Why You're Not Gaining and What To Do About It
There are a lot of excellent books and courses on the market containing instructions for the gaining of muscular bodyweight. You may have bought some of them. The question is, why haven't those programs and instructions worked for you?
The answer is probably simpler than you think. What it boils down to is this: the men who wrote those books all started out with the assumption that your body - as theirs was when they started - is in perfect operating condition. If your body is in perfect condition, all parts functioning the way the Great Architect of the Universe designed them (even if you do have only a 13 inch arm) then you can follow the diet and exercise instructions in books, become a 250 lb muscular monster, have voluptuous women hanging all over you, and live happily ever after.
If you're one of those, read no further. This article isn't for you. On the other hand, if you're one of those unfortunate individuals who eats and works out and gets nowhere then let's try to diagnose your problems which in turn will tell us why you are not receiving the benefits your efforts would seem to indicate.
The problems with the human body can be divided into two basic areas: structural, or mechanical, and chemical. An example of a structural defect would be an individual who has one hip a quarter of an inch higher than the other. Imagine a ladder leaning up against a building with one leg an inch shorter than the other. Now imagine some poor slob trying to carry a heavy bucket of tar, paint, tools, or the like up the same ladder.
It isn't hard to imagine how easy it is for this guy to get hurt, is it? If you're one of those unfortunates who have one hip higher than the other (a problem far more prevalent than anyone can imagine) you can now understand why the King of Exercises-the squat-does nothing for you. In fact, it is probably doing you more harm than good.
Other common structural problems are a rotated spine and scoliosis (spine weaves from left to right and back). The standard methodologies for such problems consist of chiropractic adjustments, massage therapy, and physical therapy. Some of these may not work either, depending upon your problem. A man by the name of David Scott Lynn did come up with a new method of working on structural disorders that he demonstrated to me one night-the next day my reps in the alternate dumbbell press went up by 3, my squats went up, I became a believer. I was one of those hips one quarter inch off people and he straightened me up in 45 minutes. More on his methods in a later article (he is scheduled to spend a week with me to teach me "how it's done").
The chemical problems all take place at the cellular level. They can be divided into three areas: sanitation, radiation, and nutrition. A cell has two basic functions: the ingestion of nutrients and the expulsion of effluvia (or waste products). If the cells are functioning properly, you have no structural defects, and you are training and eating properly you will gain: it's that simple. Let's use a crude analogy and then address each area in turn.
Imagine you have an automobile engine that isn't running properly. The malfunctioning can only be caused in one of three areas: ignition, compression, or fuel. If the spark plugs are firing, the valves are closing at the proper time (assuming not too much is leaking past the pistons), and fuel and air is being delivered to the cylinders, the engine has to run, not even maybe.
Why the comparison to automobile engines? The human body, like a car engine, operates on heat engine principles. For example, consider the first law of thermodynamics, energy equals heat plus work. When fuel and air enter an engine the more energy converted to work, the less heat there is in the exhaust.
When exercising, dress warmly. A thin t-shirt, as opposed to a sweatshirt, causes you to lose energy. A large amount of your body heat escapes into the atmosphere. Heat energy is measured in calories. Calories are part of what you ingest in order to gain weight. One of the functions of the skin is to serve as a radiator for the body, the reason elephants have large ears.
Mac MacFarland, Mr. Hawaii 1963, once told me of an experiment with rabbits in which one ear of each rabbit was wrapped in wool and the other was left to flap in the winter cold. Through the winter the wrapped ear of each rabbit grew twice as long.
All other things being equal, and this bears repeating, if you have no structural problems, and if the cell is ingesting nutrients (nutrition), expelling waste (sanitation), and oscillating at its proper frequency (radiation), you have to gain, period.
Let's take each area and explain it.
Everyone thinks with modern technology that this is something no one needs to concern themselves with these days. We've come a long way from the days when catholic priests stopped the Black Death from spreading by reimplementing the sanitary laws concerning the covering of human excrement found in the Book of Leviticus.
As an interesting aside, that disease was not caused by rats carrying infected fleas disembarking in Genoa. What had actually happened was the widespread practice of folks taking dumps in chamber pots at night in their houses and then flinging the contents into the streets the next morning caused the problem. Folks walking past in their boots would track the stuff into their own houses, take off their boots and lick their fingers afterwards, etc.
