I thought you might enjoy the conversation I had over the holidays. Great questions from Andrew who really helped me spell out my theories on muscle building.
Hey Brad, I’m a big lover of Eat Stop Eat, and a massive proponent of many of your thoughts and theories, so don’t take any of this as confrontational or second guessing in nature, I just wondered which variables you would manipulate in order to gain LBM most effectively whilst following the ESE lifestyle?
Correct me if I’m wrong but I’m sure I’ve seen you comment that you don’t believe eating much above your BMR is necessary, neither is excessive protein intake or mega dosing your peri-workout nutrition. So I guess my real question is, if you HAD TO gain say 5-10lbs of skeletal muscle as quickly as possible, naturally, and assuming you’re already training using a program with built in progressive overload, which nutritional variables would you tweak? Would love to know exactly how you would go about it. Thanks for reading, and have a great New Year!
Great Question! If I had to gain 5-10 pounds of Skeletal muscle as quickly as possible, I’d be screwed. I’m 32 and have been training for over 15 years. Without drugs, I’m not putting on another ten pounds of skeletal muscle. Another ten pounds would put me well above the normal range for my height. Now, I can put on 10 pounds of lean mass…I could do that in an hour or two…add ten pounds to my bench/squat/deadlift/clean…I could do that too..maybe over the course of a year, but ten pounds of actual muscle, not happening.
OK, apologies. Allow me to rephrase the question if you will. What if you were 21, 180 lbs @ 5’9” and had all the time in the world to eat, sleep and train? How would you then optimally add actual muscle, whilst adhering (possibly the wrong word, I don’t even see ESE as something you need to adhere to, it’s so easy!) to Eat Stop Eat?
Ah…Ok that’s way more fun.
I’d do stuff you can do for high volume, that is taxing on the big muscles and that doesn’t break you down. I would workout in the gym 2-3 times a week working the muscles but not blowing myself apart. But that wouldn’t be the big stuff, the big stuff would be 2 times a week outside with a couple of buddies doing a combination of sled dragging and farmers walks. Each session would be two to three hours long. The goal wouldn’t be to burn out, or to be a sweaty mess, but just to do lots of work.
At 21 I wouldn’t rule out ‘eating big’ since their is probably still some juvenile muscle growth going on…but I would still ‘temper’ it with Eat Stop Eat.
I’m still not convinced that a 5?9? frame can add 10 more pounds of straight muscle (depending on how long you’ve been training for), but based on my experience this would be how I’d try to get there.
Thanks for the response. Great advice, much appreciated!