GOMAD – Gallon of Milk A Day: Is It For Everyone?

Due to the recent (okay, not so recent) phenomenon that is the internet, it seems we’ve a plethora of good, bad and downright terrible information at our disposal.  With relative ease, I can search for just about anything I’m looking for in google, and in most cases, I’ll get the answers I need.  Hell, we can normally find most of the secrets we’re after as well.

Today, I want to take a quick look at one of the top muscle-building, weight-gaining secrets from the Black-Ops strength and bodybuilding underground, and shed some light on some of the good, the bad and the ugly.

Yes, GOMAD does indeed stand for the notorious diet that consists of a gallon of milk a day.  No shit – that’s a ton of milk.

Here are a few statements (paraphrased) that I found online after doing some quick googling.

Thankfully, we’ve a cheap, fast and easy way to gain weight naturally and that’s with the GOMAD diet.

— —

When you want to get jacked, you need to add 500-1000 kcals but the more the better.  If you get fat, you can back off a bit and do some cardio

— —

Minimize fat gains by eating clean and minimizing junk food.  Add cardio post workout if you want to stave off and extra accumulation of adipose tissue.

What is GOMAD?

As I mentioned earlier, on this diet, one is drinking an entire gallon of milk per day.  Read that again.  This gallon of milk is in addition to your normal meals for the day.  Let’s take the average intake of a young male who is physically active and weight training.  We’ll agree his average maintenance intake is about 2500-3000 kcals depending on multiple factors.

Now let’s look at what this diet actually recommends in terms of intake.  A regular, whole-fat gallon of milk is ~2430 kcals (128g protein, 192g carbohydrate, 128g fat).

That’s a ton of calories coming from one source of food; hell, that’s the maintenance intake of many.

Then we have the rest of your daily meals added into ones energy intake.  After all is ingested, we’re looking at a 5000-5500 kcal intake for the day.  Boatloads of food!

This diet particularly became popular with young guys who needed to add some quality size to their frame.  I’ve read in multiple places this is what Mark Rippetoe, author of Starting Strength, often suggests to underweight teenage boys in search of a big squat, bench, deadlift and a beefy frame.

The Good

Let’s first take a look at this diet in a positive light.  Milk, as a whole food source, is hard to beat in terms of macro and micro nutrients.  Milk is primarily water, so one is sure to be hydrated on this particular diet.

It contains a hefty dose of protein, carbohydrates and saturated fat.  Milk is a fine source of vitamin D, A, calcium, magnesium, zinc, as well as many other vitamins and minerals.  Some say it’s the perfect food while others claim it’s the devil’s blood.  Take a look at Chris’ article about fresh, real milk to see all the nutritive benefits milk has to offer and then form your own opinion as I’m not in the business of convincing, merely informing.

Personally, I enjoy milk almost every single day.  I see nothing wrong with drinking milk unless you have a lactose intolerance.  If that’s the case, omitting milk from your diet will likely serve you best.

According to this study, drinking milk stimulates protein synthesis after your strenuous workout.   Maybe Alan Aragon’s obsession with chocolate milk wasn’t so ludicrous after all (I love you, bro).

The Bad

Drinking a gallon of milk, or any fluid, day in and day out is going to get old fairly quickly.  I struggle to drink a gallon of water per day and I sure cannot imagine drinking an entire gallon of thick, whole milk consistently.

It’s not too practical to carry a gallon of milk around with you everywhere.  For one, it needs to be cold so not to spoil.  Another blunder is that you’ll have to explain yourself to everyone and just saying “I really enjoy milk, a lot,” is not going to cut it.  People will probably point and laugh.

You’re going to be full all of the time.  That much fluid in itself is enough to make anyone bloated and this isn’t even taking into account how many actual kcals one is consuming when we factor the other meals into the equation.

The Ugly

I’m afraid I’ll be the bearer of bad news, as most of the others (that I found on the net) don’t touch upon the downsides too much.

With such a high intake, most people are not going to see their body composition change for the better.  Sure, they will gain body weight, but 25lbs in 25 days is too aggressive – I don’t care how often you’re squatting or what program you’re following.  A majority of that weight will be unwanted fatty tissue as opposed to the coveted lean muscle mass one is usually in search of.

