The GOMAD, or ‘Gallon of Milk a Day’, Diet is often the go to option for hardgainers struggling to gain weight in an easy and relatively straightforward way. Advocated by strength coaches, the dark recesses of the internet and the occasional big guy at the gym, there is no denying the impact the approach has had on the general lifting community.
In today’s brief post we’re going to examine what the Diet entails, where it originated from and, perhaps more importantly, whether or not you should consider doing it.
Previously on this site we have looked at the influence of Peary Rader on both bodybuilding and weightlifting. Editor of Ironman magazine for several decades, Rader was influential in the training of thousands of men during the course of his career and more importantly, his focus tended to be on ‘the common man’ as opposed to the bodybuilding giants of his era.
With this in mind, today’s post details several of Rader’s abbreviated routines from the mid 20th century. Abbreviated routines centred around compound exercises aimed at maximising as much muscle growth as possible for busy individuals.
When Atlas Wasn’t Playing Tug-of-War he was giving out Diet Tips
“I realize you are anxious to build up great strength and power as soon as possible. Here is a simple secret which should help give you the results you hope for.”
Charles Atlas, Mail Order Workout Programme, Lesson Two, c.1930s
In 1921 Charles Atlas won Bernarr McFadden’s ‘Most Perfectly Developed Man Competition’. In 1922, he won again and by this time McFadden ceased holding the competition. Rumour has it McFadden stopped because he felt Atlas would win every time. By the end of the 1920s Atlas was marketing his own unique mail order workout programme aimed at delivering fast results to his customers. The World’s Most Perfectly Developed Man promised to turn his weak students into dynamic man, just as Atlas had done with himself. In just 12 basic lessons, Atlas covered everything from diet and training to the right mind-set for building an awesome physique.
In the second lesson of the Atlas programme, aspiring muscle men (and women) were given a secret muscle-building programme by Atlas. It revolved around a single food…a ‘super food’ in modern day parlance.