T Nation

Looking to Bulk, Help Needed

hi my name is carl and im 21 and am looking to bulk up, i have just recovered from anorexia, im 5foot 6inches and weigh 125lbs, i go gym monday-friday and would just like some help on my diet atm im eating around 2500 calories as i worked out my dee is 2430 so should i be eating more than that if so how much? my diet currently looks like this -

breakfast - 60g oats 300ml skim milk 25g myprotein true whey and a serving of flaxseed

after workout - 25g myprotein true whey and a banana

lunch - chicken and humous or 3egg triple decker wholemeal sandwhich

snack - 25g myprotein and 300ml skim milk

dinner - chicken, noodles, sweetcorn, chilli sauce or tuna, pasta, sweetcorn, mayo also thinking about getting some quality beef in my diet maybe something like spag bowl with lean mince or mince and a large jacket

afters - trek bar

night time snack - bowl of shredded wheat and 25g myprotein true whey

btw im allergic to nuts lol

does this sound any good if not what else could be done to make better?

training wise i have just started doint the tentiger routine mainly 3sets of 8 reps with 45 seconds rest but thinking of upping the weights more and having longer rests?

any feed back would greatly be appreciated, Thanks.

I would not “wing-it” when it comes to your exercise routine. If i were you, i would research my options and select a program that you can stick to, and matches your goal of increasing size. Maybe look into 5/3/1, or Westside Barbell, as both are simple and provide great results. As for your diet, looks decent. WHAT you specifically eat is not as important as HOW much you eat, and the quality of your food sources. Here’s a run down

Carbs: sweet/regular potatoes, brown rice, fruits, whole-grains
fats: butter, olive oil, coconut oil, fish, red meats
protein: poultry, fish, red meats, ham

AVOID processed foods, i.e. lunch meats, and the hydrogenated oils that are found in packaged baked goods, breads, and some cheeses

Go to John Berardi’s website and under the nutrition articles you’ll find “a new view on energy balance” which gives a fantastic run down on ideal kcal consumption.

thanks for the advice :slight_smile: yeah i like to try and eat as clean as possible and atm im putting on just under a lb a week, yeah i will have a look on them sites try and get a good workout routine so that i can get some strength and pack on some size :slight_smile:

[quote]creasey21 wrote:
i have just recovered from anorexia[/quote]
Congrats, man. That’s a great accomplishment. And it’s good to see you’re trying to get healthy again. Do you have a mid or long-term goal in mind?

[quote]i go gym monday-friday

training wise i have just started doint the tentiger routine mainly 3sets of 8 reps with 45 seconds rest but thinking of upping the weights more and having longer rests?[/quote]
Resting that briefly (under a minute between sets) won’t really let you build strength or size as efficiently as possible, so I’d definitely look to change that.

I Googled the tentiger routine and what I’m seeing is a full body A/B routine. Is that the one? It doesn’t look terrible at first glance, but it could definitely be improved and there are better-designed plans around.

For example, Dan John’s Mass Made Simple is a solid 3 day a week program:

At your current size, there’s nothing wrong with adding a full pound or more each week. As long as your strength in the gym is also increasing each week, you’re pretty much guaranteed to be putting on lean muscle.

[quote]atm im eating around 2500 calories as i worked out my dee is 2430 so should i be eating more than that if so how much? my diet currently looks like this

does this sound any good if not what else could be done to make better?[/quote]
That’s not a bad template, but it could be tweaked a bit. First of all, it looks pretty low fat. Fat is crucial for a bunch of health and performance reasons.

Also, I understand that you might want to gain slowly, but it sounds like you’re barely eating more than your maintenance calories. Simply switching to whole milk in your protein shakes would go towards correcting both of these issues.

It looks like you’re relying on protein shakes for the majority of your daily protein, rather than having them in addition to a well-balanced diet. Try to squeeze in some more solid food options. Eggs (boiled, scrambled, whatever) are a great and easy snack, packed with protein, healthy fats, and important calories.

Check out these articles for some more ideas about designing a good nutrition plan:


^ Especially consider the “Hour of Power” discussed in here.

^ Great list of basic foods to focus on.

^ A detailed piece that discusses calories in/calories out.

Thanks for the advice yeah I want go get the typical mens health cover model physique like fashion model just a bit bulkier like, yeah I was thinking about trying to get more food in my diet rather than relying on just shakes like was thinking lean quality beef for the testosterone, yeah the routine is ok but I’ll defo look at the links and get that sorted, it been a long journey so far started off at 5and a half stone! So I getting there just need to get more nutrition in me, so would you all suggest a much higher calorie diet plan maybe around 3000 calories add some whole milk, eggs, beef and some more good quality fats like salmon and stuff?

OP if you are seriously just recovering from Anorexia I think the ideal thing for you is just to try to get used to Normal Healthy Eatting Habits. Bulking in itself can be seen as an extremme form of feeding which is the last thing you need right now. Micro managing your food intake is not going to set the tone for life long healthy eating.

You will put on a healthy amount of weight through just eating normally.

If absolutely necessary I would enlist the help of a diet coach that has experience with people overcoming eating disorders. Someone that can get you eating healthy without you having to worry about grams, calories, macro percentages and other silly things.

This is much more than a physiological problem of a lack of nutrients and energy. There is a mental/emotional aspect to this that deserves far more attention.

