Why You Can't Get Big

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Why You Can't Get Big

I was inspired to write this post after a recent video upload from one of the guys I follow on YouTube. I'll do my best to paraphrase him while adding as much of my own thoughts to it.

Despite the perception that your genetics are the biggest limiting factor in your pursuit to add size, followed by access to drugs and supplements, the number one factor is your appetite.

You can run 5 grams of gear and train like a beast, if you're not eating in a caloric surplus you'll never access the size potential you're capable of. Yes, it is true that everyone has a ceiling when it comes to potential body mass. But let me ask you this: which is more common - for someone to reach their true genetic potential or for someone to give up before reaching their full potential? The reality is that very few people in this world have what it takes to reach their maximum size potential. So if you're under 250 and you're thinking things like, "My metabolism is just too fast" or "My body doesn't want to build anymore muscle," I'd like to tell you that you're wrong and you need to go eat something.

And yes, I know you eat. I know you eat a lot. However, a lot is not a number and building size is all science. Determining your total daily energy expenditure and eating in excess of that number will lead to gains in mass. Combine this with a scientific approach to your nutrition, intense weight training, proper rest and a solid chemical protocol and there's no reason why the gains won't be lean mass.

The majority of the guys who have difficulty gaining size will take a meticulous and often extreme approach to cutting. Not only will they track every calorie, do a ton of cardio, run Clen and T3, but they'll also drop their calories down to 1000 calories below maintenance or more!

All I ask is that these same guys consider if they've put the same type of effort into bulking. Are they tracking calories during a bulking phase with the same diligence? Are they prioritizing their sleep as much as they prioritize their cardio? Are you consistently eating 1000 calories or more over your TDEE?

Everyone hits plateaus on a bulk. The scale stops moving up. So you add 150 calories. When that doesn't work, you add 300 calories. Still not moving? Take another day off from the gym. Still nothing. Add 500. The pros have TDEEs that would make your head spin. Juan Morel has a metabolism that makes 10,000 calorie cheat days necessary during his bulk. When he eats 7500 calories consistently and the scale doesn't move, does he say, "I must be at my genetic size limit," or does he find a way to reach his goal?

Listen, anyone can get lean. I'm not marginalizing the difficulty of getting into contest shape by any means. But the reality is that there are a ton of guys at your gym, the club, the beach, probably even your job - with a defined six pack. But how many guys have 150, 200 or 250 pounds of muscle on their frame? You don't see these guys walking around too often for one simple reason: eating all that food is difficult.

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well said

Thanks for the motivation.  I eat. I eat, and I eat, yet I know i can eat more.  It is a constant battle.  Last night i awoke at 11pm and was very hungry. new I should get up and eat, but i have not gotten over 6 hours of sleep all week. I slept. i didn't eat. push push push.  It is possible i just need to be more determined.

 

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Sleep vs Food

Ram, I wouldn't tell myself to wake up in the middle of the night to eat. I think getting a good night's sleep is more important than eating another 400 calorie meal. But Im also hitting my calorie mark during the day. If you're waking up hungry at night, I don't think missing the 11pm meal is where the problem lies. I'm really never hungry while bulking. Like, physically hungry. Psychologically, I'm starving. But that has a lot to do with spending years convincing myself I need more food.

Listen, it's easy for a 280 pound guy to tell a 190 pound guy that he needs to eat. Just eat more, bro. Honestly, it's a lot like a guy who has great calf genetics and never really had to train them to get them to develop telling someone with shitty calves just do calf raises.

When things don't come easy for you is when you need to really become spot on in your disciplines as well as get creative while being an expert on the subject. So if bulking is difficult to you, "just eat more" doesn't help. You need to become a fucking expert on bulking. You need to do things that are against the grain and extreme. Find a way to turn your disadvantages into advantages. The traditional methods of bulking need to go out the window and you need to find what works for you specifically.

