5 “Must-Know” Tips For Gaining Muscle Mass

By

Vince Del Monte, WBFF Pro Fitness Model, Certified Fitness Trainer
and Nutritionist and author of No Nonsense Muscle
Building.

What do you think of when you hear the world “anabolic?”

If you thought of muscle raging hormones like testosterone, growth hormone and insulin – then give yourself an A-plus. These three hormones are your body’s primary weaponry against stubborn and skinny genetics.

If you ever want a true shot at maximizing your bodies muscle-gaining potential th

en you need to keep your anabolic hormones high – this is rule #1.

Use these muscle gaining nutrition rules to to ensure you have your “muscle-building switch” turned to the permanent ON position if you ever want a body that commands respect.

Rule #1: Pound Those Calories

Research shows that intense weight training combined with inadequate calories, results in less gonaddotropin-releasing hormone produced in the brain. Since this hormone plays a role releasing testosterone, the end result is lowered testosterone levels, which halts your muscle gains.

Research also shows that extreme aerobic exercise with limited caloric intake can put your testosterone levels into the same range as a 90-year old man in a rocking chair. Not a good situation for building muscle.

The TIPS: Aim for a minimum of 18 calories per pound of body weight. So a 150-pound guy should be getting at least 2700 calories a day. This is an excellent sta

rting point and if you’re not gaining at least 5 pounds of quality weight each month then multiply your body weight by 20 and repeat until you start seeing muscle gains.

spartacus

“It’s my guess that the actors in Spartacus: Blood and Sand have pounded a few calories!”

Rule #2: Don’t Be Afraid Of Fat

Research shows that lower-fat diets drop your testosterone levels by up to 15%, which will zap your sex-drive and put the breaks on muscle growth.  Males who avoid beef also experience lower testosterone levels then males that eat higher amounts of beef, which contains saturated fat.

Plus, if you had to rank the world’s populations in terms of pure hairy-chested manliness, chances are Greeks, Sicilians, and Cypriots would rank on the podium. So it should be self-evident that an eating plan similar to the classic Mediterranean diet, driving about 25-40% of it’s calories from fat, is optimal for increasing or maintaining your testosterone levels.

The TIPS: Consume at least 30% of your calories from  fat – 10% saturated, 10% monounsaturated and 10% polyunsaturated fat – with the bulk of your fat coming from omega-3’s.  Skimping on fat prevents you from making steroid hormones – and testosterone is one of they key anabolic steroid hormones

The best choices of fat coming from three main foods – salmon, nuts, red meat and olive oil.  Ensure your grocery cart includes at least 3 decent size salmons (6-10 oz) each week and you’ll plenty of high quality fat content.  Get at least 500 ml of mixed nuts each week and ensure they are snacked on throughout the day and with your meals.  Nuts are great on the side with a protein shake or to put on salads.  Lastly, eat at least 2-3 steaks each week.  An 8-16 oz steak will be filled with B vitamins and zinc, which is an mineral responsible for high testosterone levels.  Always go with lean red meat, preferably top sirloin or flank steak.

Rule #3: Eat Enough Carbs

More research shows that those who carry the lowest amount of carbs in their body have the lowest amount of testosterone. in their bodies. This is why I’m not a fan of keto-genic diets that have almost zero carbs. Diets like this can drop your testosterone levels by 20% after 1-2 weeks of following.

The TIPS: To keep your testosterone levels CRANKED, get at least 1 gram of carbs per pound of bodyweight per day. I’m a 210-pound bodybuilder so I shoot for about 210 grams of carbohydrates a day. Over 5 meals that is 42 grams of carbs per meal. This is a good baseline to start at. You may need more, you may need less but start with this rule.

I stick to oatmeal, brown rice, potatoes, rice cakes, fruit and veggies as my primary source of carbs. If you’re using Maximize Your Muscle and really want to bulk up quickly then consider 2 grams of carbohydrates per pound of bodyweight per day. Anything more then this will often lead to excess fat storage.

