Sunday, November 24, 2019

You Wanna Get Bigger, Part One, Equipment and Eating - Glenn Pendlay

Thanks to John over at 

for this. 

And thanks to Laree and On Target Publications for all these

Glenn Pendlay articles (links above for all): 

 - Consistency in Olympic Lifting
 - Olympic Weightlifting Tips for Beginners
 - Programming for Older Lifters
 - Olympic Lifts from the Top Down
 - Strength Training is a Process Not an Event
 - The Training Log
 - The Texas Method
 - Hand Position for the Snatch
 - Do you Need to Stomp in Weightlifting? 

 - Common Weightlifting Mistakes
 - Structuring the Training Week

Okay then now. . . 

PART ONE - Equipment

You wanna get big? 
Gain weight that's not centered around your waistline? 

This is possible;
do not doubt that this is possible.

In this first part of our five part series, I want to concentrate on what you have to have to be successful.

The ideal thing would be a gym that you can get to three times a week and that you can afford to join and stay a member of. This gym, to be suitable, should have a few features.

It should have squat racks.
It should have a place to do deadlifts and cleans.
It should have a decent bench press.
It should have bars that are straight, and the sleeves rotate.
It should allow chalk.

If you have such a place and can afford to, join it. 

If you can't find a place like that, then you have to build your own gym at home. 

You need a decent bar. If you are young or on a really, really low budget, then I suggest "play it again sports" or a similar place that sells used stuff. Look around. If you can find an old bar that says "York" on the collars that is under $100 and fairly straight, then buy it. If not, then go for the cheapest bar or bar/plates combo you can buy, with the knowledge that you will need to start saving right away for a decent bar to be bought when you destroy the one you just purchased. It will happen, but don't concern yourself with that right now. 

If you can afford it, but a good, new bar. Look around the internet and you will see what you need if you have half a brain. Don't consider buying a new bar unless you can afford one that is over $300. 

You also need at least 200 lbs. of plates to start. You can find them cheapest at sporting good stores, garage sales, or on Craigslist. I have seen weight plates - and bars also for that matter - practically given away at garage sales many times.

The last things you will need are squat stands and a bench press, or just a bench press . . . in that order. You can get by with a pair of squat stands or a squat rack. A squat rack or stands and and a bench are better. A squat rack or pair of stands, and a bench press are best.

Things that are good but not absolutely necessary are a pair of shoes that have a fairly solid heel of about 3/4 of an inch. You will need to get these eventually if you are serious, but you don't have to have them to start. 

So, now here we are. Do you belong to an appropriate gym? 
If not, do you have at minimum a decent bar and some weight - 
better yet, also a pair of squat stands or squat rack.  Even better - 
these things plus a bench or bench press? 

This is not a high bar to get over. When I started I got squat stands by digging post-holes behind the house and putting 4 by 4's in them so I could squat. 

Figure it out however you want, but if you want to get bigger, 
figure it out. 

PART TWO - Eating to Get Big

Here in Part Two, you'll find out about what you should put into your body to achieve maximal training results.

This article is not for bodybuilders cutting for a contest (although a lot of bodybuilders could benefit from reading it). 

It's not really for the average 17-year old "bro" who is doing bench and curls three times a week at the local Gold's Gym. 

This article is for hard training strength athletes, whether they are Olympic lifters, powerlifters, shot putters, or just a guy who want to gain 30 lbs. of muscle, bench 400 lbs. and is willing to train hard and eat right to get there. 

This article is not going to be long on science, although I could certainly go that route. 

It is going to be about what the last 20 years of competing as a strength athlete and coaching strength athletes has taught me about what one has to put into their body in order to train as hard as is necessary to get to the highest level that is possible.

General Guidelines for a Shopping List

 - Use olive oil whenever possible when cooking. Drinking it straight when trying to gain weight is good, if it can be tolerated.

 - Use flax seeds. Not flax seed oil. Grind them yourself using a coffee grinder. Sprinkle them into anything that you can. Find a way to get some down the hatch at least every other day. If you eat yogurt, don't eat yogurt without them. 

 - Drink milk every day. My palate prefers 2%, but whole milk is also good.

 - Eat fish a couple of days a week. Salmon is great. Learn to grill it; it tastes great and is good for you.

 - Eggs are good, yolk and all. You should have eggs most days. Most breakfasts should be build around eggs. 