You know what I'm finding now that my caloric needs are getting into the 4000 calorie territory? Eating big ass meals of 70-100 grams of carbs in them is not for me. By trying to slow down my metabolism and eat 5-6 meals a day, I'm actually slowing down my digestion too much. Food sits in my stomach like a rock and I don't want to eat the last 2 meals of the day. I can't get comfortable while training because I don't think my stomach is empty. But I can't give it too much time to after the preworkout meal because then my training session runs into the next meal and everything gets pushed back. Then I'm up til 1am trying to force the last 500 calories (the ones you really need) instead of sleeping and recovering and growing.

So I'm back to 8 meals a day. 40g of protein and 50g of carbs at each meal. I add my fat to 6 of the meals. 1 oatmeal meal, 1 yam meal, 5 white rice meals. 1 meal is just a protein shake. I add 25-50g carbs intra workout in the form of Cluster Dextrin. All my fat comes from MCT oil right now as I am actively trying to keep it in check. My rest days are a lot lower in calories and every meal is filled with fiber and antioxidants in an attempt to promote alkalinity and clear my system. If I need to increase my calories I'll add 5g of fat to 4 meals. I won't even notice the 180 calorie difference, but it'll probably get me past the first plateau. The key to adjusting any diet, bulking or cutting, is very small changes. Treat the body like a machine and it will become one. In the words of Denzel, "The shit ain't checkers. It's chess, baby."

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+2 grizz

+2 grizz

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5000

I hit 5000 daily. needs to go up.

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really

I got negged for that comment. shit, I guess I have to always wait to be near a computer so I can write properly.

I track my calories daily.  the first weeks of my cycle I'm hitting 4000 as soon as the scale stops moving I'm hitting 5000. this usually means stopping at a fast food place to get an 800 calorie shake or a big bowl of ice cream when I'm in a pinch.  I eat a full meal and two hours later I try to eat again.  There isn't always enough time to eat what's needed. not only would I be bulking, but working 55 hours and coaching wrestling full time. I love all the information in this post and the motivation it provides.  hopefully someone just pushed the wrong button. negative Nancy

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I +2 you back ram. Somebody

I +2 you back ram. Somebody probably fat fingered on their phone and accidentally negged you bro.

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appreciated

Sorry about the rant. issues on the home front coupled with a passion for making myself better.  this topic hits home for me. like grizz said I'm always psychologically starving. trying to eat even after I finish a meal.  I almost feel it's like telling a fat man "you just need to eat less man" the struggle with gaining for me must be similar to someone genetically dispositioned to keep fat.  I'll always be looking for ways to improve.

Thanks again for this topic.

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Magnificent Obsessions ......

Magnificent Obsessions ......

They will propel us or be our downfall.

 

SEMPER FI

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Ram

You know, Ram, I cant say I didn't somewhat have you in mind while writing this. And I like the antithetical analogy you made of telling a fat person to just eat less. It really is similar. But when an obese person turns losing weight into an obsession, they see results. Same thing here. Your body can do more than you are currently thinking it can. If anyone is struggling to reach a goal it has more to do with their mind than anything else. You have a life. It's full. You're not a pro bodybuilder who can devote their existence to putting on muscle. I get it. But the first things that have to change are the limiting beliefs in your mind. Don't talk to yourself with anything less than a "Can, must, will" spirit. You can. You must. You will. Stop telling yourself you're struggling. Convince yourself that you're growing and you're doing the damn thing. If you're a guy who looks in the mirror and tears himself down and thinks you're not getting bigger, then start doing the opposite or stop looking in the mirror. Whatever the mind believes will shape the circumstances around it. I'm trying to get into the habit of closing my eyes at night and going through a mental checklist of visualizing my body growing. Bigger than it was yesterday. Harder. Leaner. Stronger. Bigger. Fucking bigger. Before I go to sleep I have to convince myself that today was a success and that I'm closer to where I want to be, not just physically, but in all aspects. If I can train my mind to believe that, then I know it will take effect.

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Couldn't resist grizz...

Couldn't resist grizz...

