Don’t settle. Seriously, do not settle. Are you on the JV squad right now, hoping to dress Varsity? Or are you Varsity and playing for a possible starting position? Are you starting Varsity and hoping to play at a small
college next season? Whatever your goal, set it higher. Why? Because I am
about to get you started on what it takes to get bigger, faster and stronger
than you ever thought possible. And it’s not going to take forever. I’m
talking months. Yes, months. Take a picture of yourself today. Take one for
your coach too. He will not recognize you next season. That is a promise-if you do what I say.
I hear the same things from parents year after year. ”We are spending thousands of dollars with a trainer—who says he is helping, to increase neuromuscular efficiency, power, speed, and neuromuscular adaptations by, ”. I
am not going to bore you with all the mumbo jumbo talk that we Speed, Agility,
and Strength coaches like to use. We can save that for later.
Let’s start with the basics:
1. Your Nutrition Plan designed to add muscle and gain or lose weight dependent upon your goals and starting point.
2. A Strength Training Plan.
I’m starting with nutrition because I think it is the least
understood, yet most important aspect in creating the type of body you need to
be a top athlete.
I realized how truly bad this lack of nutrition knowledge
was earlier this year. Some football players from one of the top NCAA teams in
the nation contacted me for nutritional assistance. One was a lineman who had starved
himself down from 380 pound to 360 pound before he contacted me. His goal was to get to
300lbs. At the rate he was going, even if he reached his goal, he’d be too weak
to play. And why was he getting weaker by the week? Ready for this—he was
taking in just 800 calories a day, while trying to lift heavy and go through
training camp. His first question for me was, ”Is there another way to do this
without getting so weak”?
Let’s put things in perspective. If my 12 year old, 80 pound daughter, doesn’t get at least 1500 calories a day, watch out! She is not going to be a happy camper. And I had a 6 foot 6 inch, 360 pound man standing in front of me
who was training like a madman at a premier NCAA program, trying to survive on
800 calories! And getting no guidance with his nutrition. Same thing at the
pro level. Only about half the NFL teams have a nutritional advisor. Not that it’s unimportant. It’s just that at the pro level you’ve got a number of genetic freaks who can eat anything and process it into muscle. But let’s get back to you, or your son or daughter.
Why Is It So Difficult for the Average Athlete (or Population in General)
to Gain Muscle and Lose Fat?
I’m going to keep this as concise and uncomplicated as
possible, so hang in there. First we’ll examine why it is so hard to gain muscle
without gaining fat, or lose fat without losing muscle. Each person has a particular “break even” calorie point. For example, if we figure your “break even” calorie point is 2000 calories, that’s the number it takes for you to maintain your current weight, you’ll neither gain nor lose weight at this calorie level.
Say you are a high school senior who wants to gain 20 pounds of muscle to play at the college level. You decide you need more calories. And you take in 3000 calories a day for a couple of months. As long as you are training, you should put on some muscle—but chances are you will also put on
fat—fat that will slow you down as an athlete.
Or, your goal is to lose 20 lbs of fat (breakeven is still
2000 calories). It seems that it would only make sense to take in fewer
calories. And you take in 1500 calories a day for eight weeks. This time, you
will most likely lose some fat—but chances are you will also lose some of your
hard-earned muscle mass and strength that you need to be an effective athlete.
When athletes (and non athletes) try to lose fat by calorie reduction alone, they usually lose muscle. And it is a fact that the loss of
muscle slows down your metabolism. Eating less also makes you feel weak and tired.
Next thing you know you start eating more again because physically, your body
just can’t take the lack of calories. Before you know it, you’ve eaten your way
back to your normal weight but with less muscle and more fat. That’s what is
known as “Yo-Yo” dieting. It’s the worst thing a young athlete (or just about
anyone) can do. You end up with more fat. You now also have developed a slower
metabolism that makes it even harder to gain muscle or lose fat in the future.
The Solution is Easier than You Might Think
Now let’s talk about a very effective solution. Here’s an analogy that might help you understand it. Imagine you are a car and your muscle cells are the gas tank. When you get low on gas, you hopefully pull over and fill up your tank. Otherwise, you (the car) will eventually shut down. And
while you’re filling the tank, you let go of the lever before the gas spills out
and makes a mess. It is absolutely no different with food. If you
consistently don’t get enough calories, you will shut down (lose muscle, get
weak, tired, etc.), and if you consistently take in too many calories, they
will “spill over” and you get fat. So the first thing we need to do is establish
a calorie range.
Let’s assume you are a lean and somewhat lanky 190 lb, 6′ 2′ tight end. Your goal is to get to a solid 215 lbs (yes, and we’ll get you there before next season!). You are in the off-season, weight training 4 days a week for an hour each workout, with 3 days of speed/agility training for 30
minutes. We are going to begin with a range of 5000-2000 calories. Yes, it’s a
huge range. (See sidebar this page for a guide to establishing your range.) Since
GAINING is your primary goal, we are going to be closer to 5000 for the
majority of time. But, if you take in close to 5000 calories too many days in a
row, the chances are you will “spill over”, i.e. add fat. So, every few days,
we’ll lower your calories to about 2000-2500. We call this “cycling” your
calories. More specifically, you’ll be ”carb cycling”—but I promised not to
get too scientific.
