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CHALLENGE PREPARATION GUIDE: CHALLENGE YOURSELF BEGIN YOUR JOURNEY: If you’ve looked at the MAX’S 12 Week Challenge Website and been inspired to follow in the footsteps of the amazing transformations that many of our Challengers have made, where can you start? These programs are dedicated to helping you to prepare yourself for the next MAX’S Muscle-Up Challenge which commences in February 2015. We give you a comprehensive guide to training and nutrition to help you tackle the next MAX’S Muscle-Up Challenge and make an amazing transformation. Begin your journey to a new improved body and better health. While you can elect to follow the programs of our 12 Week Challenge right now, in our experience we have found that your chances of spectacular success are much higher if you actually wait and participate in the official MAX’S Challenges. There are now two Challenges each year. One starts each February and the other starts around the end of July so you don’t have to wait too long to join our next Challenge. We recommend you wait for the next Challenge because the support, advice, and camaraderie of our coaches, ambassadors, and fellow Challengers, plus all the information provided on our website, forum, Facebook and our MAX’S Muscle TV television show will help to keep you highly motivated and informed and makes doing the Challenge a fantastic experience. We have designed this preparatory program to get you ready to tackle the next MAX’S Muscle-Up Challenge. If you haven’t done much structured training before, or you haven’t exercised for some time, it’s important to get the basics of training and nutrition right. Building a quality physique takes time. Consistent training and attention to good nutritional principals are the keys. You can’t do it in a few weeks. It usually takes several months to make a noticeable difference and may take several years to build a great body. Many of the transformations you see on the Challenge website have been training for some time, but they have never made the effort to get really serious until they actually commit to the Challenge. So the message here is to be patient. Use your time before the next Challenge to learn how to train well, UNDERSTAND THE PRINCIPALS OF GOOD NUTRITION AND TO START BUILDING SOME QUALITY MUSCLE. If you are a thinner build you don’t necessarily need to worry about your body fat levels right now. Why? Because it’s easier to build muscle when you aren’t dieting to strip body fat. You should aim to put on muscle and keep body fat levels moderate over the coming months. During the MAX’S Challenge will be the time to diet harder and strip off the body fat to reveal your new improved physique. If you are a bigger build and carry a fair bit of body fat then you may want to use the time before your Challenge to strip off some body fat while maintaining and building on the muscle you already have. You should aim to steadily reduce your body fat levels so that by the start of the Challenge you are within striking distance of your goal weight. For some trainers this may mean 10kgs above their goal weight, for others it may be 15 – 20kgs. In summary, use the training and nutrition programs detailed here to prepare for the next MAX’S Challenge. Use them to learn how to train correctly, to eat the right foods, at the right times and the right amounts, and to organise your lifestyle so you are ready to tackle the next MAX’S Muscle-Up Challenge head on. WHAT ARE your goals ? Before you start any exercise program, and especially if you are going to take on the MAX’S Muscle-Up Challenge it’s really important to work out what you want to achieve. Having a clearly defined vision of where you want to be and by what date is what we are talking about. Work, family commitments and plain old laziness are parts of life that can tug you away from your plans. Don’t get us wrong, your kids’ school play is important, but there’s a big difference between making a rare exception and routinely letting your workouts slip down the priority list. Focus and persistency are crucial to building a strong healthy body, so here are a few tips on how to get your mindset right: 1. Your first step should be to define a long-term goal in as specific terms as possible. Have a specific idea for where you want to be for the start of your Challenge in February. Then where do you want to be at the end of your Challenge? Do you want to lose fat, increase your muscle, and increase your strength? Get specific. How much do you want to weigh? What strength levels do you want to achieve? 2. The next step is to establish how you will measure your success. Make a realistic assessment of how long this should take and write down to the target date. If you are new to this stuff this may be hard to estimate, but make your best guess and allow for some wiggle-room if your guess is off target. 3. Once you have your goal and your timeline defined, establish a number of milestones, say a month apart, that you can use as checkpoints to make sure you’re on track. This helps make the end goal less daunting. Adding 10kgs to your bench press by next month is probably within your reach while adding 30kgs by February can feel farfetched and discouraging. As an extra incentive, you can give yourself a little reward when you hit your target. 4. Keep revisiting your goals and surround yourself with positive reinforcement. Going to a good motivating gym is a great way to keep you on track. Find a motivated training partner that pushes you. Check out the amazing transformations on our Challenge website. All these types of inputs will help. Intermediate NUTRITION: If you have recently finished the MAX’S Challenge and want to continue with your healthy nutrition and training lifestyle, or you want to take on the next MAX’S Challenge In February, then this Intermediate Nutrition program is ideal for you. Alternatively you may be an experienced intermediate level trainer who is planning to join next February’s MAX’S Challenge. Again, this program will ensure you hit the ground running when you start the next MAX’S Challenge We classify anyone who has completed the MAX’S Challenge with a good level of achievement, or anyone who has 4 – 6 months of regular weight training experience as an intermediate level trainer. A good training program is important for building muscle, but the reality is that if you don’t get your nutrition right you will waste much of the effort you are putting in at the gym. Progressing to an intermediate level of training means upping your training intensity, which places added strain on your body’s ability to recover and grow. You must also step up your nutrition to support this extra effort if you want to maximize your results. Before we get into the details of your nutrition program we will just spend a bit of time reviewing the basics of the macro and micro nutrient food groups. THE MACRONUTRIENTS: There are 3 main types of nutrient groups provided by food – proteins, carbohydrates and fats. To build a quality physique requires you to make consistently good choices to ensure you get the right amount and quality of each of these nutrient groups. PROTEIN: Protein is the key nutrient required for building muscle. Without enough protein in your diet you simply won’t build muscle, no matter how much training you do. Your muscles, and also many other components of your body, like skin, hair, nails, blood, even your bones, are largely made up of protein. Protein consists of complex chains of compounds called amino acids. There are 22 amino acids that make up human protein, and their order and proportion determine the characteristics of each protein. For example, muscle protein contains higher levels of the Branched Chain Amino Acids Leucine, Isoleucine and Valine than do the proteins that make up hair or nails. Hard weight training actually damages muscle structure. Your body’s response to this muscle overload is to repair the muscle, but to also make it thicker and stronger to cope with the added stress. To constantly build new muscle your body needs substantially more protein than the average diet usually supplies. So how much protein do you need if you are a hard training athlete? Whether you are trying to gain mass or get lean and muscular, the accepted rule of thumb is between 2.5 – 3 grams of protein per kilogram of bodyweight each day. For example, if you are an 80kg trainer with an average body fat of 15 – 20%, then you need 80 x 2.5 / 3 = 200 – 240 grams of good quality protein per day. Getting this amount of protein requires careful nutritional planning and the diet programs in this guide are designed to deliver these levels. What are the best sources of protein? Foods like lean meats, chicken, fish and eggs are excellent sources of protein. They contain all the amino acids, in approximately the right proportions to support human muscle growth. The only downside of all these foods is they also contain significant amounts of fats, including unwanted saturated fats. So eating too much of these protein sources is not ideal for building muscle and overall good health. Don’t get us wrong, we recommend these protein foods in our diet plans however you need to ensure you aim for the leaner cuts of meat, remove all the skin from your chicken breast, not too many egg yolks, and not use too much oils or fats in your cooking. What about protein powders, where do they fit in? At a basic level, the key benefits of a good quality protein formula is that you get a pure high quality concentrated source of protein without the things you don’t want, especially the fat. MAX’S have formulated a highly effective range of proteins that all Challengers can use to help reach their goals . For example, each serving of the MAX’S SuperShred contains around 30 grams of high quality protein, but with virtually no carbs or fat. The Challenge range also includes nutrients that stimulate muscle recovery, muscle growth and fat burning to help maximise your results. CARBOHYDRATES: Carbohydrates consist of chemical molecules that are known as sugars, like glucose or sucrose (table sugar), or many sugar molecules joined together into chains that make up starchy foods like potato and rice. These starchy foods are often referred to complex carbs. From a nutritional perspective there carbohydrate foods that are highly nutritious and support muscle growth, while there are other carb based foods that have very little nutritional value at all and are simply empty calories. When you are trying to gain mass and strength getting enough good quality carbs is essential. When you are training to get lean