T Nation

problem bulking up


I?m 6'9'' 240lb and my body fat varies wildly. I have been training for around three years and can not put mass on. If I diet very much at all i get so scrawny i look like an Ethiopian basketball player. My father (A ex-boxer) on the other hand gets massive and we lift together %50 of the time yet he gets 5 times the results i do. I'm 21 and am getting very frustrated. I'ts almost like all my training in in vain. I do the boxers workout and run arround 3-5 miles a morning eat 5 high protien meals a day and drink calorie shakes before i sleep. any thoughts or pointers would be greatly appreciated..


Stop running in the morning. You are burning up way too many calories by doing that. If you are trying to bulk up, you shouldn't be doing cardio. Eat more meals than 5, try for 8. If you can't do that, just eat more snacks. Eat lots of carbs, like 2-3 grams per lb of bodyweight. Shoot for 1.5-2 grams of protein per lb of bodyweight.

There are plenty of articles about bulking up on this site. Use the search engine


You "can not put mass on." However, you can and do "run arround [sic] 3-5 miles a morning."

Check out Massive Eating.


You're inconsistent. You want to bulk up, yet you run 3-5 miles in the morning and do a boxer's workout.

You stated you want to bulk, so let's work with that:

  1. Follow one of the abundant T-Mag protocols for bulking. My personal recommendations (from personal experience) are a) Optimized Volume Training (OVT) by Christian Thibeaudeau, or b) German Volume Training (GVT) by Charles Poliquin. There are many others, but these two are guaranteed great results. I also recommend you check 'Training for Maximal Size' by Joel Marion. He presents a very interesting mass gain plan.

  2. Reduce your runs to once or twice a week up to 2 miles only.

  3. Night time is not the time to feed your body calories. Calorie Shakes will at night will ensure you gain a lot of fat fast, but not much in terms of muscle mass gains.
    Your calories should be divided EVENLY throught the entire day, every 3 hours. Your diet should be along the lines of John Berardi's guidelines (read up his articles on Nutrition if you havent already done so). You still want to focus your carb intake on lower glycemic/insulimic sources such as Old Fashioned Oatmeal, Yams and sweet potatoes, beans, whole grain bread, brown rice, Veggies, and some fruit. Your fat intake should consist of healthy fats, particularly Omega-3 and Omega-6 fats. These will be found in the IDEAL ration in salmon (which you can buy very cheap in cans at most supermarkets such as stop&shop in the US).

Your caloric intake should obviously be higher than that of the average person. At 240 lbs you're a big guy. I will have to check how to determine one's caloric intake (Ive seen so many theories and ways to do this I discarded them all as soon as I figured out what works for me. While itll vary from individual to individual they're still a good starting point).

Your boxing goals might potentially interfere with maximal mass gains if by requirement you must run 3-5 miles every morning as well as very intense boxing training. In this case you will need to adjust your daily caloric intake to account for the calories lost in these activities.

Anyhow, good luck.


Do check out Massive Eating by John Berardi, as Eric Cressey pointed out.

Nutrition is 80% of whatever mass gains you'll make. Make sure you not only eat enough calories, but eat the right calories at the right times.


Stop running.


The way I see it, you have about two options:

  1. Stop running and eat 5000 calories a day.

  2. Keep running and eat 8000 calories a day.

Get the point?