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    Operation: Get Swole

    For the next month - from Today until March 20th - I will have unprecedented four week stretch with no travel, no conventions, no work obligations. After that, I kick off a coast-to-coast tour that will be put me in a nigh-constant state of travel, from Boston to Seattle.
    I am planning to spend the majority of this vacation getting swole as fuck. I moved apartments in January, and now have a handy dandy YMCA just a few minutes away. I was getting into a nice rhythm of "weights in the morning, MMA in the evening", but it kept getting interrupted by travel and debilitating sinus infections.
    Anywho, I'm back on that rhythm, and I want to get the absolute most of out of this month where I can prioritize getting in awesome shape over my normal pursuits of making thousands of dollars a week, seeing the country, and sleeping with beautiful, talented women. Then I'll be back to that life in a major way.
    I'm currently 160 and change, and I want to get up to at least 170 and change before getting back to the real world. Problem is, I'm a classic hard-gainer bodytype. My workout routine consists mostly of compound lifts (squats, deadlifts, benches, pullups), but my diet is the thing I'm most worried about. Besides drinking a shit load of chocolate whole milk, any advice on getting high-density calories into my body? Are mass gainers worth it, or should I just use that money to buy steak and brown rice?
    Also, I've found that somewhere along the line, I lost my super powers regarding squats. I used to be able to ass-to-grass squat 240 lbs 5x5. Now, when I do squats.... I just hate it. I have a hard time breathing through the exercising (exacerbated by gym's stupid "no-kiai" policy), and my body just sends a strong "knock this shit off signal." I've been doing half squats and leg presses more instead - are those going to be an effective substitute for full squats?
    Aside from that all, any other general advice for my endeavors?

    #2
    I hear good things about Whey...

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by ghost55 View Post
      I hear good things about Whey...
      Yes that. There is lots of that. Often mixed with said chocolate milk.
      Also, a habit I've picked up that I want the opinion of other's on: during-workout nutrition. I started making a protein shake (mostly the above chocolate milk and whey), and found that drinking it *while* I was working out instead of *after* I worked out extended my workout period, and I felt like I was getting more out of each session.

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by TheMightyMcClaw View Post
        For the next month - from Today until March 20th - I will have unprecedented four week stretch with no travel, no conventions, no work obligations. After that, I kick off a coast-to-coast tour that will be put me in a nigh-constant state of travel, from Boston to Seattle.
        I am planning to spend the majority of this vacation getting swole as fuck. I moved apartments in January, and now have a handy dandy YMCA just a few minutes away. I was getting into a nice rhythm of "weights in the morning, MMA in the evening", but it kept getting interrupted by travel and debilitating sinus infections.
        Anywho, I'm back on that rhythm, and I want to get the absolute most of out of this month where I can prioritize getting in awesome shape over my normal pursuits of making thousands of dollars a week, seeing the country, and sleeping with beautiful, talented women. Then I'll be back to that life in a major way.
        Awesome. Kick ass and take names with a fiery disposition.

        I'm currently 160 and change, and I want to get up to at least 170 and change before getting back to the real world. Problem is, I'm a classic hard-gainer bodytype. My workout routine consists mostly of compound lifts (squats, deadlifts, benches, pullups), but my diet is the thing I'm most worried about. Besides drinking a shit load of chocolate whole milk, any advice on getting high-density calories into my body? Are mass gainers worth it, or should I just use that money to buy steak and brown rice?
        Are you training MMA or doing conditioning as well as lifting? If so, that's what's hindering your growth, not some magical "hardgainer" DNA sequence.

        Whey is okay but I've never tried mass gainers; it sounds like a way to overcharge you for the privilege of not cooking rice. I'd rather supplement with a few thousand IUs of vitamin D (if you don't get enough sun) or omega-3s/fish oil.

