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How to Train for and Eat to Gain Muscle Mass

By Fig

There are 3 things you need to grow: Resistance, Energy, and Rest. If you are missing any one of these requirements growth will not occur. Getting big is not a hard thing to do; it also isn't a very complex process either even though all those workout magazines out there try to make it look like that. The 3 chapters I will discuss are diet, workout, and rest. What sets people apart who are big from people who stay the same size year after year is dedication. Body building is a full-time job you can't workout for 3 months and take 3 months off. Almost everyone I know confuses size with steroids. Instead of size with time and hard work, some use the old "he's got good genetics" line. Its not that they just confuse it they have this sort of image in their heads that anyone who is bigger has had some sort of help or luck. But it is just a miss-conception or a lack of experience. Some people don't workout but once or twice a week or work themselves out to death and then blame their poor results on other people who train right and grow. True there are people who use steroids and they aren't hard to point out. Usually the first signs of someone on roids include: sudden strength gains, hair loss, pimples, severe water retention, puffy cheeks, paper thin skin, water saturated intestines (ROID GUT), enlarged veins, and out of proportion trap muscles (I added the last one because I don't believe anyone can naturally grow their traps to their ears its called bio-mechanics. If you disagree, you can E-mail me a picture of your traps and your trap workout, if you think I'm full of shit). So the first rule if you are not serious about lifting then don't make any judgments about other people unless you've been there.

"To get big you got to eat big" that statement is true. This statement is false "you can get bigger and stay lean". The truth hurts but the only real way I know how to gain real muscle mass is by consuming large quantities of protein and carbs. Yes, you will gain some fat and there is no way around it. If there was, I'd be doing it. Also "you can't build without anything to build with". On a diet you are either trying to gain muscle weight or you are trying to lose body fat. There is no in between, just a median where you pretty much stay the same. Now there is a point to where your body won't hold any more body fat and it is time to diet and lose some weight so you can bulk up again. As an estimate I usually gain 10 to 40 lbs (40 lbs every time I bulk up after being at a real low level of bodyfat. And I want my size and strength back. Example I dieted from 250 to 210 then I gained back the weight after I had fun being lean for awhile). I generally gain a few pounds of muscle every time I do so. Also you can cycle your bulking up diet (1 month on and 1 month cutting up). When bulking up you don't have to gain alot of weight. It can be as little as 5 pounds. Then you can cycle off of that and lose the extra fat. Little cycles of bulking up work very well. Especially if you are not sure if you can lose all the fat. No when I diet, I don't lose it all when I diet because I take my time losing it. If you think that way, then why am I stronger at my present weight than I was last year. Why are my arms larger? Its the ugly truth and until you can realize this, you will stay the same miserable weight for years. Remember that a bulking up diet is almost like a "YO-YO" diet. Gain weight take it off, gain weight take it off. I eat like a total pig and I would also expect anyone who was training hard to eat like one too. If you don't up your calories and protein when working out hard you will end up burning hard earned muscle. There is no such thing as dieting. You are either starving yourself or pigging out. Now what do I mean by "starving yourself", well I mean in order to lose weight you must cut back on calories which in plain English is called starving yourself. I don't lie to anyone or try to make anyone feel better about dieting but to lose weight, you must starve yourself. My basic dieting strategy is to sort of copy Richard Simmon's Deal a Meal Plan. To lose weight, I do the following for each meal. First of all, I don't count calories. All I do is limit what I eat. I eat the following: 1 serving of meat about the size of a deck of cards no larger, 2 servings of starches or carbs one cup each, and all the vegetables, salads you can consume. Basically if your plate of food has more on it than a cheap TV dinner then you have eaten to much. Now when I start dieting I really feel hungry and I always want to eat more than I should. So what I do to fill my self up is to drink a few glasses of water before I eat so I feel full. I also avoid alcohol because it slows the metabolism down. Alcohol also over loads the liver to the point that it can't break down protein efficiently and then it converts left over protein into fat. There is no difference between fat grams and calories. There is also no difference between 1 fat gram and 9 calories. The body cannot tell the difference between fat, protein, and carbs calories. All calories are just energy for the body to use as fuel. Now keep that last sentence in mind. When you lose weight ,the body goes through it's starvation mode. Remember I pointed out at the beginning the term "Starve" well ,here it is again. Just like I said the body can't tell the difference between fat, protein, and carbs. When your body goes through the starvation mode and you are dieting or starving yourself more than you should your body will look all over your body for calories to burn and some times not just fat but sometimes hard-earned-muscle. So to keep this cannibalistic state from ruining your gains, you should try not to lose more than 2 pounds a week. Now on the opposite side of the coin when trying to gain weight you should not gain more than 2 pounds a week. This is because you'll probably be gaining more fat than muscle. Even if you did gain a lot of fat, for every 2/3s of fat you gain, 1/3 will be muscle. Now the bad thing about fat is this, that each gram of fat has 9 calories, protein 6, and carbs 4. Which one of these will help you grow? (FAT)no (Protein)yes. Now keep that in mind, if you cut your fat intake in half you can eat twice as much protein for the same amount of calories. One thing to mention pro-bodybuilders and pro-health and fitness models do not look like carved granite every day of the year. Some of the pictures you see in magazines are 6 months old or more and are created when the individual has reached their personal peak for that year. Some models have to get themselves in shape for a photo shoot months away. So what I am saying in plain English, is that it is ok to look like shit 9 months out of the year.****If you need more help on losing weight look towards the end of this page for my special dieting section. Soon I will separate this page out**** I always hear some tell me that they can't gain weight no matter how much they eat. I always ask them immediately how many calories do they eat a day on a regular basis. The reply I get is always the same " I don't know", well they should know. How can you try to gain weight if you don't even know if you are even consuming any more calories from the day before? I suggest that if you are trying to gain weight, you should up your caloric intake by 500 calories a day for a week or so. If the person still hasn't made any gains, then add 500 more a day until they see a pound or two added each week or until they hit their personal goal. For myself, when I first started working out I would accomplish this task by consuming large quantities of egg-nog, fried chicken, candy, protein shakes (if I could afford them), eggs, potato salad. I would eat a slice of bread every hour, up my fat intake, and finally just eat like a pig. Until a person does this, they cannot tell me that they cannot gain weight. There is a bunch of hype going around about whey protein powders. All this stuff is a protein supplement that is easily digestible. Regular skim milk, powdered milk (I have received one e-mail where one intelligent person uses powdered skim milk mixed with chocolate flavoring), and fat free cottage cheese are just as good. In fact, milk has the ability to gel in the intestines (for better absorption) where whey protein do not. Remember your body takes the proteins that you digest and then synthesizes them to the protein chains it needs.

