Saturday, December 31, 2005

Muscle building nutrition

Nutrition is probably THE most important part of building muscle. In fact, I'm willing to go a step further and say that you will NOT build muscle without the proper nutrition.

You could have the best bodybuilding workout in the world but if you don’t have good nutrition, you're not going to get anywhere. The same applies to weight loss. You could run all the time but if you are eating junk food you aren’t really going to lose the weight.

For building muscle the number one thing to keep in mind is you need protein. Protein is the building block of muscle. A lot of people will argue about how much protein you need but a good rule of thumb is one and a half to 2 grams of protein for every pound you weigh.

So, say you have an individual who weighs 160 pounds he needs 240 to 320 grams of protein every day. Personally, I'd recommend between one and two times your body weight. Also, it is important to eat healthy.

To build muscle, there are a couple of important times you need to eat. You should eat immediately after you lift. It’s important to get protein immediately after lifting. Preferably you need whey protein, which you can get from a supplement and just mix with juice, milk, or water.

One of the things that have helped me gain a lot of muscle the past few years is taking a pre-workout and post-workout shake.

I take a scoop of whey, mix it in 12 ounces of juice or Gatorade, and add some creatine and/or glutamine. I sip one before and after working out and it's helped me gain about 30 pounds of muscle the past 2 years.

When you lift weights your body is going to be using a lot of glucose, so in order to refill that and repair the muscle you need carbs right after training. I'd recommend that you get that from fruit juice, like grape juice, or from a sports drink, like Gatorade.

When you lift weights, you're using up all your glucose and you need to replace that so it can repair and build your muscle tissue.

Certain types of fat are definitely good and other types of fat aren’t going to help you at all.
There is saturated fat and polyunsaturated fat and you want to keep the saturated fat low. If you're having a meal that has over 5 grams of saturated fat and you are eating that all the time that is probably going to be too much.

You can get good fat from peanuts, peanut butter, flaxseed or lean meat.

Everybody needs to be getting a multi-vitamin. I would also suggest as I said earlier a 100% whey protein and for a lot of people creatine is a great supplement and also a multi-mineral and flaxseed.

For breakfast, some of the foods I have are egg whites, orange juice, bananas, oatmeal, whole wheat bread, bagels, and meal replacements.

I don't eat all of these, I pick and choose depending on my mood, but I like to vary it.

For lunch, I have tuna, chicken, fish, lean red meats, brown rice, and a ton of green veggies like brocolli, green beans, and asparagus.

For dinner I usually have tuna, other fish, steak, hamburg, chicken, turkey, or another lean meat. I also have either brown rice or a potato. And more veggies. You almost can't eat enough veggies.

In between meals, I'll usually have a meal replacement shake or whey protein shake. To build muscle, you need to be eating every 3 to 4 hours.

For supplements, I currently take a multi-vitamin, fish oils or CLA, whey protein, creatine, and glutamine. I only use supplements that have been proven to help build muscle, lose fat, or increase strength. The rest I stay away from and save my money.

That's basically how you set up your nutrition to build muscle mass.

One of the best books I've read for muscle building nutrition is Will Brink's book:

Muscle Building Nutrition:


http://www.musclebuildingnutrition.com/cgi/at.cgi?a=239719

It shows you how to build serious lean muscle in record time with a proven muscle building nutrition plan and discover exactly which bodybuilding supplements work and which are no more than pure marketing hype.

http://www.musclebuildingnutrition.com/cgi/at.cgi?a=239719

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

6 Tips To Increase Your Muscle Mass

Since this blog is mainly about building muscle, I wanted to give you 5 proven tips that will help you build more muscle in less time.

I've used all of these each and every time I get ready to compete, so I know they'll work for you as well.

1. HAVE A PLAN

I'm sure you've heard the saying "failing to plan is planning to fail". And that's true and it's also where most people I talk to go wrong.

Most people fail at building muscle and losing fat because they fail to write out how they will attain the goals that they set for themselves. It's important to first realize what it is you want to achieve and then start learning how to do it. There are numerous books on how to train and eat to build muscle.

Pick one that you understand and start to develop a plan on how you're going to train and diet for the next 12 weeks. Then get acting on those plans.

Many people sift through plan after plan, looking to find the "right one". The truth is, if you just start doing something, you'll see your muscle gains increase. Stop procrastinating by overanalyzing things.

2. KEEP A WRITTEN JOURNAL

By keeping a journal, you guarantee that you make progress. By not keeping a journal, you'll always be guessing what you ate, how many calories you ate, what muscles you trained, what weight you used, and more.

