George Turner Audio Documentary:
Question: I read question and answer columns in a number of magazines hoping to find an answer to my weight problem, but it's never covered. It's not a question of wanting to lose weight but of wanting to gain weight.
I've tried eating four and five times a day and using supplements. All that happens is I feel stuffed. My stomach feels bloated, an that interfered with my workouts. What's more, I still don't gain anywhere except around my midsection.
I train five days a week, but lately I've become very discouraged.
Answer: You didn't mention how long you've been training with weights or your height and weight. That information would have been helpful, as would a current photo. Frankly, though, I believe I can make a number of assumptions based on what you have told me.
You're discouraged, and if things don't improve for you quickly, you're in danger of quitting your training altogether. There's an old saying that goes, If you keep doing what you're doing, you keep getting what you got. I'm going to suggest some major changes in your training schedule and eating habits, and we'll see if we can't get you back on the right track quickly.
First, I want you to stop all training for one week and during that week eat only three moderate meals a day. I strongly suspect you have a hot-running metabolism and that you're a rather nervous, worrier type. If that's the case, you've probably been rather thin and unable to gain weight for some time.
Eating more food isn't the answer. All that does is impede digestion by overloading your digestive track. People who have hyperthyroidism, which is a precursor for a hot metabolism, use only 60 to 70 percent of the food they eat.
The key to gaining good bodyweight is to slow the metabolic rate so that 90 to 95 percent of the food you eat will be properly used. You accomplish that by adjusting your training, not by eating more food.
After you one-week layoff you should train only twice a week for eight weeks. The workout will include only compound movements performed slowly, as follow. After warmup sets do these exercises as heavily as possible.
Squat - 5 x 10, 8, 8, 6, 6.
Standing Calf Raise - 6 x 12.
Bench Press - 5 x 8, 7, 6, 5, 4.
Deadlift - 4 x 6.
Supported Barbell Row - 4 x 8.
Seated Barbell Press - 5 x 6.
Seated Dumbbell Curl - 5 x 8
Lying Triceps Extension - 5 x 10.
After three weeks your metabolic rate will begin to normalize, at which time you can begin to eat more if you're really hungry. Don't overeat.
If you follow this plan to the letter, you can expect to begin gaining good muscular bodyweight. After four weeks - depending on what you presently weigh - you should experience a five-to-six pound bodyweight gain. As you begin to eat more, your body, which is not using the extra food, will continue to grow. I fully expect you to gain a solid eight to 10 pounds over the eight week period.