Now I had some e-mail about dieting. Here's what I did to lose 40 lbs in 4 months. First of all I have an ectomorphic body type (I don't hold fat very well. I have to eat like a total pig now to maintain my current body weight of 260 lbs). I did my diet last year. From September to December I went from 255 lbs to 210 lbs. This is what I did on the first month of my diet. First I eliminated all unnecessary calories (High calorie sodas, snacks, butter, etc...). I then would only let myself drink alcohol only once a week (usually Fridays). In the first month I lost fifteen pounds. Now all of that was fat like most of those stupid info-mercials would like you to believe. First of all, usually the first type of weight you lose is water weight (from using up the stored amounts of carbohydrates in the muscles). The first month, the weight came off real quick, faster than what I would have rather have had it come off. My goal was to lose two pounds, no more no less, per week. The second month, my weight started to come off a little slower (which was good). By the end of the second month I was weighing in at 230. During the second month, I started running a mile and a half and walking a mile and a half (walking at a 16-18 mile per minute pace). When I first started running at 255 pounds, I could run a mile in 9 minutes. But, by the time I finally reached my goal of 210, I could run a 6 minute and 30 second mile. If you want to start running, here's some advice for you. Make sure you buy a good pair of shoes made for running (not basketball shoes). Make sure when you run not to stomp your feet. When I used to stomp my feet I developed shin splints (technical name: stress fractures). All stress fractures are little cracks in your bones that can affect your knees and shins. The symptoms of shin splints are sort of like a burning sensation in your bones (you feel like your bones hurt). If you would like to learn how to start running, this is what you should do. You should start off with a quarter of a mile (measure it off with your car). Then week after week, slowly start adding a quarter of a mile or whatever you think is necessary. If you can't run, you can try speed walking which burns just 20% less than jogging alone. I highly recommend speed walking. Now if running seems to bore you like it does me, what I do is listen to my walkman with my favorite music (don't go running out in fucking traffic with the volume all the way up and then get hit by a car). By the third month, I needed to use a little more drastic measures to lose weight. I stopped consuming alcohol period. I found that 230 was my sticking point. So what I did, I bought some of Twin Labs diet fuel. This worked very well, but it made me real edgy, so edgy I felt like I was on a constant rampage. By the end of the third month, I was down to 220. My abs started to show, but I still needed 10 more pounds less to be where I wanted to be. For the fourth month I just kept on doing what I had been doing for the last couple of months. By the fourth month, I was at 210 (my measurements were: waist 28", arms 18"cold, chest 44" upper thigh 25"). I did lose a lot of strength in the squat due to the running. I could barely squat 315. And that's down from doing easy reps with 405. My bench suffered too. I could only do 315 for 3 reps. Now that I've bulked back up again (this took me three months to gain all the weight back), I'm happier being BIG, than when I was cut up. It was fun for a while, being able to take my shirt off and have everybody google at my arms and chest, but I want the size! I want the strength! I like to be able to go to the mall and have mother-fuckers get the hell out of my way. When I was cut up, I lost a lot of size and all I could do was lift my shirt up and say, "look at these abs baby". Next time I cut up I'll be much bigger, like 240 lean.

Fig's advice for the week: if you are not sure you are doing something right in the gym ask someone. Preferably someone who is large and in charge in the gym. Don't ever get advice from some loser who can't even help themselves. For instance, you wouldn't want to get bench press advice from someone who cant even bench 315. Remember, the best way to learn how someone got huge is buy asking them how they did it. Now I wouldn't get advice from some roid addict. Like I said previously, any idiot can get big with any stupid exercise program while on the juice. **Always consult a doctor before doing any exercise program** As I learn more about weightlifting I will either add or change this page. New ideas and discoveries are always made. I do not know all there is about weightlifting. What I do know has given me a great start. The main thing I wanted to do with this page was to inform the beginner's of the sport, that dedication and common sense training is what works.


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