Getting big with a lot of muscle is still the name of the game for bodybuilders. Sergio Oliva, 3-time winner of the IFBB Mr. Olympia, perhaps said it best,
There’s only one way to get bigger, eat more! Now that’s elegant in its simplicity.
I graduated from high school weighing a scrawny 126-pounds. at 5″10″. When I started training, two-time Mr. Olympia, Franco Columbu, (the Sardinian Samson), was often pictured with his thick chest distinguished by the deep separation between his upper and lower pectoral fibers. I remember feeling a bit of pride because I had a similar groove of delineation in my chest. Looking back, I now realize that it was not separation of various muscle groups but simply my ribs showing.
From my initial 126-pounds, I gradually built myself up to a top weight of 203-pounds. Every ounce of weight I’ve gained has been a slow, uphill, tooth-and-nail battle. But, as all the months of training rolled on by my 135-pound. squat became 185, 225 and soon enough, 405-pounds. Likewise, my muscle grew even if my metabolism and genetics were stubborn.
In my day
For those with a turbo-charged fast metabolism, adding even a pound of weight is a struggle. My early college years were the late eighties (an era marked by bad music and even worse nutritional supplements).The most popular weight gain products of this time were sugar-packed, low-quality, foul – tasting sludge with small quantities of low-quality protein added in almost as an afterthought.
My ultimate solution was the “then classic approach” to weight gain – gallon of the white stuff–milk! For a period of three years, I consumed at least a gallon of whole milk a day in addition to at least four to five meals. These were huge meals. It was not unusual for me to eat a half a pan of lasagna or a pound and a half of hamburger at a sitting, topped off with six yogurts or a quart of kefir (a yogurt-like beverage with active cultures that assist in health of the digestive tract). To top it off, I added a half-gallon of chocolate ice cream before bed.
Needless to say, consuming all that sugar and lactose gave me world-class flatulence.
Intelligent eating allowed Mark Perry to pack on sixty solid pounds of shredded mass –
twenty pounds in just the past two years.
He was rewarded with an impressive sixth-place finish in the NPC Nationals.
There is no over-training. Only under eating, under sleeping and lack of will– The Barbarian Brothers
The mystery of calories
When someone talks about daily calorie intake, they are referring to the amount of energy they are taking in from protein, carbs and fat. Basal metabolic rate (BMR) is an approximate measure of the calories needed to keep our basic machinery running. Also, additional calories are needed for everything else you do. A lumberjack burns more calories than a computer worker. Likewise, clubbing two to three nights a week uses up calories that could have gone to muscle. Stress, such as a divorce, legal hassles, school, financial problems or a new job further bumps up your caloric expenditure.
“Don’t run when you can walk.
Don’t stand when you can sit. Don’t sit when you can lie down.” – Harry Paschall
Strength & Health Magazine
How many calories?
Aproven starting point is 20 calories per pound of bodyweight.
For example, a 150-pound male eats 3000 calories a day.
- Use this chart:
- Weight Factor Calories
- 130 x 20 = 2600
140 x 20 = 2800
- 150 x 20 = 3000
160 x 20 = 3200
170 x 20 = 3400
- 180 x 20 = 3600
Break your daily intake up into five to eight meals so you are not stuffed on three daily meals. You can utilize nutrients with smaller, more frequent meals. After a week on this new caloric level, check if your weight has changed. (Always weigh yourself in the morning before a meal.) If you have gained one to three pounds. continue at that level for another week. If you gained five or more pounds, then you can draw one of two conclusions; you were severely depleted and you really needed the higher calories to fill out your existing muscle, or the calorie level caused you to retain water or add a large amount of body fat.
If you have followed the starting calorie intake listed on the chart and have not seen an increase in your bodyweight in the first two weeks, jump up your daily calorie count by 500 calories. If, after a week’s time, this does not cause an increase, add another 250 calories.
Protein – Fat – Carbohydrates
Typically, diets are designed by listing a precise ratio of protein, carbs and fat and serving sizes. Every meal you eat should be rich in protein. For a weight gain diet, I recommend two to two and-a-half grams of protein per pound of bodyweight. This should equal 30-50% of your daily calorie intake. This can be acquired from eggs, beef, chicken, turkey, fish and quality protein powders. High intake of water is also important. A gallon a day (not counting what you use in your shakes) should keep you well-flushed.
Fat intake should be at least 20% of caloric intake, as lipids promote general health and immune function as well as providing many of the necessary components for testosterone production. Fats are a great, highly concentrated source of calories. As such, they are indispensable in a weight gain diet. Good sources of fat include olive and canola oils, omega 3 supplements, nuts, flaxseed oil or special blended oils, and peanut butter.
Of the three macronutrients carbohydrates are generally the most inexpensive and, therefore, also the most abundant in our food supply. They provide quick and easy energy. The downside of this is that, depending on your sensitivity to carbs, too many carbs can lead to quick gains in bodyfat. Adjust your carbohydrate intake to allow for steady gains with acceptable increases in bodyfat. Fiber is not normally mentioned in weight gain diets. High levels of fiber are generally a staple of fat loss programs, since fiber tends to be quite filling. A moderate amount of fiber is essential for a weight gain program. Fiber helps optimize the digestive tract. A serving of whole oatmeal, salad and green beans or steamed fibrous veggies will do it.
Mass Maker and Ultra Size:
one-two punchin the battle for muscle mass.
|Weight||2 Grams Protein||2.5 Grams Protein|
Our 150-pound future Mr. Olympia uses: (150-pounds x 20 calories per pound, daily calorie count of 3000). Protein intake: 300-g a day (2 g per pound). This provides 1200 calories a day from protein or 40 percent of the daily total. (4 calories/g: 4 x 300 is 1200.)
Prince Fontenot made the jump from the middleweights to the top of the ligh-heavyweight class. A high protein diet helped make it possible.
Protein timing is important. Divide your daily protein into tenths. In our ongoing example of the 150-pounder, let’s go for broke and use 2.5-g protein per pound of bodyweight. This gives us a 375-g daily protein intake. That is 37.5-g per serving, round to 40-g).
For each meal, consume a 40-g serving of protein. Double this to 80-g for his breakfast, since it is listed as 20% of daily intake. The post-workout shake (25%) is a whopping 100-g serving.
This is an extremely comprehensive program. For most athletes it will be a surefire – guarantee of growth IF stuck to consistently. During the workout, you will see an asterisk listed in your protein percentage column. As another option, you may want to consider taking 15-25 branchedchain amino acids or protein hydrolysate tablets during your workout. This seems to improve energy levels and discourages the breakdown of muscle tissue during training. We won’t even bother to include this in your daily protein intake. Adjust these as needed to fit your lifestyle but try to keep them as stable as possible.
Weight-gainers can keep that 28-inch waist and still gain up to 60-pounds by eating small quantities of food five to six times daily, rather than stuffing themselves at one sitting.
– Vince Gironda, Blueprint for the Bodybuilder