In this blog I will explain the difference between a beginner approach to bodybuilding and an advanced approach.
I’m going to try and get you in the right frame of mind to be your absolute best, and through my years of trial and error, I want to show you the key to building your best physique in the shortest amount of time possible. I’m going to use a shotgun vs. sniper rifle analogy here.
I want you to think of being boarded up in your house, and all of these intruders are trying to come through your yard and break into your home. Are you going to use a shotgun to kill them off or a rifle? I’m hoping you opted for the shotgun. You need to do a lot of damage in a short amount of time, similar to bodybuilding.
We want to build that frame up and make some leaps and bounds in our physiques. This is a shotgun approach, or beginner so to say. A shotgunner doesn’t worry about calorie count, he just eats. Pizza, subs, rice, steaks, whatever. Don't buy into that magazine bullshit for second if you want real muscle! All of those guys in the magazines ate this way at one point or another, especially in the beginning.
Nobody ever got 200+ lean lbs of JUST chicken and rice, no sir! This is going to be roundabout the first 5 years of your training. Think of this as building the foundation. You don't go to a construction site and see the landscaping and driveway done before the foundation do you?
So why in the hell would you focus on toning muscle you don't have yet? Why would you focus on eating so strictly when you're already a hard gainer and thin as a rail? You need the shotgun blast approach buddy. Anyone who is under 25 years old, a hard gainer or thin stature, needs to take this approach his first 5 years in the gym. The first 5 years will pave the way the rest of your bodybuilding endeavor, you will get 90% of everything you're going to get out of the weight room in your first 5 years.
When I was a 16 year old kid in high school and 140 lbs, this was a typical days diet for me:
Meal 1 – 4 scrambled eggs, large bowl of oatmeal, large glass of milk
Meal 2 – (study hall) I’d sneak in a piece of fruit and eat it
Meal 3 – My bagged lunch of 1 sandwich, another piece of fruit, and a can of tuna fish (I would bring a can opener with me and drain it in the cafeteria trash. I didn’t give a fuck how this looked to anyone!). After my bagged lunch and can of tuna, I would purchase additional food from the cafeteria which was usually 2 large deli sandwiches, 4-5 small cartons of chocolate milk and 1 large chocolate chip cookie.
Meal 4 – (when I got home from school) Large hamburger, glass of milk, 1 or 2 whole boxes of macaroni and cheese
Meal 5 – whatever my mom cooked
Before bed – 2 large glasses of milk, another hamburger
Not so clean is it? In the beginning you need to put calories first! I never counted grams of fats, carbs, or really even protein. I just knew I had to eat, and eat a lot. For the record here, I was probably consuming more at 16 years old and 140 lbs than I do now at 33 and 215 lbs. But this was the shotgun days, the foundation, the real meat and potatoes of training!
When you're young you need to take advantage of that fast metabolism and having time on your side. Your body reacts totally different in the beginning. Think about a car, that nice new sports car off the show room floor. It performs, its faster, it can go awhile before it needs an oil change or a new radiator. I want you to drive the fucking hell out of that car as fast as you can until it breaks down. When the car is older and needs to be well maintained, you have graduated to the sniper rifle stage of your game.
The sniper rifle is for the well trained soldier. He needs a shot that will get the distance and pack a lot of power. His shot needs to be precise, his scope needs to be sighted in just right, breath in, half a breath out, squeeze the fucking trigger and kill! This is going to be your bodybuilder after his first 5 years in the gym. The sniper may only pack on 3 lbs of muscle a year, maybe none, but he keeps coming back harder, grainier, tighter, more conditioned than ever.
The sniper has gained most of what he is going to get with his first 5 years in the gym. He is at his maximum genetic potential or has far surpassed it. At this point his goal should be 100% quality. This is where volumization of the muscle comes in. I may not be able to build it more, but I can make it look bigger with proper training and getting more volumization.
The sniper goes through a re-compositioning process, he may still be the 195 lbs he was during his shotgun blast days, but it's a whole different 195 lbs! Totally different body, the beginner or trainee with less than 5 years under his belt will not need to worry about re-compositioning, priority part training, or dieting for fat loss. The shotgun blaster will lose fat accordingly to the muscle he gains, since muscle metabolizes fat.
Nothing specific is needed other than hard training and eating enough to grow and he can build a hella big physique, even naturally. The sniper needs to keep more of a watch on his diet, he often never eats until he is full or satisfied, and the days of stuffing himself with food are over. This is also for health reasons too, and you as a new bodybuilder may find like I did, that the way your body functions and utilizes its own chemicals changes vastly about every 4-5 years.
Here is a typical days diet for myself nowadays:
Meal 1 – 4 whole eggs scrambled, 1 cup oats, apple
Meal 2 – 6 oz fish or chicken, avocado
Meal 3 – 6-8 oz chicken or fish, 1 cup brown rice
Meal 4 – protein shake, 1 cup broccoli, 1 cup oats
Meal 5 – 6-8 oz fish or chicken, 2-3 tablespoon natural peanut butter
Now compare this to the calorie count from when I was a beginner at 140 lbs. I was eating more as a beginner and 75 lbs less! This is plain as day that #1– my body has changed physiologically over the years of training and holds muscle easier #2– my metabolism has slowed down #3– my chemical makeup is not the same as it once was.
The guy who does not realize he needs to change how he eats (and possibly trains) as he ages will get injured, sick, or fall off the map. He will not look like he bodybuilds, he will look fat or average at best. The sniper knows better, he adjusts his scope as he needs to, one shot one kill motherfuckers!
So you need to be honest here and ask yourself if you're ready for the rifle, or are you still blasting away with the shotgun? If you can choose the right weapon it will only help you. Bodybuilding is a long term endeavor. Anyone who tells you its fast is full of shit. This takes years and years, and the reality of it is the more honest you are with yourself, the better results you will get. I will get into the training styles and tactics of the shotgunner vs rifleman in the next post.
Until then, train hard…