[quote]Gl;itch.e wrote:
OP if you are seriously just recovering from Anorexia I think the ideal thing for you is just to try to get used to Normal Healthy Eatting Habits. Bulking in itself can be seen as an extremme form of feeding which is the last thing you need right now. Micro managing your food intake is not going to set the tone for life long healthy eating.

You will put on a healthy amount of weight through just eating normally.

If absolutely necessary I would enlist the help of a diet coach that has experience with people overcoming eating disorders. Someone that can get you eating healthy without you having to worry about grams, calories, macro percentages and other silly things.

This is much more than a physiological problem of a lack of nutrients and energy. There is a mental/emotional aspect to this that deserves far more attention.[/quote]

This!

[quote]MAF14 wrote:

[quote]Gl;itch.e wrote:
OP if you are seriously just recovering from Anorexia I think the ideal thing for you is just to try to get used to Normal Healthy Eatting Habits. Bulking in itself can be seen as an extremme form of feeding which is the last thing you need right now. Micro managing your food intake is not going to set the tone for life long healthy eating.

You will put on a healthy amount of weight through just eating normally.

If absolutely necessary I would enlist the help of a diet coach that has experience with people overcoming eating disorders. Someone that can get you eating healthy without you having to worry about grams, calories, macro percentages and other silly things.

This is much more than a physiological problem of a lack of nutrients and energy. There is a mental/emotional aspect to this that deserves far more attention.[/quote]
This![/quote]
I definitely agree with some of this, but from the sound of the first post, I got the impression that the guy is already well on the road to recovery.

He’s training regularly, not excessively, and he’s eating three meals plus a few snacks during the day. And, as it turns out in a follow-up post, he’s already gained about 50 pounds. That’s great progress! I think he’s trying to step up to the next level, and it sounds like he can handle it.

[quote]creasey21 wrote:
So I getting there just need to get more nutrition in me, so would you all suggest a much higher calorie diet plan maybe around 3000 calories add some whole milk, eggs, beef and some more good quality fats like salmon and stuff?[/quote]
Yep, working in those foods on a regular basis would definitely bump up the quality and quantity of your nutrition. And as I said, just make sure that you’re making progress in the gym almost every session, every week.

thanks for the advice guys please keep it coming :slight_smile:

thanks chris yeah i been working hard and i have been eating regularly and often and i defo want to get better, i just worked out my dee is 2430 so by starting off at 3000 this should allow for about 1lb a week weight gain?

im also experimenting with my training routine to get the right exercises in, does anyone know some good exercises to pump out those biceps and pecs lol

[quote]creasey21 wrote:
thanks chris yeah i been working hard and i have been eating regularly and often and i defo want to get better, i just worked out my dee is 2430 so by starting off at 3000 this should allow for about 1lb a week weight gain?[/quote]
Yep, that sounds like a plan.

The basics work. No real secrets here.

Up your calories more, get more fats in your diet, more solid protein sources, and dont worry so much about eating “clean”. Just eat foods that have a benefit, as in a source of good carbs, protein, or fats. Dont be afraid of fat, stay away from the fat free stuff, dont drink skim milk, drink 2% or whole milk. All you should stay away from is junk food.

Thanks bnknando yeah that was what I had been finding hardest was eating fat, for a long time I stayed well clear of eating fat as I sort that as the enemy :frowning: now I have fought my demons I no that fat is essential for looking to bulk up, I’m going to defo up the calories and make sure I’m getting in the lean food that I need making sure I have plenty of eggs(omega 3 infused), chicken, steak.salmon and then quality carbs like pasta, potatoes and rice (all wholemeal), and my fats will be things like flaxseed, other seeds and fat from milk salmon and the eggs :wink: I’m going to lift heavy and hard and when they hurt I’m going to lift some more lol :slight_smile:

[quote]eightohfive wrote:
Carbs: sweet/regular potatoes, brown rice, fruits, whole-grains
fats: butter, olive oil, coconut oil, fish, red meats
protein: poultry, fish, red meats, ham

AVOID processed foods, i.e. lunch meats, and the hydrogenated oils that are found in packaged baked goods, breads, and some cheeses
[/quote]

THIS X10000

You weight very little, and will see great gains in the gym I’m sure. Eat lots of meat, and follow a serious weight lifting program. I would suggest 531 or WS4SB. Your diet seems very reliant on protein powder. I would try to get more real food in. I would also like to add to that list of foods eggs, and milk. I would say try to aim to gain around a pound or so a week, and if you aren’t gaining just add in a little more food.

[quote]creasey21 wrote:
Thanks bnknando yeah that was what I had been finding hardest was eating fat, for a long time I stayed well clear of eating fat as I sort that as the enemy :frowning: now I have fought my demons I no that fat is essential for looking to bulk up, I’m going to defo up the calories and make sure I’m getting in the lean food that I need making sure I have plenty of eggs(omega 3 infused), chicken, steak.salmon and then quality carbs like pasta, potatoes and rice (all wholemeal), and my fats will be things like flaxseed, other seeds and fat from milk salmon and the eggs :wink: I’m going to lift heavy and hard and when they hurt I’m going to lift some more lol :slight_smile: [/quote]

Sounds good, main concern is taking in more cals then you need to maintain your current weight. Other than that lift heavy, 4-5 times a week, eat good, and sleep good. You should make progress.

thanks for the advice guys, yeah i drink a lot of milk and have been having a few eggs but they dont seem to agree with me lol, yeah im putting on around a lb a week so when this starts to level out il up it by another 500 - 750 calories, once i get to my desired weight what do i do about cutting :S ???