In the full ebook, we covered everything you could possibly need to know about bodyweight training. We talked about the benefits, the different methods you could use and more.
But one thing we haven’t touched on yet in much detail is the diet. And that’s a rather big omission because as everyone should know – your diet is going to be just as important for your body recomposition as your exercise. If not moreso!
A bodyweight training diet is generally very similar to a diet for any other type of training but with a few exceptions. This cheat sheet then will provide you with everything you need to know in a manner that’s easily accessible and ready for you to start putting to use!
For Building Muscle
If you want to build the maximum amount of muscle possible from a bodyweight routine, then there is one single golden rule:
Eat 1 gram of protein for every 1 pound of body weight.
While some old-school nutritionists contest this, the fact of the matter is that countless studies have shown this to be optimal for hypertrophy and it’s still the practice that every bodybuilder uses.
If you’re an ectomorph (find it very hard to put on weight), then you need to eat this along with a high calorie diet with lots of carbs and saturated fats. Carbs are necessary for hypertrophy as they provide the energy necessary to build muscle. Meanwhile, saturated fats provide the body with more protein.
Otherwise, make sure you are providing yourself with optimum nutrition in other ways by getting plenty of micronutrients. These will support muscle mass, strength and more and will help you to prevent illness which can be a big set-back in your training.
To put it simply, the best way to build massive muscle is to train like a lion. That means you train HARD but you also rest well and consume lots of protein in the meantime. If you’re not training, then you should be either sleeping or eating. It’s that simple!
If your main goal is to become stronger, healthier and fitter though, then you don’t necessarily need to eat such vast quantities of protein and the carbs are certainly going to be considered ‘additional’ too.
Rather, you can actually maintain your current diet while making sure to get plenty of nutrition and to avoid ‘empty calories’. This will help you to improve your overall fitness and strength, while at the same time you should try and eat a little more protein. You won’t see the same rapid muscle growth, but you will support a general improvement in fitness, health and strength. A surprisingly large number of people fall into this category.
For Burning Fat
For burning fat, there are two schools of thought:
- People who say you should avoid carbs
- People who say that lowering calories is all that matters
Who’s right? Both of these groups.
Simple carbs raise the blood sugar and this causes an insulin spike. Insulin is highly anabolic (which is why you still need insulin while bulking and adding muscle) and this can trigger lipogenesis – which means ‘fat storage’ in plain English.
Another problem with simple carbs is that they’re very often the biggest culprits when it comes to empty calories. These are very often things like cake, sweets and processed foods which provide zero goodness while fattening you up. They also encourage cravings.
On the other hand though, simply lowering your carbs isn’t enough. And this is especially true if you eat lots of fats to compensate as fats are very high in calories.
To encourage the body to burn more fat, you need to make sure that you consume fewer calories in a day than you burn. This means that you’re going to have to burn your fat to fuel even simple things like blinking and breathing as you simply won’t have the blood sugar available through your diet.
This doesn’t have to be very complicated and hard though. Simply work out your current AMR (active metabolic rate) by using a calculation, or by wearing a fitness tracker. Then work out the calories that are included in your most regular snacks and meals. Keep this number low and then just make sure that you don’t go overboard at dinner in the evenings.
Most men burn around 2,500 calories a day, while most women burn around 2,000. What’s more, is that most people burn roughly the same as they currently eat in order to maintain an equilibrium. Remove the chips from your dinner and eat fewer snacks and you should find you start losing weight easily.
Quick AMR Calculation
(Your BMR is your Basal Metabolic Rate – how many calories you burn when inactive.)
BMR = 66 + (6.23 x weight in pounds) + (12.7 x height in inches) – (6.8 x age in years)
BMR = 655 + (4.35 x weight in pounds) + (4.7 x height in inches) – (4.7 x age in years)
To turn this into your AMR, you then multiply that amount by:
- 2 if you’re sedentary (little or no exercise)
- 375 if you’re lightly active (you exercise 1-3 times a week)
- 55 if you’re moderately active (you exercise or work about average)
- 725 if you’re very active (you train hard for 6-7 days a week)
- 9 if you’re highly active (you’re a physical laborer or a professional athlete)
You can also consider adding the following supplements which will help you get a little more from your training:
Protein Shake: Great for getting extra protein. Look for a low calorie protein shake that is made from whey.
Weight Gainer: A weight gainer is a supplement that helps ectomorphs get both protein and carbs in their diet to add mass. This is great for when you’re ‘training like a lion’.
Creatine: Creatine allows the body to recycle ATP which basically means you can use more energy in the gym. It also improves IQ, is very good for you and can add an inch of muscle by encouraging the muscle cells to store more water.
Fat Burners: Fat burners increase the metabolism. They generally don’t work or aren’t safe so you can avoid these ones!
Amino Acids: Amino acids come from protein and are used to rebuild muscle. They also perform a lot of other jobs around the body such as enhancing energy and protein synthesis. These may be useful for those looking to add strength.
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