"No Mistakes" Nutritional Guide
The Following is a Sneak Peak of the "No Mistakes" Nutritional Guide:
“Predicted by the original Iron
Guru Vince Gironda
“A Brief History of Bodybuilding Nutrition:
In this chapter we will briefly evaluate some of the most common diets practiced by bodybuilding athletes just like you. This will enable you to distinguish the ‘No Mistakes’ methods from those of the past . . .and those methods yet to come.
We feel it is vitally important to read this section in full. Our motivation is that great thinkers often look to the past for answers. It is through this history of trial and error that new philosophies can emerge and be fully understood.
Like every other tissue in your body, your muscles are composed of molecules built from common chemical elements — carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, sulfur and others. These elements make up the structure of the food you eat at every meal. It should therefore come as no surprise that when it comes to building bigger, stronger muscles, the quality and quantity of food you eat will greatly affect the outcome.
Perhaps this is why you decided to pick up this guide. Indeed, if you put together your meals haphazardly, not even the most powerful muscle building supplements or training regimen will bring about the radical changes to your physical appearance that you are truly capable of. That being said...
“What’s the ‘Ideal’ Way to Eat for Year-Round Size, Strength and Leanness?”
What constitutes the best year-round eating approach for bodybuilders and similarly focused fitness enthusiasts? For many of us, solving this problem has been like figuring out the meaning of life. That is, until now.
First, let’s dispel a widespread myth. Despite what you may have been led to believe, (perhaps due to contest-time photos in the pages of glossy bodybuilding magazines), that bodybuilders maintain extremely low levels of body fat (3 to 5 percent) year round. Even elite bodybuilders who regularly compete do not maintain this small percent of body fat all year. To keep the same weight is unrealistic and may certainly bring your muscle-building progress to a grinding halt.
On the other hand, many dedicated bodybuilders can maintain an impressive 7 to 9 percent body fat level year round while enjoying ‘fast-lane’ muscle-building progress. To do so, you need to adhere to nutritional guidelines specific to Cosmetic Bodybuilding™. Don’t let the name fool you. This is not some fluffed up BS name for a weekend warrior program (although they need this term just as bad). It is the core reason most of us train and eat obsessively, thus it defines our ultimate goal, which is primarily making cosmetic changes to our bodies.
You’re certainly not alone. Like the two of us, and virtually all women and men reading this guide, your training and eating habits are intended to make cosmetic changes to your body. You want to improve your physical appearance by making your muscles bigger (possibly a lot bigger) and/or losing the fat covering them up from view.
Strength, power, aerobic capacity—these and other measures of fitness are of substantially less importance to you, if at all. And this is fine. In fact, it’s critically important that you realize the difference between your cosmetic goals and those of the performance-oriented person—the triathlete, the power lifter, the mountain biker, etc. The nutritional and training guidelines for you as a cosmetic bodybuilder are often worlds apart from those of the endurance athlete or others engaged in a sport where physical performance is what really matters.
To create a body that is a work of art your ‘performance criteria’ is the mirror. If you want to turn heads all the time, you’ll need to properly manage your nutrition and exercise 24/7. Unlike many team sports, there is no party after every ‘winning’ workout or meal. The game is always ON. And for most of us, the top of our game is always one striation, peak or separation away.
Strangely enough, for years registered dieticians and so-called nutritional experts with letters behind their names have lumped dietary guidelines for athletes together, or very nearly so. Yet the cosmetic bodybuilder is quite a different beast...
Nutrition for Athletics & Endurance
The dietary considerations for athletes who are focused on, e.g., endurance performance or capacity, are not necessarily the same as for bodybuilders (like us) who solely want to build bigger, leaner muscles for a better-looking body.
For the endurance athlete (and perhaps many strength athletes), a diet deriving 60-70% of its calories from carbohydrate, 20-30% from protein and 10% from fat will probably be adequate. Furthermore, the type of each nutrient consumed may not be so important. For instance, the bodybuilder who is advised to avoid high-glycemic (fast-absorbing), refined carbohydrate, the potential ‘cosmetic impact’ of such foods may be of little concern for the endurance athlete. In fact, these foods frequently offer a manner of convenience that is highly desirable to this individual.
The 80’s Show
As you may already be aware, during the 1980’s, diets deriving up to 70% of a person’s calories from carbohydrate were in vogue. This high-carbohydrate model gained popularity during the aerobics boom of the same era. Support also came from the scientific community that studied the effects of dietary carbohydrates on athletic performance (e.g., glycogen ‘loading’). This research provided strong (though at times contradictory) evidence that a high-carbohydrate diet could have beneficial effects on endurance performance and capacity.
Cosmetic bodybuilding is quite a different story, however; it does not require the dietary carbohydrate intake that might be necessary to support optimal performance during endurance sports (e.g., long-distance running, triathlons) or team sports such as football, soccer and basketball. Thus, many bodybuilders (excluding extreme ‘hard gainers’) following high-carbohydrate diets had to rely on strict calorie counting and intense cardiovascular workouts to achieve the lean, muscular appearance they desired. This era moved us into what is now known as...
