Maximum Muscle Archives


Age Dependent Meal Plans For Muscle Gain

Plan #1 : The Teenage Athlete Through Early 20′s
With <15% Body Fat

As I mentioned in my video post, teenagers in their late teen years that are player high school sports for example have much different requirements than older athletes due to metabolism, energy expenditure and hormonal levels. The supplement companies try to make money (it’s a billion dollar industry!) pitching unnecessary supplements to young athletes trying to gain lean muscle quickly.

Your battle is with a fork and a knife!

  • Your target level of carbohydrates (fruits, starches and whole grains) should be about 55% to 60% of your total calories.
  • Your target level of proteins (eggs, dairy, beef, chicken, turkey, fish) should be about 25% to 30% of your total calories
  • The amount of healthy fats you should eat (fat in red meat, egg yolks, whole milk, butter, olive oil, avocados) should make up the remaining 15% to 20%

Knocking back endless protein shakes is completely unnecessarily.

Multiply Your Body weight by 20 to
Estimate Calories Needed

This rule of thumb is only a starting point. If you are gaining more than 1 to 2 pounds per week then you are most likely gaining too much fat and a calorie reduction is in order.


So you want Big Arms?

There are many factors that go into arm size as well as the types of gains you can expect to make.

Before I get into the specifics, let’s have a reality check. I am guessing that the reason you are reading this is because you are searching for a killer bicep routine to help you put on size.

Here’s the deal. For males, if your arms are less than 14″ in circumference (and you are taller than 5 1/2 feet) then a killer arm routine isn’t what you need, but rather a solid routine that focuses on compound movements like pull ups, bent over rows, dips and close grip presses.

Chin ups, pull ups and dips will pay huge dividends when it comes to packing on arm size.

I have observed many times over the years that when I can get an individual to stop performing direct arm work and, instead, focus on the compound movements, increases in arm size and strength where experienced.

In fact, when they went back and tried curls, they were shocked to see that they could curl more weight!

Will this work for everyone? Nope. My arms are just under 16″ ( ok, 15 3/4″ ) at a body weight of just over 170. I am very strong in pull ups and dips but size increases will only come from lots of direct arm work, lots of eating and lots of rest!

I once heard a rough rule of thumb from a very well know strength coach that to put an inch on your arm, your total body weight will need to increase by approximately 10 pounds. On average, I have personally confirmed this.

How To Bulk Up Fast

How To Bulk Up Fast:
What is the Most Effective Way?

Bulking up is a term used to describe the process of eating an excess of calories while weight lifting in an attempt to build as much muscle as possible. So what is the best way to bulk up fast?

Well… if you’re one of my loyal regular readers then you know by now that I don’t answer the questions I pose right away!

It depends on your body type!

Ok, I’m going to suggest a brutally honest “exercise” for you to do right now (that is if you’re home!). Go stand in front of your bathroom mirror. Don’t worry, this isn’t some sort of sick perverted exercise.

Now what do you see?

 People are generally categorized into one of 3 body types:

  1. Endomorph  (very skinny “hard gainer”)
  2. Mesomorph (broad shoulders; able to gain muscle and lose weight)
  3. Endomorph (Pear shape; thick around the waist and difficulty losing fat)

Pick a number!

…but not only your body type!
What is your current condition?

Assuming we are being honest with each other you will fall into one of the 5 categories below:

  1. Bean Pole
  2. Lean Muscular Dude
  3. Average Joe
  4. Crappy Diet Football Guy
  5. Fat Boy

Let me explain my “patented” classification system
to determine your “bulk up fast” strategy

By no means are these meant as insults! What’s the point if we can’t have a little fun here!

Bean Pole:
You are a human pencil and gym rats often confuse you for a barbell! You are a classic endomorph and you will benefit from the “fast bulk up” plan.

There is also the possibility that you are a bean pole with a pot belly. No Bulk Up for you!

Honestly, I have never heard of a pot bellied ectomorph that wanted to bulk up but crazier things have happened. Email me ( ) and we’ll figure something out.

Lean Muscular Dude:
Your body fat is less than 10% and you can see at least your upper 4 abs. You have broad shoulders and that “athletic” look. You need to be careful with the “fast bulk up” plan as you will bulk up your muscle AND fat cells. Bulking up to gain muscle will work for you but I believe there are better ways like a modest “zig zag” approach or more advanced approaches like macro nutrient rotation. Don’t allow yourself to get too fat!

Average Joe:
You’re not too fat but you’re also not very muscular. Maybe you’re good looking or funny? No? Ok, let’s focus on building some muscle and getting lean!

