How to Gain Weight in 6 Simple Steps

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Here’s 6 simple ways on how to gain weight without getting fat. When I started I was 150 lbs at best before I got serious about weight gain. In just under 5 months, I put on 30 lbs of lean body mass and am able to maintain 190 lbs . Here’s the overview in a nutshell of:

How to Gain WeightHow to gain weight in six simple steps

Tip 1: Eating Enough Quality Calories

Have you ever asked somebody who’s trying to gain weight what they eat?

I did. And the response I received was shocking.

“I just eat.”

That’s what he said. I just eat.

You MUST know how many calories a day you need for your weight gain goal.

This person desperately wanted to gain weight and every time I saw him the gym he had some excuse as to why it wasn’t going his way. And it was usually related to his metabolism.

Let me tell you…

If you want to gain quality weight, you have to eat high quality dense foods and ENOUGH of them. Furthermore… if you want to gain weight without getting fat, then you bulk with the same principles as if you were on a cutting diet. Choose higher-calorie foods when given a choice.

Photo by: Side Salad

In my years of experience, when I bulked up and gained weight and fat, the biggest mistake I made was not tracking what I ate. I always tracked my diet when I was on a calorie restricted phase (that was a given) but when I wanted to gain weight I just ate everything I could.

Have you ever felt that way?

In order to gain weight, you need to eat more than your usual maintenance calorie intake but not so much as to just store the excess calories and get fat. And you need to eat consistently.

That should have been your “ah -ha” moment.

Gaining weight isn’t your cue to eat everything under the sun. In order to gain weight, lean mass and not get fat, you need to eat just over what you body needs to maintain. In this manner, you’ll provide your body with all the calories it needs to build muscle but you won’t give it so much as it stores the excess as fat.

[ Remember that anything in excess, even protein, can be stored as fat. ]

The key is to gain healthy weight and minimize the fat gains.

Tip 2: Grocery Shopping 101

If you are looking to gain weight, then don’t have bare cupboards. Go to your kitchen right now after reading this section and take a look at what you’ve got in stock.

Make sure your kitchen is fully stocked with the foods you need to eat. Dense foods work wonders for putting on the weight.

Examples are whole-grain breads, vegetables such as avocados and potatoes, kidney beans, lean red meat, poultry and fish.

Bare cupboards = no weight gain!

Bodybuilding doesn’t have to break the bank. Many times you can get bulk items for much cheaper than you think. Packages of tuna, turkey, chicken legs, pasta all are great bulking items that don’t cost a ton of money.

Perishable items like fruits and sugary laden items and condiments are usually things that cost the most.

(more…)

That’s NOT Revolutionary!

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Seriously… can that word even be used next to “bodybuilding” without laughing hysterically?

What in bodybuilding today is truly revolutionary? Think about it for a moment. For the sake of argument, let’s just agree that Creatine was the last revolutionary thing to hit the bodybuilding market. Well documented, over 300 peer reviewed research studies. (If you didn’t count supplements, I can’t think of anything recently that would classify!)

That was some time ago.

Since then, nothing has truly been revolutionary.

Not HIIT, not high volume, not supersets, not one set to failure, not body weight exercises, not rest-pause, not instinctive training, not tri-sets, bi-sets and giant sets. Or drop sets. You get my point.. all good stuff though.

Today we have “fitness experts” that describe an exercise in vast detail and slap their names on the movements. You’d think at first glance, they invented this exercise!

In fact, many of the unusual exercises today are just from the 1950’s.

Ever heard of a “Bench Press to the Neck?”

Not new. Vince Gironda documented that one back in 1950 something.
How about in using dumbbells for the bench, you turn your palms inward?

Revolutionary?

Nope. Vince again.

My intent of this blog is to point out stuff that works from the fitness experts of the past and the modified stuff we find today with more modern modifications that work from what we’ve learned to get the BEST possible combination in which to choose from.

It would be a shame to lose the history of the great bodybuilders who forged this path and gave us some really fantastic exercises and philosophies when it comes to bodybuilding.

If at all possible, I always quote or mention where I got it. I’d sure like to be revolutionary but in all honestly, I’ll just point out what works, where you can find the best information and I hope you’ll keep me honest.

After 20 years of natural bodybuilding, I know a thing or two. Experience does count for something.

Revolutionary… it still makes me giggle. :-)

Marc David – CPT
“The NoBull Muscle Guy”
Author of NoBull Bodybuilding

What’s Good For The Goose May Not Be For The Gosling

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There’s way too many articles, eBooks and forum posts dispensing bodybuilding tips as ifNew Bodybuilding by Ellington Darden that will just apply to everybody. The consumer of the information, YOU should realize nobody can give a personal, case by case basis by posting fact after fact.

