Designing the body you want

By on June 15, 2016

As we head into the summer season, most of us would want to look our best in swim suits. But the ingestion of tempting sugary drinks, beer and fatty food with few calories burned threatens to expose more of our fat than muscles.

This month, we focus our attention on building muscle mass and kick starting the energy levels of busy moms and dads. Professional fitness trainers Mike and Susan, share their valuable tips on how to do just that.

Many people who come to us for the first time say they work out regularly, take care of what they eat and yet somehow they can’t understand why the body of their dreams is eluding them.

There are 4 key things to keep in mind if you want to seriously start building muscle mass: Watch what, when and how much you eat; Sleep Well; Avoid alcohol; Put in hard work but don’t overtrain; Do your moves correctly by knowing the right techniques.

Get enough sleep
When you’re growing muscles, get adequate hours of sleep. It is essential to the production of growth hormones that increases during the deep stages of sleep. Don’t sleep with your smartphone or switch it off for uninterrupted rest and resist taking coffee in the afternoon. Although some people can get by with 6 hours of sleep a day, 7 to 8 hours is ideal for most adults.

Limit your alcohol intake
Regular alcohol consumption can undo your hard work. Not only does excessive alcohol intake mess up your absorption of vitamins inhibiting muscle growth and recovery, it also keeps you awake at night.

What to eat, when and how much
If you’re just starting to build muscle mass, you will want to fine tune your diet to promote lean muscle growth. Before working out, you want something that will not interfere with your ability to train. You need protein but not the heavy kind that will only sit in the stomach. Steer clear of bad fat. Most fitness buffs take a carbohydrate sports drink and a fruit before they work out. Carbohydrates supply the body the glycogen it needs during training. What you eat after a workout routine is what matters most.

Food is the last thing on people’s mind after training. But because much of your glycogen energy supplies are used up in your muscles, you need to refuel. It’s quite normal not to want to eat but make sure you seize the 15 minutes post workout to grab a sports drink that contains carbohydrates and some protein. It’s when your muscles will literally suck them up.

Embarking on a serious fitness routine takes effort. If you are an emotional eater, be smart with your food choices. Ditch the food that serve no purpose other than fattening you up. Proteins and complex carbs do a great job in supplying energy to the body but do not forget that vegetables also have a major role to play. They supply the body with minerals and nutrients essential to muscle growth, recuperation and fat reduction. Include spinach or broccoli in your diet for folic acid responsible in producing red blood cells. They also enhance your immune system. Other immune system boosting foods are cabbage, cauliflower, kale, asparagus, etc.

Men who want to bulk up do not need huge portions of food to build mass. In fact, an extra 500 calories a day should work. Eat a good balanced diet made up of unrefined carbohydrates. Why unrefined? Unrefined or complex carbohydrates mean they were not processed and no artificial chemicals have been added so you get all the natural nutrients that provide slow-burn energy. Examples of these are whole wheat bread, whole wheat pasta, bulgur, brown rice, barley, oats, couscous, lentils, lamb, poultry, millet, oatmeal, etc…


proteinThe amount of protein you eat a day should be no more than 1.4 grams for each kg of your body weight. So if you weigh 85 kg, multiply 1.4 grams by 85 = 119 g. That’s all you need a day.

avoid-carbs-diet-400x400The amount of quality complex carbs you eat a day helps a lot in bulking up. 60% of what you eat a day should be unrefined carbs. That means if your total calorie intake a day is 2,500, your carbs should be 1,500 kcals .

Snacking in-between meals                          Stay away from snacks with high fat content and refined sugars. They only satisfy your hunger for a short time and leave you wanting more. Fuel up the body with fruits, almonds, sweet potato, sesame seeds, and etc.




About Mike and Susan Jacob

Mike and Susan Jacob live in Yokohama with their 5-year old son. They can be contacted for fitness advice at Mike&