This short post is going to be more of a rant than anything, and is not directed at anyone in particular, mostly because there are so many of you that my fingers would cramp from typing all the names. I have said it before and I will say it again: I think most sedentary individuals tend to over-eat, and most athletes tend to under-eat to reach their goals. This is true for men and women (Especially those I have worked with in the Crossfit community) who have the goals of getting stronger and putting on more bodyweight. I am going to drop a knowledge bomb on you, and you aren’t going to like it. Ready?
EATING A BIG STEAK AND VEGETABLES IS NOT EATING BIG
That has to be said, I am sorry if it upsets you. Almost every day I see individuals who talk about wanting to get “YUUUGE” and then post photos of their meals, which usually look like some sort of salad or leafy green with a large piece of meat on the grill. I don’t care if you eat the biggest steak you have ever seen if your life: If you pair it with a vegetable, you won’t be getting larger. As I have stated before: vegetables are nothing but vitamins and fiber. DO NOT count any vegetable towards a caloric total if you are trying to put on mass, and especially DO NOT continue thinking that a vegetable is somehow your carb source for the day.
You will not be getting bigger if you do not increase the carbs in your diet, plain and simple. A piece of advice I like to offer (with nothing but my own experience to back it up) is that you can eat all the protein you like, but if you are low carb, that protein is going to be used for energy, not building muscle. Let carbs be your energy source, and let protein do its job of repairing and rebuilding.
There is a reason why there are a large group of 5’10” fitness competitors who weigh a shredded 180lbs, but can’t clean 200lbs and aren’t deadlifting 405 yet: it’s easy to look “shredded” when you weigh 180lbs, but that doesn’t mean you are strong. These are the same people that will come to use and say “I can’t gain weight! I have tried, I eat soooo much! Last night I had a 20oz steak with like two cups of spinach and a protein shake before bed.” Congratulations, you just ate a portion of one of my meals.
I will state it again, just to be clear: If you eat meat and vegetables, you will be nice and lean and shredded and vascular, but if you are already small and you eat like that, you won’t go anywhere. Now, this isn’t the same for already large guys like Kalle Beck and Matt Mills, who have reached their desired size and now are eating less carbs than someone who is still trying to bulk. Just remember, if you include the terms “bulking” and “low carb” in the sentence, you don’t get to join the clubhouse.