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How Important is Clean Bulking?

I know that eating clean is very important, but I was just wondering if you all are more strict about cleanliness on a cut than on a bulk. By no means am I trying to justify eating pizza or fast food every night, just that it you all would sweat it if you had to eat something less than ideal in order to get your calories in.

If you struggle to gain wait don’t sweat eating “clean” - just don’t overdo it either by eating way too much.

The only thing “eating clean” ever got me was very slow progress, it deludes people and sends them in the wrong direction. What do you think eating clean involves - as in you definition of it?

If you are prone to gaining fat easily, then simply watch the kind of carbs you eat, and use them wisely for your body type.

The term clean eating should be binned and replaced with eating smart. Food is fuel, if you manipulate it correctly it will work wonders in your favour.

you shouldn’t be so clean that you are sacrificing your gains.

Don’t go on a fast food binge, but if you are hungry and you have a cheeseburger, eat the cheeseburger.

So long as you are keeping things decent, and putting in the time and effort at the gym, you can be a bit easier about the rigid clean food policy while on a mass gaining phase.

The important thing is to fuel the body the calories it needs to build muscle, give it the protein, fats and carbs you need to build that muscle.

[quote]OctoberGirl wrote:

you shouldn’t be so clean that you are sacrificing your gains.

Don’t go on a fast food binge, but if you are hungry and you have a cheeseburger, eat the cheeseburger.

So long as you are keeping things decent, and putting in the time and effort at the gym, you can be a bit easier about the rigid clean food policy while on a mass gaining phase.

The important thing is to fuel the body the calories it needs to build muscle, give it the protein, fats and carbs you need to build that muscle.

[/quote]

Exactly. And if you turn into a fat bastard, at least you’ll be HYOOOGE.

Hey New Guy,
I’m in a similar situation to you, in that I am curious about clean bulking. RSGZ is absolutely right about eating smart.

You should be getting around 380 grams of carbs. 280 grams of protein, and 120 grams of fat (1/3 sat, 1/3 mono unsaturated, 1/3 poly unsaturated). (around 3,800 cals)

Honestly, this might not be the answer you want, but I think you should try to eat “clean” as much as possible. You can get all of your caloric requirements while eating this way, and you should do it because you will feel better than if you attempt to bulk “dirty.”

By the way, eating “clean” to me is eating starchy carbs only during/after workouts, in a peri workout shake and post workout meal, or breakfast if you’re “bulking.” You can eat fruit and anytime, so make sure you eat enough fruit to get your carb requirements. Also, eat veggies every meal, all the colors of the rainbow.

Right now, I’m doing starting strength, and I’m eating “clean” but I drink about 4 large glasses of 1% milk a day (approx half a gallon) in order to meet my caloric requirements. Some of the authors on this site don’t like to recommend milk to the general populace because of allergies and mal-absorption, but as someone of Irish/English descent, it works fine for me. Milk is great because it has both protein and carbs in the ratio that you want for a bulk and it is cheap.

I know food logs are usually associated with “cutting,” but you should try to use one to at least set up a meal plan for yourself that allows you to consistently meet your caloric requirements

All this being said, since you are bulking you should err on the side of eating more food than less, so if you have a choice between eating an unclean cheeseburger or not eating, eat the cheeseburger. A little cheating (4x every two weeks) will not hurt you, but if too much of your diet is crap then it will be reflected in your gains (of bodyfat).

Hope this helps.

[quote]RSGZ wrote:
If you are prone to gaining fat easily, then simply watch the kind of carbs you eat, and use them wisely for your body time.

The term clean eating should be binned and replaced with eating smart. Food is fuel, if you manipulate it correctly it will work wonders in your favour.
[/quote]

Exactly.

While on the bulking subject…

Is it necessary to get all of the daily required calories in BEFORE the actual workout or is it just important to get them in before the day is done. At my body weight, I’m trying to get in about 3,500 calories a day, but I find myself eating as much as possible before workout time and then finishing up with a shake and dinner after.

Not to mention, I still haven’t been able to really put on any weight. I eat 3+ pounds of food, I’ll go to bed weight 151 lbs. and wake up weighting 147 lbs. I’ve always had really fast metabolism, and was never a chubby kid, but now that I’m actually trying to put on weight, it’s quite the struggle.

