4 Beginner Crippling Mistakes Sabotaging Your Newbie Gains

Alain Gonzalez December 7th, 2014 No Comments

Let’s face it. The overwhelming majority of trainees will completely sabotage their “window of opportunity” as a novice.

It’s no secret that if, and only if we take the right approach, our “newbie” gains can be pretty f’ing amazing.

I’m talking getting-accused-of-being-on-drugs amazing.

Unfortunately, most novice lifters make some serious gain-killing mistakes that can potentially set them up for failure for the entirety of their lifting career.

What I am saying is this…

It is very possible (and common) for a beginner to completely miss this unique window of growth, if you will.

I am sure you know someone or about someone who was 107 lbs soaked and wet and decided to take up weight lifting and now looks like a jacked cartoon character.

Beginner Workout Routine

On the other hand, you may also know someone or about someone who was 107 lbs soaked and wet and decided to take up weight lifting and now looks…the same…maybe 115 lbs.

Fact is this.

Your best and biggest muscle gains will come within the first year of your training.

So you can either take full advantage of your potential and get as big and muscular as possible, or you can keep dicking around and make mediocre gains.

What I want to do today is share the 4 beginner crippling mistakes that are sabotaging your ability to take advantage of this “window of opportunity”.

If you can fix this before it’s too late, then expect some serious results.

If it’s too late…well…keep training anyway. You’ll eventually look like you lift.

Beginner Crippling Mistake #1

Too Many Chefs in the Kitchen

This is, in my opinion, the biggest mistake any trainee can make. They find a “mentor” whom they learn from. He teaches them x, y, and z and the trainee commences to make gains.

Mentor #1 talks about frequency and volume and teaches the trainee to progress in order to grow. But then the trainee finds a new “mentor” on YouTube who is a little more jacked than Mentor #1. Mentor #2 says the trainee should train to failure and perform super-sets.

The trainee assumes this works better because Mentor #2 has bigger biceps than Mentor #1. So the trainee is now super-setting to failure.

Unfortunately, the trainee spends a lot of time on the internet. So much time that he now discovers Mentor #3. This Mentor (#3) is pretty jacked but more importantly, he sounds smart. So because he writes on a whiteboard and uses big words, the trainee “knows” this information is valid.

Mentor #3 advocates ketogenic dieting. But Mentor #1 and #2 were pro-carbohydrates. However, because Mentor #3 uses big words, the trainee follows their advice for nutrition.

And this pattern continues and becomes, well, a huge shit storm.

The trainee ends up with 8 different “mentors”, 8 different training and nutrition approaches, spends too much time trying to figure out who’s right and who’s wrong, and ultimately makes zero gains.

Do this instead: My advice is simple. Find someone with adequate knowledge, experience, and who’s been-there-done-that. Give their (proven) approach a shot and allow it time to work before you veer off trying to figure out “the best way to train”.

7 Easy-to-Cook High Carb Foods for Skinny Hardgainers – Including my Favorite Calorie Source

Alain Gonzalez December 2nd, 2014 No Comments

If you’re anything like I am, putting on weight does not come easy. In fact, despite my small stature, I have to consume over 400 grams of carbohydrates per day just to maintain my weight.

Skinny

Sounds like a pretty good problem to have doesn’t it?

If you need to figure out how many calories you’ll need to gain weight and build muscle, read this: How to Calculate Your Macronutrient Intake for Building Mass

Not for me.

If I fail to hit my calories (specifically carbohydrates) for 1-2 days, I immediately see a decrease on the scale.

Do you have a similar issue?

Maybe you have to consume even more than I do. Believe me, I know how difficult it can be sometimes to pack that much food into one day.
I don’t struggle with that anymore though…

Not because I suddenly flipped some magic switch that allows me to gain weight faster, but because I started really paying attention to the nutrition facts on everything I ate.

And I wasn’t checking for “toxins” in the labels, I was checking for the calorie:serving ratio.

Now I can choose to eat a lesser amount of food and benefit from more calories in less sittings. This makes it 10x easier to hit my calories consistently without having to force feed myself at the end of the day.

