T Nation

Building Bigger Muscles


O.k, a few points in another thread on here got me thinking. And I suppose this thread is aimed at those who have already built a fare amount of muscle mass at some point.

I want to know, what did it take for you to get big(er)? How did you train? How did you eat?

For me, when I weighed around 250lbs or so, I had to force feed myself, I literally had to throw food into my mouth and chase it down with fluids. Lots of carbs, lots of protein.

Training wise, yes, I trained hard and heavy, but with large amounts of volume. But interestingly enough, I trained completely instinctively. I ate that way too. Nothing was calculated, I did what I felt I had to do, listened to my body, and it worked. When I was tired, I did less, when I was up for it, I tore it up.

O.k, now its a bit different, illness, injury and things aside, I have to be a bit more meticulus, but without that initial 'instinctive' phase of my training life, I probably wouldnt know what to do now.

So, to those that have, how did you do it?


Same way.


Is there another? This is all trial and error. Then, after several years at this, you begin to know your own body...then that changes because it now takes even more to see the same progress...then THAT changes. It takes being open to what your body is telling you and having a solid knowledge base so you know truth from bullshit in terms of outside info.

It took me a relatively short time to hit 200lbs from my starting point (once the food was finally there). It took WAY longer and much more effort to push farther past that.


The thing is, I didnt worry about trying to do everything perfectly, I didnt count every carb or Kcalorie, I didnt switch from program to program.

All I did was trained and ate progressively. If I wanted to weight an extra 10 - 20lbs all I would do is eat and train the way someone who weighed that weight probably would

My message with this thread is that I suspect most of the bigger stronger guys did the same. Be interesting to see what responses I get.

Same way.[/quote]


I agree. People today are lost in the details. You have newbies eating and acting like they are tracking their food intake like a dialed in professional athlete yet making none of the progress to warrant it.

There is no "perfect" way to train. I think some here operate under the "all or nothing" mentality...which seems to lead to more nothing than all.


And this is exactly my point. Dont get me wrong, I love details, specifics and peculiarities.

To grow you have to know yourself. You need to be aware of your body. And this takes patience, effort, a plan and the ability to objectively monitor whats happening. Not rigid programming, not the next fad supplement, but the application of simple logic.

Want to get bigger, eat and train as if you were! It doesnt take a rigid, periodised, stoic programe to ensure you get there. The best bodybuilders I knew trained had, ate hard and rested when neccessary. The strongest lifters knew when they were lifting heavy and knew when to back off, but they didnt sweat details.


7 years to get to 280, and i officially gave up last night my force feeding days are DONE for the meantime !


I can relate. People assume that eating big must be fun, but at some point it does become a job.

And I think that you may find that once you have done with your diet, as I think I read that you decided to dropbodyfat somewhere, when you do decide to resume your muscle building, you will experience a nice reboud and possibley overshoot your previous level of muscualrity.


Yea, I have heard many pro bb's state that the eating is the hardest part, not the training. I saw one of Coleman's movies and his meals. Don't know how the hell he eats like he does every single day.

So true about the beginners eating a chicken and brocolli diet. Its so stupid, and if you read some of the questions in Thibs Q&A, there are alot of 140lb noobs asking scientific questions they really have no place in asking.


this is the downside of the internet. I love reading about training/nutritiion etc however, it means that it is sometimes difficult to see the wood for the trees when starting out.

The simple message of eat more, train progressively is easily lost. Whilst I'm all in favour of learning more, it seems to me to be a shame that there are many people who can cite research at the drop of a hat, talk nutrition with the best, but don't eat/train hard enough.


Its so funny to see the 140-160 lb kids asking all these questions on if their diet is DIALED in right. It really is paralysis by analysis. Instead of busting ass and eating big, they are making sure that 1 spear of asparagus is too much for their "plan". I eat BIG lift HARD and have seen better progress over the past few months than when I was worried over every little detail.

Im so sick of seeing all these kids develop eating disorders over their "diets" and how ridiculous they are.


If not the internet.....then in gyms, field houses, and locker rooms around the world. The message hasn't been lost or confused by the introduction of researched results. Most people simply are not willing to do the work(inside & outside the gym/field/court). There is a difference between "wishing to want something" & "real passion & desire".

We all know it is Pain & Discomfort that are guarding the gates of progress. That it is a brutal "hand to hand" battle that is fought daily with no assurance of victory. After a lost battle(and it will happen if you are pushing your limits)you must have faith enough to regroup for the next charge. It is not a quest for the meek!


I think some really good points have been made here and it kinda opens up another debate.

Have we gotten too scientific?

What I mean is, and I think another post introduced this idea too, is that we get people here with less than a handful of years training and eating behind them, and because thet may have read it somewhere, assume that they are insulin resistant, leptin resistant and goodness knows what else, and need this elaborate diet with x amount of nutrients at x time with x supplements (you get the idea).

Know dont get me wrong, I love the science, I love the details, specifics and the hows and whys, but truly, building a better body is actaully a pretty simple thing to do.

Is it a case of analysis by paralysis? Is it a case of looking for the magic bullet? Or the 'secret formula' that comes along next.

Or in fact, is there too many opinions? Or too much information?


At least you know you're reaching some people. I'm trying to eat as much as i can everyday, to the point where i feel like i'm going to throw up some days.


Wow I am completely the opposite. I need to watch what i put into my hatch if i dont want to turn into a tub of lard. Not saying I dont eat a lot, and I know when i get heavier I will need to stuff myself, but I am wondering whether my slow metabolism is an advantage or a curse?


It can be an advantage since you don't have to stuff yourself as much as others with a fast metabolism... Besides, your metabolism isn't fixed when it comes to it's "speed"...

Can't you do some sort of cardio and cutoff-time protocol or whatever to keep bf at bay while stuffing yourself or is there something preventing you from doing that?


I think a certain type of person overanalyzes things, and certain people just "do" things.


Yes. That and majoring in the minors in general...


It's Simple but its not easy.
most people, even if you told them how to train and what to eat would probably ignore the advice.
1.Train Hard (get stronger)
2. Eat enough to grow
3. When you stop making progress, change your routine so you can continue to get stronger.

Is there really anything else?


Good post. A slower metabolism would mean I could buy less food. This shit gets expensive. I am not sure why people always complain about whatever hand they've been dealt. There are upsides and downsides to everyone's physical state.

I just bought 200 bucks worth of steaks that probably won't last me until next Friday. Yeah, you guys who don't have to eat much sure do have it fucking hard.