Random Thoughts and Proper "Bulking"

 You know it's hot when the time it takes your ice cream to melt is shorter than the time it took you to buy it.

You know it's hot when the time it takes your ice cream to melt is shorter than the time it took you to buy it.

1. I'm not quite sure when exactly the Northeast became South Beach, but it's been offensively hot here recently.  In fact, it's been so hot that my air conditioner contributed to a blown fuse in my new apartment this morning....true story.

2.  A few people have asked how my pursuit of the 400 deadlift has been progressing.  I'm happy to say that after learning a few techniques in my deadlift, I may only be about a month away and I couldn't be more excited.  The day I pull 400, I'm going to make it rain....sushi, that is.

3. I usually speak about losing weight, but today I wanted to talk about something a little different: gaining weight.  Now, if you'll indulge me, I want to talk about the progress of one of my clients, who we'll call Craig.

Going back to February, Craig came to us weighing 140 pounds.  Oh, and he's 6'1''.   To say he was "thin," would probably be as big of an understatement as saying Tom Brady is "good" at football.

In addition to getting stronger, Craig's main goal was to put on size and attain a goal weight of 150-155 pounds.  Did I mention that he was (and still is) a vegetarian? Suffice to say, he clearly had his work cut out for him.

Fast forward to the last three weeks and Craig finally did his first "real" pullup, is able to touch his toes, and just last week he finally hit his goal weight of 150.5.  I couldn't be more proud of his progress!

So, how DID he do it?  (The answer, of course, is by listening to me! But for those who'd like a longer explanation, read on.) 

 Unfortunately, you simply can't eat this kind of "iron."  But that doesn't mean I haven't tried.

Unfortunately, you simply can't eat this kind of "iron."  But that doesn't mean I haven't tried.

Putting on lean mass boils down to these main ingredients: eating more, time under tension (aka lifting heavy things many times), eating more, sleeping properly....and eating more.

After our first few sessions, Craig wasn't making much progress on the scale, but he was getting noticeably stronger.  He told me that he was eating much more than he ever had, and was even snacking on nuts at work.  My advice?  Eat more.

Fast forward a few months, and Craig had put on 3 pounds by April.  Progress for sure, but still short of his goal.  The solution?  You got it, eat even more.

After introducing Craig to the convenience of protein shakes, he really began to see terrific gains.  While I'm usually anti-supplement, protein shakes are usually my first recommendation for people that want to put on lean mass.  Now, that doesn't mean protein shakes are for everyone or even that they'll work for you (I hardly ever have them), but everyone is different.

In the meantime, Craig and I were working hard in the gym picking up heavy things and putting them down.  The result? Craig has gained 10.5 pounds since February, and has shown no signs of slowing down. 

When you're looking to put on size and increase lean body mass, a "bulking" program should feel exactly as it sounds.  If you're not gaining weight, you're not eating enough. Gaining lean body mass is one of the toughest things someone can do, and I've been fortunate enough to be on the ride for all of Craig's progress.