 - Red meat is your friend. Eat it every day. Do yourself and your pocketbook a favor, and learn to cook brisket. It's the worst cut of meat at the butcher if not cooked right, the BEST if cooked correctly. It's also very cheap. If you don't know how to cook it right, make friends with a Texan and ask him or her. Probably him, 'cause in Texas it's the men who do the grilling and smoking and the BBQ. 

 - Figure out a way to eat vegetables. I don't care if you don't like them, do it anyway. There are plenty of very tasty ways to cook and eat veggies - many of them even come from a grill. Again, if you don't know how to do it, it helps to know a Texan so he can help you with grill technique. 

 - Nuts are your friends,and I'm not just talking about your nutty friends. And stop smirking. Cashews, almonds, etc. Places like Costco and Sam's Club have pretty good deals on big jars of various nuts. Keep a jar around the house and snack on them.

 - Eat berries, all varieties of berries. Have some every day if you can afford it. Besides being tasty, berries of various kinds have anti-inflammatory properties. 

 - Use ginger when you are cooking. I personally don't like to cook with it much, so every few days I just take a bite of a raw ginger root. This is not something most people can do, so I urge you to learn some recipes that call for ginger. Ginger fights inflammation. 

 - Take fish oil supplements. if you want to know how much, Google is your friend, but I personally recommend as much as you can stand or as much as you can afford. Fish oil is a great way to even out your Omega-3 to Omega-6 ratio, and is especially important when you are eating a lot of red meat and don't have the cash to buy the grass-fed kind.

 - Get some sun, without sunblock, several times a week. If you can't, take Vitamin D supplements - make sure it's D3, and take at least 5,000 IU a day. But seriously, get some sun.

 - Vitamin C is cheap and is your friend. But don't bother taking it if you're not willing to take 2,000 or 3,000 mg a day. 

 - A multivitamin isn't a bad idea, but it's not as good an idea as eating a large amount and large variety of vegetables. Doing both is an even better idea.

 - A good mineral supplement is probably as or more important than a good vitamin supplement. 

That should take care of your shopping list. These are the foods you should be buying when you go to the grocery store.   

In Part Three, we will look at a sample meal plan. 

PART THREE -Meal Planning

Three meals a day is good. This is assuming that you get 2-3 snacks on top of your three meals. You should eat right after each training session. The more variety of food you can eat, the better . . . and of particular value is a variety of vegetables. Eat veggies of a variety of sizes, shapes, and particularly, COLORS! 

And my friends, learn to cook!!!

This is a lost art among the youth of today. 

McDonald's is okay now and then, but not all the time. Places like Chipotle, where you can make a burrito that is both tasty and healthy, are also fine sometimes. But why all the time? It's expensive and needless. 

Learn to cook your own damn food! 

It's better for you, much cheaper, and, if you spend the time to get halfway decent at it, it can be rewarding and even fun. And for the guys out there, let me just say this, women love a man who can cook. And the girls already know that the fastest way to a man's heart is not straight through his ribcage . . . it's through his stomach. 

Enough said. 

If you are going to "cheat" do it once a week in a big way, rather than every day in a small way. 

Here are a few sample meals - use them as guidelines. 

Breakfast #1

Take four eggs, about a half-pound of pork sausage, some ham or turkey and some spinach. Cook it all in olive oil, and with two tortillas make breakfast burritos. A little cheese mixed in doesn't hurt anything - Pepper Jack is the choice of those who know best. Hot sauce is your friend, and Louisiana Hot Sauce IS the perfect hot sauce, just like the label says. Peppers and onions can take the place of spinach if you like that sort of thing. Now, get yourself some blueberries, strawberries or whatever berries you like, and put them in a bowl. Eat all of this along with a glass of milk.

Breakfast #2 

Cook a small sirloin steak. Other red meat will do, but trust me - sirloin is best for breakfast. Add in some potatoes cooked how you want them (hash browns are good for breakfast). Slices of tomatoes and cucumbers round it out. Other vegetables will do, but cucumbers and tomato slices covered in vinegar and olive oil go good with steak and potatoes. Coffee goes well with this one - trust me. If this sounds boring, cut the steak into strips, cut the potatoes into little pieces, grill some peppers and put it all in a tortilla. Don't forget a big glass of milk. 

Breakfast #3

Make yourself some French toast - it really isn't that hard. It isn't ideal, but hell, it tastes good and it's different. Use berries and whipped cream on it instead of syrup. Sausage goes well with this, as does a big, cold glass of milk. And it won't kill you to use some syrup. This is America and we are all allowed to use some syrup some of the time. 