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+2 good post ,

+2 good post ,

your correct. im finding out.  the training and drugs are easy. ,the eating is the true discpline. ...but.like you i been focusing on it.  

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Eating

100% true, brother. It's fun to go to the gym and tear it up. It's easy to pin yourself. It's neither fun not easy to go grocery shopping 2, 3 times a week, spend a couple hours a week cooking and prepping meals, weighing everything out, figuring out that 1.08oz of chicken has 10g of protein so 4.32oz equals 40g or 29.26g of oats has 25g of carbs and 1g of fat in it, walking around with these numbers in your head all day trying not to forget them, packing up meals before you leave for work, keeping track of the time constantly so you don't miss a meal, lugging around a food cooler with you everywhere you go, forgetting to pack your fork and having to go into some fast food joint for a plastic one and seeing all those people casually eating McDonald's like it's not big deal and without a care in the fucking world for the the stuff that's constantly on your mind. None of it is fun. Or easy. But you do find a groove and you adapt to it after awhile. Success is a daily grind in anything you want to accomplish. Bodybuilding is teaching me skills I'll be able to translate into anything else and become successful at it. That's how I justify the commitment.

 

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When i space my eating

When i space my eating utensil, i go Indian style. I kinda like eating with my hand!

The food aspect does require a helluva lot of diligence, however, after a few months it may end up second nature to some. Some of us nerdy-ass type kind of get off on crunching the macro numbers and tailoring a possibly perfect diet for the target goal. 

Good read btw. Content like this has a place in "new to steroids", since as we keep reminding ourselves that food is the most anabolic substance. Maybe it seems so simple it can't be true? Idk...

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Fork

I once used the bone of a chicken breast to eat my mashed yams with. Whatever it takes lol.

It's not that it seems so simple it can't be true, Blast. It's the fact that the simplest and most basic things in life are often the most difficult. And the reality is the bulk of AAS users are looking for shortcuts. But that's because the bulk of humans are looking for shortcuts. Very few people are like you and actually want to go into the flaming building. We all know the guy at or gym who trains like a maniac for 2 hours a day and looks exactly the same as he did last year. Genetics? Fuck that. Show me the macros.

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Most of those guys think they

Most of those guys think they're eating 4000 calories per day, but don't know they're eating 4000 per day. In reality what he thinks is 4000 is really 2200. If you don't sit down, plan it out, and prep you're not set up for success! Most would rather wing it than put that much effort into it. I've been guilty of winging it. It's a learning process. Anyone who's tried to succeed has failed, but not accepting failure leads to success. 

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Interesting topic and

+2 Griz

Interesting topic and something to consider if you are looking to gain size and continue to grow. Growth can have some negative impacts on athletic performance that some may wish to take into consideration. At 225 my flexibility and stamina is different than it was at 200. Yes, I am bigger but not necessarily better. My style of functional training is hindered by the added muscle development.

Take Ram for an example- Ram is a competing triathlete. Adding 15-25lbs of muscle to his 170lb frame may have a detrimental impact on his athletic performance.

The key to our success as individuals in this journey is to have a 'clear idea' of what we want to accomplish in size, performance and end result. Then we can implement a calorie sufficient diet to support the idea.

At 50 I have found that there is an 'end result' so make sure you make an end game plan for yourself.

SEMPER FI

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Very true SF. For those who

Very true SF. For those who are weight restricted athletes cycling and eating is a whole different animal. My speed and flexibility are shit compared to what it used to be, but my end goal is size, so I don't care about losing some speed and flexibility. 

I was browsing e the other day and seen some idiot put up a post that just like their policy of not helping anyone under 25 (which is bs imo) they should also not give advice to anyone under 200lbs because they obviously don't know what they're doing diet wise. If you can't reach 200lbs natty then you shouldn't recieve advice. Really? My thought was...how about weight restricted athletes? How about the 5'4" guy thats fucking jacked at 185lbs?  How about the guy trying to be 190lbs and look like a fitness model? What a fucking jackass!