In the 19th century Ignatius Semelweiss made medical students in the hospital he ran wash their hands after handling cadavers and before they went to assist women in childbirth (another law found in the Mosaic Code). Up until his policy was implemented one woman in six died during childbirth. Semelweiss was ridiculed so heavily by fellow medical doctors he had a mental breakdown and finished his life in an insane asylum.
If you think things are so much better in the late 20th century, I have a couple of ugly surprises for you.
First, over 300,000 people a year in this country die from diseases contracted in hospitals. Almost nothing is as filthy as the air in a hospital. The infections people exhale don't just evaporate-they are inhaled by other people.
Second, you think airborne diseases aren't a problem in a commercial health club? If it is properly ventilated, you're right. What I will not allow someone I'm training to do is sit in a wet sauna. In a wet sauna, you inhale water. A lot of that same water has been exhaled by other people with lung infections, flu, colds,and the like.
A dry sauna, on the other hand, will actually clear many mucus and lung problems.
Third, you need to shower right after working out. Some gyms expect you to work out, drive home, cool off, and then clean up. Not a good idea. Sweat can be reabsorbed through the skin. One of the main purposes to working out is to eliminate waste products. Perspiration carries toxins out with it. Bear in mind that the skin is the largest organ of elimination the body has. Once the toxins are out, keep them out.
Notice all the bodybuilders with acne all over their backs. Acne simply tells you that the internal organs of elimination are overloaded and waste products that should have gone down the toilet are coming through the skin.
A final note on sanitation: there are some really strange ways to clean things out. One example would be ear candles, a paraffin cone that you light with a match and stick in your ear. The smoke and heat loosen up the wax in the inner ear while the vacuum created sucks it out. Ear candles have been around as a home remedy for earaches, ear infections, and the like since before our Revolutionary War.
Most of us think of radiation as something that leaks out of nuclear power plants. Obviously the stuff isn't good for you but you may have a problem closer to home.
A few years ago a medical doctor by the name of Becker and a co-author, Selden, wrote a best-seller titled The Body Electric. Becker pointed out that our whole society is awash in electromagnetic radiation and blamed a host of today's illnesses on it. He also pointed out that some frequencies of radiation are good for you, some are harmful.
The reason for the foregoing statement is that all living cells oscillate (the electrical term for vibrate) at a particular frequency. So do harmful microbes.
Becker's work was pre-dated by Nicola Tesla in the 19th century and Georges Lakhovsky in the 20th. Lakhovsky authored a book in 1935 titled The Secret of Life: Electricity, Radiation and Your Body, in which he attempted to explain cellular oscillation, instinct in animals, the migration of birds, and other phenomena according to electrical principles. Lakhovsky was an electrical engineer.
Both authors maintained that high frequencies are beneficial to the human organism, low frequencies are harmful. Lakhovsky went on to postulate that high frequency radio waves would energize malfunctioning cells due to the spiral helix or coil found in each cell (today known as RNA-DNA) that acted as a receiving antenna for the radio waves.
Once the cell was energized waste would be expelled, nutrients would be ingested. He developed a device he named a Multiple Wave Oscillator for that purpose. Theoretically, since the device could raise the cells from a state of fermentation (cancer) to oxidation, he believed he could cure cancer with the device.
Boring you to death, am I? One of the worst frequencies to radiate into the human body is 60 hertz, or 60 cycles per second. It's the frequency you run all your electrical appliances on. However, your Maytag and your blender aren't going to do you in. There you are protected by what is known as the inverse square law, which simply states that every time you double the distance from a radio transmitter of any sort the amount of voltage actually being received is one fourth-not one half-of what it was originally.
Some of you may wonder why it's so hard to get up in the morning and why you don't have the energy your diet and exercise regimen should be producing. You may not have to look any further than your electric blanket: it's radiating 60 hertz into you all night long at point blank range.
Bodybuilding is 80% nutrition. You simply cannot gain muscular bodyweight on a diet of sugar, soda pop, and swine's flesh, no matter what type of a super duper routine you're following.