I’m willing to bet you are a mesomorph in which case, a “clean and modest” bulk up plan can be somewhat effective if your goal is simply to get stronger. If you also want to look awesome as well, a body re-composition meal plan will be more effective than simply trying to eat a ton of food while throwing around the iron in an attempt to slap on slabs of muscle. Since you probably can’t see your abs, you run the risk of adding just as much fat as muscle.

Crappy Diet Football Guy:
You played football in high school and developed a very good muscular foundation. You also ate like crap… then you went to college and drank beer and ate more crap. Hopefully you hit the gym now and then but you simply don’t burn the calories you used to so your a strong fat guy!

No bulk up for you! Don’t even think about trying to gain muscle if your goal is to look awesome. You are most likely a mesomorph. Get yourself on a solid nutrition plan that allows you to lose fat slowly while focusing on getting your strength levels back.

Fat Boy:
Again, I’m not trying to be degrading or mean here! If your body fat is over 20% then you are fat. Accept it so we can move on and focus on reducing it. You might already have some great muscle hiding under there. Get started on an extreme fat loss plan to get your body fat cut in half.

This One’s For You, Bean Pole:
The simplest way to bulk up fast

I am making a big assumption that you are following a solid workout plan (heavy compound movements and no triceps kickbacks).

Your answer is the G.O.M.A.D. diet

Say what?? It’s an acronym that stands for:

“Gallon Of Milk A Day”

This is probably the most ridiculous thing you have ever heard. Drink 1 gallon of whole milk per day. Tell me you can’t gain weight with that!

Milk is a very inexpensive and AWESOME source of protein and healthy fats. I would stick with organic milk purchased from local farmers. I know you want to bulk up fast but try not to gain more than 1-2 pounds per week. The faster you gain weight, the more it will be fat weight and not muscular weight.

For optimal mass gains, it is important to target all 3 heads of the triceps. The long head often gets neglected the most.

Work all 3 heads using the right triceps exercises
for maximum arm mass

Not all triceps exercises are created equal. The following is a list of the best triceps exercises that will work all 3 heads:

  1. Decline EZ Triceps Extension
  2. Bench Dips
  3. Parallel Bar Dips
  4. Rope Triceps Press down
  5. Dumbell Triceps Extension (Neutral grip)

The best triceps exercise routine for mass has variety. Think about the position of the upper arm!

The number one rule is to not perform multiple triceps exercises with the upper arm in the same position! Triceps push downs have the upper arm fixed with elbow pointing down. Lying triceps extensions have your upper arm positioned such that your elbow is pointing in front of your body and so on.

You need to move big loads to build triceps mass!

Now,  if triceps mass is your primary goal you need to focus on exercises that allow for heavy loads (no triceps kick backs!!). You will do well sticking with dips. Don’t lean forward  too much as this will place more emphasis on your pectoral (chest) muscles.

The narrow grip bench press (roughly 12″ spaced grip) is an excellent triceps exercises for building mass.

An example of an effective triceps routine would be closed grip bench press super-setted with the rope triceps press down.

 How many reps should you do for Tricep size?

This is a great question and it’s important utilize lower and higher reps ranges for optimal results.

Here is a routine I recently developed and had excellent success with. On day one, perform a big compound triceps exercise using heavy weight for the 5×5 technique. on day 2, perform each one of the exercises listed in a row with about 15 seconds of rest between each one. Then rest about 3 minutes and complete the circuit 2 or 3 more times.

Day 1

Weighted Dips or Close Grip Barbell Bench Press

Perform classic 5 sets of 5 reps routine

Day 2 (2-3 days later)

1) Overhead Dumbbell Triceps Extension
Rep goal: 6 – 8

2) Close neutral grip dumbbell presses (elbows at your side)
Rep goal: 6 – 8
3) Lying barbell triceps extension (aka skull crushers)
w/ reverse grip.
Rep goal: 10 – 12


It’s worth mentioning that the best routine in the world won’t do jack shit if everything else isn’t taken care of…. you know, the other 23 hours of the day!

Make sure to have a high quality post workout shake about 30 minutes after you finish (don’t sweat the details here). Make sure you have carbs and protein in this shake. If you are in a pinch, just pick up a Muscle Milk at the nearest gas station or a chocolate milk for that matter. It’s better than nothing!

Continue to feed your body with high quality sources of lean protein, healthy fats and low glycemic carbohydrates 4 to 6 times per day.

…. and for God’s sake, get your rest! 4 hours of sleep per night and 3 Red Bull’s per day will destroy your hormonal balance!