Going on memory alone is a sure-fire way to slow down your muscle gains. The journal contains your training and nutrition info and it cannot lie to you unless you write down the information incorrectly!

If last week you did 100lbs for 8 reps on bicep curls, then this week you either need to do 9 reps or up the weight by 5 pounds. I know it sounds too simple, but if you do this long enough, you'll attain whatever goals you set for yourself.

3. USE BIG MOVEMENTS WHEN TRAINING


Concentrate on doing basic, compound movements like squats, deadlifts, bench press, shoulder press, and barbell curls. Single joint movements are great at isolating a specific muscle group, but they're not as productive at stimulating the muscles. Compound movements will increase the overload to the muscles, forcing them to work harder to move the weight. This is how you build muscle, by lifting heavier weight and using more intensity, over time.

4. GET ENOUGH REST BETWEEN SETS

The amount of time that you rest between sets is dependent upon the intensity at which you lift. If you're doing higher reps (10-12) then your rest periods will be shorter (30-45 seconds).

If you're doing low reps with more weight, (4-6 reps) then you'll need longer periods of rest (2-5minutes) between each set. The lighter the weight, the faster your body will bounce back for the next set. The heavier the weight, the longer it takes to recover the energy for another bout of the same movement.

If you're still winded from your previous set, you won't be able to use as much weight or as much intensity, so your results will be negatively affected.

If you're not building the muscle you want, you may not be getting enough rest between sets.

5. WARM UP BEFORE LIFTING

Start every training session with 5 minutes of cardio. By doing light, easy cardio before you train, you'll be able to increase your core temperature and thus be less likely to get injured while training.
This is more effective for warming up than stretching. Never stretch a cold muscle! It's the quickest way to pull a muscle and get injured.

I guarantee you'll feel stronger and more energetic if you warm up with cardio for 5 minutes.

6. PROPER POST WORKOUT NUTRITION

The most common muscle building mistake people make is not eating after they train. This meal should contain a mixture of high glycemic carbs like glucose as well as protein. In fact, your post workout meal should be at least 20 % of your daily protein needs. The best source of protein for the post workout meal is whey.

My post workout shake consists of 10 grams of Glutamine, 5 grams of creatine, and 12 oz of grape juice. On most days, I take another of these shakes about an hour before working out.

Start using pre and post workout shakes and you'll start to build more muscle in less time.

These 6 muscle building techniques are ones that I use constantly. Start to incorporate them into your training routine and you'll start to build muscle and lose fat faster than you ever thought possible.

These are just some of the tips I talk about in my "Simple Steps To Get Huge And Shredded" training program:

http://www.shawnlebrunfitness.com/getshredded.html

If you're looking to build muscle, lose fat, and get your best body ever this year, check it out. Make 2006 the year you get the body you've always wanted and Simple Steps will help you do it.

http://www.shawnlebrunfitness.com/getshredded.html


Monday, December 26, 2005

Working Out To Build Muscle

If you're not getting optimal results from your current muscle building routine, I'm positive that the problem and answer lies in one of three areas:

1.Your current weight-training program.

2.Your current cardio/aerobic routine.

3.Your current eating habits.

You need to look at each of these three areas and see if what you are currently doing is in line with what I am going to be discussing. People often ask me which of the above three areas is the most important one to focus on. I say all three are the most important for building muscle.

Focus 100% on each area to get great results because that is probably why you are not getting the results you want right now, one area (or more) is not getting the attention it deserves. If what you are doing RIGHT NOW is not getting you the muscle gains you want, does it make sense to do it differently?

Here is how to structure your weight training routine to build muscle effectively:

Before engaging in any form of weight training, warm-up on a cardio machine for 5 minutes prior to hitting the weights.
You do not want to start cold. You will not be as strong or as energetic. Warm-up for 5 minutes and then begin your weight training.

Start your first exercise with a very light, easy set of ten repetitions. Never warm-up to the point of failure or exhaustion. You will be expending much needed energy if you do, energy that will be needed for the last heavy sets.

If done correctly and with enough intensity, you should never need to do more than two heavy sets in your muscle building routine. If you can do three or more heavy sets, the first two were either not heavy enough or not intense enough.

During a workout, the first exercise that you do for a muscle group should contain two heavy sets, but as you go on in the workout, if you have been using extreme intensity and a heavy enough weight, the need to do 2 heavy sets diminish and 1 heavy set will work the muscle towards failure.

For either men or women, you must stay with low reps in order to gain any lean muscle. A muscle will only grow and get stronger if it is forced to do so. This is our way of forcing it.

