T Nation

Samul's Training and Nutrition Log


Last question. Do you think there is such a thing as being too weak to start 5/3/1?


Yes, but a person that weak would also be unable to read the book without someone turning the pages for them.


Got it haha


very solid training session yesterday: beat all my previous rep pr’s by at least one rep.

chest, back, delts

Flat db press 30 kg x 11, 8
Incline cable fly 15 kg x 14, 11
Lat pulldown 60 kg x 16, 10
Rack pulls 142 kg x 5,7
Db ohp 24 kg x 8, 6
Rear laterals 3 sets + partials


Hammer curl 11 kg x 16, 12, 10, 12
Preacher Cable curl 25 kg x 14, 13, 13, 12
Rope pushdown 27 kg x 22, 16, 15
Pjr pullover 20 kg x 18, 22 kg x 13
Leg Extension 75 kg x 13, 12, 11 + partials
Leg press 150 kg x 21, 22

This concludes week five of my mass gain phase


Week six

Day one: chest back delts

Bench 74.5 kg x 8, 72 x 8
Incline 47.5 kg x 20, 15, 16 = 51 reps (350 method)
Lat pulldown 60 kg x 18, 12
Cable row 80 kg x 11, 10
Db ohp 24 kg x 7, 6
Laterals 3 sets + partials

It took me three weeks to finally get from six reps to eight reps with 74.5 kgs in the bench. I was stuck but I finally made it. Sets are also starting to feel more stable on the technique side but I still have a long way before being able to afford to be confident about it.

I grinded through every set and was able to eek out more reps than last weeks. Progression has been solid from a performance standpoint.

I’ll be giving it my all in these three last weeks of my mass gaining phase and this workout was a terrific way to kick-start the push. I’m excited to see how I look in three weeks.


How often do you guys deal with gut issues?

I have always suffered from symptoms of irritable colon syndrome. When I was a kid I often had diarrhea and stomach cramps weren’t uncommon.

More recently, I have gone through a period where I wouldn’t have those issues at all. Pizza was literally the only food I couldn’t eat. If I did, I’d have issues the following day and the back to normal.

But I’ve been having more problems for a few weeks now. Last Sunday I started having those problems a few hours after breakfast. I had to take buscopan and a diarrhea medication because otherwise I wouldn’t be able to go about my day at all. I also bought live lactic cultures because they helped in the past. This morning I started having issues again an hour after having had breakfast again.

How often do you guys have these problems? And what’s worked for you in terms of solving them? I feel like I shouldn’t live off of buscopan, which I take almost every time the pain starts to become unbearable because it works very well for me.

@danteism @Yogi1 @flappinit @flipcollar @t3hpwnisher


Never had those problems myself. Did you have something that you could be allergic/sensitive to in your breakfast? (Eggs or dairy for example)

Eliminating suspect foods one by one is probably your best bet: by doing that you can find the cause of your problems and get rid of it


My breakfast is scrambled eggs with cheese, tomatoes, and mushrooms, and cream of rice.

I actually have this meal every day and have had eggs forever. Right now I can’t really make modifications to the foods I eat because of my meal plan, but I’ll see if I can tweak things around when I finish with my coach.

I’m not sure whether the culprit is a specific food though.


How high is your protein intake? My stomach usually gets upset if I go too far above 1.25g per # of bw. 1.5 is pushing it, and 2 is just… too much.


Very high actually. I’m at around 300 g a day.


I guess that might be dictated by your coach?




Well, he is significantly more experienced than I am. But, if he’s open to a dialogue then I suggest you ask him if it would be alright to try a lower protein intake and a higher carb intake (and/or fat intake) to see if your digestion issues go away.

Considering how lean you are/were I don’t think you’d have much trouble with a higher carb intake but the maximum number there will be dictated by how much mass you are carrying so that it doesn’t spill over into body fat.


We had a talk about protein intake, mainly I asked him why it was so high because I was just curious. His answer was

Honestly it made lots of sense to me. When people say “don’t eat too much protein or else it will be converted to glucose” I always thought “so what?” It doesn’t really sound to me like it’s a drawback.

Apart from that, Paul told me that in his experience a 24-hour fast once a month does help with gut issues. He also told me that when one is eating lots of food, a fact they have to accept is that digestion will never be top notch.

Now that is something I only agree partially with, especially with my history of gut issues ever since being a kid, which had nothing to do with the way I’m eating now. That is why I’m looking for a solution.


Hm, I have plenty of follow up questions, but I don’t want to talk to Paul via you as a proxy. Seems disrespectful to both of you :slight_smile:


Would be interesting to share those here anyway, just for the sake of discussion. If you feel like it, of course.


It’s a tough train of thought to structure outside of a dialogue with a more natural to-and-fro, but I’ll do my best.

