So I have this word document on desktop, where I put all the info that I find incredibly useful. It’s not gospel, or the best advice out there… well screw that, to be honest, it’s a collection of what I think is the best stuff that I have read and it certainly helps keep me on track in the weight room and in the kitchen.
I’m putting it up here because I hope, if it’s approved by some of the veterans out here, it can help beginers see the big picture.
BTW, I didn’t write any of this. All credit goes to the very knowledgeable lifters on this forum, as well as people like Dave Tate, DC, and a bunch of others. It’s growing all the time as well. It’s also pretty random…
“If you can manage to eat cleanly for a month straight, while taking in sufficient protein, carbs and healthy fats, you will add muscle at a rate that will shoot your metabolism through the roof. Just by eating clean, your body will become very efficient at burning bodyfat, and you won’t NEED to diet or do an excess of cardio in order to burn bodyfat. Just eat healthy, lift like your life depends on it, and do some light cardio for your health, and the bodyfat will melt away.”
“You WILL lift that weight. You WILL break records. It’s all in your head. Make it bleed. A plate will always be 45 lbs. Gym is constant, relationships aren’t. Trust the gym. Love the gym.”
“You want to worry bout something? Worry about that damn logbook. Worry about staying uninjured in your quest. Worry about not missing any meals. Worry about somehow someway making yourself the strongest bodybuilder you can become. I’m not talking singles here. I’m talking 9-15 reps rest paused. A brute. A behemoth. A human forklift.”
"If your goal is to be bigger and lean you should in my opinion be eating protein by the shovel load(along with plenty of water), training like an unleashed gorilla to get your lifts up to your strength limits for reps, and doing cardio and timing of fats and carbs to keep yourself leaner. Don’t think about bulking and cutting, think about gaining muscle mass and keeping your bodyfat low.
To be well built in my opinion you’d have to be around 225 and higher with a reasonable bodyfat(like you have now). If you continuously “bulk” for a period then panic diet off some weight(and muscle) over and over you’ll be very slow getting to that point if you ever do. Take 2-4 years and just put some commitment into getting this done if you really want it.
Every meal is a chance to grow(or shrink) every lb you add to the bar is working towards building up to the future you, don’t forget it."
“Building muscle = Progressive overload + Caloric Surplus + Adequate Rest and Recovery”
“Now with that being said and this may seem like kind of a contradiction you’re over thinking this. At 160lbs(unless your 5’3) you should be eating lots of clean food and not worrying about the small stuff. Eat lots of nutrient dense calories. Lift hard and heavy in the gym and you’ll get progress. After almost 4 years of reading these message boards it still surprises me how many people can’t seem to get this.”
"Why do we lift? To improve. To be the best we can be. To look down and know that “I MADE this”, I stepped up and showed some self control, sacrifice, determination and now I have solid proof that I can do it… can you?
When your friends look in the mirror everyday at their pot bellies they will know they have been defeated by the only person they have any control over, themselves. Defeat tastes really bad, worse than cottage cheese.
Why DONT they lift? That is an easier question to answer."
“Leg day. You know it’s gonna hurt, bad. You know when it’s all over, you’re gonna have to drag your ass out of the gym and drive home with your legs shaking. You know if you don’t give it your all, your whole week is ruined.”
"Here is the deal
The Golden 5
Grab the top 3 and do them 3 times per week. You need practice with these movements until you can do them with your eyes shut!
The last 2 take every friday and do them or do 1 friday 1 additional exercise and next friday do the other one.
Sets and reps … don’t matter! here is the kicker for your starting weight can’t be more than 12 reps and your last weight set can’t be less than 3 reps.
This means that you will warm up with a weight that you can do 12 reps and keep adding weight until you can’t do a set of 3. You are done for that day.
For eating go home and say that you are becoming a mountain man and will only eat meat, fish and fowl. Go to the grocery and get cream and mix it with raw eggs. Have that for snack whenever you have time.
Be fucking consistent and you will gain 30lbs in the first year. It may not be all muscle, but at your stage there is no way you can gain muscle without some fat."
"Why are you afraid of gaining fat?? Are you insecure of your willpower to loose the weight later???
I have said it before and will say it again…if you are afraid of fat either inside of you or on you this lifting game is not for you. Do you think you can grow on chicken breasts and boiled rice???"
"Don’t sweat it bro. First thing is Diet. Second is training. Third is rest.
