Bodybuilding Articles Bulking Nutrition

Getting Down and Dirty…Gaining Muscle Mass the Real World Way

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Most bodybuilders are obsessive compulsive. They tend to believe that you must eat clean food all of the time, at every feeding. And of course, we know that this “clean eating” involves a lot of chicken breasts, broccoli, and rice.

But gaining mass is not about clean eating. It’s about calories. Yes, you heard me right. To gain muscle mass fast, you need to supplement your training with a large amount of food. And the best way to do this is by NOT avoiding dirty foods.

Now, let’s get something straight. I’m not telling you to eat Doritos and ice cream all day long. Nope. What I am telling you is this…don’t obsess over what you eat. As long as you are getting a minimum of 30 grams of protein at least 5 times a day, and getting in some fruits and veggies, you are good to go.

You are free to eat McDonald’s double cheeseburgers off the dollar menu, and gobble Pizza Hut pizza like there’s no tomorrow. And if you want to enjoy a good old fashioned pancake, biscuit and sausage breakfast, dig in brothers and sisters of iron.

Did you know that sumo wrestlers generally have more lean muscle mass then bodybuilders? We’re talking natural athletes here, of course. Do you know that most sumo wrestlers don’t lift weights? What does this  tell us about how the body packs on muscle…?

I guarantee you won’t find too many sumo wrestler who worry about their macro nutrient ratios, grams of protein per meal, or eating clean all the time.

So, am I telling you to eating like a slob the rest of your life? Of course not. But what I am telling you is this…when bulking, throw out the bodybuilding diet and the obsessive compulsive disorder that comes with it, and just start eating everything in your path. You will pack on muscle at a faster rate.

And so what if you pack on an extra 10 pounds of fat in the process. You’ll have the rest of your life to drop that weight. And no one said you can’t do cardio during your bulking to help keep extra fat off in the first place.

Bulking template. Here is my bulking template…

  • Eat three square meals a day, with at least 30 grams of protein at each.
  • Eat a HUGE meal post-workout.
  • Drink a couple of cups of WHOLE milk between each meal, with a scoop or two of protein powder, along with a banana. Or, drink the milk with a donut, or a snack cake from a vending machine.
  • Don’t worry about eating clean.

The last point is a big one. Don’t shy away from pizza or McDonalds when they are available. I have never shied away from a 5 bratwurst meal with German potato salad on the side…and I am natural and huge. You need calories to bulk, and as long as your diet is primarily clean, you should eat everything in sight.

Finally, I will leave you with some quotes…

Dante. Creator of the Doggcrapp method of training.

There was a study some years back which included 3 groups–elite sumo wrestlers who did no weight training whatsoever, advanced bodybuilders and advanced powerlifters–about 20 in each group. Now there is a lot of variables here but they took the lean muscle mass of each group and divided it by their height in inches. Surprisingly the sumo wrestlers came out well ahead of the powerlifters (2nd) and the bodybuilders (very close 3rd). This is a group who did no weight training at all but engorged themselves with food trying to bring their bodyweight up to dramatic levels. How is a group that is doing no weight training having more muscle mass per inch of height than powerlifters and bodybuilders? For anyone that doubts food is the greatest anabolic in your arsenal, you better get up to speed and on the same page as what my trainees have found out. Gee now what would happen if you actually ate to get dramatically larger like a sumo, but actually weight trained like a powerbuilder (which is what we train like), and also did enough cardio/carb cuttoffs etc to keep bodyfat at bay while doing all this? Are you guys coming around to how I think yet….in how to become the biggest bodybuilder at the quickest rate but keeping leanness on that journey?

At Large Nutrition. From At Large Nutrition’s article, Gaining Mass.

The vast majority of people understand this message to mean that if they want to build mass successfully they must consume foods which are bland, low in fat, and high in protein. They think they must follow the typical bodybuilding staple diet of plain chicken breasts, rice, plain tuna, and some vegetables. They feel they must eat ‘clean’.

The truth is that if you are natural (and you should be) and want to get big, you need to simply eat more. You also need to train properly. Proper training and the ingestion of sufficient total calories (with sufficient protein) are what will make you huge, not following some overly strict typical bodybuilding diet.

If you doubt the veracity of the above statement do the following experiment. For two months eat the prototypical perfect bodybuilding diet and follow a 6 day per week split routine which involves hitting each body part twice per week with 20 sets per body part. I am willing to bet you won’t gain an ounce of muscle and you just might lose some. Now, try something else, eat a hamburger for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Make sure to have some fries with that and wash it all down with a soda. Follow a routine which hits each body part twice per week with 2 sets taken to failure using the major compound movements (bench presses, dips, rows, squats, and deadlifts). Do that for two months and I am willing to bet you will gain 10-15 lbs of mass, most of that being solid muscle. Now, do I recommend such a diet for gaining mass, heck no, but it makes the point that proper training is as important as your diet in gaining size and getting huge!

Steve Shaw
Steve Shaw is the primary content manager for Muscle and Brawn. Questions? Please visit the forum.
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