T Nation

Help with Bulking Diet

Rather than hijack someone else’s thread, I figured I would start a fresh thread, for your flaming pleasure.

Background: I’m 5’9 without shoes and 156 pounds currently. I’ve been lifting a year, and I put on some weight in the beginning, but have plateaued for about the last 3 months.
I am currently shifting my training to a 4 day split (down from 5) and doing the big 3 with 5x5 reps rather than 3x10 or 4x8 I have tried before.

Supplements: I’m all natural, never used PHs or AAS, I’m only 20 so I’m not considering them an option at this point. I have lots of progress to make naturally first.

Diet: Here’s the (most likely) problem. I counted calories and calculated macros all day yesterday, and will do the same today. Yesterday ( to just throw out the numbers) I hit :
3680 calories, starting from 10ish am to midnight.
357 g protein, so 1428 cals, or ~38 percent
271 g carbs, 1084 cals, or ~29.5 percent
132 g fats, 1188 cals, or ~32 percent

For the cliff notes, it was an ‘on’ day, I had a protein shake in the am, a preworkout supp, amino acids during workout, gatorade(for the dextrose, and so I can stomach the terrible taste of the isolate protein) and isolate protein post workout.

My questions (and please feel free to offer criticisms in addition to these):

  1. If I cut out the whole pizza and put in chicken and rice/potatoes instead, i can cut some fats out of my diet. Should I? Should I leave it as it is for a few weeks?

  2. I’m getting plenty of protein, right? 2x my bodyweight is more than enough to make me smell like a pig farm, near the end of the day, should I keep it up or cut out the massive portions of steak and eggs/chicken omelet, splitting them into smaller portions? Yesterday was 5 ‘meals’.

And of course, feel free to criticize. I’m ok with it, it’s just the internet :slight_smile:

3700 calories per day should be enough to grow. However, do you do this every single day? That is where you should start, and you should really continue to keep a food journal for awhile (at least 2 weeks) until you get a basic idea of how much you should be eating. In my experience so far, with bulking (gained 50 lbs), is just making sure you get the calories down. Macro counting is good, but the biggest thing is protein and carbs. Protein for the obvious reasons and carbs for the energy purposes.

Supplements should really only consist of good protein, multi-vit, and fish oil. If you’re truly eating 3700 calories a day and not gaining, you could try throwing in a weight gainer shake. Use a 1/2 serving once a day for a few weeks and evaluate your progress.

Other than that, just train hard and for very brief periods! When I plateaued, I eventually learned to reduce my training. My upper body days last about 30 minutes, and legs last about 40 minutes. When I changed that I put on 17 lbs in 3 months. Amazing. Its weird getting used to, because sometimes you don’t feel like you’re doing enough, but more is not always better.

I’m not an expert on bulking, but i’ve put on 50lbs since i started lifting.

  1. I wouldn’t cut out the pizza. Extra calories are your friend, and you’re going to have to eat a lot more chicken and rice/potatoes to make up that difference if you switch to the cleaner food.

  2. 2x bw seems like a pretty good number. 1-1.5 is usually quoted as a minumum, so if you can I’d keep it around that number.

What are your main sources of calories? An easy source of calories that not everyone uses is milk. I added a half gallon of chocolate milk a day to my diet for two months this summer and put on 13lbs without really changing anything else in my diet.

I’m looking forward to starting my bulk in 2 weeks, aiming for another 20-25 lbs by the end of this year.

That is the problem as of now, consistency… I haven’t counted calories/macros before to this detail, even though this is somewhat of a typical day. If I were to be honest, I probably haven’t had a day under 3k calories since the beginning of July(I just moved into an apartment with a new roommate, we are both training together and that definitely helps us keep each other in check).

As far as the protein goes, I’ll keep it up around there, I’ll at least shoot for 280g a day to keep the goal realistic and see how that goes. My strength is continuing to climb, my PRs are going up, but the scale isn’t.

Evolv - I definitely understand the less is more… I’ve been training 1:30-1:45 every workout for a while, and only until last week began the 5x5 with a one hour limit. My god, I feel like I’m not doing enough, but I sure as hell push myself harder to get out some sweat before that hour is up.

I want to hit 170 and reevaluate, I’ve always been a small guy, at 15 I weighed 123 and did some state weight meets, at 16 I crushed a vertebrae and had to stop football and lifting altogether… trying to make up for lost time makes me a little impatient I guess.

Cool deal, well it sounds like you know what you need to do. Give this article a read too, it was pretty helpful for me: http://www.T-Nation.com/free_online_article/sports_body_training_performance/the_truth_about_bulking

Good luck to you.

Ah, good article, I have read that before. I’m just an impatient bastard, I guess.
I’ll give it a few weeks before I step on the scale, and see how the new diet does for me.
Thanks guys!