Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Natural Bodybuilding Recommendations Cheat Sheet

Interest in bodybuilding or improving one's own physique is gaining popularity with Facebook pages and #fitspo all over Instagram.  In a recent article published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, Helms, et al. provided science backed guidelines for natural body building.

Here's a summary of the report:

Gradual reduction in Calories should be set so that the athlete loses 0.5-1 lbs. per week to maximize muscle retention.

Recommendations are set at 2.3-3.1 g/kg of lean body mass (not all competitors will respond to this but the majority will).

Keep within 15-30% of Calories from fat and the remainder of Calories from carbohydrates.

Meal frequency:

3-6 meals per day with a meal containing 0.4-0.5 g/kg of bodyweight for protein prior and subsequent to resistance training to maximize benefits of nutrient timing and frequency.  Alterations in timing appear to have little effect on fat loss or lean mass retention.

Additional considerations:
The practice of dehydration and electrolyte manipulation in the final days and hours prior to competition can be dangerous, and may not improve appearance. Increasing carbohydrate intake at the end of preparation has a theoretical rationale to improve appearance, however it is understudied. Thus, if carbohydrate loading is pursued it should be practiced prior to competition and its benefit assessed individually. Finally, competitors should be aware of the increased risk of developing eating and body image disorders in aesthetic sport and therefore should have access to the appropriate mental health professionals.

Find the full article here: