As a masters athlete I have been experimenting with a few things recently to build lean muscle mass. Three things seem to work pretty well for me.
1. Constant and relatively heavy weight training.
2. Increased protein intake especially in the morning.
Some people would say I am pretty lucky as I don’t gain weight easily however I have the opposite problem of not being able to maintain or put on lean muscle mass particularly as I get older.
As I get older I have noticed a drop in lean muscle mass the moment I don’t train in the gym for a couple fo weeks more and if I don’t train with heavier weights. This doesn’t mean go silly and start trying to lift weights that you have never lifted before or training everyday in the gym. I just believe you need to maintain some form of consistent weight training to maintain lean muscle mass. I typically train 2-3 days per week in the gym and I am constantly trying to increase the load and or time under tension. I stick to compound type exercises and train the whole body each workout during track season. Typical exercises I do are squats, both single and double leg, lunges, step ups, push ups, dead lifts, power cleans, chin ups and push to press. All of these exercises activate your core muscles and are very functional in building overall strength.
Protein Intake: The recommended daily protein intake for a male athlete is approximately .08g per kg of body weight or 64g per day to for an 80kg male to maintain lean muscle mass.
Or if you look at it this another way you need to consume a 300g steak or 11 eggs or 49 bananas or 2 litres of chocolate milk per day. This amount may vary slightly from person to person so I recommended keeping a diary to see what works for you. If you choose a protein powder to add to your meals or shakes try and buy one with minimum fillers and little or no sugar. I have also found adding more protein to my morning meal has helped a lot as I am a typical toast and coffee person in the morning.
Creatine: AIS Overview
- Creatine is a naturally occurring compound found in large amounts in skeletal muscle as a result of dietary intake and endogenous synthesis from amino acids.
I am not going to go into detail about creatine as there is plenty of information around on internet and you should check with your health professional to make sure its safe for you to take. I have found creatine works really well for both muscle gain and strength gains for me and I typically take it with grapefruit juice. I have tried it with water and other juices but it usually leaves me with an upset stomach. Research suggest that it is best taken with simple sugars to help transport the creatine. Do your on research on this one. 🙂