Eating for Mass

Before Pam and I found CrossFit, we’d been recreational bodybuilders and avid weight lifters for years.  As anyone that’s been in the game for a while can tell you, putting on muscle mass is not the easiest thing to do.  Now, I’m not talking about gaining 1 or 2 lbs.  I’m talking about adding 10-15lb to an athletic female or 25-30lb to an athletic male.  That is no easy task.

If you have ever been on a quest to get lots and lots stronger or lots and lots bigger, I have no doubt you’ve read elsewhere many times that nutrition is where the answer lies.  Or, 20% gym, 80% nutrition for whatever results you’re looking for.  And, for the most part, I have to agree.

In all my years of lifting, the gains I wanted came when the nutrition was “dialed in.”  By “dialed in” I mean “DIALED UP!”

Back in my late 20s/early 30s, I had the opportunity to be remote trained by Dante, aka DC, the author of Doggcrap Training.  Very cool experience.  Now, I thought I was eating big until I was under his instruction.  You want to talk about eating a lot of food.  Holy cow!

And, most recently, Pam and I started a 20-Week Beyond 5-3-1 (Jim Wendler).  We’re currently in the 9th week and I’m up 15lb.

So, here is the message: As long as the training is heavy enough, you can/will eat your way to your next level.

Below is my simple and effective recommended eating plan for getting bigger, designed primarily from DC dieting and eating recommendations in 5-3-1.   You’ll see a fair use of protein shake supplements in this simple plan.  Reason being is a) it helps keep the plan simple and b) the quality of protein shakes these days are superb (provided you are in fact choosing a good brand).

(Again, assuming you are intelligently training very heavy with compound movements 3-5 x/week.)

Attain BW and BF%.
Apply those ratios to your goal BW and goal LBM.
Multiply your goal LBM x 2 = protein in g per day.
Example (me) 205lb.  15% BF.  Goal BW = 225lb.  Goal LBM = 191.25.  Daily protein requirements = 380g.

Breakfast
6 eggs (42g protein)
1-2 servings fruit
20g protein shake

Mid-Morning Shake*
60g protein shake
w/ 1/4 cup coconut milk (from a can)
Handful of nuts & berries.

Lunch
9-10oz Chicken/Beef/Pork/Turkey/Fish (63-72g protein)
2 servings vegetables
1 serving starch (if its a training day)

Mid-Afternoon Shake**
60g protein shake
w/ 1/4 cup coconut milk (from a can)
Handful of nuts & berries.

Dinner
9-10oz Chicken/Beef/Pork/Turkey/Fish (63-72g protein)
2-3 servings vegetables
Healthy fats (nuts, oils, etc.)

*The mid-morning or mid-afternoon protein shake can also serve as a post lifting shake.  Add 1-2 bananas.

If you have a hard time eating quite that much food at the meals, you can eat a smaller amount and have a 20g protein shake with them.  Or, if you live in TX and are near HEB grocery stores, you can have 16oz Mootopia (high protein, low carb) milk (this is what I do!).

What about cheat meals?  Here’s a tip from DC.  If you are dying for a snack or cheat; pizza, cookies, ice cream, whatever.  Have all you want…but drink down a 60g protein shake right in front of it.  Yep, you heard right.  During your week, if you get a hankering from something and you just gotta have it, have it, but put down 60g protein in front of it.  Trust me, it works.

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