T Nation


Okay any suggestions and comments are always apprciated. I am 175-180 lber, and aobut 5% Bf. I am always looking to improve my physique, I recently took some photos, and was pleased with both leaness, and muscel mass, however I would like to add a little size with no fat gain, being that summer is rapidly approaching. I am very new to the whole BB thing, but I have a lot of heart, and determination, and from what I have read so do most people on this site. I have never bulked, but have dieted actually about 18 months ago I was a 240lb college football player with no idea about nutrition. so now that I have put you to sleep with my lfe story, here is my question. Below I will list my current workout regimine and nutrition plan. Feel free to disect and comment upon it, all suggestions are welcomed and appreciated.
mon: chest/ Biceps/calves/30-35 min cardio
tue:back/triceps/abs/30-35 min cardio
wed:legs/calves/30-35 min cardio
thu: shoulders/traps/neck/abs/30-35 min cardio
fri:triceps/biceps/30-35 min cardio
sat:45 fasted state cardio/abs/calves/forearms
sun: rest!

meal plan

meal 1: 1/c cup oats, 1 apple, 2 scoops GROW
meal 2: post workout shake ( 50g dextrose sugar, 24g whey isolate)
meal 3: 1 chicken breast 1 1/2 cups yams
meal 4: 1 chicken breast, 2 cups broccoli, 1 cup spinach
meal 5: 1 can tuna, 2 cups broccoli, 1 cup spinach
meal 6 : either 1 Tbls flax oil, or 2 tlbs Cashew butter, 2 scoops GROW

I sometimes will substitue 2 scoops GROW and a piece of fruit for meal 4, and sometimes will sub a salmon filet and 8 oz. broccoli for meal 5

Like I stted earlier any suggestions are greatly appreciates, my main concerns are: Am I getting enogh carbs? are two servings fruit too many for 1 day? Is there enough fat in my diet? Are my 3:6 in good enough ratio? Should I opt for two P-F meals instead of one? thank you very much for taking the time to read my thread, and offer advice.

It’s nigh impossible to add muscle without fat. With a dialed-in diet, you may be able to maintain a BF percentage, but it certainly won’t drop.

I can’t say much about your meal plan. It looks utterly inappropriate for a ‘bulking’ phase, per se, but this is from the vantage point of a guy with teenage metabolism. Similarly, I wouldn’t bother with the cardio work; what little calorie excess you have will wash away in a fit of jogging.

Lat work would be beneficial for your physique. Try something like this (forgive me for such simplicity):

Day1: Back/Bi
Day2: Chest/Tri

Day4: Back/Bi
Day5: Legs

Throw in abs, forearms, and so forth whenever you’d like. Build your back workouts around weighted pullups.


i am about your size i am 5’7, 185. ill tell you this, there is no way i could gain any mass on that diet. way to few cals for me. training wise it is hard to tell. that is more of a muscle breakdown rather than a program that you gave us.

There is no way in hell you are going to put on ANY size with what you are eating now. Check out the thread, “Can you lose fat and gain muscle at the same time” in this forum (do a seach) and I am sure you will find plenty of info pertaining to your question.

Honest feed back was what I was seeking, and that is certainly what I got. guys thanks a lot, I really appreciate it. From my standpoint I am still weary of adding calories being that I used to be a lot heavier and am basically in love with the fact that I have good abs, and I do not want to lose that. I have been speaking with Timbo, and we are working in a plan for eating, and I will be adding more fat to the diet. I feel this should do the trick, and to clear things, I would like to note that I am in now way trying to “bulk” and in defense of my workout routine it works for me, it is my intention to push my body further than it wants to go, I guess to each in his own. I will post some pics.

I shouldn’t have phrased it quite that way. Bulk is the wrong word.

If you truly want to build muscle, a slight calorie excess is very beneficial. The reason I say excess, and the reason I don’t care for diets like the one you outlined, is because they don’t account for daily variations in calorie use. Better to overshoot, if only slightly.

Nor do I feel it’s that easy to guesstimate your needs. If you’re down 200 calories a day with a solid workout, you won’t gain muscle, and at your body fat percentage, you won’t lose fat either. Your metabolism will drop. That’s it. It’s a waste of effort.



I like your attitude. Putting yourself out there for critique is a hard thing to do. Here are my thoughts:

1)I do not know how what sets/reps/or exercise selection you have in your current workout, so it is impossible to tell for sure, but I would wager a guess that your current workout scheme is much to heavy on the volume. You probably need more than one day a week to rest your system. I’d like to know what the workouts look like for you before I lay down that judgement for sure. What do your Workouts look like?

2)KnightRT is correct, don’t do cardio unless you do a few minutes (5 or so) preworkout to warm up. It will waste your efforts. He also has a good idea on training schedule. Depending on where legs fit into your designs, you might want to move them up in priority and move the second back day to Fri. That’s personal pref. of course (I like an extra day to recover personally).

3)P-dog and Tony G are correct as well. Unless you are truly blessed, you probably can’t gain squat on that diet. The food choices are decent though. Keep a lot of low GI and II foods in your diet, that should help you keep fat gain to a minimum. You seem to be getting a decent amount of protein as well, but I’d up it a little bit anyway. If you have trouble stuffing yourself when you feel full, do it anyway, but I find it helps to alternate a liquid meal with solid food (ie breakfast, liquid, lunch). That keeps my stomach from feeling as overfilled.

SUGGESTION: check out Berardi’s Massive Eating article for an effective bulk diet that will help keep fat gain down if done correctly… Will the caloric estimate boggle your mind? probably. Will it work? YES!

