The Muscle and Strength Pyramid - Nutrition: How to Optimize Your Physique and Performance
If you are interested in building muscle and strength, you probably know that nutrition is a key factor in achieving your goals. But with so much conflicting information out there, how do you know what to eat, how much to eat, and when to eat?
Eric Helms - The Muscle and Strength Pyramid - Nutrition v1.0.1.pdf
That's where Eric Helms - The Muscle and Strength Pyramid - Nutrition v1.0.1.pdf comes in handy. This book is a comprehensive guide to nutritional strategies, approaches, and theories for people who want to optimize their physique and performance.
The author, Eric Helms, is a coach, researcher, and educator with over a decade of experience in the fitness industry. He has a PhD in strength and conditioning and is a certified strength and conditioning specialist. He has also competed as a natural bodybuilder and powerlifter.
In this book, he breaks down nutrition into five levels of importance, from the most fundamental to the most nuanced. He explains each level in detail, backed by scientific evidence and practical examples. He also shows you how to apply the principles of each level to your own situation.
In this article, we will give you an overview of what the book covers and how you can use it to improve your nutrition. Let's get started!
The Muscle and Strength Pyramid
The muscle and strength pyramid is a concept that Eric Helms uses to illustrate the hierarchy of nutrition for muscle and strength development. The pyramid consists of five levels:
Level 1 - Energy Balance
Level 2 - Macronutrients
Level 3 - Micronutrients and Fiber
Level 4 - Nutrient Timing
Level 5 - Supplements
The idea is that each level builds on the previous one, and that you should focus on the lower levels before moving on to the higher ones. The lower levels have a bigger impact on your results than the higher ones, so they should be prioritized accordingly.
For example, if you are not eating enough calories (level 1), it doesn't matter how much protein (level 2) or creatine (level 5) you consume. You will not build muscle or strength effectively.
On the other hand, if you have mastered the lower levels, you can fine-tune your nutrition by paying attention to the higher levels. For example, if you are eating enough calories and macronutrients, you can improve your recovery and performance by timing your meals and nutrients around your training sessions (level 4).
Let's take a closer look at each level of the pyramid.
Level 1 - Energy Balance
Energy balance is the relationship between how many calories you consume (energy intake) and how many calories you burn (energy expenditure). It is the most important factor for determining whether you gain or lose weight.
To maintain your weight, you need to eat as many calories as you burn. This is called your maintenance calories. To gain weight, you need to eat more calories than you burn. This is called a caloric surplus. To lose weight, you need to eat fewer calories than you burn. This is called a caloric deficit.
The book explains how to calculate your maintenance calories based on your age, height, weight, activity level, and body composition. It also explains how to adjust your calories depending on your goal.
Rate of Weight Loss
If your goal is to lose fat, you need to create a caloric deficit that is large enough to produce results but not so large that it compromises your health or performance.
The book recommends losing between 0.5% and 1% of your body weight per week. This means that if you weigh 200 pounds (91 kg), you should aim to lose between 1 pound (0.45 kg) and 2 pounds (0.9 kg) per week.
To achieve this rate of weight loss, you need to create a daily caloric deficit of between 250 calories and 500 calories. You can do this by reducing your food intake or increasing your physical activity or both.
Rate of Weight Gain
If your goal is to gain muscle, you need to create a caloric surplus that is large enough to support muscle growth but not so large that it leads to excessive fat gain.
The book recommends gaining between 0.25% and 0.5% of your body weight per month. This means that if you weigh 200 pounds (91 kg), you should aim to gain between 0.5 pound (0.23 kg) and 1 pound (0.45 kg) per month.
To achieve this rate of weight gain, you need to create a daily caloric surplus of between 100 calories and 200 calories. You can do this by increasing your food intake or decreasing your physical activity or both.
You may have heard some claims that certain foods or diets can boost your metabolism or burn more fat than others. For example, some people believe that eating spicy foods or drinking green tea can increase your calorie expenditure.
The book debunks these myths and explains that there is no magic bullet for increasing your metabolism or burning more fat. The only way to change your energy balance is by changing your energy intake or expenditure.
Practical Differences Between Weight Loss And Weight Gain
The book also discusses some practical differences between losing weight and gaining weight in terms of hunger management, food choices, meal frequency, and psychological aspects.