Review Of The Critical Weight Gain Program By Ted Landry
I'm a pretty smart guy who started weight training when I was about 17 years old. Other than injuries here and there I've stuck with it and have stayed in good shape. I'm no pro but I've always taken pride in my knowledge of proper weight training, diet and nutrition-until now.
A year or so ago I hit a plateau that I couldn't shake no matter what I tried. I switched routines, shook up my supplement program and more, but nothing helped. Then I found the Critical Weight Gain program and realized I didn't know as much as I thought.
First, my diet has always pretty much revolved around protein/carbs/fat ratios like 40-30-30. Although I've never really been as lean as I wanted to be, that more or less worked out for me until I hit my plateau and put on a few pounds. What I didn't realize is that those ratios can not only be distracting but they also don't consider the unique needs of my body. They're the "one-size-fits-all" approach to nutrition and that doesn't work for everybody.
Critical Weight Gain showed me how to figure out exactly what my body needs in terms of total calories, along with precisely how many of those calories should come from protein, complex carbs and healthy fats-all based on the unique requirements of my body.
Chapter two of the book is entirely focused on helping understand where your body is right now and how to lay out the right diet that will put you on the right track to where you want to be. It provides easy-to-understand directions about how to determine how much body fat and lean mass your body has-and why it matters.
The next three steps described together provide the key to not only uncovering the number of calories you should be consuming every day but precisely how many should come from protein, complex carbs and healthy fats. The process involves determining your resting metabolic rate and then your activity level. The combined information is used to establish the number of calories you need to consume each day.
Using the information uncovered in the first step-measuring your percentage of body fat versus lean muscle-along with your daily caloric intake, the book then clearly explains how to figure out how many calories should come from protein, carbs and fat. The ratios I had been using don't take any of this unique information into account and because of this I wasn't getting the results I wanted.
The section on weight training is equally well done-especially the discussions about the differences between compound and isolation exercises. I've always developed my training routines from the perspective of individual muscle groups (you know, legs, arms, chest, etc.), not from a systemic approach, which is what compound exercises are all about.
Yeah, isolation exercises are equally important, but I learned that by putting more emphasis on compound exercises like the squat and deadlift, I'm priming my entire body for muscle growth and strength gains. That was something that I had never considered before even though I've been working out for over 20 years now.
The book's emphasis on the importance on rest and recovery I think is especially important. It was really enlightening too. At least for me (and I seriously doubt that I'm the only guy around who thinks this way), my natural reaction when I hit the plateau was to spend more time in the gym, not less.
Despite the fact that my "push, push, push," strategy was getting me nowhere, I kept spending more and more time in the gym. What I failed to realize though was that I was overtraining and actually pushing my body into a catabolic state, which is the exact opposite of where I wanted to be-an anabolic state.
The rest of the book is a series of guides and tracking charts with a heck of a lot of extensive, suggested routines for making gains. Links with clear instructions on how to do all of the exercises mentioned in the guides are provided at the end of the chapter. The book wraps up with a discussion of suggested supplement stacks to help boost your gains.
All in all, in my opinion this is one of the most worthwhile training/diet books
I've run across in a long time. No matter where you are-beginner, intermediate or advanced-the book is packed with useful information that can set you on the path to achieving the gains you want to see.