23. What to Eat
Eating more calories to gain muscle is what gymbros call “bulking.” As we stated earlier, protein supplementation offers only a minute advantage and has drawbacks in terms of making your body produce more toxic ketones, which may strain the kidneys and affect the heart.
Eating more protein seems to be okay, however, so long as it is proportional to your increased caloric intake. In other words, if it comes along with the extra food, it’s okay, but unless you’re temporarily eating more protein to lose weight, you shouldn’t seek out a higher proportion of protein than you would normally eat.
You shouldn’t add any fat to your diet because high fat diets make people struggle with sleep. According to a University of Adelaide survey of 1,800 Australian men aged 35-80 over a 12-month period, “[m]en who consume diets high in fat are more likely to feel sleepy during the day [and] to report sleep problems at night.” Getting good sleep is important because, as we stated earlier, good sleep keeps you from being fat and enables you to lift more, which over time should contribute to making you leaner, stronger, and more muscular.
There are ways to increase your caloric intake without increasing the amount of fat you eat. For example, if you normally drink a pint of whole milk per day and want to bulk, you can drink double the amount of milk, but use 2% milk so that you get the same amount of fat, but more milk sugar and protein.
Fiber is good because it helps you sleep and digest things well. The best sources in my opinion are Wheaties, Psyllium fiber (Metamucil), or glucomannan. The last one helps with appetite suppression, if losing weight is your goal.
You should eat extra carbs when bulking. As for which carbs exactly, it seems sensible to model one’s diet on four-time World’s Strongest Man Brian Shaw. You shouldn’t eat the portions he does unless you want to weigh over 400 lbs., but you can eat the same foods. According to one video, his diet consists mostly of white rice, beef, eggs, sweet potatoes, and a little spinach. The following shopping list is modeled on that:
2-3 pounds of never-frozen raw beef hamburger, 85% lean or higher
A rotisserie chicken
A dozen cage-free eggs
Jasmine rice or Basmati rice
Spinach or spring mix
A non-sugar high fiber cereal like Cheerios or Wheaties
Psyllium fiber (Metamucil) or glucomannan
A gallon of reduced fat milk
Guacamole or Avocadoes
Broccoli & cauliflower mix
Loaf of white bread
Collagen protein supplement
You should have a staple shopping list like this from which you can reprovision your refrigerator every week so that you can eat healthier and save money instead of eating out. It’s not necessary to limit yourself to the food on your shopping list, but you should get most of your calories from it.
If you buy a rotisserie chicken and two pounds of beef as I prescribe, then you could eat the chicken in the first two days and cook the beef on the third day and feed off of it for the rest of the week. For the record, the US Department of Agriculture recommends not keeping cooked hamburger in the refrigerator for over four days, so throw out what remains on the fifth day. You should store meat in a glass container which won’t leach potentially hormone-disrupting phthalates into the food like plastic containers will, but it’s good to have a plastic lid which will seal the container effectively.
Basmati rice from India has more calories, so if you’re bulking, it may be a good choice, but jasmine rice has less, so if you want to lose weight, it may be a better option.
Foods that benefit testosterone include lean beef, chicken, eggs, celery, spinach, sauerkraut, oatmeal, broccoli, cauliflower, guacamole (avocados), and carrots.
The healthiest cooking oil in my opinion is avocado oil, because its nutrients are good for your skin, but olive, coconut, palm kernel, and hazelnut oils are good, too. Avoid oils that are high in polyunsaturated fat, because studies show they lower testosterone, which won’t interfere with gains because testosterone doesn’t have much influence on muscle growth, but it does have influence on metabolism, which can make you fat. Oils with a lot of polyunsaturated fat that can make you fat include sunflower, safflower, grapeseed, soybean, corn, margarine, and walnut oils, and to a lesser extent peanut, sesame, and canola oils.
Other foods that lower testosterone are mint (including peppermint and spearmint), licorice, alcohol, flaxseed, alcohol, almonds, walnuts, sugar, and hydrogenated vegetable oils. The latter two are often found in cookies, muffins, doughnuts, and other pastries.
Nuts that don’t lower testosterone if eaten in moderation include macadamia nuts, cashews, and pecans.
