My off-season diet used to include, eating everything I wanted whenever I wanted. I had read in various writings this was the way to go. However, I found myself generally low on energy and my gains were slow. I knew it wasn't my training. It had to be my diet. So I decided to sit down and figure out a fool-proof off-season diet.
First of all, I have to figure out how many calories per day my body uses. I do this via a calculator found on various websites. My approximate daily caloric need is 4280 Cal or Kcal. Now, because my goal is weight gain I am going to add approximately 800 calories. This gives me 5080 Cal. I am going to aim to intake this many calories per day. Now, these calories will come from three main macronutrients, Protein, Carbohydrates, and Fats.
This is my daily meal breakdown.
10 egg whites, 3 packs of instant oatmeal, 1 large banana, ½ cup of yogurt, ½ cup of cottage cheese, multivitamin, 1 tbsp EFA
Meal 2: Protein shake/ large baked potato or 1.5 cups of rice
Meal 3: 8 oz of meat/ 2 cups of Pasta/ An apple/ small cup of yogurt.
Meal 4: Pre-workout: 1 can of tuna, 1 sweet potato/ 1 or 2 cups of broccoli or cauliflower
Meal 5: Post workout: 1 serving of Cell-Tech/ 5 grams glutamine/ 30-gram protein shake.
Meal 6: 8-10 oz Meat, 2 cups of rice/ 1 cup mixed veggies.
Meal 7: Protein shake/1 cup yogurt/ low fat muffin. 2 grams Glutamine.
Tips for gaining mass:
This is my mass gaining program. Not everyone is the same. Listen to your body. If you feel you need more energy, increase your carbohydrate intake. Also look at what types of carbohydrates you are taking in. Polysacharides are better than Monosacharides. Meaning, the longer the chain a carbohydrate has the more energy it will release. Eat so you are happy, then eat some more because before you know it the dreaded pre-contest diet will be here. Keep training hard and if you have any questions or comments please send them via email.
- As always my protein intake is the most important part of each meal. As long as I can get my protein I'm happy. Without Protein it's not a meal. Second are my Carbohydrates. I want to keep them high so I have lots of energy to use in my workouts. Lastly comes Fat. I don't worry too much about fat, however, when possible I avoid it. For example I still trim off excess fat from my steak.
- I am always drinking water. I carry around a gallon of water everywhere I go. Keeping hydrated is one of the smartest things you can do. When you look at what a muscle cell is composed of it is 70 % water. As well, I am supplementing with creatine and want to maximize cell growth. I drink at least a gallon of water throughout the day. This also helps wake me up in the middle of the night letting me grab another serving of protein.
- In my meals I say 8 oz of meat. This is an approximation. I don't feel it necessary to measure much out. This goes for the cups, or half cups of rice. I use this as an approximation. I try, if anything, to overestimate. As well, any meat will do. As I said in number 1, as long as I get my protein I'm happy.
- Timing: I time my meals approximately 2 hours apart. My pre-workout meal is eaten at least one hour before my workout. My post workout meal is immediately afterward, and meal 6 is approximately one to 1.5 hours after my post-workout meal.
- Supplements: I supplement daily with Whey Protein Powder (as needed), 7 grams of Glutamine, 1 tbsp EFA's (essential fatty acids), 7 grams of Creatine (cell tech), Multivitamins, 1500 mg Vitamin C, Ephedrine (25 mg). All of these are available from BB.com at great prices.
- Don't skip a meal. This is very important. Missing a meal will mess up your whole schedule and you will notice it in your workout. Plan ahead, pack meals or plan to eat out somewhere reasonable.
- Train hard. I think about my workout all day, and by the time I get to the gym I am more than ready to hit the weights. Bring music, or any other motivational tool. I strongly suggest finding a workout partner. They are convenient to have not only for motivation but also for forced reps and spots when lifting heavy.
- Don't be strict when deciding on foods. If I have the chance I won't give up a large pizza, or a triple bacon cheeseburger, however I save these until after my workout. I find if I eat them before I am tired from eating such a large meal and I feel so bloated. The extra calories won't hurt.
- I do cardio maybe once a week. Number one because I hate it and I am so sick of it from pre-contest I don't miss it. But number 2 doing it once a week keeps my cardiovascular system in check. You don't need to do cardio more than this on off-season.
- Sleep! I sleep at least 8 hours per night. I aim for 12. The more rest you get, the more energy you will have for your workout.
- Just because it's off-season doesn't mean it's time for parties. Having a casual beer is fine, but getting hammered is definitely going to set you back. Think about it. Alcohol is poison, what else could make you feel like that. It definitely isn't going to help you in the long run.
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