And make no slightest mistake about the following point – eating more IS NOT THE ANSWER, regardless of WHAT YOU EAT… Do NOT make the mistake of trying to add muscular size by “bulking up” – adding fatty tissue; such fatty tissue is not muscle and cannot become muscle.
– Arthur Jones
A Gallon Of Milk A Day (GOMAD) is a popular diet for weight gain. It provides calories and protein for those who fail to consume enough. Typically trainees choose whole fat milk or the other higher percentages. Those with lactose intolerance use a digestive aid. It is convenient, cheap, and simple. You can buy milk easily and for a reasonable rate at a local store. The liquid makes it easy to consume and provides water. It lacks the preservatives of artificial shakes. It associates with including squats during training, such as with the legendary 3 days-a-week-20-rep-squat-program. This training seems to lead to overall changes due to the indirect effect. Intense lower body work may benefit the growth of the entire body. Skinny and young hardgainers have relied upon this classic combination. It usually serves as a temporary yet dramatic solution.
GOMAD works because it combines basic, tough exercise with plenty of calories. It contains healthy fats when not taken in excess and has plenty of high-quality, complete animal protein. You need food to grow. All the hard training in the world means nothing without the needed material. You must consume more calories than your baseline for maintenance. Whole milk has lots of sugar, fat, and protein. This makes the trainee capable of far surpassing the minimum necessary. Weight gain can occur very fast though. A great deal of this weight comes from fat. Milk itself does not seem to have special properties, though some mention the effect on IGF-I that may stimulate more growth but unfortunately cancer as well.
Some evidence shows saturated fat and cholesterol from GOMAD lead to higher testosterone. Other evidence also shows the cardiovascular health-destroying effects these each have, especially for those living a sedentary, stressful lifestyle. High amount of both requires an unlikely lifestyle to compensate for clogged arteries and reduced blood flow. Dairy also can feel bloating, and most have some lactose intolerance as they age. It provides less room in your diet for the variety of nutrients necessary for good health. This occurs as it takes up a large portion of most trainees’ food intakes.
Consider any dense calorie source if needed. You can vary the selections beyond GOMAD. Milk can certainly work for the tolerant person. I would suggest skim for most. You may want to gradually build up to higher amounts to avoid digestive issues. Vegetable oils, nuts, seeds, syrups, jellies, cereals, juices, and butters can all work. Weight gainers and other shakes allow you to consume massive calories easily, but possess artificial ingredients. Requirements for protein are grossly exaggerated, and even just half a gram per pound of bodyweight likely provides everything required. It mainly comes down to more calories. This prevents the body from using protein and breaking down its own lean tissue for energy. You can also choose to eat less dense food more often. This can prove difficult for some due to the time and discipline needed. Although some say that eating clean mysteriously prevents fat gain, fat gain really just depends on calories in versus calories out.
Clean foods typically have higher fiber and water contents, and therefore allow you to eat more volume for fewer calories. This improves satiety. Most people should not force-feed calories, and eat just enough to gain slightly more weight. This patient approach can even allow you to build muscle and lose fat at the same time. Muscle growth has a limit per session and requires time and patience. Muscle cannot gain anywhere near the same rate possible as bodyfat. Fat had a more important survival purpose to store calories. Less of a need developed for more muscle. Building muscle requires intense contractions performed less often. This type of exercise was not as common.
The lesson from GOMAD: train heavy using basic exercises. Gain more weight by eating more. GOMAD provides one solution, but not the only one, and not necessarily the healthiest. An incredible amount of calories is almost never necessary. You need just enough to add muscle. Even the most capable natural athletes struggle to gain more than 10 pounds of new muscle per year under normal conditions. Be realistic instead. Eat more, but not too much. This will lead to maximal muscle gain. Consider milk, but be wary of GOMAD unless considering an extreme solution.