The Bodybuilding Lifestyle

In order to achieve your fitness goals and get the most out of bodybuilding, certain parameters (such as diet, training, and recuperation) must be adhered to consistently—day in and day out.

To help maintain your consistency with such parameters, smaller other parameters, such as eating healthy foods, cutting down on heavy partying, not smoking, passing up on unhealthy fast-food, checking over nutrition labels of foods you buy, training with high intensity, setting goals, and giving yourself 8-10 hours of sleep nightly, should be implemented as much as possible into your lifestyle.

Pause here for a minute and ask yourself few questions.

What kinds of foods make up the majority of your diet? Are you eating healthy? Are you eating two or three big meals per day instead of the needed 5-7 smaller proportioned nutritious meals needed to kick your metabolism into high gear?

Your health is your life, and bodybuilding is one of the best ways to improve your personal health, allowing you to acquire and enjoy the most that every day has to offer.

The best way to make sure that you are successful in achieving the results you seek as quickly as possible is to incorporate these variables as part of your everyday life, instead of viewing them as mere chores, which can then seem like inconveniences more than key elements to living a longer, healthier, more prosperous life.

These are just some questions you can, and should, ask yourself from time-to-time to determine if you are making positive choices and living a lifestyle that is suitable for reaching your goals and obtaining success.


The Need for Balance

Bodybuilding is a 24-hour sport, which requires a certain degree of dedication, sacrifice and repetitive work in order to prevail successfully

Bodybuilding has taught you both inside and outside of the gym, and apply these benefits in positive ways to other important areas of your life. Whether it be performing your job better, being more successful in school, decreasing anxiety to better relieve daily stress, taking on new responsibilities, setting new goals, or improving your overall mood and self-esteem.

By providing balance to your bodybuilding, as well as establishing goals outside of your fitness endeavors, a more complete lifestyle can be had, and in return, your bodybuilding goals will continue to remain fresh and in a progressing state.


Bodybuilding and Nutrition

Bodybuilders who are dedicated to fitness and improving their physique may opt for supplements that can enhance their muscle growth when combined with exercise, such as weightlifting.

They may also look for ways to control their appetite when they’re trying to lose weight as part of a bodybuilding diet.

Unlike weight training, which involves lifting weight to improve general health and lean muscle mass, bodybuilding is specifically geared toward massive muscle growth with an emphasis on appearance over performance.

This emphasis requires bodybuilders to retain a lean body that puts the definition of their muscles on display. To this effect, their diet must facilitate fat metabolism.

A healthy bodybuilding diet is more nuanced than simply alternating between periods of caloric surplus and caloric deficit. Instead, bodybuilders should focus on utilizing intermittent fasting and specialized nutrition to attain their goals.

During most of bodybuilding training, the ultimate goal is to stimulate muscle growth. There are two components of muscle growth: stimulation and repair, both of which can be supported and enhanced by the proper diet.

Stimulation occurs while training at the gym; repeatedly contracting muscles while under a significant weight load causes muscle fiber to become damaged. During the repair phase, tissue undergoes healing that eventually causes muscle hypertrophy, or growth

Muscle repair depends on the availability of amino acids in your nutrition, which are the building blocks of protein. When you eat protein, your body breaks it down into its components, amino acids. These amino acids are rearranged and built into new proteins that make muscle tissue larger. As a result, protein is the number one concern for bodybuilders looking to increase muscle mass.

Building Muscle Through Protein

Protein is an important part of our nutrition diet and key to building and maintaining all types of body tissue, including muscle. It contains amino acids, the building blocks used for muscle growth.

Over the course of a day, your body fluctuates between two processes: muscle protein synthesis or “anabolism,” and muscle breakdown or “catabolism.”

the key to making gains in muscle mass is to make sure that your time in anabolism outweighs your time in catabolism. This is known as “net protein balance” or “net protein synthesis,”

After taking a protein supplement, there is a short and robust period of elevated blood amino acids, known as Hyper aminoacidemia, which stimulates greater than normal amounts of muscle protein synthesis and anabolism. This is when Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs) come into action.

Role of BCAA’s In Protein Supplements.

Leucine, isoleucine, and valine, are the three Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs) in protein which help to improve Growth Hormone levels improving muscle gains. Leucine is by far the most powerful of the three. It acts as a signaling molecule to stimulate muscle growth.

The leucine contained in whey protein supplement is one factor that promotes hyperinsulinemia and supports blood insulin, which drives anabolism even higher while also decreasing the rate of catabolism. It can also have greater positive effects on things like gut health and immunity better than other protein supplements.


How Much Protein Is Actually Needed?

The specific guidelines for a bodybuilding nutrition diet include 55 to 60% of calories from carbohydrates, 25 to 30% from protein, and 15 to 20% from fat. Keep in mind that because fats contain more calories, a relatively smaller amount of high-fat foods are needed to achieve this balance.

Studies recommends that bodybuilders eat 1.2 to 1.7 grams of protein per kilogram bodyweight each day. For example, a 190-pound (86 kilogram) bodybuilder should aim for 103 to 147 grams of protein daily.  Advanced bodybuilders are advised to be more conservative with the caloric surplus and the rate of weekly weight gain. Dietary protein intake is recommended to be 1.6–2.2 grams/kg/day with a focus on sufficient protein at each meal (0.40–0.55 grams/kg/meal) and an even distribution throughout the day (3–6 meals).

However, bodybuilders have been reported to consume up to 4.3 grams/kg of protein per day among males, and 2.8 grams/kg among females which far exceeds these recommendations. Guidelines previously given for bodybuilders in the off-season, were to consume 25–30% of their energy intake from protein. It might be reasonable to argue against giving recommendations based on percentages of total energy intake, due to the fact that a light bodybuilder with high energy requirements might end up consuming protein which far exceeds what is necessary and required. Further, this can also lead to insufficient intakes of carbohydrates and fats if an athlete is targeting a specific caloric intake. Thus, recommending protein requirements based on body weight might be more appropriate.

As far as the leucine (BCAA) is concerned, it is recommended to bodybuilders that a certain minimum dose of leucine is required in order to stimulate muscle protein synthesis. The threshold dose is approximately 0.05 grams/kg, or roughly 3 grams leucine per meal in order to trigger Muscle Protein Synthesis.

A more relevant question for bodybuilders may be whether protein and/or amino acid timing affect lean body mass maintenance. With little exception, acute studies have consistently shown that ingesting protein/essential amino acids and carbohydrate near or during the training bout can increase muscle protein synthesis (MPS) and suppress muscle protein breakdown.