Gaining a lot of weight relatively quickly will either go one of two ways and both are less-than-desirable.

The first scenario is usually a guy who lies to himself and says most of the weight he gained was muscle.  Then he continues to gain weight relatively quickly only to find a soft, pudgy reflection looking back at him.  He knows it’s time for a diet and it’s going to take a very long time for optimal results and retention of muscle mass.

The other scenario is equally worse.  This time, he takes a look in the mirror, notices the extra fat hanging over his pants, and realizes he needs to shed some fat.  The next 16 weeks are spent undoing what was done in just 6-8 weeks of this faulty approach.

Both of these guys’ time could’ve been utilized a lot more optimally had they just taken the time to focus on moderate weight gain and strength progression.

Who is GOMAD for?

This protocol, in my opinion, is only for a select few individuals – the young, underweight teenage male who needs to gain weight for athletics or who simply wishes to get strong and fill out.  Most of the time, these kids are overactive and underfed.  This is why a drastic approach is sometimes necessary to make progress.

It’s for people who would rather drink their calories than eat a boatload of food every day.  It’s also good for those with a high energy expenditure; however I can find many other tastier foods I’d rather eat in lieu of becoming miserable trying to down an entire gallon of whole milk daily.

Not to mention, if you’re on a budget, the average gallon of milk around here is about $3-4.  That’s $21-28 bucks you’d be spending in a week just on milk.  I’d rather get some peanut butter, jelly, and bread to make plenty of calorie-dense sandwiches.  For protein, I’d use an inexpensive powder to cover my bases.

GOMAD is NOT for Everyone

Those with desk jobs, females, and intermediate to advanced trainees are not well-suited for this approach.  The reason being is the fat-to-lean body mass gain ratio will be unfavorable.

All we have to do is look at a few resources to know that only so much muscle can be added to ones frame naturally.  Eventually, everything slows down to a halt and too many extra kcals will just be stored as fat mass.

Those with desk jobs won’t need a ton of extra energy intake to build muscle.  Females will require a slower and less-aggressive approach, while experienced, male trainees will have to accept slower gains as they progress and advance – unless they wish to take pharmaceuticals.

Summing Up

While GOMAD is often cited as a be-all, end-all approach to gaining weight, I highly suggest you look at it with a cautious and objective mindset if your goal is to gain weight and build muscle in a sensible and practical matter.

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Comments

  1. jason says

    I was 155 pounds and did half gallon of whole milk a day for about 3 months and gained about 25 pounds. I did loose my six pack but I also felt like I gained a lot of muscle.

  2. says

    I personally have done GOMAD twice, each time for about a month about a year apart. Both times I’ve gained about 10 lbs, looked bigger, and could lift more weight. I have an extremely fast metabolism, so within two months of finishing gomad, I was back to my starting weight.

  3. Hemi says

    Wow, no one wants to listen. The author is trying to protect us from blindly following a program not aimed at normal people.

    Personally, I did GOMAD and got pretty good results on leg mass. I ONLY did it when I started pushing really heavy weight on a 5×5 strength program. At the beginning of the program I was just getting used to the weight and sticking to my maintenance weight calorie intake. Once I started setting personal best across my major compound lifts (over double body weight in squats and dead-lifts, workout weight, not 1 rep max) did I decide it was the right time to do GOMAD.

    Yes I did gain muscle mass, but I knew I was gonna gain fat as well. Of the 6-7 pounds I gained a month maybe 2 pounds was muscle and that’s being nice. The other thing is of the 100g of fat you’re taking in is bad SATURATED FATS and the author of this article didn’t even mention the ridiculous amount of sodium you’re gonna take in. Sodium by itself causes water retention = you get soft and squishy,

    Anyways the author seriously needed defending from these comments and here’s a link of a before and after GOMAD of someone who was a bit more serious about it than I was:

    http://www.rookiejournal.com/why-gomad-is-the-most-ridiculous-diet-on-planet-earth-and-why-you-will-only_get-fat-on-it.html

    If you consider that “good” weight gain, be my guest.

