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Please Help me with my first bulking phase

Need help to start my FIRST bulking phase

Hi everybody,

First of all, excuse me if my english sucks, i need to work on it

I will give a little intro to myself since this is my first thread. Im 18, 5’7’’, 122 pounds. 8 months ago i was overweight at 156 pounds and started to dieting and doing tons of cardio. In little less than 5 months i lost 34 pounds. I consider myself a mesomorph since I was overweight because of pure glutony and i lost all my weight quite easily. In the past few months I switched into my maintenance plan(which was designed by myself, just as my low calorie diet,) with some help of BMR calculators, Energy expenditure charts and taking into account the thermic effect of foods. I found out taking all these factors into consideration that i needed 2000 calories on days i do little physical activity(watching tv, walking around the house, etc…), I just started working out a few days ago and added 300 calories to my diet just to support these new activity and maintain my weight( i work out 1 hour a day and my calorie expenditure chart says i burn 300 cals/hour for medium weight training)

Ok, having introduced myself, i think i have said all i should for you experienced BBs to help me out. I want to gain lean muscle mass, with minimum fat gains.
Yes, this is why I am so confused. I just know how to lose weight and im so stupid i know nothing about gaining weight. Okay, i do know you need to have a calorie surplus, and is common sense that in order to turn those extra calories into muscle instead of fat i need to excercise my muscles.

But exactly how many extra calories should i eat in order to gain lean muscle and keep fat gain to a minimum?
Is there a rule of thumb for this?
Can you share with me your own experience if you too are a mesomorph, have anything in common with my body type, or have been through the same situation?
Do i need to consume this extra calories EVERY day or just on workout days?

I would really appreciate any replies, i already started weight training but havent introduced the calorie surplus to grow, and im anxious to do so. I worked out very hard to lose weight and i dont want to become fat again, so i wont take any step further until i know from people who have already gone through this how many extra calories over my daily energy output should i eat.

Thank you very much,

I’m not going to address the diet question (manly because I have much less knowledge than I would like in this area), but would ask you to post your workout, reps, sets, rest periods, tempo etc. Hopefully you are not going off what other people are doing on here for your workouts> Being a beginner you need to train with less sets and different exercises etc.

Are we to assume you are a woman?

No…Im not a woman, why would you assume that?
Any advice on how much extra calories should i eat for lean muscle mass gain with minimum fat would be appreciated.

Thank you very much,

Hey Rollus.

Welcome to the board! Good to see you caring so much about your results.

I don’t have a lot of time, but I’ll comment quickly and return later, possibly.

I’d say that if I were you I would follow the same route you are currently taking; i.e, gradually adding in quality calories.

You say you’re maintaining right now?

Well, perhaps you could add 250 calories to you daily total. Give a week or two to evaluate your results, and gauge whether or not you feel you need more or less.

Add small amounts of calories until you feel you are gaining the maximum amount of lean mass with the minimal amount of fat.

Just keep tabs on your progress with the mirror and add more/deduct more depending on your results.

Others will be along to break it down further.

Good luck!

Sorry, didn’t mean to offend in any way. I just assumed that you were a woman because of your light bodyweight. You say you are a mesomorph, which would mean someone with a medium-large bone stucture and good muscle development. You said you were overweight at 5’7 and 156lbs. This is not overweight for your height and 122 is very light for your height. I would think someone this size is an ectomorph if anything and not a mesomorph. Someone who is 5’7, 122lbs and considers themself a mesomorph just comes across as sounding like a woman to me. Sorry about the misidentification.

Rollus, that’s excellent advice by NewDamage. In addition to his excellent advice, I’d make a few recommendations:

Eat protein every meal; 180g divided by 6 meals; i.e., 30g per meal. That’s 1.5g x LBM

Get in your good fats; flaxseed oil, fish oil, avocados, raw nuts, olive oil, about 50g per day, including the fat you get in the meat you eat. That’s .4g x LBM.