Food is broken down into three macronutrients: Proteins,
Carbohydrates, and Fats. Each is vital and having the right combinations and
the right types of each is also crucial. Since I said I would keep it simple,
I’m going to give you an example of how to do this rather than go into a long
winded explanation as to why. We’ll go back to our 6′ 2′, 190lb tight end trying
to reach a solid 215lbs and provide a food plan with the right types, combinations,
and amounts of these three macronutrients.
Plan to Gain Muscular Weight Without Adding Fat
High Calorie Plan (use this plan Monday-Friday if gaining is your goal; on weekends only if fat reduction is your goal)
Meal 1 Breakfast
Blend 1 scoop Beverly International Ultimate Muscle Protein (UMP)
into 8 ounces milk and 2 tbsp heavy whipping cream. Drink slowly.
Along with the above shake eat:
3 whole eggs and 3 egg whites with 1.5 ounces of cheese
1.5 cups of oatmeal (measured before cooking)
1 piece of fruit
20 ounces of water
Meal 2 (make this shake ahead of time in the morning before you leave for school, and drink between classes (usually between second and third period).
Blend 1 scoop of UMP and 3 scoops of Beverly Mass Maker into 12 ounces of milk and 2 tbsp heavy whipping
cream (after blending, add whole ice cubes so it is still cold when you
Meal 3 Lunch
10 ounces of lean meat (beef, chicken, tuna)
2 slices of cheese
4 slices of whole grain bread
1 piece of fruit
20 ounces of water
Meal 4 (immediately after school)
1 scoop of UMP, 3 scoops of Beverly International Mass Maker, 12 ounces of milk, 2 tbsp heavy whipping cream
Meal 5 Dinner
8-10 ounces beef, chicken, or fish
3 cups of whole wheat pasta with tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of parmesan cheese (or baked potatoes or sweet potatoes)
2 cups of garden variety lettuce
3 tbsp Newman’s Own Olive oil/vinegar salad dressing
Meal 6 Before Bed
2 scoops UMP with 4 tbsp heavy whipping cream mixed in a bowl as a
pudding (or add more water and make a shake)
8 ounce piece of beef, chicken, or fish
Before bed: 3 BEV ZMA
Calorie Plan (use this plan on weekends if gaining is your goal; Monday-Friday,
if fat reduction is your goal)
Meal 1 Breakfast
2 whole eggs, 5 egg whites
2 scoops UMP blended in water
Meal 3 Lunch (Perfect Athlete Recipe)
Mix 6 ounces of meat (chicken, salmon or tuna, or ground beef),
2/3 cup oats, 1 whole egg, 2 egg whites, chopped onion, garlic powder, salt,
Form into patty, and fry on both sides using 1 tablespoon olive oil.
Optional: top with ketchup, mustard, hot sauce, salsa, etc.
2 scoops UMP in water
8 ounces lean meat
sweet or baked potato
1 cup of steamed veggies topped with 1 tablespoon of olive oil/vinegar dressing
2 scoops of UMP with water
1 cup of baby carrots
Before Bed: 3 BEV ZMA
The above plan is cycled by eating the higher calorie plan Monday through Friday to focus on packing on muscle. And then on
the weekend, we offset the chances of putting on unwanted fat by using the
“Lower Calorie Plan”. And then we’ll cycle back to the high calorie plan to continue to pack on muscle again the following Monday –Friday, back to the low
calorie weekend—continue this cycle.
Here’s How to Use the Cycling Plan to Lose Fat and Retain Muscle
Now, let’s imagine you are a 6′ 3′, 320 lb lineman with 50lbs or more of
unwanted fat. You can use the same plan above, but you’d use the LOW CALORIE plan Monday-Friday, and use the High Calorie Plan on the weekends. You’ll
strip off unwanted fat during the week, but increase calories on the weekend to top off the gas tank again in order to make sure you don’t lose any muscle or
What About Supplements?
With sports such as football, soccer, basketball, volleyball, baseball,
and many others becoming so fiercely competitive, I see the demand for the best
supplements at an all time high, but the education/ knowledge is lacking. In fact, most athletes are taking supplements—at least a protein powder. But, believe me, all supplements are not the same. I recall the father of a younger athlete telling me, “”Every once in a while we’ll come by your studio and pick up some Beverly Product to ‘support’ your business, but I know I can go to
Wal-mart and get 5 lbs of “xyz’ protein for a much cheaper price”. Boy, as you
can imagine, in my head I was thinking, “Please don’t do me any favors and
spare me the pity…”, but, after a deep breath I sincerely thanked him for his
business and fully understood that this was a father who wants the best for his
child, but doesn’t have the understanding to know the differences in quality.
