Monday, March 17, 2008

How do I gain weight?

Looking back through my old journals, I came across another crazy experiment that I once did.

Do you remember back in the early 2ooo's when 'bulking cycles' were all the rage? Bodybuilders would purposely put on weight in the hopes that while most of it was fat, a little bit might be muscle.

Well, I once took this to the extreme, trying to figure out how much weight I could put on in only 14 days.

I was on a normal 'bulking diet' consisting of roughly 5,000 calories. This consisted of breakfast, second breakfast, weight gain shake, lunch, pre-workout shake, post-workout shake, dinner, and bedtime weight gain shake.

However, this routine just wasn't cutting it, so I added one small extra touch.

Each morning I poured 2 cups of almonds and 1.5 cups of Ocean Spray craisins into a tupperware container and took it to work with me. My goal was to continue to eat my normal way, and to finish this container everyday before I left work.

Now, this may not sound like much, but 2 cups of almonds and 1.5 cups of crasins contains roughly 2,300 calories!

I didn't make it through the entire 14 day experiment (I ended on day 11, I just couldn't take it anymore). I had put on 12 pounds in 11 days! Four days after the experiment, after letting my GI and bowels settle down, I stepped on the scale to find I was till 9 pounds heavier.

Unfortunetley, according to my measurements, this was all fat (despite super heavy twice per day workouts).

Yet another experiment I did in the name of "getting big". If I could give one piece of advice to someone who is just starting to dive into the bodybuilding scene, I would tell them to never ever "bulk". To me, it is a waste of time, and some of the guys I used to train with never really recovered (some of them still joke about being on a a ten year bulking cycle!)


PS - Believe it or not, only a couple months after this experiment, I repeated a slightly less harsh version that pushed my weight from 185 to 216 pounds in four months, only to have to go on a super strict 'cutting' diet to get right back down guessed it...185 pounds...I wish I knew about Eat Stop Eat back then!

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madmax said...

So what is the best way to gain mass?

Mike OD - IF Life said...

Lower carb, high protein, high fat, lift heavy 2x a week compound movements only and sleep....wish I could go back in time and give that advice to myself when I was a kid sucking down "Mass gain 3000" or whatever Twinlabs was selling back then.

Brad Pilon said...

Hi Madmax,

Other than drugs (which I don't recommend, but do admit work very well), I think the best way to gain mass is through the right style of training and the right recovery.

The "right" nutrition LETS you build muscle, but in my opinion it will never MAKE you build muscle.

Concentrate on your workouts.


Brad Pilon said...

Hi Mike,

Each of those weight gain shakes I took was 50 grams protein and almost 200 grams of Carbs! Per Serving!

I can't even imagine what would happen if I tried to replicate that experiment these days.


~tcl~ said...
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Anonymous said...

Quite agree with your bulking article but I think you would not agree with a small definition nitpick.

Almost always if you want to 'bulk up muscle' you should be in a calorie surplus, but that surplus does not need to be very big - I think most of the places over at JP Fitness forum are talking about 3-500 calories RobLL

Anonymous said...

Brad - could you change that agree to disagree for me. Thanks RobLL

Brad Pilon said...

Hi Rob,

I could see a small caloric surplus making sense. However I do seem to remember seeing research on people on steroids gaining muscle while calorically negative.

For us non-enhanced people it may be a different story.


PS- I'm not sure I can edit your previous comments, But I think everyone understand what you were saying.

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