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The Men's Health Hard Body Plan : The Ultimate 12-Week Program for Burning Fat and Building Muscle

The Men's Health Hard Body Plan : The Ultimate 12-Week Program for Burning Fat and Building Muscle

By  Larry Keller

Publisher  Rodale Books

ISBN  9781579542290

Published in  Health, Mind & Body/Nutrition

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Sample Chapter

You Will Get Stronger The Advance Science of Strength

THE BODY OF SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH ABOUT BODYBUILDING—WHEN AND HOW TO LIFT WEIGHTS AND EAT SPECIFIC FOODS—HAS EXPLODED IN THE PAST 30 YEARS. THE HARD-BODY PLAN PROVIDES YOU WITH SOLID, CUTTING-EDGE SCIENCE.

    Thirty years ago, Big Wally down at the seedy gym where the fighters worked out was the expert people turned to for advice on how to build muscle, burn off fat, and get a body into buff shape. Big Wally knew how much iron to pump and how often. Big Wally knew what to eat. Big Wally knew what strange supplements to take. People got results because some of what Big Wally taught was right ... but some was dangerous.

    Today, we know a lot more. Men and women in lab coats at top universities study this stuff. They conduct experiments and develop long-term research projects. Universities have whole departments devoted to different specialties within the field of muscle building and athletic performance. People get doctorates in muscle building. They call it exercise physiology.

    This stuff is a science. And the Hard-Body Plan provides scientific precision from the surest science on the cutting edge.

    We enlisted one of the top muscle docs in the world to draft the weight training program for The Men's Health Hard-Body Plan: Peter W. R. Lemon, Ph.D. He is a professor and head of research on exercise nutrition at the University of Western Ontario in Canada.

    Dr. Lemon was in the vanguard of those studying exercise from a scientific perspective—he started in the late 1960s. He's not just a sci-guy He's a musclehead, too. He lifts weights and has for more than 30 years.

    Over those thirty-some years, he's heard and seen a mishmash of theories on how best to amass muscle and lop off love handles. But we're beyond speculative theories. Science now has definitive answers. You're holding the solid science in your hands.

    Science also knows what you should eat to maximize your weight training muscle gains and to trim your fat. We give you those answers too. And you may be surprised by some of them. "Nutrition is an area that has so much misinformation," says Dr. Lemon. "Everyone thinks it's simple. In reality, it's very complex."

    That being the case, we had another expert, exercise physiology doctoral candidate Thomas Incledon, M.S., R.D., create the eating program for the Hard-Body Plan. Incledon is a registered dietitian, a certified strength and conditioning specialist, and the director of sports nutrition for Human Performance Specialists in Plantation, Florida. He has participated in numerous nutrition studies and written articles on diet and fitness.

    So, what's the upshot of all this expertise? You're going to eat scientifically, and you may enjoy it more than you've ever enjoyed eating in your life. You're going to eat using the most efficient technology for fast muscle building. And you're going to experience results that go far beyond a better-built man in the mirror (but don't worry—that's the key part of the plan).

Muscling into the laboratory

    Along with new findings on how best to build muscle, science has also discovered myriad benefits from lifting weights. The more muscle you add, the higher your metabolism becomes, converting you into a more efficient weight-loss machine. Weight-bearing exercise slows bone loss, which may not seem important now but will be about the time you've lost your hair and your teeth. (Weight training, unfortunately, does not seem to slow loss of hair or teeth.)

    Weight training and other forms of exercise also give you more energy and, of course, strength. Exercise even improves your mood. Skeptical? Well, researchers at Duke University Medical Center concluded that depressed patients who were placed on a 16-week program of exercise showed almost the same improvement as those who were given antidepressant medications or a combination of medications and exercise.

    We're guessing that you want to lose flab and add muscle to look good or feel better. If it also helps you rant less at your wife or kids, that's gravy. So what we give you in the Hard-Body Plan is the latest, soundest thinking on building your body.

    The Hard-Body Plan is your guide, your bible, to building bulk and shedding fat. It is packed with reliable information on how often and how much to lift, how often and how much to eat. Here's an overview. You'll find more in-depth information on these subjects as you dive into the program.

Good Eats

    Here's a feature of the Hard-Body Plan that we know you'll like. You get to eat often. In fact, we insist. Try six or seven times a day. Now, we're not talking six trips through Big Bertha's Bountiful Buffet every day. Because if you did that, the only thing bountiful would be the girth of your gut and the size of your butt.

    But we are saying to eat often and eat less. By chowing down on six or seven easy-to-find or easy-to-fix designer meals and snacks throughout the day, you certainly won't be haunted by hunger as you follow this program. There are many good reasons for doing this, all supported by the latest research.

    Smaller, more frequent meals spaced strategically throughout the day enable your body to get the maximum benefit from food's nutrients and give you the best shot possible at building muscle.

If you gorge yourself at the dinner table, your body simply can't absorb all the nutrients. You literally flush them down the drain.

    Frequent meals, however, parcel out nutrients as needed and help your body maintain an anabolic or tissue-building state. Plus, eating several times a day raises your metabolism because your body has to burn calories to digest the food. This in turn helps you burn body fat. Your body will use those calories as fuel rather than storing them as fat.

    We give you dozens of Hard-Body meals that are not only tasty and varied but also balanced, with a ratio of carbohydrates, protein, and fat that will best enable you to build muscle when you follow our weight training program. The formula is this: 15 percent protein, 20 to 25 percent fat, and the remaining 60 to 65 percent carbs.

