A little lesson from the past: Sometime in the late '90s (I can't remember the exact year), Charles Poliquin published his "German Volume Training" in the pages of the now defunct, but on the whole outstanding publication Muscle Media 2000. (This was before MM2K became just plain ol' Muscle Media, and from then on just plain ol' sucked!) German Volume training was decidedly effective, true, but Poliquin marketed it as some kind of new, "revolutionary" program, which it, sorry to say, clearly wasn't. It was the old standby "10 sets of 10" regimen that I had written about in IronMan magazine as early as '94, and the very program that Vince Gironda created at least 30 years before that. (If you want an even crazier program, try finding Gironda's original 8x8 program, which is way harder than just doing 8 sets of 8 reps on an exercise.)
As sound as Gironda's training advice was, his dieting advice was just as good, and probably even more revolutionary. This was a man who, in the 1950s, didn't win the Mr. America contest because he was too ripped! You did NOT read that wrong. The judges, at the time, actually deducted points from his score card because of his extremely low bodyfat levels. They found it too unnatural. (The picture at the top of this article was taken sometime in the '50s, during his competitive days.)
Gironda was, obviously, way ahead of his time. When competitive bodybuilders were actually expected to get that ripped for competitions, they came to Vince for advice.
He also had very sound advice, tips, techniques, and programs for bodybuilders needing to gain weight. Below are a few of his tips taken straight from the Iron Guru's mouth:
- Drink water during your workout. Drink at least one pint after each muscle group worked, but dont' drink out of a fountain, because you swallow air.
- It's a necessity to eat three good, generous meals a day. Even more beneficial, if time permits, is six small meals per day. Include a lot of broiled meats, baked potatoes, stewed fruits, eggs, brown rice, thick soups, stews, nuts, and natural grains. Be sure also to include lots of green and yellow vegetables.
- Drink a pint of certified raw milk in addition to your regular meals at 10am, 2pm, 4pm, and one hour before bedtime.
- Give your food a chance to digest thoroughly by lying or sitting with your feet propped up on a high footstool after each meal.
- If you take your lunch to work, be aware that the best sandwiches for gaining weight are made with 100 percent whole wheat, pumpernickel, or rye breads. Ground beef patties, tuna with mayonnaise, turkey, meat loaf, avocado and bacon, peanut butter and bacon, and cream cheese all make excellent high-protein, high-calorie sandwiches.
- Don't miss a workout unless you're ill or it's absolutely imperative. Remember, your whole bodybuilding program is based on regular habits
- It's essential to get sufficient rest and sleep in order to fully recuperate from your workouts and for muscle growth to occur. I recommend eight to nine hours of sleep each night.
Gironda's advice still holds to this day.