While advanced training knowledge is central to making the gains in size and condition that are essential to advancing in bodybuilding competition at the superheavyweight class level, equally important is the degree of effective nutrition that provides the building blocks for maximum muscle growth.
Gaining Size While Maintaining Proportion
Ty Young is one young superheavyweight on a steep rise to success in his class and on the national amateur level in the U.S. winning first as a heavyweight and overall class winner in 2007 at the NPC Eastern Seaboard Championships, then in 2008 he took on his first national level amateur event, while also moving up into the superheavyweight class, at the NPC Junior Nationals, where he placed a decent seventh place in a tough event. A good deal of the challenge for men in this top-end of the weight classes is to gain the needed extra weight range to advance beyond the heavyweight level, but also ensure the increased pounds is all lean muscle mass in the right areas that will make them just as proportionate as the lower weight classes.
From his first event weigh-in at 215 lbs. in 2007 to his next appearance the following year at the Junior Nationals at 237 lbs., Ty managed to increase his weight by some 17 pounds. Making balanced gains in lean muscle to key areas like his back, arms and then his upper legs allowed him to present not only a bigger but a still aesthetic package. His progress was managed with the help of IFBB pro Johnny Stewart, at whose gym he also does personal training and then also trains himself. The weight gains in lean muscle mass were achieved in pre-contest dieting that included eight meals a day, and which emphasized items such as tilapia, turkey and yams. At the time he spoke, Ty saw his next season’s dieting as “taking some carbs out and doing a little bit more of a higher fat diet.”
Noteworthy in this young superheavyweight’s diet is the presence of tilapia. While fish sources such as tuna and mahi mahi have been competitive bodybuilder favorites for many years, the advantages of relying on tilapia – a freshwater fish now available in many markets around the U.S. – is making this a popular choice for many athletes open to varying their sources of lean protein intake during the final weeks before a show. For one thing, tilapia has the benefit of high levels of omega-6 fatty acids, while also being low in mercury content. In terms of preventative benefits, fish oils also act as an anti-inflammatory. Aside from that, it is a cost-effective lean protein source compared to relying on the same quantity, for instance, of salmon.
Whole Foods in Balance with Solid Supplementation
Although he includes some supplements at key periods during his pre-contest diet preparation, Ty finds it most useful at his weight level and with years of future training cycles ahead to rely on foods as his principal source for protein: “I know I’ll be using L-Glutamine, and my double A’s are very high. I’ll also use creatine, but take off from that about three weeks out from contest time,” he points out. “Whey protein is just about the only protein powder I regularly use – but it’s mostly foods that I’ll be relying on as far as my protein intake.”
Meanwhile, with arms that have measured 22 inches and legs that were 32 inches at contest time, he is already well on his way with a nutritional strategy that he knows how to adjust as needed with each contest season and remaining alert to how his body continues to respond.