I’m pretty sure that’s how the “Gallon of Milk a Day,” or GOMAD Diet was conceived.
It’s equally simple to follow because the name alone tells you everything you need to know:
You drink an entire gallon of milk every day.
(You eat other food too, of course, but you’re not following the diet unless you’re getting down that gallon.)
Most people would say that’s silly, but when you’re struggling to gain weight and have tried just about everything but steroids, well, why not?
I mean, there are plenty of jacked dudes on the Internet that swear by GOMAD for gaining muscle fast and hitting PRs, so who knows…maybe there’s really something to it?
Unfortunately, it’s not that black and white.
Yes, GOMAD can help you gain weight faster…but a lot of it isn’t going to be the type of weight that you want to gain (fat).
You see, putting down a couple thousand calories of milk per day will certainly move the needle to the right, but it isn’t going to do much good for your body composition.
It’s not going to do your gut any favors, either.
That’s why there are much better ways to go about gaining weight, and in this podcast, I’m going to break it all down for you.
By the end, you’re going to know why people turn to GOMAD, what’s wrong with it, and how to go about gaining weight the right way.
Let’s get started.
4:45 – What is the GOMAD diet and why do people do it?
9:45 – Is the GOMAD diet better than eating more food?
10:24 – Does milk have the ideal nutrient profile for muscle building?
16:22 – Does milk have saturated fat that boosts testosterone levels?
20:20 – Does milk spike insulin levels to accelerate muscle growth?
28:40 – Can guys gain 20-30 pounds in a month on the GOMAD diet?
30:23 – What should I do instead of GOMAD?
Mentioned on the show:
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Hello, and welcome to another episode of Muscle for Life. I’m Mike Matthews, and we’re gonna talk about the GOMAD diet. The gallon of milk a day diet, and why it’s a dumb way to gain weight. So, babies grow a lot, right, and babies drink a lot of milk, right, therefore milk is good for getting bigger, right, therefore you should drink a lot of milk if you want to grow bigger.
I’m pretty sure that’s how the GOMAD diet was conceived. I don’t think there was much science or thinking involved. And it’s real simple to follow, too, because the name alone tells ya. Everything you need to know, you just drink an entire gallon of milk every day. And you eat other food, too, of course. But you’re not following the diet unless you are getting down that gallon of milk every day.
Now, most people would say that’s silly, but when you are struggling to gain weight and you’ve tried just about everything else, maybe except steroids Why not, right? I mean, there are plenty of jacked dudes on the internet that swear by GoMad and say that it helped them gain muscle quickly and gain strength quickly and hit PRs.
So who knows? Maybe there is really something to it. And these days, the popular diets are getting weirder and weirder and More and more extreme. Witness stuff like the carnivore diet, or the military diet, or the ketogenic diet, even. That’s an extreme diet. That was never meant to be some mainstream health trend.
And so, who knows, people? figure, drink a bunch of milk. Why not? Maybe it works. And unfortunately, it does kind of work. Yes, GoMad can certainly help you gain weight faster, but a lot of that weight is not going to be the type of weight that you actually want to gain, because it’s going to be fat. You see, putting down a couple thousand calories of milk per day on top of the food that you’re already eating, assuming you can continue to eat the same amount of food you’re eating with the milk.
Added to the meal plan, but that is the general idea. You’re not supposed to dramatically cut your calories back and then just drink a bunch of milk. You’re supposed to kind of eat the way you’re eating right now. And then drink a gallon of milk per day on top of that. And if you do that, yeah, it’s gonna move the needle on the scale.
But it’s not gonna do much good for your body composition. And it’s not gonna do your gut any favors either. And that’s why there are just much better ways of going about gaining weight, breaking through weight gain plateaus, and especially if you are a quote unquote hard gainer type, if you generally find it hard to put on muscle and keep it, or even just put on body weight and keep it.
So, that’s what we’re going to be breaking down in this podcast, and by the end, you’re going to know why people turn to GoMad, what’s wrong with it, and how to go about gaining muscle and gaining weight the right way. Now, before we get to the show, if you like what I’m doing here on the podcast and elsewhere, and if you want to help me help more people get into the best shape of their lives, please do consider supporting My sports nutrition company, Legion Athletics, which produces 100 percent natural, evidence based health and fitness supplements, including protein powders and protein bars, pre workout and post workout supplements, fat burners, multivitamins, joint support, and more.
