T Nation

20 Pounds in 20 Weeks?

Can anyone vouch for John Berardi’s 20lbs in 20 weeks diet? Obviously, this is going to work differently for everybody, but it looks very solid and I’m thinking about trying it out. It seems general enough that it should work for most people trying to gain, maybe with a few adjustments.

I’m 5’8, 180lbs around 15% body fat, the guy in the article is 5’10 and 155lbs, at 10% - would I need to lower my calorie intake, or maybe even increase it? Anyone’s experiences with this would be really appreciated.

Here’s the original article for reference: http://www.T-Nation.com/free_online_article/sports_body_training_performance_diet_nutrition_bodybuilding/20_pounds_in_20_weeks&cr=

That was a plan for workout days if you read - also its specific to that individual - not you.

If you can - switch the P+C meals to the morning (assuming you are able to train in the morning)… will help a hell of a lot more with staying lean.

[quote]benmoore wrote:
That was a plan for workout days if you read - also its specific to that individual - not you.

If you can - switch the P+C meals to the morning (assuming you are able to train in the morning)… will help a hell of a lot more with staying lean.[/quote]

He doesn’t mention anything about personalizing the diet for his client, just that that all of the meals are chosen from his book. As for being a plan for workout days, I think the only real difference would be cutting out Surge - what do you think?

Does any have experience with this diet or Berardi’s diets in general? What do you think?

massive eating is what you should read.

[quote]zraw wrote:
massive eating is what you should read.

[/quote]

You should try this way of eating. Its more comfortable than any other diet I’ve ever been on in that it gives me more options with carbs. My lifts have gone up nicely, and I’ve been adding size slowly while getting PF meals everyday unlike the AD which is pretty awesome in its own right.

[quote]Steel88 wrote:
zraw wrote:
massive eating is what you should read.

You should try this way of eating. Its more comfortable than any other diet I’ve ever been on in that it gives me more options with carbs. My lifts have gone up nicely, and I’ve been adding size slowly while getting PF meals everyday unlike the AD which is pretty awesome in its own right.[/quote]

The thing is that I’m not sure my metabolism is fast enough to support ‘Massive Eating’, only lifting 3x a week (making time for much more would be difficult, and apparently doesn’t allow enough recovery time.) I really want to avoid becoming a big fat fuck again.

No.

its a nice case study to look at. If you want to gain weight the article has some good ideas.

But you should understand that if you want to gain weight the principles behind it are more important. Calorie excess, min of 5 hours of training per week, proper food choices and timing, and supplementation with fish oil/creatine.

Instead of hoping for exactly 20 pounds in 20 weeks. Get started with the principles now, tweak as you go along. It takes as long as it takes. anything JB writes is good for this approach. Go through his archives.

[quote]blue_star_cadet wrote:
Steel88 wrote:
zraw wrote:
massive eating is what you should read.

You should try this way of eating. Its more comfortable than any other diet I’ve ever been on in that it gives me more options with carbs. My lifts have gone up nicely, and I’ve been adding size slowly while getting PF meals everyday unlike the AD which is pretty awesome in its own right.

The thing is that I’m not sure my metabolism is fast enough to support ‘Massive Eating’, only lifting 3x a week (making time for much more would be difficult, and apparently doesn’t allow enough recovery time.) I really want to avoid becoming a big fat fuck again.[/quote]

Bump the cardio up, and make sure to eat clean. I’m on this diet and most of my carbs come from oatmeal, milk, and rice. My fats are from good oils, beef, and walnuts while my protein sources are lots of meat sometimes fried and someimes not like chicken, beef, and protein drinks. All in all I consume at about 75% clean and I’m finding it hard to gain weight at above 4000 calories.

[quote]Beatnik wrote:
its a nice case study to look at. If you want to gain weight the article has some good ideas.

But you should understand that if you want to gain weight the principles behind it are more important. Calorie excess, min of 5 hours of training per week, proper food choices and timing, and supplementation with fish oil/creatine.

Instead of hoping for exactly 20 pounds in 20 weeks. Get started with the principles now, tweak as you go along. It takes as long as it takes. anything JB writes is good for this approach. Go through his archives.
[/quote]

I’m not expecting to put on 20 lbs in 20 weeks (the guy in question was small for his size, 155 at 5’10, I’m 180 at 5’8 so I don’t think I’ll see the same gains.) It looked like a interesting diet though and I wanted to see what experience people had with it. You’ve raised a few questions though:

  • 5 hours of training a week? Currently, I’m on Starting Strength and still seeing gains, I have five hours a week at the very MOST. Workouts are usually brief at around an hour or so, a half hour more with power cleans because I’m trying to teach myself to do them properly. Something in the ballpark should be fine, right?

  • I know to avoid fats and carbs together, instead pairing fats and proteins and carbs and proteins. Is timing that critical though? I’ve had carbs later in the day (post-workout) with no ill effect, more or less the same as when I was low carb (30-50g of carbs from grains a day.)

