Alan Palmieri, Gaining Weight And Adding Muscle Mass (2003)


Although sometimes people take up bodybuilding to lose weight, the majority take to the sport in an attempt to add weight and gain muscle size to their frames. This is especially true for teenagers and young adults. As one matures with age it is usually much easier to gain weight, sometimes too much weight. Individuals who are extremely thin go through just as difficult a time as those that are excessively overweight. Being extremely skinny was the reason I took up bodybuilding in the first place.

Over the years I have often been asked, “What has been the most dramatic changes in bodybuilding since the 1960’s?” “Has it been in training, equipment, supplements, diet, or nutrition?” Naturally changes have incurred in all areas but I think more so in supplements and nutrition than anything else. These two areas have changed so much that you almost have to have a PhD to understand anything that is being written or discussed about them. The advancement in nutrition and supplementation has risen to heights never imagined back in the 60’s.

What I followed back in those days was crude by today’s standards. In fact much of it would be considered unhealthy and almost harmful today. The fact remains; all in all it was and is still better than taking drugs and steroids. At its worse, it has to be better and healthier than that! I am not a scientist – nutritionist – or doctor, all I know is what worked for me and produced results without the use of dangerous drugs and boy would it work. I could gain as much as twenty-five pounds in three weeks following the program I outline here. Naturally those are not cut and shredded pounds but rather meaty weight pounds, not all solid muscle either, as you cannot add that much solid muscle to the body that quickly.

Over the years I have been asked for routines that would add size and muscle weight quickly while getting more cut and defined at the same time. Well, that just does not happen, that is not reality. You can either put it on or take it off and cut it up but youcan’ t do both at the same time. Perhaps with some drugs this can be achieved but not naturally. The program I followed was designed to add bodyweight, muscle size, and strength, nothing more and nothing less. It worked every time I followed it and it has worked for others as well. To what extent depends on an individual’ s makeup, genetics, training intensity, age, and other factors. All of which does not diminish the fact that results are obtained by those that follow the program.


Take a good look at pictures of bodybuilders from the 60’ s, compare them with those of today’ s bodybuilders. I think it is easy to see; we were not bigger or as cut in those days but there was a glow of health around our eyes and faces that is not visible in today’ s top competitors. Besides, how many bodybuilders today would be satisfied if they could look like Dave Draper did in say oooh, 1965? That wouldn’ t be bad in anyone’ s mind.

Methods have changed over the years and I have tried some of the newer ways but always seem to have the best luck using what I used years ago. In fact, many of the people I have helped in their training feel the same way. Some have come to me after following some of the newer methods because they did not produce the results they wanted or expected. I would inform them of what I use to do and they would respond well themselves. Can it be that the old ways might just be the best for a great many people? I don’ t know but I do know, what worked years ago still works and produces results today.

Gaining weight and gaining muscle weight is two different things. A weight gain might be in the form of fat which is entirely different from a weight gain in muscle. Muscle weighs more than fat and weight gains in muscle are healthy whereas weight gains in the form of fat are unhealthy. Muscle weight gains come slowly, not overnight. It takes time to add solid muscle gains. You can gain twenty pounds in a month but it will not be strictly muscle. It will consist of muscle, fat, and fluid. What percentage of each I cannot tell you. I don’ t think anyone could say.

If a person is seriously underweight or striving to add more pounds for athletics or bodybuilding I don’ t think they are really concerned with the breakdown or composition, they just want to gain weight and size and they want to put it on fast.

Having tried so many different programs and routines I became discouraged with the results I would get. Some were expensive and provided absolutely no results at all. Others provided only minimal gains and were not noticeable to the eye. After a lot of trial and error and less than desired results, I developed a program that worked for me. It was during my teenage years and younger adult years. I have always been able to gain weight with my program regardless of the routine or diet I was on. The amount would fluctuate and depend on a lot of different factors. I did use the diet part of the program to gain weight after an extended illness one time and put on about fifteen pounds in three weeks. I was always able to gain from ten to twenty pounds in about two weeks following the program.

