Pumpkin pie. Pumpkin cheesecake. Stuffing. Turkey. More pumpkin cheesecake. There’s no ignoring the fact that it’s tough not to take in a serious amount of excess calories this time of year. But, here’s some really great news: You can totally indulge and get huge in a good way. “You can deliberately and strategically use the holiday feasts to increase muscle mass,” says Jake Hicks, MS. Ed., XPS, Performance Specialist with EXOS. “The key is depleting and replenishing glycogen and allowing optimal rest days between the training of muscle groups.”
Here’s how it works: When you deplete glycogen through resistance training, you increase insulin sensitivity. And that puts your body in a position to handle an ample amount of carbs while minimizing fat gain, says Hicks. “In order to take advantage of the enhanced sensitivity after resistance training, elevated calories and carbohydrates are necessary and beneficial to replace glycogen,” he explains.
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The key: Chose the right methods of training to maximize glucose uptake. “The more you deplete glycogen stores, the more room you have and the more you need to eat to maximize the benefits of increased calories this holiday season,” says Hicks.
To build more mass the concept is to lift heavier loads for longer amounts of time. “Clustering heavy weight with compound movements is the best way to pack on the most muscle when consuming high amounts of calories,” says Hicks.
Try a complete glycogen depletion routine before you indulge in the holiday treats.
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