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Open to Ridicule

Hi, I’m posting my nutrition plan to see if anyone has helpful input to offer. I feel I’ve learn so much from this forum, and have an incredible amount of respect for so many of you here.

I’m 5’10", 42yo, 175lbs, and my BF% is about 15%.

My goal is to gain muscle and become stronger (mostly get stronger for now).

I’m loosely cycling calories and macros. More calories/carbs on workout days. More Fats on rest days. I’m trying to intake as little as possible from shakes and supplements, and more from whole foods. Can’t eat wheat and I may drop dairy as well since it’s being problematic (trying lactaid with dairy for now). Trying to figure out what whole foods to get the proper fat + protein if I drop the dairy.

So far I’m gaining about 1-2 pounds every 2 weeks.

Last Workout day:

  • Breakfast bar (normally eggs + rice + bacon but I was out)
  • BCAA, Creatine
  • Training (45 mins)
  • Surge Recovery
  • (1 hour later): Chicken breast, rice, mashed potatoes, vegetables
  • (3 hours later): Chicken breast, rice, mashed potatoes, vegetables (same as before)
  • Cottage cheese, blueberries, 8oz 1% milk
    Total: 2758 calories. 327g Carb (47%), 213g Pro (31%), 66g Fats (22%)
    Fell a little short of my goal in this day, particularly on Protein.

Last Rest day:

  • Ribeye Steak (14oz), Vegetables, meal bar (normally potato but I was out)
  • Chipotle bowl (double steak, rice, cheese, sour cream, guacamole, tomato, vegetables)
  • Greek yogurt, blueberries, walnuts
    Total: 2539 calories. 102g Carb (16%), 220g Pro (35%), 139g Fats (49%)
    Went a little over my goal a little with respect to fats.

Also taking multivitamins, EPA/DHA, vitamin D (2-4k/day).

I work out 3 days a week, each day has 4 exercises. Main ones are deadlift, squat, bench, and chinups. Squats are difficult as I have bad knees (bone on bone action), but with lots of straps on my knees I can handle it. Can’t go heavy though, so I focus on volume instead.

I’m progressing nicely on the deadlift (10 pounds every 1-2 weeks), current 1rm = 300. The bench has been stalled for 6 weeks at 1rm = 200. Chinups have been stalled for 3 weeks at 45lbs x 5.

I appreciate any feedback you guys can provide.

Welcome, Qsar, Wait - I’m the first? Yeehay!

There’s plenty to replace dairy if that’s your goal. You mention wheat - are you celiac, which means sensitive to all grains (rye, corn, barley, etc)?

Chicken breast: get some skins on those chicks.
Ribeye Steak: about as good as you can get (making me hungry).
Pork: often comes with a reasonable amount of fat.
Salmon and similar fish are somewhat fatty.
Canned tuna in olive oil. Heck, put olive oil in anything.

Nuts are good: walnuts, pecans, almonds, macademias, etc. Note: peanuts are legumes, not nuts, but if you can tolerate, lots of fat calories.

Dairy: you can give up milk, but a pat of butter or spoonful of cream has loads of calories.

I see rice and potatoes at several meals, any special reason for so much carb?

[quote]cavalier wrote:
Welcome, Qsar, Wait - I’m the first? Yeehay!

There’s plenty to replace dairy if that’s your goal. You mention wheat - are you celiac, which means sensitive to all grains (rye, corn, barley, etc)?

Chicken breast: get some skins on those chicks.
Ribeye Steak: about as good as you can get (making me hungry).
Pork: often comes with a reasonable amount of fat.
Salmon and similar fish are somewhat fatty.
Canned tuna in olive oil. Heck, put olive oil in anything.

Nuts are good: walnuts, pecans, almonds, macademias, etc. Note: peanuts are legumes, not nuts, but if you can tolerate, lots of fat calories.

Dairy: you can give up milk, but a pat of butter or spoonful of cream has loads of calories.

I see rice and potatoes at several meals, any special reason for so much carb?[/quote]

Thanks for your reply!

Yes, all grains are out.

The reason for the rice and potatoes are to help with gaining. On rest days, it only adds up to about 50g carbs from rice. On workout days it adds up to about 200g of rice and potatoes, eating the majority of it right after my workout to take advantage of the anabolic window. With grains being out of the question, I was trying to stay with ‘safe’ pure carb sources. Though I can handle quinoa as well. Rice and potatoes are so easy to find and prepare.

One thing I’m struggling with is fitting all the calories comfortably in my stomach, though I’m slowly stretching my stomach out. It might take me some time to replace a relatively easy to handle 16oz of milk with a heavier serving of fish and nuts.

Seeing if anyone else has comments.

Does my diet seem to have too many carbs from rice and potatoes on workout days? Overall the carbs ended up a little higher than I wanted.

Does it seem like I’m eating enough and that my food choices are adequate? I am gaining about 1-2 pounds every 2 weeks.