    Maybe you were expecting a diet packed with protein. A lot of gym junkies believe that protein powers the path to bigger muscles fast. We know you've heard that. We know that high-protein diets have hit the heights of hype recently ... again. And, in fact, protein is the crucial nutrient for repairing and building muscles. But you probably are getting plenty already.

    The Hard-Body Plan is heavy on carbohydrates because carbs are more easily converted to energy by your body than protein is. Burning carbs for energy means that your body won't have to tap into protein as a source of fuel, so the protein will be available to repair muscle fibers and stimulate muscle growth—just what you want.

You needn't worry that this is a diet that only Kate Moss could love. It's hearty and healthy.

    You might have, for example, a mushroom omelette with a slice of rye bread and some milk, coffee, and grapefruit in the morning; a tuna salad sandwich at lunch; and a chicken breast, baked potato (with butter!), veggies, and strawberries for dinner. Add in three or four hearty snacks—more like mini-meals—throughout the day It's hardly a hardship diet, yet it's one that will help you lose weight when combined with your Hard-Body weight training program.

    The other key component of the eating plan is timing. Research shows that consuming a mix of carbohydrates and protein before and immediately after your workout can be a boon to building muscle. That's because the combination of the two nutrients seems to lessen the harmful chemical reactions that result from the tiny tears in muscle fibers that occur when you lift weights. Result: You shorten the recovery period after exercise, have less soreness, and build bigger muscles faster.

    What could be better than that?

In the Hard-Body Plan, you eat a snack containing a 4:1 ratio of carbs to protein within an hour of completing a workout. It's a no-sweat thing to do because you have so many options—anything from bagels to fruit or an energy bar.

    We also realize that there are times when you're vacationing or on a business trip and you have to eat out a lot. That's a challenge to even the most diligent diet watcher, but we've made it easy for you. We show you how morning forays to Dunkin' Donuts and nocturnal visits to Taco Bell can be managed as part of the plan.

    First, we provide you with lots of tips on how to keep your calories in check when traveling. (It's easy-to-remember stuff: Order salad dressings and potato toppings on the side, for example, so you can control how much to use to flavor your food. Or bank calories by eating a little less breakfast and lunch and fewer snacks if you know you're going out for dinner, so you can stay close to your calorie quota.)

    Even better, we give you plenty of suggestions for restaurant meals you can order that don't ooze fat with every bite. Better still, we aren't talking sprouts and alfalfa sandwiches with a dollop of cottage cheese on the side. No, with the Hard-Body Plan, you can eat lobster, steak, and fajitas—just not in the same meal. You will still eat well, and you'll eat smartly.

The Poop on Pumping Iron

    Eating wisely won't build muscles, of course, but food provides the fuel for your workouts and the nutrients for your recovery from them. And when it comes to weight training, the Hard-Body Plan offers a 12-week path to power whether you are a beginner, intermediate, or advanced weight lifter. How do we know? Because the workout program, like the food program, is supported by scientific research and the real-life experiences of guys just like you.

    The beauty of the Hard-Body Plan is that it is divided into weight training programs for beginner, intermediate, and advanced weight lifters. No matter what level you're at, you'll find an exercise regimen here to challenge you. In fact, there are more than 180 exercises altogether from which you may choose.

There are exercises with free weights. There are exercises with weight machines. There are even exercises with no weights, using everything from rubber tubing to milk jugs and your own body weight. And, of course, we offer fun cardio routines.

    Here are the highlights. You'll find more in-depth discussions as you proceed through the program.

    · One-set lifting. For beginners only, the Hard-Body Plan calls for doing a single set of each exercise.

    · Heavy weights. Most of the time, you will be expected to perform no more than 10 repetitions of an exercise during a weight training set, regardless of whether you are doing one-set lifting or multiple sets. If you can do more repetitions, you will add additional weight so that you can do only 6 repetitions. As you get stronger and progress again to 10 repetitions, you will once again add enough weight that you can do only 6 repetitions.

    · Speed. We have you move from one exercise to the next with the minimal amount of time needed for recovery before you lift again, and not a minute more. In fact, a minute is all you need between sets. Your workout will be more efficient and you'll finish faster so you can do other things.

    · Combo lifts. For the more advanced lifter, we've included combo lifts (also known as super sets). They entail moving directly from one exercise into another without rest. Result: a more intense workout and less time spent in the gym.

    · Forced reps. Some of the exercise programs require you to lift to fatigue (muscle failure) and then try to power through one or two more repetitions. You need a training partner when you're ready for this.

    · Pyramids. Occasionally, you will add weight and reduce the number of repetitions with each set to the point where you can manage but one repetition. As with forced reps, this taxes to the max the fibers that will grow your muscles.

    As with the eating portion of the Hard-Body Plan, the weight training segment doesn't require you to endure a physical ordeal that rivals Navy SEALs training. That's not to say that it's easy. But it's doable. We've provided you with the latest science, the expertise. You have to provide the desire and discipline to stick with it. Do it. It's worth it. In a matter of weeks you'll see a powerful, Hard-Body Man staring back at you in the mirror. We think you'll like him.

(Continues...)

Excerpted from "The Men's Health Hard Body Plan : The Ultimate 12-Week Program for Burning Fat and Building Muscle" by Larry Keller. Copyright © 2000 by Larry Keller. Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. Excerpts are provided solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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