T Nation

What has given you your best gains so far?

So, what is the most productive thing you ever done?

Started keeping a food log and closely monitoring my diet.

Yeah. Tracking my food and protein intake was the biggest thing. I was really surprised by how little I was eating when I started.

Ceasing my overtraining. I was working out four days a week, which I discovered was actually too damn much. I now work out three and the gains have been much better. It made me appreciate rest and recuperation. Lata.

"MB Eric: Standing before thy mirror you think while you shave, that Monkeyboy Eric, I'd be his love slave Since 1899."

-Eric

1)Reading, studying and gaining AS MUCH knowledge about Diet and Exercise as I can.(and never stopping!)

  1. Diet and Workout Logs.

  2. Planning, Progession, Consistency and Re-Evaluation.

Food journal. Made the biggest difference ever. It’s easy to screw yourself by not keeping an exact record of what you consume.

I’ve pretty much always had a good mental record of what was going in me, and a written record of training. What really worked for me was eating more (and not being afraid to get fat) and not getting injured. Sadly, I seem to get injured badly (no, not usually in the gym) about once a year and lose pretty much all the muscle I put on (okay, that’s an exaggeration, but not a big one).

Don’t you guys feel like a “food journal” might just be pushing obsession? I’m really not trying to be arguemenative, but does that not seem a little to anal?

Thad: Not at all. For someone like me who gains weight when he SMELLS food, estimating just won’t get it. It also has been proven that most people, ESPECIALLY if they are overweight (which is 60% of adult Americans), will grossly underestimate their intake. Also, by keeping a jounal, you create a variable that can be manipulated easily based on your bodies response (an example being a weekly manipulation of calories). Now granted, with time, I haven’t had to be AS maticulous (eg I can estimate pretty well how much a cup of something is without measuring it), BUT many things I still follow tightly.It’s just part of the lifestyle…and I actually love it…

i don’t think it is anal at all, i am 16 and just started to do keep a food log this year, and just by knowin how much i need to eat and when to stop i lost 30 somethin pds and gain alot in muscle, all my friends think i am werid for doin it but fuck them let, them eat their twinkies and get fat while i will continue to get jacked and get the chicks

I think a better approach than a food journal, for me at least anyway, is to write up 3 or 4 daily diets that follow the same calorie and macronutrient guidelines, then just pick one every day to follow. It’s much less tedious… just my two cents.

I like that idea Doug. I want to follow a food journal, but it’s difficult when Ma and Pa buy and cook most of the food. Next year, when I move out though, I’m gunna try it for sure. I figure, what the hell is the use of buying supplements and stuff if you don’t even have control over everything you eat. Why not see how far you can take it without any supplemental assitance, then maybe through them in the mix, and so on. How do the rest of you keep journals? A weekly set up you do every sunday, or something along those lines?

I plan my meals for the week. Every day is essentially the same. Gets kind of boring, but I prefer convenience to taste.

DEFINETLY a food log, made more progress in the last 9 weeks than I had in the last 9 months by keeping a food log. Second thing was deadlifting 2x a week, the deadlift is by far in my mind the single most important lift you can do.
-Dozer

Read.

When I went thru a 12 week lifting cycle based on 2 weeks of 2-a-days (45 min per session) 4 days per week followed by two weeks of 1-a-days at 3 days per week (30-40 minute per session). I combined this with massive eating (the see-food diet) lots of sleep (at least 8 per night and 1-2 hour nap during the day) regular deep-tissue massages (1-2 per week), no booze or chewing tobacco and a regular supplement schedule (creatine, MRP, multi-vitamin, pre workout stimulant before the 2-a-day workouts). I made incredible gains in both mass and strength.

I do keep a food journal but i use the Dietwatch program. Its totally free and you can download it from the net. It absolutely ROCKS, its got thousands of foods and you dont have to be connected to the net to use it. You guys must have this.

Reading T-mag.

If I had to sum it up in one thing, it was discovering T-mag online (there are other online sites, but t-MAG IS THE BEST), and reading all the back issues, learning what I had been doing wrong all this time!

Specific changes: Switching my training from everything 3x a week to alternating upper and lower body, still on a 3x a week schedule. Post workout nutrition, protein plus high glycemic carbs. Learning to bend by rotating the hips, not by bending at the waist. Sticking to the basic complex movements.

Eating food & Lifting iron