and ripped, moderating your carb intake is important but carbs are still a key element in a balanced fat stripping diet. In most instances, your carbs should be of the complex type, sourced mainly from less processed foods. Less processed carbohydrate foods generally are slower digesting and give you an even and sustained release of energy to keep you energized all day. Foods like oats, brown rice, sweet potato, corn, beans and lentils are good sources of slower digesting carbs and should be the bulk of your carb intake. Fibrous vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, string beans, lettuce and capsicum are also important carb foods to include in your diet. They are high in fibre, low in starchy carbs and fat, but high in many types of micronutrients including vitamins, minerals and other plant chemicals that boost health and muscle growth. Fruit, like vegetables, is another great sources of carbs and micronutrients. Some fruits are relatively high in sugar so we recommend limiting fruit intake to about 2 – 3 pieces per day on a mass gain diet and 1 piece per day on a get lean diet. How much carb food should you consume each day? Our general guidelines are: • For a Mass Gain program we recommend about 4 - 5 grams of carbs per kg of body weight per day. For example, if you are an 80kg trainer with an average body fat of 15 – 20%, then you need 80 x 4 - 5 = 320 - 400 grams of good quality carbohydrate per day, which is quite an amount of food. • If you are training to strip fat and build lean muscle then we recommend around 1 – 2 grams of carbs per kg of body weight (1 gram for strict dieting and faster fat loss, 2 grams for more moderate and sustained loss). For the same 80kg trainer this means around 80 – 160 grams of carbs per day. Fortunately our meal plans take care of these numbers so all you have to do is follow the diet. There are many forms of carbohydrates that you should limit or eliminate from your diet if you want to build a healthy muscular body. As a general rule, the more processed the food, the more you should avoid it. Sugar and all foods that are high in sugar like sweets, syrups, soft drinks and fruit juices should be avoided. Foods made from white flour, or a combination of white flour, sugar and fats like cakes, white bread, biscuits and many forms of snack food or fast food should be avoided. Highly processed carbs are absorbed by your body very quickly, but just as quickly are usually converted to fat and stored around your body in adipose tissue. Quite simply, a diet high in processed carbs will increase your body fat. There is one exception to this. During a hard workout your body, particularly your trained muscles, become quite depleted in the stored carbs called glycogen that your body uses to produce energy. Immediately after your workout your muscles become hyper sensitive to nutrient uptake and will absorb proteins to repair muscle tissue and carbs to replenish energy store at many times their normal rates. This window of opportunity lasts only about 60 minutes, so we always recommend that hard trainers consume a recovery formula that contains fast acting proteins and fast absorbing simple sugars as soon as possible after their workout to maximise recovery and growth. This can be a good protein and carb formula like MAX’S Supersize, or you can simply add milk to your high protein formula (like MAX’S SuperShred) and eat some fruit like a banana. FATS: Like proteins and carbs, fats are nutrients your body needs to maintain good health, but too much of the wrong type of fats can cause long term health issues including obesity, heart disease and contribute to a host of other medical problems. Fats can exist in a liquid form, like vegetable oils, or a solid form, like butter or the layers of fat you find on red meat. Many foods contain hidden fats, and you may only know how much fat a food contains by reading food labels. For example, many types of meat can contain up to 20% by dry weight of fat. Many cakes, biscuits, sauces, dressings and marinades can be extremely high in fats. Like carbohydrates, there are some fats that are needed regularly by your body and need to be obtained in your diet. These fats, known as Essential Fats, are contained in foods like avocados, nuts, seeds, and some vegetable oils like olive oil and flaxseed oil. Some animal fats like fish oils also contain high levels of essential fats, including the Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids. We need to be consuming a moderate amount of these foods on a daily basis to maintain good health. Essential fats are also a vital component in the structure of cell walls, so the construction of new muscle cells must have a good supply of essential fats. There are however a range of fats that should be limited or avoided if your goal is to build a great body and maintain good health. Saturated fats, which are the types of fat you find in most animal meat, should be limited wherever possible. This means things like choosing leaner cuts of meat and chicken, trimming all visible fats where possible, removing skin from chicken cuts, and cooking with minimal amounts of oil. Other ways of avoiding the wrong types of fats include avoiding fatty and fast foods, reducing or avoiding processed foods, and looking for hidden fats that many types of foods may contain. The diet programs presented in this guide will provide about the right levels of essential fats to help meet your training and health needs. THE MICRONUTRIENTS: This is quite a complex subject. Micronutrients are the myriad of other nutrients your body needs and uses for a wide variety of biochemical and physiological processes. They include vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytonutrients (plant chemicals), just to name a few. The best way to get adequate levels of micronutrients is by consuming a diet rich in lean proteins, fruit, vegetables, whole grains and nuts. Variety is the key. Some bodybuilding diets can be quite restrictive, so we will aim to add variety in these programs to ensure you get a good supply of micronutrients. As added insurance, hard trainers should include a good quality multivitamin & mineral supplement along with a good quality antioxidant formula. THE SUPPLEMENTS: We’ve already mentioned several MAX’S Supplement products but let’s look at supplement in a little more detail and why we recommend them. There are a wide range of bodybuilding and sports supplements available and it can be quite a confusing subject for new trainers. Do you actually need supplements, and if so, which ones? The reality is you can build a good physique if you diligently plan and follow a well-designed diet of highly nutritious foods. But the reality of modern life is that we are all busy and it’s not always easy to get all the nutrients you need to support your hard training, and that’s where supplements can help. There are different types of supplements and we will give you a rundown on the supplements that we recommend. We also provide some optional supplements you may wish to try if you want to step your training and results up to the next level. PROTEIN SUPPLEMENTS: In general, quality protein supplements are essential for any serious weight training program. Whether your goal is to gain mass and strength, get ripped and shredded or just maintain a strong muscular body, a high quality protein powder is the ideal supplement to support your whole muscle building and muscle recovery metabolism. Many people ask – “why can’t I just eat protein foods like steak or eggs to get the protein I need?” Don’t get me wrong, we also advocate high quality real food proteins like lean meats, chicken, fish, eggs and dairy, but most of these foods also can contain a fair amount of hidden fats, so eating these protein foods all the time can add a lot of extra fat to your diet. On the other hand, protein supplements are a concentrated form of protein with virtually no fat. A single serve of a high quality protein like MAX’S SuperShred has about the same amount of usable protein as a 200 gram steak, but with virtually no fat. It’s pretty easy to see the advantages. So let’s run through the protein that are recommended on the Challenge and tell you a bit more about them and the best way to use them. MAX’S SuperShred: The ideal protein to get you ripped and shredded. If your goal is for a lean and shredded physique then MAX’S SuperShred is the protein you need. Our meal plans recommend that you consume 2 – 3 serves of SuperShred each day as part of our special fat stripping diet. MAX’S SuperShred contains highly bioactive Whey Protein Isolate which is quickly absorbed by your body to repair and rebuild muscle tissue. It also contain Casein protein, which is slower digesting muscle builder that helps to keep you feeling satisfied for several hours which is a great advantage when you are dieting. The other big benefit of SuperShred is the fat strippers and carb blockers it contains. These plant extracts actively reduce the conversion of ingested carbs to fat, and also stimulate your body to mobilise and burn stored fats from adipose tissue from all over your body. SuperShred will help you attain maximum muscle while stripping as much fat as possible. When to use SuperShred: If you are using our suggested meal plans simply follow the recommendation on that plan. Otherwise MAX’S SuperShred can be used between meals as a high protein low carb/fat meal. You can also use SuperShred immediately after training to accelerate post workout recovery. After training we recommend mixing your SuperShred in milk to help with recovery, but for all other shakes mix in water. Follow the serving suggestions on the pack and you can’t go wrong. MAX’S Supersize: A great muscle and weight gainer. For trainers who want to build muscular size and gain weight MAX’S Supersize is the protein formula for you. It contains a blend of high quality Whey Protein Concentrate, which is a great muscle builder, plus a blend of complex carbs and no added sugar to provide the building blocks for maximum muscle gains and the energy to fuel monster workouts! Most guys who have trouble gaining muscular weight just don’t eat enough of the right foods to grow, especially protein and carbs. Taking 3 serves of Supersize each day on top of a healthy weight gain diet plan will give you a protein and kilojoule spike that is usually all that most trainers need to get really good results. When to use Supersize: Simply follow the recommendation our meal plan, otherwise use MAX’S Supersize mid-morning and mid-afternoon as a mass building shake. After your workout is a really important time to get a quick