  4. Milke says

    umm, my 2% horizon milk is only 1040 calories per gallon, your article seems pretty biased that you went with whole milk at 2000+ calories, that aint the norm buddy…

  5. Bryan says

    I personally have a hard time gaining weight with such a high metabolism. I’m 25 years old, 150lbs, 6’1″ and less than 3% body fat. I work out just about everyday and see minimal gains. I’ve got a small stomach so eating large quantities of food is tough for me, so I’m going to give GOMAD a try. While I want to bulk up and not look skinny, I could use the fat that milk will give me anyway.

      • Bryan says

        Yea, last time I checked it was like 2.9% with one of those things you hold in your hands, you stand and it sends a pulse or something through you to calculate everything.

        • says

          Omron body fat analyzers are HIGHLY inaccurate. I can almost, without a doubt guarantee you’re not at 3%. That’s about as low as competition bodybuilders get at their peak, and it’s not possible to maintain that level of leanness.

          • Jacob says

            At 16 years old, I was 6′ and only about 130lbs. I was 3.3% body fat, measured by a body composition machine at a female only gym (my Mum’s friend). Nowadays, I’m 22, 6′ 4″ and 165lbs approx. and 11% body fat. I had led an almost completely sedentary lifestyle since before I was 15 ( sat in front of the computer 8 hours a day, no regular exercise, stopped olympic trampolining at 14). Only the last year have I starting working out. So I would think Bryan’s account is perfectly plausible. I am about to give GOMAD a go, and so am reading up on the good and the “bad”. I can’t see that any of the “bad” things would have a negative impact on me, or Bryan for that matter. If you can maintain a well built physique on a normal diet, that’s fantastic, but we’re ectomorphs. Also, to the people commenting about using skim milk as an alternative, this won’t work. You need the proportions of fat relative to protein and carbs that are in whole milk, otherwise your thyroid, hypothalamus and (males) testicles are unsupported in there duty of making HGH, testosterone and other hormones vital for growth.

  6. Fede says

    Well to be honest GOMAD is the fastest healthiest way of build muscle specially for us bad eaters adn specially if you are not into chemical supplements.
    I tried myself but I didnt drink a galloon,my mother would think Im nuts. I drank about half galoon a day for about 2 or 3 weeks.
    The part I dont get is the advice on drinking whole milk.I ahve experiemnted before in my diet and every time I buy for msitake half skimmed milk my 6pack seems to dissapear in 2or 3 days. I cant imagine the scenario of drinking a gallon of WHOLE milk a day… So all these guys doing GOMAD on whole milk getting 25lbs of weight(muscle and fat) adn tehn having to cut 5lbs of fat afetrwards doesnt make sense to me.
    Why not start with from begining with Skin milk? It will give you same protein intake,carbs and 4 or 5 grams of fat that you will burn working out.
    Not to mention most diets today are focused on the hyperproteic system wich means more protein aids in fat burning.
    So my experiences with half galoon of skim milk had been wonderful,not only I gained muscle but I actually lost fat. Of course you will not increase your body weight as much as whole or halfskim milk but those gains will be 100% muscle.And anyway with you use whole milk your weight will go down when you try to burn taht belly.
    People just try,start witha reasonable half galloon a day,start with half skim for a week adn if you see you loose definition change to skim.

    • suza says

      so im a 23 year old a female 1m 5’8 and 125 pound i want to gain 25 pounds in 25 days sound perfect to me wpuld i be able to use this product is it just used for musle, or can it be used just for weight gain in general

      thanx

  7. Luis says

    Great Article! I would like some advice, because I desperately need to build my frame. I am 22, 6 ft 4 in. and weigh 162 lbs. I know that for someone my height I need to weigh at least 180 lbs. So that’s my goal to gain at least 20 lbs. I have no problem drinking 1 gallon of milk a day because even if I gain some fat, I will still look slim because of my height. My only concern is that I might get more acne. If I stick with the GOMAD plan, I will only be able to workout at home with dumbbells (15 lb). So if I do dumbbell squats and pushups daily along with the GOMAD meal plan, will I gain muscle weight?

    Thanks for any advice!