First. Who are you and what do you want? Everyone wants muscles and no fat. Impossible in the short term. Doable in the long term. cycle muscle gain with fat loss. How?
Winter when no one is looking eat this way:
- As much Meat, Fish and Fowl (in that order) as you can get in your stomach in 4 meals. Eat the meat first.
- Eat vegetables to fill the rest.
- Other 2 meals will be water with protein and fruits.
- After training eat some meat with fruit juice (2 cans of tuna and oj or some meat with juice.
**Eat carbs in a needed basis. If you go out with friends eat whatever you want, but try to limit sodas, candy and other empty carbs. That is what gets people too fat."
“Trick is to eat. When your strength level stagnates, eat some more…you will see the strength growth again. That will teach you about the relationship between calories and strength.”
"Incline Press 315x12
Barbell Row 315x12
Back Squat 455x15
Dead lift 455x15
Seated Overhead Press 275x12
Stiff Leg Dead 365x12
Eat, 6-8 big protein meals everyday, for 5 years.
Anybody who can/does this is going to be very large no matter how they got there."
1994 AND 1996 ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER CLASSIC WINNER
"You get as big as possible from becoming as strong as possible. Size doesn’t beget strength; it’s vice versa. When I started lifting, I went into the gym with that ‘How much can I bench, curl, squat and deadlift?’ attitude. That’s when I discovered how fast my strength could increase, and it made me crazy-intense to get even stronger. It was so motivating that I forgot all about building muscles, but that’s what enabled my huge spurt of muscle mass to sneak up on me. Before I knew it, I was a mass monster, and it all came from the following principles.
You have to lift free weights, and each time, it has to be more than you’re ever been able to lift.
Always do the basics: bench presses, squats, deadlifts, bent rows, standing military presses, barbell curls and close-grip benches.
Make sure it’s so heavy that it makes you sweat, grunt and scream. That means you’re forced beyond your limit.
Never do more than eight reps–and that’s to failure. For your heaviest sets, you should struggle for three or four.
Don’t count sets; just keep 'em going, increasing the weight each time. If your intensity is fired to its max, you’ll be surprised at how you get stronger with each set.
People don’t want to train until they get sore anymore.
They train till it hurts, then stop. To get strong, train until it stops hurting.
- Think ‘overload’ for both poundage and protein. My biggest strength gains came from consuming 6,500 calories a day, mostly protein."
“Never listen to the pussies. Train hard. Lift heavy shit. Eat big, and enjoy the fact that you are not cow-towing to the emo-pussy-fudge packing popular crowd.”
"If your goal is to have a big and muscular physique, I suggest you bulk for 2 years at least. Don’t rush this because you cannot force feed yourself to gain more muscle. I also would not suggest you cut for every summer because you just will not make optimal progress this way.
Why do you think you need to ‘cut up’ for beach time every year? I don’t understand why so many teenagers feel that by eating and lifting right to gain muscle they will instantly turn into fatasses whom all the girls will avoid at the pool. This is ridiculous. I am not saying this is you, but I hear it often.
Just eat lots of clean, healthy food with some cardio now and again. ‘Bulking’ does not mean stuffing your face with pizzas and cheeseburgers. You can have this every once in a while if you have trouble gaining weight, but it’s not good to make a habit of it. You are not a pro bodybuilder so stop thinking that you need to have a ‘on’ and ‘off’ season. Think of it more like focussing on gaining muscle while keeping bodyfat low.
Make it a priority to gain 1-1.5lb per week (or the 2kg per month like you said initially) and add weight to the bar whenever you can. I cannot stress these two factors enough. Building muscle is about lifting progressively heavier weight while eating progressively more food. Do this and you will grow."
"Meat, Fish, Fowl
Vegetables and fruits
Rice and Milk
You eat as much as you can on the first group, At breakfast you can have 1 or 2 pieces or the second group, and only after working out you can have the third group. When you are hungry… have more of the first group. Tired? have more of the first group.
Eat so much meat, fish and fowl that your friends think you are turning into an animal.
Every couple of months choose 1 day and see how strong you are on each of those exercises, don’t count the sets and just do 1 or 2 reps until you can’t do anymore. That week you only work 1 day.
Get to bed every day before 1030, no exceptions.
If you did this for 1 year without missing a single meal, training session or sleep no one would be able to recognize you…"
“I am near your height and was your at weight for a long time…ate more and lifted heavier/less often…problem solved. If I get too much BF…eat less, train more…problem solved.”
