Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Zig Zagging

Have you ever tried to go through a muscle gain phase where you eat more, so you can lift more, gain size but end up also gaining unwated fat? Or have you tried going through a fat loss phase where you lose weight but end up losing healthy muscle mass as well? Let’s face it, it is difficult to gain muscle mass and stay lean at the same time. The reason is, most people only have one diet plan and follow it day in and day out for weeks depending on what they are trying to achieve - regardless of what their workout routine looks like. So if you are trying to gain muscle mass, you eat more and continue eating more everyday for 3 to 4 weeks everyday. Then when its time to cut the fat, you cut down your caloric intake for the next 3 or 4 weeks everyday while maintaining your workout. Needless to say, during the weight loss period, you lose fat, but you also end up losing muscle mass and strength in the gym.

So how do you gain as much muscle mass as you can without gaining too much fat? Striking that balance between the 2 is hard, but not if you know how.

The answer is a Zig Zagging. Zig Zagging is one of the best ways for you to gain muscle while keeping your fat gain at a minimum. This means you will eat according to your training days and your training days will consist of Weight Gain days (where you lift like a bull) and Weight Loss days (where you do your cardio) or where you are resting. For you to gain muscle mass, your body has to remain in an anabolic state and the only for you to achieve that is to eat more calories than you need. Of course this would mean that you would gain some small amount of fat as well as additional unused calories turns to fat. On weight loss days, you have to eat less calories than you need and this results in you losing fat. So whatever additional fat you gained during your weight gain days will be lost during the weight loss days without having any effect on your muscle mass. This balances off nicely where you get to keep the muscle you gained and lose that fat which you don’t want.

Ok let me share with you what I do, so you have good idea on how to do this yourself.

Monday through Thursday is my weight gain days. This is where I lift heavy to try and gain as much muscle mass as I can. Since these are heavy workouts, trust me, if you don’t eat enough, you are going to struggle through the routine and won’t get the most from it. So these are days where I eat more carbs and if I have to indulge in unhealthy food, I usually do it on these days – since it is supposed to be my weight gain days. So if you like to eat fast food, here is your green light to eat it during these days. Now of course how much you indulge in will depend on how heavy you are pushing yourself in the gym. The heavier you push, the more you need to consume.

Friday to Sunday is my weight loss days where is usually do cardio or just rest and relax. Usually I do the treadmill or run outside for about 40 minutes. Sundays are usually my lazy days, so following the principal of eating for what you are about to do, since I laze around most of the time, I don’t eat that much. Usually my meals are small, consisting of very little carbs but lots of lean protein. This is where you want to eat your salads and other weight loss type foods as well.

How about if I just want to lose weight and not gain muscle? Should I still do zig zaging? Absolutely. On days when you do workout, you are going to want to eat more so you have the energy to push more in your workouts, but maybe you don’t want to eat as much as a person who is trying to gain muscle mass would. On days when you are not working out (you must have this at some point in the week), you will stick to your usual weght loss type diet. The thing is, many people obsessed with what the weighing scale says and end up losing healthy muscle as well along with their fat. As you know loss muscle means lower metabolic rate. Whatever your weight loss goasl are, you goal should always be to lose fat, not muscle. So this is where zig zagging helps to ensure your body does not waste away muscle. So you look healthy and not haggard.

Eating exactly the same way all 7 days of the week is not an efficient technique at all. You need to zig zag and keep changing your meals according to what you are doing for that day. Try it out and see the results for yourself. I have been doing it and its really great. Besides helping you get the results you want, it also ensures that you don’t get bored with your diet. Most people quit their diets because its just too boring and they get sick of eating the same thing again and again. Zig Zagging allows you to add variety to the entire plan since you do get to different kinds of foods every week and still look your best. There really isn’t any reason not to do it. As usual, look forward to hearing your comments.

14 comments:

mata coklatbiru said...

hello rajan..
how are u?
how's ur day?
oh yea, great entry.
anyway, frankly i would love to try this zig zagging...
can't tell u how excited i am now to start this diet tomorrow...
as the beginning, i would love to make monday, wednesday and friday as weight gain days...
tuesday, thursday, saturday and sunday for weight loss days...
can't tell u how much im excited bout this...
my prev diet plan dont work out...
i tend to eat more and more...
which make me lazy to work out sometimes...
so, i think this zig zagging might work for me...
thanks rajan :)

Aizan Suhaira said...

Great info, Rajan! Now this is the stuff I love reading :P

Rajan said...

Mata coklatbiru: Hi there. Long time no see. Well i hope this plan helps you. Important thing about zig zagging is to ensure you eat according to your workout. So for your weight gain days, make sure you do some heavy lifting. Wish you the best of luck.

Aizan: I know your struggle with gaining muscle mass. Hope this zig zagging helps you to gain some lean body weight. best of luck. keep us posted on your progress.

anfield devotee said...

Where's the beer in all of this?

Rajan said...

AD: Zig Zag between Beer & Whiskey. Never drink beer all the time. heheheheheee

KevL said...

Hey Rajan. I first read about it from Dr. Squat's blog and I got to say that it makes perfect sense on striking the balance.

I think this is something new to everyone, so it's good if you can mention it from time to time to introduce this method to the new visitors of your blog, as well as to remind your current visitors about this great method.

Cheers :)

Rajan said...

KevL: Yup. Its a great method. I have been trying it myself and impressed with the results i got.

Previously i ended up losing muscle mass everytime i tried to tone up... but now i get to keep the muscle and get rid of the fat.

Kasey Brown Fitness said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hello said...

Hi, I would like to ask what is the best time to do workouts and exercise?How long can I take my meal after the workouts?

Rajan said...

Hello: Good question. Workout timing is really a matter of preference. For me, i find i am strongest in late morning before lunch. But then others may find different times depending on their schedule.

How long before you can eat after workout? Well immediately if you want. in fact the faster you eat after your workout, the better.

Hello said...

Hi Rajan, THanks for your reply. But, i thought it is not good to take my breakfast immdediate i finish the workouts, so i will wait for an half hour.Do you mean that I can take my meal after 5 minutes?

One more question, may i know is there a calculation to know how long that each of us should do our workouts. Therefore, we will not overdo it especially for those who are slim?Thanks so much and hope to hear from you soon....

Rajan said...

Hello: i usually wait 30 minutes, because my stomach doesn't feel ready yet imeediately after my workout. But many friends i know down their protein shakes immediately after the workout. So if you are comfortable, then go ahead. If not, no harm waiting till your stomach is ready.

If you are trying to gain muscle mass, its advisable for you to consume food within 45 minutes of your workout.. the faster the better... as you want to get nutrition to your muscle as fast as possible.

If your goal is to lose weight, then you want to wait for maybe an hour before you consume food... this forces your body to use up its reserves... or stored fat.

How long to workout? I keep my workouts to an hour tops... so i push like crazy for that 1 hour. Research shows that workouts longer than 1.5 hours are actually counter productive... so try to stick within an hour if you can.

Hope the info helps.

Hello said...

Hi Rajan, thanks for your reply...its really helpful to me. I want to gain weight and stay fit...but at the same time i want to reduce my tummy...i have try sit up, it seems not quite working our for me. I'm not sure whether i do it too quickly or too little.Do you have any advise for me?:)

Rajan said...

Hello: to burn fat in your tummy area, you need to do cardio and watch your diet. Sit ups and crunches alone are not enough. Hope this helps.