ISSA certified Fitness Trainer
Q: I just started lifting weights I want to build muscle mass and size. How much protein do I need to take in per day? Do protein powders really work?
Ans: The fastest way to add quality muscle mass to your physique is to include basic core mass building movements in your plan. For this you have to target your larger muscle areas that is chest, back and legs, below mentioned are some core exercises I recommend for building mass:
Barbell Bent-over Row: Grasp bar with a wide overhand grip. Bend knees slightly and bend over bar with back straight. Pull bar to upper waist. Return until arms are extended and shoulders are stretched forward.
Cable Seated Row: Sit on platform with knees bent and grasp cable attachment. Position knees with a slight bend. Pull cable attachment to waist while straightening lower back. Pull shoulders back and push chest forward during contraction. Return until arms are extended, shoulders are stretched forward, and lower back is flexed forward.
Barbell Bench Press: Lie supine on bench. Dismount barbell from rack over the upper chest using a wide overhand grip. Lower weight to upper chest. DO NOT TOUCH THE BAR TO YOUR CHEST (this causes unneeded stress on your shoulder joints and takes the tension away from your pectoral muscles) Press bar until arms are extended. Repeat this movement for as many repetitions as you can until failure.
Barbell Incline Bench Press: Lie supine on incline bench. Dismount barbell from rack over the upper chest using a wide oblique overhand grip. Lower weight to upper chest (just below your Adam’s apple) and then press the bar back to the start position.
Barbell Full Squat: Place a barbell behind your neck and securely rest it on your shoulders. Your feet should be just beyond shoulder width apart. Begin this exercise by squatting as though you are going to sit down in a chair. Squat to a point to where your thighs become parallel to the floor and then return to the start position.
Barbell Dead lifts: Place a barbell on the floor at your feet. Keeping your back straight, squat down and grasp the barbell with both hands using an overhand grip just beyond shoulder width apart. In one motion, lift the barbell by using your legs so that you end up standing up straight. Be sure to keep your arms hanging straight down so that the barbell ends up being just about mid-thigh level. Slowly return to the start position and repeat.
In terms of your diet, try to get in at least 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight and eat several small and nutritious meals throughout the day. You will gain several benefits from eating several small meals throughout the day and your body’s metabolism will be revved up throughout the day. Try to eat every 3 hours and make sure to include a lean protein source in each meal. Target for at least 30 grams of protein per meal.
The primary function of protein in the body is as a building block for muscle. Extra protein is needed to replace protein that is broken down during exercise and to build muscle mass. Protein breakdown is more extensive when long periods are spent exercising. Intensity of exercise also bears a high cost. The more intense the exercise the higher the protein breakdown. Therefore, exercise has a ‘ protein cost’, which needs to be replaced after exercise. As with carbohydrate replacement, protein replacement is thought to be most efficient in the two hours immediately after exercise and up to 40g of protein is recommended as part of a carbohydrate rich meal. The busy schedules of today demand convenience and nutritionally dense super foods. This is where protein powder supplements play a vital role in physically active and demanding fitness lifestyles.