influx of protein and carbs to maximise your recovery and growth. The best idea is to have a Supersize shake as soon as possible after completing your workout. We recommend taking your Supersize powder in your shaker with you to the gym. Then as soon as you finish your workout, add water and you’re sorted! to be a bit of a chore, it’s much easier to just throw down a MAX’S Nitetime. Now the theory of Nitetime nutrition is that you want slow digesting and absorbing proteins that feed your muscle all night. Supplements that are mostly WPI are too fast digesting so they are not the best choice at night. Micellar Casein is the best protein, while Calcium Casein and WPC are also good choices. MAX’S Nitetime contains all 3 of these proteins. It also contains specific botanicals that promote relaxation and sleep, and Growth Hormone boosters to really get you growing while you sleep. When to use Nitetime: This is a pretty simple one – just take a serve of Nitetime about 15 minutes before bed. If you are on the Shred program mix in water, for Build Size mix in milk. MAX’S Cre8 Carnage: MAX’S Nitetime: Helps you grow while you sleep. It doesn’t matter whether you are following the want to build up or get ripped and shredded you should be using MAX’S Nitetime Protein every night. Once again, if you are using our meal plans simply follow the recommendations. If you are doing your own thing you should still be using Nitetime. This is a great protein because it’s just so convenient. You can cook up a meal just before bed but most people find this More energy and lean muscle. Creatine is a supplement that has been extensively studied and is undeniably a real performance booster. Most trainers experience strength and muscle size gains in just a few weeks of use. If you haven’t tried Creatine it’s worth considering as it can really enhance your muscle growth. Creatine works by increasing the amount of a compound called Creatine Phosphate (CP) in your muscles. CP provides energy when you lift weights, so if you have more you can do one or two more reps in each set, which over time leads to more gains. But studies also show that Creatine also stimulates lean muscle growth and help reduce body fat – which sounds like a good deal! Creatine is definitely a supplement we would recommend to any trainer, whether you are on the Challenge or simply just hitting the gym regularly. Now not all Creatines are the same. Without going into all the details, you need to know that MAX’S Cre8 Carnage is one of the best Creatine formulas going around. It’s actually a blend of 8 different types of Creatines with different absorption rates so it’s both fast acting and sustained release, and you just get pure actives. There are no fillers, flavours or sugars so it’s highly potent and great value. When to use MAX’S Cre8 Carnage: We usually recommend taking a 5 gram dose (about 1 heaped teaspoon) twice a day. Take one dose about an hour before weight training then another dose straight after – in fact you can mix it into your post workout protein shake. There are a few ways to take your Creatine. You can just put a teaspoon of Creatine on your tongue and wash it down with a glass of water – it’s actually a pretty bland taste. Otherwise you can mix it into a glass of juice or a sports drink. Some trainers add it to their pre workout drink – so do whatever it takes to get it into you. When to use MAX’S BCAA’S: Like Creatine, we recommend taking MAX’S BCAA’s straight after your workout when your muscles will absorb maximum amounts. The high Leucine levels stimulate optimal muscle tissue repair and growth for improved recovery and muscle size. You can add BCAA’s to your recovery protein shake, or simply wash down a serve by placing it on your tongue and drinking a glass of water. Once again the taste is pretty bland so either way is pretty easy. To really accelerate your muscle growth we recommend adding a teaspoon of BCAA’s to every protein shake you have. MAX’S NAGG: MAX’S BCAA’S: Switch on muscle growth. Another supplement must for any serious trainer is BCAA’s. The Branched Chain Amino Acids are Leucine, Isoleucine and Valine and they play a special role in muscle growth, particularly Leucine: • BCAA’s are tightly integrated with your muscle’s energy systems and can contribute significantly to improved workout output. • BCAA’S, particularly Leucine, switch on muscle tissue synthesis after training if provided in the right quantity. Our MAX’S formula is quite high in Leucine having a 10:1:1 ratio of Leucine: Isoleucine: Valine, so the emphasis on this formula is switching on muscle growth after your workouts. Faster recovery, less fatigue, reduced muscle soreness. Glutamine is the most abundant amino acid in your body and plays a key role in your energy recovery systems. When you train hard you put your body into a highly stressed state. Your system reacts to this by trying to protect your vital organs, especially your brain. It breaks down or catabolises muscle tissue to release amino acids, particularly Glutamine, that your brain can use for fuel. This protective mechanism evolved to help keep you thinking clearly when in stressful situations – and in years gone by, it may have been the difference between life and death for your ancient ancestors. Today it means that after training your muscles will keep breaking down for many hours after a workout if you don’t provide the right recovery nutrients. The cool thing is that just a small intake of Glutamine can stop this breakdown and turn your muscle state from catabolic to anabolic. That means muscles can rebuild much sooner so you will recover faster and be able to train harder, sooner. So once again Glutamine is a supplement we recommend to any serious trainer – it’s simply one of the best recovery nutrients you can use. Now as usual, MAX’S don’t just throw some plain old Glutamine in a jar. They have sourced the most stable and potent sources you can use. MAX’S NAGG is a blend of N-Acetyl L-Glutamine and free form L-Glutamine meaning its rapidly absorbed and utilised for maximum recovery. When to use MAX’S NAGG: NAGG should be used at the same time as MAX’S BCAA’s - that is immediately after training. Both of these supplements are great for boosting recovery and muscle growth and work really well together. We also recommend taking another serve of NAGG in your Nitetime protein shake to make sure you stay anabolic all night. MAX’S BETAPUMP: Maximum energy and intense focus in every workout. This is an awesome new Pre Workout formula and is designed to be taken about 15 minutes before your workout, ideally on an empty stomach. BetaPump combines 2 nutrient systems that really give a kick: • Energy Focus Matrix – This matrix includes Caffeine and Acetyl L-Carnitine to increase performance, plus CDP-Choline for intense mental focus. • Nitric Oxide Matrix – these compounds, including Citrulline Malate, highly potent Beetroot Extracts, Agmatine and Arginine Ketoisocaproate work together to increase blood flow to your training muscles. This means more nutrients getting into your muscles and more waste products leaving. You will feel stronger, see great muscle pumps, have more energy, and with you will recover faster between sets. It’s potent, so you only need one scoop per workout, which makes a tub really good value at around $1.50 a serve. BetaPump is the ideal to help you really push to the next level and is suitable for intermediate and advanced level trainers. MAX’S LAB SERIES: There is new breed of compounds emerging in the sports nutrition arena that are showing great promise as safe and effective stimulants to sporting performance, muscle growth and fat loss. The United States is leading the world in this research so most of the products emerging in this space are coming from the USA. MAX’S, a wholly Australian company, has taken the unusual step of teaming up with a leading provider of these emerging products and are bringing a range of potent new supplements to the Australian market. Known as MAX’S Lab Series, BetaPump and IntraBoost are the first two products in this exciting new range. These products are designed for intermediate and advanced level trainers so if you want to take your training to the next level we recommend MAX’S Lab Series products. MAX’S INTRABOOST: Power through your workouts with maximum attack! IntraBoost is MAX’S new entry into the intra-workout segment. What is intra-workout I hear you asking? Intra-workouts are formulas that provide energy, focus and recovery nutrients to keep you fresh and firing right through even the toughest workout. They are like supercharged sports drinks without the sugar. MAX’S IntraBoost contains three powerful nutrient systems: • Energy Complex – this includes Beta Alanine which increases energy and delays fatigue and Vinpocetine which is a powerful blood flow enhancer to get oxygen and nutrients into working muscles. • Recovery Complex – includes micronised BCAA’s • • and HICA (Alpha Hydroxy-Isocaproic Acid) along with Glutamine peptides and our Recovery Mineral Complex maximise recovery between sets and also between workouts. Electrolyte Complex – balances muscle electrolytes and replaces lost minerals during hard workouts to maintain maximum performance. The flavours of IntraBoost are great making it a refreshing drink while you train. Use this product together with BetaPump and you won’t believe the difference it can make. Look out for more great Lab Series products from MAX’S in the coming months... WELL THAT’S IT, A RUNDOWN ON THE SUPPS WE RECOMMEND TO HELP YOU POWER THROUGH THE REST OF YOUR TRAINING. REMEMBER IT MAKES GOOD SENSE TO USE THE RIGHT SUPPLEMENTS WITH YOUR TRAINING, YOU’LL SIMPLY GET BETTER RESULTS OVER THE LONG TERM. NUTRITION BASICS: Now before we get into the details of our suggested meal plans there are some basic nutrition principals that you should be aware of and build into your plan. These principals apply to both the Building Size and Shredding diet plan, with minor variations: • 6 - 7 meals per day – Your metabolism will respond much better to regular nutrition by working at a higher rate. You will burn more kilojoules, get leaner, have more energy to train, build more muscle, and generally feel much better. If you only eat a few meals a day your body goes into starvation mode, believing it is not getting regular food and so tries to conserve energy by slowing down your metabolism and limiting your results. This means lower energy, less gains and poorer results. The message here is simple – spread your daily food intake over 6 - 7 meals for maximum results. • Drink plenty of water – Water plays a crucial role in every part of