T Nation

4,000 Calorie Diet


#1

I'm about to embark on a size/strength routine that has me on Jim Wendler's 5's PRO + FSL. This will undoubtedly make me stronger; but I also want to get bigger.

Nothing new here, but it's amazing the difference I feel in gym when I'm eating well and getting good sleep compared to not eating enough or eating shit and sleeping bad.

I'm 165 pounds at 6'1. I'm at least 10 pounds underweight for my height, so I would like to get into the 180's. I've done countless calorie calculators, and I walked away from those knowing I need 4,000 calories a day for weight gain.

I need half of those calories coming in form of carbohydrates. That's about 650g of carbs.

Any tips or "bulking" plans you could recommend?


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#2

That many carbs will get you to be heavier that’s for sure. Mostly fat tho. Only elite athletes do need that many carbs.

You’ll need a lot of good quality proteins from whole foods, a bunch of good fats, and you’ll grow if you stick to the training plan - be sure to add a lot of hypertrophy assistance work.


#3

I don’t understand why you feel you need half of those calories to come from carbohydrate? I mean, I get that skinny dudes tend to need a lot of carbs and that’s fair enough, but 625g of carbs is a ludicrously high amount.


#4

Would not half be 500g?


#5

[quote]kingbrady wrote:
I’m about to embark on a size/strength routine that has me on Jim Wendler’s 5’s PRO + FSL. This will undoubtedly make me stronger; but I also want to get bigger.

Nothing new here, but it’s amazing the difference I feel in gym when I’m eating well and getting good sleep compared to not eating enough or eating shit and sleeping bad.

I’m 165 pounds at 6’1. I’m at least 10 pounds underweight for my height, so I would like to get into the 180’s. I’ve done countless calorie calculators, and I walked away from those knowing I need 4,000 calories a day for weight gain.

I need half of those calories coming in form of carbohydrates. That’s about 650g of carbs.

Any tips or “bulking” plans you could recommend? [/quote]

I highly doubt you need 24 kcals per pound to start gaining weight. What applications showed you need this.

Half of calories coming from carbs for a 4000 calorie diet would have you eating 500 grams per day as said above.

Being you know how to calculate your kcal and macros, fit in the macros with the appropriate foods.

Tips on bulking that have worked well for an ordinary guy like me are:

  1. Hit each muscle twice per week or once every four to five days.
  2. Three to four days per week lifting.
  3. 20 to 40 min cardio two to four times per week.
  4. One or two exercises per muscle (isolation exercises only for lagging parts)
  5. Six to 15 reps per set (arms and quads grow well with higher reps, I believe, and some exercises are just not meant for less than eight reps)
  6. Focus on breaking rep PR’s.
  7. It is not necessary to train with 100% effort all the time, nor is it really possible sometimes for ordinary people with lives.
  8. People can do what they want, but I think most people do not benefit much from below six reps if they are not powerlifters.
  9. Do not feel as if you MUST do regular bench presses, regular deadlifts, and back squats even if they make you feel like shit.
  10. Do exercises that suit your body. For example, if you are arms-dominant, do dumbbell bench presses.

#6

[quote]BrickHead wrote:

  1. Hit each muscle twice per week or once every four to five days.
  2. Three to four days per week lifting.
  3. 20 to 40 min cardio two to four times per week.
  4. One or two exercises per muscle (isolation exercises only for lagging parts)
  5. Six to 15 reps per set (arms and quads grow well with higher reps, I believe, and some exercises are just not meant for less than eight reps)
  6. Focus on breaking rep PR’s.
  7. It is not necessary to train with 100% effort all the time, nor is it really possible sometimes for ordinary people with lives.
  8. People can do what they want, but I think most people do not benefit much from below six reps if they are not powerlifters.
  9. Do not feel as if you MUST do regular bench presses, regular deadlifts, and back squats even if they make you feel like shit.
  10. Do exercises that suit your body. For example, if you are arms-dominant, do dumbbell bench presses.
    [/quote]

that’s brilliant


#7

[quote]Yogi wrote:

[quote]BrickHead wrote:

  1. Hit each muscle twice per week or once every four to five days.
  2. Three to four days per week lifting.
  3. 20 to 40 min cardio two to four times per week.
  4. One or two exercises per muscle (isolation exercises only for lagging parts)
  5. Six to 15 reps per set (arms and quads grow well with higher reps, I believe, and some exercises are just not meant for less than eight reps)
  6. Focus on breaking rep PR’s.
  7. It is not necessary to train with 100% effort all the time, nor is it really possible sometimes for ordinary people with lives.
  8. People can do what they want, but I think most people do not benefit much from below six reps if they are not powerlifters.
  9. Do not feel as if you MUST do regular bench presses, regular deadlifts, and back squats even if they make you feel like shit.
  10. Do exercises that suit your body. For example, if you are arms-dominant, do dumbbell bench presses.
    [/quote]

that’s brilliant
[/quote]

Thanks! I should have also added I think upper-lower splits are best for naturals.