Every ingredient and dose in every product of mine is backed by peer reviewed scientific research. Every formulation is 100 percent transparent, no proprietary blends. And everything is naturally sweetened and flavored. To check it out, just head over to legionathletics. com And just to show how much I appreciate my podcast peeps, use the coupon code MFL at checkout, and you will save 20 percent on your entire order if it is your first purchase with us.
And if it is not your first purchase, then you will get double reward points on your entire order, which is essentially getting 10 percent cash back in rewards points. So again, that URL is legionathletics. com. And if you appreciate my work and if you want to see more of it, please do consider supporting me so I can keep doing what I love, like producing podcasts like this.
All right, so we have already established what GOMAD is. You drink a gallon of milk per day. So let’s talk about why people even bother with this. Now, this diet, if you can call it that, is most popular among people who consider themselves hard gainers. So here’s usually how it goes. You have a hard gainer in the gym doing biceps curls, complaining how hard it is to gain weight, and then Some Jim bro overhears said complaint and says, Hey bro, gaining weight is easy.
Just drink a gallon of milk a day. In addition to whatever it is that you are currently eating and the hard gainer is skeptical, but also desperate. And so he starts carrying milk with him everywhere he goes. And he gains weight, maybe for the first time in a long time. And the Joe bro Jim bro says, I told you, bro, you just got to eat like a man, do what it takes, eat big to get big.
And it would appear that the go mad diet worked. The fellow wanted to gain some weight. And gain weight he did. And this story has played out in gyms all over the world. And I’ve even heard people claiming that GOMAD is better than steroids for gaining muscle. Yeah, I don’t think so. The reality is this.
If all you want to do is gain weight any which way. Then yes, GOMAD works. It will force you to eat a lot of calories and a lot of protein too. And if you do that, plus, uh, enough sensible weightlifting, yes, you will gain weight. If however, you want to gain as much muscle and as little fat as possible. And if you want to do it without having explosive diarrhea, if you don’t want to piss out of your butthole every day, then GOMAD is probably not for you.
Are going to want to lean bulk instead. But before we talk about that, let’s pack off a few common misconceptions about GoMad. So yeah, at this point, you already know where I stand on the diet. It’s dumb. It’s unnecessary, but I will give it this. It does have its heart in the right place. You see, you do need to eat quite a bit of food to gain muscle and strength effectively.
And this is easier said than done for. Many people, some people just don’t have much of a natural appetite or don’t have enough of a natural appetite to consistently eat enough food and even just eat enough calories, let alone get their macros right. And they struggle. I’ve heard from, for example, quite a few guys over the years in 160 to 170 pounds, normal height.
So skinnier guys. Who are in the gym, working out, not seeing much in the way of progress, despite following a pretty good workout routine. And then we get into their diet, and it turns out that anything over probably 24 2500 calories per day feels like too much food for them. Their natural appetite is just not very strong, and In many of those guys, I’ve found they needed to eat upward of 3, 500, even 4, 000 calories per day, just to gain weight at an optimal clip.
I’m talking about half a percent to one percent of your body weight per month. For most people, unless you’re brand new, you can gain a bit more than that, maybe over the first couple months, but in time, that’s what you want to settle into. And so, these People, mostly guys, this is mostly seems to be a male problem, but I definitely have run into women over the years who wanted to really focus on putting on muscle and strength and who had the same problem, who were surprised at how much food it required and how unenjoyable it actually is to maintain that steady calorie surplus of, let’s say about 10 percent to maximize muscle and strength gain.
And so these people who struggle with this, not only do they. Tend to eat too few calories. They also often don’t eat enough protein. And that’s simply because protein is the most filling and it’s also the least tasty macronutrient. And so now milk enters the scene. So a gallon of milk in case you didn’t know this, it’s pretty protein rich.
It contains about 130 grams of protein and it contains just over 2, 300 calories. And it’s pretty cheap. It’s about one 11th of the cost of most meal replacement or mass gainer supplements. And so milk is a good food for increasing both calories and. protein. It’s also rich in various micronutrients. So it’s a healthier choice.
I’d rather have someone drink a bunch of milk than turn to dirty bulking staples like pop tarts, ice cream, Oreos, fast food, and the like. And milk is also about 87 percent water. So it also helps ensure that you’re drinking enough water. And so the bottom line is if you’re looking to gain weight, And if you do want to drink calories, milk actually is a good choice, but is it better than just eating more food?