Last week I was drinking two 1200+ calorie shakes plus all my food. I was sick to my stomach with all the whole milk and food, and I still didn’t put on any weight.

[quote]BoS wrote:
While on the bulking subject…

Is it necessary to get all of the daily required calories in BEFORE the actual workout or is it just important to get them in before the day is done. At my body weight, I’m trying to get in about 3,500 calories a day, but I find myself eating as much as possible before workout time and then finishing up with a shake and dinner after. Not to mention, I still haven’t been able to really put on any weight. I eat 3+ pounds of food, I’ll go to bed weight 151 lbs. and wake up weighting 147 lbs. I’ve always had really fast metabolism, and was never a chubby kid, but now that I’m actually trying to put on weight, it’s quite the struggle.

Last week I was drinking two 1200+ calorie shakes plus all my food. I was sick to my stomach with all the whole milk and food, and I still didn’t put on any weight. [/quote]

You body doesn’t have a strict “use 3000 calories every 24 hours” clock. It uses calories at every meal, and the general idea is that you always have some form of energy in your stomach as to not turn catabolic.

So, when guidelines of - say 3000kcal - are suggested, this means for an enire day - even after the workout. Some people go even further and forget daily amounts and shoot for 21000kcal a week - which is essentially the same thing. I think it’s best (from experience) to make sure you have 50-60g protein with every meal along with either fats or carbs. This ensures adequate protein intake - when mine suffers, so do my gains.

In your case, increasing liqud calories and your intake of calorie dense foods seems to be the route to take if you still aren’t growing. Provided you have enough vitamins/minerals/fibre from vegetables and multivitamins, I would strongly advise you eat the cheese burgers, pizza’s, noodles, peanut butter sandwiches, large glasses of whole milk every meal (drink nothing but milk and water) until you start putting on weight. Remember, it won’t happen over night - I’m adding about 1lb a week at most - easy does it.

Also, although I wouldn’t usually suggest supplements, you could give Carbolin 19 a try as this knocked up my appetite noticably and may help. Though a weight-gainer and real food would probably be money better spent at this stage.

I agree with RSGZ regarding the liquid calories. For me, cytogainer in milk is excellent. Goes down fast, tastes great. If taking down ~1000 calories at once isn’t your thing, 2 scoops instead of 4 is fine for maybe 500 calories. Just drink this shake more often assuming you have the time available.

Real food is still king, but if gaining is really a problem then a gainer is worth trying out as a supplement to (not a replacement for) real food.

[quote]njrusmc wrote:
I agree with RSGZ regarding the liquid calories. For me, cytogainer in milk is excellent. Goes down fast, tastes great. If taking down ~1000 calories at once isn’t your thing, 2 scoops instead of 4 is fine for maybe 500 calories. Just drink this shake more often assuming you have the time available.

Real food is still king, but if gaining is really a problem then a gainer is worth trying out as a supplement to (not a replacement for) real food.[/quote]

<3 cytogainer

anyways.

I’ve been eating pizza, eggs, burger, steak, brats, and hardees all summer, I’ve lost a little bit of bodyfat while gaining 5-7pounds, and stronger then I’ve ever been.

don’t be too strict, calories are king.

[quote]RSGZ wrote:
BoS wrote:
While on the bulking subject…

Is it necessary to get all of the daily required calories in BEFORE the actual workout or is it just important to get them in before the day is done. At my body weight, I’m trying to get in about 3,500 calories a day, but I find myself eating as much as possible before workout time and then finishing up with a shake and dinner after. Not to mention, I still haven’t been able to really put on any weight. I eat 3+ pounds of food, I’ll go to bed weight 151 lbs. and wake up weighting 147 lbs. I’ve always had really fast metabolism, and was never a chubby kid, but now that I’m actually trying to put on weight, it’s quite the struggle.

Last week I was drinking two 1200+ calorie shakes plus all my food. I was sick to my stomach with all the whole milk and food, and I still didn’t put on any weight.

