T Nation

Need Some Bulking Advice


Hey everyone! I have been lurking here for a few months now but never posted :slight_smile: kinda intimidated by all the big guys here :slight_smile: But finally decided to take the plunge and get some much needed advice from the experts...

I am 23 years old, 5'8". Have always been paranoid about getting 'fat' though I never was, not even close. Even though I never counted calories before I never ate any junk either (haven't had ANY kind of dessert for the past 2 years, no soda etc.). However during a recent routine check up at the doctors i was shocked to find my weight at 128lbs!!

Now I am all for getting lean, but this is ridiculous! For about a couple of weeks before that I was on a keto cut diet at 1700 cals. But from the 1st of this month I have started my bulk which I intend to keep as clean as possible. I am now at 2300 cals everyday and my diet looks something like this:

MEAL 1 11:30
1 cup oatmeal
1 scoop protein powder
2 tbsp PB

TOTAL 635/23/63/54

1 chicken breast
1 spoon EVOO

TOTAL 320/16/0/41

Meal 3 6:15
1 tbsp PB
250g sweet potato
1 slice bread
1 serving kidney beans

TOTAL 515/12/80/23

1 serving pasta
1 serving tomato sauce
1/2 cup oatmeal

TOTAL 410/7.5/73/14  


1 scoop protein powder
1/4 scoop maltodextrin

TOTAL 235/1/35/30

Meal 6 
4 egg whites

GRAND TOTAL 2175/f59.5/c251/p178

So here are a few questions that I have

  1. How does the diet look? ANY comments, changes are more than welcome.

  2. I usually avoid carbs in the night but according to John Berardi the best time to take it is post workout meals I.e. in the night. Do you agree? If that's the case, around how much carbs do I take in the night? I am trying to keep my daily intake at 250g carbs, 60g fat and 170g proteins.

  3. I do a 5 day split
    Monday: chest
    Tuesday: shoulders
    Wednesday: arms
    Thursday: HIIT and Abs
    Friday: back
    Saturday: legs
    Sunday: HIIT and Abs

Mostly compound movements, with bench, deadlift and squats, pull ups and rows.

Any changes to this?

Apologies for the huge post, but please bear with me :slight_smile:



this is what a 128lbs 23 yr old boy would eat to maintain his weight.

John Berardi would advise against carbs at night, for sure... if you were on the get shredded diet.

stop counting and start eating

6 whole eggs and 3 bacon for breakfast

pb&j for snack

chicken with creamed spinach and potatoes for lunch

yogurt, oatmeal, and weight gainer pre workout

bcaa's peri

3 scoops protein post

steak and taters for dinner

and some ice cream before bed

and whatever you had planned for your workout, probably sucks

learn how to squat and deadlift
pullups and push ups daily
and fuck your HIIT for now.

do this for two months and i guaran-fuckin-tee 15lbs+ on your lil girl frame


Woah!!! Didn't expect anyone to be that direct... But I prefer it that way... Thanksnfor replying. Yes I know, as I said 128 is WAY TOO LOW... That's why I am on a LONG bulk now... The thing is I am not really in a hurry. If it takes 2 years for me to get to my goal then I'll continue bulking for two years. But I wanna keepnit squeaky clean.

Now that I come to think of it I have made so many mistakes as far as my nutrition was concerned, but now that I am at a low BF% why lose all that. But make no mistake I will continue bulking, but it's NOT gonna include Ice Cream :slight_smile: hope you get my point.

And as far as my workout is concerned, I did mention that I NEVER miss deadlifts, squats and bench.. But I do other workouts also. Would it have any counterproductive effects?

I have read in many threads, that light cardio (just do it on off days and that too for 20 mins only) keeps your fat gain on a bulk to a minimum. As I said, I am not in a hurry. I'll keep at it no matter how long, just don't wanna shove crap inside me.

