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Diet and Deload Weeks? Question About Calorie Intake

Love the books. I’ve read each and I am now a month in to 531 so still a beginner. Doing 5 Pro’s with mostly same lift and kettle bells / pull ups / rows for assistance work. I also do BJJ 4/5 times a week with the odd 5k run when I feel like it.

I have two questions:

  1. do you eat the same each week on 531 or reduce intake during your deload week
  2. can you give me an idea of your weight and calorie intake? Jim gives great examples of his diet in his book but he is a big dude lifting big weights so I imagine our calorie requirements are quite different? I am 175 pounds and still only dead lifting/squatting between 1.5-2x BW and benching 1-1.25x BW. Jim says eat big, lots of real food etc. I am 100% doing that (I was paleo before, but now added lots of oats, rice, sweet potatoes etc) but I am finding it hard to gauge whether I am eating enough or too much. I’d like to gain size and get up to about 190 pounds. I’d appreciate any guidance on how much others eat. Especially if your around my size or ever were. Thanks a lot.

I don’t know what the best answer to this is, but here’s what I do:

Eat more when I’m lifting heavy.
Eat less when I’m not.

I don’t get into calorie counting or nutrient counting or whatever. I did for a while, and I got pretty lean, but it was also time consuming and I found it difficult to eat-to-win. If I lift heavy, I try to eat more than I normally would; if I do conditioning, I try to eat as I normally would; if I don’t do anything, I eat less.

Beyond that, I don’t bother with worrying about it unless I have a specific goal (pre-beach or get big or whatever). I tried worrying about it, and it really just made me miserable. Since then, I’ve found that if I get big in ways I don’t like, I just eat less until I’m where I want to be.

Thanks for the reply. Unfortunately as I complete at jiu jitsu I need to be ‘aware’ of my weight to enter comps and I have to make weight right before I fight. I have a large appetite and I’ve also been a little ‘large’ some years ago. All these things mean I am a little less comfortable with just leaving it down to nature to take its course. I’d rather eat well, but at least with an idea of how much and of what, grow, and get strong. I appreciate not everyone cares to count calories though so its not for everyone!

If you are at 175# and looking to get up to 190# with the amount of training you do you gotta eat a lot. I’m no expert myself but I remember reading a diet Jim wrote that said to get big eat a minimum of 12 eggs per day and 1 1/2# ground beef. You’ll be 190# in no time.

if you are doing BJJ you need to eat a lot to gain weight regardless of your lifting protocol. Rolling for 8-10hours a week puts you in more of a calorie deficit than lifting 4 hours/week. How are your weight classes subdivided? Are <181 and <198 the two weight classes you’re dealing with?

Yes I’m fighting under 181 right now. I am eating about 4K calories right now and already on a dozen eggs s day :slight_smile:

[quote]UKBJJSam wrote:
Yes I’m fighting under 181 right now. I am eating about 4K calories right now and already on a dozen eggs s day :)[/quote]

I won’t eat another egg for a while… the dozen eggs + 1.5 pounds of beef was from Monolith. I’ll do it again, probably early 2016, but I don’t know what scares me more: the 20-rep squats the last two weeks or the eating protocol. :smiley:

[quote]UKBJJSam wrote:
Yes I’m fighting under 181 right now. I am eating about 4K calories right now and already on a dozen eggs s day :)[/quote]

The standard answer would be to eat more. That might be a challenge though.
How long have you been on 4k a day? Have you gained any mass while eating that way?

I would add BCAAs or PLazma after/during your BJJ practice because that’s basically long duration cardio and might cause some muscle wasting.

Also about BJJ practice. This is an individual thing and I don’t know how it applies to you. Some guys go pretty hard all the time in practice. Some guys go slower all the time and just focus on technique. There are upsides and downsides to both ways of approaching sparring and ideally you would sort of do both. But while you’re trying to bulk, you might want to slow things down a bit.

Or go to practice less. Don’t let your dedication to your sport undermine your temporary goal: once you gain weight up to 190 or higher you can maintain it and resume a normal practice schedule without having lost any skill

Definitely don’t eat less during deload weeks.

All really good advice, thanks guys

Thanks a good point. Often the BJJ classes are 90 mins. 60 mins of drills at a good intensity but no where close to all out, then 30 mins of positional sparing and sparing (depending on the class), one open mat class which is just all out sparing.

Between June and October i dieted down from about 180 pounds to 170 to compete and now I’m trying to work back up again as the dieting was killing me. I am naturally a big eater. I love food, but I don’t want to over do it! I’ve put on 5 pounds in the past 5 weeks (but I was very lean, like 10% bf when I started)

Is that too fast? Too much?

  1. If you are eating to recover, I’m not sure the logic between eating less on deload weeks. So maybe people are eating to get worse and weaker. Commons sense!

  2. Since your ONLY sport is BJJ, 100000% of eating has to be geared to performance in that discipline. So if you are getting better and able to do the work, all is good. As I’ve said a million times, performance is only thing that matters.

Thanks Jim. Appreciate the words of wisdom.