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Idiot's Guide to Getting Big (or: how to stop s***ting up this forum, skinny whiners)

post #1 of 128
Thread Starter 
Okay dudes, I pop into this forum once in awhile and without fail, there's some 150lb dude doing situps and pushups and drinking one protein shake a day complaining about how his high metabolism will prevent him from getting big. You are not a unique, special flower. Every guy in his teens through his twenties has a high metabolism. Your metabolism isn't crippling you - your weak mind, weak discipline, and tendency to overthink things are. Here's a REALLY FUCKING EASY WAY to get big. All you have to do is follow this and I guarantee you'll get big and strong and women (or men, whatever floats your boat) will want to jump on you. 1. Buy this book. Not Arnold's Encylopedia of Bodybuilding, not XXX GET HUGE NOW, or whatever fucking tripe they're putting out with a bodybuilder on the cover. STARTING. STRENGTH. Say it with me. STARTING STRENGTH. If you don't want to buy it, download it from your torrent site of choice. 2. Once more, just because some retards insist on doing something their "trainer" told them to - STARTING STRENGTH. Hint: All trainers are retarded. Any fucking clown can get a personal training certification, and since there is no national standard, there's no accountability. Most gyms will certify with their own in-house programs, that are junk. There's a reason every trainer you see looks like a 150 pound twink bitch. 3. Read Starting Strength. 4. Calculate your calorie requirements at this website. Once you have found your BMR, go to this website and multiply your BMR. I recommend "moderate," so you will be multiplying your BMR by 1.55, or 1.6. No biggie. So, for example, I weigh 175 lb, am 22 years old, 5'11", male. That means my BMR is 1908. Since I exercise 5 days a week, which is a "moderate" level of activity according to the previous webpage, I will multiply 1908x1.6. That equals 3052. I'll round up to 3100 calories, just to be sure. 5. Begin eating at a 40/40/20 macronutrient split. What this means is that 40% of your calories will come from protein, 40% from carbs, and 20% from fat. For me, since my calories needed are 3100 per day, that means I'll eat (3100x.40) 1240 calories of protein, 1240 calories of carbs, and (3100x.20) 620 calories of fat. Now, each gram of protein and carbohydrates has 4 calories. Since 1240 / 4 = 310, I'll be eating 310g of protein and carbs per day. Each gram of fat has 9 calories, so 620 / 9 = 69g fat per day. Lets call it an even 70. Divide your protein and fat numbers by 5, as you will be eating 5 meals spaced evenly throughout the day. You will divide your carb numbers by 4, as we will be eating one carb-free meal right before we go to bed. Carbs late at night = bad. So... Protein 310 / 5 = 62g Carbs 310 / 4 = 78g Fat 70 / 5 = 14g. So every meal I eat will have about 62g of protein, 78g of carbs, and 14g of fat. That's like eating two cans of tuna, 2 cups of brown rice, and one tablespoon of olive oil. You will get these calories from GOOD sources. Good sources of protein: Beef - try to go lean, or you can buy medium and drain the fat. Steak is good. Chicken - self explanatory Fish - Tuna is awesome, and as long as you aren't eating albacore you can eat 1000000 cans a week and not get sick. Use whey protein powder to fill in the gaps and meet your protein requirements for the day. Do not rely on whey as your primary source. Carbs: Multigrain bread / bagels Fibrous fruit - bananas, apples, mixed berries, pineapple Oats - not instant oatmeal shit, the kind you have to cook yourself Whole wheat pasta Brown rice Fat: Olive oil Flaxseed oil Egg yolks - fuck the haters, egg yolks are fine. Cholesterol level in food != levels in your blood. All the old studies saying yolks are bad have been disproven. Cheese Walnuts, almonds, etc. Natural peanut butter Try to eat vegetables at least 3 / 5 meals of the day. All colours of vegetables. Peppers, spinach, broccoli, whatever. Eat them. Take a multivitamin and DHA (fish oil supplement) daily. On days you do not work out, eat at maintenance (your BMR, remember?) by cutting out excess carbs. Immediately post workout (within half an hour) you will drink a protein shake. I like a couple scoops of whey in skim milk. You should aim to eat at this 40/40/20 ratio 90% of the time during the week. That equals about 5 "cheat" meals - fast food, missing a meal, mom's spaghetti, whatever, per week. MAKE SURE YOU ARE EATING!!!! If there is one thing that is going to stall you, it's a shitty diet. Do not come back to this thread crying if you are not following your macronutrient ratios. 6. Drink water. At least 2-4 litres a day. Do NOT drink pop, gatorade, or anything that has more than 0 calories. Exception: PWO shake. Water. Not juice. Not pop. Water. 7. Do NOT use supplements. No Nitrotech XXX Super Mass Gainer, no NO-Xplod, no nothing. Supplements = bullshit. 8. Be consistent. This doesn't happen overnight. You need to think in terms of a healthy lifestyle, and not a quick solution. 9. Shut the fuck up and lift. Thanks for reading!!! Good luck!! If you are offended by my tone, take that anger and use it to press a barbell over your head a few times. Good luck dudes. edit: adding something from a later post so nobody gets the wrong impression... In general, I apologize for the shitty abrasive tone, but this is just like the response to a "halp what jeanz should i kop" or "do i sized down 3 on ns." I don't mean to be ripping on anyone or insulting anybody - this is just a literally foolproof way to get bigger and stronger. Yes, you can experience success without watching macronutrients 100%; this is just a way to guarantee success in a field that so many get frustrated and give up on!
post #2 of 128
Really, just read Starting Strength and measure calories. It'll sort itself out. Protein requirements with high-calorie diets are usually way overestimated.