The rest of your calories should come from quality carbs; i.e., green veggie and starchy carbs.

Keep a food log to track your food intake and increase calories by 250 calories per day if any week goes by that you don’t gain weight. Check out the article in Issue 162, The Missing Ingredient by Chris Shugart.

Optimize PWO nutrition. Read the article, “Solving the Post-Workout Puzzle,” I & II by John Berardi. You can find it by using the search engine to the left of your screen and changing the T-forums default to T-mag.

Pick a good bulking program from the many available. Good choices would be Anti-Bodybuilding Hypertrophy by Chad Waterbury or Escalating Density Training.

Good luck to you, and let us know how it goes!!!

[quote]You say you’re maintaining right now?

Well, perhaps you could add 250 calories to you daily total. Give a week or two to evaluate your results, and gauge whether or not you feel you need more or less.

Add small amounts of calories until you feel you are gaining the maximum amount of lean mass with the minimal amount of fat.

Just keep tabs on your progress with the mirror and add more/deduct more depending on your results.

This is great advice.

A good way to meet your goals is to slowly build solid mass over the long haul.

So I would suggest taking this advice and upping your k/cals by 250, this is every day of the week. You need the extra k/cals on the off days for the recuperation and building that goes on on those days, to give you the short version.

Next, you will simply want to monitor your progress closely. The scale will not be of to much help here. It will tell you if you are gaining weight or not but that is about all. More valuable tools are going to be a mirror, the ways your clothes fit, the way you feel, etc… A great tool to monitor your progress would be a camera to snap some pics every couple weeks to compare. It is also easier to see changes that you just dont notice in the mirror.

Do all your comparisons on the same day/time of the week once a week, Preferably upon waking. This will give you a somewhat constant comparison point.

O.K, back to diet. You are going to want to give each change atleast a two week, (three being better) run befor you make any further changes. Sometimes the results can be delayed or even skyrocket in the first week befor your body adjusts to the new level of intake.

Another issue is dont be surprised if you end up upping your intake every couple weeks for three or four cycles. This is due to a couple of reasons. The first being the relatively low k/cals you are taking in now. It seems to me that you are taking in a little less than you actually should for maint…

The second issue is that you are new to training. This is the exciting part. By just starting working out a few days ago and you are allready going to nail a good diet down, you are set up to grow like a freaking weed. It is not unusual for a newbie to make inredible gains, and that is on a crap diet. I dont really know anyone who actually had a good diet when they first started, this usually comes later. So with this new training stimulus and the quick growth you can expect some serious need for k/cals.

What to eat? @ your age I really wouldnt want to suggest anything to strict as far as diet. Your young, enjoy yourself. If you are eating clean and enjoy it all the better, but if you sit down to a bag of chips, a doughnut, etc. dont freak out. Look at all the time you have ahead of you, and unlike most on this site you are not only building muscle but you are still growing so eat up. Dont short yourself, you need food to GROW and get freaking HUGE.

I would suggest that the main thing, if not the only thing you monitor as far as macro breakdown is that you are getting enough/more than enough protein and carbs. From their if you are feeling really up to it you might add in the intake of good fats such as fish oil and/or flax oil or meal. They are of great benefit for a plethora of reasons.
Read these, Fats Roundtable I and II:

Other good sources of fats are going to be raw nuts, avacado’s, seeds, as well as the mass amount of meat you should be consuming.

I wouldnt want to hold you back either so if you are really into nailing down a great diet, and above all it doesnt hinder your enjoyment of being young then start here:


This is John Berardi’s “7 Habits…” article. If you nail down these basics then you will be ahead of 99.9% of the ppl your age. Just dont get overly anal.

From their as far as diet goes read up on anything by John Berardi, and Lonnie Lowery right here on this site.