As we lower the amount of times we have to lift a weight, we should in turn be able to increase the amount of weight lifted. More reps at a lighter weight will not do it. If you can lift ten repetitions on your heavy sets, then they are not heavy; the weight is too light to create overload and muscle fiber stimulation.

Make sure your workouts are under 45 minutes. Keep them closer to 30 minutes. This is important for several reasons. First, it is easier to focus intensely for 30-45 minutes than it is an hour or more. Harness that power of focus. Also, hormones that assist the muscle building process peak around 30-45 minutes, so take advantage of this "muscle-building" (anabolic) window. If you go too long, the hormones begin to drastically drop off and the release of muscle destroying (catabolic) hormones increases.

Rest at least 1 minute in between your lighter sets and at least 2 minutes between your heavy sets. Many people mistakenly believe that if they speed up their weight training workout by not stopping in between sets, they will increase the likelihood of fat-burning. What you are really doing is increasing the likelihood of never getting stronger or more muscular.

When you do not rest between sets, your cellular energy levels have not been replenished enough to handle the weight that is about to come. If you are not as strong or stronger on your next set, you have in fact, negated any potential overload and have wasted your set. You must feel strong enough after one set before you try doing another.

Think of a set as a certain high point. If you do not hit that same point, or better yet, go above that point on your next set, you have not gained anything for doing it.

Train only one or two muscle groups per workout. It is extremely hard to focus when you are training more than two muscle groups. It is extremely hard to train intensely when doing more than two muscle groups. When you train more than two, the muscles towards the end of your workout are getting cheated because the most energy is being spent on the first muscles. Once again, harnessing the power of focus and intensity is easier accomplished when training just one or two muscle groups.

Train each muscle group only once in a five to seven day period. Never think that training a certain muscle more than once a week will lead to better results when it comes to building muscle. The opposite is true, the more you train a muscle group, the more tired and fatigued it becomes.

Take a full seven days in between training a specific muscle group. If you train your chest and back on Monday, you do not want to train them again until the following Monday. The muscles need time to recover and recuperate before they are able to handle any additional overload.

What most people do not realize is that you actually build muscle when you are resting out of the gym, not when you are weight training. Weight training just stimulates the muscle and creates a situation where your muscle needs to adapt and get stronger. Your muscles do not actually grow or get bigger until you are resting out of the gym and feeding them proper nutrition.

These are the basics of structuring your weight-training workouts in order to build the most muscle possible . Each and every principle outlined above has a distinct and important job when it comes to building muscle.


It's almost 2006! Make this the year you build more muscle, lose more fat, and get the body you've always wanted. Check out my new programs to see how I can help:

http://www.shawnlebrunfitness.com/programs.html

Sunday, December 25, 2005

7 Tips For Building More Muscle

If you're looking to build more muscle mass, these 7 techniques are proven to help you pack on lean muscle.

1. Eat More Calories

In order to gain muscle, you need to stay in a state of energy excess. Make sure you get at least a gram or two of protein for every pound of bodyweight and at least three to four grams of carbs. Eat quality fats like those found in flax, olive oil, and fish oils, and peanut butter.

And if you want to build muscle even faster, you should reduce your cardio, as this will only increase your calorie requirements. It's tough to gain muscle mass when doing a lot of cardio, so keep it at 2 sessions or less a week.

2. Stick With Basic Movements

Stick with the proven basic movements like bench press, squat, deadlift, barbell curls, military presses, and other compound movements. These exercises offer more intensity and overload
to the muscles, resulting in more muscle stimulation.

3. Train heavy

You have to train heavy to stimulate muscle growth. You have to train hard with high intensity. Put on enough poundage where you can only crank out 6-10 reps per set at full intensity. This heavier overload is what causes muscles to be forced to grow.

If you lifted the same weight over time, your muscles would have no reason to get bigger or stronger. Muscles have to be forced to get bigger and that's done by lifting more weight over time.

4. Get Enough Rest

Probably the most overlooked aspect of bodybuilding is rest. Training in the gym tears down your muscles. Sleep is when your body rebuilds the damaged muscles. Without enough sleep, you'll never achieve proper muscle growth. You'll want at least 6 to 8 hours of sleep each night.

If you're feeling tired and sluggish in the gym, you may not be getting enough rest.

5. Don't Overtrain

Overtraining will stop all of your progress dead in its tracks. It can set you back months, even years. In terms of bodyparts, stick to training each bodypart only once a week. Like sleep, you need to make sure you give your muscles plenty of rest between each training session.

