Yeah, OK, I toyed with this title a little bit…
All I want for Christmas is my two front…. delts?
Rudolph the red-nosed gain-deer?
Anyway, that’s the title, feel free to comment if you come up with a better one.
Now, festive season is well underway, Christmas is just around the corner, and the geese aren’t just getting fat, they’ve been shot already. The festivities spread out more and more each year, and work parties get earlier and earlier, so there’s a good chance you’ve already indulged, or at least met with temptation. It is Christmas after all, so you shouldn’t feel too bad, but surely there’s a way you can mix the gaiety with gaining?
The top tip here is to try to keep the nights of debauchery to a minimum and try not to drink too much when you do go out…. but for many of us, the inevitable will happen. Alcohol puts your body into a catabolic state, pretty much shuts down testosterone production, dehydrates you, and, by morning has generally sent blood sugar plummeting. On top of all this, most people don’t realise that alcohol contains almost as many calories per gram as fat. Combine this with the amount of sugar you find in most alcoholic drinks and you do not have a recipe for muscle mass!
So, what’s the best hangover cure?
Taking all those factors into account, plus the fact that it’s Christmas, I prescribe a good old cooked breakfast, with plenty of water and fruit juice for all your festive woes.
Festive Hangover-Cure Breakfast Recipe
- Sausages and bacon- I hear some of you hiss! Grill some good quality rashers and bangers for that much needed protein boost. The fats in these will help to pick up testosterone levels. Yes, these aren’t the bodybuilders’ first choice, but look what you did to your body last night!
- Grilled tomatoes- Get all them vitamins into your depleted body.
- Mushrooms (raw)- Raw mushrooms are a great source of vitamins and minerals. They also contain protein digesting enzymes that are lost in cooking.
- Eggs- Poached, boiled or scrambled, we all know the value of egg protein. Allow yourself extra yolks because the fat and cholesterol will boost your test levels.
- Baked beans- A good, lean source of protein, vitamins and fibre
- Toasted granary bread- Complex carbs, vitamins, minerals and fibre…. and you need it to mop up the bean juice.
- Freshly squeezed juice- Get them antioxidants into you and neutralise the debauchery.
- Water- Plenty of water combined with the salt in the foods above will help you rehydrate them ravaged muscles.
You certainly can’t argue with the protein content of a traditional Christmas roast-up, and there are tips to make your festive feast more muscle friendly…. but unless you’re training for a competition, I’m sure you can allow one meal to slip, so I’m not going to give them to you. Merry Christmas!
What to Ask Santa For
Here are some suggestions for a muscle-bound Christmas list-
- Gift vouchers- Most bodybuilding and supplement shops and websites offer gift vouchers. They say they want to get you something useful, surely this is top of the list!
- Egg poacher- If you haven’t already got one, these nifty bits of kitchenware make knocking up poached eggs a doddle.
- Fat Gripz- These are a great way to build forearm size and grip strength.
- Cortisol lowering mouthpieces- For many, the jury is still out on these, but you will look like the king of the gym with your new addition… maybe.
- Shaker- You can get handy shakers with extra compartments for supplements and extra protein powder. Ideal stocking filler.
Getting into the spirit in the gym
Here are a few Christmassy gems (with stupid names) you might want to work into your routine this winter-
- Sleigh driving- Finish up your upper body workouts with a couple minutes of battle rope training and eek out that last bit of anaerobic energy.
- Pushing the sleigh- Use the weighted sled to really finish off your legs.
- Santa sacks- Many gyms now carry heavy sacks or sandbags. Exercises, such as hoisting these up onto your shoulders are a great way to develop dynamic strength and tie them muscle groups together.
- Don’t hang chocolates on your tree this year. Wrap up pieces of beef jerky and let them dangle, temptingly from the branches.
- Nuts are always a part of any festive treat layout. Take advantage of these protein and healthy fat laden goodies. Eat all your mates nuts!
- Make sure you check your gyms holiday opening hours. Many have been left stranded in the frost, pumped full of pre-workout at this time of year!
- Or, just take a week or so off! Taking time out is vital to your long-term goals. Many champions, such as the great Dorian Yates, were big advocates of taking quality rest periods.