  8. Jack says

    Hi, umm, would this program be suited for me? I’m 14, turning 15. My height is 5’3 (or 5’2 or 5’4, but 5’2 is less likely) and I weigh 41kg. I’m underweight. I don’t eat very much and I am not in a position to eat a lot and I have a quick metabolism (probably cause I’m young). I have muscles but it looks weird cause I can also see some of my bones. I’m desperate to gain weight, would this program be suited for me? And also, if I do it for 1 week, how much do you reckon I would gain? I just need to gain a few kilos anyway.

  9. Sage says

    I am interested in trying the GOMAD diet but want to make sure it is right for me. I am 6’2″ and currently weigh 180lbs, I am also 42 years old. I know, I am kinda late at getting into this. I work out M-F and go pretty hard at it. I am trying to get up to 200lbs. My initial goal was to hit 185 but even now I think I’ll still look skinny at that weight; 200lbs would probably be ideal. Also, if I consume that much milk I am concerned about difficulty defecating – is this a legitimate concern? Any insight you offer would be great.

    • JC Deen says

      how about you just consume enough calories to gain weight. eat a normal diet and drink the milk in moderation.

  10. getting started says

    Hey JC, i’m a 21 year old college athlete who’s 5ft 10 and weighs 155lbs. i have a huge problem gaining weight and keeping it on. Is the gomad system something i should consider?

    thanks

  11. Adz says

    Hey jc , I’m wondering on your opinion if gomad is a option for me ..I’m 26 ..6’0ft 247lbs not sure on bodyfat percentage but i have alot of definition and my waist is at like a 34″ with like a 3xl tshirt and and my strength is bench 405lbs for 6-8 reps shoulder press 160lbs dumbells 10 reps squat is 585lbs 10 reps for an idea..i need advice… I can diet down very easily but bulking up has been taking forever I was considering the dirty diet way but do you think this gomad could help as a better option

    • JC Deen says

      probably not – if you’re already this strong, then the road to more size and strength is going to be slow and need a much more moderate approach.

  12. Ant says

    Hi JD, nice post. Found you on Google searching for this kinda thing.

    Here’s the deal. I’m 6 feet tall, I’m 20 years old and I weigh 9 stone. That’s about 126 lbs. I do NO exercise which is soon to change and I hate eating.

    Well the docs have just referred to me to an eating disorder clinic, but I don’t have one. I just never have an appetite. I’ve gained weight before and have been at above 11 stone before so I know my body can achieve it.

    Right now I need to get calories in me though and I’m just not. I ate 1300 calories today and that’s a really good day for me calorie wise. I drink loads of water though and can handle that pretty well. (I tend to feel ill with food because I’m not used to it I guess)

    So do you think this would be safe for me? I wouldn’t do a gallon, that’s insane imo. I’d stick with 4 pints. If I started gaining a lot I’d probably drink more though to be honest due to the motivation.

    Thanks, Ant

  13. Zantavias says

    Hello im on the fence about this diet to do it about 2 weeks a trainer saw me and said i could really benefit from it, im 16 6’0 190 lbs and would be doing the starting strength work out monday wednesday and friday amd swimming about 50 laps on my off days?

    • JC Deen says

      how far advanced are you in terms of strength gains? 6 foot and 190 isn’t exactly super skinny.

  14. John says

    I went from 5 “10” 150lb’s to now 170lb’s muscle in 2 1/2 weeks. The gain is majority bulk and muscle since i still can see my abs, lol. Im guessing a few pounds of fat, but I look buff and jacked up.

  15. byron says

    Hello I’m 5’7 and weigh 151 pounds, I have the hardest time to put on weight the only reason I’m at the current weight is because 5 months ago I was eating 5-8 bowls of pasta daily, giving me way more carbs and fats then this approach, so I figure I’ll give it ago and then continue with my bulking cycle for 4 more months followed by a cutting cycle of 3 months. good idea?

  16. Nick says

    Hey i am 6ft and 130 lbs and i just started GOMAD today. I am still wonderig if this is for me because i workout ecery other day and have been trying to force myself to eat trying to gain weight. I am a hardgainer and feel like this will work for me but i need some advice. Also what is the best type of milk (whole, 2%, etc.)?

    • JC Deen says

      yeah, GOMAD is probably a good idea for someone of your size. in the end, it’s just calories. eat enough to grow.