Is doing 11 exercises per week on a 3-day split enough? I can handle it fine but I’m afraid if I add more, I won’t be able to recover enough (as it’s happened in the past). I imagine less is more, in terms of strength. Is that right?

Workout:
Day 1: Squat, Weighted walking leg lunges, leg curls, and leg raises.
Day 2: Deadlift, Weighted chinups, Overhead press.
Day 3: Bench, Barbell bent over rows, Incline dumbell press, bodyweight dips.

For the last 4 weeks been doing these in reverse pyramid style. Tried a few other programs before this, including a 5x5, but this one seems to be moving things up quite nicely except for the bench (which was already stalled when I started this).

What it boils down to is this: If you’re satisfied with the progress you’re making with respect to strength and changes in body composition, your diet and training are adequate.

The fact that you’re continuing to get stronger on DL suggests your bench/pull-up plateaus are training-related, not diet-related.

[quote]EyeDentist wrote:
What it boils down to is this: If you’re satisfied with the progress you’re making with respect to strength and changes in body composition, your diet and training are adequate.

The fact that you’re continuing to get stronger on DL suggests your bench/pull-up plateaus are training-related, not diet-related.
[/quote]

Thanks for the reply. That’s what I was afraid of. In frustration I moved up the bench weights to the point I was only able to grind 3 reps out (out of form), and I think that set me back a little. People said that to be stronger you have to lift higher weights, but it seems like a bad idea.

Did you mean training-related as in bad technique, or as in I’m not using the right program?

I can’t help with the advice stuff, being a noob and non-dieter myself.

But I have some food options.

Brisling sardines have those good omega 3s. Just open a can drain the olive oil out and salt and lemon juice. The brislings are good, don’t get the other sardines. Also if you’re into that sustainable thing small fish are better. :slight_smile:

What about goat milk products to replace the cow dairy?

And second all that Cavalier was saying.

Are chicken thighs and legs too much fat for you?

[quote]Charlie Horse wrote:
I can’t help with the advice stuff, being a noob and non-dieter myself.

But I have some food options.

Brisling sardines have those good omega 3s. Just open a can drain the olive oil out and salt and lemon juice. The brislings are good, don’t get the other sardines. Also if you’re into that sustainable thing small fish are better. :slight_smile:

What about goat milk products to replace the cow dairy?

And second all that Cavalier was saying.

Are chicken thighs and legs too much fat for you?

[/quote]

Thanks for the reply. I imagine if cow milk gives me problems that goat milk would not be any different, but I’ve never thought about it. I’ll look it up.

Chicken thighs and legs are great. I have them a couple of times a week. On workout days I keep the fats low - that’s why the chicken breasts on those days. On non-workout days, fats constitute the majority of my calories - I’ll either have steak (as in my last meal) or chicken thighs and legs (with skin).

The thing about dairy is that milk and cottage cheese, for instance, are easy to eat and don’t fill me up that much. This is important for me since I’m eating a high volume of food (for me ). Replacing the dairy with solid food will make my journey a little tougher since I’m having a hard time eating the current volume of food. I guess it won’t be a problem once I stretch out my stomach enough. I’m thinking of using raw almond butter to replace dairy on non-workout days - easy to eat, lots of calories, has protein and not very filling.

About the sardines…I really can’t. My dad loved them and tried to force feed them to me when I was a little kid. I have an aversion to them now.

I think goats milk is just easier to digest for people who have a problem with the lactose. It has some lactose but it’s less than cows milk and it supposed to pass though you faster so less chance for trouble.

That sucks about the dad story. :-/

I just like to push the small fishes that’s all. :slight_smile:

[quote]qsar wrote:

[quote]EyeDentist wrote:
What it boils down to is this: If you’re satisfied with the progress you’re making with respect to strength and changes in body composition, your diet and training are adequate.

The fact that you’re continuing to get stronger on DL suggests your bench/pull-up plateaus are training-related, not diet-related.
[/quote]

Thanks for the reply. That’s what I was afraid of. In frustration I moved up the bench weights to the point I was only able to grind 3 reps out (out of form), and I think that set me back a little. People said that to be stronger you have to lift higher weights, but it seems like a bad idea.

Did you mean training-related as in bad technique, or as in I’m not using the right program?
[/quote]

I meant the program. And it’s not so much an issue of the ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ program as it is a matter of what’s working for you at this time. In my experience, if I stick with a given program for longer than 6-8 weeks or so, it inevitably becomes stale, and my enthusiasm and progress fall off. It sounds like you’ve been lifting heavy weights/low reps for a while. Consider ‘flipping’ your bench program; ie, switch to lighter weight/high reps/short breaks for a month or two. Or really switch things up and do ‘volume/time’ training for a while: Pick an ostensibly light weight (say 135#), and see how many times you can bench it in 5 minutes. (You won’t be able to bench nonstop for 5 minutes, of course, so you take mini-breaks as often as you need/want to, but bearing in mind that you’re up against the clock.) Take note of the number of reps completed. Then the next time you bench, your goal is to do at least one more rep than that. This is a brutal-but-effective way to lift, and should snap you out of your current doldrums.