The last thing pertaining to diert is post workout nutrition. I am going to keep this simple also. Plain and simple eat like a horse during the first 2-4 hours following your training. Say you are taking in a total of 3000K/cals a day, take in atleast 1000 of those k/cals in the first meal or two after you train. This is going to build that mass you want and also limit the amount of the excess k/cals tha might have the possibilty to gain fat. Once again if you want to go a step further with your post work out nutrition read these, JB’s "Post Workout Puzzel I and II:

Once again this is igf you really feel the need, the main thing for you is to pack in the food folloing training.

Damn this is getting long. will try and wrap it up.

Next issue for you is rest. You are going to want to get more than enough of this also. All the time that you have between chasing girls, eating and training should be spent sleeping. You need as much as you can get to help with all the growth you can expect. This is second only to chasing girls and your diet. For reference:“The Big Sleep” part I and II

The last thing is your training. Take your time. Learn good form above anything else, train hard but dont overdue it. Get in, get it done, and go eat. Check out the frequently asked ?'s link on the homepage and check out the programs their.

Reading all the “Dawg School” articles is a must for you.

Then pick a program that is based off of compound movements, bench, squat, deads, etc… Let your buddies concentrate on isolation curls and such. Stick to the big basic movements and sit back and laugh at them when you are twice thier size in a matter of a few months.

As far as cardio. Chase more girls. Play sports, HAVE FUN!!!


Just Read up. Start with the Dawg School, and Diet stuff. Then simply start @ thwe first issue and move your way up. Read and react with the forumn and get huge.

If you have any ?'s come on back.

Now I just expect you to eat, chase girls, rest, train hard and breif, rest and HAVE FUN!!!

Keep us posted on your progress.

Dont be affraid of gaining weight. you have to gain to grow. Just monitor it.

Good Luck

Dont worry looplift, i wasnt offended at all. I consider myself a mesomorph because i can gain or lose bodyweight very easily, and i feel blessed for that. At 156, i was very fat, I ate too much. i lost all the weight i wanted and ive maintained at 122 for a couple of months. And yes, i look skinny and thats exactly why i want to gain some lean muscle mass, with minimum fat gain that is, so i dont have to start losing all that fat all over again.
How many extra calories did u add to ur diet when u first started lifting looplift? what kind of body do u have? do u know a rule of thumb for this calorie surplus stuff?
Please ppl keep posting ur replies, 250 sounds good, anyone else knows another number? or had a different experience of his own with extra calories?

Thanks to all of u in advance,


What is your current diet? What is your carb intake? Protein intake? Do you take any supplements?

Thank you very much for your reply Phill,

Im definetly going to take ur advice, wow, u wrote a lot! its incredible how many ppl are willing to help u in these forums, thank you very much!

ok, as for my macronutrient breakdown i will answer that soon, i have never exmained it very closely. I just read the 2 articles on massive eating and they seem to be exactly what i need.
ive got 1 question though. It says i should eat carbs/pros no fat and pros/fat no carbs right? when is the best timing for each one of these meals? i could only asume that my post workout would be pros/carbs fat free, and maybe breakfast will also be carbs/pros ff. But were can i place the pro/fat meals? should they be aboslutely carb free? i plan to follow these massive eating diet most of the time, but dont sacrifice my occasional social gathering around a pizza, if u know what i mean.
Is anyone here familiarized with this plan? if so, please explain to me how to arrange my meals.

Thank you very much in advance,


You got it right. As far as the others just fit them in the other parts of the day. and depending on what time you train P+F is good for bed tme snack.

Training day first 2 meals PWO should be P+C.

On non training days generally shoot for the first three meals being P+C and last three P+F.

As far as carbs with P+F you just limit them not totally cut them out. 10-15g is the general blanket #. Veggies and such are your great choices.

Go over the article again. If you read it a little closer it is all laid out pretty well for you.

No Problem by the way. We are here to help.