You must remember, I have always said that this was not strictly gains in muscle. I did add weight in the form of fat and fluid as well, but I did gain weight when I failed to do so with other programs. For me that has always been the key. I later discovered that the program was not the healthiest one could follow but it is natural and does not depend on or involve drugs or steroids. If a person had a problem with high blood pressure, cholesterol, sugar diabetes, heart problems, or other health conditions, I sure would not follow even the diet part of the program without checking with a physician first. Today I don’ t think you would be able to find that many doctors who would approve of the diet I used to gain weight. There is a sincere health conscious attitude regarding diets today that did not exist several years ago.


The program consists of three main elements, diet, supplements, and exercise. All three are required in order to obtain the best results. Young or new bodybuilders with less than three months of regular training should not follow this program until they have completed a three month foundation program.

In the diet section you will see reference to a “ mix.” This is a special blend of ingredients put into a blender which is kept in the refrigerator and taken throughout the day. The mix consisted of the following, the only exception I am making is in the fact I used raw eggs in the mix and have not listed them here. Due to the dangers associated with raw food today I strongly advise against doing such.

  1. 1 quart of whole milk
  2. 1⁄2 cup of powder milk
  3. 4 scoops of ice cream
  4. 1 banana
  5. 4 tablespoons of a good protein powder, especially a gain weight powder product. Some of my best gains came when I used Weider’s Crash Weight Gaining Formula #7. Today many good products are on the market, select one high in protein and caloric value.


4 egg whites

2 slices whole wheat toast
1 serving oatmeal or other hot cereal 6 oz of juice
1 piece of fruit
1 cup coffee

1 glass of mix

Supplements: 1 vitamin-mineral tablet, Vitamin C 250 mg. Vitamin E 200 I.U., 1 multi- digestive enzyme tablet.

Mid Day Snack:
1 cheese sandwich on whole wheat

1 piece fruit
1 glass of mix

Supplement: Desiccated Liver tablets, up to 30. 1 Hydrochloric Acid tablet.Lunch:

Lean meat, chicken, or fish 1 green vegetable
1 yellow vegetable
1 slice whole wheat bread 1 glass of mix

Supplements: VitaminC250mg.VitaminE200I.U.1multi-digestiveenzymetablet.

Afternoon Snack:
1 piece fruit

1 cup yogurt 1 glass of mix

Supplements: DesiccatedLivertablets,upto30.

Lean meat, fish, chicken.

1 Green Vegetable 1 Yellow Vegetable Large baked potato 1 glass of mix

Supplements: Vitamin C 250 mg. Vitamin E 200 I.U. B-Complex 50 mg. 1 multi- digestive enzyme tablet.

Evening Snack:
Ice Cream or Popcorn

Finish mix
Supplements: Desiccated Liver tablets, up to 30. 1 Hydrochloric Acid tablet.

In addition to the above, I made certain I consumed at least one gallon of fresh water every day. This is especially important when you are following a heavy workout program as you need to replenish the fluid in you body. Muscle is composed of more than 70% water so a constant supply is needed.

Healthy diet? Not by today’ s standards. Perhaps not even by standards advocated years ago. I only know that this diet worked for me when all others failed. This diet and the preceding exercise routine always packed the weight and muscle on. It simply never failed. You need to remember this diet contains a very large amount of fat and calories as well as carbs. It also contains a very large amount of protein. In other words this diet actually goes to excess in all categories.

I never followed this diet for longer than two weeks at a time. I would come off it for one month and then go back on it again if I needed or wanted to add more weight, I would employ a cycle diet strategy. Although I never stayed on the diet longer than two weeks at a time, I know some who did, for three to four weeks, and had great success in gaining additional weight.

