Bodybuilders High School Johnny and Mike the Man
Im sitting in the gym minding my own business and a guy comes over and asks what Id do if I wanted to gain some muscle weight, say 10 pounds over the next month. The inquiry is an easy one. Hes 40, healthy, knows how to lift, has the discipline and the time and 200 has been his goal for years. "I just never put my mind to it and now Im ready."
Im never just sitting unless Im about to do my next set or Im gasping for air from my last set; and Im never minding my own business, my eyes and ears are secretly in motion picking up stray sights and sounds. Business is slow; the gyms empty, and I just finished the last amazing set of another phenomenal bodybuilding workout.
Seated at the bench press within earshot is a high school kid, 160, amped and lean. He, too, wants to gain 10 pounds in 30 days. "Im ready, too." This is not an easy one. He looks like a toppled can of question marks and exclamation points.
Theyre ready. Im thinkin' Im not. Beyond hi, I dont say much at the gym. Come to think of it, I dont say much at home or on the street, either. Whats to say, nice day, Im fine or some other dumb thing? And the telephone -- forget about it.
The answers to the questions are clear in my mind, but before I say a word, I want them to be clear in my mouth as well. Have you ever considered how much damage we cause when the mind and mouth are not in sync: wars between nations, marriages, divorces, failed business partnerships and broken hearts? I feel like a time bomb.
Another thing: Perhaps, you noticed I referenced questions and answers in the plural, whereas only a single question was asked. Therein lies another dilemma. One question, two inquiring minds (and bodies), two very different answers. Im beginning to lose my pump.
Where Do I Begin?
Eat more, train harder and pray is the fundamental answer and I magnanimously throw it out there -- a stink bomb when they were expecting dynamite. Disappointment fills their faces and I wonder which of the three instructions they dont understand? They want details.
10 pounds in a month... First of all, men, you can do this, but I dont advise it. Youll be eating all day long, ice cream, soda and fries will be your staples. The weight will ring your waist like an inner tube and glaze your skin like lard. Your legs will rub and youll waddle when you walk and your face will resemble a pumpkin. Your heart will pound, your lungs will gasp and your arteries will squeal. People will not call you big guy; theyll call you fatso.
Set Realistic Goals
A 10-pound increase in bodyweight in 30 days is ambitious; it is also gluttonous, frantic, unhealthy, all-consuming, expensive, wasteful and dumb. Whats the rush? Instead, set a more realistic bodybuilding goal. Think of 10 pounds in three months, or about a pound of sound bodyweight a week. This can be done wisely and well.