Today I want to share my top 7 carbohydrate dense foods for skinny guys. And because I am not a cook (and maybe you aren’t either), I have strategically chosen carb sources that are extremely easy to cook.

High Carb Source #1 – Multi Grain Pasta

This was probably my best discovery. Not because I have a minor addiction to pasta, but because I could consume over 100 grams of carbs in one sitting. You see, most multi grain pasta contains about 60-70 grams of carbohydrates per every 3.5oz serving. For me, 3.5oz just isn’t enough and sometimes I can even double that.

Not to mention, each 3.5oz serving contains about 15 grams of protein. And that doesn’t even account for whatever protein source you’re adding to your pasta.

Best part: It takes less than 15 minutes to make.

High Carb Source #2 – Rice

rice

Whether brown or white, rice is gram for gram one of the best carb sources available. Not because it has any magical muscle-building properties but, because it delivers almost 50 grams of carbs in one serving.

And although it may not be high in protein, most people never consume rice as a standalone item. At least for me, I always have some sort of meat source to accompany my rice.

Best part: It takes about 15 minutes to make and requires zero effort if you’re using a rice cooker.

How to Calculate Macros for Mass Building – What Really Matters in Nutrition

Alain Gonzalez November 27th, 2014 1 Comment

When it comes to optimizing your nutrition for muscle gains, there are a few simple, but extremely important factors you must consider.

You see, although many trainees have achieved great results by simply lifting and eating, they are the exception to the rule.

Calculator

The majority of trainees who attempt an uncalculated nutrition approach will end up spinning their wheels, hitting plateaus, gaining too much fat, and even potentially damaging their hormone levels.

Despite what you’ve been told, read, or assume…

Hitting plateaus is not inevitable.

Getting fat past a point of being comfortable with your shirt off is not necessary.

And hindering the production of our most important muscle building hormones is not “part of the game”.

Today I am going to give you a very basic formula that you can use in order to start packing on lean mass. But first, I want to give you a better understanding as to why this formula works and why others may potentially do more harm than good despite giving you enough protein.

Factors To Consider Include…

Energy Balance: Whether we are consuming enough total calories to gain weight, lose weight, or maintain.

Nitrogen Balance: Whether we are synthesizing more protein than we are breaking down or vice versa.

Anabolic Hormones: Chemical substance produced in the body that controls and regulates the activity of certain cells or organs (i.e. Testosterone).

Energy: Glycogen stores and our ability to perform at our peak.

Macronutrient Breakdown: The ratio of your fats, carbs, and proteins. This is responsible for your overall body composition.

Pretty basic stuff right?

Despite the simplicity, there are typically 1 or more of these factors being completely ignored in most fad diets.

But I’m not here prey on the weak…

I am here to help pack some muscle on to your frame.

One last thing I want to touch on are macronutrients and the rolls they play. This should give you a better understanding as to why these numbers should be in order if you want to optimize muscle gain while minimizing fat storage.

Protein

We have once been lead to believe that we needed are more protein than we actually do. In fact, even I at one point recommended as high as 2 grams per pound of bodyweight (which won’t hurt). However, more recent research has shown that the average person only needs about 0.4 grams per pound of bodyweight in protein per day.

Now, obviously the average person is a couch potato and that’s not you.

For the active person, 0.7-0.9 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight (per day) has been shown to be enough to keep us in a positive nitrogen balance. That means that if you are 200 lbs, you could get away with consuming as little as 140 grams of protein per day.

7 Obvious Signs Your Training Routine Sucks

Alain Gonzalez November 22nd, 2014 No Comments

progress.

I would also like to say that some training protocols are more optimal than others. So because I say most training programs will produce results, this does not mean that they will work as fast as a good training program.

So if you’re not progressing as quickly as you’d like, then there may be a chance that it is in fact your training that sucks.

“How do I know if my training sucks?”

I’m glad you asked!

Because today I want to share 7 obvious signs that your current training approach sucks.

