Monday, September 28, 2009

How To Gain Weight Part 1

CM SEAL Team blogger: Mike Ryan.

There have been some recent questions from those trying to gain weight. I'm here to share with the Perfect community some of my thoughts on the matter.

1. Be Careful What You Wish For: Gaining weight is not a typical goal in the fitness community. In general, those who wish to gain weight do so for two reasons

• to gain mass for sport specific purposes (football linemen)
• to build mass for bodybuilding.

If either of the above are your goals, there is a fairly reliable formula; eat everything that moves. Seriously. At a certain level calories are calories- and you need calories and protein to build muscle mass. But fat comes with those extra calories as well.

2. You Can’t Have Your Cake and Eat It Too: When athletes try to gain weight, they typically consume vast amounts of calories during a ‘bulking phase”. They do this so that they have the baseline caloric intake to offset the calories burned by exercise. But be careful. Most of these athletes ‘cut weight’ after they have reached a certain goal. Fighters, particularly those jumping up in a weight class, are famous for doing this. Many of the Mr. Olympia candidates do this as well. Have you ever seen a bodybuilder during a “bulking phase?” They look like a bowling ball with eyes. Totally unrecognizable from the ripped look they have during competition. Bottom line, if you bulk up, at some point you need to come down. If your goal is a having perfect 6-pack abs you don’t want to gain weight – you want to lose weight. As a guideline, your body fat has to be under 10% to show your ab muscles.

Part 2:
• Fighting Mother Nature is difficult
• Still want to gain weight?

Gaining weight is oftentimes harder than losing weight. Hope this helps you reach your goals. If you have any questions, post a comment and I will get back to you.

Mike Ryan
Michael Ryan is the President and CEO of Intensity Nutrition LLC. Founded by former Navy SEALs, Intensity develops super-premium sports supplements for professional, semi-professional, tactical, and functional athletes. Intensity will launch in 2009 and welcomes any recommendations for product development. Mike and Alden met during “running remediation” at Basic Underwater SEAL (BUDs/s) training. Special thanks to BMC Pardue for the introduction.


Jim said...

Couldn't be more true, I keep repeating these same principles to friends and in posts I've made.
I've come to the point to believe (and please correct me if I'm wrong) that if you want to bulk up but be extra lean at the same time the only way to do it is by taking supplements which I wouldn't recommend to anyone. It's just isn't natural!

Joe G. said...

Hey, Mike -
Thanks for serving our country. Can you be more specific about this statement:

"... body fat has to be under 10% to show your ab muscles."

I'm not doubting its veracity, but what is the simplest way to measure body fat? Without too much math, can you explain how much a mature adult (let's say over 35, for our example) has to RESTRICT his/her caloric intake AND have an active lifestyle in order to achieve 10% body weight? I GOTTA FEELING THIS IS GONNA BE BAD NEWS FOR A LOTTA PEOPLE. But I am prepared for the worst. I just think we in America have no idea what a proper portion of pasta is, for example, or a "serving" of rice. That's where the success of a company like Nutrisystem comes into play, I think. If they send you the food, already packaged (frozen), and they say "Eat this box for breakfast, this one for lunch, this one for dinner - and here's a little piece of candy for your mid-afternoon snack...." THAT WILL ACTUALLY WORK, of course, as long as the customer does not ever go back to eating regular meals!! And the vicious diet cycle continues. (When the pre-packaged boxes are gone THEY'RE GONE). "Dieting" is such a great American topic. I was reading about some soldiers (or sailors - guys like you) overseas who were working their buns off every day finding and shooting bad guys, and at night, maybe once a week, they would get lucky and have enough downtime to roast a goat over an open fire. Mmmmmm Good! Actually I am sure it was delicious under the circumstances. Therein lies the whole problem: people eat, eat, eat w/o actually being hungry. If you're climbing mountains in Afghanistan all day you can afford to consume a tremendous number of calories. But most of us are sitting at a desk - the opposite extreme. So we SHOULD be eating Special K for breakfast, an apple for lunch and a skinless chicken breast for dinner. Am I right? (That would be 500 calories max for the day for a sedentary person to get to see his abs - an impossibly low number).

So back to the question: What IS 10% body fat and how do I get there? I'm not ripped (yet) but I plan to be when I turn 50, which is almost exactly two months from NOW. Help!

Thanks again for your service to our country. GO NAVY!


John said...

I have never had trouble gaining weight. Pizza, ice cream and no exercise works great but it is hell to get it back off. Weight will come with age. I see these high school football coaches, especially, trying to get these kids to add a bunch of weight with the false hope that if they throw the weight on they will make it to college or the pros and then they blow a knee and end up the fat kid after high school and they can barely exercise. If you are not genetically destined to be heavy then be happy.

Paul Wright said...

It IS possible to gain muscle mass ("weight") while trimming fat tissue to produce a physique that has a "six-pack". I've been in the fitness industry for a decade and have countless clients who have been able to build mass (muscle) while losing fat and it all starts with proper nutritional intake. If you don't get this under control it doesn't matter what you do with your workouts (for the average person)'ll never see sub-10% bodyfat levels.

Eat whole foods the way that the good Lord intended and challenge yourself daily in your exercise routine (full body strength training 3d/wk is PLENTY so long as you are also challenging yourself metabolically through interval training, bodyweight training, kettlebell training, etc). Keep consistency in your training and your nutrition and after 60 days you WILL see signicant change (but don't quit just because you've reached your goal...stick with it for life!)

John said...

I completely agree that it is possible. I have done some of the the diets and exercise and they work. But when you see these teenagers doing it because they think it will make them healthier to bulk up that is not true because they do not know how to maintain it or what to do with it when they get the extra weight or they are not taught how to properly gain the weight.


Joe G. said...

Good points, Paul Wright. You have a nice blog too, by the way.