For each bodypart, you should stick to twelve total sets. Again, pick a couple of basic movements, about three or four for each bodypart, and do three to four sets for each exercise.

Keep your training sessions less than 60 minutes per session. Anything more, and you'll run the risk of overtraining.

6. Stay Intense

You should never rest for more than two minutes between sets. In 90-120 seconds, you have just enough time to catch your breath and hit that next set with maximum intensity.

This fast pace will help you stay focused and intense. You'll still have your pump and you'll be ready to tackle your next set.

You have to have a mindset of intensity while training as well. Keep telling yourself that you're going to have a great workout and all of your lifts will be good.

7. Be Consistent

Consistency means training when you're supposed to, not making excuses to skip your session.

More than any other sport, bodybuilding requires a serious level of commitment and dedication if you're really serious about building muscle.

While you need to be consistent when it comes to training you should also consider adding to variety to your routine when it becomes stagnant. This will keep things fresh and interesting to you, and you're more likely to keep hitting the gym.

Mix up the order of your exercises or change your muscle groupings. If you've trained chest with biceps for 8 weeks, start training chest and triceps.

The human body is highly adaptive. Keep it guessing. This is another way to keep the intensity up as well.

If you follow these 7 proven strategies in your training, you'll start building more muscle a lot faster than you ever thought possible.

And if you'd like more powerful tips for building muscle and losing fat in the shortest amount of time, check out my "Simple Steps To Get Huge And Shredded" training program:

http://www.shawnlebrunfitness.com/getshredded.html

Friday, December 23, 2005

So How Exactly Do You Build Muscle?

The key to building muscle and getting more muscle growth is overload, which we will talk more about in just a moment. So do not feel like you have to switch things around all the time.

I actually made my best strength and weight gains when I did the same 3 chest exercises, the same 3 bicep exercises, 3 tricep exercises, and the same 3 shoulder exercises.

What must change is the amount of overload that’s being used. I swear everyone and their cousins have an opinion on how many reps and sets you should do. The last time I checked, that cousin was fat and not muscular, so be careful who you listen to.

I’ve been weight training since the age of 16. I started in high school to get ready for football season. I have hundreds of old Flex magazines and muscle building books sitting in milk crates with an inch of dust on them. So believe me, I’ve tried as many different muscle building programs, rep schemes, sets, exercises, and supplements as the rest.

What I write here is saving you 15 years and hundreds of dollars.

Muscle growth occurs from lifting heavy.

If you’re waiting for me to follow up on that statement, it isn’t coming. That’s as hard and as easy as it gets. Lifting heavier weight for lower reps over time will add more muscle and strength than anything else you do.

The only "If" I’m going to throw in there is "if" you eat supportively and healthy. You can’t implement these training tips I give you and then go out and eat Ring Dings and Doritos and then curse the ground I walk on.

But let me assure you, the changes you make here will blow you away if you give them your all and stick to them long enough to work.

Now, I’m going to simplify this for you because, well, its pretty simple stuff. Don’t make things harder than they have to be.

Here it goes...

To keep building muscle, you must keep lifting bigger weights.

In order to cause muscle growth and strength increase to occur, you must force your body to adapt to heavier demands (more weight). If you continued to lift the same old weight over time and time again, your body has no need to create new muscle growth and strength.

It can already handle what it’s doing with what you have.

So, to get bigger and stronger, you must force your body to do so, it doesn’t happen by itself.
For example, when you stop lifting for a month or more (like I’m sure we all have done for one reason or another) what happens?

You got it; you get smaller and less muscular.

It’s because we haven’t been "forcing" our body to adapt and get bigger/stronger.
When you go through a "layoff" where you stop lifting weights, your muscles do not have to handle any additional workload and stress caused by lifting.

So your muscles get smaller as a result.

To keep muscle size going up and to keep strength increasing, you absolutely must keep stressing and overloading those muscles. You MUST lift progressively heavier weights over time.

But what is an instant way you can lift more weight, without having to wait weeks or months.
Well, let me give you a hint.

If you can lift 100 pounds 10 times, shouldn’t you be able to lift more weight, say 150 pounds, if you only have to do it 5 times. By cutting the reps in half, you immediately raise the amount of weight you lift.

Sounds simple, but this is one of the most effective steps you can ever take in your muscle building and strength routine. The days of lifting 3 sets of 10 reps are over--at least they should be.

When you begin to lower your reps and begin to lift more weight, good things happen (more muscle and strength). More weight= more overload = more muscle. Plain and simple.