Now proponents of go mad say that it is, and here are some of the arguments that are commonly made for why you should be drinking. The milk and not just eating more food. One is it has the ideal macronutrient profile for muscle building. Another is it has the best types of protein for gaining muscle.
Another one is it has saturated fat, which boosts testosterone levels. And another one is it spikes insulin levels, which accelerates muscle growth. So let’s unpack these. Let’s take a closer look at these claims. First one, milk has the ideal macronutrient profile for muscle building. Now. Milk’s macros are fairly balanced, but this statement misses the forest for the trees because as far as gaining muscle goes, what matters most is how much you’ve eaten by the end of the day, not the foods that got you there.
So the amount of calories that you have eaten by the end of the day and the amount of protein Those two points in particular, that’s what matters most, not the foods that provided the calories or the protein. So, yes, drinking milk does provide you with protein and carbs and fat and calories and in relatively equal proportions, but so do many other foods.
Milk is not unique in that regard. Second claim, milk has the best type of protein for gaining muscle. All right, so milk protein is about 80 percent casein and 20 percent whey, and make no mistake, those are definitely fantastic sources of protein. That’s why I sell them as supplements over at Legion. We have a micellar casein and we have a whey isolate.
And I use them myself, and they are two of the best animal sources of protein for gaining muscle and strength. They are well absorbed, they contain high amounts of essential amino acids, and these things are vital to fueling muscle growth. Casein and whey also digest at different rates. So whey digests very quickly and casein digests slower.
And so that’s why you often hear whey protein being promoted as a great post workout protein when you want to quickly spike protein synthesis rates. And as whey is digested quickly, it accomplishes that well. Other proteins do as well. You don’t have to use whey and There is some evidence that way might be uniquely good for post workout use, but the effect is going to be relatively small if there is any effect at all.
So the most important thing is just have some protein within an hour or so of finishing your workout. Now, because casein is digested. Slower, it’s often promoted as a good protein to have before you go to sleep because research shows that having some protein before you go to sleep does help you gain more muscle and strength over time.
And the reason why is very simple. It’s just that when you are sleeping, obviously you are not. eating. And let’s say you’re in bed for eight hours and your body’s muscle building machinery cannot work without amino acids. And so if you don’t provide it with some amino acids before going to bed, it kind of just sits around waiting for the next meal.
That doesn’t mean, of course, that you lose muscle while you’re sleeping because you don’t have amino acids in your blood. No, not at all. But you’re also not going to be gaining any muscle unless there are amino acids present to create muscle tissue with. And so then the idea of having a serving of a slow digesting protein before you go to bed like casein is to provide your body with a steady stream of amino acids that can last upward of about six hours.
I think it is four to six hours, probably depending on how much casein you have. But that’s going to be the general timeframe that it takes for most people’s bodies to fully digest and absorb, let’s say 30 ish grams, 30 to 40 grams. And so then bringing this back to milk because it contains both casein and whey, it both spikes, your amino acid levels in your blood, and it keeps them elevated for an extended period of time, just because that’s how the proteins are digested. And this is why studies have shown that milk does make a good post workout meal, for example, why it is a good muscle building food. Now, what you may not know though, is you can get all the same benefits from Other types of proteins as well.
You don’t need to have casein or whey or milk. The animal proteins that most of us like to eat like meat and eggs and maybe other dairy products are also digested and absorbed very well by the body and are also rich in essential amino acids and are digested at different rates. So again, milk is fine.
Hey, if you like what I am doing here on the podcast and elsewhere, and if you want to help me help more people get into the best shape of Their lives, please do consider supporting my sports nutrition company, Legion Athletics, which produces 100 percent natural evidence based health and fitness supplements, including protein powders and bars, pre workout and post workout supplements, fat burners, multivitamins, joint support, and More.
Every ingredient and every dose in every product is backed by peer reviewed scientific research. Every formulation is 100 percent transparent. There are no proprietary blends and everything is naturally sweetened and flavored. To check everything out just head over to legionathletics. com and just to show how much I appreciate my podcast peeps use the coupon code MFL at checkout and you will save 20 percent on your entire order if it is your First purchase with us and if it is not your first purchase with us, you will get double reward points on your entire order.
That’s essentially 10 percent cash back in rewards points. So again, the URL is legionathletics. com and if you appreciate my work and want to see more of it, please do consider supporting me so I can keep doing what I love like producing podcasts like this. All right, let’s go on to the next claim. Milk has saturated fat, which boosts testosterone levels.