Of course, not everyone eats meat or dairy. If you are a vegetarian or vegan and need a diet plan, I recommend Cory McCarthy’s channel. As I stated in section 20, I don’t agree with the diet, but McCarthy is pro-white, so if you’re going to learn about the diet from someone, it might as well be him. Dietary differences aren’t as serious as political ones, and of course I don’t advocate ostracizing someone because of their dietary convictions.
24. When to Eat
Eating a balanced diet of around 40% calories from carbs, 30% from fat, and 30% from protein is healthiest. If one were to divide this into three meals per day, then we’d have Graph A. In real life it’s hard to parse out this exact balance, so if you’re like most people and don’t want to spend all that time measuring exact amounts, then just try to eat a balanced meal.
Eating a lot of fat at night is bad because it takes longer to digest and may interfere with sleep. Thus, it’s best to eat proportionately more fat in the morning and less in the evening.
Protein is more complicated. One study showed that mice who ate more protein in the morning had better muscle growth. The effect translates to humans, as grip strength correlates with morning protein intake. However, another study showed protein eaten before bed is “effectively digested and absorbed, thereby stimulating muscle protein synthesis and improving whole-body protein balance during postexercise overnight recovery.” Still another study showed 40 grams of protein (which is a lot) was the minimum amount to take at night to see gains from doing so. However, the same study showed that spacing protein intake out evenly throughout the day was best. That’s what Arnold Schwarzenegger did. The reason spacing it out is best yet taking it before bed can help as well is that during 6-8 hours’ sleep at night, the body misses out on protein absorption, so loading up on it before bed may somewhat mitigate this. Protein late at night, however, may interfere with sleep. High-protein foods like chicken or beef that take a long time to break down may interfere with your efforts to fall asleep. What’s more, processed cheeses and meats “contain tyramine, which triggers the release of norepinephrine, which may stimulate the brain.” If you try eating protein at night, it’s best to choose an easily-digestible form such as collagen protein or skim milk. However, if you’re a poor sleeper and/or if ingesting protein before bed interferes with your sleep, it’s not worth it, because good sleep is correlated with higher income, sound mental health, and not getting fat. Oh, and beauty rest is a real thing, too. You’ll be able to gain those muscles eventually, anyway. It may just take a little longer. Regardless, gains in muscle shouldn’t be exchanged for losses in sleep.
Eating starches, especially jasmine rice, four hours before bed can make you fall asleep easier. It’s probably not a good idea to load up on starches before bed, though. It’s best to eat them consistently throughout the day, since eating most of your daily food intake before bed can interfere with sleep.
By eating more fat in the morning and midday and eating starches and protein evenly throughout the day, one can optimize the timing of caloric intake for gains. This is what we see in Graph B.
But what about timing food intake from day to day? Research shows muscles peak in growth 24 hours after working out. According to MacDougall, et al:
Muscle protein [synthesis] is elevated in humans by 50% at 4 hrs following a bout of heavy resistance training, by 109% at 24 hrs following training . . . and thereafter declines rapidly so that at 36 hrs it has almost returned to baseline.
Graph C. below, based on this study, illustrates the effect of working different muscles groups at the same time two days in a row and the trajectory of cumulative elevated protein synthesis (muscle growth) from each workout. It’s best not to exercise all muscles in one day because it’s hard on the joints. Sleep helps to rest and energize them for the next day. You also need to rest on the third day, because your joints need at least two days a week where they don’t have to lift weights.
Graph C. allows for continual bulk, but what if someone wants to bulk and cut and the same time? By bunching together an evening workout with a morning workout, as shown in Graph D. below, you can make cumulative muscle protein synthesis higher during the second day.
However, there is no point in bunching workouts together via the evening-morning method if you eat the regular time-healthy diet because your diet won’t be adapted to the greater cumulative elevated muscle protein synthesis, as you can see in Graph E.
