quot;You’ve Got Mail!" As the country’s preeminent physical culture theorist, it is almost a foregone conclusion the pressure from my adoring followers would force me to enter the internet age. Despite my hectic commitments designing nutrition and training programs for Hollywood actors, foreign dignitaries and Mafia kingpins, I still make time for some pro bono work.
You’ve read the stories about Grant and David and their physical transformation from obnoxious, scrawny geeks to tolerable, well-built athletes. To be honest, I have even grown to like them. Grant has gone off to college, playing recreational soccer and still following The Rusty Method™ and Advanced Traufee Principals© as part of his workouts. David stops at the gym on the weekends he comes home (usually when he is out of clean laundry) and has me update his workouts through e-mail. This one message from him caught my eye.
The letter’s subject heading read: "Walking Skeleton Needs Help ASAP!" Packing muscle on the ectomorphically helpless is one of my specialties (is it fair to call something a specialty when you are actually good at SO MANY different things?) so I knew why David contacted me. His skinny classmate needed my guidance badly. David had planned to visit home that weekend and he wanted to bring his two-dimensional friend by the gym to get the scoop on packing meat on his clavicles.
Friday rolled along and David and his friend popped their heads into my office off the gym’s pro-shop, interrupting my power-nap. After blotting my amino-rich drool from the desktop, I focus my blurry eyes and stroll over to my visitors. I pat David on the shoulder and then share a hearty handshake with his friend that almost dislocated his shoulder (when you have built superhuman strength you sometimes forget about the frailties of mere mortals).
David introduces me to Doug, a kid with an easy smile and a pleasant manner. His desire to improve his physique and strength is so heartfelt that I instantly like him (which doesn’t happen often). The kid is 5’11" and claims to be 145-pounds (although my expert eye appraises him at less). Like most skinny guys, he has a nice frame with wide shoulders and narrow hips. If he had any muscle on him it would make for a good V-taper but packing muscle on someone with the metabolism of a greyhound isn’t easy. Thankfully, once the naturally skinny catch "metal malaria" they become the most devoted disciples imaginable, just needing time and the proper guidance. Fortunately for Doug, fate has directed him towards the one expert that can give him the guidance he needs.
"It is not going to be easy..." I begin, "But, if you follow my recommendations to the letter, your results will be nothing short of dramatic. Ectomorphs like you, that’s the scientific term for scrawny, can make big changes if they do the right things."
"I’m ready!" Doug says, not letting the scrawny comment dampen his enthusiasm. "Whatever you think I need to do, I will give 110%. I’ve seen what you have done for David and Grant, not to mention the transformation you made on the guy at school that supervises the weight room has made on your programs. Just point me in the right direction."
"Well this program will be deceptively simple and will depart from the common training protocols you see in the newsstand magazines. The workouts will be short, hard and frequent. You will be training two-on; one-off with the workouts lasting about a half-hour long."
"Training is important... " I continue, "But with your metabolism, training alone will not amount to an ounce of added muscle unless the proper nutrition and rest is in place. Both quality supplementation and cartloads of whole food are required."
"They actually serve plenty of healthy food at the school cafeteria in Menden Hall," David chirps in. "I was able to buy the food credits from kids in my dorm for pennies on the dollar. They use the cash for beer money and I get double the servings of whatever foods they serve, I can set Doug up with people wanting to make the same trade."
"Smart negotiating, David. You will be needing lots of calories, I continue. "For a basic starting point I recommend 6-7 meals a day with us starting out with an intake of 20 calories per pound of bodyweight. At roughly 135-pounds, that equates to 2,700 calories a day."
Doug opens his mouth, preparing to defend his claim of an extra ten pounds but merely sucks in a short breath and lets me continue.
"We will continue that for at least two weeks. If you have not gained at least a pound or two, we will bump it up to 22 calories per pound of bodyweight. If you haven’t gained at 22 calories per pound, we’ll bump it up to 25 calories per pound with the extra calories coming from carbs. We will continue to adjust the level until we reach the level you require to stimulate growth."
"Your macronutrient breakdown will be 30% protein, 50% percent carbs and 20% fat. We will lower the percentage of protein that we usually recommend, since (at 20 or more calories per pound of bodyweight) you will be getting as much protein as someone at a higher percent of protein and a lower caloric intake. The amount of carbs will be higher since your turbo metabolism needs that. So the numbers should break down like this... "
Protein 2700 x .30 = 810 ÷ 4 = 202 grams daily
Carbs 2700 x .50 = 1350 ÷ 4 = 338 grams daily Fat 2700 x .20 = 540 ÷ 9 = 60 grams daily
I slide a legal pad between us and continue to display my mathematical prowess. "This means we are looking at six meals with at least 34 grams of protein at each of your meals. Because of your metabolism you also need plenty of carbs, particularly in the early part of the day and right after training. Fats are also important. We will have protein with either fat or carbs in each meal."
"Okay," Doug asks. "How do I know when to eat which?
"To answer that, I will quote my dear friend Fred Hatfield, known to many as Dr. Squat.When I originally met him, he went simply as Undergrad Squat. Hatfield said it simply when he recommended that we eat based on our bodies’ needs over the two to three hours following that meal. So when we wake, we need to take in protein and carbs to replenish our amino acid and blood glucose levels from the eight or nine hours since our last meal. Post-workout, we take in quickly absorbed protein and carbs to offset what we lost in the gym. Before bed we take a slow long-lasting protein and fats to help us get through the night." At this point, David flips him a copy of the No-Nonsense Newsletter and tells him that it contains plenty of examples of how this can be done.
