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How To Build Muscle On Keto Blueprint

How To Build Muscle On Keto Blueprint

The question a lot of low carb athletes want to get answered to is: “How does a ketogenic diet affect performance?” Secondly: “How to build muscle on keto?” Can you even do it? Well, in my experience, YES you can. Let me give you my story and secrets… When I first heard of nutritional ketosis I didn’t immediately try it out. Being into resistance training, I figured that it couldn’t possibly ever work. Sounds familiar, right? If you’re physically active then you’ve probably been told about the importance of proper nutrition, post-workout glycogen synthesis, recovery, etc. etc. And that you need CARBS to do it. In the athletic community, carbohydrates are being held at the pillar stone of success. But you don’t need them. I’ve never been into this dogmatic belief so eventually, I decided to try out the keto diet. Let’s see what happens and if I lose strength, so be it… I can always get it back. It was meant to be a short experiment, but… After a month of eating less than 30 grams of carbs a day I was in ketosis. I’m not going to lie that some of my performance had suffered, but only temporarily. Other than that, I felt amazing and loved the keto diet. I thought to myself: Why hadn’t I tried it out before? The answer to that was fear of losing my gains – all in vain. I didn’t want to sacrifice the health benefits of low carb and how amazing it made me feel. But I also wanted to regain my performance and continue getting stronger… all while staying on a ketogenic diet. To me, it sounded like a challenge, which I was more than willing to accept My training consists of mainly bodyweight exercises, such as calisthenics, Yoga, and gymnastics. The keto diet is perfect for that and I’ve learned how to build muscle on ketosis. It’s doable Continue reading >>

Not All Low Carb Diets Are Keto: Why Most Bodybuilding Fans Get It Wrong!

Not All Low Carb Diets Are Keto: Why Most Bodybuilding Fans Get It Wrong!

When most people think of keto, they think of low carb. While ketogenic diets are low carbohydrate diets, the reality is that not all low carbohydrate diets are keto. As I’ve written before, it is quite popular for fitness professionals and YouTube fitness pundits to “beat up” low carbohydrate dieting. Much of this derives from the fact that many physique competitors, who are also quite often YouTube influencers, had horrible experiences with low carbohydrate diets. Low carbohydrate dieting often evokes imagery of meal after meal of bland, tough, chalky fish or chicken with vegetables in plastic Tupperware being choked down by bodybuilders. The truth is that, while many bodybuilders have experienced a low carbohydrate diet, the high protein, low fat, and low carb diet that most bodybuilders do is far from ketogenic. The bodybuilding version of a low carbohydrate diet, performed with the desire to get to minimal (and unhealthy) levels of bodyfat, is an extreme diet that can get you very lean in the short term, but lead to metabolic and hormonal damage in the long term. With this diet, once you get lean, it becomes nearly impossible to hold that level of conditioning for longer than a few days. The idea here is to peak for a show, and then fatten up for the off-season. On the other hand, the ketogenic diet is a high fat, moderate protein, high fat diet with a very different purpose – to get you to optimal levels of bodyfat and performance for the long term. While many who have done the typical bodybuilding low carb diet have experienced weakness, brain fog, and muscle loss, the ketogenic diet can increase strength, endurance, brain energy, and muscle gains. Let’s end the confusion between these two diet methods once and for all by examining the key differences b Continue reading >>

Evidence-based Recommendations For Natural Bodybuilding Contest Preparation: Nutrition And Supplementation

Evidence-based Recommendations For Natural Bodybuilding Contest Preparation: Nutrition And Supplementation

Go to: The popularity of natural bodybuilding is increasing; however, evidence-based recommendations for it are lacking. This paper reviewed the scientific literature relevant to competition preparation on nutrition and supplementation, resulting in the following recommendations. Caloric intake should be set at a level that results in bodyweight losses of approximately 0.5 to 1%/wk to maximize muscle retention. Within this caloric intake, most but not all bodybuilders will respond best to consuming 2.3-3.1 g/kg of lean body mass per day of protein, 15-30% of calories from fat, and the reminder of calories from carbohydrate. Eating three to six meals per day with a meal containing 0.4-0.5 g/kg bodyweight of protein prior and subsequent to resistance training likely maximizes any theoretical benefits of nutrient timing and frequency. However, alterations in nutrient timing and frequency appear to have little effect on fat loss or lean mass retention. Among popular supplements, creatine monohydrate, caffeine and beta-alanine appear to have beneficial effects relevant to contest preparation, however others do not or warrant further study. The practice of dehydration and electrolyte manipulation in the final days and hours prior to competition can be dangerous, and may not improve appearance. Increasing carbohydrate intake at the end of preparation has a theoretical rationale to improve appearance, however it is understudied. Thus, if carbohydrate loading is pursued it should be practiced prior to competition and its benefit assessed individually. Finally, competitors should be aware of the increased risk of developing eating and body image disorders in aesthetic sport and therefore should have access to the appropriate mental health professionals. Keywords: Hypertrophy, Cal Continue reading >>

How Much Protein Is Too Much?