Put all your effort and intensity into those exercises that allow you to lift the most weight each and every time.

Don’t fall for the "shaping exercises" lie. You CAN’T shape a muscle. It’s been done for you at birth. You can only make it larger or smaller. If you want to "shape" it, then begin using the best exercises that allow you to lift the most weight possible each and every time.

This will "shape" your muscles the best way possible.

The more weight lifted means the more overload to the muscle. The more overload to the muscle, the more muscle growth is stimulated.

So, if you want to build more muscle, you need to lift more weight.

New For 2006: Check out my newest programs that will help you build muscle, lose fat, and get your best body ever this new year:

http://www.shawnlebrunfitness.com/programs.html

Saturday, December 17, 2005

The Basics Of Building Muscle

I'm going to go over the basics of building muscle in the next few blog entries. If you're looking to build muscle from your time spent in the gym, it's important you keep reading.

There are as many varied opinions on what "plan" one should follow to build muscle as there are people who have those opinions. On one thing they do agree, however. You must have a regimen.

You can begin by defining your objective. Why are you interested in building muscle? What do you hope to accomplish? What is your ultimate goal? To look better, feel better, get noticed more? All of those?

If this sounds like "Goal Setting 101," guess what? It is! You need to clearly define your "why" before you can move on to "how."

Building muscle is all about commitment and belief. There is an abundance of information about how to begin and conduct your journey, but without a burning desire to achieve, you're doomed to inevitable failure. First things first.

-Before you even think about your exercise routine...

-Before you begin researching a nutritional program...

-Before you shop for supplements...

Ask yourself the following questions:

Do I believe this is possible for me?

Am I willing to focus, commit and do whatever it takes?

If you answered "yes" to these two questions, the seed has been planted and you're ready to begin building muscle.

While the details and sequential recommendations for building muscle vary, there are some basic questions that apply to the process no matter what program you choose to follow.

* How do I build muscle?

* How do I strengthen muscle?

* Am I healthy enough to begin a muscle building routine?

* What should I eat?

* How often should I eat?

* Should I eat at different intervals throughout the day?

* Is there a specific diet for building muscle?

* How many calories should I eat?

* Should I take supplements?

In the forthcoming blog entries, I'll give you an overview that will help you set up your muscle and body building lifestyle. It is indeed a lifestyle and you must be prepared for the rigors of change, not only to your body, but mentally as well.

You should always check with your doctor before beginning any exercise program. Lifting too much weight (especially for people with high blood pressure) or doing too many repetitions can be extremely harmful.

So, step one is choosing and defining your muscle building goals. Soon, we'll get into the nitty gritty of building muscle.

If you don't want to wait, check out my step-by-step blueprint for building muscle:

http://www.shawnlebrunfitness.com/getshredded.html

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

How To Build Muscle And Lose Fat in 2006

So, do you want to build more muscle and lose more fat this year and develop a lean, toned physique? One that makes you feel better about yourself?

Well, if getting a "new and improved" body is one of those goals, I want to help.

I think one of the main reasons people don't achieve their muscle building and fat loss goals is because they're confused about what they really need to do.

So I've found that it helps to take a step back and look at each part of fitness as "pieces to a puzzle". What I mean is, instead of becoming overwhelmed and confused about all you have to do, break it down into bite-sized chunks.

And there are 3 main "chunks" to look at if you want to build muscle and lose fat.
If I had to give just 3 areas to focus on in 2006 that will help you achieve more results in less time, here they are:

1. Your nutrition

It's first because it's most important. We gain and lose weight based upon what we eat, so it needs to be the first thing you consider.

Basically, you want to be eating a small, well-balanced meal every 3 to 4 hours. That comes out to around 6 small meals a day you want to be consuming. Breaking meals down like this is one of the most important things you can do to increase your metabolism.

Try and make each meal contain a lean protein source, (chicken, fish, lean red meat) a starchy complex carb (whole grains, brown rice) and a vegetable.

If you can't find the time to make all these meals from regular food, meal replacements can be a valuable option. These shakes have come a long, long way.

Most now taste good and have a great nutritional profile. They're pretty cost-effective as well. I usually use a couple of them a day, in between my whole food meals that I eat. Meal replacements can be a very useful tool if used correctly.

So, as you can see, nothing extravagant here. In order to build more muscle and lose more fat, start eating better.

2. Your weight training

This is one area that I see so many people doing wrong. They head into the gym without a plan of attack. Failing to plan, planning to fail.

