What's the biggest mistake beginners make? Well, every guy first starting out makes the same mistake: not understanding how much he REALLY has to eat in order to put on size.

Whenever I have a beginner wax poetic about how he can never put on size despite "eating all day" I ask a simple question: "What did you have for breakfast this morning?" I usually get nothing but crickets chirping.

The first few weeks of training are a weird phenomenon because it's not uncommon to see quick strength gains. I've seen some guys double their squat or deadlift numbers in a matter of weeks due to the neural adaptations involved.

Now, granted, for some that's going from a 100 pound pull to a 200 pound pull, but it's still impressive and speaks to how wonderfully adaptive the body is. That said, many get frustrated when they don't see the immediate results in the mirror.

10 Months of Real Eating

I lifted weights throughout high-school and college, and while I wasn't bashful about taking my shirt off on the beach, it wasn't until I made a conscientious effort at age 25 to eat my balls off that I really started to see results with my physique.

I decided I was going to experiment and give myself a 10-month window to eat. I went from 180 to 210 pounds. Here's what a typical day looked like back then:

Breakfast:

  • 1-2 cups of oatmeal and blueberries with scoop of Metabolic Drive®
  • 5 egg omelet with cheese and spinach

Mid-AM Snack:

  • 6-8 oz lean beef
  • Veggies (anything)

Early PM (prior to training):

During Training:

  • Half Serving Surge® Recovery

First Post-Training Meal (60 Minutes Later):

Second Post-Training Meal (60 Minutes Later):

  • Pasta (2-3 servings)
  • Chicken breast

Third Post-Training Meal (60 Minutes Later):

  • 2 cups oatmeal

Rest of the Day:

  • I'd try to force down one more whole food meal around 7-8 PM, then watch Alias. (Remember, this was circa 2004-2005.)

I'd fluctuate my caloric intake based off training days vs. non-training days to control body composition. It took me a while to work up to that much volume of food, but it's what had to be done.

Any time I have a beginner tell me he can't put on size, it's almost always because he's not having an honest conversation with himself about total food intake. The body isn't going to make muscle out of nothing.

Related:  11 More Beginner Mistakes

Related:  How to Bulk and Keep Your Abs