The supplement industry has changed (in many aspects, for the worse) during the past decade. More and more supplement companies are entering the market and for many, price point takes precedence over quality or efficacy. They spend millions
upon millions marketing their product to the masses (and especially to the
sports athlete, whom they consider a highly motivated to buy, but less educated
user) while putting much less into the actual ingredients. It turns out that
the majority of the cost we are paying is for the marketing, not the actual
Beverly Nutrition was one of the very few companies who stuck to their
roots when others were targeting the mass market. As a leader in quality, they
took the opposite approach. As more potential customers entered the market they
decided to spend more money on research to further increase product quality. I
have an “insider” story I’d like to share with you that sums up what Beverly
Nutrition is all about. A few years back, one of Beverly’s suppliers on a specific
ingredient called and tried to talk them into using an inferior ingredient in
one of their formulas. They said that most of the other companies had switched
to a lower cost ingredient, so it was much more difficult to obtain the high
quality ingredient that Beverly was using. Roger and Sandy, the owners of
Beverly Nutrition, said “no way”. The supplier threatened that if they kept
that higher grade ingredient that their cost could go up as much as 60% making
the price point unaffordable even for the demanding bodybuilder. Roger and
Sandy said “if that happens, we will simply discontinue the product rather than
lower our standards”. I guess the manufacturer thought they were bluffing and
did indeed raise the price of the ingredient by 60%. So what did Roger and Sandy do? Yes, they discontinued the product. And this product was a high selling product too! Fortunately for all of us who use this product, the manufacturer called back and renegotiated the ingredient price to just a 10% increase. And fortunately for all of us, Beverly began to produce the product again!
I could keep typing on what to look for, but if you want to know more I’d like to direct you to what I’ve written before in one of my articles. The main point is supplements are not all
created equal and if you really care about getting the best results I think Beverly is the only way to go. That is why I carry it exclusively at WieFit.
Ok, now what supplements? Well, without
working with the athlete one on one, I will generalize and recommend what I
know is important for any athlete to make a part of their diet. I’m going to
start with what I consider the two most important for any athlete starting a
ESSENTIAL: Ultimate Muscle Protein (UMP) you’ll see it listed several times throughout the day in the sample nutrition plan. The quality and ratio of nutrients and amino acids in UMP are untouched in the market, but for
a young athlete to eat or drink something several times throughout the day, it must taste good. UMP is hands down the best tasting protein on the market.
NEXT STEP: Mass Maker is next on the list, especially valuable for the hard gainer. It is also PERFECT for post workout recovery the carbs in MASS MAKER are perfect for refueling Glycogen Storages (GAS TANK) after an intense workout.
ADDITIVE: BEV ZMA one other product I think every athlete, male or female, should take is Beverly’s Bev ZMA. Many studies suggest that
after participating in regular intense exercise many athletes are deficient in
zinc, magnesium, and vitamin B-6. This is not a good thing for an athlete! Zinc
plays a central role in the regulation of cellular growth and tissue repair, as
well as the maintenance of a healthy immune system. Magnesium is essential for the maintenance of electrolyte balance, energy production and normal neuro-muscular function. ZMA may significantly increase anabolic hormone levels and muscle strength in well-trained athletes. It may also help to increase endurance, and to improve sleep quality.
What I’ve put together in this article is a Nutrition plan to get you started on the right path. Everyone has different goals, plays different sports, and even has different needs based on the position they play within that sport. If you would like to take it a step further for a fully customized program, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule an appointment. If you are outside of the Northern Kentucky/Cincinnati area, and would like a program via email, please visit my website at www.wiefit.com and click on the link on the home page ”I want to be an Online Client”.
In the next No Nonsense Magazine I will be discussing an Off-Season Training program to help you increase speed, strength, power, explosiveness, and size! I’ll also add a little bit about pre
and post training nutrition and supplements.
Just remember, as I always say, your diet
is about 80% of your results, so start eating!
You end up with more fat and a
General guidelines for establishing cycle diet baseline
A rough rule of thumb for establishing your baseline calorie range for the high calorie days is Desired Bodyweight x 20; for low calorie days: Current Bodyweight x 12. Females would use 15-18 for the high range and 10-12 for the low range.
Bill Starr’s, The Strongest Shall Survive You’ll be concentrating on 3 exercises, Squat, Power Clean, and Bench Press. You can find explanations on the web (just search for Bill Starr Big 3) or purchase the book at Amazon.com.
Mark Rippetoe’s, Starting Strength. You can purchase the book at Amazon, or search for “Mark Rippetoe novice program”. Mark shows you another way to program the Squat, Power Clean, Bench Press, Deadlift, and Press for the novice lifter.
With either of these programs remember, the
more basic, the better. Build a base and get ready for Brian Wiefering’s Size,
Strength, and Power routine coming up in the next issue of No Nonsense.