T Nation

Any Way to Improve My Bulk?


Hello All.

27 years old been training pretty seriously for over 5 years. 3 years ago and I was doing fashion modeling and was 6% 165 at 6’2. After retiring I briefly hit 200 pounds like 15% body fat about 18 months ago. Then I had an injury that took me out of the gym for about 8 months, I stopped lifting and stopped caring about my diet during this time. Been back in the gym for a few months now current stats are 180 pounds, 11% Bodyfat 6’2.

I calculated my maintenance based on ISSA formula, it’s 3231. I want to gain as fast as possible because I love cutting and I’m not too worried about shredding back down. I know theoretically if I add 5000 calories per week I should gain 2 pounds per week, right?

Currently hitting about 4300 calories daily.

Average day looks like…

8oz Ground Beef 80% lean - 550 Cals
Canned beans - 7 Servings - 700 Cals
Carnivore Mass 2 servings - 1440 Cals
Mayonaise 5 tbs- 500 Cals
Ezekiel Bread 4 slices - 320 Cals
Canned Salmon - 360 Cals
2 Bananas - 210 Cals
Hamburger Patty - 350 Cals

No supplements besides the gainer.

I usually drink a gainer in the morning and one at night right before bed. The rest of this food is just piled in whenever I want. Essentially just beans, ezekiel bread and hamburger meat and some fruit.

This totals 263 Protein, 469 carbs, 160 fat
21 grams of sugar 50 grams of fiber

Usually work to absolute failure or beyond failure if I have a spotter each set, aiming for 10 reps. 3/4 sets and 3 exercises each day. I usually change up the exercises with each week but an example is :
Monday : Back - Deadlifts, Lat Pulldown, Rows
Tuesday : Chest - Flys, Incline Press, Regular Press Decline Press
Wed : Biceps - Preacher Curl, Hammer Curls, Cable Curl
Thurs : Legs - Squats, Leg Press, Hamstring Curls or Kettlebell Swings
Fri : Shoulders - Dumbbell Press, Upright Row, Lateral Raise
Sat : Triceps - Skull Crushers, Cable one arm extensions, Overhead dumbbell extension
Sunday : Calves / Forearms / Abs. Calf Raises, Plams down wrist curl over bench, Hanging leg raises (typically on Sunday I’ll do 2 sets of each muscle group or superset)

I say I lift 6 days a week, because typically I’ll miss a day in which case I just skip that day all together that week. I like working out daily.

Currently 100% natural

Any tips / suggestions welcome. Thanks!


Get some greens and veg in your diet. Plenty of fish oil like Flameout also a good idea.

If really want to pack on the mass give up the ‘absolute failure’ stuff and try this…


Question, I have trouble hitting my upper calorie goals if I’m eating too many veggies. Do you believe fruit is an ok alternative or does it need to be veggies?


Also one more question if you don’t mind, in this article you posted it says to not hit failure, that it’s better to have a few in the tank and do another set rather than burnout on each set. Can you explain why this is? Thanks in advance


fruit is not an alternative to vegetables. Your digestive health is important. You’re not going to process food properly without some level of balance in your diet. You’re much better off eating slightly less calories but including vegetables, without a doubt. I would also include some fermented foods in your diet to help with gut health. When you eat an excessive amount of food/calories, gut health can become such an issue. Eating a shit load of food does you no good if you can’t process it appropriately.

Avoiding failure in most sets is how you prevent excessive fatigue over time, it helps maintain joint health, and it allows you to properly recover between workouts. Hitting failure every set, or even most sets, just isn’t the best way to develop strength and size, period. Most of us learn this the hard way. You can choose to learn it through advice instead of effort.


If you are gaining weight at a reasonable pace now at 4300 and you jump up to 5000 with the hope of “theoretically adding 2 lbs a week”, you are going to put on a bunch more fat with very little (or more likely none) additional muscle.

I don’t care how much you love cutting, adding fat for the sake of adding fat does not make sense. You will not magically gain extra muscle because you eat even farther over your calorie needs.

If you are not gaining weight at 4300 then sure bump it up, but I read your post as you are currently gaining at your calorie level.


agreed here. If you ACTUALLY gained 2 lbs per week (and by the way it doesn’t necessarily work like this in the real world because of a zillion compounding factors), you’re looking at 50 lbs in 6 months. That’s absurd, particularly for a natural lifter. I’d bet if you put on that much weight in that time period, you’d be looking at something along the lines of 10 lbs muscle gain, 40 lbs fat gain. If that’s cool with you, do it, but I sure as fuck wouldn’t. Even if you’re good at getting lean again, you’ll have to take the time to do it, and that, to me, is time that COULD have been spent continuing to gain muscle if you had been smart about your gains in the first place. I haven’t been above about 12 percent bodyfat at any point in my life. There’s just no need to ever go above 15ish once you’ve gotten lean in the first place. Your hormonal profile will be much more conducive to gaining muscle if you stay relatively lean. When you get fat, cortisol levels shoot up, you’re likely to produce more estrogen/less testosterone. All kinds of bad shit happens.

Don’t get fat.


Thanks for all the advice guys. I think you’re all right, pretty sure the reason I had an injury in the past was because I was pushing to failure every set. Going to add in some veggies, look into fish oil and some food to help with gut.


Well Flip said all you need to know.

Yeah going to failure every workout def makes you more injury prone over time


+1 on the Carnivor Mass. Did me well over the winter.