Bodybuilders commonly share the pursuit of a desired physique, body fat percentage or body weight. We know that muscle cannot be sculpted from a stick, and so it’s common ground for the majority of these athletes to look to increase their body weight, which, if carried out correctly, should correlate with gains in lean mass (muscle). To achieve their desired body composition goals, these competitors should concentrate on basic principles such as (1) adequate nutrition, (2) a suitable resistance-training program, and (3) sleep/rest.
Points 2 and 3 are beyond the scope of this blog, but adequate nutrition is simply a diet that provides the energy and protein necessary for muscular hypertrophy, which is the “sweet science” of bulking up. It is best practice to achieve your goal gradually over time and not expect a quick fix. In all likelihood a gain of between 0.5 and 1 kilogram a week is realistic rather than a bloated 2 to 3 kilograms a week.
A realistic energy intake for ”gainers” should be around 3500 to 6000 kcal/day for males and around 3000 to 4500 kcal/day for females, depending on size and level of activity in a day. This may be easy for some people, but for others, eating that amount of food can be daunting. MUTANT MASS is perfect as a high-calorie snack in between meals, with over 1000 kcal in one serving!
As a general calculation, you should calculate your basal metabolic rate (BMR) and then add around 600 kcal for every one-hour session you do in a day. A further 1000 kcal should be added for other activities, including eating, walking, work etc. The BMR is around 1600 to 2000 kcal/day for males and around 1300 to 1600 kcal/day for females. So you need to consciously make an effort to eat/drink foods that provide you with more energy than you expend. Of course, you can check whether you are in a caloric surplus by weighing yourself regularly (say every two to three days in the first instance and then weekly thereafter).
Protein: I have already touched on protein on my previous blog posts.
Carbohydrate: Minimum intake would be to consume 3 grams per kilogram, which should be enough to maintain fully stocked glycogen stores. There is no ideal range of carbohydrate intake from the standpoint of maximizing muscle gain. However, based on research data, it appears an intake of somewhere between 5 and 6 grams per kilogram of carbohydrate should supply enough energy for growth.
Fat: Similar to carbohydrate guidelines, there is no optimal macronutrient range to maximize hypertrophy gains. As a rule of thumb, fat should comprise the balance of calories after protein and carbohydrate intakes have been established. Given the limited amount of research, it appears sufficient to have 1 gram per kilogram of fat intake (primarily unsaturated sources) to prevent any hormonal alterations.
For a general starting point for a 75-kilogram male, I would start off each meal with the basic principles of how my plate should look as seen below. This does not incorporate the full meal as people's fat intake and fruit/veg intake can vary depending on their respective goals. I'm just covering a basic starting point for people who wish to cut, maintain or gain weight. If an individual is having four or five meals a day, this is a good way to start to reach your individual goals.
1) MUTANT MASS — High-calorie supplement — helps with growth, strength and recovery.
2) MUTANT CREAKONG — Sustains high-intensity explosive exercise for longer — helps build strength, power and speed.
3) MUTANT MICELLAR CASEIN — Provides a slow release of protein while you sleep to reduce recovery time and enhance hypertrophy.
Steve O’Mahony, BSc MSc