How many times have you heard this?:
"You need to eat some protein at least every three hours to keep your body in a positive nitrogen balance to support muscle growth."
Or how about this:
"You need to eat 6 to 7 meals a day spaced 2 to 3 hours apart and each meal needs to include some high quality protein foods."
OK, we've all probably heard that or read that a million times but how many are actually doing it consistently. I not only read that "eat protein every three hours" from various experts a bunch of times over the past 10 years…but I actually wrote it in two of my books. And guess what? I wasn't following my own advice. OK, OK, I know you think I'm a hypocrite. I've got numerous excuses for it but I won't try to justify my actions. I decided to stop making excuses and start following my own advice.
I knew that following this nutrition program would be easy if I just took a little time to plan my meals. I figured out what time I normally ate breakfast and scheduled a meal every 3 hours until bed-time. I never went more than 3 hours without some high quality protein going into my mouth. My lunch and dinner were usually eaten at home (although some times I ate out when other people were paying) and I usually packed enough food in my Lil Playmate cooler for my between meal feedings. The food for my between meal feedings was things like IronMan or MetRx bars, whey protein mixed with water or milk, cheese and crackers, cold chicken, dried beef, cottage cheese, yogurt…foods that were high in complete protein but easily transportable and could be eaten on the run. It really didn't take much time to get this food together and pack in the cooler. I usually did this before bed or I got up 15 minutes earlier than usual and did it before I left the house. I don't really like to cook (I'm a true bachelor!) so I selected foods that were ready-to-eat.
Was it worth it? I gained 4 pounds within a 3 week period even though I had been stuck at my same bodyweight for almost a year! My energy level was much more consistent throughout the day and I didn't run out of gas in the middle of my workouts like before. I believe this was because that eating protein foods every 3 hours was keeping my blood sugar levels much more consistent.
My strength levels in most of my major exercises starting going up and I had also been at a plateau in my strength levels for quite some time, too. The biggest compliment came when one of the guys at my gym (who uses steroids) said, "Man, you are really pumping up lately!" That confirmed that I wasn't just thinking that I was looking bigger, but I actually was looking bigger.
I thought back to when I made the best gains of my life and remembered that I was doing the same thing…eating a meal with high quality protein every 3 hours. That was when I first discovered the training and diet secrets that I wrote about in my "How A Genetically Average Joe Can Gain 25 Pounds Of Muscle In 8 Weeks" package. At first it was pretty inconvenient to drag around a big thermos and a Lil Playmate cooler, but by following that training and diet program I gained almost 25 pounds of solid bodyweight in 8 weeks.
Since following my own advice again and seeing the benefits, I wondered why I ever got away from it. The only conclusion I came to was…
LACK OF DISCIPLINE
For some of you who are training the CORRECT way for a natural or hard gaining bodybuilder, (that's the subject of another newsletter…actually many other newsletters) the only thing keeping you from making muscle gains is…
ABOUT 15 MINUTES OF PREPARATION!
Look, if I packed all the food and supplements you need to take with you throughout the day so that you could eat every 3 hours, it would be pretty easy for you to just do the eating, right? And I'm not talking about gorging yourself on huge amounts either. Just small, enjoyable meals…foods you like, that don't leave you feeling stuffed and bloated, just consistently satisfied. You could do that, right? Especially if you knew that it was going to get you sprouting muscles!
It only takes a few minutes of planning a day to do this. And you also have to make a list of the things you need and do your grocery shopping once a week. So that takes a little preparation and time, too…but not very much.
Trust me on this. The gains you make will FAR outweigh the extremely minor inconvenience of following this nutritional program.
I've had a lot of people tell me that they can't afford to stock up on IronMan or MetRx bars…or any of the other brands since they cost $1.50 to $2.50 per bar. I know that adds up when you are eating several of those throughout the day. But they are so convenient to take with you. I usually eat one of those bars with milk or whey protein mixed with water or milk for several of my meals. But I do admit, it can get expensive buying several dozen of those bars every week.
In the next issue, I'm going to share a secret recipe for making these bars at home that should save you a lot of money. For those of you who can't wait, this recipe and several others are contained in "The Bodybuilders Cookbook" at: http://members.tripod.com/~griffin1/STORE.HTM
Thank you for joining me in this first issue of the Genetically Average Joe Bodybuilding Newsletter. I know that this will be a learning experience for both you and I and I hope that you will learn some things to help you advance in your bodybuilding efforts.
I can't guarantee that these techniques and strategies will always work, but I can tell you that they won't ever work if you don't implement them. To succeed in any endeavor, a great modern day philosopher once said…