The Incredible Hulk’s Incredible Size
Although the Hulk’s power is a force to be reckoned with, there’s one attribute of this angry green giant that sticks with people long after witnessing him.
His incredible size.
If you are interested in getting big like the Hulk, you’re going to need to eat like the Hulk. When it comes to getting bigger, the “eating big” part is responsible for at LEAST 80% of one’s success or failure. It’s why sites like Lift Big. Eat Big. (which kicks ass, by the way) exist – because you need both to get results!
This might be news to you, but muscle is NOT built in the gym. Muscle is built in the kitchen and in bed (while sleeping, perv!). You go to the gym to break down your muscles, then you eat enough and sleep to rebuild those muscles bigger and stronger than they were before.
In order to build muscle and size, you need to consume more calories than you burn every day.
How many calories is enough? This simple equation from my friend JCD over at JCDFitness gives you a good starting point:
Multiply your body weight by 16-18 to give you how many calories you should consume in order to put on weight:
If you weigh 150 pounds, you should be consuming at least 2400-2700 calories in order to get bigger.
If you weigh 175 pounds, you should be consuming at least 2700 – 3200 calories in order to get bigger.
This is a rough estimate. Depending on your age, metabolism, and training, you might need to significantly scale this amount up. Back when I packed on 18 pounds in 30 days, I was consuming somewhere between 3500-4000 calories. You might even need to exceed 4,000 calories per day.
Along with consuming enough calories, aim for 1g of protein per pound of lean body weight (or 2 grams per kg). If you don’t want to do the calculations, consume between .8 – 1g of protein per pound of body weight (2 grams of protein per kg).
The rest of your calories per day should come from a good mix of carbohydrates and fats.
Here are some good sources of calories with either carbs or fats to make sure you get enough in your system:
– whole milk
– almonds and almond butter
– olive oil
– brown rice
If you are a paleo fan – your excess calories should come from nuts, eggs, olive oil, yams, and whole milk (if you’re also consuming dairy).
Make sure you are drinking plenty of water and consuming a LOT of high-fiber vegetables. With all of that food you’re consuming, having a properly function digestive system is crucial.
Under optimal conditions, you can pack on approximately one pound of muscle per week. Any additional weight that you gain is mostly likely going to be fat, so it’s important to find your balance.
How often should you eat? The timing of your meals through the day isn’t terribly important as long as you are getting enough calories and protein by the end of the day. You can split out your calories and protein into two meals, three meals, four meals, or six meals – whatever set up works for you to get enough calories into your system.
Before we get into strength training, I find that a meal with at least 30-50g of protein and 60g of carbs within 30 minutes of your workout is a great way to kickstart the muscle building process.
Here’s my preferred superhero post-workout shake (I’m using it along with a workout below to pack on around 10-15 pounds over the next 8 weeks).