Three Steps To Get BIG

Posted: May 14, 2012 in Put on muscle

There are plenty of body building experts, fitness experts, bloggers, and trainers out there and we all have our two cents on everything. For small, scrawny, lanky built guys (like myself) there REALLY is a simple formula to getting big that nobody can really debate with. Many would argue the science of when to eat, what to eat, types of exercises, etc. which is wonderful and what makes this industry so exciting. However, for skinny ass dudes who just want to gain weight quickly, but just can’t,  here is your “Get Big Formula”: EAT + TRAIN HARD + SLEEP = Swole House

EAT: This is the most important factor to gaining weight. You MUST eat, and eat a lot. A lot of us skinny dudes think we eat a ton, but the reality is that if you are not gaining weight then you are simply not eating enough. I like to use an easy-to-follow method that is used in Dr John Berardi’s “Scrawny to Brawny” program. He says your “muscle building meal” should contain:

  • 2 Palms (the size of your palm ~30g) of protein: Protein’s are the building blocks of muscle found in things like beef, chicken, pork, fish, eggs, and beans.
  • 3 Fists of vegetables (size of your fist = 1 fist… duh): Vegetables are rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals and are essential to the muscle building meal.
  • 1 Fist of starch/fruit/whole grains: These carbohydrates will help build muscle
  • 1/4 cup of healthy fats: Our body uses these fats to build cell membranes, increase our natural testosterone levels, and absorb nutrients.
That is ONE meal’s worth of food! It is not easy to eat this much at every meal. Begin by just trying to incorporate one of these meals/day, and try to progress to three over time. Also, you should be eating constantly between these meals! I eat things like peanut butter, nuts, beef jerky, protein bars, apples, cherries and protein shakes when in between meals.

TRAIN HARD: This is step number 2 to getting big. When you are in the gym there is really no need to do things like bicep curls or leg extensions. There are two and ONLY two things you need to be focusing on when training.

1) Use Compound Movements: Squats, Lunges, Rows, Presses, Pull-ups, and things like that are what you need to be doing. At least 80% of your lifts should be compound movements!

2) Progressive Overload: Progressive overload just means every week in the gym you should be doing “a little better/more” every time. For example, if you did 155lbs this week do 160lbs next week. Or if you did 10 reps this week try 11 next week.

This is how simple I would keep your workout, and repeat for the next 8-12 weeks:

Day 1:

  • Squats: 4 sets x 8-12 reps
  • Dead Lift: 4 sets x 8-12 reps
  • Bench Press: 4 sets x 8-12 reps
  • T-Bar Rows: 4 sets x 8-12 reps
Day 2:
  • Inclined Bench Press: 4 sets x 8-12 reps
  • Barbell Lunges: 4 sets x 8-12 reps
  • Military Press: 4 sets x 8-12 reps
  • Barbell Rows: 4 sets x 8-12 reps
Day 3:
  • Squats: 4 sets x 8-12 reps
  • Dead Lift: 4 sets x 8-12 reps
  • Push Press: 4 sets x 8-12 reps
  • T-Bar Rows: 4 sets x 8-12 reps
It is not exciting… or fun.. BUT it works! If you want to work out more than 3 days per week I would do sprints, core work, and isolated movements (like your bicep curls).

SLEEP: You MUST get quality sleep! When you sleep your HGH levels rise which means while you are sleeping you are growing.  Ideally, shoot for 7-9 hours of sleep per night. For some people, they say “I am good to go with just 3-4 of sleep”. Here’s a secret: You’re not. Research repeatedly shows how essential sleep is to human health. So go to bed, fool!

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