The TIPS #4: Bye, Bye Booze

I’m sorry if you broke into a cold sweat or lost your eyes when they rolled to the back of your head.  Research shows that alcohol and muscle go together like a plugged in toaster in a bathtub full of water. That means that the majority of studies show that people who drink the most alcohol have the highest waist-to-hip ratio.  That is, they could be confused for being pregnant with triplets.  Alcohol can also have a muscle-wasting effect, which is probably due to the stress hormone cortisol that is released. Cortisol increases muscle breakdown and hinders the normal muscle gains you would expect form weight training.

The TIPS: This message my be confusing considering all the attention and focus on the life-prolonging and heart-protecting benefits of moderate drinking.  I encourage you to ask yourself one thing if you’re taking part in a dedicated muscle gaining plan: What is more important to you?  Drinks suds or looking like a stud?

Dominicin 217

“Ask Flavia (my fiancee) if it was worth cutting the wine nights leading up to our trip to Punta Cana!”

Rule #5: Seize The Post Workout Window Of Opportunity With Carbs and Proteins

Think of it this way:  Lost time is lost muscle.  For every second that passes after your last rep in the weight room is another second that you be gaining muscle, not potentially losing it.

Research shows that insulin is one of the most powerful anabolic hormones.  It combats cortisol levels that get elevated after an intense workout and speeds nutrients to muscles for refuel and repair.

Protein makes a logical choice to stimulate protein synthesis – the conversion of food to muscle – so why in the world wouldn’t you give your body protein after a workout?  That makes complete sense.

But where do carbohydrates come into play?  Yes, carbs replenish your glycogen stores but it also stimulates insulin which prevents muscle breakdown.  Preventing protein breakdown is a huge piece of improving your physique.

Your body releases more insulin with the combination of protein and carbs rather than one of those nutrients alone. So if you to maximize muscle gain and minimize muscle lost you need a combination of carbohydrate and protein as soon as possible.

Dominicin 243THE TIPS: If you’re a male then shoot for 80 grams of carbohydrates and 40 grams of protein and if you’re a female shoot for half of that.  A popular post workout meal for me is Vector cereal and cottage cheese; or 2 bananas and a protein shake; or rice cakes with a litre of milk. Those are three fast-acting post workout meals to blunt cortisol and spike insulin for maximum muscle gain.

=== END OF ARTICLE ===

“Which way to the beach?”

Maximize your muscle-gaining potential for another 48-hours for the low-risk $1.00 30-day trial:

http://www.MaximizeYourMuscle.com

Hurry… registration closes at midnight tomorrow!

Vince

P.S. Let me know which “must-know” tips you liked the most and if you need clarification on any of them.

Post your comments below.

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Comments

74 thoughts on “5 “Must-Know” Tips For Gaining Muscle Mass

  1. Very good info. Lucky me I ran across your blog by chance (stumbleupon). I have saved as a favorite for later!

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  2. Vince,

    Some great tips here for building muscle without worrying about adding fat. I would say that has to be the number one mental block for people not taking in the amount of calories they need to put on a decent amount of muscle… what about getting fat?

    Then of course you have people on the other side of the spectrum who will eat ANYTHING just to get the calories in thinking it will be beneficial.

    Chris

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  3. what a nice post. very informative and gives a lot of tips. I will surely follow what you have mentioned . Thanks for sharing.

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  4. Great information! I’ve been looking for something like this for a while now. Thanks!

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  5. please send me the muscle building and six pack

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  6. Good post and great tips Vince! Thanks for sharing story with us. Following this tips will definitely give a good result.

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  7. I never know carbs have such an important role in gaining muscle, il be sure to consume more post workout by know! What about Whey powders that have more carbs and lesser protein, are they good??? I think thouse are the so called " Weight Gainers"

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  8. how about you start working those calves, quite weak I'd say! If you worked them as much as you talked about yourself then maybe I'd show some respect for you. Other than that you sound like a douche talking about your life and history. Great we got it you were skinny before move on, and quite with all these gay ass pics of you in speedos, WOOOOW im so impressed. HA!

