andizzle asked: I am a pretty small 16 year old guy and I am really wanting to gain some weight and some muscle. I don't have an exercise machine just a bench press. I have been working out with push ups and curls for awhile now and it doesn't seem to be doing much good. I do drink a lot of soda and was wondering if it could be doing more damage than I think it is. I'm looking for some exercises that are really effective without a machine and was wondering if the soda i drink can be doing more damage than I think. Also what kinds of foods to eat and what to replace the soda with.
My answer: Read up, man! Go to the home page (Build Muscle, Lose Fat) and just start reading. There's a wealth of information there.
And cut the soda – it's nothing but empty calories. There is zero nutritional value in soda. And the high fructose corn syrup will kill you, your metabolism, your kidneys, and your gains. Plus, it will make you fat-skinny.
NOBODY wants that!
will k asked: I'm planning to start working out again at the gym. I'm 14, around 6 foot and I weigh about 145 lbs. I'm skinny, so I'm mostly muscle and no fat. I'm very athletic so I can't really gain weight. Before or after my workouts, what should I eat or drink? Should I buy muscle building supplements?
My answer: You have to begin eating a lot. You have to create a positive caloric balance – which simply means eat more than you expend.
And it's hard. It really is. Believe me when I say I used to be like you – all muscle, no fat, but the muscle I had was little. I was skinny.
It felt like I was going to eat until I exploded. I'd go periods of time where I just wasn't hungry, followed by times where I couldn't get enough to eat.
My metabolism was on a roller coaster. I couldn't gain a pound.
And if I gained a pound, I'd lose it just as quickly as I'd gained it.
So I began eating 8 times a day, about 30-40 grams of protein at each feeding. I stopped running. I stopped moving almost entirely. I had to stop worrying.
I thought more training was better. It's not. I cut my training down a lot – down to 3 times a week on a split routine, so in any given week the MOST I trained any bodypart was twice.
But I lifted heavy. Few sets, low reps, high weights.
Focus on getting stronger. Once you're stronger, you can lift heavier weights in your bodybuilding routines.
But the key is eating a lot. Supplements are your friend.
But don't eat weight gainers – they fuck up your metabolism. The sugar kills your gains. Use something like MetRx instead. Trader Joe's carries it and it's not terribly expensive.
Mix one scoop with 8 ounces of whole milk. Drink one before and after your workout.
And eat all damned day long! Try GOMAD.
Consider eating right before going to sleep, too. Doing that will usually make you hungry in the morning, so you can eat more.
The name of the game is calories, and protein is your friend. Sugar is your foe.
FYI – Lou Ferrigno was 6'5, about 140 pounds when he started bodybuilding 🙂
Question: I heard about this old cherished weight gainer.
I heard a workout regime called milk and squats, which I started. But I stopped the milk part due to hearing that too much milk is unhealthy and affects your kidneys.
My co-worker an avid milk drinker was told by his doctor to stop drinking milk because it had an adverse effect on his body.
What are your thoughts on it? I really like the idea of drinking a gallon of milk a day to gain weight.
Answer: I won't argue with a doctor, but I suggest that “hearing things” is far removed from research. Thousands of men (and women) have gained the weight they want drinking a gallon of milk a day. (You have to exercise hard, too, to build muscle and not just pack on fat.)
To my knowledge, there is no evidence that drinking a gallon of milk a day harms your kidneys.
There is a misconception that “too much protein” can cause kidney problems. But it's just that – a misconception.
There is little compelling evidence that mega doses of protein causes any sort of kidney damage in the least.
PLUS, the GOMAD is not to be used long-term. Three to six weeks at a time is all you need. Gain a little, maintain it, repeat if necessary.
Hope this helps!
I got an inquiry the other day about a reader who proclaimed that he's “lean and weak.” Of course, I personally replied to his email but then I thought that this is such a universal question that I'd share my answer to him with you.
I, too, was skinny and weak at one point. I'm glad you are ready to make a change!
Here's what I did: I ate, drank, and slept weight training. I read everything I could, bought every supplement in the stores, and trained hard. REALLY HARD.
Guess what? It didn't work for me. And it took me a really long time to figure out what I was doing wrong.