“This sport is about extremes - using weights you haven’t used previously, taking in amounts of food to build greater muscle mass-in amounts you never have done previously, & doing the cardio to keep you at an acceptable offseason training bodyfat that keeps you happy. Get your act together & think this all out or quit your complaining & dreaming and take up tennis.”
"If you are an endo:
- Limit carbs to breakfast, pre & post workout.
- Keep protein levels high (ie 1.5-2g x BW)
- Stick to protein/fat or protein/carb meals, except after carb cutoff which should be protein + vegetables.
- Protein sources - lean beef, chicken breast, tuna, turkey breast, egg whites.
- Carb sources - white rice or white potatoes (only for post workout meal), basmati or brown rice, yams & oatmeal predominantly.
- Fats - try to incorporate some fish oil or olive oil, but don’t go overboard.
- Cardio - BCAA’s then 45 mins in the morning on off days.
- Green Tea.
- Stay well hydrated.
- Focus on beating your log book.
- If beat up, take a day off.
- Keep a food diary > just as important as your log book.
- Stick to the diet for at least 4 weeks & make adjustments from there.
- If you hit a plateau:
first reduce carbs a little for breakfast.
second increase frequency of cardio to every morning except leg days, & increase duration of cardio to 60 minutes."
"There is no cut. There is no bulk. There is only the road to being jacked.
Seriously, there are not many reasons anyone should cut weight.
- You have health problems
- You want to move to a lower weight class for weightlifting/powerlifting/wresting/whatever
- You are going to compete in a bodybuilding contest.
If you just eat A LOT of good, real food then you will become leaner but you will gain muscle. Do these things:
- Lift Heavy
- Lift Often
- Eat Steak, Bird, Eggs, Fish, Milk, Vegetables, Fruit, Cottage Cheese, Whole Grain Carbs, Brown Rice, Waxy Maize, Protein Shakes, other foods that are obviously good for you.
You are a novice. You should not worry about cutting. It’s obvious that you need to gain muscle and that should be your priority over getting leaner. Seriously, have you not read any forum posts or articles on this site?
Just eat lots of good, wholesome food and do heavy Pressing, Squatting, and Pulling movements. Don’t worry about muscle shaping movements like Chest Flys or Reverse Grip Triceps Pushdowns. Stick to Squats, Deadlifts, Bench, Military Presses, Rows, Chins, Dips, Skullcrushers, and Curls. I once thought the best exercises were the most difficult ones like flys and dumbbell lateral raises. I though that when I was 9 years old and had no concept of strength training. Heavy Weights and good food is what makes the body grow.
There are no magical supplements. There are no magical programs. Steroids aren’t even as incredible as you’d think they’d be.
It doesn’t matter if you want to be a strongman, powerlifter, bodybuilder, kilted thrower, or whatever. You need to build a solid base in your youth. Your number one priority should be getting strong at this point. Don’t read any muscle magazines. Don’t listen to anyone who says that the “poundages you train with aren’t important.” Go heavy then eat heavy.
Eat frequently too. This will make you leaner, I promise. Don’t be afraid of fat. You think eggs and butter and high cholesterol foods make you fat? It’s actually the sugars and extra carbs that turn into triglycerides. Fat is necessary for the production of testosterone. Testosterone makes you jacked, strong, and sexually desired. Quit eating your Ben & Jerrys: start eating your steak and eggs.
Most of the faceless members of this site think you’re a massive tool right now for posting pics of your skinny self and seriously asking if you should bulk or cut.
But you’ve put yourself out there. You’ve started the journey. Don’t cut and run now. Prove all of us wrong. Read up on CTs articles, Charles Poliquin’s articles, Dante Trudell’s articles about DoggCrapp Training, and Loui Simmon’s articles on powerlifting and his Westside Template.
Make sure every time you step into the gym, you prove that you are stronger than you were yesterday. Break your personal records on a weekly basis. Go balls out. If you fail, punish yourself with drop sets, rest-pause sets, extra sets, and anything else you can think of.
When Lance Armstrong was asked about how he derived pleasure from biking 6 hour rides, he said he didn’t understand the question. He said he didn’t ride for the pleasure, he did it for the pain. It doesn’t matter how strong or weak you are. Be a total sadistic badass in the weight room. Do it for the pain. Stretch the very limits of your body, mind, and soul so you can grow as a sentient being.
Oh, and don’t overtrain"