How Much Protein Is Too Much?

Now that fat is out of the spotlight, the focus for many in low carb and vegan circles has turned to protein as the macronutrient that needs to be avoided for health, good blood sugar control and longevity. At the same time there are still are plenty of ‘meat heads’ who say that their ‘brotein’ can do no wrong and you can’t get enough of it. In the sea of conflicting opinions and advice, how do we determine the optimal amount of protein that will suit our situation, goals and needs? How much protein do we need? How much is too little protein? How much protein is too much? This is an intriguing, controversial and multifaceted discussion. So hold on as I try to unpack the various perspectives! First, let’s look at the general recommendations for protein intake. Lean body mass Protein recommendations are often given in terms of grams per kilogram of lean body (LBM) where “LBM” is your current weight minus your fat mass. Protein is required to support your muscles, not your fat. You can use a DEXA scan, bioimpedance scale or pictures (like the ones below) to estimate your level of body fat (% BF) and then calculate your LBM using the following formula: lean body mass (LBM) = body weight weight x (100% – %BF) / 100%. None of these methods are particularly accurate. However, calculating your body fat levels or protein intake to a high degree of accuracy is not necessary for most people. Absolute minimum protein requirement According to Cahill’s starvation studies[1] we burn around 0.4g/kg LBM per day of protein via gluconeogenesis during long term starvation. After we burn through the food in our stomach and then the glycogen stored in our liver and muscle, the body will turn to its own internal protein stores (i.e. muscles, organs etc) and, to a lesser ex Continue reading >>

Can You Build Muscle On A Ketogenic Diet?

Can You Build Muscle On A Ketogenic Diet?

The other day, I was on a phone call with a good friend and fellow strength coach, Joe Dowdell, CSCS, of Peak Performance in New York City. I told him my current deadlift personal record stood at a respectable 420 pounds but that I aspired to pull a 500. He told me it was "doable." Great. Then I threw him a curveball worthy of Dodgers southpaw Clayton Kershaw. I wanted to add 80 pounds to my deadlift … while following a ketogenic diet. Joe let out a big sigh. Staying on a ketogenic diet means eating so few carbohydrates that when your glycogen stores empty, your body cashes-in on a process called 'ketosis' for energy. The carbohydrate threshold to stay in ketosis will vary by individual, but the guideline for most folks is fewer than 50 grams of carbs. I was dead-set on eating fewer than 20 grams of carbohydrates per day. How low is that? One medium banana would place you over your daily limit! Wait, don't carbs stimulate muscle growth? How could this work in the long term? More important, can I add 80 pounds to my deadlift without eating much carbs? These questions and more piqued the scientist in me. So I set out to find the answers not only by poring over the scientific literature but through real-world application on the gym floor as well. Now before you rush down to the bottom of the article to see if I did it, I want to preface the grand finale by explaining the anabolic capacity of carbohydrates. Let me walk you through several key areas of anabolism in which carbohydrates and insulin play a role. Carbohydrates, Protein, and Insulin Carbohydrates create anabolism largely by setting off a cascade of hormone-driven events. (Just so we're clear, you also get an insulin response from protein as well.) Chief among these events is secretion of a hormone called insuli Continue reading >>

The Ketogenic Diet And Bodybuilding

The Ketogenic Diet And Bodybuilding

If you are, or are interested in becoming, a bodybuilder, then you may have seen resources suggesting that a ketogenic diet and bodybuilding can compliment each other really well. Whether your interest in bodybuilding is at a competitive level or you simply want to look ripped, a ketogenic diet can really help you achieve your goals by stripping off body fat while preserving lean muscle mass. There are few champion bodybuilders who don’t incorporate a low carb eating plan at some times, even if only just before a competition to really highlight their muscles. Why do some bodybuilders choose a Ketogenic Diet? So why are a ketogenic diet and bodybuilding such a good combination? Well, a ketogenic diet is one that is high in fat, with good protein levels, but very low in carbohydrate. The absence of carbs means that the body has to use fat stores as a source of fuel, in a reaction called ketosis. This means you lose body fat quickly while still being able to get the calories you need – a low calorie diet would make you lose fat too, but you risk losing muscle mass, which you definitely don’t want. Another benefit of the ketogenic diet in bodybuilding is that it has a strong diuretic effect, meaning you won’t be holding excess water. Many bodybuilders actually dehydrate themselves before competitions using diuretic pills or alcohol, to further define the appearance of their muscles. While this works, you wouldn’t want to be dehydrated all the time because your performance would suffer and you’d feel terrible. The gentle diuretic effect of the low carb diet will help you look good all the time without going to competition level extremes. Can I compete at the same level as bodybuilders that eat carbs? The one concern many people have around the ketogenic diet and Continue reading >>

