T Nation

Do I Need To Eat More


#1

Hi,

I am using Waterbury's HF program, and on a watered-down version of the massive eating diet. At 159 pounds, I am supposed to eat around 3600 calories per day.

However, I generally eat between 28-3300 calories. A few days a week at 3300, a few days at 3000, one or two days at 2800. I also do HIIT twice a week; I run five 400M springs, with 60 seconds rest in between.

I have not gained much weight, yet I have been making gains on all my lifts. I have been gaining 5-10 pounds on my bench per week, 5 pounds on my sqaut and deadlift per week, and then a few pounds on bicep and tricep exercises.

Does the fact that I am not gaining weight indicate that I am not gaining enough muscle or that I should eat more?

Thanks a lot
Max


#2

Why?

Contributers with real degrees and real certifications write these articles. Why would you want to fuck around with it and do some kind of half-assed-hybrid "watered-down" version?

My guess is if after all the calculations you're supposed to eat 3600kcal, then you'd probably make better gains on 3600kcal. I might be over thinking it.

Yes that was sarcasm.


#3

Likely yes on both counts, although you may be losing fat and gaining a little mucle at the same time.


#4

The answer on this site will almost always be a resounding "Yes!"


#5

This is highly unlikely for most people and I hate it when people tell this to beginners. For most people, if the scale is not moving, you are not making much in the way of gains, especially as a beginner. Beyond that, the statement is why people think like this guy does...because people go around confusing the issue as if they will stay at the exact same weight and magically turn all body fat to muscle and maybe, just maybe, they are making gains they can't see even though their weight isn't changing at all.

Bottom line, this kid needs to eat more and he is overcomplicating his effort.


#6

You definitely CAN gain muscle and lose fat at the same time. When I first started learning about nutrition and how to eat right I went from eating probably an average of 60 grams of protein a day (I used to eat 3 meals, if that, cold cereal for breakfast, whatever the cafeteria was serving for lunch and then a small frozen pizza or a bowl of noodles or something. Some days it may've been considerably less, close to zero, some days it may've been closer to 100 if i had grilled up some burgers or something) to eating at least 1.5g/lb a day, which at time about 270g of protein/day total. I wasn't new to weight training, but my waist shrank and felt "tighter" (how's that for unscientific) and my upper body grew and I gained weight. Those first few weeks were teh only time it ever happened and I'm guessing that my body just had an exxagerated response like a newbie to weight training would have - fast gains. So, n=1, but take it for what it's worth.

Oh and Joe Defranco claimed on the d-tap interview that his freak from monmouth gained something like 8 lbs in four weeks on a restricted calorie, clean diet. And Joe's point was "i didnt do much of anything to help this kid, he's that much of a freak" so I dont buy the explanation that joe is just hyping it to make it look like he can transform people.


#7

Most people who gain weight from just over eating without training are gaining lean mass and fat, and the fat guys who gain are using the surplus adpose tissue for energy, that's why I think the fat beginners seem to do better than the skinny guys who don't have the fat fuel tank to work with.

For those struggling to eat just 3600 calories, really need to re-evaluate their goals, unless you get serious about chowing down the grub you won't ever gain decent mass, its physiologically impossible.

For those who are particularly emaciated, following the nutrition programs and getting all anal about the actual amount of calories they are or aren't eating becomes a possible hinderance. The honus is on eating a huge amount of food. I also think they are worried about the health implications of pigging out on high calorie foods. Getting good levels of mass isn't about being the healthiest you can, but the bulking process does not need to make you ill.


#8

Are you slow? No one said it is impossible. However, if you go around telling beginners that as a rule it should be expected, you end up with people like this guy who somehow think they are going to make progress with no change in body weight. Why do you think he asked the question? If he was dropping pounds and pounds of body fat, don't you think he would notice? Beginners only think in absolutes and extremes. THAT is the point I was making.


#9

Hi,

Thank you all for the replies.

