T Nation

Smartest Approach to Lean Bulking?

Ok.

So I know I just said I was going to cut all summer lol…but since I already dropped that 20+ lbs from my winter bulk, and still leaned out a bit more over the past few weeks, I have re-evaluated my options. I am working full time all summer on top of full time summer classes, with more than a few out of town trips planned as well. I feel that it would be easier and more beneficial to actually strive towards putting on a few lbs of lean mass this summer. I am comfortable where I am currently bf wise. Look good (enough) with a shirt off lol.

So I am seeking any and all INTELLIGENT advice on the most efficient way to accomplish this goal. How should I begin adding in a few more carbs? Simply more peri-workout?? Say my current daily caloric intake is 3200, how much should I initially increase overall?

Any positive input would be much appreciated.

Buy Shelby Starne’s lean gain principles ebook on elitefts?

[quote]RATTLEHEAD wrote:
Buy Shelby Starne’s lean gain principles ebook on elitefts? [/quote]
Not a bad idea, any idea how much it runs?

I remember it being pretty cheap for me with the conversion into £ so maybe about 15-20bucks?

http://www.flexcart.com/members/elitefts/default.asp?m=PD&cid=370&pid=3735

[quote]super saiyan wrote:
http://www.flexcart.com/members/elitefts/default.asp?m=PD&cid=370&pid=3735[/quote]

Bargain

[quote]RATTLEHEAD wrote:
I remember it being pretty cheap for me with the conversion into £ so maybe about 15-20bucks?[/quote]

Not bad at all. So does it basically like lay out plans for you, formulas, etc?

[quote]ironmanzvw wrote:

[quote]RATTLEHEAD wrote:
I remember it being pretty cheap for me with the conversion into �£ so maybe about 15-20bucks?[/quote]

Not bad at all. So does it basically like lay out plans for you, formulas, etc?[/quote]

Pretty much yeah :slight_smile:

[quote]super saiyan wrote:
http://www.flexcart.com/members/elitefts/default.asp?m=PD&cid=370&pid=3735[/quote]

Thanks man, will buy when I get home! :slight_smile:

[quote]RATTLEHEAD wrote:

[quote]ironmanzvw wrote:

[quote]RATTLEHEAD wrote:
I remember it being pretty cheap for me with the conversion into �?�£ so maybe about 15-20bucks?[/quote]

Not bad at all. So does it basically like lay out plans for you, formulas, etc?[/quote]

Pretty much yeah :)[/quote]

Sounds like my kind of book lol!

Obviously small incremental changes will allow you to maintain a better handle on where things are going, but with me, even when I’m raising #s, I still keep a few lower intake days during the week. I like to think that the cyclical approach keeps a bit more metabolic movement, and can possibly have some preventative effect with your metabolic rate actually increasing and making things more difficult.

Also, adding the higher macros to meals that are easier in terms of your schedule (if you carry food around like I do, it’s not always easy to eat certain meals while going about your daily activities), as well as having a positive effect on your training (ie. pre gym) are always good ideas.

S

[quote]The Mighty Stu wrote:
Obviously small incremental changes will allow you to maintain a better handle on where things are going, but with me, even when I’m raising #s, I still keep a few lower intake days during the week. I like to think that the cyclical approach keeps a bit more metabolic movement, and can possibly have some preventative effect with your metabolic rate actually increasing and making things more difficult.

Also, adding the higher macros to meals that are easier in terms of your schedule (if you carry food around like I do, it’s not always easy to eat certain meals while going about your daily activities), as well as having a positive effect on your training (ie. pre gym) are always good ideas.

S[/quote]

Thanks Stu! I was hoping you would chime in on the subject, seeing how you have ample experience in this department.

So I know you mentioned adding higher macros pre workout, but what about intra?

@ Stu:
On these lowered intake day(s) during the week, how much of a decrease in calories are you talking? And do you recommend keeping carbs low/very low (50g, 100g, only veggies, etc?) on said days to make your body more insulin sensitive and get a little carb cycling effect?

I don’t think I will be dieting much this summer either and wll just work on avoiding gaining much fat while trying to go up. I am seeing the separation in my pec delt tie in that wasn’t there before.

More carbs around training.

