Poliquin Live

Three dietary strategies to blast through muscle building plateaus

Tuesday, March 22, 2011 6:39 AM
Many trainees complain of frustration when trying to break through muscle building plateaus. Sometimes it has to do with the training, sometimes with the diet. Here are the top 3 tricks I use with clients who experience difficulty gaining lean body mass.

1.Glutamine Load:
If you have a hard time gaining muscle mass, I would advise you to do this: take 80 grams of glutamine a day for 5 days, yes 80 grams, best is to do 8 x 10 grams. When NHL recruits were at a plateau gaining mass, that was my best quick and dirty trick.

Do I have peer reviewed studies for it. No. Just plenty of clients and students who had had success with it. I find taking 10 grams every two hours diluted in a cup of water works  very well. Timing with meals does not matter. How does it work? Many possibilities, including:
A - glutamine is the primary building block on the intestinal lining. Many people suffer unknowingly from leaky gut syndrome. The glutamine overload phase seals the lining, which diminishes food intolerances and inflammation.
B - muscle gains are correlated to how strong the immune system is. Glutamine loading boosts the immune system. Conversely, when you overtrain, your glutamine levels drop dramatically.

2.Increase good dietary fats:
Too many trainees are fat phobic. I tell them to start cooking meat in butter. Butter supplies butyric acid, a short-chain fatty acid that feeds good gut bacteria, which helps absorb more nutrients and provide great source of calories to achieve muscle mass agains. You can also use olive or coconut oil. They respectively supply Omega 9s, and medium-chain triglycerides.

3. The 150% calories day:
This tip I learned from former World Powerlifting Champion, Dr. Mauro Di Pasquale M.D..  Once every 5 days, I increase the calories of my clients to 50% above of what they regularly eat. Works like magic. Are all the calories clean? Hell no!. But the key is too avoid transfats like you would find in crappy protein bars.

I prefer to use things like protein pancakes, with maple butter, organic certified gluten free oatmeal cookies, coconut milk cooked rice etc… So in practice, to determine their caloric need, most weight trainees should take their weight in pounds, multiply by 16. So if you weigh 200 lbs, you need 3,200 calories to maintain weight. On your 150% day, eat 4,800 calories spread out over 6- 7 meals. Make sure that the hyper-caloric day is an off day from training.



Copyright ©2011 Charles Poliquin




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