So this one plays into the zeitgeist of the diet industry because high fat diets right now are all the rage and they have been since I got into the. Fitness space seven or eight years ago. At that time it was paleo and that was generally a higher fat, lower carb, higher protein diet. Now it’s keto. Of course, everybody’s talking about keto.
Everyone’s doing keto and that is a very high fat, low ish protein. Very low carb diet, even something like the carnivore diet, which is not nearly as popular as Keto, but is definitely an up and coming fad, is a very high protein, high fat, low carb diet. And one of the claims made to sell these diets is this point of increasing testosterone.
That always perks up the ears of men who just aren’t feeling manly enough, who want to get bigger, leaner, and stronger, who want to have bigger and better boners, and who want to fancy themselves as alpha elite pack hunters of Asgard. Will milk and will saturated fat help them get there though? Well, milk contains about 130 grams of fat per gallon.
So it definitely makes it easy to get a lot of fat, but there’s a problem here. So. Research does show that a high fat diet can indeed increase testosterone levels, but the effects are far too small to significantly impact muscle building or masculinity in any way. Also, a gallon of milk contains about 80 grams of saturated fat and eating that much every day, not to mention the additional saturated fat that comes from the food that you’re eating on top of the milk may increase the risk of heart disease in some people that is not a healthy way to eat for a lot of people.
So the bottom line here is pretty simple. One, a high carb diet is much better for gaining muscle than a high fat one. And if you want to learn more about that, head over to Legion Athletics or just search for Legion Athletics carbs. And you’ll find a number of articles I’ve written on carbohydrate intake.
And I go over quite a bit of research showing for several reasons why a high carb diet. Is better for muscle and strength gain full stop. And so if that’s the reason why someone is trying to jack up their saturated fat, they’d be better off just jacking up their carbs instead. Another important point here is nobody needs to eat 100 plus grams of fat per day.
To maintain a healthy endocrine system, a good rule of thumb is get 20 to 30 percent of your daily calories from fat and get no more than 10 percent of your daily calories from saturated fat and get the rest from monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat. And 20 percent if you’re cutting, 30 percent if you are not cutting.
There you go. That’s all you need to do as far as fat intake. overall health is concerned. And finally, another important point to make here is nobody should be gorging on saturated fat until we better understand its relationship to heart disease. Again, I know this is a point of contention, but the weight of the evidence is still clear that in many people eating a bunch of saturated fat is going to raise LDL cholesterol levels, and that increases the risk of heart disease period.
So unless you knew that you are one of the few people who can eat a lot of saturated fat and not see an increase in LDL cholesterol levels, then I would say. Don’t eat a bunch of saturated fat. Just follow the general guidelines. No more than 10 percent of daily calories from saturated fat. All right, let’s move on to the next selling point for milk.
This one is milk spikes, insulin levels, which accelerates muscle growth. So quickly let’s talk about insulin first. So insulin. In case you don’t know, it’s a hormone that is responsible for shuttling nutrients into cells. Now, some people think that it is anabolic, that it promotes growth like testosterone.
And that’s why many people think that more insulin production equals more muscle growth, period. And This isn’t exactly true. Research shows that insulin does not directly induce protein synthesis like testosterone does. So it’s definitely not going to help you gain muscle in the same way as testosterone does or even as amino acids do.
Leucine, for example, initiates protein synthesis. That is an essential amino acid in protein, and it is actually the one that is responsible for kickstarting your body’s muscle building machinery, to use that analogy again. That said, studies show that insulin has anti catabolic properties, which means that it reduces muscle breakdown rates.
And that’s important because that creates a more anabolic environment in the body. I think that’s a good way of thinking about it. That creates an environment in the body that is more conducive to muscle building. And so in that way, insulin can assist with muscle gain over time because as I mentioned earlier, muscle gain really is just protein synthesis rates exceeding protein breakdown rates over time.
So the more often protein synthesis rates exceed breakdown rates. the more muscle you’re going to gain. And that means then that you can affect muscle growth by affecting both sides of that coin. You can do things to increase protein synthesis rates, like working out and eating protein, two things that directly increase protein synthesis rates.
And then you can do things to reduce muscle breakdown rates. Like eating protein again, eating carbohydrate now because it raises insulin levels and that reduces protein breakdown rates. You can also ensure you’re not in a calorie deficit because that impairs muscle protein synthesis rates. You can ensure you are getting enough sleep.