Either that or they're armed with the wrong information that they grabbed from the pages of a muscle and fitness mag. Train like the pros and you'll be killing your results.

In all simplicity, building muscle comes from lifting heavy weight. It's that simple. It doesn't come from variety, body positioning, or doing a ton of reps with light weight.

To build muscle, you must force it to grow. And you do this by lifting more weight over time. So if you're using a lot of reps, sets, and exercises thinking that more is better, you're missing the boat.

*** Side Note***

For more information about how you must set up your weight training to gain the most muscle possible, I still consider my "Simple Steps To Get Huge And Shredded" program to be one of the most powerful muscle-building systems developed.

It literally forces you to concentrate on those things that lead to muscle gains. It's a step-by-step diet and workout guide that produces more results in 9 weeks than most people will achieve in years.

I'm proud to say that over 15,000 have invested in the program and have "bought" into my philosophy on training.

Here's more info on "Simple Steps"

http://www.shawnlebrunfitness.com/getshredded.html

3. Your cardio

Like a lot of things in life, "short and sweet" fits the bill here. You don't need to run for hours or walk for days to lose fat. All it takes is conditioning your metabolism to burn at a faster rate.

And intense cardio raises your metabolic rate so that it becomes more efficient. You start burning more calories at rest. You burn very few calories during the time of performing cardio.

The benefits of cardio come long after you're done your session.

So, to eliminate fat, you want to raise your resting heart rate and metabolism so that its working for you around the clock. Even while you're sleeping.

Keep your cardio sessions brief yet intense. 15 to 20 minutes tops. This "quality over quantity" approach will yield a lot more results.

In closing, it's important that you separate each of the phases of fitness. When you're trying to lose fat, focus just on doing that. Do cardio to the best of your ability.

When you're attempting to build muscle, work on that the best you can. Try and become stronger and more intense in your weight training routine.

Separating all phases of your "attack" will help you focus on each one more and help to clarify exactly what needs to be done with each. This way, you don't become so overwhelmed with everything you need to do. Instead, you can just concentrate on one area at a time.

There you have 3 simple but powerful things you can do this year to build muscle, lose fat, and make it your most productive year in the gym.

If changing your body is one of your main goals this year, I want you to take action to go get it. And like I mentioned earlier, if you need help along the way, I think you'll find one of the programs to be extremely valuable to you.

http://www.shawnlebrunfitness.com/programs.html

Best of luck in 2006 and I wish you all the best in health and life.

Shawn

Monday, December 12, 2005

A Sample of A Muscle Building Diet

I get a lot of emails from people wanting to know what they should eat to build muscle. And that's a good question, because a quality muscle building diet is often the most neglected part of muscle building training.

Building muscle requires the right nutrition and the right diet. Make no mistake, it's an essential part of weight lifting and if you want to build muscle, you have to get it done.

Don't know what to eat? Don't know how much to eat? Try these sample menus to get you started. The following body building menus are meant to help you design your own muscle building diet.

Sample 2,500 calorie per day menu A

Breakfast

½ cup bran flakes
1 cup 1% milk
1 medium peach
1 whole wheat toast
1 tbsp peanut butter

Mid morning meal

½ cup strawberries
½ cup low fat yogurt
1 scoop (2oz) vanilla protein powder
1 cup 1% milk
½ cup orange juice

Lunch

Peach Chicken and Rice

2 oz skinless chicken breast
½ can sliced peaches
½ tsp of cornstarch
½ tsp peeled and grated ginger
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup water chestnuts
½ cup rice (uncooked)
½ cup snow peas
½ tsp extra virgin olive oil

Mid afternoon meal

3/4 cup 1% cottage cheese
½ can (4oz) can peaches- sliced
1 English muffin
1 tbsp peanut butter

Post workout meal

Power Drink

1 scoop protein powder (2oz)
1 cup orange juice
1 medium banana
1 cup 1% milk
½ tbsp honey
Dinner

Chicken Teriyaki

4 oz skinless chicken breasts
1/3 cup low sodium teriyaki sauce
1/3 cup orange juice
1 tsp cornstarch
1/3 tsp ginger
½ tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 ½ cup small broccoli florets
1 can (8 ounces) sliced water chestnuts
1/4 cup rice (cooked)

Cooking Instructions

Peach Chicken and Rice.

Cook rice according to package directions. In a medium skillet, heat oil over medium high heat. Add chicken and cook, turning to brown evenly, until tender, usually 8-12 minutes. Remove from skillet and keep warm.