We shouldn't get caught up in comparing others to the goals I've set for myself. What I'm getting at is if I'm 6'2" 240lbs of mass and strong as a bull because that's my goals I shouldn't look down on the guy who's 5'11" 195lbs. I don't know what his goals are. Maybe he's a weight restricted athlete, a triathlon competitor, an aspiring model who's been given a weight limit, or just a guy who works in tight awkward places and can't be big as a bull. Maybe he just likes how he looks and feels at that weight. After all isn't it all about feeling good about how you look and feel?

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i believe thats actually a

i believe thats actually a post i commented on there. ...now i know there was one months ago. and i believe there maybe a new one.  but i believe my responce was what you just said. ...

when i get pissed off i do post.  but.i believe i seen this new one also. ..

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And simply just feeling good

And simply just feeling good all the way around. I personally do not have a goal to be a mass monster. i have a specific picture in my head of where I'm headed, and tailoring both training and diet to get there. If you fellas were an ass like the dude dolf mentioned, I'd be without support, or at least healthy support like i find here. Everyone has a different idea as to what is success insofar as end result is concerned. Broad sweeping, black and white generalizations do no one good, even the person who is generalizing. One learns exponentially by teaching, or otherwise helping another. At least that's how it works for me. Shit, if you can't teach 'it', you probably don't know 'it.'

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Yes, Blast

"To understand, read. To know, do. To master, teach."

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Meal prepping is the key.

Meal prepping is the key. Once you make a schedule for your meal prepping and also your daily eating it becomes a habit which makes it much easier. At least for me. On Sunday every Sunday at about noon I start cooking turkey, chicken breast, rice, and veggies. I get all my containers out the cabinet, and get my digital scale ready. Currently I'm eating 6oz turkey or chicken, 2 cups cooked rice, and a serving of veggies in 2 meals. I put them in the deep freeze, and I'm ready for the week. Eating is scheduled out too. Get home at 0730 I eat 2 whole eggs, 1 cup egg whites, and a shake with 1 scoop whey, and 1 cup oats. Wake up at 1400 I eat a prepped meal. 1500 1 scoop whey, 2tbs pb, 1 cup oats. Workout then at 1700 its 2 scoops whey, 1 cup oats, 2tbs pb. 1730 its what my wife cooks for dinner. Go to work at 1830. 2000 eat a prepared meal. 2330 eat a prepared meal. 0300 eat a prepared meal. Thats 6 meals and 3 shakes all timed out during the day. As a guy who was 155lbs at one point and a hard gainer eating was the secret, and hardest part.

The same goes for guys on the other side of the spectrum. The big guys that are naturally big, but carry lots of bf. They eat 5, 6, 7 thousand calories a day, and a lot of it is dirty. They have a hard time reducing calories and eating clean. They don't even think about abs. They'd be happy with just a flat stomach. Most of us have some sort of struggle against genetics. For those who don't and are genetically gifted....fuck you!  lol.

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I've really grown to love

I've really grown to love meal prepping, tweaking here and there as needed. I know what time it is by my hunger, it's dead on. Meal 1 upon waking basically 6:30-7am, meal 2 at 10am, meal 3 at 1pm, meal 4 at 4pm, meal 5 post workout around 7-7:30pm, meal 6 at about 10pm a little after i get home. Then, i start prepping for the next day. One the sweet potatoes and cabbage are boiled and chicken baked, time to chill on the couch with my lady till crash time at 11-11:30pm. In the morning, I portion it all out, make the shakes, slam one with coffee, pop a couple supplements, pin if its pin day, and off i go for the day. Fuckin makes sense to me. Holding down the groove, and keeping it in the pocket 

Love it, and live it. 

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When you make it part of your

When you make it part of your daily routine like you do brushing your teeth, or taking a bath (hopefully lol) it just becomes habit and a normal part of your schedule. 

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Yep, when it gets to become a

Yep, when it gets to become a routine, it's no longer a "diet", it's just how we live our daily life. No big deal.

