How I gained 8 lbs of muscle in 3 months.
How I Gained 8 lbs of muscle in 3 months.
When I got back from tour I lost a lot of weight. I usually hover around 200 lbs but after the tour I was at 192, kind of skinny and lost a lot of muscle. it was weird. But right now I’m at 200 lbs and the leanest and most muscular I’ve ever been. As I’m sure you can gather, I’m a big self-experimenter and fortunately I’ve been keeping track of what I’ve done. Here it is.
1. Chelated Zinc– I started taking 60 mg total, 30 in the morning with breakfast, and 30 mg before bed with my magnesium. i remember texting my cousin after 4 days of taking zinc and was shocked as to the difference it made. Zinc is essential for testosterone production, immune function, and delivery of glucose into your muscles rather than your adipose (fat sites).
2. Green Vibrance– I heard about this one from my buddy Ryan at Enfuse Fitness in Enfield, it’s essentially a superfood mix of all vegetables, herbs, anti-oxidants, pro-biotics, and it’s all organic and vegan. Not only have I gotten leaner from taking it, I also notice a huge improvement in my sleep and energy in the morning.
3. Ate more carbs after workouts– in my post workout drinks I started taking in 40 grams of carbs (pomegranate or dark cherry juice, rich in anti-oxidants) on arm day, 60 on back and chest, and 80-100 grams on leg day. But as Charles Poliquin always says, you have to “earn” your carbs. Essentially, if you’re relatively lean or under 13% body fat, you will get anabolic faster by taking in carbs. It replenishes your glycogen stores along with lowering cortisol which speeds up recovery.
4. Ate more carbs before bed– this is a new one for a lot of people and I discovered this when I started having some major sleeping issues. Contrary to popular belief, eating starchy carbs 2-3 hours before bed will raise your seratonin (feel good neurotransmitters) and allow your body to wind down. *I’m talking sweet potatoes, quinoa, or gluten free oatmeal, not brownies, cookies, and cake. The better quality of sleep, the more muscle you’ll build and the more fat you’ll burn.
5. Way less stress– this is a huge one. In the past 3 months I went to my brothers bachelor party, a close friends wedding,and my brother’s wedding. Not only that, we’ve been doing all this amazing work for these shelters and rescues that I just feel great all the time. I’m just not worrying about things as much anymore and allowing life to go where it will. To get to the point, the last thing your body wants to do is build muscle and burn fat when your stressed. Cortisol is high, testosterone production slows down, and life just SUCKS. Find a way to manage your stress and watch the fat go away.
6. Went to bed earlier– I started getting ready for bed around 9:30, and as far as I know, passing out around 10:30/11. I understand this is hard for some, and trust me, it took some getting used to. However, according to Traditional Chinese Medicine, it is at this time (10:30-6:30) in which our bodies greatest restorative and recuperation begins.
7. Adding sea salt to my water– I hope everyone realizes that the water we drink from our faucets, and even bottled water is often void of the minerals that water should really have. I couldn’t believe the difference in satiation when I added a pinch of himalayan/celtic/mediterranean sea salt to my water. High quality salt is also essential for energy production, and don’t forget, sea salt is not crappy table salt and it will not give you high blood pressure.
8. Began listening to my body– this is the toughest one for people to grasp, and it used to be for me as well. We read in magazines that you have to work extremely hard, put in the work, etc. and this is all well and good. BUT the difference is, I’ve learned to be smarter about it. I know that my body gets over run very easily if I go too hard. I’ve learned how to read biological signs like, sleep disruptions or difficulty falling asleep. Irritability, or lack of energy. Rather than going harder, I realized that backing off was the answer. Sometimes I can’t believe how much leaner and more muscular I am when I take the appropriate time off. If I have to travel, play a show, or be on the road, I don’t like to go the gym. I can’t eat as well, meditate, or recover as well.
9. Resting less between sets– there are pro’s and con’s to short rest intervals, the pro’s are you burn more fat, and produce more growth hormone. The draw backs are you can’t lift as much weight, so it’s harder to progress. And it also produces more cortisol, and if you have a lot of stress in your life and/or sleeping is an issue, this can be a problem. I’m usually a heavy lifter, and this change of pace for a while has made such an enormous impact. Not only is it extremely difficult, but it’s more fun to challenge myself.
Tomorrow I’m going to give you the routine that I’m currently doing and why it’s da bomb.