  • The only fish oil in the house is stuff bought in bulk from Costco. I’m not sure about the quality and it contains soy (I have no idea why) so I’ve stopped using it, and I don’t think I can persuade them to start buying Flameout. Is it better to take this inferior stuff or lay off it altogether?

[quote]blue_star_cadet wrote:
Beatnik wrote:
its a nice case study to look at. If you want to gain weight the article has some good ideas.

But you should understand that if you want to gain weight the principles behind it are more important. Calorie excess, min of 5 hours of training per week, proper food choices and timing, and supplementation with fish oil/creatine.

Instead of hoping for exactly 20 pounds in 20 weeks. Get started with the principles now, tweak as you go along. It takes as long as it takes. anything JB writes is good for this approach. Go through his archives.

I’m not expecting to put on 20 lbs in 20 weeks (the guy in question was small for his size, 155 at 5’10, I’m 180 at 5’8 so I don’t think I’ll see the same gains.) It looked like a interesting diet though and I wanted to see what experience people had with it. You’ve raised a few questions though:

  • 5 hours of training a week? Currently, I’m on Starting Strength and still seeing gains, I have five hours a week at the very MOST. Workouts are usually brief at around an hour or so, a half hour more with power cleans because I’m trying to teach myself to do them properly. Something in the ballpark should be fine, right?

  • I know to avoid fats and carbs together, instead pairing fats and proteins and carbs and proteins. Is timing that critical though? I’ve had carbs later in the day (post-workout) with no ill effect, more or less the same as when I was low carb (30-50g of carbs from grains a day.)

  • The only fish oil in the house is stuff bought in bulk from Costco. I’m not sure about the quality and it contains soy (I have no idea why) so I’ve stopped using it, and I don’t think I can persuade them to start buying Flameout. Is it better to take this inferior stuff or lay off it altogether?[/quote]

GPP, assistance workouts, NEPA walks, Mobility/recovery sessions.

Easy way to sneak in extra hours.

My current week is based around the shotgun method:

Monday: Heavy compound lifting
Tuesday: Assistance workout + HIIT
Wednesday: Mobility + GPP
Thursday: Heavy compound lifting
Friday: Assistance workout + HIIT
Saturday: Mobility + GPP or 2 hours Judo (still need to sort that one out).
Sunday: Rest… maybe go for a walk, etc.

I buy cheap fish oil too; and it says “contains some soy” on it. It’s not enough to worry about man. Unless you taking 100 tabs a day.

If you don’t want to become a “fat fuck” again, why on earth would you try to gain 20lbs in 20 days? (even if your shooting for 15)

That’s just ridiculous.

I remember you came on this site a while ago and you were over analyzing everything; looks like things haven’t changed.

Last time I’m going to say this.

As far as diet goes, if you want to gain weight; you have to do some playing around on YOUR OWN and figure what works best for you.
-How many calories?
-How much carbs?
-How much fat, protein, fiber?
-Carb timing, when is best for me and my daily schedule?

There are tons of ‘guides’ and ‘diets’ online; but they are just a TEMPLATE.

You’re obviously on some sort of ‘template’ right now. Evaluate where this template is going for you and figure it out from there.

Not gaining enough? Add more calories (protein or carbs? you have to find out)
Gaining too much? Either reduce calories or increase activity.

Use the KISS method.
KEEP
IT
SIMPLE
STUPID

lol.

If you have more diet questions either re-read this or PM me. I hope I don’t have to restate any of this. It’s just plain and simple advice and has probably been WAY too long of a post.

~b

[quote]blue_star_cadet wrote:

  • 5 hours of training a week? Currently, I’m on Starting Strength and still seeing gains, I have five hours a week at the very MOST. Workouts are usually brief at around an hour or so, a half hour more with power cleans because I’m trying to teach myself to do them properly. Something in the ballpark should be fine, right?[/quote]

Thats just generally the approach JB uses with his clients. You might of seen it mentioned as “G-Flux”. Get the exercise hours up along with the food intake.

[quote]

  • I know to avoid fats and carbs together, instead pairing fats and proteins and carbs and proteins. Is timing that critical though? I’ve had carbs later in the day (post-workout) with no ill effect, more or less the same as when I was low carb (30-50g of carbs from grains a day.) [/quote]

Its not so much the combinations of cabrs/fats/proteins. As it is timing. In JB’s approach, the articles approach, the carbs would be consumed immediately before or after training. The rest of the days meals being small amounts of carbs, good fats, and protein.

[quote]

  • The only fish oil in the house is stuff bought in bulk from Costco. I’m not sure about the quality and it contains soy (I have no idea why) so I’ve stopped using it, and I don’t think I can persuade them to start buying Flameout. Is it better to take this inferior stuff or lay off it altogether?[/quote]

I wouldnt worry about it. Not all soy is bad, don’t sweat the details.

All this has been discussed in the numerous articles JB has written on this site. I hope your getting started allready. The plan can be refined as you go. Id start finding meals you can eat on a daily basis.