If you need a number, aim for 150g. Other than that, just follow the program and eat.

We should have everyone's input, form a single guide, and have it stickied at the top of the forum.
post #3 of 128
People really over analyze.

Do big compound lifts.

Eat lots of meats.

Sleep lots.

Grow.
post #4 of 128
Yeah, the dietary requirements are often easier said than done, especially when you're a vegetarian like me.

I try to best guess things. I should probably get more serious about ironing my diet out in the next year (as it is, I only work out 2-3 times a week.)

I don't think I've ever drank 2-4 litres of water in one day in my lfe!
post #5 of 128
I agree with why- I think eating clean and doing macro ratios is important if you're cutting and trying to get a six-pack, but I don't think it's important for the generic, "I want to get bigger." There's a reason that Rippetoe just says to drink a gallon of milk extra a day.

That being said, I guarantee you that people are still going to ask this stupid question, even if we have it stickied.

We could also have it's corollary "how to lose weight", and the ultimate "so you want to look like Brad Pitt in Fight Club".
post #6 of 128
Thread Starter 
People "eating lots of meat and sleeping lots" or "following the program and eating" are why people stall and go nowhere. I know you are getting at the point of keeping things simple, but with something like this, its not enough to just "eat a lot." It's dangerous. Especially for a beginner who has never counted their calories before, they may think they're eating enough but they most likely are not. When I started lifting I didn't know any of this stuff - I got frustrated and stopped because I was just hurting myself and not making any progress. I'm not saying you aren't going to get big if you eat 58g of protein instead of 62g, but a lackadaisal approach such as "eat lots and lift" is going to result in a lot of people burning out or worse, injuring themselves because they aren't doing it properly, effectively, or safely. Doing an intense, compound lift-based program like Starting Strength that is utilizing nearly 100% of the body's musculature without proper nutrition is a GREAT way to hurt yourself. Especially considering a lot of the people here looking for advice are beginners who have never exercised properly before, or at a level of intensity that SS provides, telling them to just eat a lot while they punish their bodies without nourishing them is at the very least going to discourage them, and at the very worst injure them. As for username why - aiming for 150g protein- I'd say a rule of thumb is one gram of protein per pound of bodyweight. If there should be a guide where everyone gets to make their input, lets screen who writes in, because a ton of the advice I have seen on this forum is fucking trash. I'm not saying I'm Arnold himself, but when I see people recommend "upping the protein to 60g a day" or something fucking ludicrous like that, its frustrating. Not to toot my own horn, but the best big basic compound lift program + explanation of basic nutritional and calorie requirements like what I have done here is EXACTLY what every beginner needs. Not "oh don't worry about it just eat a lot." Yes, you want to keep things simple, which is what I have done. I've figured out my ratios, found some meals that meet those ratios, and eat them regularly. EG. instead of eating kraft dinner for lunch, I'll break out the tuna, make a couple cheese sandwiches, and grab a bowl of soup with it. I'm eating in my ratios, and its not difficult. Once you find out WHAT you have to eat, its very very very simple. It seems complicated when you're talking about ratios and percentages, but once you find out what you like to eat that fits, its a no brainer. Then again, if you'd rather just grab something from the fridge and drink a protein shake with it, do whatever floats your boat. This is just the best way to get started on good habits that will make the best results. I used to just eat whatever I wanted with lots of protein, and I got a hell of a gut really fast. Why would you more spend time "dirty" bulking to get big, fat, and muscular, and then spend more time going back to eating clean to cut your bodyfat % down? Doesn't make any sense... why wouldn't you just eat clean in the first place?
post #7 of 128
Start swimming regularly and never step a foot in the gym.
post #8 of 128
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hany View Post
Start swimming regularly and never step a foot in the gym.

Haha, word, I'm a swim instructor/lifeguard too so I won't fall for that troll-bait.

There's a guy at my gym who is fucking ripped and I see him swimming laps all the time. All the regular, good swimmers I know have insane lats + shoulders.
post #9 of 128
well, using your example of the guy who needs 3100 calories for maintenance:

If he wants to get bigger, he should eat 3600 calories. When I say "eating a lot" I think this is the only number that he should keep in mind, outside of protein grams. When bulking, I don't think that the fat/carb ratio really matters. As long as he eats 3600 calories and gets his 150 grams of protein, whether the remaining calories are fat or they are carbs, I think he will have the same results.

