9 Nutrition Rules for Building Muscle | Jim Stoppani’s Shortcut to Strength

Training for strength doesn’t mean diet goes out the window. You can absolutely maximize your results with what you eat and the supps you take. Here’s how!
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00:00 – Intro
01:25 – Nutrition Rules
04:59 – Macronutrient Blueprint
06:30 – Pre/Post Nutrient Timing
11:30 – Nutrient Protocols
14:05 – Outro

Rule 1 – Eat Plenty of Protein
Protein is the main driver of muscle growth and should be the number one priority in your nutrition plan. Strive for at least 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight, and consider going as high as 1.5 grams per pound, especially when following an intense training regimen like this one.

Rule 2 – Eat (Protein) Frequently
Recent research suggests that consuming protein every 4-6 hours is optimal to maximize muscle growth, not 3 hours like I’ve told you to before. Why? This timeframe supposedly provides your muscle machinery with the resources it needs to maximize growth while also ensuring it has an adequate ”break” soon after before repeating the process.

Rule 3 – Get Ample Fats
If protein is your highest priority, fat is next on the list. It plays a major role in supporting muscle growth, health, and performance, so don’t neglect it—period. My rule for fat intake is to consume half your body weight per day in grams of fat. That means a 180-pound individual will strive to consume 90 grams of fat per day.

Rule 4 – Manipulate Carbs
Everyone’s body responds to carbohydrates differently, so after you set your protein and fat intake, experiment with your carbohydrate intake to determine what works best for you. Aiming for 1.5-2.0 grams of carbohydrates per pound of body weight (on a training day at minimum) is a solid starting place.

Rule 5 – Macronutrients Over Calories
I’m not a huge stickler on calorie amounts. Yes, calorie intake is important, but rather than focusing on a calories-first approach, I suggest building your diet from the macros up to ensure you’re providing your body with the necessary fuel to support strength gains. If you follow my above rules, your caloric intake will come out to be 15-19 calories per pound of body weight.

Rule 6 – Use a Protein Powder Blend
For me, the only thing better than whey or casein is whey and casein. When you blend these two protein sources, the fast-digesting whey will ensure you rapidly promote an anabolic (muscle-building) environment, while the casein will help you sustain it for a long time—maybe as long as 6-8 hours. This will reduce the time you spend in a state of muscle breakdown and maximize the time spent in a state of growth. To fully round out your protein shake, I suggest the inclusion of medium-speed digesting protein, too.

Rule 7 – Use Fast-Digesting Carbs After Workouts
Carbohydrates are your muscles’ primary fuel source during exercise. The greater the intensity and length of your training, the more the body depletes its carbohydrate stores. This happens! But when it does, you need to rectify it quickly.

Rule 8 – Take the Pre- and Post-Workout Supplement Essentials
BCAAs, Beta-Alanine, Betaine, & Creatine

Rule 9 – Find What Works for you


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Physical strength is a measure of force applied by human beings to physical objects. The best way to get stronger is to train your muscles, which can be done by using weights. It is also possible to build muscle and strength through a plant-based diet.

Many studies have shown that an energy surplus may have a positive impact on muscle and strength gains. In particular, it may have a beneficial effect on the anabolic signal. Although this is not a guarantee, it is a plausible implication.

For a healthy physique, an optimal intake of fat should be between 30% and 40% of total daily calories. It is important to choose natural animal fats, as overly processed liquid fats can be counterproductive.

In the context of strength and muscle training, the tiniest and most obvious difference between the two is the volume of training. Rather than doing hundreds of repetitions, strength trainers often perform more sets at a lower weight. On the other hand, bodybuilders will likely use more repetitions while attempting to achieve the same goal.

A higher dietary carbohydrate intake has been shown to improve the metabolomics of the muscles. This includes the increase in muscle metabolites as well as water content.

Besides increasing metabolites, a higher dietary carbohydrate intake also has the benefit of improving the energy balance of the body. Furthermore, a higher dietary carbohydrate consumption has been shown to lead to greater lean mass.

However, there are other dietary interventions that have been proposed to influence muscle and strength gains. Some of these include the increased consumption of whole foods. Whole foods may be beneficial for the overall health of the individual, but more research is needed to determine whether or not they are indeed more effective than their liquid counterparts.

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