You body doesn’t have a strict “use 3000 calories every 24 hours” clock. It uses calories at every meal, and the general idea is that you always have some form of energy in your stomach as to not turn catabolic.

So, when guidelines of - say 3000kcal - are suggested, this means for an enire day - even after the workout. Some people go even further and forget daily amounts and shoot for 21000kcal a week - which is essentially the same thing. I think it’s best (from experience) to make sure you have 50-60g protein with every meal along with either fats or carbs. This ensures adequate protein intake - when mine suffers, so do my gains.

In your case, increasing liqud calories and your intake of calorie dense foods seems to be the route to take if you still aren’t growing. Provided you have enough vitamins/minerals/fibre from vegetables and multivitamins, I would strongly advise you eat the cheese burgers, pizza’s, noodles, peanut butter sandwiches, large glasses of whole milk every meal (drink nothing but milk and water) until you start putting on weight. Remember, it won’t happen over night - I’m adding about 1lb a week at most - easy does it.

Also, although I wouldn’t usually suggest supplements, you could give Carbolin 19 a try as this knocked up my appetite noticably and may help. Though a weight-gainer and real food would probably be money better spent at this stage.[/quote]

If I only need to gain about a pound or so a week, I think I might be doing that. I went from like 146 to like 148.2 over last week. I thought I was supposed to be gaining like 3-5 lbs a week. That’s more reassuring in that case.

Thanks for putting things in perspective about the calories and weight gain. I think gaining weight with proper eating is more difficult to understand than the lifting weights part of the process haha.

[quote]njrusmc wrote:
I agree with RSGZ regarding the liquid calories. For me, cytogainer in milk is excellent. Goes down fast, tastes great. If taking down ~1000 calories at once isn’t your thing, 2 scoops instead of 4 is fine for maybe 500 calories. Just drink this shake more often assuming you have the time available.

Real food is still king, but if gaining is really a problem then a gainer is worth trying out as a supplement to (not a replacement for) real food.[/quote]

I bought Muscle Juice weight gainer instead of the Cytogainer. It is god-awful sweet. It tastes like drinking straight Hershey Syrup. The amount of milk isn’t the problem, it’s just so damn sweet, blech. I’ll give the Cytogainer a try once I finish up this bucket of junk. The good news is, one shake from this stuff gives me about 1300 calories, so it’s a help.

Im taking cytogainer right now and it tastes pretty good. I only take 2 scoops at a time. I would need a huge cup to fit all 4 scoops on there.

[quote]BoS wrote:
If I only need to gain about a pound or so a week, I think I might be doing that. I went from like 146 to like 148.2 over last week. I thought I was supposed to be gaining like 3-5 lbs a week. That’s more reassuring in that case.

Thanks for putting things in perspective about the calories and weight gain. I think gaining weight with proper eating is more difficult to understand than the lifting weights part of the process haha.
[/quote]

3-5lbs a week is way too much - that would be up to 18lbs a month and 150-200lbs a year; very much counter-productive and for lack of a better word, stupid.

Think about it this way - if you keep at around 1lb a week, that’ll amount to about 50lbs by this time next year and as long as your training hard enough you’ll have added a good 35lbs of muscle. I would err on a little over 1lb a week if you feel that your strength is not going up over time.

Also, if you feel you’re not getting stronger fast enough, keep your rep range 4-7reps and the weight as heavy as possible with good form. Even if you use a little body english on certain exercises for the last rep or 2, that to me is a good sign that you’re going heavy as your first few reps of a set will be stricter form, the last one or 2 might will be harder so a little cheating won’t hurt.

[quote]RSGZ wrote:
BoS wrote:
If I only need to gain about a pound or so a week, I think I might be doing that. I went from like 146 to like 148.2 over last week. I thought I was supposed to be gaining like 3-5 lbs a week. That’s more reassuring in that case.

Thanks for putting things in perspective about the calories and weight gain. I think gaining weight with proper eating is more difficult to understand than the lifting weights part of the process haha.

3-5lbs a week is way too much - that would be up to 18lbs a month and 150-200lbs a year; very much counter-productive and for lack of a better word, stupid.

