6 | KNOW YOUR PROTEIN QUOTIENT
You have to pound protein to grow, right? That is not necessarily the case in the first few weeks after a diet. Getting your body to overcompensate and grow is really a matter of increasing energy. Do this by consuming more carbs and dietary fat, and, of course, by cutting out cardio during this period of time. That said, how much protein do you need? In the first six weeks after a diet or contest, a gram of protein per pound of bodyweight each day is more than enough and a little less is fine. Why? Efficiency. When you increase calories by adding carbs and fat, you lessen the need for higher protein intake. The added fuel from carbs and fat makes the body extremely efficient at packing protein away in muscles. A higher carb and fat intake also lessens the need for the additional protein commonly consumed during a dieting phase. Rising testosterone and GH levels further support the body’s ability to uptake and use protein without waste, another reason protein needs are not as great as many think during a post diet period.
7 | CHANGE YOUR TRAINING
Of course, how you train can also impact growth. Generally, during a diet, in addition to performing cardio, bodybuilders tend to train with high volume and high intensity. When you come off your calorie restriction, you should also change your workouts. For best results, take a week or two off from working out to let your body recover. Then, get back into it with low reps and heavy weights. This will help you boost your gains in strength and muscle mass. Bodybuilders often squander the period after a contest or diet in their eagerness to stop worrying about their food intake, instead taking the respite as a chance to binge on whatever they feel like eating. A far better strategy is to view these six weeks as an ideal time for growth: by increasing calories from quality carbs and fats, you can take advantage of this narrow but potent anabolic window of opportunity to make solid gains.