October, 22. In the US for a few months. Access to cheap calories and good gyms
I've never been able to gain weight. When I read Tim Ferriss' Geek to Freak, I was skeptical, but wanted to give it a try.
I had major leg surgery in 2022 and one leg was smaller than the other. A section of Geek to Freak was about proper diet, and I took it to heart that I likely never hit my macros and calorie goals, and that's probably what hurt me.
So, I combined his lifts, his other chapters in 4 Hour Body, and a diet that he dropped almost as an afterthought:
This is the simple and rightly venerated GOMAD (Gallon Of Milk A Day) approach to mass gain, which - along with squats- has produced monsters for more than 75 years…
A gallon of whole milk per day. With 50g of protein added, so I could hit my protein macro. I used Ghost Oreo, which made it like I was drinking a McFlurry every day.
If I kept up on it, I was pretty much done with my gallon (a workout itself) by 4pm each day. I liked to start at 9am, and have it out of the fridge all day. It was much more tolerable when it wasn't ice cold.
And no, bathroom life didn't change incredibly for me. If anything, I became more regular. But due to the massive amount of calories (3,300+ from milk alone) I had larger movements.
I was a Stronglifts 5x5 guy. Always enjoyed Squats 3 times a week for how it made me feel. Tim recommends lifting to failure. Because of that, I switced from squat racks to machines, which are much safer to fail in.
You can hold at the point of failure and slowly bring it back to earth, which is where the gains are made, Tim writes. All your reps prior to that failure rep are just preparation, and the failure rep is what matters. Since it's a one set max, you only get one shot at the failure rep, and it's a mental exercise to go into the gym twice a week and fail 10 times in 45 minutes. Shit hurts.
Here's a screenshot of the notes app on my phone, where I compiled combinations of the workouts I read about:
I was confused, because there were 3 sections on the book on weightlifting with some overlap. For the first week, I did the static workouts in combination to the dynamic workouts.
But as failure is reached in fewer reps, more rest days are needed between workouts. That made the thrice-weekly cadence of static workouts unreachable, so I dropped them. Instead, I did Monday's workout as a warmup to my Dynamic Workout at every session.
Dynamic workouts show rep x weight (in lbs) needed to get to failure. I recorded seat positions too, for consistency between gyms when traveling. Asterisks show me where I think I failed too early and might need more rest.
Tim is a big supplements guy. I'm not. I tried to follow his prescriptions but I was doing it partly wrong. Here's the screenshot of what I was doing. I missed my Glutamine intake, got my hands on Slo Niacin and Policosanol, and shouldn't have done anything different on workout/non-workout days.
I gained a LOT of inches in the areas I measured over time
And I tracked muscle mass with a body composition scale. Mine is RENPHO brand.
And I was super happy with how I looked in the mirror:
I'll probably go to a more regualar workout cadence (3x week) because I enjoy starting my day with them. I'll go down to a half gallon, and only on workout days, because I can see how important diet is to me now.
Most importantly, I now know what my body can be capable of with a certain amount of focus and prioritizing the right variables. This was 8-10 collective hours in the gym over a month - much less time than I'd usually spend!