Monday, 4 April 2011

How i gained 10kg in 1 month... Part 1

Hello everyone,

The first version of this blog was massive, too big to be considered a light read. So i have made it into 2 parts for easier digesting (and more blog visits!).

Throughout my time in Bahrain i have heard the sentence which included "...moved to Bahrain and gained 10kgs". Ironically, during the past month that exactly what I (we - me and Lou) did. We took the idea from a book (Tim Ferriss's best-selling 4-hour body) called "the geek to freak program" and went against everything we understood about gaining size and strength and put our faith in a guy who had experimented with himself and got an amazing result.

Possibly the best book i have read.

A quick word on "the 4 hour body". Timothy Ferriss is a modern day genius, read his amazing story and you will agree. In creating this book he spent over a decade experimenting on his body to find out what really happens when we train, eat, sleep, etc. If your looking for a new book to read, this is an absolute goldmine of information on the human body. It de-bunks a lot of the myths we have believed about training for years. From sleeping to sex, from fat loss to weight gain... it's amazing read from start to finish. If my brother is reading this, i am sending him it for his birthday (so wait 2 weeks!).

My start weight on Tuesday March 1st was 80kg and as i write this (April 5th) i am 90kg.

How did we do it? By sticking to a system and seeing it through.

How much of this weight is lean body mass (LBM) and bodyfat %? Its always difficult to be 100% accurate, my honest opinion would be 60/40 in favour of muscle (based on bodyfat measures and calculating LBM) so that means i may have put on as much as 6kg of LBM in one training month.

I quickly research this on the internet. Google "how much muscle can i add in 1 month?"

From Vince Delmonte (a fitness professional - who has great knowledge and products)

"There is not a chance in heaven that you will gain 5 or even 10 pounds of dry muscle in one month or even 3 months - not even close. I hate to be the messenger of this bad news but unless you are using growth enhancing drugs... it's IMPOSSIBLE".

So, i guess thats it? I'm full of shit.

Possibly the angriest kid in the world?

Not really, Vince goes on to talk about glycogen weight, water weight and storage in the full answer read it and make your own mind up. It is plausable that dry muscle weight is added over the longer term and glycogen/water weight fills the muscles in the shorter term. Vince mentions that "consistency" is essential in gaining dry muscle, Im totally behind that.

Vince added an impressive 41lbs to his then skinny frame in 6 months using a training program of 4-6 sessions per week. We just added 22lbs in 1 month training in 10 full body weight sessions. Thats just 10 hours of training!

In my opinion (btw you can never be wrong if you start a sentence with those 3 words) Timothy Ferriss has found a better system of gaining size and weight than VDM. VDM is the sort of guy who would already be trying tim's program so i expect i will hear him endorse it soon.

*I guess we can say that LBM can be compromised of dry muslce mass, glycogen and water. Only when an individual is truly ripped (4-6% bodyfat) would you get a more accurate picture of dry muscle mass.

Check out VDM's top quality long-term muscle building program
The goal

To add as much weight as possible in approximately a month (ours ended after 34 days and 10 training sessions). Even though a higher % LBM in the overall weight total was preferable, our fundamental goal was weight gain.

The results

Nathan Williams         +10kg (80.5kg - 90.5kg) - previous heaviest ever weight 86kg
Lullu Murali                + 8kg  (63kg - 71kg) - previous heaviest ever weight 67kg

Impressive numbers which are made even more unbelievable when you consider that we both smashed through our heaviest ever weights by a considerable amount (kg) in such a short space of time.

The training

See Part 2 of this blog

Nutrition (calories) and supplements

The aim of each day is eat excess calories in order to create a calorific excess which will be used in muscle building and recovery. The aim of the supplementation and 'damage control' is to shuttle the calories taking in towards muscle and not fat gain and also to lower cholesterol.

Pasta was my 'go-to' food for over-feeding over the past month

Typical day

Breakfast (6.30am) Metrx meal replacement drink with added creatine and glutamine
2nd breakfast (9am) Baked breakfast croissant with coffee (and fries! or side salad)
Lunch (12noon) Turkey sandwich/Jam on toast/pasta  in lunch box, glass of milk, apple
Snacks - almonds/cashews/brazil nuts/seeds
Pre workout - NO explode
Post workout - Metrx meal replacement with added creatine and glutamine (sometimes a muffin)
*Evening - Chicken/tuna/eggs with Quinoa/Pasta/Potatoes
Bed time - Metrx meal replacement or glass of milk with Creatine/Glutamine

*When eating out i tried to stick with steak, baked potato and veg but generally had what i fancied that day. I ended up eating a lot of chips which was pretty poor really.