[quote]Professor X wrote:
I don’t think I will be dieting much this summer either and wll just work on avoiding gaining much fat while trying to go up. I am seeing the separation in my pec delt tie in that wasn’t there before.

More carbs around training.[/quote]

Off topic, but I’ve noticed in your shirtless pics a bit of weirdness in the way the bottom of your pecs tie in to you serratus, is that related to the surgery you had a few years ago? Or just the shape your body naturally has?

[quote]LankyMofo wrote:

[quote]Professor X wrote:
I don’t think I will be dieting much this summer either and wll just work on avoiding gaining much fat while trying to go up. I am seeing the separation in my pec delt tie in that wasn’t there before.

More carbs around training.[/quote]

Off topic, but I’ve noticed in your shirtless pics a bit of weirdness in the way the bottom of your pecs tie in to you serratus, is that related to the surgery you had a few years ago? Or just the shape your body naturally has?[/quote]

Surgery related and will likely be the last place to lean up regardless of what I do.

It was worse before surgery.

Most of the shirtless pics posted were from two years ago. That area looks better now as well as that pec delt tie in which is what I was pointing out.

It can take many years for all scar tissue to go away after surgery if it is significant.

Ironman - do you have a log where you’ll be documenting the “lean gains”?

You’re already a fairly big dude, it could be cool to follow along.

[quote]Professor X wrote:

[quote]LankyMofo wrote:

[quote]Professor X wrote:
I don’t think I will be dieting much this summer either and wll just work on avoiding gaining much fat while trying to go up. I am seeing the separation in my pec delt tie in that wasn’t there before.

More carbs around training.[/quote]

Off topic, but I’ve noticed in your shirtless pics a bit of weirdness in the way the bottom of your pecs tie in to you serratus, is that related to the surgery you had a few years ago? Or just the shape your body naturally has?[/quote]

Surgery related and will likely be the last place to lean up regardless of what I do.

It was worse before surgery.

Most of the shirtless pics posted were from two years ago. That area looks better now as well as that pec delt tie in which is what I was pointing out.

It can take many years for all scar tissue to go away after surgery if it is significant.[/quote]

Interesting. My non lifting step brother in law has some gyno so I’ve been reading up a bit more lately considering whether or not I should broach the subject with him.

[quote]iDrDan wrote:
@ Stu:
On these lowered intake day(s) during the week, how much of a decrease in calories are you talking? And do you recommend keeping carbs low/very low (50g, 100g, only veggies, etc?) on said days to make your body more insulin sensitive and get a little carb cycling effect?[/quote]

It’s all going to be related to what current #s are, how lean you’re starting out, and how ‘not-lean’ you’re willing to get. For a first step in increasing your #s, you might want to simply focus on raising macros on training days beyond their current levels, but keeping non-training days static. With this approach, most people would focus more on carb intake as prot and fats are usually fairly squared away.

As a second step, you could raise your non-training day values as well, although perhaps a smaller step up than you applied to the training day totals. What you play with in terms of macros is going to be dependent on how well you handle carbs. I understand the rationale of lower carb days creating a better handling when the #s are higher, but it’s all relative. If you’ve got 400g of carbs on a higher day, then 200 is going to seem low by comparison, especially if it’s a targeted approach and some of the day is essentially P+F based feedings. Of course this is where the ‘how not-lean are you willing to get in hopes of making better gains’ questions comes in to play.

Some people can benefit from raising to a higher caloric intake, but from Proteins or Fats, while still keeping their carb intake fairly reasonable. I’ve had clients where I’ve been able to prod positive composition changes simply by swapping out some carbs for fats, yet keeping overall calories steady. This can also assist with insulin sensitivity (as you mentioned).

In terms of adding cals during training, I think that’s always a great time. As I was first taught way back when; adding nutrients while training is like throwing more fuel on a fire. With some of my female competitors, they don’t always like eating so much, so on their higher intake days, instead of a simple water/BCAA based drink, I’ll have them use full sugar gatorade and throw their BCAAs in it. The time surrounding (and during) your training is probably the safest place to start adding nutrients without fear of creating excessive adipose.

S

[quote]LankyMofo wrote:
Ironman - do you have a log where you’ll be documenting the “lean gains”?

You’re already a fairly big dude, it could be cool to follow along. [/quote]

No I don’t, but I will start one if enough people are interested in following it man.