        My checklist is as follows: meat, eggs, milk (raw or goat if possible), yogurt. Veggies galore, lots of rice and lentils and potatoes and sweet potatoes and good fats like pastured butter, coconut, avocado, olive. Maximize every single one of those. Eat a big breakfast of eggs plus yogurt with fruit or leftovers, a big lunch of everything, a big dinner of everything, and a big before-sleep meal or draught of milk to top it all off. Cook meals yourself in bulk, minimize deep-frying and breading and soda and sweets.

        The mental trick I've used is that if you are ever, ever, ever hungry at any point during a given week, then you have no right to call yourself a hardgainer by referencing any part of that week as "time that I tried to gain weight". It's just not logical. If you're hungry then you didn't properly plan your meals and you need to do a better job next time but don't feel bad about it it's just the way things go sometimes we still love you.

        240 lbs 5x5. Now, when I do squats.... I just hate it. I have a hard time breathing through the exercising (exacerbated by gym's stupid "no-kiai" policy), and my body just sends a strong "knock this shit off signal." I've been doing half squats and leg presses more instead - are those going to be an effective substitute for full squats?
        Aside from that all, any other general advice for my endeavors?
        Half squats and leg presses are stupid. You and I both know that. You're better than that. Why not try front squats? (Start light, progress long time.) Or one-legged bodyweight squats (pistols) and King deadlifts (one legged bodyweight squat, but raised knee touches behind grounded ankle instead of going out in front) after one set of barbell squats? What about loaded lunges? There are plenty of heavy, real exercises that will challenge you but not make you bored or sad. Switch it up.

        Come to think of it, where are the explosive movements? Aren't you an athlete? You are doing power cleans or power snatches or push presses or box jumps or something...right?

        As for the breathing thing: What? When it's heavy, I'm like, "Big breath, lock it tight, one rep. Exhale at the top, one breath in and out to reset, big breath, lock it, another rep" and I do that for a set of five. Maybe I'll do one breath for two reps if it feels light that day. Are you trying to hold your breath for the whole set of five? Or are you doing that government-recommends-for-geriatrics breath-in-on-the-way-down-and-out-on-the-way-up weaksauce?

        General advice is to lift heavy and eat constantly and sleep good. Good luck, man.

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by TheMightyMcClaw View Post
          Yes that. There is lots of that. Often mixed with said chocolate milk.
          Also, a habit I've picked up that I want the opinion of other's on: during-workout nutrition. I started making a protein shake (mostly the above chocolate milk and whey), and found that drinking it *while* I was working out instead of *after* I worked out extended my workout period, and I felt like I was getting more out of each session.
          If I find myself bonking (getting sluggish, sleepy, or fighting through a fog) during a workout session, it's generally because I didn't eat enough (particularly carbs) earlier that day. A banana or shake or whatever helps me extend the workout by re-invigorating me.

          However, if that happens to me more than once a month, it's a big neon sign that I'm not eating enough, nor planning my meals well. A medium-size meal with plenty of carbs (often fruit) two hours before the workout generally fixes this. (To me, medium means two cups of rice, three eggs, a slice or two of meat, a chunk of cheese the size of three fingers, and a bowl of yogurt with a banana and jam.)

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by 1point2 View Post
            (To me, medium means two cups of rice, three eggs, a slice or two of meat, a chunk of cheese the size of three fingers, and a bowl of yogurt with a banana and jam.)
            Goddamn, Michael Phelps. If that was my idea of a medium sized meal they'd have my ass on The Biggest Loser in a couple years.

            Comment


              #7
              Thanks for the advice, 1point2. I just got back from today's lift session, and I'm re-integrating the full squats.I've had to take the weight way the fuck down, which is sad, but I'll get it back eventually.
              I'm attempting to get back on a GOMAD diet, plus dead things. Currently frying up a bunch of butchered pigs.

              Comment


                #8
                1point2's advice is correct, although personally i don't buy into the "squats or GTFO" for mass gains. I have a bum lower back and get much better leg strength and size gains from 1 legged leg press.

