You want to build muscle and gain weight fast.
You’re not happy with the way you look so you’re in a rush, always eating more and watching the scale each and every day.
The problem is the human body is only capable of building muscle so fast.
Unfortunately that’s at a much slower rate than many of us would hope for.
So when you keep adding more food the only thing that ends up happening is you turn into a fat ass.
Maybe I’m nuts but I think most people would prefer to be described as a bad ass rather than a fat ass.
Keep reading and you’ll discover exactly how not to become a fat ass.
Just How Big Can You Really Get?
It’s very, very rare to see an average, drug free guy with single digit bodyfat weigh more than 200 pounds.
Sure, there are genetic freaks and pro athletes who will easily be able to maintain single digits at a higher body weight. Especially and obviously, if they are taller than the average guy.
The rest of us, however, probably won’t be able to do so quite as easily, if at all.
The reason I bring this up is to help people avoid the sadness and frustration that I see so often. Bringing a sense of realism to the goals you can achieve can also help you not destroy your joints and your internal organs while you try to do what’s physically impossible.
During your first year of proper training, if you do everything right across the board from sleeping to eating to training, you can make magical gains. I’m talking mind blowing, enormous gains. I’ve seen guys gain twenty five pounds in their first year.
Your second year can also produce some pretty impressive gains.
After that your muscle building progress will inevitably slow down considerably. There will be months when it will come at a snails pace. There’s very little you can do, short of taking steroids to change that.
During these frustrating times one of the natural inclinations is to start over eating and “bulking.” Regrettably, I’ve done this plenty of times over the years.
There’s an even an old bodybuilding cliche:
“Eat your way through the plateau.”
Unfortunately, it’s pretty damn hard to force the body to grow when it’s not ready. You can do this at the beginning but it won’t keep working forever.
Beyond your first few years size gains will come in short bursts and then level out for a while. It’s all peaks and valleys and largely unpredictable.
As long as you are consistently eating just a bit above maintenance and in accordance with the 50 Renegade Nutrition Rules, while training hard the gains will come with time.
When you start up with the old school bulking approach all that usually ends up happening is you get fat. Then once you diet back down to the bodyfat you started at you’re the exact same size.
So you put all that extra stress on your internal organs and joints for four months only to end up the exact same size.
Bulking and cutting is a very outdated process and needs to have the final nail hammered into it’s coffin.
Get Lean & Stay Lean
If you want to build muscle the first step is to get lean. The body is much more anabolic at around 10-12% bodyfat than it is when you allow yourself to get above 15%.
NEVER ever let your bodyfat get above 15% (meaning you should always be able to see at least some of your abs).
Anything over that is considered fat and unhealthy. The majority of 200 plus pound guys I know fall into that category.
Train for strength and performance, first and foremost. Strength and performance gains will always be more consistent than size gains.
If you get stronger, eventually you will get bigger. You won’t notice size gains on a daily or even weekly basis but in a few months time you will be bigger than you are now. And this adds up slowly over the years.
Although a gain of one pound of muscle per month doesn’t seem like a lot, go the butcher and look at 24 pounds of steak. Imagine having that much more muscle spread across your entire body two years from now.
How many people actually make those kinds of gains?
They could but because they bulk up and get fat they are then always forced to diet back down. This continual cycle goes on and on, the end result being that most people never make an ounce of progress beyond their first two years of training.
I was guilty of this for far too many years and want to save you from making the same mistakes.
Look at long time competitive powerlifters. Many of them, no matter how hard they may try to stay in a certain weight class, are eventually forced to move up simply because the massive strength gains they have made over the years of consistent training have added several pounds of muscle to their frames.
They out grow their weight classes without even trying or wanting to.
Consistent hard training with barbells, dumbbells and bodyweight exercises (really it doesn’t matter what you are using as long as you are getting stronger in the range of 3-8 reps) along with a focus on long term strength gains is the key.
Notice I said long term.
Even strength gains will not be linear from one session to the next but they will be a lot more predictable over the course of 16 weeks than size gains will for the more advanced trainee.
So What’s Realistic?
There are a lot of 220 plus pound guys running around out there who are fooling themselves.
If they were lean and in shape most of these guys wouldn’t weigh more than 180 at the very most. Look at some of the best physiques in the UFC. Now look at what these guys weigh. Do you look better than them with your shirt off?
NFL running backs and defensive backs have what 99% of most guys would kill for or call ideal. A good number of these guys are barely 200 pounds.
Walter Payton was jacked and ripped and only weighed 195.
Reggie Bush is six foot, 200 hundred pounds. Do you share the same stats? If so does your 200 pounds look like his?
Most top sprinters are under 200 pounds yet have incredible physiques.
Former Mr. Olympia competitor Frank Zane used to step on stage at 185 pounds. Many considered him to have the greatest physique of all time.
Instead of comparing yourself to the pro bodybuilders of today look towards a guy like Steve Reeves as a physique you could one day aspire to.
If NFL players have the best genetics in the world and after fifteen years of training can only get up to 200 pounds or so(assuming they are 5’10” to 6′) ripped what makes people think the rest of us can do that so easily?
For a natural, drug free, genetically average guy to be ten percent bodyfat and 175-185 pounds is damn good.
Getting up to 190 or 200 while remaining close to single digit bodyfat would be huge. But it might be unrealistic for some of us.
So don’t get down on yourself. The reality is, if you stay lean like you should, you may never get there. That shouldn’t disappoint or frustrate you, though.
185 and ripped is a very impressive physique. Start thinking more realistically and I promise your stress levels about this whole thing will slowly start to come down.
It’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon. Just remain consistent, stay lean and healthy, train hard and enjoy the journey my friends.