  17. Ross says

    It’s not made for people that gain weight easily, hence the ‘hardgainer’ adjective being thrown around. You saying that weight gained isn’t what they wanted, how do you know? They are skinny because they don’t eat enough, maybe they want to gain a bit of fat? And you can’t deny GOMAD + 5×5 will make you stronger, so yeah you may get a lot of fat, but you’re only meant to do it for a few weeks, then its back to normal – fat can be burned off, so who cares, if you don’t try it you will never know if it’s for you or not…

  18. Richard says

    Great article. Know anything about skimmed/low fat milk? I know you won’t be getting the same amount of calories, but will it still have some effect in regards to building muscle mass? That would be ideal to build muscle without the fat you would be drinking in whole milk.

    • JC Deen says

      just have to try it – you’d be consuming fewer calories, which kind of misses the point of GOMAD

  19. Sneak says

    If you struggle to drink a gallon of water a day then milk will be harder. I always been taught to drink the number of ounces base on your weight. For example if you weigh 150lbs you should be drinking 150oz. So milk isn’t a problem. I’m 2 weeks in and I have gained 15lbs.

  20. Ja Monte says

    Hey JC,

    Very good article. I was always wondering if I should do GOMAD since I’ve heard all sorts of good and bad things about the “program”.

    I wanted your opinion on whether I should try GOMAD for a month or so. I’m 22 and 150 pounds. I’ve been lifting for about a year now, and am on the 5×5 program. I bench 175×5 and squat 250×5. Do you think GOMAD would be beneficial for me and my frame, or should I continue building steadily and slowly? My goal is to have a killer lean body by summer, and I’m afraid after GOMAD I won’t be able able to see my abs after.

    • Ja Monte says

      BTW, I’m about 5’7″. Hope that information helps with your opinion on whether GOMAD is for me.

    • JC Deen says

      if you’re concerned about having abs, I wouldn’t recommend doing GOMAD as if you’re expenditure isn’t high, you might just get fat.

  21. Chris Franklin says

    Nice article JC. I have a quick question. Im 21 and weigh 142 pounds. I workout constantly but dont gain any mass but have good muscle. I’m really skinny looking but I have a small gut. (Its really small) i’m concerened that if I start this diet, my gut will get bigger. Would that happen? Or could I just throw in cardio

    BTW I like your replies to some of the others who criticized your article. They gave me a good laugh.

    • JC Deen says

      thanks, I’m a comedian in my spare time.

      How tall are you? I cannot imagine you having much muscle at that weight, unless you’re like 5’0″

      I would track your intake and be sure you’re eating over maintenance to gain weight steadily.

  22. Johnny says

    Lol, you cant be serious about gobbling down 4L of milk in 1 day. Who the hell drinks that much milk. It’s going to screw up your liver, mess up the mineral composition in your bloodstream, and every other vital balances in your body. Like seriously, 30lbs in 30 days? I thought it was a hoax at first.

  23. Toni says

    This reminded me of when I was preggers, lol. I must’ve went thru a gallon of milk a day…at least. I was constantly running to the store to “stock-up” – I couldn’t get enough of milk in me back then. I could definitely see how this could work for someone trying to build some muscle. I still like milk but not enough to down a whole gallon daily.

  24. chris says

    Hey jc, just found this article that you wrote up about the GOMAD diet and its some interesting stuff. I would like to know if you could impart some knowledge on me and tell me if this could work for me. a little about me, im 6′ 6″, 26 years old, 202 at around 10% body fat, work a labourus job 4 days a week lifting boxes for 8 hours. on each day of work i commute via bike to and from the gym first and then work which takes around 20 to 25 min each way (40 to 50 min total biking each work day). i try not to do any other cardio as im told that the amount of biking i do during the week is bad enough for someone my size trying to build muscle. with the info iv’e given you do you think im a good candidate for the GOMAD diet? let me know asap. if you need more info, let me know

  25. Ann says

    I’ve convinced my husband to go on this diet. He’s trying to get big (well, muscle-wise), but works a hard lumberjackish job and can’t eat enough. I think the job kills his appetite or something. Luckily, he likes to drink obscene amounts of milk, so naturally he was receptive to the idea. The increased milk intake should put him slightly above his maintenance intake and allow for some steady strength and mass gains.

