T Nation

Starting Bulk

Hey Everybody,

Here is a little background first. Ive been reading on here for about 6 months and havent really posted much. I have been working out off and on for a couple years but I have decided to make a committment to it now. I am pretty much posting to get a little advice and encouragement, plus to remind me of my goals.

I hear a lot of people talk about being a hardgainer, I think I would qualify as one of those. I eat 3000-4000 calories a day and have done so for the last 6 months with minimal weight gains. I have pretty detailed food logs to back this up. Here is a sample:

Yesterday for example. A non-lifting day.

7am - 4 egg omlette with tomato, onion, brocolli. 16oz fruit smoothie with strawberries, mango, banana, apple. 1 pack instant oatmeal, 2 scoops GROW.
1030am - 12" philly cheesesteak with mushrooms, onions, lettuce, tomato, and swiss cheese.
2pm - 10oz chicken and 1 cup brown rice
430pm - 2 scoops grow, 8oz steak, 1/2 plate of pasta
530pm - large plate of lasagna with tossed salad
8pm - big bowl of ice cream
10pm- 2 scoops grow, 10oz chicken breast, 2 chocolate chip cookies.

Like I said before though, my lifting has been too off and on to complain about my lack of muscle gain. I have included a picture to give you an idea of what I’m working with. I am going to use the Westide for Skinny Bastards as a template for my workouts. I also play about 4 hours of basketball a week, 6 hours of surfing, 3 hours of tennis, and ride my bike about 30 miles a week (transportation to school and gym).

I do have a couple of questions though. What, if any, is the downside of me eating sugar to supplement my caloric intake? It doesnt seem to have any effect on me, I eat ice cream, cookies, and smoothies before bed with my protein all the time and have never had any noticeable fat on my body. I would hate to lose these calories by cutting them out.

Because of my work and school schedule I find it nearly impossible to get more than 6hrs of sleep a night. Will throwing in 1hr naps here and there help to make up the difference or do you really need that deep sleep to GROW? Thanks for any advice and encouragement you guys may have. Im tired of being a skinny bastard.

Current Stats:
5’11.5" 157lbs
Bench - 195
Squat - 255
Deadlift - 305
I have a 7’7" standing reach (I have short reach for my height) and can grab the rim with knuckles without a step so i figure about a 30" vertical.

Goals by new year:
175lbs
Bench - 250
Squat - 315
Deadlift - 375
I would like to get my vertical in the 35" range so that i can dunk more than a football or volleyball.
Do these seem reasonable??

PS. I dont get the joke but there is a whole shoe rack in the background so it should be easy to tell my body fat! HAHA


Another Pic. I do have some definition when i flex but mostly because Im skinny i think.


From the side

[quote]HAPLOCK wrote:
Hey Everybody,

Here is a little background first. Ive been reading on here for about 6 months and havent really posted much. I have been working out off and on for a couple years but I have decided to make a committment to it now. I am pretty much posting to get a little advice and encouragement, plus to remind me of my goals.

I hear a lot of people talk about being a hardgainer, I think I would qualify as one of those. I eat 3000-4000 calories a day and have done so for the last 6 months with minimal weight gains. I have pretty detailed food logs to back this up. Like I said before though, my lifting has been too off and on to complain about my lack of muscle gain. I have included a picture to give you an idea of what I’m working with. I am going to use the Westide for Skinny Bastards as a template for my workouts. I also play about 4 hours of basketball a week, 6 hours of surfing, 3 hours of tennis, and ride my bike about 30 miles a week (transportation to school and gym).

I do have a couple of questions though. What, if any, is the downside of me eating sugar to supplement my caloric intake? It doesnt seem to have any effect on me, I eat ice cream, cookies, and smoothies before bed with my protein all the time and have never had any noticeable fat on my body. I would hate to lose these calories by cutting them out.

Because of my work and school schedule I find it nearly impossible to get more than 6hrs of sleep a night. Will throwing in 1hr naps here and there help to make up the difference or do you really need that deep sleep to GROW? Thanks for any advice and encouragement you guys may have. Im tired of being a skinny bastard.

Current Stats:
5’11.5" 157lbs
Bench - 195
Squat - 255
Deadlift - 305
I have a 7’7" standing reach (I have short reach for my height) and can grab the rim with knuckles without a step so i figure about a 30" vertical.

Goals by new year:
175lbs
Bench - 250
Squat - 315
Deadlift - 375
I would like to get my vertical in the 35" range so that i can dunk more than a football or volleyball.
Do these seem reasonable??