"You want to eat quality, lean whole-food proteins such as eggs, beef or chicken at the meals where you can use your meal tickets and protein shakes at the others," I continue. Keep a dozen hard-boiled eggs in the fridge at all times. For shakes, stick to top quality powders... "
"Beverly!" David interrupts.
"What’s so special about Ber, " Doug begins to say, trailing off as two gorgeous fitness competitors, Heather and Holly, walk by in vintage Beverly t-shirts.
"They sure do make it look special, don’t they?" David laughs. "But you wouldn’t see top bodybuilders, powerlifters and fitness competitors sporting the Bev Nut attire if the products didn’t deliver. Go to any bodybuilding contest and the people wearing the Beverly clothes tend to be the ones in the best shape, whether they are competing or just in the audience."
"Back to business!" I interrupt, forcing Doug to avert his gaze from the girls training in the gym. Yeah, Beverly is the only stuff I would spend my money on. Either Ultimate Protein or Ultra Size is going to be your base protein. These contain perfect blends of casein and whey to help you recover from your training and build muscle. Muscle Provider contains more of the fast-absorbing whey protein fractions, so it is important as a post-workout replenisher. Lastly, Mass Maker is a specifically designed powder for people trying to put on muscle without gaining bodyfat. It provides both a broad spectrum protein blend and low glycemic index carbs to improve recovery. It is definitely great for post workout. Mix it with your other proteins depending on how many carbs your particular body needs for maximum recovery."
"David let me try some of his shakes and they taste great, so I’m completely down with that," Doug agrees. "Are there any other supplements I need?"
"It doesn’t require a lot of exotic nonsense, despite what the muscle head mags might tell you," I say, keeping him focused on what is truly important.
"I tend not to even think of Beverly proteins as supplements. They are core foods that should be a part of your daily intake. Getting in lots of protein, both from shakes and food should be a daily concern when trying to put on size. Starchy carbs are important too. Oatmeal, sweet potatoes, rice and whole grains are great sources. Avoid sugars and junk food. We want solid muscle. If it doesn’t build muscle, we want nothing to do with it. Also, a couple servings of fruit and fibrous veggies will keep your body and digestive tract healthy."
"Don’t forget the fats... " David adds.
"Good point, Big Dave," I say, Fats not only provide calories, but increasing your essential fatty acids goes a long way to ensure your muscle-building machinery will keep working. Focus on essential fats like EFA Gold and olive oil, but some saturated fat is okay too. Your body uses saturated fats to manufacture testosterone, so don’t try to eliminate all of it. If you keep saturated fats to around one-third of your fat intake you will be fine. You can get this from whole eggs and the naturally-occurring fats in meat and vitamin D milk. Fats are also great for slowing the digestion of protein so I recommend a dose as part of a before bed protein and healthy fat meal."
"I like steak and eggs for that," David adds. "Or I take a dose of EFA Gold and 2 tbsp almond butter with my before bed protein shake."
"Are there any super supplements that can kick my program into overdrive?" the excited kid asks. "Something to drive my testosterone and GH levels up? I’ve been working part-time and have a little extra money to invest in my program."
"At your age, you already have the perfect anabolic hormonal environment. Get your basics and invest the rest in food. "If you are looking for magic, consistent eating and the special ectomorph mass-gaining workout I’m going to give you, is why the contest-winning lifters around here call me the David Blaine of trainers." I rummage through my filing cabinet and pull out a dog-eared Xerox copy and slide it across the juice-bar to him. "Put in the effort and this will turn you into a man!"
Guaranteed Muscle Building Plan
Choose one exercise for each section listed below. For example, in Workout A you’ll do 1 lower body quad press exercise, 1 direct quad exercise, and 1 heavy calf exercise.
Doug smiles as he absorbs what is on the page, holding it as if it were a rare thousand-year old Biblical text, hand copied by a sect of monks.
"You pick one exercise from each category on the list and use it for as long as your strength is increasing on it. The first exercise is a low rep power movement to build strength and muscle density. The others are moderately high rep sets to help you pack on muscle. You can also add in a couple extra recovery workouts a few times a week."
"I’ve never read anything about recovery workouts?" Doug says, a confused look on his face.
"They make all the difference," David says. "You don’t push hard on these sessions. They are about getting some blood into the tissue and getting a little extra work for areas that need it without wearing yourself out."
"True dat!" I say, impressing the kids with the hip lingo I picked up on MTV. "Try to do these extra workouts two or three times a week, when you WANT to. The short workouts in this program are designed so that there will always be a little something left in your tank. The first sign of overtraining is a lack of desire to go to the gym. Workouts A, B and C are brief enough that I guarantee you won’t overtrain if you use the extra recovery workout to recover and not push them so hard that they dig into your recovery abilities."
"They should be fun!" David says.
"Fo’ shizzle!" I add, wishing I had thought to wear my bling that day. "The training program will stimulate growth, and the food and extra protein supplements will supply the raw materials. Get enough rest and recovery and you will build a bigger, stronger body. Send me monthly e-mails so I can monitor your progress."
"Yeah, tell the man what’s crack-a-lacking," David says, the corner of his mouth turning up for no apparent reason.
"If this program doesn’t make you look like a new man a year from now," I say, "Then nothing will! This program spells out everything you need to make your physique dreams a reality!"
"True dat!" the kid agrees. "True dat!"