What works for ALL of us, may be the worst situation based on somebody’s personal life, circumstances and situation.

“Facts are facts – but people are individuals, and their problems are usually individual in nature. The perfect solution to one case may be (and frequently will be) the worst possible approach to the situation in another case; in effect, while the same methods will work in ALL cases – the application of those methods MUST BE on an individual basis.”

-Arthur Jones

What Arthur Jones referred to was the basis for the necessity of personal training.

I’ve run across an excellent book by Ellington Daren, Ph.D called The New Bodybuilding for Old-School Results. It’s based on the Arthur Jones theories on HIT. Worth reading if you aren’t familiar with this or if you like the concept of Arthur Jones Revisited.

From Geek to Freak Back to Geek: Where Do I Go From Here?

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Maybe you’ve heard of Tim Ferriss? Maybe not but his blog post From Geek to Freak: How I Gained 34 lbs. of Muscle in 4 Weeks gathered as many believers as skeptics.How to gain weight

Before you shout… this story is OLD! Move on already, I wanted to let you know that it’s human nature to forget. But I didn’t and neither should you. Let’s re-visit the post and you’ll see my point when I ask you…

Where in the world is [tag-tec]Tim Ferriss[/tag-tec] now? (regarding muscle of course)

First off, this recent March 2008 snap shot of the Tim Ferriss website proves the point. You’ll see the before and after pictures where he’s gained 34 lbs of lean body mass (more on that in a second) but pay SPECIAL attention to the newest picture up top.

Hey… that’s Tim!

But he’s not the HUGE mass monster you see below in the after picture. If he maintained that muscle, he’d be filling out that tight t-shirt easily and his shoulders would rhyme with boulders. You might even call him “Tiny Tim” if you were mean, which I’m not.

Don’t get me wrong guys… Tim Ferriss did gain 34 lbs of LEAN MASS. He used the word muscle as most novice bodybuilders will to describe any positive weight gain. However, it’s incorrect and without doing a biopsy, Tim can’t possibly know that he’s gained 34 lbs of pure muscle. It’s lean body mass.

In fact, I did a blog post on how much muscle can you gain. Everybody wants to point out how much muscle they gained and it might not apply to you. The post it worth a read as it gives you realistic perspective and level sets your expectations. Too many bodybuilders set lofty, unrealistic expectations and end up sorely disappointed if they don’t make the gains some other hardgainer or skinny guy claims. Set REALISTIC expectations to avoid that. Fact is…

Tim Ferriss’ body transformation is IMPRESSIVE! But that’s only half the story….

Where’s Tim now? He doesn’t appear to have kept that muscle in his latest picture? He’s in shape, lean and mean but where did all that mass go?

My guess is that Tim Ferriss gained 34 lbs of lean mass in a short period of time (almost any skinny guy can do this) and then promptly went back to his lifestyle which is not bodybuilding. He lost most of it. No it didn’t turn into fat! He just burned it off. Muscle mass is highly metabolic and requires a lot of work both in the gym and out of the gym to maintain it. That my friends… is where the REAL ART begins.

By the way… if you read the steps Tim took to gain that lean body weight, I’ll agree with him 100% they were spot on for a beginner to advanced. He used a HIT training program.

1) Fast, time efficient, intense workouts

2) Compound movements to maximize gains and natural growth hormone production

3) Malicious attention to nutritional details

4) Proper measurement and weigh-in techniques

5) Photos in the same pose

6) Accountability

7) A solid plan

If you want to learn more about HIT programs like the one Tim did, I suggest The New Bodybuilding for Old-School Results by Ellington Darden, Ph.D.

Tim did a bang up job on outlining in 6 steps how to go about getting the job done. He had a very realistic plan, a precise method of how to get there, a vision of what he wanted to accomplish, written goals and accountability. Tim didn’t just go to the gym to screw around. He did what Skip LaCour and Tom Venuto talk about all the time as the most IMPORTANT aspect of bodybuilding.

Step into the gym with a plan!

For all these reasons… it’s not a shocker that Tim slammed on 34 lbs of good looking lean body mass. While many comments accused Tim of steroid use, cheating, doctoring photos and such, I believe Tim. I know because I’ve been there, done that before. What he outlined is simple yet precisely what anybody would need to do. But I wouldn’t follow his advice and here’s why….

It is best to learn from someone who is still practicing what they are preaching.

The REAL difficult part of any bodybuilding journey isn’t the quick weight gains you experience after a long layoff or the skinny guy hardgainer gains you make in 6 months following some program.