First, I want to establish a base from which to frame my questions and thoughts by assuming that what he is saying, what a lot of people are saying, to be true, e.g. protein cannot be turned into fat and
accept that the excess is converted into glycogen. This is not really a matter of debate, I assume it’s more a matter of fact.

Given that excess protein is converted into glycogen via gluconeogenesis (https://www.t-nation.com/supplements/tip-protein-intake-for-natural-and-not-so-natural-lifters) then what happens to that glycogen? Certainly there is an upper limit to how much glycogen your muscles can store, so what does the body do with the excess?

Excessive protein intake for a natural might actually “program” the body to turn protein into energy (gluconeogenesis) instead of muscle tissue. And the more efficient your body becomes at that process, the harder it will become to build muscle and even lose fat. A decently lean natural who consumes more than 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight when in a mass phase, or more than 1.2 grams when cutting, is doing himself a disservice.

Is it, the glycogen that is,

  1. excreted, or
  2. hanging around in your blood-stream waiting to be used?

then, in the first scenario, you are just wasting money consuming all of that protein and placing your digestive system under unnecessary stress.

And, in the second scenario there must be a mechanism whereby the body will take all that glycogen floating around your bloodstream and convert that into bodyfat because otherwise you’d end up building up successively more and more glycogen in your bloodstream which can’t be great for survival. It also goes back to thermodynamics, that energy has to be stored somehow (I’m not sure how, hence all the question marks) and bodyfat is pretty much the best way your body knows what to do with excess calories.

And, if so then we must accept that an excessive protein intake will result in an increase in bodyfat (assuming a caloric surplus). Of course, turning that protein into glycogen costs calories, and so then the mathematical surplus and the actual (effective) surplus that you are in are different from one another which is why if you’d blanket replace all of that protein with carbs instead (both are 4 calories per gram) you’d end up getting fatter as carbs do not first have to be converted into glycogen before going into your fat cells.


i’ll try and do my best to answer these questions myself, based on the knowledge i have gained by the whole lot of reading i’ve done so far. before i begin, since you linked an article from t nation, i remember reading an article, on this very website, that talked about how a higher protein consumption than it is normally advised might be benficial on a mass gain phase. i can look for that article for you if you like, but currently i don’t remember the title.

according to the sources i have had access to, our bodies do possess the metabolic pathways to convert protein to fat but those are hardly ever used. an excess of protein will lead to fat gain because more of it will be oxidized for energy so dietary fats will get stored.

look up lyle mcdonald’s “how we get fat” article. that being said, i remember a study where subjects were divided into two groups. both groups ate at a caloric surplus, but one group ate more carbs and the other one more fats. in both group subjects gained fat but, even with an equal surplus, the high fat group gained more fat.

despite not being specific to protein, this to me does show that, when calories are equated, different macronutrient composition leads to different results in fat gain.

muscles do of course have a limit to how much glycogen they can store. that is why, i think, paul said “if your body needs more glycogen it will get it via gluconeogenesis from the protein.”

this is how i interpreted it: if you need x amount of glycogen in your muscles, it doesn’t really matter whether it comes from carbs or protein. however, since we cannot know the exact amount of glycogen my muscles are storing, and hence i’m eating at a surplus to ensure they do get completely replenished, it’s safer to provide more protein than carbs so that if the carbs aren’t enough by themselves, some of the protein can be used to make up for that.

by the way, to put that into perspective, i am currently consuming around 300 g of carbs a day too. so it’s not exactly “low carb.”

like you said, converting protein to carbs is a costly process for the body. so is converting carbs to fat, for that matter.

however, carbs are only one step from becoming fat (lipogenesis de novo). whereas protein would have to be converted to carbs first, and then to fat. once the protein has become carbs, if it isn’t needed because glycogen was already replenished, those carbs might very well just be burned as heat. some studies seem to suggest that excess carbs do in fact tend to be burned as heat unless you are consuming very little dietary fat.

also, one last counter point to consider. i don’t have the book at hand at the moment, but in his protein book, lyle mcdonald talks about how athletes seeking more muscle mass may in fact want to consume more protein than is usually advised. he says that, although the extra amino acids may just be burned and not actually used to build muscle, there seems to be evidence suggesting that those excreted proteins may contribute to a general “anabolic drive” (these are the exact words he uses in the book) in the body, which would in turn boost the anabolic processes that do lead to muscle gain.

at this point i really hope @danteism chimes in as well


Just to chime in, when I got to around your age I started to lose my ability to digest lactose. Kind of just snuck up on me. Bloat, gas, diarrhea etc. Milk became out of the question and some cheeses have more lactose than others so I had to beware.

I don’t know much about the whole protein to glucose things but have you tried cutting out dairy? Could be an Occam’s Razor type thing going on.