your metabolism. You need it to build muscle, burn fat, produce energy, plus a myriad of other physiological processes. For hard trainers you need 2 – 3 litres per day is a minimum requirement. • Post workout nutrition – Perhaps the most important nutritional time of your day. Fast acting protein and fast acting carbs straight after your workout will really supercharge your recovery. Mix your favourite MAX’S shake in milk and perhaps eat a banana or two! • Protein serve at each meal – To keep building muscle you need to be in what’s called “Positive Nitrogen Balance”. This simply means you need a constant intake of protein, nitrogen being a key constituent of protein, to build maximum muscle. The best way to do this is to make sure you have a quality protein source in each of your daily 6 – 7 meals. • Vegetables are essential – While protein is a key nutrient for building muscle mass, plenty of fresh vegetables are essential. Vegetables are full of vitamins, minerals and fibre, and will help keep your body healthy and in optimum shape during rigours training and dieting. Try to include several servings of fresh vegetable in at least three of your daily meals. • Do not skip breakfast – Nutritionists often refer to this as the most important meal of the day, and for building muscle and getting in top shape, breakfast is very important. This is because in the morning most people have not have eaten for 8 hours or more, so the body will go into starvation mode and your metabolism will be running slowly. Breakfast kick starts your metabolism. Quality protein and carbs with relatively low fats is the perfect way to start your day. • Carbs, Yes or No – Many trainers often view carbs as taboo. What is the truth? It depends on your goals. If you are trying to build size and muscle mass, carbs are your friend. Good quality ‘clean’ carbs like wholegrain cereals, brown rice and sweet potato are an essential part of any mass gaining diet. If your goal is to strip fat, moderating carbs is important. Although, some carbs are always required to help you burn fat and keep your metabolism functioning properly. • Meal preparation – You need to plan out your daily and weekly meal plan, then prepare your food in advance. In many cases this means buying all your ingredients for your meals for the next several days, then preparing your meals in advance so that you can stick to your eating schedule. Cook your meals for the next day or two, put them in plastic containers, then refrigerate or freeze them. Our meal plan will give you a good range of easy to prepare meals. GOOD QUALITY ‘CLEAN’ CARBS LIKE WHOLEGRAIN CEREALS, BROWN RICE AND SWEET POTATO ARE AN ESSENTIAL PART OF ANY MASS GAINING DIET Build mass and size: If you have thinner build or have a fast metabolism and find it hard to gain weight and build muscle, but you have made some good progress to date, this nutrition plan is for you. Your goal should be to continue to add as much muscle and size as you can, then refine your body during the next MAX’S Challenge to reveal a new improved you! Use this nutrition plan as a guide to help you put together your diet. The meals listed are a general guide and can be adjusted to suit your tastes and food availability. Building mass, strength and muscular size is not something you can do in a few weeks. It is a process that takes many months and years, particularly for trainers who find gains hard to make. The key is not to rush things. You want to add solid muscular and strength gains, not just fat. So you need to get the balance right. You should be lifting heavy, keeping cardio moderate, getting plenty of recovery, and supporting your training with a high kilojoule diet rich in quality proteins. Your long term plan should be to tackle your mass building in a series of steps. This means you should look at spending 6 – 8 months of mass building then use the MAX’S Challenge to get into good shape and assess your progress. Then spend another 6 – 8 months of building, then tackle the MAX’S Challenge again to reveal your improvements. Several years of this type of training and nutrition can really build a top class physique. To build size it’s OK to add a bit of body fat, but not too much. You can monitor this by having your body fat percentage tested, or simply by using the mirror as your guide. If you are measuring body fat, you should aim to stay below around 15 – 18% body fat. Most good gyms should be able to test this for you using the caliper test. Check this every few months. You will soon get a feel for what your body looks like at a certain body fat level. If you are monitoring yourself in the mirror, keep an eye on your mid-section, if you start developing too much of a stomach, then you are adding too much fat. You then need to tailor your food and supplement intake to keep your body fat levels acceptable as you strive to build muscular weight. JUST TO RECAP, BELOW ARE SOME KEY GUIDELINES TO FOLLOW IF YOUR GOAL IS TO BUILD MASS AND SIZE: • • • • • • • • • • • • • Eat 6 – 8 meals every day, spread out over your day You should aim to eat at least every 2 hours Each meal portion should make you feel comfortably satisfied Don’t overeat at one meal as your digestion efficiency will suffer. You are better to eat a bit less and have your next meal a bit earlier. Eat your meals slowly and chew your food well. This will help to digest your food more fully allowing you to obtain the maximum nutrients and satisfy your appetite more fully. You must be disciplined about your eating plan – schedule your meals and stick to your schedule Prepare your meals in advance for each day Eat minimal amounts of processed foods – choose foods in their raw unprocessed forms wherever possible. Minimise junk food, fried food and fatty food Minimise sugary foods including soft drinks. Limit sweets however foods like fruit and occasional ice cream are fine for a “mass building” diet. Eat plenty of good quality carbs such as whole meal/wholegrain breads, pastas, rice and sweet potatoes. Limit refined carbohydrate foods such as white bread, biscuits and cakes. Drink plenty of water each day – 3 litres or more. SEE THE 7 DAY BUILD MASS AND SIZE NUTRITIONPLAN ON THE NEXT PAGE... TO BUILD SIZE IT’S OK TO ADD A BIT OF BODY FAT, BUT NOT TOO MUCH **UNCOOCKED WEIGHT sunday - 6 poached eggs - 150g serve of natural muesli with milk - 4 pieces wholemeal mixed with 2 scoops toast MAX’S SuperSize - 2 tubs natural yoghurt - 2 tubs yoghurt - Fruit juice - Coffee or tea - Coffee or tea - MAX’S SuperSize shake - 1 Serve BCAA’s - 1 Serve NAGG - 2 Pieces of fruit saturday - MAX’S SuperSize shake - 1 Serve BCAA’s - 1 Serve NAGG - 2 Pieces of fruit - 200 – 300g Grilled lean steak* - 2 Cups steamed cabbage - 2 Cups steamed brown rice - 1 Piece of fruit friday - 100g rolled oats with milk - 6 egg omelette - Fruit juice - Coffee or tea - MAX’S SuperSize shake - 1 Serve BCAA’s - 1 Serve NAGG - 2 Pieces of fruit - 200 – 300g Grilled chicken breast* - 2 Cups steamed string beans - 200g Sweet potato** - MAX’S Muscle Meal Bar - MAX’S SuperSize shake - Teaspoon MAX’S Cre8 Carnage - 2 Pieces of fruit - MAX’S SuperSize shake (Mix in below) - 1 Serve BCAA’s - 1 Serve NAGG - Teaspoon MAX’S Cre8 Carnage - MAX’S SuperSize shake - Teaspoon MAX’S Cre8 Carnage - 2 Pieces of fruit - 300g Beef or chicken & vegetable stir fry* - 2 cups noodles or brown rice - MAX’S Muscle Meal cookie - MAX’S SuperSize shake (Mix in below) - 1 Serve BCAA’s - 1 Serve NAGG - Teaspoon MAX’S Cre8 Carnage - 300g Grilled chicken breast* - Large salad or 2 cups steamed vegetables - 200g Sweet potato - Fruit salad with 200g natural yogurt - MAX’S SuperSize shake - Teaspoon MAX’S Cre8 Carnage - 2 Pieces of fruit NO TRAINING - 100g rolled oats with milk - 6 egg omelette - Coffee or tea - MAX’S Muscle Meal Protein Bar - 1 piece of fruit - Medium tin tuna (185g) - Garden salad - 2 Cups steamed brown rice - MAX’S Muscle Meal Bar - 300g grilled fish* - Large salad - 200g Sweet potato - Max’s Muscle Meal Cookie - 300g Grilled chicken breast* - Large salad or 2 cups steamed vegetables - 200g Sweet potato - Berries with 200g natural yogurt - MAX’S NiteTime - MAX’S NiteTime shake shake - 1 Serve MAX’S NAAG - 1 Serve MAX’S NAAG - 300g Beef or chicken and vegetable stir fry* - 2 cups noodles or brown rice - Fruit salad with 200g natural yogurt - 1 Serve MAX’S Intraboost - 1 Serve MAX’S Betapump WEIGHT TRAINING DAY - Teaspoon MAX’S Cre8 Carnage - 1- 2 pieces fruit - 200 – 300g Grilled chicken breast* - 2 Cups Steamed broccoli - 200g Sweet potato** - 1 piece fruit thursday *EAT PORTION SIZE BASED ON APPETITE BUILD MASS AND SIZE NUTRITION PLAN INTERMEDIATE WEEKLY PLAN - 6 poached eggs - 150g serve of natural muesli with milk - 4 pieces wholemeal mixed with 2 scoops toast - 2 tubs natural yoghurt MAX’S SuperSize - 2 tubs yoghurt - Fruit juice - Coffee or tea - Coffee or tea wednesday - MAX’S SuperSize shake - 1 Serve BCAA’s - 1 Serve NAGG - 2 Pieces of fruit Tuesday BREAKFAST - 100g rolled oats with milk - 6 egg omelette - Fruit juice - Coffee or tea - MAX’S SuperSize shake - 1 Serve BCAA’s - 1 Serve NAGG - 2 Pieces of fruit MONDAY MID MORNING - MAX’S SuperSize shake - 1 Serve BCAA’s - 1 Serve NAGG - 2 Pieces of fruit - 200 – 300g Grilled chicken breast* - 2 Cups steamed broccoli - 200g Sweet potato** - 1 piece fruit - 200 – 300g Grilled lean steak* - 2 Cups steamed string beans - 2 Cups steamed brown rice - MAX’S Muscle Meal Bar LUNCH - Medium tin tuna (185g) - Garden salad - 2 Cups steamed brown rice - MAX’S Muscle Meal Bar WEIGHT TRAINING DAY - Teaspoon MAX’S Cre8 Carnage - 1- 2 pieces fruit - 1 Serve MAX’S Betapump WEIGHT TRAINING DAY WEIGHT TRAINING DAY - Teaspoon MAX’S - Teaspoon MAX’S Cre8 Carnage Cre8 Carnage - 1- 2 pieces fruit - 1- 2 pieces fruit - 1 Serve MAX’S Betapump - 1 Serve MAX’S Intraboost 1 hour before training 15 min before training - 1 Serve MAX’S Intraboost - MAX’S SuperSize shake (Mix in below) - 1 Serve BCAA’s - 1 Serve NAGG - Teaspoon MAX’S Cre8 Carnage NO TRAINING During Workout - MAX’S SuperSize shake (Mix in below) - 1 Serve BCAA’s - 1 Serve NAGG - Teaspoon MAX’S Cre8 Carnage - Spaghetti with bolognese (meat sauce) - Garden salad - Fruit salad with 200g natural yogurt - 1 Serve MAX’S Betapump After Workout (mid afternoon) - 300g Lean steak* - Large salad or 2 cups steamed vegetables - 200g Sweet potato - Fruit salad with 200g natural yoghurt NO TRAINING DINNER - MAX’S NiteTime - MAX’S NiteTime - MAX’S NiteTime - MAX’S NiteTime - MAX’S NiteTime shake shake shake shake shake - 1 Serve MAX’S NAAG - 1 Serve MAX’S NAAG - 1 Serve MAX’S NAAG - 1 Serve MAX’S NAAG - 1 Serve MAX’S NAAG - 1 Serve MAX’S Intraboost EVENING Max’s Muscle-Up