Low-Carbohydrate Dieting—The Sequel
Stated earlier was the observation that the media plays a large role in influencing the popularity of many dietary practices. It should then come as no surprise that much like the fashion industry styles come and go and often resurface as ‘new’. This appears to be the case for the latest trend of low-carbohydrate dieting.
Yet unlike an overly simplistic trend in fashion that may make regular bottom jeans passé and bellbottoms hip, low-carbohydrate eating does have a plausible scientific premise (more on this later). This has made it the darling of the bodybuilding supplement industry—once again. It has even resurfaced for sedentary folks who use variations of this diet, such as that popularized by Dr. Atkins.
However, bodybuilders are not exactly sedentary. Indeed, because of the relatively high-intensity, high-volume nature of the training we use to build and maintain muscle we rely on stored carbohydrate energy (glycogen) substantially more than do sedentary folks, though less than endurance athletes. In any case, the important point here is that...
Low-Carbohydrate Diets Are Not New!
It is important to note that as far back as the 1960’s, bodybuilders relied heavily on limited carbohydrate diets to show off their muscularity. However, as a consequence of this dietary practice, many of the bodybuilders of this era lacked modern-day muscle fullness and striations. Just look at the old black and white photos of Arnold Schwarzenegger and his cohorts during his glory days of bodybuilding to see what we’re talking about.
One of the reasons bodybuilders of previous eras lacked the muscularity we see today may be that these individuals bulked up during the off (i.e., non-competitive) season and later resorted to severe carbohydrate restriction in an effort to shed body fat and water weight rapidly. In addition, the re-introduction of carbohydrates (e.g., as with pre-contest preparation) was more of a hit-or-miss art than a predictable science and many athletes simply did not do so (‘peak’) properly.
Contemporary Diet Trickery
In an attempt to remedy the negative impact of severe carbohydrate restriction on one’s physical appearance and performance, many diets presented to bodybuilders over recent years have recommended periodic carbohydrate overfeeding (or gorging) to replenish body carbohydrate stores. Such diets include, though are not limited to: The Rebound Diet by Michael Zumpano, The Anabolic Diet by Dr. Mauro Di Pasquale, The Cyclical Ketogenic Diet by Lyle McDonald, and the Anabolic Burst Cycling of Diet and Exercise (ABCDE) by Bill Phillips and Torbjorn Akerfeldt.
Now we are not here to say that the aforementioned diets cannot work (they can certainly be made to over the short term). Rather, we wish to point out that, practically speaking, such dietary guidelines are not easily maintained over the long haul and are much less effective and more troublesome than alternative approaches.
Lessons for the Carbophobic Bodybuilder
Simple thinking tells us that since carbohydrates deliver calories (4 per gram), this nutrient can play a role in promoting fat gain. In addition, carbohydrates are a primary driver for increases in insulin levels, which plays a role in reducing fat burning (more on this later). In an effort to get leaner, carbohydrates have become the primary macronutrient that have been reduced in many bodybuilders’ diets. For some, it has meant an abandonment of any and all dietary carbohydrate in a desperate effort to lose weight or become leaner. The result is that muscles lose size, shape and energy. Workouts can become almost non-existent tiring, and your physique appears flat and small. This is why in our opinion these carte blanche reductions in total carbohydrate intake (especially ‘slow-burning’, low-glycemic carbs) are often too aggressive and leave bodybuilders with nowhere to go.
The typical rationale is that if a bodybuilder accelerates fat loss by reducing carbs from 400 to 300 grams per day, then 200 must be better. The trouble is that when fat loss stalls, the bodybuilder is compelled to take in less than 200 grams of carbs per day to resume fat loss. Yet research shows that the body soon begins to show resistance to these extreme dietary efforts. At this point, the stage is set for your body to use protein from muscle tissue to provide additional energy. Needless to say this is not the ideal situation for anyone who wants to change his or her body composition for the better.
Concerning carbohydrate intake, the risk of fat gain is ONLY problematic if:
*NOTE: Training for the bodybuilder, and its relationship to the Glucose Economy™ concept (discussed later) will be covered in detail in the essential companion guide, the ‘No Mistakes’ Training Guide.
A Renaissance in Simplicity
Contrary to popular belief, there are many female fitness enthusiasts and male bodybuilders who remain lean and hard year round while enjoying rapid muscle building progress. What is their secret?
The ‘No-Diet Diet’
What we have found is that these individuals seem to intuitively stick to pretty much the same eating plan all the time. This plan is unusually simple and can be maintained quite easily for the long term. Hence the distinction from diet, a device that can only be used for the short term due to limitations inherent in its design and the design of the human body (including the psyche)! The long-term eating plan we refer to (the ‘no-diet diet’) will be explained in the chapters that follow where we reveal . . .
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