#1 Eat Carbs - I love this one now because carbs have become such the enemy in the lifting community. But the fact is, you're never going to get big without em unless you're some crazy freak of nature. And when I say big I mean fulfilling your genetic potential. This whole "I'll just add some olive oil and eat some chicken and bell peppers" bullshit will not get you massive or build Hulk sized muscles. That's a fact. Paleo, Keto, low carb, and all of that bullshit is never going to be as good as carb based diets when it comes to mass building. Building mass requires fuel and a lot of it. To train, to repair, then of course to serve as a caloric surplus. It's the gold mine of mass building "tricks" from an eating standpoint.
I have a friend who uses quite a bit of supplements and he hasn't gained any real mass in quite a few years. 6 months ago I lit into him and told him that he was never going to get big if he didn't eat. He knew this already but just wasn't putting it into action. He finally relented and I saw him yesterday, and he was 240 pounds. The most he's been in over 5 years. The only thing that changed was his eating.
I promise you that some guru or diet expert will tell you how you can become fat adapted and build mass and blah blah blah horseshit puke puke. Same for internet board gurus who are 185 pounds or whatever that tell you that you don't have to go about it like this.
|Great for mass building
Anyone who ignores anecdotal evidence is an idiot. I don't know a single massive guy that got that way avoiding carbs. Just because some guy you know that is massive now and does Paleo/Keto/Carb cycling what the fuck ever, doesn't mean he got massive doing that shit. He didn't. And if he did, he's the exception and we don't use exceptions to create rules.
I like railing on these carb haters because like everything else in lifting and dieting, shit comes full circle so at some point everyone will realize how important it is to eat carbs and will say how ahead of the curve I was. Then I will be labeled a guru myself and live like King Solomon!
In all seriousness, I already live that way. Now I'm just waiting on guru status.
No but serious, you have to have carbs to get big. This is unavoidable. So if you have turned into a carb phobia guy then I guess getting big is out of the question for you. And I'm not joking about that. I still laugh at one of the guys I was training for a while telling me he knew he needed to get bigger but didn't like how I told him to eat. "I just want to add some olive oil and some good fats and do it that way." Fine man, knock yourself out. When you are in the same weight class in 6 months don't blame me. Blame olive oil.
I will say that eating the right kind of carbs is important. Sweet taters and oatmeal, you can't go wrong with. White or jasmine rice right after a workout is really good, and whole wheat sammiches are a good staple as is milk.
You don't have to go carb crazy, although this will work (however you'll pay for it later as you read #3). But how the hell are you going to power through multiple heavy, high rep workouts each week with a fucking refeed? You aren't. You aren't going to get big that way either. That's just reality. It's up to you to accept it and play with your carb intake.
#2 Train to failure - Don't confuse this with HIT. I don't care if you do multiple sets or rest/pause or strip sets. But at some point you're going to need to train to failure and learn how to work your ass off. You need to remember that you are asking your body to make physiological changes that it does not want to make. I know a lot of guys are big on volume but I'll delve a little bit into why volume training, IMO, is substandard in comparison to training balls out for mass.
|Capt. Kirk was big on training to one big all out set
When a guy has to do 5-7-9 whatever sets of a movement with a static weight for volume, it's easy for him to throw on a weight that is easy, or rest a little longer than he needs to. In fact, unless you time yourself, as the sets go on I promise you will rest longer each time. I mean I've done plenty of volume before and had days where that 7th set of squats actually felt easier than that 3rd set. I found that when I made volume training more intense by reducing rest periods between sets or taking a set closer to failure that a few things happened...
1. I couldn't keep up the volume very long because I got weaker
2. I started cutting the volume down because it was too hard to sustain that level of intensity.
Eventually I realized that my philosophy of working up to 1-2 top work sets then with maybe 1 back off set as a finisher worked so well because I could pour it all into those few sets, and I had marks to beat or goals to shoot for.
|Yates early training stuff can't be beat for a good mass building methodology
One of the things I hated about volume training was the fact that I had no real goal in sight. You just had to get the volume in. This bored me. I love to have a goal to beat. A number or weight to hit. This motivated me and still does. You can do a million sets all day and lie to yourself, or you can put weight on the bar and do more reps than you did with that weight last week. There is no way to cheat yourself like this. Numbers don't lie. If you got 11 last week and got 13 this week, you got better.
With volume training you can lie to yourself all damn day. I know, I've done it. When you're busting ass for new PR's you can't. You either made it happen or you didn't.