Because if you’re not, that is going to hinder muscle protein synthesis and you can ensure you are not breaking down too much muscle tissue in your workouts. You can ensure that your workouts aren’t too extreme. Now coming back to insulin then. So we know it’s not anabolic, but it is anti catabolic. So it doesn’t increase protein synthesis rates, but it does decrease muscle breakdown rates.
And so that’s nice. But the thing is, studies show that you don’t need very much insulin to achieve. That effect a small meal, a small mixed meal is going to deliver more or less all of the muscle related benefits that insulin has to offer. So the idea that spiking your insulin levels is going to help you gain more muscle than just.
Elevating them to a normal, a lower, but normal level that you would see with a normal meal is wrong. It’s not going to amplify the anti catabolic benefits of insulin. Okay. So with that out of the way, let’s come back to the go mad diet. So most of what’s wrong with this diet stems from the mistaken idea that if a little bit of something is good, then a lot must be better.
You know, I mentioned that you need to eat a lot of food. To gain muscle effectively, and this is because eating slightly more calories than you burn a calorie surplus positively affects many aspects of muscle building, ranging from hormones to various physiological processes and adaptations. To training capacity and more.
And just to be clear, I think I mentioned this earlier, but by slightly more calories, I mean about 10% more calories than you’re burning every day, maybe as high as 15%. I wouldn’t go higher than that. I would try to stay in the range of five to 10%. If you try to go even at 5%, you run the risk of miscalculating your calories and.
Not being in a surplus. So that’s why I think 10 percent is a sweet spot that gives you enough wiggle room because your TDEE, your total daily energy expenditure is a moving target. You’re never going to be able to estimate it with 100 percent accuracy. You’re trying to get as close to it as you can, but you’re going to be wrong.
You might work out that you burn 2,897 calories per day, but in reality you burn 2,801 or 2,975, and so by overshooting your estimated TDE by. 10 percent that allows you to be a little bit wrong and still maintain a surplus, whereas overshooting by 5 percent makes the margin for error smaller. And so when that’s what you’re trying to do, when you’re trying to eat slightly more food than you’re burning, I think it becomes immediately.
Obvious why drinking a couple thousand calories per day in addition to your regular meals is just not a good idea. It’s not a good muscle building strategy, unless I guess you burn an extraordinary amount of energy every day. All it’s going to happen is you are going to be in a much larger calorie surplus than 10 to 15%, and that’s going to make you more fat.
Then swole, unfortunately, just as a lot more insulin doesn’t produce a lot more anti catabolism than a little, a lot more calories above your total daily energy expenditure does not produce a lot more muscle and strength gain than a little more. And a quick aside on that, there is a bit of research on this point.
I think enough to say what I just said. is in line with the current weight of the evidence. But there are still some questions as to how sensitive our bodies are to a calorie surplus. So for example, we can say with certainty that a 30 percent calorie surplus is not significantly better for muscle or strength gain than a 10%.
But what about a 5 percent versus a 10%? What about a 15 percent versus a 10 percent or a 5%? That is a question that has yet to be answered and that’s why I’m funding a study that’s being run by Dr. Eric Helms and James Krieger on that point, looking at the difference in muscle and strength gain between people in a 5 percent versus 10 percent versus 15 percent calorie surplus.
And I’m looking forward to seeing the outcome. I think it’s going to be interesting information. And it’ll be good to get that research out into the body composition space. I think that’s a gap that’s worth filling. And that’s why I’m funding the research anyway, with go mad and the massive calorie surplus that comes with it.
Some people do try to play that down. I remember one website claimed that, Oh, it’s only going to cause your body fat percentage to rise by two to 3 percent per month only well, one that’s a low ball estimate for many people. And even if it were. The average, even if it were accurate, it’s still too much two to 3%.
That’s in an absolute sense, by the way, not relative, of course, but that means going from 10 percent body fat to 12 or 13 percent body fat in a month. No, when I’m lean bulking, I like to see again, a weight gain. I mentioned this earlier of about a half a percent to 1 percent per month. That’s a weight gain of a half a percent to 1 percent per month.
And about half of that. from muscle and half of that from fat is how it plays out for most people. Some people are able to gain more muscle than fat. From what I can tell, it’s mostly genetics and compliance and with other people, it’s the other way around. They tend to gain more fat than muscle and there can be compliance issues, but I do think there are some genetic components as well.