Therefore, if you’re going to try to bunch your workouts together in an evening-morning manner to boost cumulative muscle protein synthesis to its highest point the second day, then you must adapt your diet by bulking the second day through the morning of the third day and then begin cutting calories in the afternoon of the third day until you work out again. This way, you can bulk and cut at the same time and do so in a manner that is healthiest for your body. Notice that we keep fat intake regular and early. Protein and carbs vary, but if you aren’t a good sleeper, then taking protein at night, as illustrated in Graph F., may not be a good idea, since it can interfere with sleep if taken late at night.
25. The Relevance (or Irrelevance?) of Testosterone Supplements
As we’ve stated, testosterone levels don’t significantly impact muscle growth. Thus, companies marketing natural products that increase testosterone levels to improve muscle gains are doing so from a false assumption. Because testosterone boosts one’s metabolism, however, they may be justified in promoting their products as weight loss aids.
Synthetic testosterone, on the other hand, has been found to reduce sperm quality, so if you are young and planning on having kids, don’t take it.
26. Caffeine: The Good and the Bad
Studies show caffeine boosts muscle growth, so it serves a function beyond just getting you amped up in pre-workout supplements. Another study showed that coffee, the most popular caffeinated beverage, boosts muscle growth. Muscle growth isn’t everything, though. This is worth noting given that most of caffeine’s side effects seem to be negative. The fitness industry sells caffeinated pre-workout, which is something TikTok imbeciles have tried eating dry and often to their own peril. If you’re a coffee drinker or indulge in energy drinks, and if you feel good consuming these things, then if you keep taking them, they’ll help with gains. It’s probably best not to overindulge in them given caffeine’s negative side-effects, however, and it’s not sensible in my opinion to take caffeine just to enhance muscle gains. Pre-workout supplements, which are a powder you scoop out and dump into a drink, often have caffeine, and while this may help energize you and contribute to gains, it doesn’t seem to be healthy in the long term.
27. Lavender and tea tree Oils Spoil Testosterone
Lavender and tea tree oils, which are found in all-natural shampoos, soaps, and essential oils, are hormone disruptors and reduce testosterone levels. Generally, when looking to buy all-natural shampoos, soaps, and essential oils, it’s not a bad idea to search on Google to find out whether their ingredients lower testosterone.
Vitamin needs differ from person to person according to genes. Consider having your genes analyzed by a company like 23andme and uploading the data to Genomelink, where you can get a personalized report of dietary and supplement recommendations.
Having said this, supplementing with some vitamins may not be good for building muscle. One study showed that supplementation with vitamins C and E reduced muscle growth. However, it doesn’t seem necessary to avoid eating foods containing these vitamins, because the 2017 World’s Strongest Man, Eddie Hall, consumes several vitamin C-rich fruits each day along with two liters of vitamin C-rich cranberry juice. If he can perform at such an elite level and eat these things, they must not be holding him back significantly.
Vitamin D3 seems like a good supplement, because one study found that it improved muscle strength up to 18.8%. Vitamin D supplements would be especially important in the winter, when there is less sunlight for our skin to convert into vitamin D.
29. Herbs and Supplements for Overall Health, and the Effect of Smoking
When experimenting with herbal supplements, it’s good to research their effect, if any, on health. This may include their effect on muscle gains, testosterone, and fertility. An efficient way to do this is to search the herb’s name, your concern, and “pubmed” or “researchgate” into the engine’s search bar. This enables you to cut directly to peer-reviewed studies and avoid snake-oil salesmen making questionable claims.
Resveratrol is the best supplement for overall health, in my opinion. One study found that it mimics the effects of caloric restriction on reducing the effect of aging in mice. Another found that it increases testosterone and improves male fertility. Importantly for lifting weights, it has been found to prevent age-related loss of muscle mass. Resveratrol is found in grapes and red wine, but one study in Italy found that people who drank more red wine were in no better health than those who didn’t. This may be because red wine has only 1-2 mg of resveratrol per serving, and an effective dose is at least 100 mg. A way to get a dose that high is to take supplements of Japanese Knotweed, which usually contain 100 to 500 mg of resveratrol per serving. The only thing is that if you’re on blood thinners, resveratrol is not recommended.