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crap

I've been thinking about this most of the last two days. I work hard to keep increasing mass, but run out of ideas. With what I'm eating now I am crapping three times a day. I'm also seeing more food in the toilet. literally pieces of food.  if it's not genetics, at what point does what I'm eating not even get used by my body because it can't keep up.

Thanks for the karma Dolf!

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Are you taking a digestive

Are you taking a digestive enzyme to help your body digest, and process the food? 

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Beat me to it.....

Beat me to it.....

If not Ram you need a good quality enzyme like protease to digest and increase absorption of proteins. Also a probiotic for overall digestive health. I use the regular probiotic and a timed released.

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give it a go

ordered some enzymes. I'll give it a go.

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Digestion

You said you're eating 5K a day and not gaining weight? We got an issue now. And if there's food in your shit, you're obviously not digesting food properly. What kind of food is in your shit?

And just to be thorough can you outline what a day of eating for you is like?

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typical day

a workday meal plan starts with 16oz jar with half cup while milk whole cup oats half cup Greek yogurt chia seeds flax meal and hemp protein...blueberries for sweetener.

then 15oz cottage cheese and pinnacle tidbits.

270 calorie builders bar

steak burrito for lunch with guac it's 1200 calories.

two scoops protein powder. afternoon I grab a sandwich or shake from ice cream shop or bowl from noodles. try to ensure it's 1000 calories. 

I'm bringing 8oz mixed nuts with me every day and eating the bag

dinner is 800-1200 meat potato veggie. finish with a protein shake 800 calorie before bed.

 even on days I don't get all the way there, but a day goes by where someone comments on how much I'm eating.  I don't pass up the chance to throw any additions in if they're offered. I'm a sucker for dessert.

I'm finding the usual nuts, corn but also the veggie I eat, blueberries in the stool.  

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Ram you need to check out my

Ram you need to check out my video from Seth Feroce I posted called Chicken and Rice Motherfuckers. Pay close attention around the 9min 30sec point. Basically you need to go to eating easily digested foods for a few weeks, and then add in other things here and there to see how you respond. Another thing is track your calories very closely. Know exactly how many grams of protein, carbs, and fats you take in everyday. Keep a log and notes on how you feel and weight loss or gains. Can you tell me exactly how many macros you eat each day? I can.

http://musclegurus.com/forum/training-nutrition-and-diet/diet-and-nutrition/chicken-and-rice-motherfuckers

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ram

Just a thought. The ground flax, and chia seeds may be a possible culprit. Flax can make one push undigested food too quickly through the digestive tract. Chia seeds may compound the effect. If you're using those for fat, and want the fats from seeds, switch to hemp seeds, and maybe use the flax/chia seeds once or twice weekly. When I've used flax powder for my primary source of plant based fat, i was experiencing a similar situation. Perhaps switch it up, and see if that fixes the undigested food problem.

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X2 Dolf

Honestly, RAM, to me it looks like you're eating mostly junk. All that dairy. I'm not lactose intolerant or anything, but a glass of milk will fuck my digestion up for the entire day. I only know that however, because of the simplicity of my diet overall. My foods are so easy to digest, absorb and eliminate that when I eat something not in my meal plan - I can feel the effects of it.

I mean that first meal - I highly doubt you're done digesting it fully until about bed time. That calorie builders bar, whatever that is, sounds like a bunch of chemicals your body is going to recognize as poison. 1200 calorie steak burrito with guacamole: dude, that shit probably takes you 24 hours to digest. You're talking 80 grams of fat probably. Add that on top of everything else you're trying to digest and it's a lot like setting up a newspaper stand inside a burning building. This 800 calorie protein shake sounds like it's loaded with fat and or carbs. Just another thing for your body to struggle to digest.

I'm 240 and none of my meals are over 500 calories.

