T Nation

How Much to Eat (of What Food Type) to Bulk Up


Im coming out of a long, long fat-loss stage. Currently pretty week on most lifts and planning to go into SS to finally get my lifts up:

Current weight: 65kg
1rm Squat~ 80kg
1rm Dead~ 100kg
1rm Bench~ 57.5kg
OHP~ 32.5kg x 11
Max Pull-Ups: 7

My one question is about food. I know Rip says GOMAD and just eat, but as a former fat kid with a pretty slow metabolism is this still good advice?


Yeah unless you have serious appetite problems and have been a stick your whole life, then GOMAD is just asking to get fat.

I would just slowly ramp up your calories from where they currently are. Maybe increase them by about 400-500 (or whatever in order to get yourself up to maintenance), then go slowly from there - as and when you need to increase food, (maybe monthly increases?)


Here is a solid nutritional plan, regardless of goals


Bro make sure you do it gradually and er on the side of caution… you may be prone to rebounding at this point, so stick to good foods you enjoy that don’t set you off if you have a history of enjoying your food a little too much like I do.


Ditto what’s been said. You may also want to look at your peri-workout nutrition. These calories will help improve your workout and recovery. I’m a big fan of Plazma which will add 400-600 high quality calories to your diet. Plus, it’s liquid consumed around and during your training so it’s basically impossible to binge on which can be a problem if you have a history of being a fatty (spoken from experience).


Yeah after way too many ridiculous binges I’ve learnt to avoid doughnuts and milk chocolate like the plague


I’ve always wondered if Biotest products were legit or just pushed by T-Nation. Is Plazma really worth the price? I’m always interested in Indigo if you’ve ever tried it some thoughts would be nice


Thanks for the link, giving it a read


Up your calories slowly. Only add 200 or initially and see how you progress from there. After 2-3 weeks up the calories by 200 more and keep working your way up like that. If you increase your calories too much too fast in all likelihood the weight you gain won’t be the sort of weight that you want to gain.


They honestly are both fantastic. Indigo is legit and really worked for me. I would recommend trying it for at least a couple months to see if you get results.

Plazma is probably one of the best, if not best product I’ve taken. This is totally unsolicited feedback - I have no reason to pimp biotest products other than they are truely excellent stuff. I have only tried a few of the things they offer - Plazma, Mag-10, Indigo 3G, Micro PA, and Brain Candy. The only one that didn’t do much for me was Brain Candy but some people swear by it. The other products are all seriously legit, and you will find overwhelmingly positive feedback on each of these products.

I highly recommend the stack of Indigo and Plazma - I promise you won’t be disappointed.


I have some before and after photos in the thread below… I should have never posted in rate my physique :joy: - I was stupid and didn’t know better. But it will give you an idea of how the products can help support training and a better diet.


NO I would not advise it unless you was someone who is naturally lean or had a High metabolism rate or was a teenager heavily involved in other sports whom needed to add extra Body weight.

What is your height and How much weight did you loose to begin with?


Im 174cm and I lost about 20kg over the last few years (during which time I also grew taller), I’m 16 now. Last year I did try and do a bulk but it failed miserably because I was a) doing my own shitty program and b) too fat to begin with. My maintenence right now is somewhere around 2800-3000 calories a day


not such a fan of kids your age thinking in terms of “bulk” and “cut”.

There’s a lot of shit going on with you growing and your hormones and shit like that. I think there’s much more benefit to forming sound dietary habits instead of obsessing over macros and shit like that.

So I would recommend.

-Eating to be as healthy as possible (but don’t do something gross like be vegan or anything weird like that)
-get your protein in (a decent size serving with each meal)

Let your hunger dictate how much and when you eat, but just try and think healthy and proteiny.

I dunno; I just think that’s a much more productive mindset for a teenager.


I didn’t realize you were only 16… I don’t know if my advice on supplements is valid for someone your age. Probably just want to focus on eating properly at this point. Though Plazma is probably fine but maybe not necessary.


If it helps, right now I use whey, creatine and glutamine, plus fish oil and multis


I completely agree, and I’ve been weaning myself off counting calories and macros to the gram. Right now, I just make sure I eat 6 serves of lean protein, 6-7 serves of starchy carbs, 6-8 serves of fruit or veg and 2 serves of healthy fats a day.

Personally, I’ve found that if I eat according to my hunger I always overdo it on oatmeal, yoghurt and nuts/nut butters (especially mixed together!) So I think these kind of mild guidlines are working quite well for me


A few thoughts.

I think Plazma is an excellent product for just about anyone. I use it every day. But I suspect that at your age, it might be difficult to budget for that, So I would just say that including some sort of workout nutrition would be a really good idea. You can look at the ingredients and macro breakdown on the Plazma label and try to get creative. Anything you come up with on your own will be a lesser product, but that’s not a big deal as a beginner. Lots of things will work just fine for you at this stage.

I wouldn’t waste my time with glutamine, and you should eat well enough that multis aren’t necessary. I honestly think multis have the potential to do more harm than good. I used to think that there was no possible harm in taking them, but I’ve been convinced otherwise over the years. I do not believe one should supplement with everything ‘just because’. If you have particular deficiencies, address them. But the shotgun method that is a multivitamin is a poor idea.

Honestly, you’re not starting in a bad place at all. Your lifts are well above what mine were at that age. The best advice I can give you that I think will be useful for many years to come is what Yogi alluded to, which is avoiding the process of bulks and cuts. Lean gains are the way to go. Over a long time, you can get progressively more muscular without increasing your bodyfat percentage at all. Don’t go on cuts for months at a time, and don’t eat everything in sight for months at a time. Just follow a healthy diet like the one thepwnisher suggested, and lift consistently. If you start doing that now, you’ll be in an incredible place by the time you’re in your early 20’s, if not sooner.


This is an awesome reply and really helpful. Just to clarify, I’m not actually taking a multi, but a blend of calcium and vitamin D (I was too lazy to type that out). Also, regarding supplementation, is creatine still okay?

The main reason I’ve been considering a ‘bulk’ per se was so I could reap the full benefits of Starting Strength; that is, ride out the linear progression as long as possible. Do you think I’ll still be able to make such strength gains on a smaller 100-200 surplus?

My main long-term goal would be a 400kg total, and at least pressing bodyweight on the OHP, but of course I can still get there with other programs like the Texas Method or 5/3/1.


Bro everything will work at this time. Starting strength doesn’t need that huge caloric surplus. Get your protein and eat clean. This is the only advice you need now. Beginners shouldn’t complicate things too much.