A hard gainer is a term used in bodybuilding for skinny people who find it extremely hard to put on weight. Putting on weight is as simple as consuming more calories but for hard gainers this isn’t simple at all.
They find it extremely difficult to eat more calories and in some cases may even feel like throwing up when forcing themselves to eat the extra calories needed to gain mass.
Today I want to go over the pros and cons of a method for putting on weight that has been around for ages. It was first introduced by expert American strength training coach and former powerlifter Mark Rippetoe. It’s called GOMAD.
What is GOMAD?
GOMAD stands for a ‘gallon of milk a day’. It involves drinking 1 U.S gallon/3.7 litres (6-pint bottle is 3.4 Litres) of full-fat milk a day. GOMAD is not for everyone; it is a method used for newbie hard gainers.
It is something to consider for newbies who are skinny that want to add mass and gain strength to up their weights in the gym (or at home).
However if you are ‘skinny fat’ then I recommend that you cut first before anything. This will sort out your hormones; so you will be adding mostly muscle when you decide to bulk. You can then do a ‘lean bulk’ to gain muscle with minimum fat gains. If you are ‘skinny fat’ there’s an excellent website by Oskar Faarkrog called ‘skinny fat transformation‘ that will explain why you shouldn’t do G.O.M.A.D or starting strength for that matter. G.O.M.A.D is for skinny hard gainers only.
The Benefits of GOMAD;
1) GOMAD equals to around 2176kcals (blue top whole milk). This coupled with a regular diet will total to roughly 5000kcals in the day. This is enough to add weight for ANY hard gainer.
2) GOMAD is cheap. 1 gallon of milk will cost a little more than £1.50 in the UK. A lot less expensive compared to the ‘weight gainers’ on the market.
3) Full-fat milk has a great even spread of macros with; 122g of fat, 160g of carbs and a whopping 109g of protein!
4) The fat content of milk will boost testosterone levels giving you strength to lift more weight, therefore, it will to more muscle gain.
5) It works well if your skinny and new to training with heavy weights and it has been proven to be very effective for adding weight fast. Weight gain of 15-30lbs in 30 days has been reported the majority of the time with the GOMAD method!
1) You WILL gain some fat as well as muscle, this is inevitable. However, the whole point people use the GOMAD method is because they are skinny and need to add weight to put some size on.
2) Drinking a gallon of milk will leave you feeling bloated, however, it will just be for a short period until your body adjusts to the extra milk intake.
3) You will urinate a lot; drinking a gallon of any fluid will defiantly have you going for frequent trips to the toilet.
4) You may experience a lot of gas due to the milk which is expected sometimes, so stay away from naked flames! 🙂
How to ‘GOMAD’;
- It is important to start off slowly and work your way up to one gallon of milk. This will help you build a tolerance to the extra milk and give your body time to adjust to the extra lactose. You can start with 1/4 a day, then 1/2, 3/4, then on to a gallon. Take your time and let your body adjust.
- Space it out and drink the milk throughout the day.
- Eat your regular healthy meals as well, Don’t just drink the milk and abandon your food.
- Train at least 3 days a week with heavy weights.
- Make sure your workouts are centred around ‘compound lifts’ like squats, bench press, overhead press, deadlifts etc. You can read this article on how to bench press properly to lift more weight and avoid the ‘clicking shoulder pain’ that some newbies experience (like I once did). Squats are particularly important for strength and muscle gains.
GOMAD should be used with a solid workout program to convert as much weight into muscle as possible. A strength training program is best for this. Something which involves squats regularly like Rippetoe’s ‘Starting Strength’ program is a good program to use with the GOMAD diet to add strength. You need to be able to get stronger to build muscle if you’re skinny. You can learn how to squat properly helping you to avoid injury and lift heavier weight in this article here.
Remember the 5 Rules for Skinny Hard Gainers on GOMAD;
1) Take your time and build your way up to one gallon a day.
2) Make sure you’re eating your regular healthy meals as well as doing GOMAD.
3) Make sure you train regularly and don’t skip workouts.
4) Use a strength training program to gain strength; which in turn will build muscle (you can do a cut afterwards if needed, to shed any unwanted fat).
5) STOP using GOMAD after you have reached your goal. I would recommend 1-month max.
This diet is meant for a SHORT TERM kick start and should not be used for prolonged periods of time, or you’ll find that all that milk going straight to your ass!
There are tons of pictures and success stories on youtube that you can watch on the GOMAD diet. If you’re a skinny newbie in need of gaining weight then GOMAD maybe be something for you to consider!
Have you tried GOMAD before, If so what are your thoughts/results? You can leave your comments below. If you want any more information you can drop me an email by clicking here. If you liked this article, don’t forget to share it with others that may find it useful! Thanks 🙂
Have a good week!