Don’t you tell me you’re full
Just eat it, eat it, eat it, eat it
Get yourself an egg and beat it
Have some more chicken, have some more pie
It doesn’t matter if it’s boiled or fried
Just eat it, eat it, just eat it, eat it.
I want to get bigger and stronger. From all the advice I have received, all the articles I have read, and all the Ouija boards I have consulted, it seems clear that I need to do two things: lift heavy; and eat more.
In terms of the first, I am starting a new workout plan this week thanks to my trainer Kirk. He admittedly calls it a bit of a “meat head” approach as it has some bodybuilding elements, like biceps curls and tricep extensions.
However, the main strategy is to lift four days per week with each day being a different focus: 1.) chest / triceps / core; 2.) backs / biceps; 3.) legs; and 4.) shoulders / legs / core.
I have been encouraged to push myself with the amount of weight and go to failure on a lot of the exercises.
With a focus on lifting, I am going to reduce the number of CrossFit classes I take down to one per week and add in a yoga class on Wednesdays.
At least for the next two to three months, the idea is simple: lift heavy and lift often.
As for the second part of my strategy, my goal is to put on 15 pounds of lean muscle by the end of the year.
Currently, I weigh in at 174 pounds, which has been a huge gain from January 1st when I was only 161 pounds. But to be more competitive in the CrossFit arena, I need to be bigger and stronger.
Doug Larson of Barbell Shrugged does a great job of explaining this need. He specifically says that, “If you’re a guy and taller than 5’8″, you want to shoot to be a lean, mobile and muscular 190-200 pound athlete.” (Click here for the video.)
If I want to perform at my best and meet my CrossFit potential, I will need to weigh more so I can lift more.
My performances at Freeze Fest in February and the Dakota Games last month were stifled by my lack of strength.
I could keep up when we were doing burpees or sprints, but there was almost a 100 pound difference between me and what the guy in first place could lift.
Similar to what my trainer Kirk has advised, Larson believes that this muscle gain can be achieved by backing off met-cons and using a strength-biased training program for most months of the year.
This approach is coupled with using a modified Paleo diet to maximize the amount of muscle and strength.
So I need to eat more. Most of the time that will be a good balance of meats, vegetables, fruits and nuts.
For example, breakfast will be 2-3 egss, chicken sausage, banana and baby spinach.
Since it is a modified Paleo approach, I’ll also be throwing some chocolate milk into the mix. Post-workout, it will be more focused on meats and Paleo-friendly carbohydrates (i.e. lots of sweet potatoes).
In addition, I am adding more protein by doubling the amount of whey protein I take each day from 30 grams to 60 grams.
In these first few weeks, I’m not going to pay attention to caloric intake. By keeping to a modified Paleo diet, it will help keep out processed food and other junk.
As much as I would like to just eat chocolate chip cookies all day to help bulk up, they are not on the menu. Neither are bagels, vanilla ice cream, yogurt pretzels and my other guilty pleasures.
But I’ll always have my sweet potato fries! I will probably see my body fat percentage increase, but its a necessary evil in pursuing my goal.
I can ultimately lean out later down the road. I’ll be doing little cardio for now, but can always incorporate more to help with leaning out.
I’m excited for this new phase of training. Competing is on hold, but when I do return to the arena I believe I will be bigger and stronger than ever before.
Share your thoughts and advice on eating more and lifting heavy in the comments section below. What have you done that worked? What didn’t work? Start the discussion.