Having Trouble Balancing Diet With GOMAD Approach
I'm 23, 5'10", and 139 pounds. I calculated my TDEE and it came out to around 2288 calories. According to the SS Wiki, I used Method 2 (Body Type) to determine my caloric needs to gain mass, which was the product of my weight and a (generous) constant 20 for my body type, as outlined there. This led me to a figure of 2780 calories. This also happens to be 120% of my TDEE, which is around where it should be from what I've read.
The problem that I've been having with the GOMAD approach is that a gallon of whole milk is required, which will equate to approximately 2560 calories with a split of [128g P / 208g C / 144g F], which isn't very far off from the calculated 2780 calories. This makes it very hard to achieve the recommended [25% P / 50% C / 25% F] split without adding a ton of additional calories. I know that the gallon of milk is supposed to be added on top of a balanced diet, but I can't figure out how to balance it without adding a ton of calories. When I tried to figure it out, I ended up with 5390 calories, with [359g P / 579g C / 211g F], or [25% P / 41% C / 33% F]. These values are way too high, it seems, but resulted from my attempt to make the recommended [25% P / 50% C / 25% F] spread.
I asked over at the bodybuilding forums, receiving a unanimous response that this method would result in “fulking,” which makes sense, since it's so much higher than 120% of my TDEE.* I figured that it would be best to ask you guys since you're more familiar with the program.
However, when reading “A Clarification” again, I saw this:
“I have yet to see someone in that demographic who is eating and resting correctly that is not able to do this. Eating correctly may mean 6000 calories/day with a gallon of whole milk, or it may mean 3500 calories/day on a paleo-type lower carb no-dairy diet, depending on your initial body composition.”
This leads me to believe that maybe a balanced diet of 120% of my TDEE, plus a gallon of milk could very well not be as absurd as others claimed. Perhaps 5000 calories isn't too much for me, but what about the excess of protein (about 2.6 grams/pound)? What should I do? I plan on starting on Monday and would like to construct a solid plan before then. It's easy to get confused since there are so many contrasting viewpoints out there. I'd also hate to begin without a solid plan, getting slammed with a YNDTP down the road.
Reference, as well as the sample diet that I constructed:
The best advice I can give you is to stay away from that goddamn wiki and to eat as much as you can on your three meals and after those meals, down a liter of milk. It doesn't really matter what you eat as long as it's not sawdust, granite or horse dung, as long as it's remotely food but preferably a stuff like meat, eggs, rice, pasta, potatoes and shit like that. You know, food. So, eat until you're quite full (eat more than you think you need, way more) and then drink your milk. Otherwise the strength fairy won't come to your bed and inject you with fairy steroids during the night.
The whole point is to get large amounts of protein and calories. You're overthinking this. Don't worry about any online calculators. And don't worry about "too much." You're 140lbs. And unless you recently dropped a bunch of weight to this point, then your body is happy to stay there. It doesn't want to change. You've got to punch your body in the face and force it to grow.
Eat your ass off, train your ass off, gain at least 40 lbs, and take it from there.
Make it 60 and we can talk. My guess is that he looks like an insect at this weight. He's just look small with 40 lbs on him instead of emaciated. But at 200 he's start looking like he lifts. At 220 he'll look bigger but that will take more time.
Originally Posted by jmoye
To go along with what has been said, use the Clarification article NOT the wiki. You're gonna gain some fat as it says in the book, but you're going to gain shitloads of muscle and strength. Just eat plenty of protein and plenty of calories; milk is suggested because it is simple. Don't aim for a certain amount of calories, just eat. If you need to, progress your way up to eating enough food by eating a little more each day.
Yeah 40 is bare minimum. 60 would be better but these skinny guys always got some kind of mental hangup about this shit.
