T Nation

Calories or Protein?

hello guys, i have started a weight lifting routine for abootu 2 mths to put some pounds on, i am very small like 135lbs approx 5’9
has always been small, and i am trying to change that, i dont have a food log as yet, however i have benn eating tons off peanut butter, ice cream, quaker oats, and have increased my eating times from 3 meals to about 5 per day, i think my muscles show abit more than 2tmths ago, but my tummy has got alot bigger and i am thinking if i should be taking alot off calories or myabe more protein, because i dont like the weight i am gaining on my tummy, to be honset i think my calorie intake must be too much, or i could be wrong, i am also trying to gain weight WITHOUT too many suppliments i recently bought a protein powder called cassilan, dont know how good it is but i am giving it a try.also is it healthy for me to be taking in too much calories at 36? hope i can have these questions answered. thanks again

Let me give you my 2 cents worth.

I’ve just started logging my calerie intake. Like you I’m 36 and was 135 almost 9 weeks ago and am now around 147. I work out with HIT training 3 times a week and am having to eat like crazy. I’m actually under my calerie intake and have to take in even more- around 2700. But I’m also seeing a ponch on the tummy and trying to get rid of it.

OK, my personal trainer says I may be eating too many carbs and not enough protein. So watch how many carbs you take in. You may want to cut out some of the ice cream. Don’t eat alot of sugars. Try adding an egg or two instead of ice cream. Quaker oats are good, but oatmeal also has alot of carbs per protein.

I’m starting to eat more beans, like lentils, quinoa- great stuff and kidney beans. Dried almonds are great. You gotta eat healthy. I love beef, but I need to substitute more chicken now. Cassein protein is good protein, but most powders are essentially the same. If you get say 35 grams of protein and 24 carbs per 2 scoops you are doing OK.

How often do you work out and for how long? The intensity will dictate how many calories you need. My PT also says it is natural to see a little fat gain during the bulking up phase.

Hope that helps.


well first off all let me begin by thanking you for your help, ai work out like 3times per week
i tottaly understand what you’re saying about getting too much carbs in my diet, maybe thats my problem, i eat alot off paenuts, peanut butter, potatoes [mashed] and most off the time i buy rotessirie chicken and eat that together with potatoes as a meal, i think i will try to concentrate on getting a little more protein in
my diet, i really dont want to use suppliments,

also i dont have a food log which i know is very important, judging from your pics i am about your height and about 135lbs atm, do you know what youbody fat percentage is?actually thats right now why i cant make my food log need to get my bodyfat percentage and i havent been able to find out what it is, this is my routine at the moment 3 days a week about 45min to ihr per session

Monday - Chest/Biceps
Tuesday - off
Wednesday - LEGS/SHOLDER
Thursday - off
Saturday - off
Sunday - off

Flat Bench Press
Incline Bench Press
Flat Bench Dumbell Flyes

Bent Over 1 Arm Dumbell Rows

Standing Barbell Curls
Preacher Curls (with dumbells or barbell)
Seated/Standing Dumbell Curls

bench press [close grip]
lying tricep extensions

Calve Raises

Seated/Standing Military Press (with barbell or dumbells)
Lateral Raises

Foods high in protein, lots of greens and fruit. If you’re not doing cardio lay off the starches. Now work your ass off, work the big muscles, chest, back and legs. Go heavy with low reps. Once you have some size then start working the smaller muscles. Expending your energy on small muscles will only delay putting on any size. Lots of the guys swear by the 5X5. Give’r Hell!

thanks again for some good advice.

Work outs at 3 times a week sounds good and its true, ya gotta work those big muscles groups the most. I hate working legs, but legs are where it counts. Most of my weight gains are in my legs and upper back.

There is no exact science to this, but good quality hard workouts at a shorter duration around 30 minutes are better then an hour. Its all about getting from set to set as quick as you can. Now that I do HIT, twice a week doing 9 sets from legs, upper back, arms, abs one day and the other legs, chest, lower back and shoulders. Its tough stuff and burns like hell, but I am slowly making the gains.