#8

Food is not numbers and your body is not a computer.

If you need to gain weight, add more food to your meals. But make good food choices.

When your meals become stupidly large, make them a bit smaller and add another meal.


#9

[quote]BrickHead wrote:

[quote]Yogi wrote:

[quote]BrickHead wrote:

  1. Hit each muscle twice per week or once every four to five days.
  2. Three to four days per week lifting.
  3. 20 to 40 min cardio two to four times per week.
  4. One or two exercises per muscle (isolation exercises only for lagging parts)
  5. Six to 15 reps per set (arms and quads grow well with higher reps, I believe, and some exercises are just not meant for less than eight reps)
  6. Focus on breaking rep PR’s.
  7. It is not necessary to train with 100% effort all the time, nor is it really possible sometimes for ordinary people with lives.
  8. People can do what they want, but I think most people do not benefit much from below six reps if they are not powerlifters.
  9. Do not feel as if you MUST do regular bench presses, regular deadlifts, and back squats even if they make you feel like shit.
  10. Do exercises that suit your body. For example, if you are arms-dominant, do dumbbell bench presses.
    [/quote]

that’s brilliant
[/quote]

Thanks! I should have also added I think upper-lower splits are best for naturals.
[/quote]

Couldn’t agree more. I always recommend the 4x a week - vertical push/pull day, hip/hamstring day, horizontal push/pull day, quad dominant day.

I’m actually doing an upper lower split myself just now. Every time I try something other than upper/lower pairing antagonist muscles together I’m disappointed. I always come back to this style.


#10

If I remember correctly I read a Chris Shugart article that called for me multiplying my weight for the right amount of carbs, and that equalled me eating 660g of carbs/ day. Reasoning being, so I use carbs instead of protein for energy.


#11

Thanks for all the advice.

For me as far as rep ranges go, I worked in the 6-10 rep range in high school, and got a little stronger (I didn’t know how to eat). I bet someone who knew how to eat could definitely get stronger in those ranges.

I’ve found for myself intensity outweighs volume so I would rather do 10 sets of 5 versus 10 sets of 8. Recovery is about the same, but I can progress quicker there.


#12

Would a setup like this work?

  1. Overhead press & chins
  2. Deadlifts
  3. Bench press & rows
  4. Squat

#13

[quote]kingbrady wrote:
Would a setup like this work?

  1. Overhead press & chins
  2. Deadlifts
  3. Bench press & rows
  4. Squat

[/quote]

It’s fine. Just add in more appropriate exercises on those days. I am assuming you want to make these exercises your “money exercises” for the day.

So on the first day, I would do something like:

  1. Overhead press
  2. Chinup variation
  3. Dumbbell rows
  4. Flat bench press or my favorite, blast-strap pushups with a weighted vested or chains
  5. Curl variation
  6. Tricep extension variation

#14

I personally hate upper/lower splits. Both having antagonist pairs or working the whole upper body.

I have gotten my best results following a legs/push/pull routine. OP, check this video out by natural bodybuilder Alberto Nunez. I have used a set-up like this for quite some time.


#15

There are a number of training general ideas that have been tried and true and PPL is one.

I second the upper/lower. I do 2 days training, 1 day off, and I believe I can’t hold more. That’s when I’m not following a powerlifting routine - in this case I just do exactly like the experienced dude wrote it. Think Sheiko… Stuff is awesome. Lots of volume and intensity with low reps, you just kick ass after that. Make your old 5RM a solid 5x5 within a couple of months.

Back on the upper lower, it’s indeed hard to mess up something as simple as this :

  • lower body 1 Quad dominant
  • upper body 1 vertical push
  • lower body 2 posterior chain dominant
  • upper body 2 horizontal push

Just an example. I also include arms/abs/ upper and lower back/ delts in high rep ranges on all days

Just something for OP (on topic I guess). 3000 calories of high nutrient food might be more than enough already. I believe in carbs overloading less and less