GOMAD is an old-school diet consisting in drinking a gallon of milk a day. The idea that milk builds muscle mass and strength is not a new one. Many popular authors of strength literature such as Randall J. Strossen and Mark Rippetoe are known to promote milk diets to beginner lifters who want to get big and strong. Rippetoe, the author of Starting Strength, is famous for the following statement: “Milk is quite literally better than steroids for a novice lifter to grow on, and no supplement produces the same effect.”
Is this really true? Is GOMAD as good as anabolic steroids?
A gallon of whole milk provides 135 grams of protein, 188 grams of carbohydrates and 132 grams of fats. The total amount of calories contained in 4 liters of milk is 2500kcal.
Since beginner lifters have a hard time eating as much as advertised by the muscle scholars, noobs are advised to embrace those 2500 extra calories in the form of liquid as an easier source of calories and macronutrients.
Experts like Rippetoe believe that “not eating enough” is what stops beginners from becoming big, strong and “useful” humans beings.
Many eager to grow lifters are fascinated by the idea that a gallon of milk a day can provide them with solid, thick and tight muscles. This is how Rippism was born.
In 2010, when the Starting Strength & StrongLifts 5×5 epidemic was at its highest, Rippetoe posted the legendary Zack Evetts update which revealed for the first time what was the actual result from Rip’s programming and food regimen.
According to Rippetoe’s claims, Zack Evetts had 191 pounds of lean mass on him at the height of 6’1”. A quick check shows that during most of his career the popular bodybuilder Reg Park, who was also 6’1” tall, had almost the same amount of lean body mass. While the numbers presented by Rippetoe were good, Zack Evetts looked terrible. Those with a positive IQ immediately realized that GOMAD is producing out of shape victims of Rippism.
Why did GOMAD fail so terribly despite the hype?
Because the basic principles of the human organism were ignored due to wishful thinking. Many wanted to believe that milk was more than just food – they wanted it to be a steroid with no side effects. They saw milk as a way to break the natty limits. The plan didn’t work.
The main problems with GOMAD are:
a. Too much milk. A gallon of milk results in unnecessary stress on the body. Also, it’s definitely not a convenient food.
b. Too many calories. You cannot increase the rate of natural growth by flooding your body with nutrients. The extra will simply be stored as fat. Buying more bricks does not speed up the construction. The workers (the body) can only use so much at a time.
c. An infatuated community. The community refuses to admit the obvious – Zack Evetts and the rest of the GOMAD martyrs got fat. I don’t care what Rippetoe’s magic calipers say. The photos don’t lie.
If you want to get fat in an unpleasant way, GOMAD is the solution.
Not true. I have been doing GOMAD for a year with 2 percent milk and i gained 70 pounds and my body fat went down. I went from a 150 pound bench to a 300 pound bench. This stuff works great if you work hard enough and go to the gym to work and not sociallize.
@ Devin Conn..
Hohoho, Hahaha…yeah ryt
I don’t get it do you mean it doesn’t work in gaining weight ? Or just not getting you muscle weight.
You will gain weight. The fat kind of weight.
You write that GOMAD fails to produce “the desired results”. If the desired results are a higher macronutrient intake (which may be what helps skinny guys get stronger), then GOMAD does work.
Rippetoe never said that GOMAD will produce steroid like results! Why are you writing things that are completely wrong?
He said that for beginners milk + squat work better than steroids.
And he’s right. Doing a linear progression on the big basic barbell movements with bulking dietary intake produces faster strength increases than drugs. Steroids aren’t useful for beginners. They aren’t even terribly useful for intermediate lifters. Once you’re at the point where it’s taking you months of consistant lifting just to add 5 lbs to your squat or deadlift, and are a competitive athlete where being stronger could net you more income and be worth the investment, then steroids can become tool worth considering. 99.99999% of people won’t fall into that category.
For strength gains, milk is better than steroids for beginners bcs steroids will only make you lazy, be aesthetic, but remain weak.
I’m sorry, but this simply isn’t true. I started my journey out at 180 pounds, and the moment I started drinking gallons of milk a day, my strength and muscle gains skyrocketed, and that was 2 years ago. My bench is now around 375 from 225 and I went from 180 pounds to a whopping 278. I’ve continued the milk diet since getting my macros in with my job is hard, but not once has this much milk betrayed me. Yes, at 278 pounds, I have a LITTLE fat, but for the most part, I’m one scary looking behemoth.
There’s nothing wrong with milk but a gallon a day is insane. You can’t force feed your way to growth or push past your natural genetic limits by pounding down 5,000 calories a day. No one is denying that you’ll gain weight that way but what kind of weight is the problem.