5. Satisfy Essential Fat Requirement
Almost any seasoned muscle builder knows that he has to take in liberal amounts of protein to build muscle while keeping carbohydrate intake in check in order for those gains to be lean and rock hard. But the mistake I’ve found far too many of those same experienced guys making is neglecting fat intake, just as the average person does.
I remember the days when I trained with Lee Labrada. There honestly was a time when Labrada was one of the very best bodybuilders on the planet, second only to eight-time Mr. Olympia Lee Haney. During his competitive days it seemed the only thing that kept Labrada from beating Haney was that he just lacked extreme mass. Labrada was small in stature, so gaining more mass would have been critical to get to this next level. But he just couldn’t put it on. He and I discussed a lot about diet back then, and I always argued with him that his diet was way too low in fat to gain big muscle. He was a proponent of eliminating as much fat from the diet as possible. I could not have disagreed with him more. But to his credit, albeit too late to topple Haney, Labrada finally acknowledged that he felt I was right. Many years later, through his dietary supplement company, Labrada Nutrition, he has become a full fat convert with products like EFA Gold and many others.
The concept I want you to understand is that dietary fat is not only critical to overall health but also a key component of extreme muscle growth that rivals dietary protein in importance. Of course, getting the right kind of fats is key too. Just as protein is made up of some “essential” amino acids (building blocks that the body must obtain from the diet), certain fats are also “essential” fatty acids. Essential fatty acids (EFAs) cannot be made by the body from other substances and thus must be ingested to satisfy this dietary need. For muscle building, while protein in the form of the essential amino acids may be your best anabolic macronutrient, EFAs may be your best anticatabolic macronutrient.
In summary, when it comes to building lean muscle mass, there are many other dietary concepts worth understanding. But for those embarking on the bodybuilding road, following these five golden rules will give you the strongest start. For those more seasoned, I still suggest taking a moment and checking all five to make sure you are not coming up short on any one of them. No matter how much you know, try to check your ego at the door and be as objective as possible when self-assessing. I periodically do it myself. You might just find one or more are not incorporated as well as you thought they were and are therefore holding back your gains. Make the needed changes and get back on course.
Remember that bodybuilding is a lifelong learning process. It is also quite humbling. It seems that just as you get to understand how one idea or concept applies to your own body, you get older and your body changes. So adjustments must be made. But the one thing you can count on is that my five golden dietary rules are fundamental methods to follow throughout your bodybuilding endeavors.
The latest edition of Dr. Colker’s book, Extreme Muscle Enhancement: Bodybuilding’s Most Powerful Techniques is available online at amazon.com. MYO-t12 is available at myot12.com. In addition, if you have a question for Dr. Colker, feel free to e-mail us!