Alpha Ketoglutarate, commonly sold in supplement form as Alpha Ketoglutaric Acid (AKG), has been shown to extend the lives of worms and mice. The brand Rejuvant claims its AKG supplement reversed signs of DNA methylation, which is correlated with age. However, the study was not double-blind or performed in accordance with the scientific method, so better studies are needed. Regardless, it appears from what we know that AKG may reduce aging. I wouldn’t buy that damned Rejuvant product, because to sponsor a non-scientific study like that and charge the exorbitant amount they do for it is emotional manipulation. It’s best to get AKG from another company for a tenth the cost.
Smoking more or less does the opposite of AKG. Lifelong smokers die a decade earlier on average, but the sooner you quit, the better the prognosis for longevity. One only need look at photos of twins where one smokes and the other doesn’t to see its aging-enhancing effect.
Many people like the way L-Arginine boosts nitric oxide, because it makes them feel good. Super Beets also boasts its product boosts nitric oxide levels. Many people think nitric oxide contributes to muscle growth. However, a study showed it doesn’t help with muscle growth.
30. Are Painkillers Gainkillers?
The most popular painkiller in the US is ibuprofen, which is the main ingredient in the popular over-the-counter brand Advil. One study showed a high dose of 1,200 mg of ibuprofen taken every day reduced muscle growth, but another study showed a more moderate dose of 400mg of ibuprofen per day didn’t reduce muscle growth. The recommended dose of ibuprofen for a headache, according to VeryWell, is 200-400 mg, so you don’t need to worry about it reducing gains if you take 200-400 mg in one day, but if you take over 400 mg within a 24-hour span, especially if you take as much as 1,200 mg, it could reduce your gains by half. If you happen to take that much, note that ibuprofen will take 24 hours to get out of your system. In sum, don’t hesitate to relieve your headache by taking the recommended dose of ibuprofen before exercising, but if you need to take 3-6 times the recommended single dose within a 24-hour period, it could count against your muscle gains, so it may be sensible to postpone working out until 24 hours pass and it is out of your system.
The second-most popular painkiller by market share is acetaminophen or Tylenol. The same study which showed that 1,200 mg per day of ibuprofen reduced gains also showed that 4,000 mg of acetaminophen reduced muscle gains. However, Tylenol recommends two 500 mg tablets (or 1,000 mg total) to treat a headache, which is well under 4,000 mg. I couldn’t say whether taking 1,000 mg for one day or each day would impact muscle growth, but it doesn’t seem like something to worry about, especially if you don’t take it regularly and just for occasional headaches.
One study showed that doses of 1,200 mg of ibuprofen and 4,000 mg of acetaminophen didn’t impair muscle growth in elderly adults, so older guys probably don’t need to worry about the effects of either drug.
The third most popular over-the-counter painkiller in the US is naproxen (Aleve). One study showed that long-term use didn’t hamper “positive morphological adaptations of the upper body in response to resistance training,” which I take to mean muscle growth. However, they don’t specify the dose they gave the participants.
The fourth most popular painkiller in the US is aspirin, the most common brand name of which is Bayer Aspirin. Its technical name is acetylsalicylic acid. One study measured how a daily dose of 75 mg affected muscle growth among men and women aged 18-35 and found it had no effect. According to the Mayo Clinic, healthcare providers usually suggest a dose of 75 mg per day to prevent heart attack and stroke for elderly individuals, who have a greater risk of these things, so if you take a maintenance dose, it won’t interfere with lifting, but the amount someone would take for, say, a headache or other type of pain can be as high as 650 mg, and unfortunately I can’t find any studies concerning that dose’s effect on muscle growth.
31. Allergy Medications
One study found that a 540 mg dose of fexofenadine (Allegra), a popular over-the-counter allergy medication, blunted the function of 27% of genes activated after vigorous exercise. The problem with the study is that the dose was three times the recommended dose, so the effect, if any, of the recommended dose is not known.
I couldn’t find studies on other popular over-the-counter allergy medications such as Zyrtec, Claritin, or Benadryl.
Take the allergy medication your doctor prescribes, especially if you have asthma, which can be life-threatening. In the meantime, hopefully they will do more studies on the effect of allergy medications on muscle gains.
32. Not So Alimentary Weight Loss Tips
When it comes to losing weight, slow and steady wins the race. Studies show that losing it slowly works better, so skipping a couple of hundred calories per day rather than 1,000 or more will be more successful in the long run.