Further, nutrition includes eliminating waste products just as much as it does ingesting nutrients. It isn't how much you eat, it's how much you use.
For example, my trainee who gained 11 lbs the first month on coconut milk, pineapple juice, and desiccated liver gained another 11 lbs in the following two months on the same diet and routine, for a gain of 22 lbs muscular bodyweight in approximately 90 days. That's ingestion.
Thanks to a host of problems (candida, old army injuries, etc.) my own gains had been non-existent for years.
As I was fond of telling people, I'm a coach, not a competitor. On exactly the same diet and exercise routine my trainee was following I was going nowhere.
I keep meticulous records, both for bodyweight and strength increases (no one has the time to take measurements constantly, which are meaningless anyway because-as Arthur Jones pointed out 25 years ago, almost everyone lies about their measurements anyway).
As an interesting aside, pick up a copy of THE RING or other magazine on professional boxing. When you can find them, read the measurements of professional heavyweights, like Muhammad Ali. Notice all the 16 inch arms on men weighing 220 lbs. and more? Notice how those arms look compared to bodybuilders claiming 18 and 19 inch arms?
All of a sudden I noticed my weight starting to increase at a rate I hadn't experienced since Mits Kawashima trained me in 1966 at the age of 24. I'm 52 years old. By checking back through my records I saw that I had gained 10 lbs of muscle in a single month--though I hadn't changed my diet or exercise routine in the slightest.
The only variable that had been introduced, according to my records, was my weight started to shoot up after my fourth colonic irrigation.
The bodyweight increase started just a couple of days before an unusual experience I had in the law library where I was working (I'm a suer, pronounced "sewer," by profession). I had to take a pause in my labors to visit the little boy's room. A thing (there is no other way to describe it) came out of me that looked like a 5 foot rope. My colonics expert told me later that such an elimination is normal after about 40 to 60 colonic irrigations.
Apparently all the effort I spent throughout the years working out and running, even though I hadn't wound up looking like Arnold, was of considerable benefit.
That's elimination. That is, after cleaning a sufficient amount of petrified plaster off my colon wall I was now able to utilize and eliminate nutrients as well as a 24 year old.
Unfortunately, it doesn't end there. You still have to supplement your diet with extra protein your body can utilize. That means commercial supplements. Theoretically, you could simply eat enough. It wouldn't even cost much more than the supplements. However, the amount of time you would wind up using to prepare food would probably cost you your job.
The problem is that using some commercial supplements can turn out to be counter-productive.
Let me give you some examples.
First, there are the protein powders containing soy powder. Vegetables are a source of incomplete protein. What soy powder does, in many cases, is give you gas.
Second, there are powders that are simply frauds. A chemist in Honolulu analyzed one of the more popular brands. What Mits Kawashima passed on to me was that the chemist found salt (salt causes water retention, an easy way to gain weight), hydrogenated coconut oil (when anything is hydrogenated it becomes almost impossible to digest), FDC yellow dye 5 and 6, and gypsum board (gypsum board!) in the powder.
Another supplement is such a fraud that the Attorney General of one State has apparently already gotten after the people promoting it. The problem here is that if I explained why it is a fraud anyone with two brain cells to rub together would recognize the company and its advertising. As the old saying goes, better to speak after the event as a historian than before it as a prophet. When the Federal Trade Commission lands on this particular company and puts it out of business I'll be more than happy to explain, "why it couldn't work."
Another protein powder gave my wife acne all across her back. Since nothing else she ate caused such an outbreak it had to be the protein powder. I never used the stuff and everything else we ate was the same.
Powdered desiccated Argentine beef liver is hard to go wrong on. It always seems to work. It may not work as well for bulking up as some protein powders, but at least you know what you're getting.
Mits Kawashima gave me the formula for the protein powder he used to make (and no, he gave it to me, not to the world, I'm not passing it out to the public) and I'm mixing some of it up on my kitchen table. If my theory is correct concerning coconut milk, colonic irrigation, David Scott Lynn's work, and Mits' protein, I am about to create a couple of monsters.
My trainee and myself.
We'll keep you posted.
(Editor's note: This was written in 1996.)
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This page was updated on 8 March 2008