T Nation

Growth Sure Project



I started the Growth Surge Project Phase 1 today. I'm struggling with the whole balanced diet thing, because I'm soooo not used to counting anything but net carbs from the past 15 months of Atkins dieting. I spent a whole day just getting a one-day menu in place for my first day. Eating is easy, but deciding on all the individual meals and how they must combine to reach the daily targets for Protein/Carbs/Fats is a real bitch. Any basic meal combos outside of Tuna/Salmon and the easy post-workout meals? Tips?

Also, for Phase 2 I plan to use my bottle of MAG-10, follwed in phase 3 with my Tribex & M. Does anyone know if MAG-10 capsules are really that much better (30%) then the liquid? I want to know before I buy more.

Also, regarding nutrition, when counting carbs for totals and individual meals, are we really just looking at impact (net) carbs, or is it all-inclusive? And what about the Protein-Carb-Fat ratio...is it the percentage of calories, or the percentage of grams from all 3 that I should be concerned with?

This is all so confusing!



Check out the "Get Big Diet" for body builders on this site. It is a pretty easy diet to follow. Author breaks down meal combos and ratio for you etc. Everything you are asking. When I first started reading on this site I did the GS Phase I-III with this diet and it worked out really well. Just make sure when you start Phase II you are taking in your extra 2 post workout shakes. Good luck!


LJay, post some stats for us. What's your TBW? When are you working out? What time of day do you get up and go to bed?

With that info, I'll give you my thoughts on the subject.


W - Thanks for the info, I'll check it out!

TT - here they are:

Height: 5' 3"
Weight: 140 lbs
Body Fat: between 10% and 14% (my readings on the AccuMeasure Digital Calipers are inconsistent. Most fat is located in my chest, and a little bit on my lower abs. Otherwise, very lean.

Neck: 14 "
Biceps: 12.5"
Chest: 38"
Waist: 31" (I wear 29-30" pants)
Thighs: 19.5"
Calves: 14"

All numbers are for a relaxed muscle state.

I changed my workout for the Growth Surge, but typically it is 3-4 training days 1X daily (always at 1pm...the gym is at work), and some cardio on both training and off-days. I've messed around with various training programs, but the basic workout hits each muscle group 3 or 4 ways, with big muscles getting 6-8 reps and smaller ones getting 8-10...2-3 sets each

My strength has improved greatly over the past year...in bursts...but I recently had throat surgery for Sleep Apnea, and lost both Fat and LBM during my recovery. My strength also took a hit, but I've only been training since last week after a 2 1/2 week layoff due to surgery. I'm using Phase 1 of the Growth Surge to get my strength back...so I'm not afraid to extend it a week or so if need be.

My numbers...pre-surgery:

Max Bench: 215lbs
Curls (6-rep set): 40lbs -dumbell
Dips (6x weighted):145lbs-using belt
Chin-ups: 22 -close grip
1/4 Squat (6x): 405lbs-
Shrugs: (8x): 90lbs -DB's w/hooks
Lat Row's (6x): 60-65lbs -DB's

As for sleep, as I mentioned I have a problem there. My sleep apnea seems to be much better post-surgery, but I'm still a raving insomniac. Okay, not that bad, but it can take me a few hours to fall asleep. I have always managed on 4-6 hours just fine anyway. I'll be going for another sleep study in a couple of months, and they check to see what stages of REM sleep I enter, so I'll know more then.

I did screw up my diet plan for Phase 1 because I estimated body fat at 15%...then when I got more practice with the calipers, it has never been higher then 13, and usually less. I can see my six-pack quite well with a little stretch of the skin over them, so I doubt my body fat is as high as 15%. Hopefully, my numbers will start to read more consistently as I get better at taking readings.

Hope that's enough info to tinker with!




if i weighed 140 i would throw all the formulas out the window and start eating my ass off!


Okay, LJay. That helps. (grin)

For purposes of running the numbers, I'm going to use your TBW since you're using a prohormone.

Daily Protein Requirements = 140 x 2g = 280g per day

To minimize fat gain, I'm going to use 2.5g for carbs. That number could go up to 3, but the goal is LBM gain, with as little FM gain as possible. Daily Carb Requirements = 140 x 2g = 280g per day.

Fat on a bulking cycle with a prohormone should be kept to a minimum. We'll leave it at what you get in the meat and egss you eat. Be sure to get your good fats (mono's and EFAs) on your off cycle.

Carb choices should be your starchier carbs, rather than green veggie carbs. The fiber in the green veggies makes it difficult to meet your daily carb requirements. Sources, oatmeal, sweet potatoes, white potatoes, rice, even your whole grain sprouted breads from a health food store.

During your off cycle, shift to your green veggie carbs and away from your starchier carbs.

I'd like to see you get in 7 meals per day and one wake-up-in-the-middle-of-the-night protein shake.

Your meals are going to be P+C meals, as nearly as you can make them. Fat in any given meal should be kept to less than 5g.

So the numbers for each meal are 35g of protein and 35g of carbs. Don't forget to subtract fiber from total carbs. And of course keep fat to <5g. The only exception is your PWO Surge drink, which is 50g. You'll come in 20g high for the day, but that won't matter much.

