Robert Gummerson on Bulking

An old friend, and inventor of the “Gummerson Drill,” Robert Gummerson sent this nice email to me after he read my article on tmuscle. This is the best part of the net, the sharing of real information by real people. The real great ones share a lot and don’t put themselves on “airs.”

Hi Dan,
Hope you and yours are very well and that you are training fully again.
Your bulking article reminded me of a diet and program Mac (Wilkins) gave me way back when. Since I was 6’5″ and from a basketball background I still was pretty light for a thrower while in college at SJSU in ’77-’78. I generally weighed in the 245lb range. I asked Mac about his bulk up period after college. Essentially the one lift a day program:

Day 1- B/Sqt
Day 2- Inclines
Day 3- Pulls (I did snt grip high pulls)
Day 4- Bench & Behind The Neck Presses
Six days a week

Sets and reps were classic 5×5 but you started the program at about 65-67.5% (vs the usual 80%) and did max reps on the 5th set of your work weight – hence you might get 12-15 reps on the 5th set for the 1st couple of weeks. Increases were done slowly – 5 to 10lbs from w/o to w/o. When you reached a strict limit 5×5 on the B/sqt you cut the total workload in half for 2-3 weeks and then started again.
Ab work on lower body days – a few sets of curls and rows on upper body days
Hans Hoglund, the Swede from UTEP gave me a pretty similar weight program.
EATING – This was more difficult than the weight work. And remember how bad most of the protein powder was back then so this was all real food.
Breakfast – 8 whole eggs scrambled
cup of oatmeal covered with a cup of nonfat yogurt
Lunch – 1 cup (before cooking) brown rice then cooked obviously
covered by 1 can of cream of mushroom soup mixed with a can of
Jack Mackerel. Mmmmm….my favorite!
Dinner – 1 whole roasted chicken – beef was a substitute 1 or 2x a week
2 very large baked potatos with whatever on them
what passed for a green salad
(I usually washed this down with 2-3 beers)
Snacks were generally tuna fish on whole wheat but this was so much food and like I said so hard to eat that much I usually didn’t snack.
I was pretty de-trained from a summer of letting my inflamed joints heal so I weighed about 217 when I started. 3 months later I weighed 257 (an all time high to that point) and that spring (1979) was when I Back Squatted 335 for 26 reps and could standing throw over 59′ with the shot. I peaked bdywt at 262 but with a natural appetite I stablized at 252 for most of the 1979 track season.
Like I keep telling the young guys who ask me questions at the gym, over eating good clean food (with some serious compound exercises) is the most anabolic thing you can do.
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