Supplementation guide

I will just give a list here, you can check the book out for exact details:

Creatine (5-15g a day)
Glutamine (pre program loading phase from Charles Poliquin)
Policosanol (at night)
ALA (every meal)
Chromium (every meal)
Niacin (had really bad flushes so stopped using after about a week)
Vitamin D (my own inclusion)
Cinnamon tablets (in morning with black coffee)
ZMA (my own inclusion)
NO explode (pre training)

Damage Control

Here comes the interesting bit... Have you ever heard of GLUT4 activity? of course not. In a nutshell... it involves exercising or movement after eating a meal.

Austin Powers... in a nutshell

The chinese had an ancient saying which translated to "walk 100 steps after each meal and you will live to 100 years old". Even a thousand years ago the chinese were onto this theory (I remember my brother doing the same when we were kids, not sure where he got that from?). They believed that moving around after each meal would assist the body to better digest and use the nutrients in the food, It turns out they were on to something. Reda more on GLUT4 activity in the book.

If you're a nerd read this for more GLUT4 stuff.


When you read below in the pro's and con's columns you should see sleep in both. Of course quality sleep is essential for recovery and muscle growth but being tired to the extent of having low energy throughout the day is not good if you have an active job. Throughout the past month I noticed 3 distinct times of the day where i was really tired:

a) On waking - i found it hard to get up, often hitting the snooze button several times before being able to rise. When i did, i never felt fresh in the morning.

b) 1-3pm - yes, its a naturally low time anyway, but the large lunch carb feedings left me really drousy and struggling to stay awake in the afternoon.

c) 9-10pm - i was very tired getting into bed. Again this isn't a bad thing if you are physically tired, but i felt more full from food than anything else

Late night carbs left fido KO'd!
You can make your own mind up, i had some of the best nights sleep in years and some really nice afternoon naps but i realised that im not really in to wasting my daylight hours sleeping; its boring and a bad habit to get in to. Once my diet changes i will enjoy my new energy and get more done.

Geek to freak (G2F) Pro's

Sleep/napping - promotes growth, recovery and repair
Massive recovery time between sessions
All body parts done in one session
(depending on individual) No "cardio" needed
Amazing energy and enthusiasm towards each session (due to infrequency of sessions)
Eating up tp 6000 calories a day allows your diet to go anywhere you want (cheat foods)

Time saved to do other things - let me dwell on this point for a second:

If i just put 10kgs on in 34 days training just 10 hours.

...and a typical Gym member will spent 5-6 hours a week, training each bodypart 2-3 times resulting in 1-2kg gain (normally a great result) in 25+ hours a month...

What the f*ck have we been doing all this time???? training too much and wasting time? it looks like it.

There are few things in life that waste more time than a tricep machine, ARRRGGH!

Before you message me all sorts of crazyness and abuse, remember i'm talking about weight gain which represents a small % of gym members goals but secretly is what most guys are looking to do. Tim Ferriss also has a minimist approach to fat loss in the book, but you got to buy it to find out.

G2F cons

Excessive sleep/napping - unproductive and boring
Same session each time (We loved the training but i realise some people would get bored)
Eating 6000 calories per day is a massive commitment
The 'damage control' exercising is hard to keep up when you eat out
The supplementation protocol is difficult to stick with 100%, you have to be disciplined
Drinking a lot of milk made me feel sick at time

Thats the basics, in part 2 (which i have annoying named part deux) I will take you through the training program, the adjustments we made and what i would do differently. Until next time.

If you want to check out a great new fitness page on facebook, Bahrain-based trainer Leigh Withers has created a great page which includes tips on all things fitness, check it out and leave a comment!!/JLWithersPT

Share with friends on facebook, make comments and look out for Part Deux very soon!


  1. still remeber the last session very well..we should team up once more,maybe when i visit u in singapore

  2. The session you have seems to be an awesome friends have attended yours .. hope i will join soon..


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