Stay away from the energy bars and MRPs, as they are likely to have more fat than you're allowed. Nothing wrong with a couple of regular protein shakes during the day for convenience.

Invest in a nutritional desk reference (lists calories, carb grams, protein grams, fat grams and fiber grams) for a given amount of food. Get Nutribase (Navy blue cover only!) or Corine Netzer's book. I'd also strongly/highly recommend that you get a digital postal scale that weighs in grams and ounces.

Since you're probably doing two weeks on, two weeks off, during your off cycle, it's a good idea to reduce the numbers a bit. I'd go with 1.5g of protein x TBW and 1.5g of carbs x TBW. As I said above, switch to your green veggie carbs. You'll have to calculate the numbers yourself, as your TBW is going to increase over the course of your cycle. Also, I'd like to see you take in a total of .4g of fat per pound of TBW from the meat you eat, flaxseed oil, fish oil, olive oil, eggs and raw nuts.

Does that help? Questions? (grin)


Correction. Daily Carb Requirements = 140 x 2.5 = 350g per day. Carb intake per day should be roughly 43g per meal. Sorry for the mathematical confusion.


Thanks for the responses guys...

P-DOG - the easy answer is to just eat plenty, especially protein. However, I just dropped about 50 lbs of fat in the past 15 months, and I'm coming off the Atkins low-carb diet, so eating too many carbs is a NO-NO for insulin insensitive types like me! I'll gain Fat big-time, and that's a waste after all I've sacrificed to get to this point. Besides, 140lbs for someone my height ain't exactly underweight.

TT - I'm good with the basics...I've already calculated for a minimum 280g protein/day diet during the mass phase. The problem I'm having is finding decent food choices that will get me there without over-doing the carbs. The main thing I learned from your response is that once I go on MAG10, I should stay low-fat and up the carbs. Is there something about using MAG10 that dictates going low-fat and higher carb, considering that my body actually handles fat much better then carbs regarding fat-gain?

My ratios (grams of macronutrients eaten) break down like this for the phase 1 diet: 58% protein, 24% Carbs 18% fat. I'll stick with this for a week, and see what the damage is...John Berardi recommended this type of diet for phase 1, to drop some fat and also to see how carbs are impacting body composition. Trust me, this is WAY more carbs then I've been eating for the past 9 months. I'll see how I respond. I can accept some fat gain (5 pounds or so) during my mass phase, but more then that will no doubt mean that I'm simply eating too many carbs in my non-PWO meals. 5 pounds of fat for me equals approx. 3.5% body fat increase. That's a bit much! I'd like to stay away from that!

For now, I'll try to get my non-PWO meal carbs from Oatmeal, Yams, and pasta and stay away from the veggies...like you said. Hopefully, they'll prevent a big-time fat gain. Now I just have to figure out how to eat them in a tasty meal!


Good questions! It's obvious that you've been reading and researching.

In general, it's a good idea to put carbs and fat on a see-saw. As one goes up, the other should go down. That concept having nothing to do with using a prohormone.

Having to do with taking a prohormone, insulin is going to be high because you're taking in a lot of carbs. It's a very good idea to keep fat to about 10% because insulin, the master storage hormone that it is, stores fat as well as carbs! Keeping fat intake low (to 10% or less) is a way of minimizing fat gain during a cycle.

Since you say you're insulin insensitive, go ahead and go with the 2g of carbs per pound of TBW instead of 2.5. Prohormone cycles have some flexibility. Just remember, no matter what your metabolic makeup is, when you do a prohormone cycle, you need it eat big, work out hard and plan to gain 15-20 pounds very quickly (two weeks), most of which will be muscle. Eating is about to become your full time job. If you don't do all of the above, you're not going to see the results that so many have raved about.

I know you have concerns about the carbs, but they're a very big part of building muscle on a prohormone cycle. The rules for when you're "on" are totally different than your normal way of eating.

In general I recommend quality carb choices, but you're going to have to compromise that a bit when you're on. Avoid or minimize milk intake, same with fruit. You need to be eating things that will refill muscle glycogen, and that may mean some high GI carbs, like boxed cereal.

And re taste? Forget about taste when you're on. Eat for function. Eat to hit your numbers. Eat for results. Eat for the 12 pounds of MUSCLE you want to put on!!!

And by the way, there's nothing wrong with spaghetti or yellow rice and black beans either. The thing is you'll probably be so full most of the time that not much of anything is going to taste fabulous. (grin)

Good luck to you, and be sure to take some "before" pictures.



Thanks for the feedback. I'll definitely get my carbs up for the MAG10 cycle, and keep the fat low. If I feel really fatigued, I'll take some Ripped Fuel...it's been a real energy booster for me in the past.

I'll also take some fresh photos for a good before/after post. Thanks for the input!



You are most welcome! I can't wait to hear about your results. Mag-10 is such a cool (an incredibly effective) product in that way.


I thought the same thing, P-DOG...until I saw the 5'3". Sounds a lot stockier with that height figured in.