Do you work out a lot, but are your muscles still not very visible? If you like to show off your trained body, that's definitely a problem. Don't worry, we have the solution to that problem: dry training. Do you know what dry training means? Do you know why dry training is the solution? Then read on and find out!
What is the purpose of dry training?
Dry training is all about lowering your fat percentage without losing any muscle mass. Two aspects are important here: nutrition and training. If you have strong motivation and a precise approach, then dry training might be for you. Does this sound easy to you so far? Make no mistake. The process of dry training is not for everyone, but the end result is definitely worth it!
The power supply
Dry training is not just about training, but also mainly about what is known as 'eating dry'. Your muscles can only grow through heavy training if you have enough building materials.
To minimise muscle breakdown, a calorie deficit of 10-20% below your energy needs is a good guideline. Exactly how many calories you need varies per person and per activity level. So to create a deficit, you need to calculate your calorie needs in advance. There is a formula for this: your weight x 20-30 kcal. Note that too much eating calories leads to extra fat being stored because your muscles cannot use all these calories. Too few calories in turn leads to too little energy, putting you at risk of losing muscle mass. So keep a close eye on your energy intake. High-fibre products are recommended to consume. This is because fibre makes you feel satiated faster, so you end up consuming fewer calories.
In addition, it is important to have a balanced diet, as this is the only way to build dry muscle mass. It is also important to healthy eating. You will have to find both the right amount of calories and the right ratio of macronutrients for yourself. Macronutrients are the nutrients - in large quantities - that provide calories/energy and are needed to promote growth and metabolism. These nutrients are proteins, carbohydrates and fats.
- Sufficient protein ensures that your muscles can recover properly and that there is a good chance of preventing muscle breakdown. Read more about proteins under the heading 'Why exactly are protein shakes useful for dry training?'
- Carbohydrates are the main energy suppliers for your body. It is recommended to eat slow carbohydrates in wholegrains, vegetables and legumes, and avoid fast sugars.
- Fats help absorb important nutrients into your body, and are the second source of energy for your body besides carbohydrates. However, pay close attention to the amount of fats you ingest: at 9 calories per gram, this quickly exceeds your calorie needs. The recommendation regarding fat intake is 1 gram per kilogram of body weight. Healthy fats are mainly found in flaxseed, avocado, walnuts, olive oil, and oily fish.
Besides nutrition, training is of course extremely important. No training = no (stronger) muscles to show off!
In general, you build muscle mass by training heavy. This also applies to dry training; keep training (with good technique, of course) as heavy as possible. It is very important to keep your training load high, especially during a period of calorie deficit. That way, your body will see this as a sign that you still really need that muscle tissue, and your amount of muscle mass will be preserved. Remember: your muscles need a similar heavy training stimulus as in the period before dry training.
Despite keeping your training load high and training heavy, this does not mean you suddenly have to train much more than you did before. Nor does it mean you suddenly have to change your entire fitness schedule, just focus on a particular exercise or do a lot more reps. Keep training as you have always done, but now focusing on the points covered in this blog.
Some other tips for dry training:
- Don't take too much rest between exercises, because this way you combine cardio training with strength training. This way, your heart rate goes up and your body burns more;
- Cardio training in itself does not cause fat loss, but the calorie deficit you create through the extra cardio does. So for dry training, cardio training is optional;
- Opt for High Intensity Interval Training. This is a good way to burn a relatively large number of calories in a short time;
- Do compound exercises. With these, you train a very large part of your body. You use relatively the most energy with these;
- Take enough recovery time. Your muscles need around 48-72 hours after each workout to recover and recharge for the next workout;
- Set achievable goals. You cannot achieve the end result of good dry training right away in one day. Make a long-term plan and work towards it step by step.
Why are precisely protein shakes useful for dry training?
The amount of protein in your body determines how much muscle mass is created and how much muscle mass is broken down. It also ensures muscle recovery. It is therefore crucial to get enough protein (more information on protein can be found at here read). For dry training, the type of protein does not necessarily matter, but of course we recommend vegan protein 😉 . Through protein shakes/supplements, you can very easily increase your protein levels.
When your body is short of energy (calories), it will look for other sources. One source could be muscle mass, which is definitely not desirable. It is therefore important to keep this amount high during a period of dry training. Calculate your protein intake when you want to dry train. A good guideline is 1.8-2 grams of protein per kg body weight. 1 gram of protein also provides 4 calories.
After training for days, weeks and months, you naturally want to know how much progress you have made. So measure your weight and fat percentage. It is important to always measure at the same time, so you can compare the same figures.
- Are you losing weight? That is often a sign that you have lost fat mass. Is your fat percentage also going down? Then you're in the right place.
- Will your weight stay the same? Don't panic. It may be confirmed that you are eating the right way and that your muscle mass is increasing. You won't know this for sure until you measure your fat percentage and it also shows a downward trend.
We wish success to everyone who has decided to engage in dry training. And, as mentioned earlier: protein shakes are useful for dry training, so check out our range of protein/proteins which you can help make your muscles highly visible!