Christmas is a time where it is almost impossible to avoid eating tons more calories than you usually do due to the constant eating rituals that define the whole period. So instead of trying to clean eat or diet your way through Christmas why not use this short term boost in calories to help you build more muscle and not miss out on everyones favourite Christmas treats?
You can employ these Christmas eating and exercises strategies to use the excess calories you eat over Christmas to fuel new muscle growth and break through strength training plateaus. Don't fear Christmas, Use it!
Up The Intensity For More Muscle
Over Christmas you will be eating more calories and flooding the body with glycogen ready to fuel new muscle growth. All you need to do is stimulate this growth within the muscles and then let the excess calories you consume at Christmas be used to fuel new muscle growth. Stimulating this growth is as simple as increasing the intensity of what you are doing either by weight, volume, or method push yourself during the Christmas period to get the most out of all that food you are eating.
For example if you know you are going to be eating heavily over Christmas and you want bigger arms make sure to train the arms more during this period using lots of intense work such as dropsets, negatives, and rest pause sets. This short term shock and trauma to your arms will create the potential for new muscle growth and this is where the Christmas overeating starts working FOR you as they help you build muscle.
Eat More Turkey, No seriously..
Christmas is a time where you are never very far from some form of roasted animal, usually Turkey but could be Goose, Beef, Ham, or even Fish. These all have one thing in common, they all fantastic (and delicious) sources of protein which is essential for building muscle. One of the simplest pieces of advice I give clients looking to build muscle is to increase their daily protein intake above the average persons. The reason for this is because the amino acids in these protein rich foods are literally like the building blocks of our muscles and required for new muscle to grow, by increasing these free flowing amino acids in your blood you provide more anabolic (muscle building) stimulus to your damaged muscles (See tip 1). So help yourself to an extra serving of Turkey this year to increase the amount of protein you are eating and see what kind of effect it has.
Keeping active over the Christmas period is crucial in keeping excess fat gain at bay regardless if your goal is to lose weight or put on muslce so this isn't a time to be working out less, every little helps! For those looking to use this time of overeating to build muscle need to keep the muscles stimulated throughout to make sure these calories are preferentially used for the purpose of building more muscle.
So what does all this mean? It means get in to the gym when you can and train your ass off and on the days you can't get to the gym how about trying something different to keep the muscles primed for growth. We're talking press ups, chin ups, bodyweight squats, and whatever means of pushing your muscles while the body is flooded with calories. This doesn't mean you have to exercise every day, but just make sure you are regularly to avoid fat gain.
All I Want For Christmas Is More Muscle
And now you can have it by using these simple tips to use the overload of delicious food to start building new muscle and the body you can be proud of in the new year. So eat a lot, train a lot, and eat some more. You will be rewarded with muscle and strength gains when everyone else is taking their foot off the gas and gaining mostly fat, and all without having to miss out on the biscuit tin. Make this Christmas work for you!