdenosineT

^ hit the nail on the head on that one

Oct 12, 2012 1:50pm | report
Maech

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Maech

Anyone stop to think, and come to the realisation, this is how he ended up in this mess in the first place?

MikeyH83 has the right idea.

Oct 12, 2012 3:58pm | report
droyce

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droyce

think it's funny how someone as small as you is criticizing someone who is obviously established in the workout world.

This guy is a power house with a rounded physique. He is only suggesting ways to push a lacking muscle group or how to approach pre-workout drinks. Go ahead and shove all the nasty supplements down your throat you want. I'm sure increasing the dosage every time it doesn't work goes well for your kidneys.

Oct 15, 2012 3:15pm | report
nlduhon

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nlduhon

craig : I just started exercise and use pre workouts every time, even core days, etc. I have gone to three servings and barely feel the effects in comparison to the first time. Should I just reduce the consumption of pre workouts for days I need them to drop tolerance?

Oct 21, 2012 6:55pm | report
dreambig1993

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dreambig1993

This was a good read!

Oct 11, 2012 9:46pm | report
 
travis132

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travis132

The subtle plugs to get you to buy supplements is starting to become very annoying.

Oct 11, 2012 10:33pm | report
 
lovellman

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lovellman

I agree.
"The science is pretty clear: Casein at this time can increase protein synthesis while you sleep by more than 25 percent"

Oct 12, 2012 12:49am | report
AdenosineT

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AdenosineT

Agreed but maybe he was simply pointing out that casein, a slow digesting protein, is best utilized while you sleep, so taking 40 grams (which seems high to me) before bed will be beneficial on the days you did extra workouts to build up weaker muscles.

Oct 12, 2012 1:49pm | report
akim7990

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akim7990

you can easily substitute nighttime casein with high-slow-digesting-protein foods like cottage cheese or greek yogurt. a bottle of casein protein however is likely to be the more budget-friendly (with more protein per serving) and convenient choice despite your having to pay more upfront.

Oct 12, 2012 9:14pm | report
TroyGuy

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TroyGuy

Actually, it is not the fact he is subtle in the sale of supplements that is annoying but rather the statement made "The science is pretty clear: Casein at this time can increase protein synthesis while you sleep by more than 25 percent." without a footnote as to the source of the stated science IS annoying. However I happen to agree that Casein would be beneficial for the intended purpose of this article. I don't think any competitive bodybuilder would agree that any dairy like cottage cheese or Greek yogurt would be a good substitute because of it's digestive adversities. This article caught my eye because my back is exactly what I'm now focusing on and this is a good read. Much appreciated!

Oct 13, 2012 2:45am | report
hospitalward4

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hospitalward4

the fact that there is a hyper link leading the reader onto the casein protein supplement site within bodybuilding.com is also a joke, bloody scam

Oct 14, 2012 6:55am | report
clarksonkm

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clarksonkm

There is no science to back that casein has added nighttime benefit. It's all just marketing propaganda to trick you into feeling like you need it. This artical is trash.

Apr 22, 2014 2:13pm | report
teslation

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teslation

great thread

Oct 12, 2012 12:57am | report
 
MikeyH83

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MikeyH83

Or... Eat a lot 1 hour prior to working out (Carbs and Protein.. Take a PWD if you need or like to. Workout to your limits (and past). Eat after your workout (Carbs and Protein)
Back.. Arms... legs.. Chest... Kegels.. doesn't matter.. Eat Lift Sleep, Eat Lift Sleep.

Oct 12, 2012 10:26am | report
 
MiamiOTR7

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MiamiOTR7

Great article. Going to apply this for chest growth

Oct 12, 2012 12:40pm | report
 
rickaaaaay

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rickaaaaay

I thought that deep sleep was an hour into your nights rest, which is where your body releases the protein that it uses to physically recover. The rest of the night is all mental recovery. That's why many pro's take a mid day nap, to take advantage of an additional protein release.

Oct 13, 2012 10:38am | report
 
mroussell

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mroussell

You sleep in cycles. The average complete sleep cycle is 90 minutes. Deep sleep happens during the latter part of the sleep cycle. 20-30 minutes naps focus will improve attention and awareness but not physical recovery.

Oct 17, 2012 1:37pm | report
rover64dd

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rover64dd

Body part specific training article. Am I the only one who knows this is bodybuilding in general. If a bodypart lags behind you just need to change stuff up. Probably more specifically you need to work on the mind body connection of that specific muscle. Pre workout stimulants make it so you cant rest well and can give you ED. The hell with em.

Oct 13, 2012 4:40pm | report
 
Jasmhines

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Jasmhines

Good stuff

Oct 13, 2012 10:17pm | report
 
wanjasyahmi

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wanjasyahmi

pls ready carefully lol

Oct 14, 2012 11:47pm | report
 
Showing 1 - 24 of 24 Comments

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