You can eat all the food in the world, if your body isn't digesting, absorbing and eliminating it properly, you're not going to benefit from it. I'm willing to bet you don't need to eat dirty calories to put on muscle. You just need to eat the right kinds of foods consistently and over a period of time.

If you gain .5 pounds of muscle a month for 2 years, you will look completely different. Your goal should not be to add a pound of muscle a week. Nobody can do that! We need to simplify your meal plan and get your body digesting food properly again. I don't use a probiotic, personally. I haven't been able to find enough research to support them. I think eating clean and optimizing your digestion, absorption and elimination is the best way to create a stable and optimal bacterial environment in your gut.

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X2 Grizz

X2 Grizz

Ram as a former or so called hard gainer myself I was 6'2" 155lbs and am now 218lbs, and been as high as 232lbs I can personally atest to how benificial it is simplifying your diet. I used to eat just like you and plateaued. I sat down figured out my caloric needs and macros. Divided it by 6 and set up all 6 of my meals to equal 1/6th of total needs. I too don't use a digestive enzyme, but I only eat easily digestible foods. Chicken breast, 99/1 turkey, white rice, oats, egg whites, whole eggs, spinich, asparagus, and broccoli. That's it bro! It's not sexy it's not special, but it works. I have a cheat day once per week. You just have to get creative with sauces and seasoning to change up the taste. Sometimes I'll get blocks of frozen creamed spinich and put half a block over my rice for a change. I think once you get yourself balanced out you can add things here or there and see how your body redponds. 

Note on cheat days 

Cheat days do not mean you drink a 12 pack of soda! Eat a whole box of cookies! Eat an entire cheese cake! Eat a whole pack of Hershey kisses! Cheat day means you eat steak, potatoes, gravy, and corn cob. If you want a slice cheese cake afterwards then by all means, but not the entire fucking cake! If you want McDonalds for lunch  then go ahead. If you want eggs, bacon, and hashbrowns for breakfast do it. I see too many people use the term cheat day as an excuse to engorge on sugar filled processed foods, and that's a no go imo!

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Mister A wrote:

Mister A wrote:

Honestly, RAM, to me it looks like you're eating mostly junk. All that dairy. I'm not lactose intolerant or anything, but a glass of milk will fuck my digestion up for the entire day. I only know that however, because of the simplicity of my diet overall. My foods are so easy to digest, absorb and eliminate that when I eat something not in my meal plan - I can feel the effects of it.

Most of what you say works great for the majority of people who can gain weight on 3000-4000 calories a day.  Dairy, whole milk in particular is an excellent way to add calories and fat. fat is essential in gaining especially for someone who struggles.   your "junk food" theory is good for someone who doesn't have to eat dirty calories to get more.  there is a lot of science in it that you are correct. but when it's all boiled down it comes down to calorie in and calories burned. If i wasn't hitting the gym and eating 3000-4000 calories i still wouldn't get fat.  I tried many years ago to gain weight this way.  the only way i could add was by doing it in muscle. 

I am not saying this information isn't all valuable, but it isn't universal.  5 years ago I was making good natural gains.  I spent 6 months with a dietitian.  she had be record meals for a week which i did.  she had me cut out my cheat meals, drop the builders bars. cut out sour cream on the burrito, and add more one more breakfast (I chose that nasty shit called cottage cheese).  I stopped gaining. I took a few month off the bulk and went back too it.  I hit the 5000 calorie mark with my meal tracker for 30 days i gained and then plateaued.  I dropped to 3000-4000 and maintained after going another month at 5000 with no increase.  I gain .5 pounds of muscle a month.  I have done this a while now. I am not complaining about that.  many people who gain well can do a cycle and gain 20 pounds in 12-20 weeks.  I am lucky to keep 5.  genetics play a HUGE role. maybe i just don't have what it takes to be an elite, but the reason this topic gets to me is because I change what i am doing often and work my ass off to get bigger. I am slowly getting there, but there is no one way that works for everyone. and the thought that "do the same think and expect different results" has to be looked at two ways.