And remember, unless you plan on competing as a powerlifter, there’s no need to define ‘stronger’ with respect to a 1-rep max. Consider: At the NFL combine, upper-body strength is measured by having the players bench 225 as many times as they can, not via a 1-RM.

[quote]EyeDentist wrote:

[quote]qsar wrote:

[quote]EyeDentist wrote:
What it boils down to is this: If you’re satisfied with the progress you’re making with respect to strength and changes in body composition, your diet and training are adequate.

The fact that you’re continuing to get stronger on DL suggests your bench/pull-up plateaus are training-related, not diet-related.
[/quote]

Thanks for the reply. That’s what I was afraid of. In frustration I moved up the bench weights to the point I was only able to grind 3 reps out (out of form), and I think that set me back a little. People said that to be stronger you have to lift higher weights, but it seems like a bad idea.

Did you mean training-related as in bad technique, or as in I’m not using the right program?
[/quote]

I meant the program. And it’s not so much an issue of the ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ program as it is a matter of what’s working for you at this time. In my experience, if I stick with a given program for longer than 6-8 weeks or so, it inevitably becomes stale, and my enthusiasm and progress fall off. It sounds like you’ve been lifting heavy weights/low reps for a while. Consider ‘flipping’ your bench program; ie, switch to lighter weight/high reps/short breaks for a month or two. Or really switch things up and do ‘volume/time’ training for a while: Pick an ostensibly light weight (say 135#), and see how many times you can bench it in 5 minutes. (You won’t be able to bench nonstop for 5 minutes, of course, so you take mini-breaks as often as you need/want to, but bearing in mind that you’re up against the clock.) Take note of the number of reps completed. Then the next time you bench, your goal is to do at least one more rep than that. This is a brutal-but-effective way to lift, and should snap you out of your current doldrums.

And remember, unless you plan on competing as a powerlifter, there’s no need to define ‘stronger’ with respect to a 1-rep max. Consider: At the NFL combine, upper-body strength is measured by having the players bench 225 as many times as they can, not via a 1-RM.
[/quote]

Thanks for the advice! I’ll do exactly that.

[quote]Charlie Horse wrote:
I think goats milk is just easier to digest for people who have a problem with the lactose. It has some lactose but it’s less than cows milk and it supposed to pass though you faster so less chance for trouble.

That sucks about the dad story. :-/

I just like to push the small fishes that’s all. :slight_smile: [/quote]

My local grocery store had goat’s milk so I tried it. I started with 8oz - no problems. I’ll try higher amounts today and see how it goes. Actually tastes better to me than cow’s milk. Thanks for the advice.

[quote]EyeDentist wrote:

[quote]qsar wrote:

[quote]EyeDentist wrote:
What it boils down to is this: If you’re satisfied with the progress you’re making with respect to strength and changes in body composition, your diet and training are adequate.

The fact that you’re continuing to get stronger on DL suggests your bench/pull-up plateaus are training-related, not diet-related.
[/quote]

Thanks for the reply. That’s what I was afraid of. In frustration I moved up the bench weights to the point I was only able to grind 3 reps out (out of form), and I think that set me back a little. People said that to be stronger you have to lift higher weights, but it seems like a bad idea.

Did you mean training-related as in bad technique, or as in I’m not using the right program?
[/quote]

I meant the program. And it’s not so much an issue of the ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ program as it is a matter of what’s working for you at this time. In my experience, if I stick with a given program for longer than 6-8 weeks or so, it inevitably becomes stale, and my enthusiasm and progress fall off. It sounds like you’ve been lifting heavy weights/low reps for a while. Consider ‘flipping’ your bench program; ie, switch to lighter weight/high reps/short breaks for a month or two. Or really switch things up and do ‘volume/time’ training for a while: Pick an ostensibly light weight (say 135#), and see how many times you can bench it in 5 minutes. (You won’t be able to bench nonstop for 5 minutes, of course, so you take mini-breaks as often as you need/want to, but bearing in mind that you’re up against the clock.) Take note of the number of reps completed. Then the next time you bench, your goal is to do at least one more rep than that. This is a brutal-but-effective way to lift, and should snap you out of your current doldrums.

And remember, unless you plan on competing as a powerlifter, there’s no need to define ‘stronger’ with respect to a 1-rep max. Consider: At the NFL combine, upper-body strength is measured by having the players bench 225 as many times as they can, not via a 1-RM.
[/quote]

Just wanted to thank you for your advice. The last 2 weeks I cycled my rep ranges higher (8-12) and have been making strides again! I also switched to a 4 day split - much better! I was wiped out after the deadlifts so no wonder I couldn’t perform well on the chin-ups afterwards.

You’re welcome. Glad to hear you’re making progress again. Good luck meeting your goals.