How I radically altered my body for the better – part 4

part1 part2 part 3

“Wait a minute,” said Rowland in his standard Metairie drawl. “You’re eating a pizza!”            I looked up from my medium ‘Carnivore’ pizza from Uncle Joe’s Pizza in Diamondhead, MS

“I thought you were working out and you’re eating a pizza? Doesn’t that negate the whole point of the gym?”

He walked away before I could explain.

It depends on what you’re trying to do. My current goal is to hit the 200lb mark. Then I will drop back to cutting.

I did this before back in early 2013. I jumped from 150lbs of bodyweight to 185lbs over the course of 4 months. Try to imagine that. Try to imagine a 1/4lb hamburger patty. That’s a pretty large piece of hamburger. It’s a respectable burger.

Now take 140 of them, and add them all over your body.

To do that takes effort and knowledge.

I wasn’t after any old weight, I wanted beautiful muscle. I wanted it quickly and with the minimal amount of effort required. I was tired of being the small guy. Light and nimble is wonderful… but it doesn’t give you a lot of options in a fight. With me being deployed to such Gardens of Eden as Nicaragua, the Philippines and Honduras… I wanted a bit more size to go with my Krav Maga training. After all, no body intentionally picks a fight with a bruiser. You go for the least masculine fellow and overwhelm. The guy who looks like he benches 200lbs… is slightly less appealing.

And now I was going to do it again. Only now, I knew how to do it and how to improve upon my previous results.

The genesis of the idea was The Four Hour Body by Tim Ferris. Particularly the section “From Geek to Freak: How to Gain 34 Pounds in 28 Days”. Now, full disclosure… it took me 4 months. I was starting from a point of doing no exercise. I was weighing in at 150lbs. I convinced my friend and co-worker, Daron to let me use his equipment at Iron Strike Crossfit in Diamondhead, MS. He agreed. He was curious to see if it worked.

Our modified program, based upon the equipment available looked something like this:

Monday – Pullups. 1 set to complete failure. If more than 7, increase weight (decrease assistance) the next week. Rest 3 minutes.

Benchpress. 1 set to complete failure. If more than 7, go up 10 lbs the next week.

Tuesday – rest

Wednesday – back squat. 1 set to complete failure. If more than 10, go up 20 lbs the next week. Rest 3 minutes.

Shoulder press. 1 set to complete failure. If more than 7, go up 10 lbs the next week.

Thursday – rest

Friday – decline pushups with weights. (I ended up with my feet elevated on a stack of weights, while Daron added weights onto my back. Then I did pushups) 1 set to failure. if more than 7, go up 10 lbs the next week. Rest 3 minutes.

Deadlist. 1 set to complete failure. If more than 10, go up 20 lbs the next week.

Weekend – rest

This was a workout that took me 15 minutes to accomplish. 3 days a week. 45 minutes a week. Think about that. Think about how very little time I spent in the gym. 3 hours a month. 12 hours in a 4 month period to gain 35 lbs. 2 sets. Both to failure. No additional reps.

Now, there is a difference between failure and complete failure. I didn’t go until I struggled on the last one and then called it a day. I pushed until I could not move. Daron acted as my safety spotter, allowing me to put on more weight. If I needed, he would help me get out safely. This let me push to utter and complete failure on the major lifts.

So that was my exercise regime.

Now. Is that all there was to it?

Of course not. If you don’t eat like you’re trying to gain weight, you’ll never put on pounds. You will get stronger, but your body won’t grow. If you’re lifting for size, eat for size. In fact, over eat.

So what are you eating for size?

Everything. The basics principles are simple. You need to do a daily intake of a gram of protein per lb of bodyweight. For me, that’s 170g of protein/day. And it’s going to go up. To hit +170g of protein daily, is going to take whole milk, Whey Isolate, and a ton of chicken and other high protein foot.

On top of that, your body is now starving for calories. And you’re going to give it calories. Instead of starving the body and forcing a ketogenic  fat burning response, you’re going to give it all the calories it could want. For gentlemen, aim high.


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