    Frankly, milk grosses me out so much, but seems like a good plan for hard gainers who love their milk or have trouble eating enough :)

  26. Thomas Borbon says

    Do you honestly just like to hear yourself talk? You could of said everything in this article in 2 or 3 sentences. By the way people, yes. It does work.

    • JC Deen says

      hey Thomas – I never said it doesn’t work. it’s just not for everyone. perhaps you need to work on your reading comprehension?

  27. AW says

    Hello.
    I’m 186cm tall and weigh 68kg, 16 years old. I’ve started GOMAD today as i want to increase my strength and such.
    But after reading the article, do you think it is for me?

    • JC Deen says

      I don’t know anything about you – but at your age, it’s probably a good idea to focus on eating well and getting strong. no need to complicate things.

  28. vyacheslav says

    im going to give it a try.. as JC says, its not for everyone but a few can benefit and i believe i happen to be one of the select few, being 5’10” at 150 pounds. bodyfat is in the single digits and ive been training my ass off for 17 months now with the end result that my strength has gone up but alas, mass gain is nowhere to be seen.. i pull 315 and bench 260 but as far as all outward appearances are concerned, people cant tell ive been busting my ass in the gym.. admittedly, i have somewhat of a phobia of excess bodyfat lol, i like my abs. however, i definitely have room for some fat. great article!

    • JC Deen says

      and you are the prime example of someone who GOMAD might work well for – the people who are deathly afraid of losing their cuts and who need to put on some size.

  29. chris says

    I can tell you that you’re wrong. I went on this diet around 2 years ago, and gained 19 pounds in a little under a month. It works. And most was not all fat, like you claim.

    • JC Deen says

      perhaps you don’t know how to read? I never said it doesn’t “work” but mainly made the point that it’s likely not for everyone.

      and no one gains close to 20 pounds in a month with very little fat gain. I don’t care if you’re a genetic anomaly.

      • Smith says

        You’re very close-minded JC. You really don’t quite grasp the concept of weight gain when it is intended for muscle do you?

        The fat you keep talking about comes in a single form, don’t baffle everyone with your delusional way of thinking. You gain fat, and if you let yourself go…it will accumulate. But, since most of the people who go on this diet are bodybuilders, this is not a problem. If you work out hard enough, you can easily ensure this fat doesn’t accumulate by burning it up and adding it to your muscle.

        You just don’t seem to understand that that’s the way muscle building goes do you? So yes, this diet is for EVERYONE who needs to build muscle mass. Not a must, but it’s an easy, fast, and efficient way. Don’t put it down because you can’t do it.

        • JC Deen says

          I’m not sure who you’re trying to troll here, but I understand the process of muscle building very well.

          And I’m not quite sure I follow this statement you made:

          If you work out hard enough, you can easily ensure this fat doesn’t accumulate by burning it up and adding it to your muscle.

          perhaps you don’t understand the anabolic process? Building muscle and burning fat at the same time is hardly doable for most outside of the beginner stages. These so-called bodybuilders you speak of, if I’m reading correctly, are far from the beginner stage.

          This type of diet, as I mention, is usually only ideal for those who are underweight and need to pack on some weight either for sport or to get a kick-start with the muscle building process. It’s not for everyone though – that’s for sure.

  30. Rick says

    And on top of that, tell me where else you can get 2400 calories of fat, carbs and protein for $4… that’s pretty damn cheap to me

  31. Rick says

    You guys realize the BF gain is only temporary, right? You do GOMAD for 1-2 months, accumulate some BF, then cut the milk out, and your BF returns to normal. It only goes up because of the milk… it’s not magic, people

  32. FAbian says

    Hi Guys. I’m thinking about doing GOMAD. Do you think it would work well for me. I’m 5’5, 24yrs old and 124pounds.

    • JC Deen says

      well it could work. or you could calculate your maintenance and aim to eat over that amount daily.

  33. mike orme says

    Tastier options?

    Cheaper options?

    Most of the stuff I’ve read makes all the points you have raised and is just for the minority.

    Pointless articles like this make me go mad.