Ketogenic Diets For Bulking

Ketogenic Diets For Bulking

The ketogenic diet is nothing new. The high fat, low or no carbohydrate diet was first developed in the 1920s as a treatment for pediatric epilepsy. In recent history, the ketogenic diet has been used by the bodybuilding and strength training community as one of the most popular and controversial ways to improve body composition. The diet was initially developed as an alternate means to fasting, which was found to induce the state of ketosis in the patient (1). Early physicians found not only a decreased frequency of epileptic seizures in patients who were in ketosis but also accelerated fatty acid oxidation, which then led to the loss of body fat. Ketosis is often referred to as the body’s “fat burning” mode (2). Some benefits often associated with ketogenic diet include: Reduction in body fat Appetite suppression Mood elevation and mental clarity (after the initial weaning period of 3-5 days) Stable blood glucose levels Reduced cardiovascular risk factors (chronically elevated insulin, triglycerides, etc.) Lowered cancer risk (cancer cells thrive on glucose) So, what exactly is ketosis? Ketosis (not to be confused with ketoacidosis in diabetic patients), occurs during a state of prolonged carbohydrate deficit, where the liver converts fatty acids into ketone bodies (acetoacetate, β-hydroxybutyrate, and acetone). Normally, ketone concentration in the blood is very low and is primarily regulated by insulin and glucagon (4). It may reach high levels during periods of accelerated fatty acid oxidation combined with low carbohydrate intake or impaired carbohydrate use. Glucose is the preferred fuel source for various tissues in the body, including the brain. However, with very little glucose present and ketone body formation increased, most cells in the body can use Continue reading >>

How Bodybuilders Should Eat

How Bodybuilders Should Eat

While conventional diets may be fine for the average person, they definitely don't work for bodybuilders. It takes an extraordinary nutrition plan to build an extraordinary physique. After lots of reading, research, and speculation (followed by more screwing up than you'd want to know about) I was finally able to derive a way of eating that not only works for bodybuilders, but works GREAT! Although I initially set out to find a diet that would maximize fat loss while preserving lean muscle tissue, I soon found that it works equally well to build muscle while minimizing fat gain. Let me reiterate that what I'm going to share with you is NOT just theoretical. It's well proven, even at the highest levels of bodybuilding – the IFBB Professional stage. Although you don't have to be a pro bodybuilder to reap the benefits, you will have to have some discipline and consistency. If you're the kind of person that likes to "wing it" when it comes to your diet, then the method I'll describe isn't for you. Regardless, anyone can benefit from the information I'm going to give you... if you actually apply it. To begin, let's look at the pros and cons of the traditional methods of dieting, because, once you clearly understand the flaws of other diets, you'll be able to better understand and implement a better alternative. Low-Carb Pros and Cons You don't have to be a nutrition guru to know that low-carb diets are extremely effective at burning body fat. As much as mainstream doctors and dietitians hate to let the 80s go, research has proven over and over again that low-carb diets burn fat more quickly than other types of diets. They work by decreasing blood glucose, insulin, and glycogen stores. This, in turn, promotes the mobilization and utilization of fatty acids for fuel, especia Continue reading >>

Ketogenic Diet For Bodybuilding

Ketogenic Diet For Bodybuilding

Great bodybuilders and endurance athletes do two things very well: First, they know exactly how to train. Second, they feed their bodies the best possible food to achieve their training goals. But you're probably wondering: Am I really getting the most out of my food, or could I perform better on a ketogenic diet? Or maybe you are asking what is a ketogenic diet? Want to know what it is, then carry on reading... What is it? A ketogenic diet is one high in healthy fats, moderate in protein, and very low in carbohydrates. The keto diet forces the body to burn fat for energy, instead of carbohydrates, which is its default energy source. In a normal diet that contains high amounts of carbohydrates, the body converts carbs into glucose, which is used by the body, as well as the brain, for fuel and any leftover glucose that is not used is then stored as fat. In a ketogenic diet, also referred to as low-carb, the body has very little amounts of carbohydrates to turn into glucose, so it does the next best thing: it turns to the liver. The liver, then, takes the body’s fat supply and turns it into fatty acids, which are converted into ketones and so begins the metabolic process known as ketosis, which uses the body’s fat stores for energy. ​Now, I hear you say this is great for weight loss... ... but can a bodybuilder or a high endurance athlete follow this way of eating and have the energy needed for peak performance? The concern is: When you lower the amount of carbohydrates in your diet, you’re also lowering your glycogen levels, which is the default energy source for muscles during workouts, and when glycogen is lacking, so is performance. Then you may then wondering:​ Is there a ketogenic diet for bodybuilding and endurance athletes? ​ The good news is: Strength Continue reading >>