Challenge | www.maxchallenge.com.au | Are you TOUGH ENOUGH? Maintain and Build Lean Muscle: If you have worked to get yourself in great shape during the MAX’S Challenge and you want a program to help you maintain condition while making gradual improvements, then this nutrition plan is ideal. It is designed to help you maintain a lean muscular condition but also provide enough nutrients to continue to add quality muscle. After the disciplined dieting of the Challenge many trainers find it beneficial to relax their diet a little. It’s mentally very tough to keep to a diet that maintains a low body fat level. It’s also quite hard to gain extra muscle when you are on a restricted kilojoule diet. So the plan here is to allow your body to gain a little extra body fat, but to still stay in a relatively lean and muscular condition. This is a bit of a fine nutritional line and will probably take a little fine-tuning before you strike the right balance. The key is to continue to eat clean, high quality food. You can have the occasional splurge but you should be on track 90 - 95% of the time. Monitor your body appearance or body composition and make adjustments to your food intake accordingly. Also base your food intake around how you feel. If you are feeling tired and sore from hard training, up your food intake a little to stimulate recovery and restore your energy levels. HERE ARE SOME BASIC GUIDELINES TO FOLLOW TO HELP YOU MAINTAIN A LEAN MUSCULAR BODY WHILE CONTINUING TO ADD QUALITY MUSCLE: • • • • • • • • • Your training intensity should be considered when planning your diet. As you cycle your training intensity, so you should cycle your nutrition plan. During heavier training phases your body needs more nutritional support, so increase your food intake. Conversely, during lighter training phases, wind back your intake a little. Once again, the more experience you gain the better you will be able to intuitively adjust for this. Eat 6 – 8 meals every day, spread out over your day You should aim to eat around every 2 hours Each meal portion should make you feel satisfied but not full Don’t let yourself get really hungry or you will tend to overeat at you next meal. You are better to eat your next meal a bit earlier. Eat your meals slowly and chew your food well. This will help to digest your food more fully allowing you to obtain the maximum nutrients and satisfy your appetite more fully. You must be disciplined about your eating plan – schedule your meals and stick to your schedule Prepare your meals in advance for each day Eat minimal amounts of processed foods – choose • • • • • foods in their raw unprocessed forms wherever possible. Minimise junk food, fried food and fatty food Minimise sugary foods including soft drinks. Minimise or eliminate refined carb foods like white bread, biscuits and cakes. Eat plenty of good quality protein foods or protein shakes and eat moderate levels of good quality carbs (like whole meal/wholegrain breads, pastas, rice and sweet potatoes) and moderate levels of essential fats (like olive oil, flaxseed oil, avocados and nuts). Drink plenty of water each day – 3 litres or more. EAT YOUR MEALS SLOWLY AND CHEW YOUR FOOD WELL. THIS WILL HELP TO DIGEST YOUR FOOD MORE FULLY ALLOWING YOU TO OBTAIN THE MAXIMUM NUTRIENTS AND SATISFY YOUR APPETITE MORE FULLY. SEE THE 7 DAY MAINTAIN AND BUILD LEAN MUSCLE NUTRITION PLAN ON THE NEXT PAGE... Maintain & Build lean muscle NUTRITION PLAN wednesday - 200g Grilled lean steak* - 2 Cups steamed cabbage - 1 Cup steamed brown rice **UNCOOCKED WEIGHT saturday - 4 poached eggs - 80g serve of natural muesli with milk - 4 pieces wholemeal mixed with 2 scoops toast MAX’S SuperSize - 2 tubs natural yoghurt - 1 tubs yoghurt - Fruit juice - Coffee or tea - Coffee or tea friday - 80g rolled oats with milk - 2-4 egg white omelette - Coffee or tea NO TRAINING sunday - 80g rolled oats with milk - 2 Whole & 4 egg white omelette - Coffee or tea MAX’S SuperWhey shake - 1 Serve MAX’S BCAA’s - 1 Pieces of fruit - 200g Grilled lean steak* - 2 Cups steamed cabbage - 1 Cup steamed brown rice NO TRAINING - MAX’S SuperWhey shake - Teaspoon MAX’S Cre8 Carnage - 1 Pieces of fruit - 200-300g Grilled chicken breast* - Large salad or 2 cups steamed vegetables - 100g Sweet potato - MAX’S NiteTime - MAX’S NiteTime shake shake - 1 Serve MAX’S NAAG - 1 Serve MAX’S NAAG - 200-300g Beef or chicken & vegetable stir fry* - 1 Cup steamed brown rice - MAX’S SuperWhey shake (Mix in below) - 1 Serve BCAA’s - 1 Serve NAGG - Teaspoon MAX’S Cre8 Carnage - 1 Serve MAX’S Intraboost - 1 Serve MAX’S Betapump WEIGHT TRAINING DAY - Teaspoon MAX’S Cre8 Carnage - 200g Grilled chicken breast* - 2 Cups steamed string beans - 200g Sweet potato** - MAX’S SuperWhey - MAX’S SuperWhey shake shake - 1 Serve MAX’S BCAA’s - 1 Serve MAX’S - 1 Pieces of fruit BCAA’s - 1 Pieces of fruit - Medium tin tuna (185g) - Garden salad - 1 Cup steamed brown rice - MAX’S SuperWhey shake - 1 Serve MAX’S BCAA’s - 1 Pieces of fruit - 200g Grilled chicken breast* - 2 Cups Steamed broccoli - 200g Sweet potato** WEIGHT TRAINING DAY - Teaspoon MAX’S Cre8 Carnage - 1 Serve MAX’S Betapump - 1 Serve MAX’S Intraboost - MAX’S SuperWhey shake - Teaspoon MAX’S Cre8 Carnage - 1 Pieces of fruit - MAX’S SuperWhey shake (Mix in below) - 1 Serve BCAA’s - 1 Serve NAGG - Teaspoon MAX’S Cre8 Carnage - MAX’S SuperWhey shake - Teaspoon MAX’S Cre8 Carnage - 1 Pieces of fruit - 200-300g Grilled chicken breast* - Large salad or 2 cups steamed vegetables - 100g Sweet potato NO TRAINING thursday *EAT PORTION SIZE BASED ON APPETITE Tuesday - 200g Grilled chicken breast* - 2 Cups steamed broccoli - 200g Sweet potato** - 80g rolled oats - 4 poached eggs - 80g serve of natural with milk muesli with milk - 4 pieces wholemeal mixed with 2 scoops toast - 2 Whole & 4 egg MAX’S SuperWhey - Fruit juice white omelette - 1 tub low fat or - Coffee or tea - Coffee or tea natural yoghurt - Coffee or tea - MAX’S SuperWhey - MAX’S SuperWhey - MAX’S SuperWhey shake shake shake - 1 Serve MAX’S BCAA’s - 1 Serve MAX’S BCAA’s - 1 Serve MAX’S - 1 Pieces of fruit - 1 Pieces of fruit BCAA’s - 1 Pieces of fruit MONDAY INTERMEDIATE WEEKLY PLAN BREAKFAST MID MORNING LUNCH - Medium tin tuna (185g) - Garden salad - 1 Cup steamed brown rice - 1 Serve MAX’S Betapump WEIGHT TRAINING DAY WEIGHT TRAINING DAY - Teaspoon MAX’S - Teaspoon MAX’S Cre8 Carnage Cre8 Carnage - 1 Serve MAX’S Betapump 1 hour before training 15 min before training - 1 Serve MAX’S Intraboost - MAX’S SuperWhey shake (Mix in below) - 1 Serve BCAA’s - 1 Serve NAGG - Teaspoon MAX’S Cre8 Carnage - 200-300g grilled fish* - 200-300g Beef or chicken and - Large salad vegetable stir fry* - 100g Sweet potato - 1 Cup steamed brown rice - MAX’S NiteTime - MAX’S NiteTime - MAX’S NiteTime - MAX’S NiteTime - MAX’S NiteTime shake shake shake shake shake - 1 Serve MAX’S NAAG - 1 Serve MAX’S NAAG - 1 Serve MAX’S NAAG - 1 Serve MAX’S NAAG - 1 Serve MAX’S NAAG - 200 -300g Lean steak* - Spaghetti with bolognese (meat - Large salad or sauce) 2 cups steamed vegetables - Garden salad - 100g Sweet potato - 1 Serve MAX’S Intraboost During Workout - MAX’S SuperWhey shake (Mix in below) - 1 Serve BCAA’s - 1 Serve NAGG - Teaspoon MAX’S Cre8 Carnage After Workout (mid afternoon) DINNER EVENING Max’s Muscle-Up Challenge | www.maxchallenge.com.au | Are you TOUGH ENOUGH? strip fat and Build Lean Muscle: If you completed the MAX’S Challenge but you are still a “work in progress”, by which we mean you need to continue to strip body fat and continue to improve your muscularity, then this nutrition plan is for you. Your experience to date with the Challenge will have prepared you well for the road ahead. Whether you want to lose another 10kg or 30, the principal is the same. Your aim should be to steadily reduce body fat while improving your muscularity, so that by the time the next MAX’S Challenge comes around you are within sight of your finishing goal. Stripping fat is generally about reducing kilojoules, so that you are using more each day than you are taking in. However, the types of kilojoules you consume can also have a big bearing on your progress. Science shows that a diet higher in quality protein combined with a reduced intake of carbohydrates and a moderate intake of the right fats is the most beneficial for fat loss. As a general guide, we recommend a loss of around 0.5 – 1 kg per week as a sustainable rate of loss. Sure, you can lose more but you have to restrict your food intake severely which means your energy levels can really suffer. This in turn will have an adverse effect on your training. So our goal here is to set a nutrition plan to lose 0.5 – 1kg per week, train hard and build some solid underlying muscle. HERE ARE SOME BASIC GUIDELINES TO FOLLOW TO HELP YOU TO STRIP FAT AND BUILD LEAN MUSCLE: • • • • • • • • Eat 6 – 8 meals every day, spread out over your day You should aim to eat around every 2 hours and each meal should contain some good quality protein Each meal portion should make you feel satisfied but not full Don’t let yourself get really hungry or you will tend to overeat at you next meal. You are better to eat your next meal a bit earlier. If you get hungry throughout the day, add ½ SuperShred Shake to your plan or increase your meal serving sizes slightly Eat your meals slowly and chew your food well. This will help to digest your food more fully allowing you to obtain the maximum nutrients and satisfy your appetite more fully. You must be disciplined about your eating plan – schedule your meals and stick to your schedule Prepare your meals in advance for each day Eat minimal amounts of processed foods – choose foods in their raw unprocessed forms wherever possible. • • • • • • Minimise junk food, fried food and fatty food Minimise sugary foods including soft drinks. Minimise or eliminate refined carb foods like white bread, biscuits and cakes. Eat plenty of good quality protein foods or protein shakes and eat moderate levels of good quality carbs (like whole meal/wholegrain breads, pastas, rice and sweet potatoes) and moderate levels of essential fats (like olive oil, flaxseed oil, avocados and nuts). You need some carbs for energy to train hard, but try to eat all your carbs earlier in the day and avoid eating carbohydrate foods after about 2.00pm Drink plenty of water each day – 3 litres or more. DON’T LET YOURSELF GET REALLY HUNGRY OR YOU WILL TEND TO OVEREAT AT YOU NEXT MEAL. YOU ARE BETTER TO EAT YOUR NEXT MEAL A BIT EARLIER SEE THE 7 DAY STRIP FAT AND BUILD LEAN MUSCLE NUTRITION PLAN ON THE NEXT PAGE... strip fat and build lean muscle NUTRITION PLAN *EAT PORTION SIZE BASED ON APPETITE **UNCOOCKED WEIGHT - 1-2 Scoops