Historically… I’ve been the skinny nerd type most of my life. Sure I played plenty of sports, but I have always been thin with low muscle mass. Anytime I tried to bulk up and put on weight, I would fail miserably.
I tried weight gainer shakes in my early twenties, I tried various bulking diets in my late twenties, and by my thirties I’d pretty much given up on ever having any real size
That all changed for me in the last 3 months. I went from 165 lbs at 6 foot tall, to a wild 195 lbs, gaining 30 lbs of weight. I want to share how that changed for me and what steps I took to finally increase my size for anyone else out there that has been naturally thin and wants to put on a little bulk.
The first thing I really had to do was figure out what other people were doing to gain mass and by other people, I don’t mean some guy on the internet writing a blog (like me… lol) no I mean like how the big dogs like Arnold Schwarzenegger and Dwayne Johnson were doing it.
I didn’t want to just take advice from someone who had only been going too the gym for a while (which is also what you’re doing by reading this… lol) I wanted to get it straight from the horses mouth so I basically just sat down and started reading up on what they were doing. What were they eating, how were they lifting, and what their strategy was. Once I had that, I pretty much had the blueprint for what I needed to do to reach my goal.
If you’re curious, their strategies are basically just to eat a shit ton of food and then go hit the weights a shit ton. That’s pretty much what I’ve done except I took that blue print and applied it to my own life. Do I do it exactly like they do? No way, not even close, but I did take that blueprint and used it as my guide.
Once I had a game plan I started by identifying areas I was already failing in or weak in. I started with what I was doing wrong instead of starting with what I needed to do. In most cases, I think we always know what we need to do, that’s typically not the problem. The problem to achieving most of our goals is knowing how to remove the hurdles that prevent us from reaching them. So that’s what I did.
I was a 10+ year smoker, I stayed up late every night, and slept in most weekends. I skipped breakfast and most of the time fasted through lunch. It wasn’t until about dinner time that I would eat and then it was junk food from there on out. Oh also I didn’t actually workout.
So those were all of the things I needed to change… easy right?
Next I planned out what I needed to start doing that I wasn’t doing before, so that I could get to where I wanted to go. I knew I needed to eat more so I plotted out 4 meals in my day. These 4 meals would be the same, every single day (which really just made it easy) and dinner would be whatever.
I added in a morning workout instead of an evening one and then I plotted out what was going to push me to do all of this. I’ve previously written about how to find a motivator in my prior post: Find You Why. Repeat Your Why and have gone into deeper detail to what motivated me personally.
Next steps were just to simply execute.
I started out by quitting smoking cold turkey and just replacing that with my meals. I don’t want to pass this off as something I did easily. It wasn’t easy and I was challenged every day by it. Powerful Why’s will take you far. Read the two links above if you want to read more on how I quit smoking.
Breakfast started out really small, I mean like really small. With just a bowl of oatmeal. Oatmeal is cheap and a great source of nutrition you just have to be careful to watch out for some of the name brands as they can be loaded with sugar. I like Better Oats and the apple version is top notch.
Here’s the link on Amazon:
It comes out to just under a dollar for breakfast every day. Not bad.
After breakfast I would head to the gym and get my workout out in. I would always have a glass of water with me and I went ahead and ordered creatine to mix into it to help give me an extra boost. I was basically looking to give myself every edge I could.
I go with this one because it’s fairly cheap and nothing fancy:
After a couple of days I decided to add another wrinkle to my plan and include a slice of toast with peanut butter shortly after my workout. I can’t stress enough how much you have to learn to fall in love with peanut butter. I am not a fan of peanut butter. I’m still not. BUT you get a lot of bang for your buck with peanut butter. It’s cheap and can go on just about anything.
I also doubled up and included a protein shake. There are a lot of different flavors out there and some of them are miserable. You just kind of have to shop around to find something you like but I highly recommend Banana if you can find it.
I’ve got quite a bit more to cover so I will follow up with a Part II in the next couple of days.
I will leave you with this little bit of advice, start small. Don’t try to make all of your changes in one day. Find a blue print (someone else who has done it) and use that as your guide BUT I say start small because you need to be able to adjust and modify your plan to fit your life. If you try to take someone else’s plan and just paste it into your life there’s good chance you’ll fail.
Let me know if you have any questions so far and I’ll cover them in Part II!