(As promised the before and after pictures, I hope everyone enjoys the hilarity I tried to display. Hint: a larege amount of the fitness industry is a joke - there is more to exercising than aesthetics. Does anyone else find before and after pictures hilarious?)
Well I can't exactly speak for the GOMAD process in general but this post is designed to outline my 5 week experience with GOMAD or Gallon or Milk a Day combined with Mark Rippetoe's Starting Strength Program.
What did I do?
I started GOMAD on Monday February 2nd and weighed in at 179lbs. I was very strict drinking 3.7L a day and only missing 3 days. I drank 2% for roughly 2 weeks and the switched to Homo milk which was 3.25%. While drinking the milk I strictly followed Starting Strength 3 days a week with no other CrossFit WOD's mixed in. I ate mainly paleo but did not worry about portions and ate more "bad" carbs than I would have if I was on my normal diet. The reason for this is because Rip encourages eating as much as possible while doing GOMAD, thus I didn't worry too much about eating bad food, as long I was eating a lot of food. Mainly, I ate clean about 80 percent of the time.
Did it work for me?
Yes, I have a hard time putting on weight, when I zone strict I lean out fast. The milk was an easy and cheap way for me to put on, and keep on, weight while strength training. I topped out at 196lbs while doing GOMAD. My body composition did not change a great deal; meaning I never looked "fat" at any point. My pants did get a bit tighter but I think the majority of my weight gain was muscle. I'll find out in the next few weeks by how much weight I lose. GOMAD did its job, I gained weight and made weight gains in my lifts. I had a very bad lift day and it was following a 2 day break from GOMAD. Was this a coincidence? I am not sure but diet is definitely linked to performance.
Would I recommend GOMAD?
I have had a few posts that have had good discussion in comments about the pros and cons of GOMAD (discussion 1 and discussion 2). Overall, if you are skinny and have a hard time putting on weight AND want to focus on strength training, I would recommend it. I would not recommend it for more than 8 weeks and I would recommend something to help digest the milk if you are having problems. I had no issues with slamming 3 bags of milk a day but other people may. Try and mix it up by mixing a cup of berries and peanut butter in a blender or a few teaspoons of vanilla whey protein powder for flavor.
Yes, there are other healthier options to consume alot of calories. Although, I found GOMAD to be an easy, cheap and effective way to aid strength training by adding more daily calories. I saw good results and progress while doing SS, I definitely got stronger and I look forward to seeing those results translate into my CrossFit WODs.
My previous programming left my strength lacking and I was looking for a quick fix to bring things up to acceptable levels. There are going to trade offs from my strength specific training; my MetCon is going to be painful and I don't foresee PR's occurring anytime soon. BUT now that I plan on following main page, as best as possible, my strength should continue to increase along with the other 9 general physical skills of balance, agility, coordination, accuracy, power, speed, cardio-resperoatory endurance, stamina and flexibility.
There is no substitute for the general physical preparedness offered by CrossFit; there is a CrossFit Strength Biased program not out that helps to increase strength while maintaining a good level of GPP. I would recommend GOMAD if you are just doing Starting Strength. I personally think that if you are drinking that much milk while doing Metcos it could be ugly.
After 3 days back into CrossFit main page WODs I can definitely tell a huge dip in the other 9 general physical skills. I am not performing where I was pre GOMAD and SS. Although, I put up numbers in the CrossFit Total I never thought I would be capable of in such a short period of time. So yes I am stronger now, but I will have to work hard to get back to the level of GPP I was at.