It’s what you DO years later to keep that muscle and to build more. It’s the art of maintaining it and getting past difficult plateaus or injuries. It’s learning how to fish and not be tossed a fish. It’s taking all the FACTS and then applying them to your specific situation.

I’d take advice from Tim on how to make my business more successful, my blog more SEO friendly or even design options (his blog looks great).. and I’d even take his advice on how to shorten my work week.

But I wouldn’t take how to gain weight, bodybuilding or muscle building advice from somebody who isn’t able to get past the real difficult parts of bodybuilding. What the heck to I do now that I have this mass? How do I maintain it? Where do I go from here?

“Facts are facts – but people are individuals, and their problems are usually individual in nature. The perfect solution to one case may be (and frequently will be) the worst possible approach to the situation in another case; in effect, while the same methods will work in ALL cases – the application of those methods MUST BE on an individual basis.” - Author Jones

Train hard and expect success,

Marc David
www.nobullbodybuilding.com

P.S. – Tim Ferriss did a great job on how to gain weight with his body transformation. Remember that while anybody can make amazing progress quickly (refer to weight loss before and after pictures) it’s what you do with that later that matters. Losing weight is easy… keeping it off is not. Gaining weight quickly is simple… maintaining a muscular physique is not.

P.P.S. – If you are in this bodybuilding game for the long-haul, I invite you to check out my own bodybuilding lessons where I’ll teach you how to fish. You can make gains just like Tim did and I’ll even tell you how to keep them!

How Much Water to Drink?

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I think the following how much water to drink chart may help you to SAFELY determine how much water you need to stay properly hydrated for your activity without over consumption.

* this chart is meant to be a guide not an absolute *

This chart is courtesy of the ISSA

Recommended Water Intake:

Step 1 Select an appropriate need factor.

Need Factors

0.5 — Sedentary no sports or training
0.6 — Jogger or light fitness training
0.7 — Sports participation or moderate training 3 times a week
0.8 — Moderate daily weight training or aerobic training
0.9 — Heavy weight training daily
1.0 — Heavy weight training daily plus sports training or “2-a-day” training

Step 2 Multiply weight (in pounds) by the appropriate need factor to arrive at the recommended water intake in ounces per day.

Example 1 120 pounds x 0.6 = 72 ounces per day
Example 2 200 pounds x 0.7 =140 ounces per day

We recommend that you drink water eight to twelve times per day.

Example 1 72 ounces per day divided by 10 glasses = 7.2 ounces per glass
Example 2 140 ounces per day divided by 12 glasses = 11.7 ounces per glass

Lewis Black and Aquifina. Or as he says, “the end of water was we know it.”

Here’s Lewis Black with a little humor on the subject of how crazy water consumption is today.

Muscle Building Tips

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Jeff Anderson, also known as the Muscle Nerd and creator of the Optimum Anabolics muscle building workouts, released a membership site with weekly videos, articles and the promise of advanced tips and tricks when it comes to building muscle.However, on this site you can grab a selection of meal plans and the ever popular, Anabolic Growth Tracker 5000 (AGT 5000) software. Tracking your progress just got easier.

  1. Bodybuilding meal plans
  2. AGT 5000 body tracking software

There’s no obligation for the free membership.

You can download the meal plans and the tracking software within minutes. No unlock codes or other teaser type tricks.

www.undergroundbodybuildingtips.com

The Top 10 ‘Secrets’ Of the Best Drug-Free Bodybuilders

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What a fantastic, no-hype, no fancy graphics PDF by Skip LaCour.  There’s some fantastic advice for the natural bodybuilder in this quick download.   I hope you find it useful.

For the FREE Special Report, go to:
http://www.skiplacour.com/secrets.pdf

P.S. - I’m not affiliated with Skip in any way.  He won’t even respond to my Facebook request!  But I made a promise to my podcast listeners and readers that if I found top-notch bodybuilding information, I would alert you.  That was my promise to you. 

This Really Ticks Me Off!

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Photo Credit: danorbit

I got an email recently from a big shot that claimed that he could help me build muscle, tone my body, and all of the other body building related practices. This is not the bad part…Read on.

Here is what really gets to me about people like this.

The thing is, I happen to know that the person claiming the above has no experience in the subject at hand. He has never successfully created or developed the body of his dreams. There is a rumor floating around that the book he is selling was ghostwritten, in other words he did not even write it himself. Which would explain why you could never find any pictures of him on his website or anywhere else.

It really makes me sick Unfortunately we live in a world where people like the one mentioned above could make millions of dollars on selling a product that may not even work. It may be true that there are some “REAL” people out there selling real products, that is not hard to do. They may even be selling the real products online that are not hard to do either. Then again, how much do they really practice what they teach? How much muscle have their gained or how much fat have they lost? Are they working extremely hard and have truly created a great life for themselves?