Bottom line: I was doing nearly everything wrong!
Can you believe that? For my body type, there was no way in the world I should be training the way I was. It was too much, too often. Plus, my diet was not helping and the supplements were sending me (and my parents) to the poor house.
I finally discovered the secret. And now it's really no secret. I wrote a Manifesto about how I gained 60 pounds in one year.
Now, I don't know if you're ready to lay down $37 for my Hardgainer Manifesto. Maybe you are, maybe you aren't.
If you are, go to http://www.hard-gainers-manifesto.com. There, you will find the keys to adding a whole bunch of muscle and gaining super strength.
If you want to get a taste of the course, for FREE, check out my 7-day ecourse. You can find it here — https://www.muscle-build.com/https://muscle-build.com/hard-gainer/.
Either way, you'll learn more in 20 minutes of reading than you would have in 200 hours of reading “muscle magazines.” I will never say that muscle mags are all junk, but think about this —
How many supplement ads will you find in the leading muscle magazines? In a recent Flex magazine, I counted nearly 40 pages of supplement ads in the first 40 pages!
That's right. Before the first viable muscle-building content, there was nothing but ads.
To make matters worse, think about this: Who do you think writes those articles? They may have a famous bodybuilder's name under the title, but it most likely was some skinny guy who might have watched a pro bodybuilder train.
And now, get this — those articles are geared toward pro bodybuilders. You, and 99.9 percent of all weight trainers will never be pro-caliber. Heck, most of us don't want to look like a pro bodybuilder!
Those guys are not your ordinary guys and gals. It would be like you and me training like Jerry Rice, only to find that we'll never be as good as him. Or practicing day and night on the guitar, only to discover that we are not of the same caliber as Stevie Ray Vaughan.
Just ain't gonna happen.
Plus, I daresay that all professional bodybuilders are a) taking some serious drugs and b) are getting boatloads of supplements for free.
These are “advantages” neither you nor I will ever have (or want).
So, the gist of all this is that you should not train or eat like a pro bodybuilder. Stop reading the mags (I know, they're cool and it's great to dream — you may be one of the few who can ever look like that), start training and eating sensibly, and you can attain fantastic results
You'll look great, feel great, and have time and money left over to enjoy life.
I hope this helps. If you have any other questions, feel free to ask. Best of luck to you!
PS — There are some really good muscle-building programs out there besides mine (though I'm biased and think mine give you the greatest chance at success, at value prices). Check out Muscle-Building-Guide-Reviews.com for some of the best.
PPS — If you're lean and weak, you just need to find what works for you. Every body is different. Challenge yourself to find out how to break out of “lean and weak” syndrome!
Question: How do I figure the calories I need to gain muscle and lose fat?
Answer: Ah, wouldn't it be great if there were an easy answer to this question? I'm going to take this as a two-part question, since it's VERY difficult to gain muscle and lose fat simultaneously.
The answer is the same on both sides, meaning either add 250-500 calories per day to gain muscle or subtract 250-500 calories per day to lose fat.
Any more (or less) than this, and you're going to be trying too hard.
So, if you currently maintain your weight by consuming 2,500 calories, then eat 2,750 to 3,000 calories to gain muscle. Vary the intake; don't keep it the same every day. The body is VERY resistant to change, so keep it guessing.
MORE is NOT better! Don't think that if 5000 calories is good, then 1,000 calories is twice as good. It doesn't work that way. You'll wind up putting on too much fat and you'll feel sluggish throughout the day.
It works the same on the fat-loss side. Instead of adding 250-500 calories, subtract them!
The only distinction between adding and subtracting calories is the following: When trying to build muscle, your added calories should be mostly in the form of protein and when trying to lose fat, your calories should be cut from fat.
Don't go to a no-fat diet, however. Ironically, you need fat in your diet to lose body fat. So never take your fat intake down to zero.
Look, I know how hard it is to build muscle. Trust me when I tell you it took me 20+ years to figure it out. But once I did--BAM!--muscle appeared almost overnight. Give me your email address and I'll send you the keys.
Discover how including just one simple (and inexpensive) supplement can revolutionize your muscle-building efforts.