  1. You can’t bulk w/o chancing to lose that 6 pack. If that doesn’t suit your desires, don’t bulk. I sympathize w/ your satisfaction at seeing your abs come out, but unless you’re using supplements to help bulk (ie Mag-10 or something), you have to take a chance on losing your abs. You can always diet again. Now, you might be able to keep them w/ a good choice of diet, but…

  2. A note about workouts (you may know this already). It’s generally a good idea to get compound exercises in first, then work down to isolation/specific movements, or whatever your priorities are. High priorities go first in the workout, first in the week. Maintenance body parts can be left to the end of the week when you’re a bit more tired.

I assume you’re squatting for your legs. If not, start it now! GM’s also work nicely for hamstrings and lower back strength.

Sorry for the length! Hope this helps.

oh yeah, I’m nitpicking here (don’t hurt me), but try switching out the dextrose in your shake for maltodextrin and glucose.

no guys thanks for the advice, as far as the workout goes, I feel that training balls out with high reps 8-12 works best for me, as far as eating goes, I am going to be adding calories, and would like some suggestions as to certain breads to use. I would like a bread that is generally on the lower end of carbohydrated, and definately low GI, with that in mind, is sprouted wheat a good option. My local grocer also carries a multi grain bread, that is high in protein and low in carbs, it has nuts and legumes in it so I might have to check the fat content. Also what about rye bread, low gi? thanks guys

Why do you guys think it’s so hard to gain muscle w/o adding fat? It’s not impossible. You might gain a little slower, but so what? I don’t understand why people think it can’t be done. It’s just a slower, more controlled process. After years of training I am done with the bulk for 12 weeks, cut for 6 merry-go-round. I don’t understand why people want to bulk to 10% from 7, then waste muscle trying to cut off the extra 3%. If more people would have patience they could bulk indefinitely w/o ever having to diet. There is a threshold to how much LBM you can put on at once, adding in calories to the point of putting on fat DOES NOT make you gain LBM any faster, it only makes you fatter and forces you to lose hard earned muscle later when you try to diet it off…or you have to go to extreme measures to keep the muscle while you diet.

Anyways, back to the main topic:
Drop the cardio and monitor your weight for 4 weeks. If you don’t start gaining weight, try adding in 100 calories to your daily menu. You do need more fat, so try adding in 10grams fat to your days. Add 100 calories per week until you start to see the scale move. And get a good Tanita digital scale that shows measurements in the .1 of a pound, that way you can see the minute adjustments per week. Also, get a good set of calipers like Lange and monitor your thigh, ab, and chest skinfolds. Get a total of the three and every month monitor it. If you are gaining weight and the skinfolds are staying constant or decreasing, this is good. If they are increasing, stop adding in calories until they level off. If you are not gaining weight and they are increasing, or if you are losing weight and they are increasing or staying constant, this is bad.

Read again, Perro.


Your protein is too low (and caloric intake) You can’t build muscle without fuel. Protein needs to exceed 200g per day to build muscle. Looks like you are getting about 100 to 125g.

J-Dog, you and I are bros, so don’t take this the wrong way, but something just strikes me quite odd.

The fact that you posted for advice on training and nutrition would indicate that you’re open to outside opinions and experience and willing to implement some well-thought and proven strategies. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. You mention that you will not utilize any of the advice nor deviate from your current plan.

By all means, Joey, if you’ve found what works well for you, then proceed! That’s fantastic. But when you say that you’ve found what works, does that mean that you’ve achieved all of your physique goals and are completely satisfied with every aspect of your mind and body?

I only make reference to this because it appears to me that several of the posters have made clear and genuine efforts to help you out, or so they thought.

J-Bird, you’re one of the most dedicated, committed, focused and passionate bodybuilders that I’ve come across. All the best, bro!

Gentleman, thank you all for your advice. Timbo in response to your comment, it goes like this. I am very eager to take in as much knowledge and information in regards to this game as I can. In doing that I seek the opinion of mot only one person, but of many. This way I can get a good idea of what I feel would be the best route for me to take. I definately can see that my caloric intake is low, and the proper adjustments need to be made, and with the help of the people who have replied and of course you bro I will make those adjustments. I feel that finding what I am cumfortable doing and really believe in, is equally if not more important that doing what everyone else is. I will be doing like one poster said to an extent, basically adding calories, restricitng some cardio and going from there. I want you all to know I am by no means in a “crisis situation”, I am just eager to improve upon my physique, which I might add I am very happy with, but it is my goal to ahcieve 100% of my capabilities and this is how I plan on doing it. Once again thanks guys for the helpful insight.

KnightRT, read again? Read what? Please elaborate.

This is my point on what I rambled on earlier…

Let’s say you are 100lbs (simplicity please) and are at 10% BF, or 110 total lbs.

Let’s say you bulk for 1 month, adding in just enough calories to gain and using a pro-hormone or steroid.

Let’s say you gain 2 pounds of muscle and 1 pound of fat.

You now weigh 113 with 102 pounds of LBM, this puts you at a bodyfat percentage of 9.7, so you have indeed dropped bodyfat percentage, not much, but noticible.

So, you have not lost fat, but you HAVE reduced bodyfat percentage, which is what you need to be looking at anyway, agreed?

Perro…Exactly! This is the premise behind Maximum Muscularity. Good example.

For nr. of sets/reps please see King’s periodization scheme. I would suggest 2 workouts each week (monday, thursday):
Bench Press Bench Press
Chins Dumbbell row
Squat Squat (80% of A)
Shoulders Shoulders
Romanian deadlift Deadlift
Calves Calves
Abs Abs
Cardio on Wednesday, Saturday.
Concerning your diet: 50%carbs, 30%proteins, 20%fats. Drink at least 1 liter of milk each day.