Now it may be hard to know who to trust sometimes, some may have excellent strategies for selling their products, but are they really worth the money that is asked? How can you tell what is real and who is just trying to make a quick buck. To start, you can ask these five simple questions that you can read below.

1. Have the even ever practiced what they are teaching?

There are many people out there who are great reporters. In other words, they collect information and then share it. This is ok for those of you who just want to do a little research on the subject at hand. However, if you are the kind of person who really wants to make changes in your life or business, these people are not good for you. You want and need to learn something from someone who knows what they are talking about.

2. Do they continue to practice what they are trying to teach you?

It is obvious that anyone can make a quick buck teaching what he or she knows rather than doing what he or she knows. There are many big shots that have had success and have been enjoying the benefits of that success by teaching how they achieved that success over and over again. However, just because one person had success doing something in the gym at one point in time does not mean that that same program will work for someone today. It is best to learn from someone who is still practicing what they are preaching.

3. If they are still doing what they teach, are they doing it successfully?

This may seem like a “Duh” question but it would truly amaze you to know that many people make tons of money teaching something they do but are not very good at. You should be sure to snoop around to be positive that this person not only does what they are trying to teach by does it successfully.

4. Do they have proof that what they are teaching really works?

If the person you are looking at to be your next mentor will not share things with you then they probably are not the real deal. If they can not be open and honest then their product is probably nothing but talk. I have shared things openly because I want people to know that I AM the real deal.

For example, I have shown step by step progress pictures on the information page of my NoBull Bodybuilding Program web page. I do this because anyone who is willing to spend money on learning what I have to teach deserves to know for sure that my program works.

5. Are they practicing it in a way that would suit your and your goals?

This may not be talked about all too often but you should want to learn from someone who practices in a manner that suits you and your goals. Here is an example for you: one of my clients says that you choose me over someone else she was considering mainly because I have a relaxed and fun feel to my program.

When you find a mentor that is right for you, stick with them.

Once you have decided upon your mentor you should ignore all the others for a while.

Why?

Because the number one enemy of any bodybuilder is distraction. It can be quite easy for one to jump around from program to program depending on what is new and “in” at the current time. You need to choose one mentor and stick to them for at least 6 months. This should be plenty of time for you to see if their program is working for you or not. I can personally guarantee that you will move ahead easier and faster if you follow this advice.

If you want it, you’ll have to do what it takes,

Marc David
“The NoBull Muscle Guy”

P.S. - 6 months is a rough estimate.  Anything you try, you’ll need to be committed and give it a fair shot.  That way you’ll know if it works for you or not.  I’ve seen too many people try a new twist to their nutrition or a new training program for 7 days only to give up.  Folks, that isn’t enough time.  Give it a fair shot.  If it doesn’t work, you’ll know and never have to wait another second.

10 ‘Stupid’ Things Bodybuilders Do To Mess Up Their Eating Habits

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Skip LaCour

“If you want it, you have to do what it takes.”

Six-time national champion bodybuilder, book author, and speaker, Skip La Cour, offers advice on training, nutrition, and motivation that will help you take your efforts to the next level.

Fantastic information.  I found myself listening to the whole darn thing.  :-)   I’ve put an outline for you below so you can skip around to the major points.  #4, #9 and #10 had me nodding my head so much my neck is sore!

1.  Stupid Order of Priorities  (16:00)
2.  Stupid Misunderstanding of the Arithmatic (17:51)
3.  Stupid Quest for the Perfect Diet (22:12)
4.  Stupid Eating Plans that are too Complicated to Follow (30:20)
5.  Stupid Food Distribution (43:30)
6.  Stupid Pre-Workout Eating (45:12)
7.  Stupid Post-Workout Eating (48:49)
8.  Stupid Carbohydrate Avoidance (50:40)
9.  Stupid Unrealistic Expectations (56:45)
10. Stupid Blame Game (57:58)

Listen to 10 Stupid Things Bodybuilders Do To Mess Up Their Eating Habits

Make Your Cell Phone Your Workout Coach

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A few studies have shown that people who receive some type of real-time reminders, a text message or a recorded phone call, are more likely to be consistent with their training.

Wellness Site to record your fitness goal and receive reminders 

Automatic Phone Software

The automatic phone software seems like something a trainer could setup to record motivation, nutritional tips or other information to remind their clients to do some type of workout.

Getting a reminder in real-time can be helpful.  Now maybe you can even on those days you hate going to the gym.