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4 kg of muscle mass in 6 weeks

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The rebound effect. Gain up to 4 kg in six weeks with this step-by-step approach to immediately optimize muscle growth after a diet.

If you've ever dieted for a bodybuilding competition or just been dieting for a long time to get rid of your body fat, you know the first thing that comes to mind when the diet is over: you want to eat everything you haven't liked in the last few months to have. Sure, you can do that, but it can have disastrous results in the form of a lot of unwanted body fat. A better strategy is to use this time to achieve impressive muscle gains by taking advantage of your body's rebound effect.

Most progress in a year is often made during the first few weeks after the competition diet, so that period is ideal for growth. You can easily gain two to four pounds of real muscle mass in just six weeks during that time. Here are seven steps you can use to transition your diet over a six-week period with pure muscle gains.

1 Understand how the body's overcompensation mechanisms work. The happy bodybuilder has a fantastic metabolism which allows him to become bone dry but still retain valuable muscle mass during a competition preparation. However, for many bodybuilders, a competitive diet means they almost have to starve themselves. There are bodybuilders who have to moderate in everything (fats, carbohydrates and total calories) and spend the rest of the time on the cardio machines to get the fat burning going. It's just that the whole diet process is very tough on the body and the body often goes into a catabolic state where some muscle mass is lost or at least it takes a lot of effort to maintain the existing muscle mass. The good news is that when this potentially muscle-wasting process is alleviated, the body reacts by overcompensation and enters a powerful muscle-building state.

2 Increase your intake of carbohydrates and high-quality fats. When you're on a diet, it always comes at the cost of something. Eating less carbohydrates and fat results in less energy. This can lead to muscle loss, but it also triggers muscle building signals that can prepare your body for serious growth when you stop the diet, as long as there are enough carbohydrates and fats in your renewed diet. After the diet, the body is eager to grow, as long as you take the right amounts of these nutrients. In addition, hormones and enzymes help to stimulate growth. If you are on a diet, your testo levels may drop. When you eat again, they rise very quickly. Rising testo levels in combination with more food result in a rapid and substantial increase in muscle mass.

In addition, you see that during the diet the muscle reserves of stored carbohydrates (glycogen) decrease, but glycogen-sparing enzymes that are able to extract many carbohydrates are now working overtime. If you then stop the diet and get more good food, your body will swell due to large glycogen reserves that have a direct positive effect on growth.

3 | Follow the "150 rule" for your carbohydrate intake. The metabolism is different for every bodybuilder. That is one of the reasons competition athletes consume different amounts of carbohydrates. Some follow a very low-carbohydrate diet to get dry, while others eat slightly more carbohydrates. But no matter how the metabolism is, no one can eat a lot of carbohydrates with impunity after a game without getting fat. So be picky and choose the sensible one.

Experience shows that adding 150 grams of carbohydrates per day seems to work best. If you ate 170 grams of carbohydrates per day during your diet, you can expect to grow without building body fat by eating 320 grams of carbohydrates per day for the first three weeks after your diet. If you already ate 300 grams per day, you can increase that to 450 grams.

The best sources are slow-digesting carbohydrates such as oatmeal, whole wheat bread, brown rice and sweet potatoes with meals and simple carbohydrates or sugars before and after your workout. 

4 | Adjust your carbohydrate intake the fourth week after your diet. The body is an interesting machine. If you feed it after a diet phase, your metabolism will work faster. The intention is to add more carbohydrates to compensate for that faster effect. If you don't increase the number of carbohydrates in that fourth week, your body will not grow further, because not enough energy is supplied to support your faster metabolism. Therefore, in weeks 4 to 6, add another 100 to 125 gam carbohydrates per day to your diet. If you ate 320 grams of carbohydrates at the end of the third week after your diet, you can now increase it to 420-445 grams per day; if you already ate 450, increase it to 550-575.

5 Don't be short on yourself in terms of fats. Of course, a diet that is extremely low in fat is an excellent way to get dry before a game or the beach. Very low-fat diets do not contain dietary fat and that is the nutrient that prevents the first loss of body fat. Moreover, with such a low-fat diet you can keep your carbohydrate intake a little higher. The major disadvantage of very low-fat diets is that they can also cause important hormones that affect your muscle mass to drop. Eating the right types of fat again for the first few weeks after your diet helps support testo, GH and IGF-1 levels and, as discussed in step 2, ascending testo levels affect muscle gain.

Increase your dietary fat intake by 40 to 50 grams per day for the first three weeks and add another 10 to 15 grams per day for the fourth through sixth weeks. Ideal fat sources contain a combination of the following: saturated fats, such as those found in lean beef and full-fat dairy; omega fats from salmon and fish oil supplements; and monounsaturated fats found in avocados, olives, nuts and olive oil.

Know your protein needs. You have to eat a lot of protein to grow, right? This is not necessarily the case for the first few weeks after a diet. Letting your body overcompensate and grow has a lot more to do with increasing energy, you do that by eating more carbohydrates and fat and of course doing less cardio during this period.

How many proteins do you need?

The first six weeks after a competition or strict diet, you should eat 2,2 grams of protein per kg of body weight per day, which is more than enough and may even be slightly less. Why? Efficiency. If you increase your caloric intake by eating more carbohydrates and fats, you automatically decrease the need for protein. The extra fuel from the carbohydrates and fats ensure that the body will store proteins in the muscles extremely efficiently. A higher carbohydrate and fat intake also limits the need for extra proteins, as is the case during a diet phase. Rising test and GH levels support the body's ability to absorb and utilize proteins, another reason why the protein requirement during this period is less than people think.

Change your workout. Of course, your way of training can also influence your growth. In general you can say that during their diet, in addition to extra cardio, bodybuilders usually also train more with high intensity. If you stop the calorie restriction, you also have to start training differently. For best results, rest for one or two weeks to allow your body to recover. Then start again with sets with few repetitions and heavy weights. You will quickly gain strength and muscle mass.

Bodybuilders often waste the period after a competition or diet because they no longer want to worry about their nutritional intake, they often eat everything that is loose for a while. It is much wiser to view these six weeks as an ideal time for growth. By increasing your calorie intake from carbohydrates and fats you can take advantage of these muscle building conditions and gain a lot of mass.