Now. Talking about go mad claims that are out there. There are even claims that guys can gain 20 to 30 pounds in a month of go mad. Uh, well, considering that research shows it is basically impossible to gain more than just a few pounds of muscle in a month. And that’s for newbies. That’s a newbie number.
And that’s when you’re doing everything right as well as a newbie. If you’re an experienced weightlifter, I mean, I’m at the point now where I have about a few pounds of Muscle left that I can gain period. And it would probably take a year or two to gain them. Let’s say three to five pounds. And so when you consider that, I think you know what a lot of the 20 to 30 pounds are going to be in that first month of go mad.
Yeah. It’s gonna be a lot of blubber. So really what we’re looking at here is go mad. It’s just a lazy loudish way. To bulk. This is a job that calls for a scalpel. And GoMad is more like a truckload of juggalos with chainsaws. Now, a bunch of fat gain is not the only major downside to this diet. It will also Probably explode your stomach.
And we’re talking about 150 to 200 grams of lactose per day. Yeah, that’ll do that to you. Uh, and it also reinforces poor eating habits and it can harm your relationship with food and just set you up for failure down the road. And so instead of teaching people how to properly plan and. Control their food intake.
Go mad. Just teaches them to eat with reckless abandon and worry about the consequences later. So don’t do go mad instead do what I’ve already touched on at various points in this episode. And we can just recap instead. Make a meal plan that helps you maintain a slight calorie surplus. Let’s say about 10 percent above your total daily energy expenditure.
Get your macros right. You probably know that calories are not calorie if we are wanting to improve our body composition. If all we care about is our body weight, yes, a calorie is a calorie. But if we want to gain muscle and not fat, or at least maximize muscle gain and minimize fat gain and lose fat, not muscle, we need to go beyond calories in and calories out.
We have to get. Into macros, macro nutrients. We have to get into how our calories break down into protein, carbs, and fat. And if you don’t know how to do that, just head over to Legion athletics and search for macros, or just hit your favorite search engine and. Search for legion athletics macros and you’ll find some articles that I wrote on this topic.
And one of them has a calculator, a nifty calculator as well. I think it has calculator in the title. It’s like, this is the best macro calculator on the internet or something like that. That also will help you work out your total daily energy expenditure as well. If you are not familiar with how to do that, another important point that I think is worth mentioning in the context of go mad is don’t shoot yourself in the foot with massive cheat meals or cheat days when you’re lean bulking.
This is a very common mistake. And what people don’t realize is a couple binges per week, whether it’s over the course of one meal or several meals, even stretched out over several days, if you do that every week or so, that can be enough to double or even triple. The rate at which you gain fat while you’re lean bulking and that can quickly spiral out of control.
And you don’t want that because all that really means is you’re going to have to end your lean bulk sooner rather than later. You can only get so fat before you have to actually start cutting. And it’s not just an aesthetic thing. There’s a health reason for it as well. If you’re a guy and you are now north of 20 percent body fat, that’s not ideal from a health perspective or a muscle building perspective.
As you get fatter. There are physiological adaptations that occur that get in the way of muscle gain. So when you’re lean bulking, you want to be able to drag it out as long as possible. You want to see as little fat gain as possible. Ideally, you’d be able to maintain that calorie surplus for at least four months and longer.
I like to see four to six months is I think a good rule of thumb, but hey. If you are the type of person who just doesn’t gain fat very easily and you’re able to maintain a surplus for eight, nine, 10 months before you have to call it quits. And if you’re a guy, that means you’re probably getting up to 16, maybe 17 percent body fat.
If you are a woman, it’s probably 26 or 27 percent before you should call it quits and cut back down to the 10 ish or 20 percent range before doing it again, then great. Hey. The longer you can maintain that surplus, the better your workouts are going to be, the more muscle and strength you’re going to gain.
And so that’s why overeating is just as detrimental in the bigger picture when you are lean bulking as it is when you’re cutting. Another important point here is you need to have realistic expectations for muscle and fat gain. Now, if you’re new, you should know that if you’re a guy, the most muscle you can gain in your first year is fat.
20 ish pounds, maybe 25. If you have outstanding genetics and compliance, you do everything right. And if you’re a woman, you can gain about half that. And then in year two, your goal should be to gain about as half as much muscle as year one. And then you can cut that in half again for year three. So that’s maybe five pounds for most guys and about half that for most gals.