  • How are you planning to do HIIT they day after doing legs?
  • What is your goal weight? I see you mentioned taking 2 years to get to it so I assume around 180-200 lbs at 5'8?
  • Being 128 lbs right now at 23 years old I don't think you probably have to worry about fat gain for the first 50 lbs or so.
  • Being at a low BF% with no muscle isn't really a good or ideal thing.
  • Just from reading your post I think you are going to eat too clean/little to actually gain any weight and that you seem to be scared of adding any fat at all. Who knows I might be wrong though.


You need to go on a super market spree for beef and other types of meat. I don't know how you count all those calories to be that exact. Don't you get bored of eating the EXACT same foods daily? If I were you then I would just eat every 2-3 hours and get AT LEAST 500 calories per meal. Try and focus on getting protein during your meals and it will work out. I understand you aren't in a rush or whatever, but at the same time I think you should make some short term goals in the mean time to help you push yourself.

  1. I said two years to stress the fact that I am not in a hurry to bulk up. Not one of those people who want instantaneous results. I understand the fact that body building is a life long commitment and I am so ready to commit :slightly_smiling:

  2. Eating the same thing does not worry much, because I see food as simply a fuel for my workout. I do enjoy my treats sometimes, but I tend to keep those clean too (like Thai noodles or seafood mainly when I am out).

  3. I know I WILL gain fat while bulking. And even though it makes me a little scared, I think it's necessary that one does not start binging on anything he sees.

  4. I am trying to read up as much as I can about nutrition. My motto is if I am doing something why not fo it the best way possible. After all the only reason I am working out is because it makes me feel good.

  5. My goal is not 200lbs. That's huge IMO! I think bulking to around 170-180 then cutting to 160 should give me a very good frame as I am short (just 5'8")

  6. The only doubt I have is that our weight keeps fluctuating right? So how do I monitor a weekly gain of around 1lb in order to keep fat gain minimal?


Oh yeah, and I did go and get some lean beef, ground turkey and chicken breasts. I am taking in about 170g of protein (maybe more some days). Thanks for the tip :slightly_smiling:


Do you now, or have you ever suffered from an eating or body image disorder?


What! No... Not that I know of.. Why?


That's a 7 day split? No rest days?

Fuck peripheral training! You need a foundation.

Good read 4ya'

Why don't you try a foundational program like Rippetoe's Starting Strength, Starr's 5x5, Reg Park's 5x5 or Stronglifts? Train your ass off on Mon,Wed,Fri, rest on the other 4 days and Grow!

Fuck lean meat! You need saturated fat for Testosterone production.


I appreciate all you guys helping me out. And I will def follow it :slight_smile: I was almost about to do the Rippetoe Rotuine or the 5X5, but it had so few exercises that i was a little skeptical about it. I know that's stupid. Time to give it a shot then I reckon!

Just one question, do you guys have your cheat days on your workout days or on rest days? I have now cut out the HIIT on sunday doing nothing :slight_smile: time to grow :slight_smile:


I don't have an actual cheat day. My idea of "cheating" is a piece of 100% dark chocolate.

If you are bulking why do you need a "cheat day"? If you feel like having a free meal just go for it.


My thoughts exactly :slightly_smiling: I already have everything I want to. Don't really crave for chocolates or desserts anymore :slightly_smiling: but say I wanted to have pizzas and other Italian food chock full of carbs AND fats (read cheese), should I be doing it on the day I work out so that I as well use the extra energy for pumping iron, or do I just stuff myself and laze around on my rest day?


deep breath
Orthorexia, or orthorexia nervosa is a term coined by Steven Bratman, a Colorado MD, to denote an eating disorder characterized by excessive focus on eating healthy foods.
Lighten up, eat everything.


Ha ha.. Sometimes it feels like it.. The other day even my friends told me I was missing out on all good things like getting wasted and junk food once in a while.. Guess I need to change my perspective a bit :slight_smile:


If you eat clean 90% of the time I wouldn't worry about when you don't. You're 128lbs.


Get ona steady diet of squats, deadlifts, military press, power cleans, chins, dips, barbell rows & bench press.
Focus on adding weight to the bar.



Starting Strength +GOMAD