T Nation

Calorie Timing for Smart Bulking?

I have a diet question concerning trying to add size to specific muscle groups, namely chest and upper back. My diet tends to cycle calories during the week depending on my workouts, similar to CT’s Carb-Cycling Codex.

My question then is, what is the best timing of higher calorie days relative to the workouts of the targeted muscle groups? The first thought would be to eat more on the same day you work the muscle groups you want to build. On the other hand, hypertrophy occurs (I think?) during the recovery of those muscles, so should you then eat more on the following day(s)?

Am I making this harder than it needs to be? The reason I ask is that I tend to gain fairly easily in my legs, but have trouble adding size to my chest and back. I don’t want to make the disparity between my upper and lower body any worse.

If your looking to gain well above all at the end of the week yo need to be in a calorie surplus plain and simple.

Id look less at day to day cycling and look at daily timing. aim to take in the most early in the day lowering as you go and around training.

id personally stay slightly hypocaloric every day like you said you, grow , recover, and progress out of the gym. sure to be hypocaloric youll need more total intake on training days packk that in post w/o with some extra intake

Phill

[quote]kingfinny wrote:
I have a diet question concerning trying to add size to specific muscle groups, namely chest and upper back. My diet tends to cycle calories during the week depending on my workouts, similar to CT’s Carb-Cycling Codex.

My question then is, what is the best timing of higher calorie days relative to the workouts of the targeted muscle groups? The first thought would be to eat more on the same day you work the muscle groups you want to build. On the other hand, hypertrophy occurs (I think?) during the recovery of those muscles, so should you then eat more on the following day(s)?

Am I making this harder than it needs to be? The reason I ask is that I tend to gain fairly easily in my legs, but have trouble adding size to my chest and back. I don’t want to make the disparity between my upper and lower body any worse.[/quote]

Your stats list you at 6’3" and 182lbs…yet you think you only need size on your chest and back? Are you serious? To grow, you need to be in a caloric surplus, period.

Your body doesn’t just grow when you want it to. It will not just grow on rest days. It will not grow the same everyday. If you are giving it less at times that it needs more, you will not grow optimally. It is that simple. Past that, you are skinny as fuck for your height. You need more size ALL OVER.

[quote]Professor X wrote:

Your stats list you at 6’3" and 182lbs…yet you think you only need size on your chest and back? Are you serious? To grow, you need to be in a caloric surplus, period.

Your body doesn’t just grow when you want it to. It will not just grow on rest days. It will not grow the same everyday. If you are giving it less at times that it needs more, you will not grow optimally. It is that simple. Past that, you are skinny as fuck for your height. You need more size ALL OVER.[/quote]

LMAO :slight_smile:

Yhea and that above as well

Phill

Several Points:

  • I am no longer 182#; I haven’t updated the personal info in awhile. Currently I’m around 198# @ ~10%BF

  • Perhaps I wasn’t explicit enough in my original posting. I understand and agree that to put on weight you need a caloric surplus. I intend to have that surplus daily and weekly. The reason I mentioned the Carb-Cycling was that it will mean some days have a larger surplus than others, and my question is that of when to best time these larger caloric surpluses if we want to target specific muscle groups for growth.

  • As for Professor X’s assertion that I’m a skinny bastard and need to add weight all over; I agree. Or rather, at 182# I did agree, but since then I’ve added a decent amount of LBM, and am now trying to fine tune my muscular balance. Some current measurements:
    Neck - 15.5"
    Bicep - 15.75"
    Forearm - 13"
    Chest - 41"
    Waist - 31"
    Hips - 41"
    Quads - 26.25"
    Calves - 16.25"

I compared these measurements to the charts in the Dr. Darden article to see where I fell. In all the upper body measurements I fall between Medium and Large with a tending towards Medium, and in the lower body measurements I fall between Large and Maximum. This seems to me to be a clear indicator of an imbalance, perhaps not so large, but an imbalance nonetheless.