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  9. I AM A 41 YEAR OLD TRYING TO BUILD UP MY ARMS FAST BEFORE SUMMER. HAVE ANY TIPS TO DO IT FAST. ALSO WORK A PHYSICAL JOB AT NIGHT. SO I NEED SOMETHING QUICK. THANKS FRANK

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  10. hey vince what protein shakes you recomend? and what do you think of eating rice 3 to 2 times a day with each meal ( exept breakfast)

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  11. Aside from the muscle gaining tips you shared above, I think It's also important to not "over-train." This can lead to your muscles just wearing out and it's slows muscle growing time. What do you think of this Vince?

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  12. vince, what is better the blue star company or prograde?

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  13. The best mail ever, so thak you very much!

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  14. vince,

    great article! you've been so focused on the bulking progs for the guys. wad bout including some tips for the gals instead? Think all of us would appreciate tips to getting a bod like ur fiancee's! hee 🙂

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  15. Hi Vince, im 18 years of age. started at 144lbs, currently doing your 'NNMB' program, so far after the 3×15 phase i am 150lbs, following a 4000kcal diet.

    my question is will 'MYM' still be available to me when i get more advanced, like in a year or two, i want to hit 190lbs before i start it like you did?

    Thanks

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  16. hi Vince.. how are you

    im following your Bulk Building Program…. im having great results ….but while i was reading the 12 targets how can i put on the proram body specialization on my shoulders? you now that in bulk building program i train 4 times a week…

    THANK YOU BLESSINGS

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  17. hi Vince,
    Great info, as always. I am tempted to order your first month of MYM for the diet and Mass Assault info, although I don't workout in a gym and have no access to that kind of gear. Honestly though, I would not continue with the program, so STOP tempting me:-)
    Also, I live in China and may never see the stuff so I just appreciate the tidbits in your emails!!! heehee, we don't even have reliable youtube and facebook.

    Regards, Mike

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  18. I'm new to your site and would say its informative. I liked the tips you provided since I'm a health conscious
    person and wants to build muscles.This information would be great for me. Thanks for sharing it.

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  19. Hi Vince..
    I have emailed u several times since two days ( more than 6 times)…
    plus posted to ur fb, but no answer do i get…
    I think this is my last chance…I really wanna purchase the whole MYM, but i have no credit card, nor can i set up one coz I am a foreign student here in Cairo plus aged 20 ( under age here)
    Right now, i feel dreadfully bad and sad….
    I really hope that i Could do Bank Money transfer(OTT) to ur account before mid nite….
    I really couldnt help my self if today end with frustration…
    Hope u will listen to my request… and reply me ASAP
    Thank you

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  20. Hey Vince,

    Great stuff. I got a question regarding MYM why is it only for beginners? it seems like how you describe it, it should be the way you workout all the time.; hitting all 3 muscle fibers, etc.. multiple time a weeks. only makes sense, rather than once a week.

    Matt

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  21. Vince,

    I am really excited for MYM. Thank you for this great opportunity. One quick question, what do I have to do to get the program. I sent you an email with my personal info.

    thank you
    Fernando rosas

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  22. Sorry i forgot to mention that this was a very helpful post!

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  23. Hey Vince,
    I wish i had man jugs:(, how long did it take for u to get your chest that big? My favorite tip was about the post workout, i notice a big difference when i do that.

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    • I did a lot of push ups in high school. My dad has big man boobs too.

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  24. Hi vince.
    Do you have some tips for a type 1 diabetics? I mean like what to do with your cost and insulin intake and so on. Cause i have seriuos gaining probs due to my diabetics.

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    • John, everyone should eat like a diabetic anyways. Low insulin foods except after workouts and in your case, each oatmeal and low glycemic fruit.

      Everyone in the world should be diabetic – would force us to actually eat how we should eat except from post workout nutrition rules.

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  25. Hello, Vince
    I have a story about your past post about MYM Membership, in your pre-post in which you ask us to tell you our answer about "why you want to go beyond ?" , I wondered beacuse that a good question for the conest so i started thinks during all the day but, I have been busy so I dont have the opportunity to write down my story. My question is… Still I can publish my story for you to read to the contest ? I'm still on time?
    Thanks byadvance.
    Ivan

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  26. Great post Vince. I'll make sure I follow these tips more strictly from now on!

    By the way, you look super ripped in that photo. More so than usual. And Flavia of course looks gorgeous as always.

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  27. Nice post with useful tips Vince.
    I'm a naturally lean guy and like the athletic look as oppose to the bulky one.
    I used to skimp on the carbs from a fear of gaining fat but rule #3 is key to muscle gain, and I learnt that the hard way by over-focussing on protein intake instead but not getting anywhere.

    Once I've run the London Marathon 2010, I will be back into building some serious muscle so thanks for the inspiration!

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  28. I too enjoy the 'Spartacus:blood and sand' tv show 😀 The leading star, Andy Whitfield sais he went trough a fat-loss program called the Spartacus training.

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  29. Good info thanks. Looking forward to receiving the 1st. months workout. Picked up your Maximize program after hearing Coach Sonnon talk so highly about it. Started to train with his clubbells a couple months back & love ’em. So would like to use both programs, switch back & forth a bit. Haven’t really trained much with free weights except the CBs since a low back injury 2 years back, just bodyweight stuff mainly. So your plan has me interested in the weights again. Keep the info flowing. And you both look great, but I sorta agree that maybe the shorts should go…

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  30. sexcellente! great article 🙂

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    • Hey Vince,

      Do you recomend any of the other blue star stuff like the extreme rush. I currently use cytosport fast twitch. Also is their creatine any goo in NNMB u said to use crea pure products and i use ON Creatine. Im just wondering
      thanks

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  31. Good post and great tips Vince! The pics looks great and you can see that the hard work pays off.

    Brandon

    PS: "Fiancee"… looks like we both learned something from Nate's blog! lol

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    • Thanks Brandon. I still don't know if I spell that word correctly.

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      • Haha… I thought that guy was mistaken… so I looked it up. He was right a man would call his woman a fiancee and a woman would call her man a fiance. I think it may be pronounced the same just a spelling technicality. Who knew? lol

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  32. Hi Vince,

    Great article! I really appreciated your tips of what to eat after working out as that is what I really struggle with. Can you suggest a good type of protein powder for a protein shake? My husband and I don't want to get duped.

    Also, I'm not sure if you are aware but when we got the email with the nutrition plans, both the women's and men's (cutting and bulking) plans had errors attached to the links. Is there another way to see it?

    Thanks!

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  33. Would be appreciated if you could provide some food tips for us vegetarians/vegans. You don´t have to eat a stud to be one..

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    • Hey Chris,

      Do a search on tab on the top of this page and search "vegetarian meal plans" and you'll find complete vegetarian (not vegan) sample meal plans.

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  34. Good tips, but maybe hit your calves a bit harder. The ghey shorts showing your buldge and thighs arnt hiding them dude..if you cant bring em up consider implants..oh and ya get over yourself.

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  35. Women don't usually gain mass, and I was certainly not 'bulky' back in the day when I could work out 1-3 hrs daily.
    Now I'm a 43-yr-old single mom, haven't lifted in years, and am noticing a clear sign of old-lady body on my pecs, or where my pecs used to be. Now the area beneath my clavicle has such thin skin/lack of muscle that you can see my ribs.
    How can I build back up? I don't know how much this is due to aging (but I'm sure your fiance is not a valid comparison, especially if she has the time to completely change her schedule in preparation for vacation!) and how much it's diet and exercise.
    Your comments please?

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    • That's for you find out!

      But I would find out by starting with a serious weight training routine like Maximize Your Muscle.

      Honestly, if you want to BUILD, then you need a BUILDERS program.

      Clean up your diet.

      And add about 20 minutes of cardio post workout.

      Modify your training and diet each week based on how your body is improving.

      Document your progress too.

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  36. Hi I am 56 years old work out 4 days a week and don't eat red meat , can you tell me what kinds of proteins I can eat I am about 180 pounds.