                I recommend checking out Lyle Mcdonald's free articles regarding weight training and nutrition in general. Pretty much anyone worth listening to in the fitness industry is just parroting his work so you may as well go straight to the source.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Squats are awesome. Just be humble, and re-set your poundage to your current ability. It's not about ego, it is about getting strong, and squats are a great way to do it.

                  Check your range of motion as well. If you're having trouble getting out of the bottom, you might be just suffering from some decreased rom like many of us desk jockeys. On my non-squats days, or even after my light session or running, I'll often just rest in a low squat position. Just chilling out, ass to the grass occasionally seemed to help with my low position and helped with hip/ankle flexibility.

                  If you're on the road with no gym, or have back issues, Bulgarian split squats, (even unweighted) are a solid option. I sometimes do these on my light day for a change of pace, and are a good workout. I haven't tried pistols yet, but might start playing around with those as well.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    My range of motion with squats is pretty good; I tend to sit around in a Third World Squat position, and haven't really lost any of it.
                    Also, after Operation: Get Swole concludes, I need to seriously look at maintaining health and fitness while on the road. I'm pretty sure I logged over a hundred days of travel last year, so I'm spending nearly 1/3 of my time away from home, often with fast food as the only food option. I'm trying to cut back a bit on that front this year, but I'm still spending a lot of my days on the open road.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      You only have 4 weeks here. So don't get too crazy with what you want to get out of it. Keep it simple. Compound exercises and lots of food. If you are a hard gainer, then just eat anything you can get your hands on. Don't worry about it. Try to keep sugar to the minimum, but I wouldn't worry too much about it. Putting in more calories than you are expending is the key. On top of that, protien. Done. Mass gainer is fine, just know that you are throwing calories into your diet. If you are having trouble getting them in, then that is an acceptable route to take.

                      Stick with squats, they will pay off. Bench and pullups are also a must. Have fun!

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Some quick thoughts:

                        You're not going to gain 10lbs of muscle in a month. You might not gain 10lbs of muscle in a year if you're already reasonably well trained. ~1 - 1.5lbs of muscle every 2 weeks or so is far more realistic for most men.

                        If size and weight gain are your principle goals and you've already trained a more powerlifting style and have a decent strength base, then it makes sense to either add some high(er) rep "isolation" and "assistance" exercises after your main lifts or do a block of training like a bodybuilder in some way. I defer on specific understanding of hypertrophy to Dr. Brad Schoenfled: http://img2.timg.co.il/forums/1_158907702.pdf

                        I will second Lyle McDonald's information as well. The generic bulking routine or variations thereof is very solid for the vast majority of people who want to gain size: http://www.jcdfitness.com/2009/01/ly...lking-routine/

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Alright! Week one update!
                          I weighed in post-workout today at 169 lbs, which is officially the most I have ever weighed. Foolishly, I did not weigh myself after my first workout of the program last week, but I had previously been floating around 163-165.
                          I'm back on the GOMAD diet and then some, having packed away a solid gallon and a half of Vitamin D on Saturday. Also a new record. I occasionally have trouble force-feeding myself, but force-drinking seems to be a lot easier. Disgusting fact: it's easier to drink vast quantities of liquids that are room temperature, which means I've been chugging warm milk all week long. Yum.
                          I'm making steady gains on my compound lifts, notably squats, the weight on which went up 45 lbs in the first week. I seem to have gotten my groove back with squatting technique, and find them less abhorrent then when I started. Guess I just had to shake the rust off.
                          I feel fan-fucking-tastic. Doubling up on the weights in the morning and the MMA in the evening is not slowing me down, and my energy level is high.
                          I look fan-fucking-tastic. I mean, my hair is a multicolored mess from a failed attempt to go back to platinum, and my face is a multicolored mess from getting the living fuck punched out of it on Thursday at sparring night. But everything else, totally fucking gorgeous. And besides, I'm getting the hair taken care of tomorrow, and the bruises just add character.
                          Stay metal. \m/

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Make sure you're drinking plenty of water.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              One of the other side effects of the GOMAD diet is constantly peeing like a race horse.
                              Don't worry, I'm getting more than enough water.

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