And then from there on out, you can expect really no more than three, four, maybe five pounds of muscle per. Year until you can no longer gain any more muscle until the the gains are so vanishingly small They can’t even be measured anymore and that means then that building a great physique takes time There’s just no way around that and those numbers also assume that a lot of things go your way.
You don’t have to be perfect But you have to get the most important things mostly right most of the time. That means your diet needs to be on point. You need to follow a well designed workout program and not miss many workouts and not run into any major setbacks that mess up your diet or. Keep you out of the gym.
And I also mentioned this just a few minutes ago, but I’m going to repeat it. Keep in mind that when you’re a lean bulking, you can expect to gain muscle and fat at about a one to one ratio. Again, if you’re new, you’re going to gain more muscle than fat. And if you have great genetics, maybe you can gain a bit more muscle than fat, but most people Even when they’re doing everything right are going to gain muscle and fat at about a one to one ratio when they’re in a calorie surplus.
So for every pound of muscle that you gain, you can expect to gain about a pound of fat. So keep that in mind when you are lean bulking, don’t be afraid of fat gain or don’t be discouraged by fat gain. It’s actually a good sign. If you are not gaining weight. Too quickly. So if your weight gain is at about a half a percent to maybe 1 percent per month or a bit higher, if you’re new, and if your weights are going up in the gym, if you’re getting stronger, if you’re increasing your whole body strength and you’re getting fatter, that’s great.
You’re doing it right. And that’s really the. Best you can hope for when you’re lean bulking. So the bottom line here on the go mad diet is to people who are desperate to gain weight. It can look like a perfect solution. It’s easy. It’s cheap. It packs in calories and protein, and it will definitely cause the number on the scale to rise.
The problem though is it will also cause your, your waist measurement to rise and very quickly, a lot faster than it should, which is something that you’re going to have to deal with at some point, because as I mentioned earlier, the fatter you get, the harder it is to continue gaining muscle and strength.
And also remember the longer it’s going to take to get back to a respectable body fat percentage, get back to something that you actually want to maintain. Now, the GO MAD diet also promotes unhealthy. Eating habits that can become harder and harder to break over time. So in the final analysis, I recommend that you pass on this diet and just stick with the fundamentals of lean bulking and proper meal planning instead.
Yes, they do require a bit more know how and effort, but they also deliver way better short and long term results. All right. Well, that’s it for today’s episode. I hope you found it interesting and helpful, and if you did and you don’t mind doing me a favor, could you please leave a quick review for the podcast on iTunes or wherever you are listening from, because those reviews not only convince people that they should check out the show, they also increase the search visibility and help more people find their way to me and to the podcast and Learn how to build their best body ever as well.
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+ Scientific References
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- Gelfand, R. A., & Barrett, E. J. (1987). Effect of physiologic hyperinsulinemia on skeletal muscle protein synthesis and breakdown in man. Journal of Clinical Investigation, 80(1), 1–6. https://doi.org/10.1172/JCI113033
- Fryburg, D. A., Jahn, L. A., Hill, S. A., Oliveras, D. M., & Barrett, E. J. (1995). Insulin and insulin-like growth factor-I enhance human skeletal muscle protein anabolism during hyperaminoacidemia by different mechanisms. Journal of Clinical Investigation, 96(4), 1722–1729. https://doi.org/10.1172/JCI118217
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- Wilkinson, S. B., Tarnopolsky, M. A., MacDonald, M. J., MacDonald, J. R., Armstrong, D., & Phillips, S. M. (2007). Consumption of fluid skim milk promotes greater muscle protein accretion after resistance exercise than does consumption of an isonitrogenous and isoenergetic soy-protein beverage. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 85(4), 1031–1040. https://doi.org/10.1093/ajcn/85.4.1031
- Hartman, J. W., Tang, J. E., Wilkinson, S. B., Tarnopolsky, M. A., Lawrence, R. L., Fullerton, A. V., & Phillips, S. M. (2007). Consumption of fat-free fluid milk after resistance exercise promotes greater lean mass accretion than does consumption of soy or carbohydrate in young, novice, male weightlifters. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 86(2), 373–381. https://doi.org/10.1093/ajcn/86.2.373
- Stark, M., Lukaszuk, J., Prawitz, A., & Salacinski, A. (2012). Protein timing and its effects on muscular hypertrophy and strength in individuals engaged in weight-training. In Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition (Vol. 9, p. 54). BioMed Central. https://doi.org/10.1186/1550-2783-9-54