Meanwhile, drain peaches reserving juice. If necessary, add water to the juices to equal 1/4 cup. Stir in cornstarch, ginger, and salt. Add to the skillet and cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly, about 10 minutes.

Cook and stir in the peaches and water chestnuts and heat through. On a plate, arrange the rice, snow peas, and chicken. Spoon sauce over the chicken and serve.

Power Drink
Mix all ingredients in blender.

Chicken Teriyaki

Cut chicken breasts into 1 1/4" pieces; set aside. In a small mixing bowl, combine teriyaki sauce, orange juice, cornstarch, and ginger; set aside. In a large skillet, heat oil over high heat.

Add the chicken pieces and stir fry until they are lightly browned, about 3-7 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken to a bowl, leaving the drippings in the skillet.

Reduce the heat to moderate. Add broccoli to the skillet and stir fry for 3-5 minutes. Stir the teriyaki mixture and pour it into the skillet with the broccoli. Cook the mixture, stirring constantly, until it is thickened and bubbly, about 2-4 minutes. Add water chestnuts and the cooked chicken. Continue cooking until heated through, serve over cooked rice.

Sample 3,500 calorie per day menu A

Breakfast

1 sliced peach
1 cup low fat vanilla yogurt
1 scoop (2 oz) vanilla protein powder
½ cup blueberries
½ whole wheat bagel
1 tbsp light cream cheese

Mid morning meal

1 cup strawberries
1 cup low fat yogurt
1 scoop (2oz) vanilla protein powder
1 cup 1% milk
1 cup orange juice

Lunch

Tuna Sandwich

½ cup tuna
2 whole wheat slices of bread
1/4 cup diced celery
2 tbsp light mayonnaise
1/4 cup brown rice
1 tsp light mayonnaise
2 romaine lettuce leaves
1 cup cucumber
1 tbsp chopped parsley
1 tbsp chopped chives
1 cube soup base

Mid afternoon meal

1 whole wheat bagel
1 tbsp peanut butter
1 cup cottage cheese
½ cup strawberries

Post workout meal

Power Drink

1 scoop protein powder (2oz)
1 cup orange juice
1 medium banana
1 cup 1% milk
½ tbsp honey

Dinner

Chicken Teriyaki

4 oz skinless chicken breasts
1/3 cup low sodium teriyaki sauce
1/3 cup orange juice
1 tsp cornstarch
1/3 tsp ginger
½ tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 ½ cup small broccoli florets
1 can (8oz) sliced water chestnuts
½ cup rice (cooked)

Cooking Instructions

Tuna Sandwich

Cook brown rice according to label instructions but add a cube of soup base to taste once the rice and water start to boil.

Meanwhile, mix tuna, celery, lemon juice, and mayonnaise. Mix well until creamy. Add chives and parsley. Spread on whole wheat bread. Add lettuce. Serve with cucumber and rice.

Chicken Teriyaki

Cut chicken breasts into 1 1/4" pieces; set aside. In a small mixing bowl, combine teriyaki sauce, orange juice, cornstarch, and ginger; set aside. In a large skillet, heat oil over high heat.

Add the chicken pieces and stir fry until they are lightly browned, about 3-7 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken to a bowl, leaving the drippings in the skillet. Reduce the heat to moderate.

Add broccoli to the skillet and stir fry for 3-5 minutes. Stir the teriyaki mixture and pour it into the skillet with the broccoli.

Cook the mixture, stirring constantly, until it is thickened and bubbly, about 2-4 minutes. Add water chestnuts and the cooked chicken. Continue cooking until heated through, serve over cooked rice.

There you have a sample muscle building diet you can use to ensure you're getting the calories you need each day to build muscle.

A powerful muscle building diet is just one of the things you'll learn in "Simple Steps To Get Huge And Shredded".

http://www.shawnlebrunfitness.com/getshredded.html

Friday, December 09, 2005

Here's my muscle building equation

Okay, we all want a lean, muscular physique, right? We must because one of the goals I hear most from my clients is...

"I want to build muscle, lose fat, and tone up."

But many people I talk with really have no idea how to do it -- correctly. They think that lifting light weights for high reps will help them tone.

Wrong.

If you're unsure how to go about toning to get that lean, muscular body you want, here's my simple muscle building and toning equation.

-------------------------------------------
The Muscle Building And Toning Equation:
-------------------------------------------

Losing Body Fat + Building Muscle = Toning

Both sides of the equation need to be worked on, simulataneously, for any real results to be achieved. Let's cover each side...

