T Nation

Bulking - The 5/3/1 Way (Featuring Discipline)


Hey everybody, having chosen to bulk via 5/3/1 + BBB. I think it makes sense to get a nutrition log going here also detailing my methods to gain some good size. Here’s my training log documenting my training efforts (http://tnation.T-Nation.com/free_online_forum/blog_sports_body_training_performance_bodybuilding_log/boring_but_bulking_a_531_log)

This might be pretty in depth sometimes, which is why I want to keep it separate from my training log. I hope that I can inspire other people struggling to take the steps needed to bulk, particularly those who were also formerly obese.


At my last weigh in on Monday, I was a slight tad over 84.5kg (186lbs). I’m around 6’1 (185cm). I have been obese before, at my heaviest recorded weight I was 138kg (304lbs) in July 2012. I would estimate that at my absolute heaviest, at a point prior to this, I weighed somewhere in the region of 145kg (320lbs). My lowest weight since childhood would have been at the beginning of this year, when I weighed in at around 81.5kg (180lbs). Anyway, with that being said.


My immediate goal is to bulk to 90kg (198lbs) and then evaluate whether I can go for more size or whether I need to watch myself! Having been obese in the past, I’m suffering from a classic eternal case of “former fat guy” syndrome. Up until last month, I cautiously increased my calories by micro increments every few weeks hoping to transition into the much touted “lean bulk”… It wasn’t happening.

I’m a machine, I can still put away mass quantities of food and continue to eat more. I’ve gained sweet fuck all so far eating an average of 3700 calories a day for several weeks.

It’s a battle everyday to control my appetite. Since I somewhat let loose and transitioned into bulking, I’ve had the odd couple of days where I’ve eaten close to 7000 calories. Yesterday I managed near 6000. Of course, I eat good whole food, absolutely nothing like I used to during my obesity days. I’m currently shooting for around 4000 calories a day. I’ve given myself 4300 calories leeway, since ever since I let go off my maintenance and cutting habits, I’ve struggled not to go overboard once or twice a week. It’s only happened a few times in the past month, but I intend to do this as disciplined as possible.

Ironically, I’m lacto-ovo vegetarian, not out of choice, but out of my inability to stomach meat in a non-processed, nutritionally superior form(as a fat guy, I had a taste for shit like KFC, processed hot dogs and pepperoni, it was easier just to never eat that shit again and I don’t ever crave it). That has however, not hindered my protein intake in the slightest. I’ve learnt over time to be able to put away Greek Yoghurt like water (I personally think it’s superior in every way to protein drinks, given a strained variety offers up to 60g of protein and ~300kcal per 500g - and it tastes so much better too!). Eggs are like daily staple for me too, and I incorporate the usual assortment of vegetarian protein sources - Quorn, Soy, Lentils, Rice, Legumes, Oats, etc


I aim for 1g per lb of bodyweight in protein daily. I easily go over this, sometimes as much as 100g. This is merely preference for eating protein dense foods. Typically, I get around 500-600g of carbs a day. Most of that is made up from complex carb sources likes oats, legumes and potatoes. My fiber intake is legendary, I can easily consume ~110g a day. I’ve found I probably function best eating between 75g and 110g of fat daily (with moderated ~35g Saturates). Too low and I start feeling cold and shitty and unsatiated, too high and I just feel like dirt, sickly and piggish.

Here’s a rundown of nutrition from my first week (last week) of 5/3/1 until yesterday

28/4: 588© 237§ 72(F) 3969kcal (114g Fiber)
29/4: 558© 257§ 75(F) 4005kcal ( 92g Fiber)
30/4: 561© 264§ 79(F) 4009kcal (111g Fiber)
01/5: 700© 272§ 117(F) 5034kcal (104g Fiber)
02/5: 674© 214§ 101(F) 4536kcal (107g Fiber)
03/5: 610© 238§ 73(F) 3994kcal (115g Fiber)
04/5: 724© 179§ 107(F) 4969kcal (107g Fiber)
05/5: 546© 247§ 87(F) 4002kcal ( 78g Fiber)
06/5: 817© 361§ 130(F) 5859kcal (128g Fiber)

Today’s calories and macros:

4,043 kcal
488g Carbs (+112g Fiber)
311g Protein
114g Fat

I know a lot of people think nutrient timing is bullshit, but we all react differently. Part of my bulking quest is finding out what works in regards to managing appetite effectively and delivering optimal performance. I typically eat four times a day, I’ll have breakfast (which varies greatly, some days I’ll eat at 6-7am, other days as early as 4am… It just depends when I wake up), a light meal around noontime, an evening meal and a late meal. Excluding my second meal of the day, my carb intake was pretty similar across the other three. There wasn’t any time at all today where I felt lethargic, even eating as much as I do, there is a tendency to crash without sufficient carbs.

The most important thing to day was about figuring out satiation. Yesterday’s incredible clusterfuck of calorie consumption is leading me to believe that I need to even out my carb consumption throughout the day, rather than having say a carb heavy meal in the morning, jack shit in the afternoon, crashing in the evening, and then repeating with a carb heavy meal at night and barely surviving the day with decent nutrition intact! This may sound incredibly brotastic, but perhaps there’s method in the madness?!