    • JC Deen says

      well, not really sure what you’re wanting?

      I’m merely looking at alternatives to getting the extra kcals (pb and jelly, etc.).

      I was also making the point that most people don’t need to take this approach and that it’s not a cure-all.

  34. JJ says

    Like everything in the muscle building world- it depends on genetics. I’m Norwegian, German, dark Irish, and a touch Iranian. 6’2″ and if I stopped working out, eating Taco Bell 6 meals a day I’d loose weight. Every January I do a one month “bulk” using GOMAD and 5×5. After the first week, intestinal discomfort disappears completely and I generally gain about 10lbs, 1%bf, and KEEP 5lbs total after all is said and done. I then cut back to 1/4-1/2 a gallon per day for the rest of the year. This is easy when you mix your morning and evening shakes with milk, and drink a glass or two with each meal/ in between meals.

    GOMAD is completely impractical to do for more than 8 weeks. You’d eventually look like the michillan man(sp?). IMO, used sensibly in moderation, it’s the cheapest and most effective thing next to test E.

    6’2″ 205 8%- Late March 2011

  35. says

    The big question for me about GOMAD is “what do you do after the bulking phase?” Either you’ve gained tons of fat and then have to cut, which seems terribly inefficient to me, or you’re now stuck trying to figure out how to keep the muscle gains…which means what, more gallons of milk?

    Better IMHO to just follow a sensible plan of diet and exercise. If you’re into milk, why not just start with 3 tall glasses a day, one at each meal, and adjust from there based on the feedback you get?

    • JC Deen says

      What do you do to keep the muscle? Keep your protein intake up and train sensibly… Milk is not magical – it’s just the extra calories that created the muscle and fat.

  36. Liam says

    I think you’re missing the point about the fat gain. You’re supposed to embrace the fat alongside the muscle, because it’s the easiest way to get stronger.

    • JC says

      naah, I’m not really missing any point. My point is that GOMAD is not the be-all, end-all that many think it is. It’s just not the best approach for everyone.

      Also, some aren’t too interested in “embracing the fat gain.” It’s a different strokes kind of deal.

  37. says

    Great article JC. I’ve been following some of your posts through fitmarker and always look forward to the next. Well written and great information. As a college student who lifts every day, milk is a vital part of my daily intake. It gives me the calories I need along with protein. As you said, this diet isn’t for everyone, but most people can apply parts of it to their diet. I for example, drink about 3/4 of a gallon of reduced fat milk to cut back on the calories. It seems to be working great. Once again, thanks for another awesome post.

  38. Chad says

    I read all about the GOMAD diet on stronglifts.com.

    I’ve found and read all of the criticism of the GOMAD diet.

    I wonder, have any of the folks criticizing this approach ever been super f’ing skinny? I mean, put yourself in my shoes.

    I’m in my late 30’s, 6’4″, and about 160 lbs. I’ve never weighed more than 160 lbs in my life. I look even skinnier because of dent that I have in the middle of my chest…a birth defect. Can you understand the appeal of this idea for a person like me? I’ve always been told that when I get older my metabolism will slow down and I’ll gain weight. Bullsh!t. Ain’t happenin’.

    So is GOMAD no good? Got any better ideas. I’m all ears.

    • JC says

      I never said it’s no good. If you read my article, I never say it isn’t effective, I simply state that it’s not for everyone. now someone in your case who is terribly skinny and is also a newbie in terms of lean body mass gain, and who obviously has issues with getting enough calories, sure, this is good for you.

      I’m only going against the absolutist ideas that some have about this method. however, in your case, it seemed to be your magic bullet.

      as far as other ideas… yes. if you’re a skinny guy with a high metabolism who doesn’t have much of an appetite, then eating more calorie dense foods will do the trick. Don’t feel like drinking a gallon of milk? Eat a large pizza or drink some chocolate milk with 2-3 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. At this point, since your protein requirements will easily be taken care of, it’s only a matter of getting adequate calories to spur growth.

      • Chad says

        btw, I found you by doing various Google searches on variations of, “GOMAD+Milk+Dangerous” and “GOMAD+stupid”, and stuff like that.