My body fat around 10-12%. You can always go to a YMCA maybe and get yours checked for a cheap price.

thanks alot skeleton boy apprecite your help :slight_smile:

I’ll add my .02 as well.

First congratulations on taking an interest in this great sport and more importantly, your health!
I agree 1000% with streamline and skeletonboy regarding “big” or what are known as compound exercises. These involve the largest amount of muscles when performed and will give you the best return on your investment. Working the bench press, squat, military press, barbell rows, dips will be your best route. Now, the internet is a great place to find information, however, you’ll want to possibly seek out someone knowledgeable to help you learn exercises correctly. That’s right, correctly! Just because Joe Biceps at the gym looks like he knows what he’s doing is no guarantee. So, study, learn and put it into practice.
Now, Initially, I’d suggest a full body routine two times a week using basic, compound exercises. Two reasons:

  1. Keep it simple. You’re just learning the exercises, how well you tolerate exercise, which exercises you find “easy” vs. “hard” or uncomfortable and adjusting accordingly.
  2. Progression. By performing a prescribed number of reps in perfect form then S-L-O-W-L-Y
    adding weight to the bar/exercise this ensures a good gain and progression as that is what you’re after. Piling weight on quickly will make your form crumble like a sandcastle and you’ll likely wind up injured.
    Here’s a sample:
    Squats: 2 x 10
    Bench Press: 2 x 10
    Bent-over Barbell Row: 2 x 10
    Military Barbell Press: 2 x 10
    Dumbbell Shrugs: 2 x 10
    Barbell Curls: 2 x 10
    One-Legged Calf Raise W/Dumbbell (stand on platform - balance with opposite hand): 2 x 10
    Crunches: 1 x 20
    Monday’s routine using about 75-80% of the weight.
    One or two workouts later, try to add 5 lbs to each exercise for the same repetitions.
    Eventually, you can go to a “split” routine, doing one or two body parts per day, with more exercises for each body part. First things first.

Regarding diet, you want to eat a surplus of calories to grow, but not in the stomach! The types of calories are beyond important. While I can understand the bowl of ice cream occasionally, and although bodybuilders are fond of peanut butter, misapplied, these “strategies” are nothing more than a prescription for becoming a fat weakling. Starting with 20 times your bodyweight is a good one. In your case, about 2,700 calories a day, every day of the right foods will give you the energy to work out and adequate protein to build muscle as a result.
Get good protein from lean meats, egg whites, fish, etc. Get slow burning complex carbs like wheat pasta, wheat bread, veggies. Healthy fats should come from nuts, fish, and yes–peanut butter.
Eat every 2-3 hrs, healthy stuff, lift, rest, repeat.

wow thank you very much guys i appreciate all the good words off encouragment, and professional advice, i want to star getting food log going but i am trying to get my body fat ratio to make further calculations, i am using Massive Eating �?? Your Guide To Packing On Muscle Mass
Part 1 �?? Calorie Needs
by John M Berardi
but having problems getting my bodyfat % can someone recommend another acrticle that i can use to calculate how many calories i need per day? or maybe an approximate bodyfat ratio that i can use? thanks again keep the good comments coming in :slight_smile:

The Grimrepper is right on. Alot of what the other guys say matches everything I’ve read and what my trainer has told me. So your well on your way.

I’ve also read the Massive Eating guide. Good stuff. Only I will add, don’t go more than 2 hours without eating. If I eat a protein type food, I’ll eat some sort of carb food right after like a fruit or veggie.

There are several ways to measure body fat, a quick way is to use a tape measure to measure your upper arm size, your chest, your abdominal are and upper thighs. I doubt you have too much in the way of fat.
Go to weightrainer.net which will show you how to measure bodyfat.

thanks again skeletonboy you have been very helpful along with everyone who is giving very good advice, thanks again for everything :slight_smile: