29 Pounds of Muscle In 26 Months?!?

An image of Eric Cartman from South Park wearing a Beefcake shirt and holding Weight Gain 4000

I got some awesome news from longtime client, Tyler Deuel, the other day.

So of course I had to take the opportunity to brag.

According to his recent skinfold measurements, he has gained 29 pounds of muscle in the past 26 months (going from a fat free weight of 197 to 225)!

What’s even more impressive is he put this muscle on with two Division 1 seasons mixed in.

Oh, and he was a starter both years.

And an EIWA champion one of those years.

Interested to learn how he did it?

Well, I hope the principles below can point you in the right direction.

Tyler Deuel of the Binghamton University Wrestling team in his stance facing his opponent.

1. Get Stronger

In my opinion, getting stronger should be your first focus.

Why?

First of all, there’s nothing worse than putting on a bunch of muscle but not being much stronger.

Remember- you’re training for performance, first and foremost. You want as much “go” for your “show” as possible, not the other way around.

Here are a few of his lifts and how they’ve improved over the last 26 months:

Free Squat– from 335 to 435

Box Squat– from 375 to 475

Deadlift- from 430 to 545

Bench Press– from 275 to 340

Cool, right?

But how does that help increase muscle mass?

Well, along with a diet that produces a caloric surplus, you also need a high volume lifting plan.

And how does getting stronger increase your total volume?

For those of you that follow the personalized programs I design, you know that I sometimes use a percentage based system for some of the primary lifts.

For example, one day I may program for 5 sets of 5 reps at 85% of your determined training max.

If you’re using 100 pounds as your training max, that works out to 2,125 total pounds lifted during the working sets (5x5x85).

However, if you increase your strength 27% (about what Tyler did on his Box Squat), your training max would then be 127 pounds which would make the total volume of the same set and rep scheme above total 2,699 pounds.

So, for the same 25 reps, you’re lifting a total of 575 more pounds!

And, as you know, as your squat strength goes up, so will your other lower body lifts.

So, the weight you use for lunges, leg presses, front squats, and other lower body accessory lifts will be up as well. This will further increases your total volume (assuming you keep your sets and reps the same).

Bottom line, if you’re looking to put on muscle, you need to increase your total volume.

On top of that, you only have so much time to devote to being in the gym, right?

Increasing your sets and/or reps may not be feasible due to time constraints.

Solution?

Get stronger!

2. Increase Your Volume

When he wasn’t in season, I primarily had Tyler following a high volume lifting plan.

In a nutshell, I would have him perform, on average:

– 4 day/week lifting program

– 4 accessory exercises per day

– 50-60 total working reps per accessory (so usually 5×10 or 5×12). Note they are working reps. Warm-up sets don’t count.

This equates to 200-240 working reps per day for accessory lifts.

This, of course, comes after about 25 working reps of a primary movement (like a squat).

If you’re currently trying to gain muscle, compare this to your current plan and see how the volume matches up.

3. Eat Food

The second big part of the equation is something every wrestler likes to do.

However, it’s not as easy as it sounds, especially if you’re trying to gain/maintain weight.

In fact, I would rate Tyler’s eating as “just ok” up until this past Spring.

After his Junior year, he really started to get it. I personally think that made as much of a difference as his training.

Here are some of the things he says helped him the most:

From May-August he allowed himself to eat whatever he wanted. He aimed for at least 6,000 calories a day.

He supplemented with creatine and protein.

During the non-summer months, he says focuses on eating a lot and still shoots for 6,000 calories a day.

However, with the additional practices and workouts, the caloric intake that allowed him to gain weight over the summer, is instead used for weight maintenance.

He focuses on keeping his calories as clean as possible during the season to help maximize his recovery and performance. He likes to eat a lot of meat, whole grains (especially oatmeal), fruits and veggies.

He’s lactose intolerant so getting in extra liquid calories from milk doesn’t fit into his plan, but he doesn’t use that as an excuse.

During the season he supplements with creatine, protein, and beta alanine (because he reads my blog; what a good guy!).

Conclusion

In a way, this post regurgitates info that you probably already knew- if you want to gain weight, you need to lift more and eat more.

But, I hope it gave you a few strategies on how to implement the “lift big, eat big” plan.

Get Started On A Program Today!

A picture of Kyle Dake and Dickie White.
Hi, I’m Dickie (the author of this blog). Here I am with my good buddy, Kyle Dake. While he doesn't have a nice coat like me, he is pretty good at wrestling. Here's what he said about my training system:

Before I began lifting using Dickie's system my wrestling skills were getting slightly better. I've now been lifting under his guidance for more than 5 months and I have begun to dominating ALL of my competition. At first I had little faith in Dickie and his program, but now I would run into a wall if he told me I would get stronger! I know it sounds insane, but I would. The bottom line is Dickie is an expert and knows what he is talking about. If you want to defeat those kids whom you've always lost to and reach a level you never thought possible, I suggest you start lifting using Dickie's system immediately.

-Kyle Dake, 4X NCAA Division 1 National Champion
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Want to see what other wrestlers are saying about my training system? Check out my Success Stories page.

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Want to learn more about Dickie? Check out my About page.

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Want to get started on a program today? Read this post and download your free program- 12 Week Training Program For Wrestlers.

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