Diet pills are prescription drugs that aid weight loss. Doctors prescribe them for obese people. If you want them, consult your doctor.
Losing weight may have to do with getting away from bad influences. Researchers from Harvard Medical School and the University of California at San Diego have found that obesity is literally contagious. Interacting with a fat person makes you fat — even over the phone, where they can’t monger junk food on you. I wouldn’t avoid fat people, but you may want to avoid making friends at fast-food restaurants. In other words, you should avoid adding any more to your life. You can also help those who you know already to lose weight.
Another thing that can make you fat is living near airports or noisy freeways. The noise causes the brain to produce cortisol, the stress hormone, which makes you gain weight. It’s best to live in a quiet area and not sleep with a television or radio on.
Interestingly, one study also showed that noise caused Korean students to score lower on IQ tests, so it probably makes you dumber as well.
33. Personalized Coaching as Good as Gold
If you want personalized instruction, there is one Rightist who may want to coach you. Marcus Follin, aka The Golden One of YouTube fame, is a nationalist. He did an interview with Counter-Currents Editor-in-Chief Greg Johnson in 2020 concerning his book Dauntless. I’m not sure if he offers individualized coaching, but his book could undoubtedly be a source of inspiration. It’s important to note that he does squats and doesn’t agree with me on everything, but he’s smart and sensible enough to be a good trainer overall.
34. Getting an Aesthetic Percentage of Fat and Muscle
Some people take “cutting” or losing weight too far and develop an abnormally low amount of body fat. This makes your face look abnormal, and is not only unattractive to women but unhealthy. What looks good also is good for men’s health. The body needs a certain amount of fat to function on an even keel. Depriving it of that makes it not work as well.
Unless you’re lifting to be the next World’s Strongest Man or a to be a Mr. Universe bodybuilder, then don’t try to get really big. The Spartans were the ultimate warriors, and contemporary reports suggest that they were lean. What’s more, studies show that men like male physiques that are bigger and bulkier than what women like. Most women like lean male torsos that are moderately muscled. This is adaptive from an evolutionary perspective, because young men are leaner on average, and young men have better sperm quality because their sperm has better motility and their DNA is less mutated, other things being equal, because their body hasn’t been around long enough to make as many errors in copying DNA.
In sum, for health and attractiveness, it’s better to compare your physique to typically lean baseball and hockey players rather than typically bulky bodybuilders or American football players.
35. Reasons to Avoid Steroids
Anyone who prioritizes overall health above becoming muscular must reject anabolic steroids. According to the National Institutes of Health, possible side-effects include decreased sperm production, gynecomastia (man boobs), shrinking of the testicles, male-pattern baldness, testicular cancer, liver tumors, tendon injuries, mania, delusions, aggression (‘roid rage), high blood pressure, blood clots, heart attacks (steroid user Zyzz died from one), stroke, and artery damage. Spare yourself these possibilities and instead go on creatine, which is safe for most, if not all, people, and has none of these side-effects.
Steroids also make you less attractive to women. The abnormal amount of muscle is a turn-off to most of them. The most abnormal effect of steroids is to enlarge the trapezius muscles, or “traps,” which run from your shoulders to the side of your neck, and which you use to perform shoulder shrugs. Creatine offers a more natural look.
36. Keep Your Eye on the Prize
Doing repetitive movements gets old fast, but you can’t improve unless you do them. While going through the drudgery, keep your eye on the prize. Arnold Schwarzenegger said that unlike most guys who grumbled and grimaced during their workouts, he smiled after each set, because he knew he was one step closer to his fitness goal. Often in life, pursuing pain for a good cause leads to pleasure, and pursuing pleasure for its own sake leads to pain. Front-loading the pleasure may not be a bad idea as you seek to derive joy from your workouts.
Have faith that one day you’ll reach your goals. Along the way, you’ll see yourself getting bigger and stronger. You’ll be able to compete against your totals the last time you lifted. Working out could give you a model physique and make you a lot stronger, and it could add to your confidence levels, but you won’t know until you put in the work. To quote Aristotle, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.”
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