Added On October 17, 2011
In order to develop a sense of nutritional reality, the bodybuilder must first acquire a realistic perspective of his goals, or what it is he might realistically achieve. Anyone with even a modicum of training experience knows that the development of muscle tissue beyond normal levels is slow, arduous process. The rank beginner, however imbued, with a fiery enthusiasm, but little in the way of knowledge or practical experience, often expects to develop a Mr. America physique almost overnight. I know because I was once an enthusiastic but ignorant young bodybuilder who sincerely believed he could gain a pound of muscle a day.
Again some of these deluded goals stemmed from reading the ads in the muscle magazines. While it is easy for me to sit here now and say those ads were obviously ludicrous, I was once taken in by them, and for many in varying stages of development and ignorance, it is all too easy to succumb to such rousing blandishments. Never did it dawn on a young Mike Mentzer that if he were to gain a pound of muscle a day, he would gain 365 pounds of muscle in a year merely by drinking a crash formula! How was I supposed to know that growth first had to be stimulated by exercise before proper nutrition became a factor in allowing for such growth? Of course, had I thought about it, I would have realized that no one could gain 365 pounds of muscle in an entire lifetime, let alone one year.
We must always keep in mind that growth is a slow process for everyone. And while some may grow a little faster than others, it still remains relatively slow and no one ever gains fast enough.
How much can the average bodybuilder expect to gain in one year of regular, intense training? In their very first year of training, some will gain as much as 20 or 30 pounds, especially if they are underweight to begin with. Once such an individual's bodyweight stabilizes closer to a more normal standard tor his height and age, growth will then slow down considerably despite heavy training.
For the individual of normal bodyweight who has been training a year, the addition of 10 pounds of lean muscle tissue is possible, but a considerable achievement nonetheless. And it's an achievement that's only possible if one is willing to train as hard as is required and eat properly. Of course, just about anyone can gain 10 pounds of bodyweight if that weight is fat or a combination of fat and muscle.
To many, 10 pounds a year may not sound like much. But look at it this way: in five years, the average adult male weighing 165 pounds, gaining at the rate of 10 pounds of muscle a year, will gain 50 pounds and end up weighing a muscular 215 pounds. Not bad at all considering that only two of the 15 competitors at the 1979 Mr. Olympia weighed more than 215 pounds. Looked at in this way, perhaps even a 10-pound gain of lean muscle a year is more than many might reasonably expect.
And make no mistake about it: for the serious bodybuilder, lean muscle gains are the only gains he should be concerned with. Size for the sake of size is a mistake, a lesson I had to learn through bitter experience. Gaining all that weight years ago has altered my metabolism so much that it is now harder for me to get cut than most. And there are the stretch marks that come from growing too fast ? or should I say, from getting fat too fast! It is always to your disadvantage to put on fat, because someday you will be confronted with the unpleasant task of shedding it. And the more fat you have, the more unpleasant the task.
Nutritional Reality By Mike Mentzer
The following article is an excerpt from Mike Mentzer's original Heavy Duty Nutrition Guide.
1971 Mr. America - AAU, 10th
1971 Teen Mr America - AAU, 2nd
1975 Mr. America - IFBB, Medium, 3rd
1975 Mr. USA - ABBA, Medium, 2nd
1976 Mr. America - IFBB, Overall Winner
1976 Mr. America - IFBB, Medium, 1st
1976 Mr. Universe - IFBB, MiddleWeight, 2nd
1977 North American Championships - IFBB, Overall Winner
1977 North American Championships - IFBB, MiddleWeight, 1st
1977 Mr. Universe - IFBB, HeavyWeight, 2nd
1978 USA vs the World - IFBB, HeavyWeight, 1st
1978 World Amateur Championships - IFBB, HeavyWeight, 1st
1979 Canada Pro Cup - IFBB, 2nd
1979 Florida Pro Invitational - IFBB, 1st
1979 Night of Champions - IFBB, 3rd
1979 Mr. Olympia - IFBB, HeavyWeight (over 200 pounds) 1st, Overall 2nd
1979 Pittsburgh Pro Invitational - IFBB, 2nd
1979 Southern Pro Cup - IFBB, 1st
1980 Mr. Olympia - IFBB, 5th
Mike Mentzer (November 15, 1951 - June 10, 2001)
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