Think about it this way - if you keep at around 1lb a week, that’ll amount to about 50lbs by this time next year and as long as your training hard enough you’ll have added a good 35lbs of muscle. I would err on a little over 1lb a week if you feel that your strength is not going up over time.

Also, if you feel you’re not getting stronger fast enough, keep your rep range 4-7reps and the weight as heavy as possible with good form. Even if you use a little body english on certain exercises for the last rep or 2, that to me is a good sign that you’re going heavy as your first few reps of a set will be stricter form, the last one or 2 might will be harder so a little cheating won’t hurt.[/quote]

Yeah, I’m using the Starting Strength program right now. The squats and deadlift have gone up considerably with proper form. Actually, I’d say everything is going up fairly steadily except for chest, but, it’s going up, just not as quickly. By Friday I’ll be doing deep squats at 225 lbs. and hopefully 315 lb. deadlifts. Considering I weight 150 lbs and really didn’t start doing these lifts properly until just a couple weeks ago, I’d say the gains are working quite well. Thanks again for all the tips.

Thanks everybody! One last question, How do you manage to get any veggies into on top of all the food that is required to put on pounds?

I a bit late to this thread, but John Berardi talked about this sort of thing on an episode of The Fitcast.

http://thefitcast.com/?p=469

In a few bullet points:
-if you’re trying to gain mass, don’t sweat eating not “clean” stuff
-That said, the not clean stuff should not displace your good food.
-get in your required foods, 6 meals a day, veggies, fruit, proper post w/o nutrition and protein/healthy fats
-anything on top of that okay, just don’t get to crazy and cause massive fat gain.

It’s a good interview. Take a listen.

[quote]zephead4747 wrote:
njrusmc wrote:
I agree with RSGZ regarding the liquid calories. For me, cytogainer in milk is excellent. Goes down fast, tastes great. If taking down ~1000 calories at once isn’t your thing, 2 scoops instead of 4 is fine for maybe 500 calories. Just drink this shake more often assuming you have the time available.

Real food is still king, but if gaining is really a problem then a gainer is worth trying out as a supplement to (not a replacement for) real food.

<3 cytogainer

anyways.

I’ve been eating pizza, eggs, burger, steak, brats, and hardees all summer, I’ve lost a little bit of bodyfat while gaining 5-7pounds, and stronger then I’ve ever been.

don’t be too strict, calories are king.[/quote]

Same story here. I focused on getting stronger and eating a lot. I still eat mostly clean foods as that’s my default, but I don’t get too worried if I cheat now and again.

The result is that I’m pushing 210lbs (up from 190ish) at 6’2" after 6 months. I’m stronger and I look better than I did at a sort of skinny-fat 190.

You don’t want to gain more than 1-2 lbs per week.

You don’t want too many liquid calories (whole food much better).

That said, the odds of you calculating the EXACT number and type of calories per day to maximize muscle gain and eliminate/minimize fat gain are slim and none- so err on the side of getting a little more than less. Muscle gains are much harder/longer to come by than fat loss so make the most of it.

Does this apply even to newbies? I’ve been weight-training for six or seven weeks now (not continuously, out of town w/out gym for a while), only on a proper plan for less than a month. I’ve gone from 165-ish to about 176 (post-workout about 173, w/ minimal clothing.) Would this be bulking too fast? I’ve put on some body fat, but my waist size hasn’t changed and shirts are tighter now.

[quote]blue_star_cadet wrote:
RSGZ wrote: 3-5lbs a week is way too much - that would be up to 18lbs a month and 150-200lbs a year; very much counter-productive and for lack of a better word, stupid.

Does this apply even to newbies? I’ve been weight-training for six or seven weeks now (not continuously, out of town w/out gym for a while), only on a proper plan for less than a month. I’ve gone from 165-ish to about 176 (post-workout about 173, w/ minimal clothing.) Would this be bulking too fast? I’ve put on some body fat, but my waist size hasn’t changed and shirts are tighter now.
[/quote]

Yes, I would apply this to newbies too although your initial gains will come a lot quicker than 4 years down the line. There is no reason to add 3-5lbs a week even if you are a beginner, unless you were seriously malnourished.