MAX’S SuperShred mixed with 1 cup oats and water - 1 tub natural yoghurt - Coffee or tea - MAX’S SuperShred shake - 1 Serve BCAA’s - 1 Serve NAGG - 1 Apple - 6 egg white/1 yolk omelette - 2 pieces wholemeal toast - Coffee or tea sunday - 6 egg white/1 yolk omelette - 2 pieces wholemeal toast - Coffee or tea - MAX’S SuperShred shake - 1 Serve BCAA’s - 1 Serve NAGG - 1 Apple saturday - 1-2 Scoops MAX’S SuperShred mixed with 1 cup oats and water - 1 tub natural yoghurt - Coffee or tea - MAX’S SuperShred shake - 1 Serve BCAA’s - 1 Serve NAGG - 1 Apple friday - 6 egg white/1 yolk omelette - 2 pieces wholemeal toast - Coffee or tea - MAX’S SuperShred shake - 1 Serve BCAA’s - 1 Serve NAGG - 1 Apple thursday - 1-2 Scoops MAX’S SuperShred mixed with 1 cup oats and water - 1 tub natural yoghurt - Coffee or tea - MAX’S SuperShred shake - 1 Serve BCAA’s - 1 Serve NAGG - 1 Apple wednesday - 6 egg white/1 yolk omelette - 2 pieces wholemeal toast - Coffee or tea - MAX’S SuperShred shake - 1 Serve BCAA’s - 1 Serve NAGG - 1 Apple - 200 – 300g lean meat & vegetable stir fry - 1 Cup steamed brown rice Tuesday - MAX’S SuperShred shake - 1 Serve BCAA’s - 1 Serve NAGG - 1 Apple - 200 – 300g Grilled chicken breast* - Garden Salad - 100g Sweet potato - 1 Serve MAX’S Intraboost - 1 Serve MAX’S Betapump WEIGHT TRAINING DAY - Teaspoon MAX’S Cre8 Carnage - Medium tin tuna (185g) - Garden salad - 1 Cup steamed brown rice MONDAY INTERMEDIATE WEEKLY PLAN BREAKFAST MID MORNING LUNCH - 1 Serve MAX’S Betapump - 1 Serve MAX’S Intraboost - MAX’S SuperSize shake - Teaspoon MAX’S Cre8 Carnage - MAX’S SuperSize shake - Teaspoon MAX’S Cre8 Carnage NO TRAINING - 200 – 300g Grilled chicken breast* - 2 Cups Steamed broccoli - 100g Sweet potato** WEIGHT TRAINING DAY WEIGHT TRAINING DAY - Teaspoon MAX’S - Teaspoon MAX’S Cre8 Carnage Cre8 Carnage - MAX’S SuperShred shake - Teaspoon MAX’S Cre8 Carnage - MAX’S SuperShred shake (Mix in below) - 1 Serve BCAA’s - 1 Serve NAGG - Teaspoon MAX’S Cre8 Carnage - 200-300g Grilled lean steak* - Large salad or 2 cups steamed vegetables - MAX’S NiteTime - MAX’S NiteTime shake shake - 1 Serve MAX’S NAAG - 1 Serve MAX’S NAAG - 200-300g Beef or chicken & vegetable stir fry* - MAX’S NiteTime - MAX’S NiteTime - MAX’S NiteTime - MAX’S NiteTime - MAX’S NiteTime shake shake shake shake shake - 1 Serve MAX’S NAAG - 1 Serve MAX’S NAAG - 1 Serve MAX’S NAAG - 1 Serve MAX’S NAAG - 1 Serve MAX’S NAAG - 300g Grilled chicken breast* - Large garden salad NO TRAINING - 200 – 300g Grilled lean steak* - 2 Cups steamed string beans - 100g Sweet potato - 1 Serve MAX’S Betapump - 200 – 300g Grilled chicken breast* - 2 Cups steamed broccoli - 100g Sweet potato** 1 hour before training - 1 Serve MAX’S Betapump - 1 Serve MAX’S Intraboost - MAX’S SuperShred shake (Mix in below) - 1 Serve BCAA’s - 1 Serve NAGG - Teaspoon MAX’S Cre8 Carnage - Medium tin tuna (185g) - Garden salad - 1 Cup steamed brown rice 15 min before training - 1 Serve MAX’S Intraboost - MAX’S SuperShred shake (Mix in below) - 1 Serve BCAA’s - 1 Serve NAGG - Teaspoon MAX’S Cre8 Carnage WEIGHT TRAINING DAY - Teaspoon MAX’S Cre8 Carnage During Workout - MAX’S SuperShred shake (Mix in below) - 1 Serve BCAA’s - 1 Serve NAGG - Teaspoon MAX’S Cre8 Carnage - 300g Beef or chicken and vegetable stir fry* NO TRAINING After Workout (mid afternoon) - 300g grilled fish* - 200-300g Lean steak* - 200-300g Grilled - Large garden salad - Large garden salad or chicken breast* 2 cups steamed - Large garden salad or vegetables 2 cups steamed vegetables DINNER EVENING Max’s Muscle-Up Challenge | www.maxchallenge.com.au | Are you TOUGH ENOUGH? TAKING THE NEXT STEP: So you’ve completed your Challenge, or you’ve been using our Beginner Program and you want to keep progressing. What now? This Intermediate Level Program is designed to help you prepare for the next MAX’S Challenge that commences in February, or to simply continue on your health and fitness journey. CHALLENGE FINISHERS: If you have just completed the MAX’S Challenge you should have made some great strides in your personal health and fitness goals. For many Challengers, this is the start of a life long journey of health and fitness. For other Challengers it’s about recapturing their fitness and more youthful body. Unfortunately we know that many Challengers lapse back into old habits and undo a lot of the good progress they have made. This guide is designed to help you stay on track, and to prepare for the upcoming MAX’S Challenge next February. So where to start? If you have just finished your Challenge we would recommend that now is a good time to take a short breather. Take a week or so off. Let your body recover, relax your diet, and enjoy life a little. After a week or so most people are keen to get back into training and find they come back to training fresher, stronger and more motivated than ever. We don’t recommend hard training and strict dieting all year round. This approach is very tough to handle both mentally and physically, and most people burn out and lose motivation if they try this for too long. What we do recommend is a cyclical approach to your training, diet and overall conditioning. This means setting a goal, or several goals throughout your year and basing your training and diet around them. For some trainers and athletes this means reaching peak condition once (like doing the Challenge once a year) or perhaps several times per year (perhaps doing 2 Challenges per year), and using the times between your peaks to recover and to work on areas you feel need improving, like your fitness, adding more muscle, increasing strength, balancing up weaker areas, etc. This is a similar approach that is used by most competition bodybuilders. They have an “off season” and a “competition season”. They use the off season to work on improving their physique and the competition season to maintain muscle but strip body fat to look their very best come competition day. In the off season they usually focus on heavier mass building programs to add more muscle, and they also work on improving areas of their body that may be lagging behind. For example, they may focus on more leg development during their off season by really hitting heavy squats or leg presses. Most competitive bodybuilders don’t try to stay in competition shape all year round because they realise that building muscle and gaining size is very hard to do on a restricted diet. What they do is follow a moderate mass building diet, understanding that a reasonable level of body fat is ok as long as can be stripped away with their pre contest diet program. With this approach in mind, our Intermediate Training Program will help guide you on the path to continuous improvement. There are other Challengers who may want to stay on a stricter Challenge type program if they are still carrying excess body fat, which is fine. Bear in mind that it can be very tough to stay on a strict diet for a long time, month in and month out, so we still recommend occasional breaks, and a few dietary treats here and there to help to keep you on track. Set yourself long terms goals but break up your progress into a series of shorter and more attainable goals. For example, if you have 25kg to lose, set your goals in 5kg blocks and set realistic dates to achieve goals. SET YOURSELF LONG TERMS GOALS BUT BREAK UP YOUR PROGRESS INTO A SERIES OF SHORTER AND MORE ATTAINABLE GOALS INTERMEdiate training: Now you’ve been working out for some time you should have a good feel for training and some of the capabilities of your body. As you build some muscle and get stronger you should also be getting a real buzz from how you look and feel. You may be getting positive comments from friends and family, or you maybe getting the urge to wear tighter t-shirts to show off your new bod. It’s a pretty cool thing and motivates most trainers to want more! Another thing you will also realise after having trained for some time is that your gains start to slow down. When you first start training hard you will have probably experienced some pretty good gains in strength and muscle. But even though you are lifting more weight now, you aren’t putting on muscle at the same rate. Your body will keep adapting to the stimulus you give it, however as you get stronger, it gets harder to keep continually upping your weights to the level required to stimulate even more growth. This is where we need to get a bit smarter with your training to force your body to keep growing. This intermediate routine is designed to train each muscle group (chest, back, legs, etc.) twice per week. Your challenge is to really push hard in each and every workout. This hard training will push your muscles to super-compensate and therefore grow, but they will only grow if you give them enough rest. So this program is what’s called a 4 day per week split routine. A split routine means you split your body in half, you train half your muscle groups on one day, then the other half in the next workout. It is designed like this so you can push each muscle group really hard, beyond their normal capabilities, then give your trained muscles enough time to recover and grow before you hit them hard in your next workout. In general this means you should get at least 3 - 4 days between training the same muscle group. Your weekly routine will look like this: MONDAY TUESDAY WEDNESDAY THURSDAY FRIDAY SATURDAY SUNDAY The workouts we publish here are a basic intermediate plan you can use to build muscle. We will give you a number of options you can choose from. Use these options to add variety to your training. If you continue to do exactly the same workout, week in and week out, your body will get used to the stimulus and your gains will slow or stop altogether. By regularly changing your workouts around, you are more likely to keep stimulating growth. We also plan to keep offering new training routines and tips, so keep an eye on our website and social media for these updates. This training program can be used whether your goal is to build muscle and gain size, or strip fat and get lean and muscular. The diet program you follow will be the key factor that determines whether you gain mass or strip fat. TRAINING BASICS: Before getting down to the nitty gritty, let’s review some training principals that apply to all levels of training: • • CARDIO & WEIGHT TRAINING WEIGHT TRAINING CARDIO TRAINING CARDIO & WEIGHT TRAINING CARDIO TRAINING WEIGHT TRAINING REST • Training frequency – Intermediate level trainers should aim for 4 weight training sessions per week. Each workout should last around 1 hour. Cardio training again will depend on your goals. If you are trying to stay lean or strip a fair