Hopefully this clears things up a bit and makes my question seem a bit less like it comes from someone who has no idea what’s going on.

[quote]kingfinny wrote:
Several Points:

  • I am no longer 182#; I haven’t updated the personal info in awhile. Currently I’m around 198# @ ~10%BF

  • Perhaps I wasn’t explicit enough in my original posting. I understand and agree that to put on weight you need a caloric surplus. I intend to have that surplus daily and weekly. The reason I mentioned the Carb-Cycling was that it will mean some days have a larger surplus than others, and my question is that of when to best time these larger caloric surpluses if we want to target specific muscle groups for growth.

  • As for Professor X’s assertion that I’m a skinny bastard and need to add weight all over; I agree. Or rather, at 182# I did agree, but since then I’ve added a decent amount of LBM, and am now trying to fine tune my muscular balance. Some current measurements:
    Neck - 15.5"
    Bicep - 15.75"
    Forearm - 13"
    Chest - 41"
    Waist - 31"
    Hips - 41"
    Quads - 26.25"
    Calves - 16.25"

I compared these measurements to the charts in the Dr. Darden article to see where I fell. In all the upper body measurements I fall between Medium and Large with a tending towards Medium, and in the lower body measurements I fall between Large and Maximum. This seems to me to be a clear indicator of an imbalance, perhaps not so large, but an imbalance nonetheless.

Hopefully this clears things up a bit and makes my question seem a bit less like it comes from someone who has no idea what’s going on.

[/quote]

You are 6’3" and have a 15" neck. That’s not impressive. It isn’t large. It isn’t medium. A neck under 16" around is small. A chest of 41" is VERY small, especially for someone your height. I would spend less time looking at charts that make you feel better about not achieving much and actually go ahead and work on everything instead of picking out just your chest and back. Your problem isn’t “an imbalance”, it is that you haven’t grown much all over. You are 6’3". It shouldn’t even be much effort for you to weigh over 200lbs.

Prof X, I think perhaps you’ve missed the point I’m trying to make. I didn’t include my measurements or reference Dr. Darden’s symmetry charts to make a case for me being either “big” or “strong”. I’m not either, especially compared to competitive and aspiring bodybuilders/powerlifters, and haven’t claimed to be so. My point was to merely show that my lower body is at a (relatively) more developed stage, from a size perspective, than my upper body. I don’t care if the charts label me as small or large or anywhere between, so much as I care about having a consistent symmetry. You say my 15" neck is small. Guilty as charged, and the same with a 41" chest. If I were to step on stage at a bodybuilding competition I’d be laughed off. Fortunately I don’t plan on doing that. My goals are not to be a contest bodybuilder; I’m not looking to have the most muscle that my frame can support. I’m happy with the size and strength of my legs, and not so with my chest or back. Therefore I am looking to target my chest and back for added mass and strength.

However, my personal stats and goals don’t really impact the validity of my original question. Perhaps I should have framed it as a hypothetical, and could have avoided the digression of the thread.

[quote]kingfinny wrote:
Prof X, I think perhaps you’ve missed the point I’m trying to make. I didn’t include my measurements or reference Dr. Darden’s symmetry charts to make a case for me being either “big” or “strong”.

I’m not either, especially compared to competitive and aspiring bodybuilders/powerlifters, and haven’t claimed to be so. My point was to merely show that my lower body is at a (relatively) more developed stage, from a size perspective, than my upper body. I don’t care if the charts label me as small or large or anywhere between, so much as I care about having a consistent symmetry. You say my 15" neck is small. Guilty as charged, and the same with a 41" chest. If I were to step on stage at a bodybuilding competition I’d be laughed off. Fortunately I don’t plan on doing that.

My goals are not to be a contest bodybuilder; I’m not looking to have the most muscle that my frame can support. I’m happy with the size and strength of my legs, and not so with my chest or back. Therefore I am looking to target my chest and back for added mass and strength.