I've never found a biological argument that argued otherwise (especially for getting big). There's something to be said for eating "clean", especially in terms of just general health and well-being, but for the purpose of getting big, I don't think it matters. I've seen too many results from too many people where it seemed like anything works - as long as they were eating enough.
post #10 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by jarude View Post
People "eating lots of meat and sleeping lots" or "following the program and eating" are why people stall and go nowhere.
As a power/oly lifter and steak consuming monster I would say no, it isn't. Good guide in general though.
post #11 of 128
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by unexpected View Post
well, using your example of the guy who needs 3100 calories for maintenance: If he wants to get bigger, he should eat 3600 calories. When I say "eating a lot" I think this is the only number that he should keep in mind, outside of protein grams. When bulking, I don't think that the fat/carb ratio really matters. As long as he eats 3600 calories and gets his 150 grams of protein, whether the remaining calories are fat or they are carbs, I think he will have the same results. I've never found a biological argument that argued otherwise (especially for getting big). There's something to be said for eating "clean", especially in terms of just general health and well-being, but for the purpose of getting big, I don't think it matters. I've seen too many results from too many people where it seemed like anything works - as long as they were eating enough.
I think you misread, that example is using myself. 1908 was my maintenance; 3100 was getting bigger. I know the +500 or -500 cal thing for gaining/losing weight, but 3600 calories for me, a 175lb dude would make me fat really fast. If all you want is size, go buy a mass gainer shake with creatine in it and go to high volume isolation work. It's only going to last as long as you're buying that shake though, and once your lifts stagnate from not doing proper compound/strength work, you're going to suffer. If you want to be big, strong, healthy, and cut - like everybody wants to - then cross your Ts and dot your i's. That's the point of fitness - general health and well-being. I guess other people will have different goals, but getting big at the risk of your own health and well-being defeats the purpose of being in a gym. Don't rely too much on the experiences of others - some people have great genetics and can get bigger by eating out of a garbage can, while others need to work harder at it. Hell, there's a kid in highschool at my gym who is built like a fucking truck and the kid eats shit all day long. I, on the other hand, have to watch my diet much more closely otherwise my gut expands and not much else.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZackyBoy View Post
Nah, it isn't. Good guide in general though.
Okay, agreed - my point is that many beginners will eat a steak and think "oh, thats a lot of meat." People have to get used to the idea of what "a lot" really is and making sure that amount is from a good source. Honest truth, I don't calorie count as much as I used to and I enjoy it a lot more - but thats because I know how much I have to eat now. In general, I apologize for the shitty abrasive tone, but this is just like the response to a "halp what jeanz should i kop" or "do i sized down 3 on ns." I don't mean to be ripping on anyone or insulting anybody - this is just a literally foolproof way to get bigger and stronger. Yes, you can experience success without watching macronutrients 100%; this is just a way to guarantee success in a field that so many get frustrated and give up on!
post #12 of 128
Not eating enough really does hamper your gains. Anecdote:

Using myself as an example, 25 year old male at 190 lbs when I began, been on Starting Strength for 6 months. For 3 months of that I was eating great: 2800-3200 calories a day, tons of salmon/turkey/chicken, 150+g protein, but not really watching macro at all (a lot of fat from nuts, oh so many nuts at the office). Progress was linear and unstoppable.

I then started traveling again for work and wasn't eating as much - more like 2000 cal a day and 100g of protein. Gains ground to a halt. I maintained though, cut 15 lbs that I didn't really intend to cut, but didn't increase my lifts for 2 months straight. Sat at 250# deadlift and 200# squat for two entire months.

Now I'm back home, eating enough again, and gains have picked back up. 3 weeks home saw my squat go from 200# to 220#, dead from 250# to 275#. Workout has been the same for 6 months. Aboot time to switch it up I think
post #13 of 128
Shit with my weight and frame, drinking a gallon of milk in place of eating is more than I'm used to getting anyway. Bitchin!
post #14 of 128
why does sf hate isolation exercises and trad hypertrophic training?
post #15 of 128
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by thekunk07 View Post
why does sf hate isolation exercises and trad hypertrophic training?
There's nothing against isolation if you've been training for awhile - I've always been of the school of thought that you should try and reach a certain level of strength before attempting hypertrophy-based training. From what I've read, hypertrophy is more effective with heavier weights being moved with lower rest intervals. To build up that level of strength and conditioning, you've gotta get your bench, squat, and deadlift up before you can worry about 3x15 hammer curls with 30 seconds rest between sets. That and the tendency for beginners to go crazy on bicep curls for the girls while neglecting the compound lifts. I know I did, and I suffered for it.
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