GOAL: The goal of this program is to attain the maximum amount of muscle and strength gain with minimum fat accumulation.
STRATEGY: This is a 12-week program that alternates gaining and hardening phases in a specific pattern.
The “Gain” cycle includes six meals PLUS a pre and post workout recovery drink. During the “Gain” cycle your weight should increase one-half to two pounds per week.
The “Hardening” cycle consists of five or six meals daily and is designed to solidify the gains you made during the “Gain” cycle.
|Weeks 1-4||4-Week Gaining Phase|
|Week 5||1-Week Hardening Phase|
|Weeks 6-8||3-Week Gaining Phase|
|Week 9||1-Week Hardening Phase|
|Weeks 10-11||2-Week Gaining Phase|
|Weeks 12||1-Week Hardening Phase|
You have to take a disciplined approach and consistently eat the right combination of nutrients during the Gaining Phase to ensure that you add quality muscle.
Protein will account for approximately forty percent of your nutritional intake.
Best sources of protein for building quality muscle during the gaining phases are: lean beef, whole eggs, cottage cheese, chicken, turkey, lean pork, fish, and egg whites. The best protein supplements are Ultra Size or Ultimate Muscle Protein, and Muscle Provider.
During the hardening phases you should eat primarily egg whites, chicken breast, turkey breast, and Ultimate Muscle Protein and Muscle Provider.
Mass amino acid tablets and Ultra 40 liver extract are invaluable to make sure that you utilize the protein you eat and they provide additional amino acids you need to build muscle.
Complex carbohydrates will make up thirty-forty percent of your nutritional intake. The leaner you already are, the higher your complex carbs can be.
Best sources of carbohydrate for the gaining phases are oatmeal, rice, baked or boiled potatoes, sweet potatoes, yams, and all variations of beans. You can occasionally include peas, corn and whole grain products in moderation. Fruits that qualify as complex carbs for the gaining phase are apples, pears, and pineapple.
During the hardening phases you should stick to oatmeal, brown rice, sweet potatoes, and beans for your complex carbohydrate sources.
Low Carb Vegetables and Fruit
Low carb vegetables include salads, broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, green beans and just about any other green or yellow vegetable. Low carb fruits are blueberries, cantaloupe, grapefruit, peaches, and strawberries. (You can add a small amount of low carb fruit to any of your protein shakes while on this program.)
Dietary fats should make up twenty-thirty percent of your caloric intake. Best sources are olive oil, coconut oil, flax oil, sunflower oil, safflower oil, almond butter, almonds, walnuts, and heavy cream. During the hardening phases you should reduce saturated fats and take an essential fatty acid supplement like Beverly’s EFA Gold or a fish oil supplement.
You can eat all of the following as much as you like during the gaining and hardening phases: Sugar free gum, Crystal Light, diet soda, coffee, tea, sugar-free Jell-O, Splenda, Equal, seasonings, mustard, vinegar, hot sauce, salt and pepper.
Remember that this program is designed to add maximum muscular size while minimizing fat accumulation so it’s not a time to eat whatever you want, whenever you want it, but planned free meals at specific intervals can be beneficial – mentally, metabolically, and physically. Plan to have one free meal on the last day of the final week of each of your “Gaining Cycles”, i.e. week 4, week 8, and week 11.
A free meal lasts sixty minutes and consists of whatever you’d like to eat in that amount.
Make sure that you drink plenty of water. Everyone should drink at least 64 ounces each day. This is important to improve your health, help you to gain muscular weight (muscles are nearly seventy percent water by volume), and help flush out harmful toxins (and fat).
Other acceptable beverages are unsweetened tea and coffee, as well as diet drinks like Crystal Light and diet sodas.
If you gain fat fairly easily limit the amount of milk you drink. If you are a hard gainer, and eat just about anything without adding fat then you might try mixing your Ultimate Muscle Protein shakes with milk.
Regular fruit juice is another area you must be careful about. Both milk and juice have large amounts of naturally occurring sugar; and although they may be good foods, they may also result in fat accumulation.
Remember you can adjust portions or add or decrease a meal as needed to average a one-half to two pound weight increase each week.
Lifestyle Hints to Maximize Your Off Season Bodybuilding / Strength Program
- Remain calm throughout the day. If you spend too much nervous energy stressing and worrying you will compromise your muscular gains.
- Try to live a regulated life. Train, eat, and go to bed at the same times each day whenever possible.
- Strive to progressively increase your workout weights over the course of each gaining cycle. During the hardening cycle you should focus on form and muscular contraction on each exercise rather than the weight you use.
- Have a positive and productive attitude. Read a positive quote of the day, self-help or spiritual literature at a specific time each day. (Sound mind in a sound body principle.)
- Never miss meals or workouts unless it is an emergency. Regularity is the key to setting your body into a fixed pattern of muscular growth.