1. If I am eating one way and gaining i would expect to continue to gain eating that way. -NO I need to change what i am doing to keep getting what i am getting. The same thing goes for building muscle. If do the same routine and gain muscle , I will have to change my routine to keep changing.  so my thought process here is that I have to do something different to get the same result.

2. when what i am doing stops working then I will change what I am doing. if i keep doing it and it isn't working then i change. lets not forget that what i was doing before worked so many will expect it to work again.  NOT THE CASE.

sorry for the rant, but for whatever reason this has been turning gears in my head for two days now.

 

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Ram...is your weight of

Ram...is your weight of 165lbs on your profile correct? If not what's your height and weight? 

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beefedup

currently I'm at 171.5lbs

5'7"

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Do you actually track your

Do you actually track your calories everyday or are these numbers of 5k cals estimates? 

Do you know exactly how many grams per day of protein, carbs, and fat you're eating?

 

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I may have missed it....

I may have missed it....

Ram,

Do you know what your total daily energy expenditure on training days is?

Have you ever been tested for hyperthyroidism or Grave's disease? I think you answered this in the past but I cannot remember.

 

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I got my thyroid checked 6

I got my thyroid checked 6 years ago.  TSH was .94 which is on the very low end.  very close to a medical issue, but in what they say is "normal" The normal range of TSH levels is 0.4 to 4.0 milli-international units per liter.

I will admit and i know this is part of my weakness, I have not tracked calories for the last few weeks. I used myfitnesspal for the first 5 weeks and made sure i hit my goal.  when gains stopped i went for more calories kept the meal plan the same.  It gets really frustrating when the app tells me every day "if you keep eating this you will gain x pounds" and it doesn't happen.  

I absolutely have an area to work on and that is better tracking.  i eat almost the same thing to noon everyday so I know i have my 2500 calories of the day tracked.  winging it from there will not work.  What frustrated me the most about the topic is so often it is looked at as a one for all method.  that is not the case.  

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The only other thing we haven

The only other thing we haven't touched on is what is your activity level at work. Do you have a job like a roofer or asphalt layer where you work in hot environments busting your ass all day long burning huge amounts of calories? Do you train to be a marathon runner or tri athlete? 

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Brother I feel your

Brother I feel your frustration and I understand you have been dealing with a challenging situation.

6 years ago.... you could have just said never. ;) Go get it checked. I am assuming that you are not running on cycle blood work but that is a different subject which you can correct in the future.

What is your TDEE on training days?

The reason I am asking your TDEE because if you are consuming more calories than you are using and not gaining weight overtime than something is amiss.... Like a tapeworm. ;))

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Rant

I'm having difficulty understanding what you're trying to get across. I want to understand. You say that what it boils down to is calories in vs calories out, but then you say that the information isn't universal. You're admitting you don't know what your caloric requirements are nor do you know how much you're actually eating, but you're sure that what you're doing is the best way to go about this. I would like to understand better. I'm sorry I'm having such a hard time with it.

Nobody is gaining 20 pounds of muscle per cycle. Maybe someone with excellent genetics their first cycle. If their diet is spot on and training and recovery. You gain 20 pounds in 3 months and you have a ton on intracellular water in addition to fat gain and some muscle mass. Gaining muscle is a slow thing. Expectations of gaining 30, 40 pounds a year are far-fetched. 10 pounds a year is a good aim. 10 keepable pounds. It's really not about the scale. Scales are full of lies and half truths. You don't need dirty calories or junk food to put on weight. You need patience and consistency. Nobody wants to hear that, but it's true. Junk food is for guys with TDEEs over 6000 running GH and insulin and when they just can't get past a wall. It's for the guy who's stuck at 290.

I'm running 1.5 grams of gear including DBol. I've been on cycle for 12 days or so and I've gained .2 pounds, but I'm tighter than when I started and I see better vascularity. Ive had one chest meal that was just half a personal pizza that had cauliflower and and broccoli on it with no sauce or cheese lol. Was that actually pizza? Just needed to wet my beak. My goal is to gain 15 pounds in 5 months and keep at least 12 of them while staying at the same bodyfat percentage. That would be an amazing bulking cycle. My point is that if you want to turn your body into a fat burning, muscle building machine - you need to treat it like one.