#3 - You cannot get big and stay lean or get leaner (but you can limit fat gain) but you shouldn't get fat either
This is one of the reasons that so many "don't know shit" guys don't like my eating advice. Because they want to believe that deep down they can get bigger and keep their six pack. Or that you need to eat fucking rice cakes, chicken breast, and egg whites all day long. You're NOT going to get bigger and stay the same leanness unless you have a hell of a mess of drugs at your disposal. I am assuming you don't. If you do, please share.
Look, at best you will probably gain 1 pound of fat per pound of lean mass. And man, that's BEST case scenario. More than likely you will gain a few pounds of fat per pound of muscle. I will tell you this, it is important to keep fat gain to a minimum if you want to KEEP that hard earned mass. Why? Well, later you're going to want to peel that fat off. The more fat that is on you, the more muscle you will cannibalize because you will have to diet longer. And being in a caloric deficit for a long time will take more muscle with it as well.
|Never listen to douchebags about training or eating
If you keep fat gains to a minimum, then you will only have to diet for a short time. Thus, sparing most, if not all, of your hard earned muscle. Fat gain is unavoidable. However bulking is NOT an excuse to turn into a fat ass slob. I promise you if you do that when you diet down, you will either be the same size as before or even smaller.
Now that just sucks doesn't it?
So don't use bulking as a reason to become Jabba the Hutt. And if you're already above 15% bodyfat don't ask yourself or anyone else if you should bulk. This is retarded. The answer is no BTW, if you did want to ask.
#4 - Keep fat intake low(ish)
Again, this will go against the current trend of how fats will fix global warming, create world peace, make all women hotter, and of course give you a sexier body and faster car.
There are a few reasons to monitor fat intake when doing a clean bulking cycle.
First off, calories. See #3 if you don't get it. If you eat a shit load of carbs and a shit load of fat, you're going to get fat eventually, unless you're a super skinny guy that has to eat whole villages of midgets in order to just maintain weight.
I keep my fat intake to about 80 grams a day even at 4200 or so calories. So you figure yeah, I'm around 400 grams of protein and 490 grams of carbs (give or take here and there for each). My fat comes from a couple of whole eggs in the morning, some fat that is in 2% milk, peanut butter or almonds, and red meat. I get it through FOOD. The eggs and red meat are great sources. I eat red meat almost every day. Flank and sirloin usually, but I will have a ribeye as well. If you want to be more conscious about good fat intake, which is not a bad thing, add in some flax in you will.
No I don't believe that if you eat fat, you'll get fat per say. In fact as much as I rant against all this carb-hate I do agree that higher fat-lower carb diets work great for getting rid of fat (but you still have to beware of caloric intake) and works really well for most people in that regard.
However you do not need a significant intake of fat to gain mass. And I will tell you this, if you are ingesting high amounts of carbs to fuel those hard workouts and to recover from them, what do you think your body is going to do with all of that extra fat? Yeah, it's pretty simple. Make you fatter. Bulking is about growing as much lean mass as possible, not expanding your waistline.
So basically -
High carb and high protein with low fat to gain mass.
High protein and medium fat with low carbs to lose fat.
#5 - Squat, push, pull, arms, squat, push, pull, arms........
If you're not preparing to compete in anything, getting jacked for the sake of getting jacked is pretty simple really.
Squat on day.....any kind - fronts, hacks, high bar, low bar, whatever (although I am not a fan of box squats for mass gain at all as the quads are removed from the equation for the most part)
Push one day.....any kind - bench, incline, standing
Pull one day.....any kind - deadlifts of all kinds, barbell and t-bar rows
Do some arms......whenever you like, barbell curls, pjr pullovers, french press, db curls
So simple. Yet so effective. Go in to squat and squat until your legs shake. Finish up with some leg curls.
Go in and do some flat bench and then some incline db press. Use some PITs and go all out.
Go in and pull heavy, then take some weight off and hit a high rep set of romanians then chin until your arms fall off.
When your arms are back on, go back in and do some french press and heavy barbell curls for high reps.
Take a day off or two, eat a lot, rest a lot, sleep extra, and repeat.
This shit is so simple I really don't know why there are so many questions about it. You have to eat a lot, you have to get stronger in a medium-high rep range through a progression scehem, and you have to rest and recover. That's all the secrets. Ok, well not all but you know what #6 would be if I were to write about it........