How to Gain Muscle on a Paleo Diet (The Paleolithic or Caveman Diet Muscles GainingTips)
Gaining muscle on a Paleolithic diet, or “caveman diet”, is a phenomenon that has caught the fitness world on fire in recent years. The idea is that an athlete will eat only basically foods that were available in the Paleolithic era, ie. Meats, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and berries, No processed foods or drinks are allowed on this regimen, and it is proving to be a healthy way of life for many people, athletes and non-athletes alike. Fat loss is also quite common among Paleo dieters.
So how does one make the Paleo diet work for building muscle?
Protein, and lots of it. Amino acids, the building blocks of protein, are necessary in abundance to build and repair broken down muscle fibers, aiding in new muscle growth. Good sources of protein for paleo include lean beef, chicken, and fish. I should mention there are other great sources of protein, such as eggs, milk, whey, etc, but Paleo does not allow dairy... so we move on. A rule of thumb as far as daily protein intake for a bodybuilder would be a gram to a gram and a half per bound of lean body mass. This may seem like quite a substantial amount of protein, but it has proven successful in building solid muscle mass.
If the amino acids in protein repair and build broken down muscle fibers, what breaks them down in the first place? You guessed it, resistance training. Whether it's powerlifting, bodybuilding, strength and conditioning, even body weight exercises, you MUST break down the muscles in order to rebuild them. Concentrate on using basic compound movements in and out of the gym to get the most bang for your buck. Deep squats and leg presses for the quads, deadlifts for the hamstrings and back thickness, chin-ups and pull-ups for back width and bicep growth. Flat and incline bench presses for all around chest growth. Parallel bar dips for lower chest and triceps. Overhead military dumbbell or barbell presses for shoulders and of course, ab works for the core. Think CAVEMAN MOVE STONE.
Next, what's all this high carb, low carb stuff you've been hearing about? Forget it. Just concentrate on getting your fruits and vegetables in every day. These nutritious and delicious God given foods from the earth will provide you with your appropriate carbohydrate portions for the day. Green leafy vegetables, carrots, even sweet potatoes are perfectly acceptable, and amazingly enjoyable to eat (especially for those of us who haven't had any sweets in a long while!)
You need fats. WHAT? Yep, you need fats, the healthy ones. Omega fatty acids can be found in fish or in supplement form. Nuts such as almonds can give you a nice boost in the healthy fat department, as well as olive oil and coconut oil. I realize that “healthy fat” seems to be a bit of an oxymoron, but these fats are essential to the production of hormones such as testosterone, which is obviously great for building muscle.
Did we forget to consume something during all of this eating? Ah yes, good quality H2O and plenty of it. Many bodybuilders and strength athletes will easily go through a gallon or more of water each and every day. Water is, as you know, essential in just about every function your body performs, as most of that gorgeous body is comprised primarily of water. Also, dehydration is a VERY quick way to get yourself sick and out of the gym in a hurry, so just opt for the water drinking, and keep training.
After a long day of all this eating, drinking, and training, you already know what the final piece of the puzzle is. Sleep. Cavemen slept, probably as much as they possibly could before going back out to find the various food sources that were around. Eight hours per night is the general recommendation, and anything less could prove detrimental to an active person's lifestyle, goals, and overall health. Remember, muscle is built while you are at rest, not in the gym, so go to sleep.