amount of fat then we recommend 4 or more cardio sessions per week. If you are trying to bulk up, 2 - 3 cardio sessions is recommended. Positive failure – Your muscles will only grow when you push them beyond their normal limits, which means you must train your muscles to failure in each workout. When performing resistance exercises your last few repetitions of the last 1 – 2 sets should be to failure. This means that by the time you get to rep 8, 9 or 10, you cannot do another rep unaided. Negative Failure – Intermediate level trainers can start introducing negative failure into their training. Simply this means that you keep working your muscles for a few more reps after they reach positive failure. A simple example of this is forced reps. You may be doing barbell biceps curls and have reached positive failure – you can’t lift the bar for another rep. Now your training partner can help you do another 2 or 3 reps by gently helping to lift the bar, with just enough pressure that you are doing 95% or the work. Two sets of forced • • • • reps like this can really push your muscle beyond their normal capabilities and stimulate good gains. A word of warning here. Don’t do this in every workout as it can quickly lead to overtraining. Once per week or so is plenty. Training Priorities - If you have a weaker body part start off your workout with that body part to ensure you attack it while you are freshest. This might mean changing the order around of the exercise listed in this guide but that’s ok. For example, if your leg development is lagging behind your upper body, always do legs first in your workout when you are fresh and can give them 100%. Sets and Repetitions – To build muscle you must stimulate your muscle sufficiently to force growth. The ideal number of repetitions to achieve this for most muscle groups is between about 8 and 12. For building mass and size, stick to around 8 – 10 reps, for stripping fat and getting lean aim for about 10 - 12 reps. If you perform less than 8 reps you tend to increase strength but not muscle size, and more than 12 tends to increase endurance but not muscle size. There are some exceptions to this which we will cover. The number of sets you should perform is usually related to your training level. Intermediate trainers should aim for around 8 – 12 sets, usually spread over 2 – 3 exercises. Rest between sets is also a factor. When you are training for all out size and strength take a good rest between each hard set so you can lift maximum weights on each set, this can be around 3 – 5 minute, but the aim is to feel well recovered so you can tackle each set with maximum intensity. If you are training to build muscle and burn fat then you should only be resting a few minutes, which tends to increase intensity and fat burning. However, when training legs, always rest a few more minutes between sets to ensure you are able to perform each set with maximum intensity. Overload and Progression - If you want to get bigger and stronger, you need to use more resistance than your muscles are used to. This is important because the more you do, the more your body is capable of doing, so you must regularly push your muscles beyond their previous limits regularly to force your body to adapt and grow. In plain language, this means you should be lifting enough weight that you can ONLY complete the desired number of reps. In order to avoid plateaus you need to always strive to increase your intensity. You can do this by in a number of ways including: increasing the amount of weight lifted; increasing the sets/reps; changing the exercises you’re doing and/or changing the rest intervals between sets; and changing the order of your exercises. Remember however that good exercise form always take priority over the amount of weight you can lift, so if your form is suffering, the weight is too heavy. Rest and Recovery – This is one of the most important aspects of your training. You must train hard to stimulate muscle growth but you must give your body enough time between workouts to fully recover between workouts. This is usually between • 48 – 72 hours for someone who has been training regularly for some months, but can take longer for beginner trainers. To improve your recovery there are a number of strategies you should look at. Always have a protein shake straight after your workout. Gentle stretching and light cardio is excellent to loosen up stiff muscles and accelerate recovery. Hot and cold water immersion (hot and cold baths) is also great, and a good sports massage once a week is an excellent recovery strategy. Training Cycles – We recommend that you cycle your training so that you go through heavier cycles where you really strive to push maximum weights, and lighter cycles where you perform more reps with a bit less weight and intensity. Cycling your training will help keep you fresh and allow your body to recover and grow. Try a 4 – 6 week heavy cycle, followed by a 2 – 3 week lighter cycle. During your heavy cycle, aim to push maximum weights in each workout. You can drop the reps down to about 6 every now and then to try for heavier weights. Don’t do this every workout, perhaps only one or two sets per week per body part. On your lighter cycles, aim for higher reps, maybe 10 – 12, and aim for a really good pump. You don’t need to train to failure during a lighter phase. The exercises should be difficult but not really hard. OK, so lets get into your program. Once you get to this level of training it’s hard to be able to train at home effectively without much equipment. If you are planning to train at home we recommend you look at getting the following equipment to help you perform effective intermediate level training: • • • • • • Flat Bench Press Adjustable Flat / Incline Bench Chin Up Bar Squat Rack Several Barbells with a variety of weights that will allow you to perform exercises to failure Several Dumbbells or Dumbbells with quick change collars and a variety of weights The following program is designed to be followed in a commercial gym but will include options for a home gym setup with the equipment listed above. It’s a good idea to start your workout with a 10 minute warm-up on the stationary bike, treadmill, rower or other cardio machine. If you are a home trainer 3 sets of 10 push up / burpees, or 10 minutes of skipping or jogging on the spot. SEE THE WEEKLY TRAINING PROGRAMS ON THE NEXT PAGE... TRAINING PROGRAM INTERMEDIATE: WEEKLY PLAN MONDAY TUESDAY WEDNESDAY THURSDAY FRIDAY SATURDAY SUNDAY CHEST, BACK & BICEPS SHOULDERS, Legs & Triceps CARDIO CHEST, BACK & BICEPS CARDIO SHOULDERS, Legs & triceps CARDIO MONDAY & THURSDAY: CHEST, BACK & BICEPS MUSCLE GROUP Chest NOTES EXERCISE SETS & REPETITIONS Flat Barbell Bench Press Warm up with a light weight then perform your 4 sets. You can 4 x 10 - 12 repetitions perform this exercise with free weights or a pin loaded machine. Rest 1 - 2 minutes Your final set should feel quite heavy and last few reps should be between sets difficult or performed as forced reps Incline Dumbbell Press (Monday Workout) Alternate With Flat Bench Dummbell Flyes (Thursday Workout) Wide Grip Chin Ups (Monday Workout) Alternate With Close Grip Lat Pull Downs (Thursday Workout) Start with relatively light dumbbells and increase the weight on 4 x 10 - 12 repetitions each set. Your final set should feel quite heavy and your 9th and 10th reps should be difficult or performed as forced reps. Rest 1 - 2 minutes between sets Use moderate weight dumbbells, lie on a bench and perform 4 x 10 - 12 repetitions Dumbbell flyes using a wide arc. When the dumbbells are at their highest point and touching, contract and squeeze your chest Rest 1 - 2 minutes muscles for added intensity. A Pec Dec machine can also be used between sets for this exercise Use a wide grip, start in a hanging position and pull up until your 4 x 10 - 12 repetitions chin just touches the bar, then lower in a controlled movement. If you can do more than 10 reps use a weight belt and hook and add Rest 1 - 2 minutes extra weight. between sets 4 x 10 - 12 repetitions Use a narrow underhand grip or a narrow handle and pull down to the top of your chest with a slight arch in your back. Stretch your Rest 1 - 2 minutes back muscles when your arms are extended. Increase the weight between sets in each set but keep the movement smooth and controlled. Back Seated Cable Rows (Monday Workout) Alternate with Bent Over Dumbbell Rows (Thursday Workout) Focus on contracting your back muscles to pull the weight towards 4 x 10 - 12 repetitions you and stretching your back as your arms extend away from you. Rest 1 - 2 minutes Don’t bend too far forward from your waist, make most of the between sets movement through your arms and back. 4 x 10 - 12 repetitions Kneel on a bench with one knee and support with your arm. With Rest 1 - 2 minutes your other arm pull up the dumbbell to your rib cage then lower between sets to get a good stretch. Max’s Muscle-Up Challenge | www.maxchallenge.com.au | Are you TOUGH ENOUGH? TRAINING PROGRAM INTERMEDIATE: WEEKLY PLAN MONDAY TUESDAY WEDNESDAY THURSDAY FRIDAY SATURDAY SUNDAY CHEST, BACK & BICEPS SHOULDERS, Legs & Triceps CARDIO CHEST, BACK & BICEPS CARDIO SHOULDERS, Legs & triceps CARDIO MONDAY & THURSDAY: CHEST, BACK & BICEPS MUSCLE GROUP Biceps SETS & REPETITIONS Standing Barbell Biceps Curl Grip a barbell at about shoulder width and start with your arms hanging straight. Curl the weight up in a controlled and steady 4 x 10 - 12 repetitions arc until your biceps are fully contracted, then lower again in a Rest 1 - 2 minutes controlled arc. For added intensity squeeze your biceps for a between sets count of one in the contracted position. Increase the weight with each set. If you have to heave up the weight or arch your back, it’s too heavy. Seated Alternate Dumbbell Curls (Monday Workout) Alternate with EZ Bar Preacher Curl (Thursday Workout) Abdominals NOTES EXERCISE Plank Your arms will be warm from the barbell curls so you can launch straight into this exercise with a good weight. Focus on good form 4 x 10 - 12 repetitions and squeeze each biceps muscle at the top of the movement Rest 1 - 2 minutes before lowering. Try to keep your upper body still and let your between sets biceps do all the work. 4 x 10 - 12 repetitions Use a close grip on an EZ bar and perform curls on a preacher Rest 1 - 2 minutes bench. Lower the weight slowly and don’t bounce the weight at between sets the bottom of the movement. Contract the biceps muscles for 1 second at the top of the curl for added intensity 2 x 1 minute sets Rest 2 - 3 minutes between sets Adopt a push up position and raise your upper body by