I think my question is: Why would I need to eat more if I am already making good gains (i.e. 5-10 pounds on dead, bench, sqauts per week)?

It seems like my gains are already very good, and that eating more could not help it very much. True?

Thanks all,
Max


#10

Those are strength gains not increases in muscle mass. Are you wanting to get bigger or just be stronger ??


#11

False. You can make great strength gains without adding much mass. If you want to gain more mass then you are, you need to eat more. Simple as that. Evaluate based on progress. If you've lost a little fat and gained a little muscle, you may be happy with that. But if you want to gain a lot of muscle, then eat more.


#12

Yes, he is.


#13

That is a horrible way to track "gains". You are just getting more efficient at these movements. In other words, you're practicing and getting better.


#14

Hey

I think you're going to plateau pretty quickly.

I could make several suggestions for you.
1) If you're on the Massive Eating diet, then obviously you want to gain weight. Do you have a desired weight you want to achieve? Say 180 lbs.
2) Based on Massive Eating Reloaded, you can up your caloric intake in 250 intervals every two weeks, as I recall. Keep increasing your caloric intake until you're seeing the results you're looking for.
3) An easy way to take in over 400 calories is to consume a shake during your workout consisting of 2 scoops of Gaterade and 30 gms whey protein in water (Berardi suggested this, and I personally drink it every workout). I've also seen a lot of other shake suggestions that will work well.
3) On the days your calorie intake is low would be a good day to have a cheat meal. Following the rules of Berardi, it should be high in fat and carbs, as well as protein. Of course you want to stay within no more than the 10% cheat meals a week rule.
4) Make sure you're consuming enough dietary fat as well. It's an easy way to bump up your calories, as well.

3600 calories is not that difficult to achieve on a daily intake, especially with convenience of shakes.

Good luck.


#15

This is really simple. If your goal is to get bigger and your scale is telling you that you aren't getting bigger. Eat more. If your goal is to simply get stronger and you're getting stronger. Good for you, keep it up.


#16

Hi,

Thanks for the replies.

This is obviously to many people a stupid question, however, what can I say, I'm ignorant!

What then is the difference between getting 'bigger' vs. getting 'stronger'?

Thanks


#17

Real answer:
Your body learns how to do exercises if you continue to do them. Your body adapts by becoming better at performing the exercise. This leads to a perceived increase in strength alone simply becuase you now know how to do the exercise better. Beyond that, muscle growth is DIRECTLY related with muscle strength unless drugs are involved. That means as you grow, you will get stronger. It also means that to get stronger, you have to grow.

I would have laughed at you previously for this question, however, considering how many idiots are making such huge issues of "relative strength" even though they are still "absolutely weak", I can see why so many people are so damn confused. Stop taking advice from skinny people.


#18

Getting stronger is something which happens in the goal to add mass. If you are looking to just add strength and chuck kegs about then you aren't really a bodybuilder. Not that there is anything wrong with wanting to be strong but its not the aim in bodybuilding. There is a co-relation between strength and size but its not how most people think, look at some of the Asian powerlifters (the small ones) they are titchy but bastard strong. Supposedly Vince Taylor could not bench as much as his contemporaries (allegedly) who gives a fuck he looked fuckin awesome.

For me, adding mass was the priority and if people say I have big legs, I don't then collar them and wax lyrical about how strong my squat is or start chucking kegs about.


#19

I never quoted you as saying it was impossible. I stressed CAN, indicating that while it CAN be done, it will not necessarily occur. Perhaps you're the one who's slow.

And in the future, if the point that you want to make is that beginners only think in absolutes and extremes, then just say "beginners only think in absolutes and extremes."


#20

Hi everybody,

Thanks for the replies.

So then, what I don't understand is, how these "Asian powerlifters," who lack size, can be so strong?

If strength is related to mass, then where do these "Asian powerlifters" fit in?

Before someone else says it, I am the first to admit that obviously I am either "slow" or uneducated, but please, do answer this.

Thanks