Posted on January 01 2018
Fakhri Q & A
Hey Fakhri, how much training is over training? Over the last few months my gains have stopped. I’ve actually lost a few lbs, gotten a bit weaker and feel a little more fatigued. I’m still eating the same and going to the gym every day, I don’t miss a day. Can you please help me? I’m getting frustrated and stressed. – Carlos Colombia
Hi Carlos. First and foremost don’t get frustrated brother. When you are stressed your body releases a catabolic hormone named cortisol. You don’t want that to happen and aid in your overtraining. If your goal is to succeed in anything then you have to overcome obstacles. Secondly take a few days off from the gym ASAP. Then when you go back to training only train 5 days a week. Take a couple of days to recuperate each week. Training everyday is counterproductive. If more was better than it would be easy to be an Olympia contender. Just live in the gym and bam your standing next to Justin Compton.
While you take the next few days off from the gym strategize your comeback. Make sure your diet, training, supplements and scheduled days off are all planned out. Keep a journal to make sure you keep on track and chart your progress.
5 Tips For Gaining Muscle
1) Food…….You must eat to grow, period! No food no growth unless you are a genetic monster….Each macronutrient (the body needs a large amount of macronutrients to function, hence the word macro) plays a specific role in your muscle tissue development. Protein is used by the body to build and repair tissues. Protein is the building block to muscle. Protein also helps prevent the breakdown of muscle. Only protein can build muscle. When incorporated with a high intensity work out protein builds extra lean muscle tissue. I recommend 1.5 to 2 grams of protein per lbs of body weight. Carbs are used to provide energy to your muscles. Carbohydrates are stored in your muscles and the liver. When you work out your body coverts these stored carbohydrates into ATP and uses it as energy. If your goal is to gain mass you need an adequate amount of carbs to blast through your intense workouts. Carbs also help keep your muscles full and hydrated. They increase insulin level which increases other growth promoting hormones and enzymes needed to further muscular development. I recommend 2 or 3 grams of carbs per lb of bodyweight. Healthy dietary fats play a big role in hormone production responsible for growth and strength increases, like testosterone production. Examples of healthy fats are MCT oils, Flax seed oils, omega 3 – 6 – 9 oils, fish oils and CLA among a few others. Healthy fats help spare protein from being used as an energy source. Protein is then used primarily for building and repairing muscle tissue. Here is one thing many people don’t know, good fats help reduce water retention by assisting in sodium and water removal. Keep this in mind while contest prepping. I recommend 0.3 to 0.4 grams of healthy fats per lb of bodyweight
2) Train to failure….Leave nothing in the gym. The last set of each exercise should be to absolute failure. The first few sets are only warm-ups for that working set. Do not fatigue your muscles before the actual working set. The stronger you are the more warm ups you need. Example, if you have a 500 lb squat. Warm up 135, 225, 315, 405, maybe 455 for a few reps and then 500 for 10 to 12. If you get 12 then next week you try 525. If you don’t get 12 then you repeat 500 until you get 12 reps.
3) Consume Intra workout drinks….Mix 10 to 15 grams of amino acids (essential and branch chain) and use 25 to 50 grams of cyclin dextrin. This will fight muscle breakdown and help create an anabolic muscle building effect while training. Blood transports nutrients. When you are training your blood flow is at it’s highest (especially to the specific body part you are training). The amino acids and carbs from this drink will allow you to take advantage of this very important time by feeding your muscles the amino acids they need to grow and also by replenishing your glycogen levels for extended energy and strength
4) Rest…..You need to rest in order to grow. When you rest you increase your body’s anabolism and allow it to restore glycogen. Resting is the most overlooked muscle building factor. Resting also helps reduce cortisol (is a stress hormone produced by the adrenal glands that could lead to catabolism). More is not better when it comes to bodybuilding. If it was only that easy we would all live in the gym 24/7 and be Mr. Olympia. Intense training with adequate rest leads to optimal muscle growth.
5) Consistency…Here’s where most people fail. It may sound simple but inconsistency brings regress, not progress. When you miss a meal, a workout, half ass a set, or don’t give it 100% you are actually taking a step back. We all have our own genetic barrier. The longer we train it gets tougher and tougher to reach it. When you first start training you grow like a weed. After some time your gains start to taper off. If your goal is to compete you have to be consistent and maintain focus. Consistency in eating, training and resting will help you reach your goals. Here’s a good quote - Every time you stay out late; every time you sleep in; every time you miss a workout or meal; every time you don't give 100% - You make it that much easier for your opponent to beat you......You can have results or you can have your excuses. You cannot have both.
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IFBB Pro Fakhri Mubarak Contest Prep Specialist