Steroids, Lifestyle, and Muscle Gain

I was at a friend’s birthday party two weeks ago and everyone there was convinced I use steroids. They just did not believe it was possible to put on quality muscle without steroids.

I explained to them that I don’t use steroids, not because I have something against them, but I simply don’t really know that much about them.

Then they asked, “Well then, if not for steroids, how are you able to build that body of yours?”

And I responded with the following explanation:

(1)   People in America are confused about what fitness is. For most people, fitness equals nothing more than fat burning pills and a gym membership.

(2)   People put too much emphasis on working out. Working out is the least important factor in healthy living and achieving the body you’ve always wanted. In fact, working out ranks 4th on the fitness hierarchy of needs pyramid. Being motivated to live a healthy lifestyle is first, having solid lifestyle habits is second, having great eating habits is third, and working out is forth. That’s

right, working out is the least important when compared to the other factors listed.

Then they asked me what I ate on a daily basis, and I answered by giving them an outline of my daily schedule and how my eating and supplement routine formed around that daily schedule. The most important factor to consider is that I’ve been following this eating schedule for that past 8 years of my life. And I mean every single day. I’m not even exaggerating!

So, here is how it goes:

7:30am: Wake up and take pre-workout supplements

Wake up. Have clothing ready the night before near bed and put them right on. While answering emails, which take me no more than 10 minutes, I drink 40grams of Whey protein isolate mixed with 30grams of BCAA, and another 10grams of L-Glutamine.

After drinking the above protein mix, I prepare another customized protein drink to take with me to the gym. In the drink I take to the gym, I have the following ingredients: 50grams of Whey Protein Isolate, mixed with 30grams of BCAA, another 10grams of L-Glutamine, all mixed with about 20oz of Grape Juice. If you’re looking to cut weight, I would use water instead of the Grape Juice.

8:00am: Get to the gym and workout.

I get to the gym and workout. Throughout my workout I sip on the drink I’ve listed above. I usually time it with my workout. 20% through the workout, I’m about 20% done with the drink. 50% through the workout, I’m about 50% done with the drink. This is an important factor which helps to increase nutrient absorption. Since the protein drink is so dense with nutrients, it’s not a good idea to down it all at once because your body will not be able to absorb that many nutrients at one time. Especially since all the nutrients are in their pure state.

Why have a protein shake during the workout?

For the post workout supplements, a lot of people make the mistake of finishing the workout completely, before taking their post-workout supplements. This is a huge mistake that really hinders muscle growth. Muscle break down begins to occur with the first set of exercises and continues throughout the entire workout. Plus, if you bring the protein mix gradually throughout the workout, you'll get better nutrient absorption as compared to just downing the whole mix instantly at the end.

Remember, you’re bodybuilding not body destroying. 

To consistently build a body, you always need a surplus of all nutrients. Being in a deficit of any nutrients will simply cause you to

lose muscle and gain fat. It’s that simply. Make sure to understand that concept. To assure that this deficit does not occur, make sure to sip on a protein drink throughout the entire workout, from start to finish.

Lets continue.

9:00am: Finished with the workout. Drive home.

9:15am: I get home and have my post workout meal right away. 

This is already prepared the night before. For my post workout meal I have 2000-3000mg of vitamin C, 400IU of vitamin E, 20oz of cold green tea, 1500mg of Omega-3s, 30-40grams of beef, chicken, or egg whites, and 70-80grams of Quinoa or Brown Rice. Once again, timing is the most important. I get this meal in before I even take a shower. Make sure to get it in right away. If you wait longer than 20 minutes post workout, muscle will begin die. 

Why take Vitamin C and E post-workout?

Vitamin C and E are important because of their anti-oxidant qualities. When you go through tough workouts, oxidants/ cortisal

is produced. Oxidants and cortisol destroy muscle mass and make your skin look old. Basically, oxidants and cortisol are what ages you and gives you an “old” appearance, and cortisol destroys muscles. To counter that problem, I simply have a lot of anti-oxidants post-workout. The Green tea is a rich source of anti-oxidants also. The more sources you get your anti-oxidants from the better off you’ll be.

Note: it’s very important to have a lot of nutrients centered around your workouts. The timing is even more important. Whey Isolate takes about 30 minutes to be broken down and actually used by your body. That’s why I have a Whey Isolate 30 minutes before my workout.

Critics: Some people would say you’re getting in too much protein at once. This is not true at all. People forget that the human body is not efficient at digesting protein products. There is a 20% burn off rate during the digestive process. What this means is that when you take in 30grams of protein, you’re body is actually only getting 24grams of protein. That’s 6grams less than what you intended to get. That 6grams, accumulated through years of intense training, can make a huge difference in your quantity and quality of gains.

Now, to put it into even more realistic terms, let’s say you have a fresh chicken breast which is about 50grams of protein. After you cook the chicken breast, you’re left with only about 40grams (depending on how you cook it). After you eat the chicken breast, your digestive system burns off another 8grams of protein; thus, your body actually gets only 32grams of protein.

50grams at start = 32grams post-digestion. That’s 18grams LOST!!!! That’s huge and you must calculate for that

You must calculate for this fact when measuring out your protein intake. Most people don’t take that into their calculation, resulting in massive muscle loss and lower motivation levels.

1-2pm: I have about 40grams of beef or chicken and about 50grams of Brown Rice or Quinoa. I also take about 1200mg of


5pm: I have about 3cups of green vegetables with almonds and maybe an Iso-Pure RTD.

8pm: I have my dinner which is composed of 40grams of beef or chicken and about 50grams of Brown rice or Quinoa and another cup of green vegetables. I also have a few slices of cheese and 1200mg of Omega-3s.

As you can see, I condense all my nutrients around my workout. The workout interval is the most important time to be nutrient conscious. That’s when muscle breakdown happens, and the only way to counter that is not by working out more but by consuming a large amount of nutrients before and after the workout.

Concluding Statement:

And that’s about it. It’s pretty simple in general. Where most people fail is just not following it on a daily basis for multiple years in a row. They follow it maybe for a month and expect to look like the guys in the magazines. It just doesn’t work like that. To get the most out of this type of eating program, you really have to do it every single day for a decade or two while training hard in the gym.

Other notes to consider:

(1)   I workout about 5-6 days a week.

(2)   I’m 200lbs at about 8-10% body fat.

(3)   I have a naturally high metabolism.

(4)   I’m 26.

(5)   This is my general diet. This is not my “lean, get ripped” diet. That diet is dramatically different.