hey everyone, I am FINALLY, after looking like an anemic pale weakling, am GAINING POUNDS and am tanner and my muscles have definition. I'm currently up around 10 pounds of SOLID-MUSCLE since I started!! I'm so much more confident and happy with myself I can't believe it. For the first time my abs and biceps feel puffy and dense. I weigh myself before I eat every morning at the exact same time, so this is true weight gain for me!!!!! Anyways, thought I'd give back a little and share some tips: #1: SUNLIGHT! 4-hours a day minimal. Our ancestors were out in the sun all freaking day! That's right, it's super hard for me here in the winter, but I find when I sit in the sun I'm stronger, get leaner, and gain muscle. They did experiments where they took these cancer patients into solariums and found, even though they were bedridden for months still developed a little bit of muscle tone and definition. We're still at our infancy in understanding what role Vitamin D and sunlight play in the human body, but they have discovered Vitamin D is a huge pre-cursor to many metabolic, and anabolic functions. #2: HAVE CONSISTENCY. There's a delicate balance between over-training, and under-training. I fell into the whole "scared to overtrain" thing, so I would take 2 days off between my lifts. What I noticed is this wasn't giving my body enough of a reason to grow. I personally find it best when I go in there once a day, like M W F will be HARD heavy lifts with the classic kings, [like squats, deadlift, bench, dips, rows, overhead presses, etc.] and then the rest of the week Tue, Th, and Sat - NOT SUN that's rest - maybe do like abs, pulldowns, flyes, bicep curls etc, just working mini-muscles that only take around 24 hours (for me) to recover, but still keep me in a shocked and growth state!! I can't stress how important it is to regularly train. Arms sore? Do squats. Butt sore? Do abs. Everything is sore but your little shoulders? Do shoulders today!! #3: USE INTUITIVE LIFTING, by Listening To Your Unique Body Language: I was the scrawny guy walking around the gym meticulously documenting every single lift, rep, and had my entire weeks worth of exercises mapped out, and followed them religiously. Yet I WAS STILL SMALL! I couldn't figure out why all my friends, who were total BROSCIENCE enthusiasts, never used a training log and were getting massive! They didn't even care about the number of reps or weight they used. "Lifting heavy" was their motto. I finally realized that going in there just lifting by what you feel is not stupid and wont hurt your gains! It's a brilliant way to actually gain muscle, here's why: Example 1: Let's say you go in there and expect to do chest today. You look at your little book and notice it says "Bench Press, 3x12" Okay, cool! So you do it, and on your first rep you stop at around 11 reps, or hit 12 and drop the weight. First off, you could of done more. Second off, your chest might be sore and it would of been better to work shoulders and back today, or legs! But since you listen to your guidebook and NOT your body, you continue to workout those muscles anyways!! [big mistake] So then you get to set #3, and you find yourself dropping the weight around 11 reps. You COULD OF squeezed out 15 for the bit of serious extra growth, and/or done some burning negative reps, maxing out around 18 with totally exhausted arms/chest, but since your logbook said "3x12", you only hit that and feel accomplished. Example 2: Like I said previously, you may go in there sore as f--k and your body could totally be using a leg workout today, but instead, since you have a pre-fabricated workout for the week, you try to follow it, ignoring your body. You might gain more by doing squats today then going home for a nap and hitting arms & chest TOMORROW instead of again on Friday, see? It's all about listening to your own body and intuitively lifting here!!!! Also, I would watch all these proper form videos and try to mirror them. What I realized being a 6'3 guy was that I have long arms and am built much differently. When you start to feel your muscles [mind-muscle connection], you will understand that your form is UNIQUE, and different. For example for me on flyes, I have to literally do this weird U-like curve-push, that looks like I'm cheating or not doing the exercise right something, in order to FEEL it right on the spot on my pecs where I want. Same with squats, I have to change my stance and do all these things different to make it a comfortable, effective lift that targets specific muscle groups in my thighs. Listen to your unique body, it has a code for how it grows, and it's up to you to find it!! #4: GET A SLOW-COOKER! This is the MOTHER of all vegan bodybuilding devices. I have been living off of my famous 'WTF-STEW' for months, and have made such an effective calorically dense meal that I actually got fat because I was eating TOO MUCH OF IT! Never again will they say, "how do you get enough calories/proten?!!" "WTF-STEW" Recipe: 4-cups Split-Peas. 4-cups Lentils. 2-cups Quinoa. EVERYTHING UNDER THE SUN:(carrots, cabbage, celery, 1 onion, garlic, broccoli, spinach, cauliflower, mushrooms, tomatoes, zucchini, potato slices, seasonings; thyme, basil, oregano, rosemary, salt, pepper.) After it's done, I'll sometimes toss in an avocado in there. Everything turns to an easily-digestible mush, and it's DECENT. It's not fine vegan restaurant-worthy cuisine, but when bulking, it's seriously your best bud ever!!