Whole Milk: the most Politically Incorrect of all foods
“Milk is everything.” Bill Kazmaier, hall of fame strength athlete
For decades the consumption of milk, whole milk, was an integral part of athletics. Amongst athletes there is a never-ending need for muscle and the power and strength that inevitably accompany real increases in pure muscle size. When an athlete finally concludes that they need more size, strength and power, the question then becomes ‘Okay – but how?’ There are ancient size-adding protocols that pre-steroid strength athletes discovered that can and do work. To build muscle and add size requires that a continual surplus of calories be combined with continual hardcore resistance training.
There is no sense “slamming calories” if the progressive resistance training is moderate, sensible or normal. Unless the training is sufficient to trigger the adaptive response, i.e. incredibly intense with a body shattering after effect, excess calories are one hell of a bad idea. On the other hand, if an alpha male is tearing it up in the weight room, excess calories make a man anabolic and when anabolism and hardcore free weight training are synchronized, muscle growth is inevitable.
Hardcore strength trainers and elite athletes long ago discovered that if they were training hard, heavy and often, calories, and lots of them, were required just to survive the continual and ongoing pounding that the body was being subjected to. That which does not kill me makes me stronger. Only by equaling or exceeding current limits and capacities do we establish new benchmarks and provide the body with the physiological incentive needed to grow muscle.
The human body is not going to miraculously make itself stronger and more muscular by doing comfortable workouts with submaximal poundage. Only by storming the barricades of our current limits do we establish new limits and only when athletes train up to or past their limit is hypertrophy triggered. To complete the growth cycle, after each body-crushing weight lifting (or cardio) session the body needs to be fed and rested. Fuel is needed to keep the soft machine from buckling under the stress. The closer to (or past) the redline, the better the gains.
The ancients, guys like Reg Park, Marvin Eder, Bill Pearl, Pat Casey and my mentor, Hugh Cassidy, discovered that the easiest way to slam extra calories was to drink them. The primal doctrine for “muscling up” was to eat like a starving person at breakfast, lunch and dinner. With meals and in between meals, the athlete drank pints of whole milk.
It was recommended that a lifter intent on building muscle mass would “jump in” drinking six pints of whole milk per day. One pint with breakfast, then another mid-morning, a pint with lunch, another mid-afternoon, one with dinner and a final pint before bed. Over time, the mass-building athlete was expected to work six pints up to eight pints a day, a full gallon, and maintain that for 2-3 months. The super serious were drinking six quarts a day. Their leaders were drinking two gallons of supplemental whole milk each day.
George Hechter drank two gallons of whole milk per day as he pushed his bodyweight upward from 250 to 360. He stood 5-10 and won the IPF world superheavyweight powerlifting world title squatting 975-pounds, bench pressing 600 and deadlifting 825. He later reduced his bodyweight down to a ripped 240 where he won the world title in the 242-pound class, squatting 875, bench pressing 550 and deadlifting 835. Milk – and insanely hard training – fueled his growth.
Bill Kazmaier was a 260-pound, University of Wisconsin football player that decided to become a world champion powerlifter. He stood 6-3 and reasoned he would need to push his bodyweight up to 325 pounds if he were to successfully compete on the international level. Over a five-year stretch Kaz grew ever larger as he drank gallon after gallon of milk. He took his time and along the way won the national title in the 275-pound class. Kaz kept on going and when he hit 315 in bodyweight he started shattering world records. At 325 he dominated not only the powerlifting world, but the strongman world. His “milk is everything” quote was in response to being asked if supplementing with milk was important to his progress.
Milk fell on hard times with the onset of the fatwa, the jihad against dietary fat. Starting in the 1980s, saturated fat was demonized and labeled an artery-hardening killer. Only now is this fallacious bullshit being deservedly discredited. In our current era, a delicate time full of litigious snowflakes, recommending a young athlete go on a supplemental milk program could get you locked up for child abuse.
Telling a voracious teen to drink a gallon of whole milk every day, seven days a week for months on end – all in pursuit of that most toxic of masculine characteristics, muscle and power would get you in trouble with his parents. Are you trying to kill our boy? No, I am trying to help him overcome his ego-shattering 14-inch arms and 38-inch chest.
I can say without hesitation that supplemental whole milk and power training has been building mass since Jesus was a carpenter. The strategy, one would think, would remain as valid in 2017 as it was in 1957. The way the psycho is still there for those crazed enough. Those that would adhere to this medieval practice might “jump in” with four pints daily spread out over equidistant intervals.
Don’t get cute and switch out whole milk for 2% or Skim, or god forbid, soy. Milk stripped of fat causes insulin to go berserk. The quality fat in whole fat milk dampens the insulin spike associated with milk sugar and provides the caloric density sought. All this talk of milk supplementation is meaningless if you do not take your training to the next level. The idea is knock the dog-shit out of yourself in training and then, to accelerate healing, recovery and growth, eat food, drink milk, sleep, rest, grow gargantuan.
The quicker you recover the more often you can train. Each successive week you become slightly bigger, each successive week you become slightly stronger. Round and round it goes. Are there are any underweight alpha males left? If so, check out this timeless strategy. Used right, Milk is everything. Allegedly.
About the Author
As an athlete Marty Gallagher is a national and world champion in Olympic lifting and powerlifting. He was a world champion team coach in 1991 and coached Black's Gym to five national team titles. He's also coached some of the strongest men on the planet including Kirk Karwoski when he completed his world record 1,003 lb. squat. Today he teaches the US Secret Service and Tier 1 Spec Ops on how to maximize their strength in minimal time. As a writer since 1978 he’s written for Powerlifting USA, Milo, Flex Magazine, Muscle & Fitness, Prime Fitness, Washington Post, Dragon Door and now IRON COMPANY. He’s also the author of numerous books including Purposeful Primitive, Strong Medicine, Ed Coan’s book “Coan, The Man, the Myth, the Method" and numerous others. Read the Marty Gallagher biography here.