From National Bodybuilding and Fitness Magazine
Why can't I get big? I eat all the time and train hard but just don't grow. What do I need to eat, what supplements should I take?
I've heard that a million times - most of the time it's because the person does not wish to put in the effort required - they're just looking for a simple, 'magic', way to get big.
But if you're one of the few that really wants to get big, more than anything else - then read and follow.
First - buy all the magazines you can and tear out the pictures. Keep the pictures for inspiration and throw the rest away, it will only confuse you. Quit worrying about the training program of the day and the supplement of the month - THEY WON'T HELP YOU!!!!!
How do fat people get fat, big people get big, massive people get massive. By eating!!!!!!!!!!!
"Well I eat a lot, but I just can't gain. I guess I have high metabolism. (Whine Whine Whine)"
Get a life! - Every kid uses that EXCUSE - it's total BULL. Do you want to get big? or do you want to whine about not being able to gain? - If you want to get big do what I'm about to tell you - if you don't do it get out of the gym and make room for those that do.
COUNT CALORIES. ("Oh, but that's hard - whine whine whine"). If you don't count calories you will never get there and you're just wasting everyone's time, and your life, asking how to get big. The ONLY way to gain is to eat the correct amount of food (calories). If you don't do this then NOTHING ELSE YOU DO IS GOING TO HELP YOU, NO AMOUNT OF TRAINING, NO SPECIAL SUPPLEMENTS - NOTHING!!!
Here's how it works - the body needs 'X' amount of calories to grow. If it gets them it grows - either fat or muscle - if it doesn't get them it either stays the same (weight), or gets smaller. So if you want to grow the FIRST thing you need to do eat the proper amount of food.
HOW MUCH? First, buy a cheap calorie counter (like the fat people use). Make sure you have some measuring cups (go to 'Walmart' and spend two freaking bucks, you've probably spent a hundred times that on supplements - and they did't help much did they - or you wouldn't be reading this?). It would also be a good idea to buy some cheap diet scales while you're there. One last thing, get a notepad and keep it with you.
Now - count the calories of everything you eat on a normal day - everything. Add them up at the end of the day - not nearly what you thought is it?. Starting tomorrow eat 500 calories more than you did the first day - even it out as much as possible, eat 5 to 6 times a day or more. Eat the same amount for a week (as in 7 days). Check your weight when you get out of bed (before you eat anything). Have you gained weight?
No? Add another 500 calories next week, every day. Repeat this after another week if you still are not gaining - switch to higher calorie (fat) foods if you find you can't eat enough.
YES - If the answer is "yes, I did gain" then stick to your current calorie intake until you stop gaining, then increase it another 250 to 500 calories per day, etc. - as your weight goes up you'll need even more calories to keep gaining.
(Don't check your weight in the middle of the day, it's meaningless - you have food in your stomach, a full bladder, etc. - drinking a glass of water will add a pound of body weight for a short time.)
Guidelines - if you are gaining more than a pound or two a week cut back by 250 calories a day or so until you adjust. Gaining more than an average of a pound a week means you're putting on a LOT of fat - not what you want. If you can gain a pound a week that's plenty, do the math - that's 52 pounds a year, you'll be huge in no time.
If you're one of those people who look like a skeleton? - then you may need to add a lot of fat to your diet to gain - Why? - fat is the highest calorie food - over double that of protein and carbs. This means you can get a lot more calories in you belly before you get so full you can't eat any more without puking. You still want to get plenty of high quality protein (dairy, beef, chicken), and plenty of veggies - but you also want to eat high fat foods. If your so skinny that you're afraid to go out on a windy day a little fat is not going to hurt you.
OK - your stuffing those calories down your throat - now how do you keep it from all turning to fat. Well, if you have to hold on to something to keep from being blown away on a windy day you shouldn't have to worry about fat for a while - but for everyone else: you must train. Training turns those calories into muscle instead of fat. Don't eat - don't grow, eat and don't train - get fat. Real simple.
There are a few simple rules to follow when it comes to training for size.
First - unless you're ready to enter a national contest, things like hand placement and other small details are not that important. Changing your hand placement by 1 inch is not going to make you grow.
Second - don't do aerobics - rest all you can when you aren't doing heavy training.
That out of the way - here's what you 'should' do - train hard - not long, not fancy, not complicated, and by all means not going through the motions - you must train intensely. At the end of a leg workout you should have trouble walking. A half hour after an arm workout your arm should shake if you try to pick up a glass of milk. Intensity is the key to growth.
Keep your workouts under an hour. Don't train the same bodypart 2 days in a row - ever, every third or even fourth day is fine. Your muscles don't grow when you're training, they grow after you train - if you give them a break.
Break up your workouts, don't try to train the whole body at one time. The reason for this is simple, you'll run out of energy after 2 or 3 body parts (if you're training hard), and the rest will be wasted time - and will slow your growth. Keep it simple - arms and shoulders, legs the next day, chest and back the next. Don't train chest and back the day before or after arms - the arms are used to train chest and back. As an alternate train chest and tri's one day, back and bi's the next - this works - don't train back with tri's or chest with bi's - use your head - it's not complicated.
Set's and reps. We're going for size here, remember that. 3 sets of 8 to 12 reps (always to failure), (after warm up), once a month go to 6 rep weight. In case you do not know what is meant by failure let me explain. Failure is when your are trying so hard to do that last rep that your teeth are about to break, your muscles are screaming in pain, you're breathing like a horse after a mile run - and your heart rate is off the scale. For the newbie's in the crowd you adjust the weight so that failure comes at the correct number of reps - YOU NEVER STOP BECAUSE YOU'RE ONLY SUPPOSED TO DO 12 REPS! - just add more weight on the next set. Do 1 exercise per muscle (not bodypart). One should be plenty if done correctly. Example: For tris I would suggest standing extensions, prone extensions, and press downs to completely work the 3 muscles that make up the tri's.
STOP- at some point almost all of your gains will be fat, keep an eye on your waist line. You'll have to put on some fat to truly get huge - anyone who tells you different has got his head up his or some magazines - unless, that is, you've got 10 or 20 years to gain at about 3 to 5 pounds a year - put on the muscle first, work on the fat later - just use some common sense, if you see your putting on more fat than muscle cut back for awhile.
When you see that you're starting to put on a lot of fat there are several things you can do. First try keeping your calories up, but cut all the fat you can from your diet. Spend a little time doing aerobics or walking between workouts. If that works fine - if not cut back a little on your calories and let your muscles 'catch up'. Odds are you've 'outgrown' you muscles, and as hard as it may seem it's time to stop trying to grow for a while. A good idea at this time would be to doing a 3 month power program - building up your strength, while maintaining your body weight. Try to rid yourself of as much of that excess fat as possible - without giving up size to do it. Your muscles will only grow so fast and you will have to cycle your eating just like everything else. It will take 3 to 5 years to reach your full potential, unless if you've already got some good training under your belt.
Example: Say your seventeen, 6 foot tall and weigh 160 to 170. You've been training hard for a year or so and are hard as a rock. Follow this plan correctly and you will explode - in 3 months people will be asking you - How do I get big.