Dinner or Supper #1

Chicken Fajitas. Most grocery stores carry ready-made Fajita mix . . . cut up chicken, onions and peppers. It takes about five minutes to cook this up with a liberal amount of olive oil in a pan. A pound of this, a couple of tortillas, some hot sauce (Louisiana preferably) and maybe even some cheese, and you have yourself a meal. Some folks use sour cream, avocado, or guacamole. There is nothing wrong with that. Some folks even use lettuce. I can't stop you from using lettuce in your Fajitas, and it won't hurt you - it's not unhealthy in any way - but please don't. There is just something wrong with lettuce in a Fajita. Save the lettuce for the Tacos and Burritos. If you get bored with this, substitute beef, or maybe even pulled pork for the chicken. And don't forget to drink a big glass of milk. 

Dinner or Supper #2

Salad with chicken or steak is tasty. Get a big bag of baby spinach, an onion, and whatever other tidbits strike your fancy. Peppers are sometimes good. Croutons can be good here also. Chop up the onion and whatever else you want to throw in there. Cook up a good amount of chicken strips or steak cut into thin strips, and make a salad. Use a bunch of olive oil on it as dressing, along with squeezing some lemon juice on it. Just a bit of vinegar makes it taste better - trust me. Garlic bread goes good with this too, and don't forget to drink a big glass of milk.

Dinner or Supper #3

Good old steak, potatoes and vegetables. The tastiest way of preparing this is to get yourself a good Tri-tip, and put it on the grill. 

Note: A.K.A. bottom round. 

If it's between three and four pounds (which most Tri-tips are), get your grill to about 300 degrees and keep it in for about three hours.  

Another stinkin' note! - A slow cooker on high setting gets to about 300 degrees and stays there. You might find one of those crockpots useful some days. 

That's the way it comes out best on my grill - it is pink in the center and tender and juicy. Make sure you're not cooking it over direct heat. Put it on the opposite side of the grill as the burner you have on. You may have to adjust the temperature or time based on the idiosyncrasies of your grill. When the meat is 40 minutes or so from being done, put a pan on the stove with water, set it to boil and put a bunch of potatoes in it. Very simply. Get either another pan or use the grill, and "grill" some zucchini and yellow squash. If it's in a pan, just fry it up in olive oil. It it's on the grill, put it on aluminum foil and drip some olive oil on top of every piece. Did I mention that you have to slice it up? Whether a pan or a grill, put some sort of steak seasoning on it. Trust me, this makes it taste very yummy. 

Donny Shankle . . . 

. . . Jon North, and I had this very supper tonight. Between the three of us we had 7.2 pounds of Tri-tip. We also had strawberries for desert, which I recommend wholeheartedly. 

Dinner or Supper #4

Many restaurants [and bars] have an all-you-can-eat wings deal one day of the week. Get the naked wings, and eat a lot. Remember, the more wings you eat, the better a deal it is. Donny Shankle ate 100 wings the last time we took advantage of this deal, and he clean and jerks 464 lbs . . . draw whatever conclusion you want. 

Dinner of Supper #5

Salmon and a salad with asparagus on the side. Any idiot can make a salad, so I won't bother you with that, other than to ask you to please, please don't make some concoction in which iceberg lettuce is the only veggie and think that you are making something healthy. The salmon is best made over a plank, cedar, mesquite, etc. that has been soaked in water and placed on the grill. To properly cook asparagus, you need a grill, some aluminum foil, some olive oil and whatever steak seasoning you prefer. I think you can figure it out from there. 

Dinner or Supper #6

Use your imagination. Some fish, red meat, pork, chicken, lamb, goat, whatever. Get some veggies, as wide a variety as you can stand, and maybe something starchy . . . and you have a meal. What do you like? Experiment. Learn to cook. you're not really a full-grown man until you can whip out a tasty and healthy meal complete with meat and vegetables on your grill. 

Snack #1

Nuts. Eat them, and stop smirking. And don't ask how many. No sane person counts out 30 almonds. Just grab handfuls and put them in your mouth 'til you can't eat anymore. Cashews, almonds, etc.

Snack #2

Fruit. Any of it. It's tasty and good for you.

Snack #3

Yogurt with ground flax in it. Flax is good for you. Figure out a way to include it in your diet. 

So there it is. 

A guide to eating like a strength athlete who wants to gain muscle. 

In Part Two we'll look at training. 



Blog Archive