For about my entire 4 years of high school I was 140-145lbs until the end of senior year when I weighed myself and I was 160 (out of nowhere). My freshman year of college (3 months later) is when I started “working out” but it was entirely different than it is now; I wasn’t taking it as serious as I currently do and my gym IQ was very limited. January 5th, 2017 was the day I joined planet fitness (a great gym for beginners like myself but they had just changed from a different gym called fitness evolution so they still had all of the free weights) and even then my gym IQ was limited but I did start noting differences. I’ve worked out with and received help from tons of people, watched countless youtube videos, and spent hours researching what I had to do to reach all my goals and there is still so much I have to learn.
I personally do not follow a meal plan per say because I don’t meal prep but I do eat the things necessary for me to grow and remain healthy daily. The gym starts with your diet, putting the right foods in your body can give you the gains you want and even give you a boost in the gym when you eat beforehand. The key to bulking is eating right but also eat A Lot. Im not joking, eat a lot of f*ucking food. I typically eat 5-6 meals a day and snack in between each meal.
*Fun Fact: I don’t count calories but typically a person needs to consume 22kcals (kilocalories) per pound of their body weight so 185lbs x 22kcals = 4,070cal/day is how much I have to eat (at least).
Foods you want to include: Lean Red meats, whole wheat everything from your rice to your bagels, whatever greens you want (my personal favorite is broccoli), fruit (a great snack is apples and peanut butter especially after a workout), oatmeal, nuts, oats, protein shakes, “good” fats like olive oil and peanut butter.
Avoid: Fast food, most fried foods (put the fries down), white everything (rice, bread, etc), chicken/fish (which you don’t have to necessarily avoid but those are eaten more so for cutting and not bulking because they are low in protein), “bad” fats like saturated and trans fats.
Remember, everybody has a different body so different things work for different people, this is just a basis of what I have to do to gain weight, try different things and see what works for you; most importantly, go to the gym during this process.
The only supplements that I’ve personally taken is the pre-workout called Mr. Hyde and it basically gives you that extra umph to break through new plateaus during your workout and I currently take Whey protein as my post workout to have protein reach directly to those muscles that I tore during the workout so that they can grow/repair.
To start, I want to say that a lot of people have helped me during my fitness but two people in particular have helped me tremendously and they are James (a security guard), and RJ (former marine and current coworker). I’ve worked with these 2 guys personally and they both have boosted my gym IQ and pushed me to be better as I worked out with them. Besides that, i’ve watched and endless amount of videos on youtube on working out different parts of the body and how to target and activate certain muscles (some of which I never even knew about) but the main thing is, lift heavy but lift heavy correctly. Doing the workout properly is key because that is how you grow; for example, if you’re curling a dumbbell but your using your shoulder and your back to do it, you’re not getting the most out of your workout and cheating yourself (you need to go down in weight). Don’t let your pride get in the way of doing a proper workout and getting the most from all of your workouts because you want to look strong and not actually be strong.
Chest day (1 warm-up set, 3 working sets, 3rd working set include 5 partials)
FST7 simply means 7 sets
Drop down bench press *Negative Sets every 2 weeks
Dumbbell press superset with Close Grip Chest Press
Chest Press Machine (Turn to side, one arm at a time then both together).
Back Day (1 warm-up set, 3 working sets, 3rd working set include 5 partials)
Reverse Grip Pull Down
Wide Grip Pull Up
V Bar Pull Down
Seated Cable Row with wide bar
Cable Rope Row
(Machine) Seated High Row
(Smith Machine) Bent over row superset with deadlift
(FST7) Straight Arm Pull down
Biceps and Triceps (1 warm-up set, 3 working sets, 3rd working set include 5 partials)
Alternating dumbbell curl ending with curling both (B)
Reverse Curl with Curl Bar (B)
Preacher Curl Machine (B) *Negative sets every 2 weeks
Overhead dumbbell press (T)
Reverse Grip Tricep Press down (T)
Bent over top tricep extension (T)
Shoulders (1 warm-up set, 3 working sets, 3rd working set include 5 partials)
Dumbbell shoulder press
(Smith Machine) Shoulder press
Dumbbell Front raise (1 arm at a time then both)
Cable Lateral Raise
Bent over Lateral Raise
(FST7) Lateral Raise
Legs (1 warm-up set, 3 working sets, 3rd working set include 5 partials)
Drop Down Squats/Power Squats
Drop Down Calf Raises with Smith Machine
(FST7) Leg Press, Walking Lunge to next machine, Leg extension (Rest then go backwards)
Lying Leg Curls
Barbell Hip Thrust (gotta get them glutes)
Standing leg Kick back on cable-tower
Abs (4 sets)
(Super set on incline bench) Reverse Crunch, Elbow to knee, Leg Lifts, Air bike
(on ground/mat) Crunch, toe touch, knee crunch, push up (3 sets continuously, no break unless you absolutely have to)
For all of the exercises besides abs, the warm-set is on a lower weight and is usually around 10-12 reps and for the working sets it’s 6-8 reps, the 6th rep being relatively hard. Specifically for the FST7 Leg day set I do 12 reps on the leg press, 12 lunges, and around 12-15 leg extensions. For abs, the rep count is around 10-12 for everything.
Last thing – the biggest key to my success was really having that drive to actually want to change and go to the gym in the first place. Every gym day is not a good day but irregardless, you have to go; if you start making excuses for yourself you’ll fall out of the habit. Also, going with people and working out with others. I hate going to the gym alone I love going w/ other people because it just brings a good energy especially when they’re as passionate about change as you and you never know what you could learn from somebody; don’t be afraid to ask or seek help, the dude who currently trains me gets a ridiculous amount of questions from me because I want to understand and better myself in the gym so those days I don’t go with dude I know what it is i’m doing and what muscles i’m working. It’s not easy at all, it’s a lot of hard work, but once you get in, start being consistent, and start seeing those results you always wanted you’ll never want to leave.