------------
Losing fat
------------

This is primarily achieved by:

** 3-4 INTENSE Cardio Sessions of 20-30 minutes per week.

** 5-6 small, well-balanced meals (each consisting of 50% protein, 40% carbs, 10% fats).

** Drink AT LEAST 1 gallon of water a day. You will also FEEL better!

** Reduce daily caloric intake by 150-200 calories until you see/feel the results.

For a more in-depth look at how to shed body fat fast, check out"Fat Loss 4 Idiots"

http://lebrunfit.4idiots.hop.clickbank.net

It's claimed to be an "idiot-proof" program and from all the feedback I've seen, it really does work.

Let's cover the next part of the muscle building and toning equation:

------------------
Building muscle
-----------------

This is done by...

** 3-4 INTENSE Weight-training sessions per week. Strive to progressively increase resistance each week.

** Keep your rep range lower on heavy sets.

** Perform just a few heavy sets per exercise.

** Keep workout under 1 hour.

** Keep protein intake high. Protein (amino acids) builds muscle.

** Shoot for 1.5 to 2 grams per pound of bodyweight.

** Consume a high protein/high carb meal or shake right after training.

For a step-by-step "how to" guide for building muscle, I can honestly say that my "Simple Steps To Get Huge And Shredded" training program is the best online.

http://www.shawnlebrunfitness.com/getshredded.html

In fact, it was recently referred to as "The Most Trusted Program Online" in a popular bodybuilding message board.

Here's more on "Simple Steps"...

http://www.shawnlebrunfitness.com/getshredded.html

In closing, in order to tone up properly, you must work on both losing fat and gaining muscle... at the same time.

And that's done with an approach to:

1. Proper weight training
2. Proper nutrition
3. Proper cardio

Think of a combination lock.

In order to open the lock, you must get the three numbers exactly right. Even if you're off by just one, you do not get what you want.

Well, the same is true in toning.

You must get weight training, cardio, and nutrition just right or you will not get what you want.
Again, you want to work on both sides equally. If you just focus on dropping fat, you're going to look frail and thin, without any muscle mass.


If you just focus on gaining mass, it could cause you to look bloated and bigger than you want.
Gaining muscle and losing fat can be achieved at the same time. I know, I personally did it for my bodybuilding show and I see it with clients all the time.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Why Less Is More When Trying To Build Muscle

One of the biggest myths I deal with as a personal trainer is that many people still believe it takes hours in the gym to build muscle and get a lean, muscular physique.

Not true. In fact, the best results I've seen, both with my own training as well as clients, come from spending no more than 3 to 4 hours a week in the gym. And that's the time spent weight training and doing cardio each week.

I spend no more than 3 hours a week weight training and my online clients spend the same amount. And we achieve great results. So if you're currently spending more than 3 hours a week weight training, you may be seriously limiting your gains by overtraining. You see, when trying to build muscle, its not the amount of time spent that matters. It's how you spend that time.

Muscle growth occurs from stimulating the muscle with heavy weight (overload) then allowing the muscle to rest and recover. Proper rest and nutrition during this time is vital. By working out too much and too often, you don't allow your muscles the needed rest.

And this is the time in which the muscle repairs itself from the effects of intense training. And if a muscle does not recover, it does not grow or get stronger. So it's important you spend no more time than necessary for muscle stimulation to occur. I've used this analogy a lot before with clients, but let's do it again.

Suppose you want to get a tan. There's a certain amount of sun you need. Too little sun and you will not get a tan. But too much sun and you'll get a burn and not the nice dark tan you wanted.

And what happens if you get a burn but keep going out in the sun anyways, still trying to get a tan.

Right!

You can seriously get injured with 3rd degree burns. You don't increase your chances of getting a tan. Too much sun in this case does not bring about the desired result.

So if you're after more muscle growth and you're already lifting a lot, the last thing you want to do is spend even more time in the gym.

The main goal of all the human body's systems is to keep the body in equilibrium, or balance. By lifting too much too often, you throw off this balance mechanism and as a result, your body will actually start working against you.

So you have to find that balance that works for you.With your weight training, too much lifting will prevent your muscles from recovering and they will not get bigger. Too little and they will not grow either.

Again, you have to find that balance that works for you.

You can use the "3 hour a week" time limit as a guideline, but learn to "listen" to your body. If you're weight lifting 3 hours a week but you feel drained, tired, sore, or sluggish, that may be too much time.

Others can work out longer and still get results. Everyone's different so the time spent in the gym will vary. You have to do what's right for you.

So start making better use of your time spent in the gym. Shoot for quality over quantity and you'll build more muscle in less time spent.