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Firstly, low burn cardio such as walking and cycling is good for heart health and should not create a negative impact on the daily calorie burn.30 minutes 2-3 times a week is optimal for good health.Carbohydrates should be sourced from slow digesting foods such as quinoa, sweet potato, brown rice and oats.The exception to this will be around workout time, where faster digesting carbs will be advantageous because of their ability to fuel a workout and trigger an insulin spike.A daily surplus of 250-500 calories is recommended for gaining good quality muscle (too much more than this and even ectomorphs run the risk of putting on fat).There are several comprehensive formulas that you can use to calculate your calories to an exact number, such as the Harris-Benedict Equation, but for the sake of simplicity try using the equations below: Calorie intake = Body weight in lbs x 15 500 (surplus) So, for an average 150lb man, we get: 150 x 15 = 2,250 500 = 2,750 calories Macros: Carbohydrate @ 55pc = 1512 (calories) / 4 = 378g Protein @ 25pc = 687 (calories) / 4 = 172g Fat @ 20pc = 550 (calories) / 9 = 61g Now that we have the required numbers, the next challenge is to set about deciding how to go about consumption.Many of my clients have experienced great results with the following strength training split: Day 1: Push 4 x 6-8 – BB Military Press 4 x 6-8 – BB Bench Press 2 x 5 – DB Arnold Press 2 x 5 – DB Inc Bench Press Day 2: Pull 4 x 6-8 – BB Bent Over Row 4 x 6-8 – BB Shrug 2 x Failure – Wide Grip Pull Ups (weighted) 2 x 5 – BB Upright Row Day 3: Legs Abs 4 x 6-8 – BB Squat 2 x 6-8 – Deadlift 3 x 8-10 Weighted Step Ups Ab wheel Rollout to failure This is just an example routine – I have also observed many people experience great results with more traditional strength training programs like the 5x5 strong lifts method. Each time the desired rep ranges are met, weights must be raised in the smallest available increment for the next workout.It is important to keep in mind that the main goal here is to stimulate muscle size as a by product of strength gain, as opposed to the higher rep, higher volume bodybuilding methods. Naturally ectomorphs do not possess a great deal of strength and this must be cultivated over time, meaning that a considerable preconditioning phase must be implemented in order to prepare the body for the demands of the workout above.
Bulking up requires a calorie surplus To gain weight, in our case muscle, you must create a net surplus of calories over time. Many men simply do not eat enough for their body type to gain and maintain significant levels of muscle mass.
That doesn't necessarily mean bad advice, but rather advice that is not appropriate for them.
Body type is key here: most advice in fitness and bodybuilding magazines is designed to suit the few natural athletes – or ‘mesomorphs’ – among our society.
Ectomorphs often have trouble consuming such a high level of calories, so a good solution to this is to introduce liquid meals.
For example, healthy smoothies can be made in cost efficient way from simple healthy ingredients like honey, milk, oats, whey protein, peanut butter & fruits.
Unless your exertions are suited to your particular genetic make up, you may actually be doing more harm than good.