Why Women Gainers Should Avoid GOMAD
Being a woman and attempting to gain weight is hard. It’s even more difficult when it seems like everyone on the Internet is telling you to drink a gallon of milk a day (GOMAD).
Plenty of women have very good reasons for wanting to gain weight, yet when they go on weight gain forums they are often given the same advice as men. This is bad because most of this advice is specifically meant for teenage males. Newbies to weight training and muscle gains tend to be teenage boys or college age men.
GOMAD is a common diet advised on these forums, but it is not a good idea for women.
Why Is GOMAD So Popular?
The number one reason GOMAD is so popular is because it is easy. Look, people who are new to lifting weights, muscle growth and gaining weight have no idea what they are doing. They don’t know what a proper program is and they don’t know what they need to be doing. Often they will come online looking for advice.
However, a lot of the people who come online looking for this sort of advice are lazy. They’ve never worked out in the past and they don’t want to take the time to read a good weight lifting book. Instead they want to read a few posts on the Internet telling them everything they need to know about weight lifting, diet, etc.
It’s a lazy way of doing research and results in generic, imprecise information. This is better than no information at all, but it’s not a great way to learn about weight training.
One of the most common recommendations for new weight lifters who want to gain weight is to drink lots of milk. A gallon a day, ideally. This idea originates with a book called Starting Strength. This book is meant for high school or college age athletes who plan on playing football or becoming weight lifters. These are young men, who are often still growing, who have a lot of energy and the ability to quickly put on muscle mass.
Starting Strength is a great book and can be valuable for anyone looking to get into weight lifting. It does a very good job in describing proper form and creates a solid beginners program. The diet advice however does not apply to everyone, especially not women.
The Internet has taken the idea of GOMAD and went with it full force. The reason is that it is simple. It’s one of the most simple ideas you can have for a weight gain diet. Drink a gallon of milk along with your regular diet and you will gain weight. It’s simple and easy to convey and quick to type out in a forum reply.
The simplicity of GOMAD is why it is so often recommended. A more in depth dietary program will require more information about the individual looking to gain weight, and will require a lot more detail. You cannot create a simple acronym to describe a well balanced diet.
So in sum, GOMAD is popular because it is simple and it works great for much of the online weight gain community: young men.
Why women Should Avoid GOMAD
GOMAD works well for young men. There are tons of success stories, where skinny boys started lifting weights, drinking milk, and ended up becoming strong, attractive men.
But women have different biological systems. Women are physically not able to put on muscle mass as fast as men are. This is the reason why GOMAD will not work for women. Men, especially young men, are able to put on muscle mass at a rate rapid enough to (mostly) keep up with the extra 2400 calories found in a gallon of milk. Women are not.
Generally, when a woman attempts the GOMAD diet she gains a lot more fat than intended. This sometimes happens to men also, but it almost always happens to women. Even if a woman lifts weight at the same consistency as a man, she will not be able to put on muscle mass as quickly as the man.
Since women do not build muscle mass at the same rate as men, a woman’s body would have to do something else with all the extra calories consumed in a GOMAD diet. The result would be more gains to body fat. Since a woman’s body is unable to use all the calories to build muscle, it builds fat storage instead.
This leads to women gaining more fat rather than muscle when on a extremely high calorie diet such as GOMAD.
Alternative To GOMAD For Women
This is not to say that women cannot gain lean muscle or that women should not lift weights. All this means is that women should be more careful with overconsumption of calories. To avoid gaining unnecessary fat, women should focus more on slower muscle growth than men. This means consuming less calories and not targeting the same speed for muscle growth.
Remember, most information on gaining weight is specific to men. A lot of it applies to women. For example, men and women need to eat more calories than they burn to gain weight. However, it needs to be stressed that men and women burn calories at different speeds.
Say a man is attempting to put on a pound of muscle a week, a woman may be wise to attempt for half a pound.
Everyone is different, and the best way to calculate how many calories a woman should consume is for her to calculate her TDEE.
A half gallon of milk a day might be a better solution for many women. Check out some of our GOMAD alternatives for other weight gain ideas.
A high calorie balanced diet is superior to GOMAD for anyone, not just women. Though GOMAD is easy to follow, the effort to eat healthy is well worth it.