T Nation

Bulking: Carbs & Fat High, or Just One?


In the past when bulking I would routinely take in around 400g carbs and 140-170g fat per day.

I'm wondering if for my next bulk if I should increase carbs more and decrease fat?

I could go the other way and opt for higher fat less carbs, but from a taste standpoint and feeling better overall, I think higher carbs would be better.

Those that have bulked up and needed a lot of calories >4,000/day what were your carbs and fat intakes at? For those that track it


Grand Total: 459g Protein (35.3% total calories), 501g Carbs (38.5% of total calories), 151g Fat (26.2% of total calories), 5199 Calories

That's my current bulk macronutrient ratio. Carbs are placed most heavily at breakfast and peri-workout. Fats are placed inversely with carbs. Protein is fairly even throughout the day. I'm currently in the process of muscle memory/anabolic rebound from dieting and losing 60 lbs, so even though it's working crazy well right now, I'm not sure how well it will work afterwords. Past experience tells me it will work well for me because it always has. I'm now like 223lbs, 10% BF, 6'3".



The biggest question is how did it work for you? Did you gain in a good lean/fat ratio? Do you tailor your carbs to your workouts (ie. lower on off days?)

I'm hovering at 240 right now (up from 180-190 in 4/08). The only real constant (besides 5-6 days at the gym per week) has been 300-400g of protein. I started out with an "A-D" kind of low carbish thing for about 6 months and then added in more carbs-- rice, corn mostly, and of course the occasional "Whatever". Probably averaged around 4-5k daily. I didn't track it constantly, but I have a good feel for the calories/portion.

I ate whatever was in front of me this summer.

I've been trying to keep the carbs under control because I think I've reached my 'fat limit', but the strength and size gains justify me going on. I just need to cut the pizza and fill in with more meat. I find that I can't go 'no carb', but 'high carb' packs fat on too quickly. I feel like shit in both cases. I'm guessing my 'sweet spot' is like 200g-ish of carbs.


Well, I put on the size i wanted, but the amount of body fat was more than I wanted to be at. I'm also wondering if the types of carbs were not the best... Bread, pancakes/syrup were a daily staple.

My carbs were pretty constant even on off days, only difference was not taking Surge. I'll most likely do something more like a carb cycling approach and see how that works. It just seems my fat loss lately has been better with dropping my fat intake to 80-90g from 120s while dieting and keeping carbs slightly higher. I was as low as 120s-140s now taking in consistent 200g/day. calories have stayed the same just decreased fat and increased carbs.

The fat loss has been consistent, but it seems like the midsection is getting better with slightly higher carbs, could just be in my mind though


Same. I've combined Massive eating with Temporal Nutrition and Doggcrapp for the last two years to gain >50 leanish lbs. Turns out that's what Hyght actually just described in one of his latest articles. On days I train, I always get carbs at breakfast and depending on the bodyparts, one more carb meal (plus carbs in shake in fruit before lifting). The one more carb meal, if I have it, is always my second solid food meal of the day. That's why I try to train about an hour and a half after breakfast. I've found that the carb cutoff, not mixing carbs and fat, and carb heavy mornings have allowed me to gain the most "muscle weight." It didn't matter how much of either macronutrient I had (except protein of course) as long as they were sufficiently separated. I also don't eat carbs on my off days (unless feeling particularly run down in which case I'll just have them at breakfast and that's it).

And before JMou976 or whatever his name is comes in and starts going off about how this is not scientificaly plausible because of what Lyle McDonald said, I'm just stating that this is what has worked for me for the last couple of years. It also seems to be recently advocated by Hyght and Thibs (see his diet questions thread with what he's having Kevin Nobert eat).


Well, the whole syrup/pancakes/lots of bread thing will definately do it. The carbs I was referring to that I was eating were coming from oats, quinoa, sweet potatoes, and beans (and possibly some fruit).

Definately try the carb cycling thing. As much as that seems to be the buzz/fad word lately around here, I do think it works for putting on mass as well as taking off fat.

Good luck!


I agree. Those are carbs that are going to reduce insulin sensitivity and not necessarily be used as energy due to their fast digestion rates. I personally don't like sweet potatoes (though I wish I did), so I get all my carbs from oats, fruits and workout sugars like maltodextrin and dextrose.