If you are not use to drinking milk it is possible this diet will produce gas and diarrhea. If this occurs you may need to adjust the blend of the mix. I personally never had a problem in this area as in my younger years I always consumed large quantities of milk, up to a gallon a day even while on this diet and taking the mix.


I performed absolutely no cardiovascular work while attempting to gain weight. All activity outside of work, school, and workouts should be eliminated, especially any athletic activity. I have known some who wanted to follow the program and continued to run long distances or continued to play basketball… it won’ t work. One of the main points of this program is to consume as many calories as you can while at the same time expending as few calories as possible.

Rest and additional sleep are important as is keeping yourself in a relaxed state. Relax and take deep breaths. Visualize your ability to slow your system down. Do things at a slower pace for two weeks while on the diet. Sounds funny but it all contributes and helps your progress.

As I noted before, no one should attempt this program that has not had at least three months of training under their belt. Although the diet portion only lasts for two weeks at a stretch, the exercise portion should be performed for four weeks. I suggest starting the exercise portion at the same time you start the diet and continue the exercise portion for two weeks after you end the special diet.

Heavy weight and all out effort must be exerted on this routine. Do not take for granted the fewer number of movements, sets, and reps outlined in this routine. Performed as it should be, it will provide you with additional size, mass, and power.

This point is very important in following the exercise portion of this program. You must use the maximum weight you can handle on every movement. If you are able to perform two reps more than indicated, the weight is too light. If you cannot perform the number of reps indicated and fall short by two reps, the weight is too heavy. In other words, use the two rep theory. Two reps short or over means the weight is either too light or too heavy. Strive to perform the exact number of sets and reps outlined, no more and no less. Do not add exercises, movements, sets or reps to the outline provided.

Because you should be using maximum poundage in each movement, take longer than usual for your rest period between sets. Three to five minutes are permitted but do not go over five minutes. Each rep must be performed in a very slow and deliberate manner utilizing full contraction and range of motion throughout the movement, no short, jerky or fast movements are permitted. Keep cheating to a minimum. When you must cheat do so only to help you get past a sticking point. If you do have to cheat for a rep or so on some movements, allow the negative portion of the rep to be slower than usual.

Be certain to warm up completely before each session and drink plenty of water during your workouts. Drinking water during a workout also helps when you desire to add weight.

Monday: Chest / Back

  1. Flat Barbell Bench Press
  2. Incline Barbell Press
  3. Bent Over Barbell Row
  4. Standing Power Cleans
  5. Deadlift
  6. Standing Front Barbell PressTuesday: Off

Wednesday: Legs

  1. Full Back Squats
  2. 1⁄2 or Bench Squats
  3. Leg Curl
  4. Calf Raises

Thursday: Off

Friday: Arms

  1. Standing Barbell Curl
  2. Incline Dumbbell Curl
  3. Close Grip Bench Press
  4. Dips (when you can performthe sets and reps indicated
    with your bodyweight, add weight.

Saturday & Sunday: Off

The only exception to this schedule would be if you feel you want to do a little extra you can perform some forearm work on Saturday or Sunday. No more than three sets of eight reps in any movement. Perform absolutely no work for any other muscle group and do not allow your feelings to do more overtake you. Follow the program as outlined.

You will be on the diet portion of the program for only two weeks and the training portion for four weeks. I always suggest not following the diet portion longer due to the enormous amount of fat and calories you will be consuming. If you feel your system can take it for a longer period of time and, if your doctor advises it is okay for you to follow the diet for more than two weeks then naturally do so. Even under these conditions I would not follow it for more than three weeks before returning to a more normal and healthy diet.

Here you have a diet and exercise program that has never failed to provide me with superior results in adding weight, size and strength. Remember, it will not provide you with definition and cuts, it is designed for mass. For me the very best part of this program is the fact it is natural, healthy or not, it is far better than taking steroids and drugs. In fact this program will provide more and better results than any steroid or drug.

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