💪 3 Easy Meal Prep Ideas for Muscle Growth

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Today’s newsletter is presented by Major Fitness. Click here to pre-order Major Fitness’ new Cobra AH-1, a powerhouse 2-in-1 leg press and hack squat machine.

Here’s what we have for you: 

  • Men’s Physique athlete Sadik Hadzovic’s top three meals for building muscle

  • Four-time Men’s Physique Olympia champ Jeremy Buendia withdraws from the 2024 bodybuilding season due to an Achilles injury

  • A meta-analysis on the optimal rest time between sets for maximum muscle growth

NUTRITION 

Time Fries

Credit: Sadik Hadzovic / YouTube

Proper nutrition is key to muscle development, but finding the time to prepare bulking meals can be challenging. Bodybuilder Sadik Hadzovic offers a solution through his meal prep strategy for three main meals a day. The American IFBB Pro stresses the importance of meal planning to maintain dietary consistency, particularly during busy periods.

His diet focuses on lean meats and complex carbohydrates to maximize protein intake and glycogen stores, aiding in recovery and enhancing workout performance. Additionally, he emphasizes the importance of including the right vegetables to ensure the intake of essential vitamins necessary for digestion, immunity, and cellular growth. Explore Hadzovic's daily meal plan to discover how simple it can be to eat effectively for muscle building.

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BODYBUILDING 

Achilles Heel 

Credit: Jeremy Buendia / YouTube

Four-time Men’s Physique Olympia champion (2014-17), Jeremy Buendia, recently revealed on social media his re-injury to the Achilles tendon — a setback he first encountered earlier in the year while running. This unfortunate development forces Buendia to pause his bodybuilding aspirations for 2024. “The 2024 competition season looks like a wrap for me,” Buendia conveyed in a heartfelt update to his followers.

Despite his evident disappointment, Buendia remains hopeful about mounting a strong comeback in the following year. In the announcement video he shared, he’s seen returning to the gym for a pull workout after taking several weeks off to recover. 

Buendia competed in the Olympia in 2018, securing a fourth-place finish. This was followed by a five-year break from competitive bodybuilding, culminating in an eighth-place finish at the 2023 Olympia. Keep an eye out for further updates on Buendia’s road to recovery and his future endeavors. Additionally, check out our selection of this year's top Men’s Physique competitors.

TRAINING 

Get Your Rest

Rest periods between sets are crucial in resistance training, as they allow for optimal recovery of the neuromuscular system, leading to enhanced performance and outcomes. Dr. Mike Israetel, who holds a Ph.D. in sports physiology, explored the findings of Dr. Milo Wolf's comprehensive meta-analysis on the relationship between inter-set rest durations and their effects on muscle growth (hypertrophy).

This meta-analysis synthesized data from nine studies that examined various muscle groups, including the lower body, arms, and the whole body. It maintained a consistent workload across different groups, ensuring that both the groups with shorter and longer rest intervals completed the same volume of work.

The studies varied rest intervals from under one minute to more than three minutes, making adjustments to sets, repetitions, and weights accordingly. Below, we reveal the insights from this analysis to help identify the most effective rest interval for promoting muscle growth.

THE DROP SET

Every Day I’m Muscle’n

  • Reigning Mr. Olympia Derek Lunsford hit a new personal record for bench pressing dumbbells. Watch him rep out 175-pound dumbbells for seven reps. 

  • German IFBB Pro League bodybuilder Kevin Gebhardt has died at 31. Read more about this tragic passing here

  • Tonio Burton won the 2024 California State Championships Pro to qualify for the 60th Olympia. See the other 22 Men’s Open bodybuilders he beat out in Anaheim.