Podcast: How Stress, Alcohol, Protein & Bodybuilding Affect Ketosis

Podcast: How Stress, Alcohol, Protein & Bodybuilding Affect Ketosis

Joe and Amber from THE PRIMAL EXAMPLE podcast recently interviewed me to talk about what it really means to be ketogenic, or to burn ketones instead of glucose for energy. How does bodybuilding while keto work? How do stress and alcohol affect ketosis? Should you measure your blood ketones, and who should try intermittent fasting? Trying to build muscle while keto? Worried about protein limits on keto? Find out about making gains, carbs vs net carbs and common misconceptions about how much protein you really need all while being in ketosis and hear some of my nutrition and fitness secrets to getting naturally JACKED without overloading on carbs. Continue reading >>

In Depth Look At Ketogenic Diets And Ketosis

In Depth Look At Ketogenic Diets And Ketosis

What exactly is Ketosis? The metabolic state of ketosis simply means that the quantity of ketone bodies in the blood have reached higher-than-normal levels. When the body is in a ketogenic state, this means that lipid energy metabolism is intact. The body will start breaking down your own body fat to fuel the body's normal, everyday functions. What's So Great About Being In Ketosis? Establishing this metabolic state of ketosis even for a short period of time has many outstanding benefits. Benefit 1 The main benefit of ketosis is that it increases the body's ability to utilize fats for fuel, which gets very lazy on a high-carbohydrate diet. When on high-carbohydrate diets, the body can usually expect an energy source to keep entering the body. But in the state of ketosis, the body has to become efficient at mobilizing fats as energy. Benefit 2 Ketosis has a protein-sparing effect, assuming that you are consuming adequate quantities of protein and calories—0.7 grams per pound of body weight per day—in the first place.[1] Once in ketosis, the body actually prefers ketones to glucose. Since the body has copious quantities of fat, this means there is no need to oxidize protein to generate glucose through gluconeogenesis. Benefit 3 Another benefit has to do with the low levels of insulin in the body, which causes greater lipolysis and free-glycerol release compared to a normal diet when insulin is around 80-120. Insulin has a lipolysis-blocking effect, which can inhibit the use of fatty acids as energy. Also, when insulin is brought to low levels, beneficial hormones are released in the body, such as growth hormone and other powerful growth factors. Benefit 4 Another small but very important benefit of the ketogenic diet is that when in the state of ketosis, ketones, alon Continue reading >>

Advanced Ketogenic Dieting

Advanced Ketogenic Dieting

There is a lot of confusion out there when it comes to ketogenic dieting. All around us we have hundreds of books, so many experts, endless opinions from people who have done it themselves and posted their views online. Right now the water is exceedingly muddied. The goal of this article it to not only give a clear view on the keto protocols but also lay out an sound tried and true protocol along with a systematic way to set it up. Ketogenic Dieting Defined Lets start this off talking about what ketogenic dieting means and doesn’t mean. A lot of people think that keto means eating low carbs. Some people think it means just eating protein. Ketogenic dieting is achieved by getting into ketosis, and that is a process that the body has to go through. Eating low carbs or only eating protein, etc, doesn’t mean the body will get into ketosis. Generally speaking being keto means that someone has limited their carbohydrate intake to extremely low levels until their body runs out of stored glycogen causing the body to start making ketones (fats) to run on. THAT is what the main goal of a ketogenic diet is- being in ketosis and a state of using fat for fuel. We all have glycogen (carbs) stored in our liver, and when we limit carb consumption our liver kicks out stored glycogen to fuel our activity. When that liver glycogen runs out that is when the body flips the switch and starts making ketones for us to use as energy. Ketones are fractionated fats that yield 7 cals per gram (regular fats yield 9 calories per gram when used for energy). This is very interesting because when we are eating a carb based diet, carbs give us 4 calories per carb eaten to burn for energy. Being in a ketogenic state we are burning 7 calories per ketone….meaning we are burning more energy at rest. I Continue reading >>