    Steve

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    • Mix it up… Can you eat:

      cottage cheese
      chicken
      fish
      egg whites
      protein shakes
      mixed beans

      Those should all be in your fridge.

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  37. Just wondering……If a 150 pound guy should eat 150 grams of carbs and 80 grams of those carbs are from the post workout shake then there are only 70 grams left for the whole day. Or are you talking about 150 grams carb plus the 80 grams post workout? 🙂

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    • P.S So a 150 pound guy should be eating 2700 calories, 90 gr of fat, 150 gr carb and 325 gr protein??
      (150 gr carbs(600 calories), 30% fat(810 calories) and 325 gr protein(1280 calorie) total of 2700 calories)

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  38. Hey Vince, I saw that you mentioned insulin release quite a bit. The thing is Im a Type 1 diabetic so I believe insulin would be used differently for my body

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    • Correct. Then keep your carbs clean. Like an apple instead of a banana. Or oatmeal is your best bet

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  39. Hi vince, I don’t drink and I don’t go low-carb! Are almonds and cashews good for post-workout?

    Great article once again. I’ll be getting on your programme tomorrow!

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    • i don't eat a lot of fat fat post workout… slows absorption of your carbs and protein. Some bodybuilders do. I would suggest you save the fat for an hour after your workout.

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  40. vince would you be able to send me a perfect weekly food planner becaue i have tried so hard to gain weight and find it impossible im around 76kilos i would like to be 85 kilos i train 4 days in a week

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    • Dave, search "mass meal plan" on my blog. Search bar is top right and check all the entires. You'll find some mass plans for yourself.

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  41. Great info Vince! As being part of a fraternity and still being in college it was hard leaving the booze but now I have been sober for the past 4 months 😉

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    • Good man. Booze is a dangerous drug. Great for certain things and not great for others.

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  42. Great post bro, you nailed it, its all about the fundamentals. Hitting the contest stage this year? U look ready dude!

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    • Thanks Jamin. My contest is my wedding day this year! I'm trying to put some size on then will get an extreme fat loss cut with 6 weeks before the wedding.

      You competing?

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  43. Epiphanio D'Souza April 7, 2010 at 7:34 am - Reply

    I'm an Indian, from Goa, living in Bahrain. I have enjoyed your tips on building and taken and used a lot good and helpful tips that you have posted. Your built is awesome, Flavia and you look great and wish you all the best. Just one small tip from me, your calves need to be worked on, and that should complete your perfect physique. I mean well, I hope you will read this and thanks for that. Best regards,

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    • Train your calves at the start of each workout. Do 10 sets of 10 and stretch them like crazy between sets. Use a moderate weight and use any machine you wish.

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  44. how about a grams of protein per day recommendation?

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    • 1.5 to 2 grams per body weight i think

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      • start with 1 and go from there. always try to achieve the most do as little as possible. if 1 works, why do 1.5 right?

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  45. BYE BYE BOOZE! Defenitely my favourite and don’t be afraid of fat a close second.
    Cutting out the alchohol is not easy but it makes such a huge difference!!!

    Thanks for the awesome article Vince! Great pics too!

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    • Thanks Simon. And trust me, I love a good glass of wine so this was tough for Flav and I.

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  46. Drink suds or look like a stud-that's quite a one liner haha. Went from 145 to 160 lbs from eating as much as I possibly can the last three months, along with a 5-3-1 powerlifting program, it's true, you gotta eat to gain weight!

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    • thats some good weight gain my friend

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      • Congratulations! I went from 72kg to 82kg from Jan. 2 to date. For you Americans that's basically 22lbs! 🙂 Thanks Vince for your tips. NNMB is awesome. I will be mass building until end of April and start to shed the fat as of May 1 to look good for beach time! 😀

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  47. Vince your brave to walk around in shorts that short 😛 jp i dare not do that because my hair legs.but good stuff. this another one that im gna book mark! thanks a lot for the great info always see you on the forum

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    • I only wore those shorts on one day…LOL I'll probably bust them out in Europe this summer though.

      I wouldn't wear those in Las Vegas… maybe I would.

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