There is an unwritten rule in fitness and nutrition circles that states nothing is allowed to be simple or commonsensical. Take for example the humble calorie, a simple unit of measure that has come to mean one thing to physicists and lab coats, and something else entirely to the rest of humanity. Let’s set the record straight, shall we?
As a vegetarian, I am keenly aware of the enthusiasm and veracity with which some people will pounce on every infraction in my dietary routine. It seems whenever you purport to live a certain way or advocate a certain discipline, you earn the scrutiny of doubters and haters, hell-bent on proving what a raging, monumental hypocrite you are if you don’t practice your own preaching to the letter. Rather than find the positive in the two tons of good you bring to an issue, they train their petty, vindictive spotlight on the two ounces of bad. Continue reading
One of my friends recently sent me an article criticizing Yoplait for the thoughtless nature of their advertising. The ad in question depicted a woman, standing at the refrigerator agonizing over how to fit a slice of raspberry cheesecake into her diet. While she stands there (letting all the cold air out of the fridge), another woman walks up and calmly helps herself to a “guilt-free” raspberry cheesecake-flavored Yoplait yogurt. Certain advocacy groups felt that the ad encouraged eating disorders, because it depicts a person so obsessed with being thin that she can’t see cheesecake without thinking of how many hours she’ll have to spend jogging in place, or how much she’ll have to deprive herself later, compensating for her indulgence. I must admit that hadn’t occurred to me, but they made so much of a stink about it that Yoplait capitulated and pulled the ad from the airwaves. Frankly, if that is what it takes to get idiotic ads removed from TV, they should just shut down all “diet” food ads on principle.
In part one of this series, I explained that the human body has a grudge against muscle mass, and that building more of it than your daily activities require is a constant, uphill struggle, wherein you spend the majority of your time trying to convince your body to do what it prefers not to. I call this “sending the message,” because in truth, that’s all bodybuilding is -an ongoing conversation with your body, where every action is designed to signal the release of anabolic hormones. I also touched on the most effective ways to send that message: overload the muscles, eat to support mass gains, and provide ample rest. In this installment, I’m going to explore the first of these in greater detail.
I have been asked literally hundreds of times by skinny guys and self-proclaimed “hardgainers” what my secret is when it comes to packing on the pounds. I must confess that I find that extremely flattering, considering there are plenty of guys out there ten thousand times bigger than me, but I’m not going to self-deprecate here. I believe I have as much of a right to give advice as anyone; because while I may not be Branch Warren, I have learned quite a few things first-hand while packing 40 pounds of muscle onto my own toothpick frame. Continue reading
Short answer: Yes! More nuanced, thoughtfully considered answer: HELL yes, please oh please, for the love of god, PLEASE bodybuild! Continue reading