Read up and come on back with some more ?'s


Ok guys heres my typical diet on days i work out. Please note that i dont want to go too strict and deprive myself from my favorite foos i.e golden grahams and other cold cereals. i only use 1/2 serving of my MRP cuz im on a budget and i have realized that for a 122 pounder 20 grams of pro post workout is n uf. I was reading some articles by mr berardi and he says we dont need so much prot in post workout shake. We need to focus on high GI carbs for greater insulin response. Thats why i eat sweet tarts (mainly dextrose and maltodextrin, whose GI are EXTREME) VERY RIPE bananas, and use water instead of milk, because milk will lower the Shakes GI since milk has a low GI.
I love milk and know its very good. I will have it for bedtime snack since its got slow absorbing cassein so i can go through my 8 hours+ of starvation.
I also heard it has BCAA so i drink eat as a preworkout snack.
Please give me some constructive critiques(is it said like that? remember, ive got bad english)
and tell me what u think i should change. Since this is my workout day I will keep my CHO high, and i couldnt find any other way to add a CHO free meal in the day other than the midmorning snack. Total calories for this day were 2600, pro 171, CHO 341 and fat 39. Please go on and see the meal plan instead of just the Totals. Im creating a caloric surplus of 300 calories in order to gain mass. Please examine my meal plan meticulosely(?) and give me some advice for modifications. I will post my non workout days meal plan soon.

Meal plan for workout days
Cal Pro CHO fat

7:30 A.M.
3 cups Golden Grahams
480 6 100 6
2 cups skim milk 160 16 23 1

10:00 A.M.
2 large hard boile eggs
140 14 0 10

12:30 P.M
half cup white rice 100 2 21 1
1 cup beans
200 14 35 1
4 oz sirloin steak 200 30 0 9
Green salad with vi negar 100 6 15 1

Preworkout snack:
3:00 P.M.
1 banana
100 1 22 1
1 cup skim mil
80 8 11 0


6:00 P.M
half serving met-rx choc-pb MRP
130 20 10 1
8 oz Water
I very ripe banana 100 1 22 1
? pckt sweetarts 80 0 20 0

7:00 P.M
1 1/2 cups cooked pasta
300 11 35 1
Grilled chicken breast strips
150 30 0 3
? cup prego tomato sauce 150 4 26 3

10:00 P.M
1 cup skim mil
80 8 11 0

2600 171 341 39

Thank you all in advance,

I would say like befor @ your age you are ahead of 99.9% of others. Sure there are quite a few changes many of us would do to optimize the diet you laid out, but damn you got it pretty good.

I wont go into all the little particulars that could be changed just a couple simple ones that should help.

First thing is you need more befor bed. 1 cup skim milk isnt going to last that long. Go for some cottage cheese. I would say fat free and some carbs seeing as it is PWO. But you could go either way, the regular will have fats that will also slow digestion overnight. Cottage cheese also has a higher amount of casein.

The other thing would be to move the Banana to a different spot than PWO. It is lower in GI and is mainly Fructose which will more readily go to your liver instead of the muscle. You could switch the Banana with 2 of the three cups of Golden Grahmns you eat @ meal #1. This will also give you more K/cals PWO when you really need them.

If You are really worried about more P+F you could make meal #1 a P+F on training days. Have soem eggs and meat or something. But in your case I wouldnt worry about it to much.

Yes, there is other stuff, but damn. I would say you are doing great. Continue to read, train, and you can make more changes as you progress.

Keep up the education,
Great work so far.


You need more fat. Where are your EFAs? Start adding some olive oil and flax oil to your meals. You need more fibre. Get rid of the low fibre foods, ie: white rice, pasta, Golden Grahams. Replace with brown rice, sweet potato, whole grain sugar free cereals, like oatbran. Get rid of the milk. Milk is low glycemic, but it is high insulemic. It has the same effect on insulin release as a low glycemic food. It is also too low in protein and high in lactose(a sugar). Replace this with 1/2 container of cottage cheese.