resting on your forearms and raise your lower body up on your toes. Keep your back straight and parallel to the floor and hold that position for one minute. Max’s Muscle-Up Challenge | www.maxchallenge.com.au | Are you TOUGH ENOUGH? TRAINING PROGRAM INTERMEDIATE: WEEKLY PLAN MONDAY TUESDAY WEDNESDAY THURSDAY FRIDAY SATURDAY SUNDAY CHEST, BACK & BICEPS SHOULDERS, Legs & Triceps CARDIO CHEST, BACK & BICEPS CARDIO SHOULDERS, Legs & triceps CARDIO MONDAY & THURSDAY: SHOULDERS, Legs & triceps MUSCLE GROUP NOTES EXERCISE SETS & REPETITIONS Seated Dumbbell Press Start with a light weight to warm up your shoulders then perform 4 x 10 - 12 repetitions your 4 working sets. Start with the dumbbells lightly touching your Rest 1 - 2 minutes shoulders then press up powerfully and lower slowly. Increase the weight with each set but make sure you maintain good form. Don’t between sets arch your back excessively. Dumbbell Side Raises Shoulders Barbell Upright Rows (Tuesday Workout) Alternate With Bent Over Rear Delt Raises (Saturday Workout) Barbell Squats (Tuesday Workout) Alternate with Seated Leg Press (Saturday Workout) Legs Lying Leg Curl (Tuesday Workout) Alternate with Stiff Leg Dead Lifts (Saturday Workout) Start with a relatively light weight that allows you to perform this exercise correctly. Your arms should be hanging by your sides 4 x 10 - 12 repetitions with a moderate elbow bend. Lift your arms in an arc to the side, Rest 1 - 2 minutes concentrating on keeping your elbows high and holding your hands in a position that emulates pouring water out a jug. This between sets should produce a strong burn in your side deltoid muscle when performed correctly. Don’t raise your hand higher than your ears. In a standing position take an overhand narrow grip on a 4 x 10 - 12 repetitions moderate weight barbell. Lift the bar to your chin in a controlled Rest 1 - 2 minutes movement keeping it close to your body, then lower back to the between sets starting position. 4 x 10 - 12 repetitions Start with relatively light dumbbells. Bend forward from the waist / hips with the dumbbells hanging, then lift the dumbbells in an Rest 1 - 2 minutes arch out from your sides with your elbows slightly bent. Keep your between sets elbows forward through the movement. 4 x 12 repetitions Rest 2 minutes between sets 4 x 12 repetitions Rest 2 minutes between sets You will need a squat rack to perform this exercise properly. Your feet should be shoulder width apart and the bar should sit comfortably across your shoulders. When squatting, keep your head up and your back straight. Squat down until your thighs go a little further than parallel to the floor, then push back up through your heels. Use a shoulder width foot spacing and start with a few lighter warm up sets and then work up to 2 heavy sets. Push through your heels for maximum quad stimulation. This exercise works the hamstring and is important for balanced leg development. Start with a lighter weight and work up to a final 4 x 10 - 12 repetitions heavy set. Hold your leg in the contracted position for a count of 2 Rest 1 - 2 minutes for added intensity between sets This exercise works the hamstring and is important for balanced leg development. Start with a medium weight barbell, holding it 4 x 10 - 12 repetitions in front of you, arms hanging with an overhand grip. Bend forward from your hips, not your lower back, hanging the dumbbell down Rest 1 - 2 minutes until you get a good stretch in your hamstrings. Contract your between sets glutes as you return to standing position pivoting through your hips. Max’s Muscle-Up Challenge | www.maxchallenge.com.au | Are you TOUGH ENOUGH? TRAINING PROGRAM INTERMEDIATE: WEEKLY PLAN MONDAY TUESDAY WEDNESDAY THURSDAY FRIDAY SATURDAY SUNDAY CHEST, BACK & BICEPS SHOULDERS, Legs & Triceps CARDIO CHEST, BACK & BICEPS CARDIO SHOULDERS, Legs & triceps CARDIO MONDAY & THURSDAY: SHOULDERS, Legs & triceps MUSCLE GROUP EXERCISE SETS & REPETITIONS NOTES Calves Standing Calf Raises 4 x 20 repetitions Rest 1 - 2 minutes between sets Start with a relatively light weight and do a warm up set, then increase the weight on each set. Aim for a full stretch at the bottom and full contraction at the top on each rep. Lying Triceps Extension 4 x 10 - 12 repetitions Rest 1 - 2 minutes between sets You can use a straight or EZ bar for this exercise. Lying on a bench, start with grip a bit less than shoulder width and the weight extended overhead. Keeping your upper arms still, lower the weight by bending at the elbow until the bar or your hands just touches the top of your head. Push the bar back to the straight arm position in a smooth and controlled arc. Triceps Triceps Pushdown (Tuesday Workout) Alternate with Close Grip EZ bar Presses 4 x 10 - 12 repetitions Start with a moderately heavy weight on an EZ bar. Use a narrow grip, lie back on a bench, then press up the weight like a close Rest 1 - 2 minutes grip bench press. between sets Crunches 2 x 20 repetitions Rest 2 minutes between sets (Saturday Workout) Abdominals 4 x 10 - 12 repetitions Increase the weight on each set. On your last set you should find Rest 1 - 2 minutes the last few reps very difficult. To keep tension on your triceps between sets don’t lock your arms at the bottom of the movement, just keep your arms moving in a controlled steady motion. Lie on your back with your knees bent. Place your hands on your thighs, then contract or crunch your abs muscles to lift your shoulders and head off the ground. Slide your hands up your thighs until they go over your knees, then lower your upper body down again to the starting position. Max’s Muscle-Up Challenge | www.maxchallenge.com.au | Are you TOUGH ENOUGH? CARDIO: If you are aiming to stay reasonably lean or strip fat we recommend 3 – 4 sessions of cardio per week. The length and intensity of the cardio will depend on your goals. If you are training to build size, aim for 2 - 3 sessions of moderate level of cardio per week. Each session should last around 30 – 40 minutes. Your cardio can be any suitable exercise that gets your heart rate up to a level where you raise a sweat and start breathing moderately heavy. Cardio options include exercises like cycling or stationary bike, treadmill or brisk walking, elliptical trainer, rowing machine, etc. TIPS & TRICKS: You never stop learning in this game, and even though you may have been training for some time there are always plenty of options to get more out of your training. As you ramp up the intensity here are some things to think about: • • • • • Training Partner – Nothing beats a good training partner. If you can find someone who trains with you in every workout, really pushes you, competes with you, forces you to do 2 more reps when you would normally quit, and stops you from missing a workout, then they are worth their weight in protein powder! Perhaps a friend, a work colleague or maybe someone you’ve met at the gym. The ideal training partner should be around your own ability, maybe just a bit stronger, so you can aim at their weights, reps and sets. If they are much stronger or much weaker than you, you may find you are wasting a lot of time changing weights from set to set. Push, Push, Push – If you are feeling good or if you finish your last set and feel you could have gone a bit harder or lifted a bit heavier weight, there’s no harm in doing another set or two to really smash your muscles into submission and force new growth. These exercises, sets and reps are a guide as to the minimum amount of training you should do to get good results, you can change them around as you get more experience. Try New Stuff - Further to he last point, look for new exercises, new ways of doing old exercises, or new training programs. Check out what others are doing in the gym. Get online and look for new training ideas. Mix your training up, keep it fresh and you will get more out of it. Training Gloves – you may have built up some callouses but if you don’t want to rip up your hands as the weights get heavier, try using a pair of training gloves, available in most good sports stores or online. Weight Belts – You see some trainers around the gym using weight belts, usually if they are lifting big weights. Weight belts can be useful to support your core, abs and lower back and protect it if • • • • • you are lifting heavier weights, but most beginner and intermediate level trainers should avoid using them. Why? Because almost every exercise you do engages and strengthens your core muscles. Using a weight belt stops your core working and inhibits core strength development. If you suffer a lower back injury then a weight belt can be used while the injury heals, but in general don’t use them. Music – Most Gyms have some sort of music pumping which most people find motivational. If it’s not quite to your taste why not make up your own workout playlist on your MP3 Player or iPod, and really fire up your training. Pre-workout Preparation – Don’t forget to prepare for every workout. If you just rock up at the gym with no thought for what you are going to do, you may have a good workout or you may just stuff about and waste time. Plan out your workouts a week in advance. Know what body parts, exercises, sets and reps you are going to do before you go to the gym. Part of good pre-workout preparation is the nutrition side. A good pre-workout formula like MAX’S BetaPump is a great way to have a killer workout. Be Flexible – We’re not talking about joint flexibility, but the ability to adapt to changing situations. Sometimes your gym will be crowded which means your workout plans might get messed up. For example, if there is a que for the leg press machine, do your leg extensions first, or perhaps substitute with squats. Know what alternatives you can use so you don’t waste time, cool down or lose momentum and reduce the effectiveness of your training. Workout Diary – Further to Workout Preparation, a workout diary is a great little tool for helping you stay on track. Use it to plan your food intake and workouts. Then use it to record your actual food intake along with the exercises, sets and reps of your workouts. It’s a great discipline to follow and helps keep you accountable. You can use one of the commercial diaries or simply use a notebook. Another great alternative is to use one of the many smart phone apps that you can use to track your workouts. Recovery Nutrition – We keep going on about this but it’s so important. Make sure you have a protein shake straight after every training session. This is the single biggest thing you can do to maximize muscle recovery. We recommend taking a big serve of your favorite MAX’S protein mixed in milk.