T Nation

Here's What's Working


Here is what I have found out on my journey so far. I am 5'10" was 180 lbs and am 38 years old. I have lifted for years, but never gotten much results. In October I began the Westside for skinny bastards program and began eating 3500 calories a day. Within four weeks I had gained 8 pounds, but most of it was fat, since my waist had expanded more than 2". I then cut back to 3000 calories, but continued to gain fat and grew out of all my pants since my waist was still expanding. I then cut back to 2200 calories. In the last four weeks, since going down to 2200 calories I have gained an additional 4 lbs while my waist has shrunk. My neck, chest, shoulders, arms, and thighs have all gotten bigger. All of my lifts have been steadily progressing as well.

To sum it up: Everyone has said, "Eat, eat, eat." But for me I found that 2200 calories is what works. Listen to knowledgeable advice, but adjust as needed.


I don't believe you can gain muscle at your weight and age on that few calories.

That is all.


hm why not-it seems to work and everyone is individual.


I'm not taking any of the guys glory away, I'm questioning the calories and mass. Any muscle memory in play where old mass is coming back at all ?


What were your macronutrient ratios?



You are right on. Everyone is different in what they need. That is why the food journal is so very important. In my early years I did the eat eat eat 5500 cal thing and I did grow, but lots of fat too. Over the last 3 year I have kept detailed food & training logs and have found 2 things. 1) I can gain muscle eating as little as 2200 cals and 2) if I drop below 2000 cals I flatten out. So it all boils down to carb/fat/pro numbers when I to cut, gain, or maintain.

Also remember that you training plan (3days/5days/twice a day) comes into play aswell and your cals must be adjusted in regards to those for your personal tolerances (what ever they are).

JB once said to me in an e-mail when I asked him about starting to bulk after finishing a cutting getting to 8%bf He made it very simple. Start adding 200 cals/day/week. When I start seeing fat gain go back to the previous week and stay there until either lbm gain stops ot you have reached your bulking goals. He said forget about cal numbers overall and just use what is working for me.

Hope that is all clear. Just my 2 cents.


My 'awful' answer was based on this

If your system is geared to 'burning fat'and releasing stored enegry it isnt 'storing energy'.

The figures for fat loss and the amount of calories you derive from a lb of fat etc and you maintenance calories and a load of other factors come into play. All this info is anecdotal.


I try to keep my nutrient ratio close to 40/30/30 but find that I often get closer to 40/40/20. As far as muscle memory goes, I have never been this big or this strong.

I found that eating 3500 calories wasn't that difficult if I stuck to my plan and made food available to myself. It probably was too much food since I lift 3 times/week about 45 min of actual lifting per session. I have tried lifting 4 days a week and I don't always feel like I am recovering well enough. At 3 times a week I am always excited to lift and my workouts usually go quite well.

Like I said earlier, this is what is working for me right now. I am still learning, but am very happy with my progress since I have never made any before. Thanks to all the info on T-Nation.


What are you talking about?Your metbolism slows down as you age.


He's 38 not 98.


Whatever works for you. Congrats.

I've found that I can cut fat, maintain body comp, or gain muscle at 3500 calories. It all just depends on what my breakdown is and when I eat. I have no trouble at all seeing a 38 yr old man gaining on 2200cal. Shoot, I've seen veteran college lifters gain on those kinds of calories when strapped for cash.


Studies show that after the age of 25, testosterone production drops approx 1% per year. A 50 year old male has less test and more estrogen than a post-menopausal female. Male hormone replacement thereapy is becoming popular. It's nearly impossible to gain new lbm after about 35 or so.


So you are telling me that a 35 year old won't be able to gain with 10% lower T levels?

Studies show that I have known football coaches, some in their fifties, who consistently were getting stronger and bigger.


X-Factor, what you just posted there is a mix of part fact and total bollocks.


i sure do like this victor lustig. and i think its fucking hillarious when he throws out any phrase containing "bullocks"--i almost laugh out loud. no sarcasm, i think that shits funny as hell. seems to have a lot of knowledge to go with the funny phrases too....

wish i could gain anything close to fat free mass on 2200cal...

anyway, on with the discussion!


not Bullocks.


damnit! nothing makes you look like a useless pair of bollocks like spelling a word wrong when that very word was your reason for posting...i apologize to all of T-Nation