If you wanna be the man, you gotta out-eat the man

“You mean I never told you the secret to gaining weight?”

The following is a write up by my friend Gant

This nugget comes from JM Blakely, a bench press specialist who was known for gaining and losing significant amounts of weight depending on where he was in his training cycle. He wrote several articles for Powerlifting USA, including “The Big Boy’s Menu Plan (reprinted here).

The article is gold. The summary: there are no hard gainers, only undisciplined eaters.

Blakely is specifically addressing bulking cycles for powerlifting. But anyone on the path to 70’s Big can can benefit from this knowledge. Make no mistake, eating for mass requires effort equal to that which you put into your training.

The mustache is good for another 10 pounds.

The mustache is good for another 10 pounds.

In a recent article article, Dave Tate tells how Blakely helped him over a mass plateau. Prepare to be inspired.

There was a time at the Old Westside gym where I couldn’t gain weight to save my fucking life.

There was this dude who trained there who could just put on weight like fucking magic. He’d go from 198 to 308 and then to 275 and back down to 198. And he was never fat. It was amazing.

I finally asked him one day how he did it.

“You mean I never told you the secret to gaining weight? Come outside and I’ll fill you in.”

Now remember, we’re at Westside Barbell. And this guy wants to go outside to talk so no one else can hear. Think about that for a minute. What the hell is he going to tell me? This must be some serious shit if we have to go outside, I thought.

So we get outside and he starts talking.

“For breakfast you need to eat four of those breakfast sandwiches from McDonalds. I don’t care which ones you get, but make sure to get four. Order four hash browns, too. Now grab two packs of mayonnaise and put them on the hash browns and then slip them into the sandwiches. Squish that shit down and eat. That’s your breakfast.”

At this point I’m thinking this guy is nuts. But he’s completely serious.

“For lunch you’re gonna eat Chinese food. Now I don’t want you eating that crappy stuff. You wanna get the stuff with MSG. None of that non-MSG bullshit. I don’t care what you eat but you have to sit down and eat for at least 45 minutes straight. You can’t let go of the fork. Eat until your eyes swell up and become slits and you start to look like the woman behind the counter.”

“For dinner you’re gonna order an extra-large pizza with everything on it. Literally everything. If you don’t like sardines, don’t put ’em on, but anything else that you like you have to load it on there. After you pay the delivery guy, I want you to take the pie to your coffee table, open that fucker up, and grab a bottle of oil. It can be olive oil, canola oil, whatever. Anything but motor oil. And I want you to pour that shit over the pie until half of the bottle is gone. Just soak the shit out of it.”

“Now before you lay into it, I want you to sit on your couch and just stare at that fucker. I want you to understand that that pizza right there is keeping you from your goals.”

This guy is in a zen-like state when he’s talking about this.

“Now you’re on the clock,” he continues. “After 20 minutes your brain is going to tell you you’re full. Don’t listen to that shit. You have to try and eat as much of the pizza as you can before that 20-minute mark. Double up pieces if you have to. I’m telling you now, you’re going to get three or four pieces in and you’re gonna want to quit. You fucking can’t quit. You have to sit on that couch until every piece is done.

And if you can’t finish it, don’t you ever come back to me and tell me you can’t gain weight. ’Cause I’m gonna tell you that you don’t give a fuck about getting bigger and you don’t care how much you lift!”

Did I do it? Hell yeah. Started the next day and did it for two months. Went from 260 pounds to 297 pounds. And I didn’t get much fatter. One of the hardest things I’ve ever done in my life, though.

Follow the jump to watch Pisarenko in the clean and jerk portion of the 1982 World Championships.

18 thoughts on “If you wanna be the man, you gotta out-eat the man

  1. The story by Tate is profound. What he learned that day is that eating=training.

    My favorite part:
    “I want you to understand that that pizza right there is keeping you from your goals.”

  2. Perfect article to read while eating my 6 egg omelet with a couple of tall glasses of milk for breakfast. I won”t let any eggs keep me from my goals haha.

  3. The pizza story gave me chills. Tate”s a good storyteller.

    Be sure and read the link in the top paragraph to read Blakely”s original writeup in PLUSA. Again, this isn”t how the guy eats every day. It”s not sustainable, physically or financially. But proper bulking-cutting cycles are great for strength gains.

    And in case you were wondering, NO, a paleo/Zone diet isn”t going to cut it.

    Here is JM explaining his press.

  4. The hardest thing about drinking the milk is continuing to eat a normal (well, normal for us) diet in addition to the milk. I suppose this is one strategy. I am usually so full I just drink the oil as a whole pizza at that point in the day would rupture an intestine.

  5. That is funny, I read this yesterday and was inspired. I did the pizza thing for dinner, but fell asleep with 1 piece to go. I ate it when I awoke and headed to bed.

  6. The article and the links are golden. Thanks Gant. Ive been overloading over the past week and went from 200 to 207 pretty easily. After reading this article- it is clear I can do more.

  7. Good work, Mad. I went from 196 to 221 in about ten weeks to move up a weight class for judo. It takes a good bit of focus.

    Dave added these items after the interview. More awesomeness.

    “With the Diet from hell aka The JM Diet the key (as he said) was to control

    your blood sugar levels and the best way to do this was to keep them SKY high.

    This was done with the use of Hersey Bars (1 every hour you were awake). The

    best part of this is no matter how full you were all you had to do was crack

    them up and toss them in your mouth. In time they just melt down. They are

    also portable so you can always be ready. When I went to the store to buy

    these I would buy the 6 packs and pick up everyone single one they had in the

    store. To show me he was serious JM opened his mouth and showed me all the

    cavities he had. He displayed these like badges of honor. This became my new

    goal and now many root channels later I”m wishing I would have brushed or use

    ACT after every bar.”

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