RULE #3: GET FAT
No, we’re not suggesting you eat in excess to gain fat. But you must boost your fat intake when on a mass-gain plan. Athletes who eat higher-fat diets end up with higher testosterone levels. Testosterone is one of the most critical anabolic hormones when it comes to pushing muscle growth. Healthy fats, such as those found in salmon, walnuts, olive oil and peanut butter help joints to recover.
When you’re on the Winter Mass Attack plan, you should be training with heavier weights and greater intensity, which can stress your joints. Taking in plenty of healthy fats can help protect your joints and allow them to recover from heavy training. On training days, your fat intake should comprise at least 25% of your total daily calorie intake; on recovery days, move it up to about 35-40% of your total daily calorie intake.
RULE #4: POUND THE PROTEIN
Although this is rule number 4, it’s not fourth in importance. Usually, we put protein above carbs or fats on our lists, but we wanted to make sure you understood how important getting in ample carbs and healthy fat is for mass gain. For mass gaining, we ratchet up the protein intake to 2 g per pound of bodyweight on workout days and 1.5 g on rest days.
Now that we’ve made our point, taking in ample amounts of quality protein is just as critical for mass gain, if not more so. Of the three macronutrients, only protein builds muscle, plain and simple. Protein sources such as eggs, beef, chicken, fish and dairy products are your best bet, along with the addition of protein powder, when you just can’t take another bite. Get- ting protein from whey and casein shakes is a convenient way to boost your intake, and at certain times of day it’s the best source of protein for your needs (see rule 7).
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