Weight training the old fashioned way, looking for advice

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    Feb 15, 2011 6:24 AM GMT
    Seven months ago I moved to a remote city in China for work, fortunately a gym opened only a 10-minute walk from my apartment. It has been great getting back into the gym but it has always been really difficult for me to gain and keep muscle mass especially in my upper body.

    One of the pitfalls of being here is there isn’t a developed gym, body building culture; consequently, there are no supplements, powders, etc. I’m looking for advice regarding what I should be ingesting that can help me gain and keep muscle. Anyone out there doing it the old-fashioned way, weights and naturally occurring foods?

    Currently I do 3-4 days of cardio for 40 minutes and 3-4 days of lifting and I feel like the results are slower coming than they could be if I had a bit more knowledge.
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    Feb 15, 2011 9:48 AM GMT
    What is your current diet?
    One's diet is the key ingredient to gaining and retaining their muscle mass. Supplements like powders are just that, supplements. They are not something one should heavily rely on to expect growth that most of us are looking for (muscle growth). They help, but really, one can do without as long as they eat right.

    Eat right and conjunction it with a good workout regime, you should be fine. High protein foods and low fat intakes. Lots of chicken breast, canned tuna, whole grains (good carbs) and so on, are just some examples of what you should eat to help you out. Calorie counting helps too in order to get a better idea on how much you should eat to retain your current weight and if you want to increase, how much more to take in.
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    Feb 15, 2011 1:13 PM GMT
    I eat incredibly healthy since I moved here. Almost no sugars or refined carbs but the diet is pretty low in protein. Lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. I moved here and lost 12 lbs really quickly because the food is so healthy and I was eating like a horse.
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    Feb 15, 2011 1:58 PM GMT
    Sounds like you are doing well nutritionally. I've found it beneficial to pack the starchy carbs (beans, whole grains, sweet potatoes) early in the day to give me lasting energy, then minimize the same foods in the evening. If you do not have access to lots of protein, eat a lot more of the protein you do have within roughly a half hour after a workout. Also, you may be doing a little more cardio than a tall lean guy ought to.
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    Feb 15, 2011 2:51 PM GMT
    I think you still can look good and feel good the old fashion way. Perhaps not your goal, but it's a good opportunity to go natural. Perhaps you can find local bodybuilders to discuss what they do.

    How's your Chinese?
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    Feb 15, 2011 6:00 PM GMT
    The only thing I take is a protein shake immediately after my workout, but that can easily be replaced by food. Just eat a lot of carbs, especially around your workout so you can have fuel for your workout and eat a lot of protein spread evenly throughout the day. And make sure you have a calorie surplus if you are trying to gain muscle.

    I personally think that much cardio is hindering your muscle growth. I do no cardio when I am trying to gain, but some cardio IS ok.
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    Feb 15, 2011 10:12 PM GMT
    pasfu31 saidI eat incredibly healthy since I moved here. Almost no sugars or refined carbs but the diet is pretty low in protein. Lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. I moved here and lost 12 lbs really quickly because the food is so healthy and I was eating like a horse.


    You'll need to add more protein. Fruits and veggies are good for losing weight. The media promotes fruits and veggie consumption to most people because Americans are over weight due to high carb/meat intake. They're trying to make people LOSE weight, not gain. We're on the opposite scale of trying to gain mass.

    Does that mean eat a crap load of junk, carbs and red meat? No!
    It means eat the good carbs, proper grains (brown rice, oats, pasta)
    Lots of protein like Chicken breast, turkey (if available), tuna, salmon (Don't eat farmed), eggs.
    You should still eat your fruits and veggies, but just know that it shouldn't be your main diet. Lacks the protein you need for proper growth that you are looking for.