1. You’re not on a program at all

If your training split is dependent on what muscle(s) you want to “pump up” that day, then your training sucks. This shows that (1) you’re not even on a program, (2) your training is purposeless, you are inconsistent and thus your gains will be too.

My Advice: Get on a damn training program! (Mass In A Flash FREE Download)

2. You’re still bench pressing 135 lbs

Do me a favor.

Think back a few months.

Now tell me…how much were you benching 3 months ago?

Testosterone

If you’ve been bench pressing (or squatting, deadlifting, overhead pressing, dumbbell curling) the same weight for the same amount of reps, then you’re not progressing.

No Progress = No Growth

This is happening because either (1) your program sucks, (2) you don’t track your lifts, or (3) all of the above.

My Advice: Start tracking your lifts…especially the big focal point movements. This will allow you to walk in the gym, every single time, with a goal.

3. Training each muscle group once per week

If your split is divided up in a way that only allows each muscle to be hit once per week, then you’re leaving a lot of growth on the table.

Volume may be one key to hypertrophy, but without progress, volume is meaningless.

Want progress? Increase the frequency!

If your chest workout consists of 16 sets, then break those 16 sets up into 2-3 sessions over the course of a week. Not only will you benefit from more regularly increased protein synthesis but, your chest will always be fresh when you’re training it thus allowing your total weekly workload to be higher.

My Advice: Adjust your program by decreasing volume so that you can incorporate more than one muscle-group in a training session. Then adjust the frequency so that each muscle group gets hit at least twice per week.

3 Reasons You Haven’t Made Any Gains Lately (Hint: It’s Not Your Workout)

Alain Gonzalez November 10th, 2014 No Comments

Gains

How long has it been since you’ve seen significant improvements in your physique?

Has it been weeks?

Months?

Maybe it’s been years?

Either way, if you’re not seeing results, any time span is too long.

Chances are you are making the same mistakes I made, and the same mistakes most people make after they’ve exhausted their newbie gains.

These are the same mistakes that leave most trainee’s muscle gains dead in their tracks. The good news is, these mistakes are very common and easy to fix.

VERY EASY to fix…

Today I want to go over 3 reasons why you haven’t made any gains lately so that you can finally get over that hump and start packing on muscle mass once again.

Oh…and by the way…

The 3 reasons you’re not gaining muscle have NOTHING to do with your training.

That’s right…

Most people are already training enough to produce muscle gains but are failing at the most important aspect, the diet.

Training hard at the gym without having your diet in order is like building a brick house without the cement….in a hurricane…with tsunamis crashing it…every day.

Reason you’re Not Growing #1
You’re not in a Positive Energy Balance

All this really means is something that you probably already know. If you are not growing, then you are not eating enough, period.

You see, no matter how hard we train in the gym, our body needs a certain amount of nutrients (macros and micros) in order to build muscle. And 9 times out of 10, it is going to require that you are in a positive net energy balance.

In simple terms, you should be consuming more energy than you are expending.

Or as you probably know it, a caloric surplus.

So for those of you who say “I can’t gain weight no matter how much I eat!”…

You, my friend, are out of your mind. YOU cannot defy the laws of thermodynamics.

Maybe you’re like me and require more food than the average human (slight exaggeration…maybe), but this does not mean that you can’t gain weight. It simply means you’ll just have to eat a little more than you are now.

Reason you’re Not Growing #2
Maybe You Are Growing…Slowly

I know what you’re thinking.

“Alain, I would know if I was growing or not.”

But here’s the deal. In the beginning, putting on pound after pound of noticeable mass is doable. But after a certain point, those gains will slow down…dramatically.

Let me ask you this…

How often do you weigh yourself?

Chances are, you are weighing yourself once per week. You may have also noticed that some weeks you’re slightly lighter, other weeks slightly heavier, or maybe you’re at the same weight.

Here is the problem…weighing yourself from one Monday to the next is not going to be an accurate measurement of whether or not you are growing, shrinking, or staying the same.

Take this weight tracking table as an example:

Weigh In