However, my personal stats and goals don’t really impact the validity of my original question. Perhaps I should have framed it as a hypothetical, and could have avoided the digression of the thread.
[/quote]

Nothing you have written here changes anything. You need TO WORK EVERYTHING. How does what you wrote erase that? You do NOT need to just focus on your chest and back. You need to focus on every other muscle group as well. No one said your goal was to carry as much mass as possible. Why is it that some of you only see everything in extremes?

In fact, here’s the program you should follow:

Monday
Back
Tuesday
Chest
Wednesday
Back
thursday
Chest
Friday
Back
Saturday
Left leg
Sunday
Chest

There. Have fun. Post back in five years when you tear a muscle.

kingfinny, you’re right that hypertrophy (healing / repair / growth) occur over the course of 48 to 72 hours, depending on the workout and the “stimulus.”

But there are two things you need to look at if you’re wanting to focus on bringing up certain body parts – diet and the program you’re following (sets, reps, rest periods, exercise selection, etc.)

If you are wanting to stay at your current body weight and reduce fat mass a bit more and increase muscle mass in those groups you feel are lagging, it’s going to be a slow process.

On the other hand, if you’re willing to eat at a slight caloric excess and pick a program that focuses on the body parts you want to bring up, you’ll see results a lot more quickly.

I actually think that the answer to your question lies in eating at a caloric excess and program selection to a far greater degree than whether you optimize peri-workout nutrition (carb cycling on a DAILY basis) or follow Thibs’ Carb Cycling Codex.

Why not see which one your body responds to best? Do 6 months of Thib’s Codex, followed by 6 months of optimized PWO nutrition.

And truth be told, you could always take the concepts in Thibs’ Codex and tweak/adjust the numbers to suit your purposes; i.e., add a few more grams of carbs to low, medium and high days.

Good luck, and let me know how it goes!!!

kingfinny, you’re right that hypertrophy (healing / repair / growth) occur over the course of 48 to 72 hours, depending on the workout and the “stimulus.”

But there are two things you need to look at if you’re wanting to focus on bringing up certain body parts – diet and the program you’re following (sets, reps, rest periods, exercise selection, etc.)

If you are wanting to stay at your current body weight and reduce fat mass a bit more and increase muscle mass in those groups you feel are lagging, it’s going to be a slow process.

On the other hand, if you’re willing to eat at a slight caloric excess and pick a program that focuses on the body parts you want to bring up, you’ll see results a lot more quickly.

I actually think that the answer to your question lies in eating at a caloric excess and program selection to a far greater degree than whether you optimize peri-workout nutrition (carb cycling on a DAILY basis) or follow Thibs’ Carb Cycling Codex.

Why not see which one your body responds to best? Do 6 months of Thib’s Codex, followed by 6 months of optimized PWO nutrition.

And truth be told, you could always take the concepts in Thibs’ Codex and tweak/adjust the numbers to suit your purposes; i.e., add a few more grams of carbs to low, medium and high days.

Good luck, and let me know how it goes!!!

=]

In case you missed it I think what he’s saying is that you’re about 20lbs still at least from being in a position where worrying about this will do you any good.

Also, working some muscle groups harder than others is a recipe for possible injuries and other nagging issues that will become harder to correct the longer you continue.

[quote]Tampa-Terry wrote:
kingfinny, you’re right that hypertrophy (healing / repair / growth) occur over the course of 48 to 72 hours, depending on the workout and the “stimulus.”[/quote]

Repair occurs after the training stimulus. Supercompensation is a different animal all together and is based on diet, genetics and the training stimulus. It also can’t be mapped into a time schedule as easy as “repair” itself. This is why those who eat significantly less on rest days are possibly setting themselves back. I am making the distinction because your body does not grow in a linear fashion.

There are spurts and lulls in supercompensation or growth. That is why telling someone they will grow on rest days is incorrect. It also needs to be understood that growth can occur on the same day that you are training another body part.