How Much Protein Do I Need: Protein Myths Busted

How Much Protein Do I Need: Protein Myths Busted

How Much Protein Do I Need: Protein Myths Busted When Clients Ask, Why Do I Need Protein, Can You Answer? As a trainer, youve heard it all when it comes to protein. There are myths galore about protein, from too much is damaging to your body to the idea that protein isnt important unless youre a serious lifter. Lets take a closer look at the function and role of protein, controversial myths, and offer some tips on protein intake. Then, youll be able to answer the question, how much protein do I really need. Protein is an essential nutrient that plays a huge role in helping to keep clients healthy. Further, its essential to building muscle mass. While some clients might be quick to jump on a high protein diet, others might do the opposite due to preferences or belief in myths. Either way, dietary protein consists of amino acids that are responsible for everything. For example, our structure, hormones, enzymes, and immune chemicals all need protein. Because theres such an ongoing functional need for amino acids, keeping a consistent pool of them is like keeping a sink full without a drain plug. Theyre constantly lost as theyre broken down which means theres an ongoing need to consume a diet high in protein rich foods. This is especially the case in goals that involve muscle growth and weight loss. Our clients must realize protein supplies the building blocks of muscle and connective tissue (like ligaments and tendons). So, in the case of resistance training, the body is intentionally breaking down muscle tissue to force it to adapt and build bigger or stronger lean body mass. Therefore, achieving a specific protein intake each day is essential for health, fitness, and weight loss goals. Oftentimes, clients looking for weight loss will consider a low-carb, high-protein di Continue reading >>

Ketogenic Diet: Your Complete Meal Plan And Supplement Guide

Ketogenic Diet: Your Complete Meal Plan And Supplement Guide

So you've heard the arguments, weighed out the challenges and benefits, and decided you're all in. You're going keto. First off, you're in good company. More people—and more athletes—than ever are embracing a very low-carb, high-fat diet and sticking with it for months, or even years, on end. Once they successfully make the switch from using carbohydrates to using fat and ketones for fuel, they find they're leaner, healthier, and more mentally focused than ever. But for every lifter who ends up loving this approach, you'll find another who had a miserable experience and bailed after just a few days. This is a shame, because they probably could have felt great if they had simply had a better plan—or a plan at all. I'm not here to sell you on nutritional ketosis or explain what it is or the big-picture benefits it can provide. That's the domain of other articles. With the help of Myoplex athlete and longtime keto-adapted athlete Jason Wittrock, I'm here to provide you with your best induction experience. Here's what you need to know to ace your nutrition and supplementation during the crucial first month of ketogenic dieting, along with a complete sample meal plan! Your Must-Have (And Must-Not-Have) Keto Food List Feeling ready to start buying groceries? Slow down there, chief. Go through the pantry, fridge, freezer, and secret stashes under the bed, and get rid of foods with any significant carb content. In the first few days, you could end up craving them—badly. Sorry, no fruit for now. Even carrots and onions are too high-glycemic to work with keto, Wittrock says. Got that done? Cool. Now, here are some of the staples you should build your ketogenic diet around: Fatty nuts and seeds: cashews, macadamia nuts, pumpkin seeds Avocado Whole eggs Full-fat cheese Beef Continue reading >>

A Comprehensive Guide To Bodybuilding On The Ketogenic Diet

A Comprehensive Guide To Bodybuilding On The Ketogenic Diet

A common belief among bodybuilders is that carbohydrates are essential for building the best physiques. However, carbohydrates have little to do with the success of many bodybuilders. The key to improving body composition is not through little intricacies like eating the right amount of carbs at the right times. The best bodies are built by implementing five simple principles, whether you are on the ketogenic diet or not. The Five Most Important Bodybuilding Principles The bodybuilding world is filled with radical concepts, silly supplements, and plenty of bro science, but these things — regardless of how hotly debated they are — may only provide you with a 1 to 2% boost in results. What you are really looking for is the tried and true bodybuilding principles that are backed by decades of science. The best results come from following the simple principles that will give you 80% of the results for the price of some hard work and discipline, not that $50 supplement that only leads to a 1% boost in performance. Here are the five principles every bodybuilder must follow: Train hard enough. You must give your muscles a stimulus to grow. Eat enough protein. You must give your muscles the building blocks they need to grow and your body the energy it needs to function. Eat the right amount of calories. Whether you want to cut body fat or increase muscle mass, it is important to eat the right amount of calories. On the ketogenic diet, you will manipulate your calorie consumption by eating more or less fat. Take care of your hormones. Resistance training, adequate nutrition, essential fatty acids and proper sleep should be your primary focus to increase your testosterone and HGH. Too much stress will put your body into a catabolic state that breaks down muscle for energy. Dri Continue reading >>

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