      • Chris says

        I’m in the same boat as Chad, including the hole in the chest. I’m a mailman and use a shoulder bag rather than a pushcart and am humping 35-50 lbs of mail up and down blocks for 4 hours/day. This definitely seems like a good way to go for me, as I’m burning more calories than I can possibly take in. I am outside all day and not near many places to eat. I’d love to gain 25 lbs. I’m pretty sure with my high metabolism and constant activity during work, that the fat gain wont be an issue. I hope.

  39. says

    Far too many years ago, I was that underfed and overworked teenager. And the gallon of milk a day thing worked pretty good for me. But, it hardly came by itself. I was also eating about 10 cookies a day, a full can of ready-bake biscuits, 6 eggs, pbj sandwhiches, and a good sized hunks of meat. I gained my “freshman 20″ pounds in about 2 months. I was still so lean you could see striations in my pecs!

    Was it the milk? No. It was the overall calorie count and the fact that I was a skinny kid ripe for the growin’.

    Of course, those days are long gone. I’m in my early thirties, and while I’ve packed on quite a bit more muscle since then, I no longer have striations … at all :)

    If I tried the gallon of milk a day thing now, I’d just get fat. But, It does have it’s place for those of us who absolutely love milk. I still drink just under a half-gallon a day of whole milk + 16 ounces of choco milk after workouts. Way more than most. But, I love milk, and I let it replace other protein sources just so that I can drink more.

    I have never had a big appetite, and milk helps me keep my calories up and add a bit of protein to every meal without having to resort to protein powders (which I hate).

    OH, I also like your use of the “The good, the bad, and the ugly.” I’ve used that myself on my blog. Amazing how prevalent that movies’ title is in our culture. Then again, it’s a great flick!

  40. David says

    This young male youth increased his Bench & DL a whooping 50 pounds in UNDER 3 week utilizing this very strategy, except he was doing it on the real thing!!! I think it is time to start a new supplement company could be very lucrative and destroy those snake oil err Anaconda salesmen- JC you in?

    Another awesome article JC, the concept still seems pretty asinine to me. Maybe a moderate and prudent compromise to get the purported benefits without the negative consequences would be to make it fat-free which would ~ halve the kcals and consume it Pre&/orPWO??? Yes?No?

  41. Tim Berzins says

    Funny you mention Mark Rippetoe advocating the GOMAD approach because I literally just got done reading the section of Starting Strength where he talks about it, hahaha.

    Good Article JC.

  42. says

    I think that the farting alone would be enough to allow for massive gains. I mean, no one can be all that productive in a crowded weight room. Solution: clear it out.

  43. says

    Also a great fucking way to build up massive amounts of mucus. Snort Snort!

    I’m glad you covered this topic bro as I was going to write about milk but ended up writing other shit. Though I was just thinking, I love a glass of chocolate milk everyday. Question is, do I love it enough to try GOMAD for 3 days?

    Hmm…

  44. says

    Reminds me of when I was younger and my friend bet us he could drink a gallon of milk and eat a log of cookie dough in under an hour. He was yacking 15 minutes in.

      • Fred says

        Exactly, it seems even works than the drink two litres of water then go train thing with that Biotest Selling Program. If you advertised a supplement along the lines of milk then I am sure no one would buy it let alone mass produce it.

  45. Eric says

    But what difference does carrying a gallon a milk around make if you are already used to carrying your little cooler with meals to eat every three hours. You should be used to the stares.

  46. says

    I am glad that you gave the full story. It is for a select set of guys. Overweight guys are not among the select. Sounds interesting though. Well written and researched article.

    Frank

Trackbacks

  1. [...] Having thumbed through Tim Ferriss‘ book and read numerous comments on this blog and elsewhere, his 4-Hour Body in the words of the NY Times, “reads as if The New England Journal of Medicine had been hijacked by the editors of the SkyMall catalog.” Discussions online about the book seem to center on which products to buy, whether the PAGG stack, the Philips goLITE (something I’ve been considering myself for fixing my messed up sleep schedule and SAD), kettlebells (something I enjoy exercising with, but purchased and honestly didn’t really use for several years), etc. Even discussion about the various diets in 4HB are about what to consume—whether “slow carbs” or a gallon of milk a day. [...]