Ultimately it sounds like you've figured out a system that works specifically for you. In my original post, I mentioned that that's what one must do when faced with an area they struggle with. I never mentioned anything about one universal principle working for everyone. I only said that gaining size requires one to eat a lot, basically. I don't think what you're doing is optimal and I think I could have you gaining size consistently with some simple adjustments, but that doesn't mean I'm right. At the end of the day, if you're satisfied with your program and the results then it doesn't matter what anyone else has to say, especially me. Definitely looking forward to understanding more about what you're doing and why it's working for you. I'm always interested in learning how other people achieve their goals.

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I could not agree more Griz

I could not agree more Griz with the second paragraph. Unrealistic expectations is the fast track to resentment. ;)

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yes but

I get what you're saying, but you were also stating in your initial post that a person needs more calories. calories aren't the problem with my diet is what you're saying. based of your original post I need to eat more calories.  

where are you saying grams of fat matter? nothing I eat takes long to digest, I see it.

what's in a burrito? tortilla, rice, beans, steak, cheese, sour cream, avocados.

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Ram

My initial post wasn't directed at you. It was more of a blanket summary of what keeps people from achieving the size they want. Most people just can't eat that much food. I'm not questioning whether you can eat 4-5000 calories. I'm questioning the quality of your calories.

What are your macros? I think in order to really do this right you need to be tracking your macros and calories daily and be able to know what they are so you can make adjustments when needed. Otherwise you're really just winging it.

You're saying you don't think anything you eat takes long to digest? I'm saying the complete opposite. Let me know if I should explain that a little better.

Fats are the slowest digesting macronutrient. There are 9 calories per every gram of fat as opposed to 4 calories per gram of carbs and protein. The body takes more effort and time to digest fat. Theres a lot of science behind that.

A burrito is going to be very high in fat given those ingredients. It's going to take your body quite awhile to break down a meal like that.

I'd personally like to see you eating a simpler and cleaner menu. I'd like to see what your body does with 3000 clean calories that are being digested between meals rather than taking all day to digest.

I'm not an expert on nutrition, but the things I pointed out seem like deficiencies in your game plan and I'm sure we could find a way to improve this with the help of everyone here.

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i will say this. , i have

i will say this. , i have winged it for years. and when i looked over my pics for the last 3 years here , guess what ????? nothing changed ,,except a little more bf on stomach and a little less....my pics look impressive for a 50 year old.  but guess what it doesnt chage the fact. that yes im jacked. (or lets say i look good for 50)  thats a better term ... well i actually started caring watching trying to calculate my diet. so i can loose that bf and put back on the muscle.  ...and ill tell you what honestly.  , if you can get this right , you drive you manipulate where you want to go ...BOTTOM LINE.   i do not eat dirty no more. , i will not stop anywhere for a quick , meal meaning BK , OR KFC OR TACO BELL no.   no way im not saying i wont stop at the local.diner , i will but i know the cook. , or at a subway.     but this right now is the most hardest thing i ever encountered with aas.  ... its not only the ## but how clean are they.  ect.  honestly I FEEL LIKE A NEWBE. AND I AM.WITH DIET. 

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That's right ram! 

That's right ram! 

Doing the same thing over and over yet expecting a different result is not how you go about it brotha. Let's simplify your diet, and target certain foods and macro ratios and see what happens. You gotta be willing to change to be able to grow. That's in size (weight) and life brotha. Give it 12 weeks and lets see what happens. I'm willing to bet you'll be pleased for making the change...

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Thanks!

that was very well written and makes perfect sense. I know what I need to work on.  absolutely appreciated.

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Often, refried beans have

Often, refried beans have lard, and tortillas have lard, or some other kind of (unhealthy) fat.

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