Originally Posted by Carlos Daniel
The people at BB.com are right. As a general rule, the nutrition section people over there are some of the best on the entire internet. Unless you're happy to approach 20-25% body fat, do not do GOMAD at 5000-6000 calories a day. Increase your calories in 250-500kcal intervals as you approach stalling points. In the beginning, especially if you're doing this without the guidance of an experienced coach, so many of the increases you make are going to be due to form improvements, and just overcoming mental limits, that it almost isn't worth trying to gain weight at all, initially. Remember, SS is supposed to take 3-9 months. The more detrained you are the longer the novice phase is going to take you. 5000 calories over 9 months will make damn near anyone fat.
As a personal example, in a 10-11 week span on the SS program, I put approximately 150lbs on my squat, 75lbs on my bench, and 150lbs on my deadlift while my body weight went from 165 to 195. During that same period, my body fat % went from around 18% to 28% meaning that I gained approximately 5lbs of muscle (estimates using the Navy method). I think it is important to note that the speed with which I made improvements is probably the fastest I've ever seen on this site or elsewhere. In other words, you're unlikely to match it. Considering that, you'll notice that my rate of LBM gain is right in line with what guys like Lyle McDonald, Martin Berkhan, and Casey Butt claim is possible for a natural trainee that isn't completely malnourished. You may have slightly better luck than me when it comes to LBM gains, and I emphasize slightly, because I started at 5'6",165 rather than 5'10", 140". Nonetheless, I added more than 400lbs to my big lifts, if you include the press, and I still only gained around 5lbs of muscle.
You, nor anyone else not on steroids, should not expect to gain more than 1lbs of LBM per week. I'll assume that with the care you've taken in your calculations, and by the fact you spend time on BB.com, you're not going for the whole fat powerlifter thing. If aesthetics are your primary interest, do yourself a favor and use traditional methods of bulking. I'd suggest that you start yourself out around 3000-3500kcal. Good luck.
I agree with Tom completely. You need to identify your goals right now. If you're looking to gain as much strength and mass as possible in the shortest amount of time, then GOMAD + 3-4 meals a day will do it. However, based on what I've noticed among the majority of trainees, this does not typically reflect their long-term goals. I agree with Carlos that 200 pounds would be much better for you at 5'10, but for God's sake, that should take you at least 2 years.
I see no compelling scenario where a novice lifter needs 6-7,000 calories a day. That's typically over twice the maintenance level. I fail to see why 99% of lifters would ever need that much, anyway. I recently dieted back down to 185 at 6'. On days where I work and train, I need around 3,800 calories to maintain my body weight. This includes an 8-hour work day, 60-90 minutes of walking, 60-90 minutes of weight lifting and 20-30 minutes of conditioning work.
Regardless, SS is one of the best tools on the planet for a novice lifter to gain strength, learn to lift properly and program correctly. Just make sure your diet protocol is in line with your goals.
OP, your premise is flawed: GOMAD is not balanced. That's kind of the point of it.
Forget GOMAd. I pretty much agree with Tom. You should shoot for around 3000-3500 calories a day and at least 250g protein. That should make you gain 1 to 1.5 pounds a week for a while. Any more than that will be all bodyfat. If milk helps you get there, that's fine. But it should be used as a supplement (maybe with whey to get your protein up) to the meat (most important), vegetables, fruit, rice, and potatoes you eat.
Re-assess your progress every 2 weeks or so to decide if you need to change your calories. You can use a tape measure at your waist as a rough way to gauge bodyfat (it's gonna get bigger, which is fine if it doesn't balloon), and your lifts and the mirror to gauge muscle gain. You have to gain SOME bodyfat to gain any appreciable amount of muscle, but it doesn't have to be a ton, and GOMAD tends to produce a ton.
Obviously at 5'10", 140, you need to gain weight, but gaining it as quickly as possible just to get to other people's standards often works out poorly. It's happened on this board time and time again. A pound a week of weight gain would be 52 pounds in a year and if done slow and steady with high protein and heavy lifting, should produce a better body composition than gaining 50 pounds in 3 months with GOMAD.
Last edited by Briks42; 07-08-2012 at 03:58 PM.