PS. I dont get the joke but there is a whole shoe rack in the background so it should be easy to tell my body fat! HAHA
[/quote]

for sleeping six hours a day its very important for your recovery so try some creatine and zma before bed

You’re height/weight stats are almost exactly the same as mine right now. I’m curious to see the response you get. You’re lifting numbers are higher than mine though, as I’ve only been lifting for 3 months.

umm. just fucking eat

[quote]hawkjunkie wrote:
You’re height/weight stats are almost exactly the same as mine right now. I’m curious to see the response you get. You’re lifting numbers are higher than mine though, as I’ve only been lifting for 3 months.[/quote]

I wouldnt worry about the numbers too much. I am very weak in the chest but use my legs quite a bit. And to be honest, when i did the 305DL it was a lot of lower back involved, im not sure my form was the best. My biggest thing is the eating, I swear I eat as much as i can whenever I am able but its never enough. Yesterday for example. A non-lifting day.
EDIT: I put my diet in the first post so that people reading it for the first time could see that info.

[quote]itsthenickman wrote:
umm. just fucking eat[/quote]

Yeah, I know. Im working on it. That is the big thing Im trying to improve right now. Ive read tons of articles about diets on here and have been keeping good records of my food intake. I dont worry at all about eating clean. My stomach feels like it is getting bigger so that should help.

These extra activites on top of lifting probably account for your lack of weight gain. You burn so much from all that and only take in 3000-4000 calories, while some people take in that much and ONLY lift. You need to up your calories definitely and try to make a lot of that protein. Make sure to read Berardi’s diet stuff (in the archives), and Temporal Nutrition as well.

Sugar eaten at the wrong time will more likely be stored as fat, just because you haven’t put on fat in the past because of it doesn’t mean you won’t in the future, it’s likely that all of your aforementioned physical activity burns those calories. It would be better to consume sugar in the pre-, during, and post-workout periods, as it will help to usher nutrient back into your muscles with an insulin spike.

[quote]HAPLOCK wrote:

I also play about 4 hours of basketball a week, 6 hours of surfing, 3 hours of tennis, and ride my bike about 30 miles a week (transportation to school and gym).

[/quote]

Have you considered lessening your involvement in any of the above activities, at least until you put on some muscle? You must be burning through calories at a pretty impressive rate just from your non-lifting activities, and your body probably simply doesn’t have enough left over to actually grow.

[quote]Hatari Samaki wrote:
HAPLOCK wrote:

I also play about 4 hours of basketball a week, 6 hours of surfing, 3 hours of tennis, and ride my bike about 30 miles a week (transportation to school and gym).

Have you considered lessening your involvement in any of the above activities, at least until you put on some muscle? You must be burning through calories at a pretty impressive rate just from your non-lifting activities, and your body probably simply doesn’t have enough left over to actually grow. [/quote]

Yeah, that is actually something i have been thinking about a lot lately. I really enjoy that stuff but I am 27 and am sick of weighting 155lbs (I graduated college at 138 so at least its getting better). I sit in a desk 8 hours a day so when i get off work i really want to go out and do something fun but if weight gain is really a priority to me then I may have to drop the tennis or stop riding bike so much. thanks for pointing that out though, ive kinda been trying to avoid that fact.

Your diet is really lacking in heathy fats. Try having a spoon full of peanut butter with every meal. That’s an easy way to get another 1000 cals in.

[quote]purdiver wrote:
Your diet is really lacking in heathy fats. Try having a spoon full of peanut butter with every meal. That’s an easy way to get another 1000 cals in. [/quote]

thats a good suggestion, Ill keep a jar at work and try that. Maybe some trail mix too would help. I also take fish oil caplets by the way.

Add one more meal a day and cut the b-ball, tennis and surfing in half. See what happens and then go from there.

[quote]BigHog wrote:
Add one more meal a day and cut the b-ball, tennis and surfing in half. See what happens and then go from there.[/quote]

I’m really not sure where to fit the extra meal in. Ive heard of people waking up at 2am to down a protein shake. would you recommend something like that?

I also agree with the cutting my other activities, if weight gain is going to be a priority then other things will have to suffer. I can always go back to it after i build the muscle.

Hopefully in a month or so I’ll have some results to post. Im shooing for 163 by august 1st as an intermediate goal. I dont even care about bodyfat at this point. I just want to get bigger.

[quote]JKThreeEleven17 wrote:

Make sure to read Berardi’s diet stuff (in the archives), and Temporal Nutrition as well.
[/quote]

I read his massive eating series a few times over. I came up with

RMR = 1960 calories
Office Work x 1.5 so 19601.5 = 2940cal
6MET x 66kg x1hr = 400 cal for workout
8MET x 66kg x 2hr = 1056 cal for activities (basketball, tennis etc…)
TEF = 1958
.1 = 196 calories

So total I should need about 4600 calories per day at my current bodyweight so I am shooting for 5000 - 5500 which will be tough but I guess you gotta do what you gotta do. I’m also gonna work on my nutrient timing.

your only burning 1056 cals for playing basket ball and tennis for 6 hours a week and also biking 30 miles ? i find that really hard to believe.

anyways its not rocket science, if your not gaining muscle mass, up your calories by 500 or so, wait a couple weeks, up again if needed
keep doing that until you start gaining MUSCLE mass, and cut back if you gain EXCESS fat, some fat is to be expected, but not crazy ammounts of it

you should be eating like 8-9k calories a day dude doing all that stuff you do

You eat a lot of fruits too. I’ve read in a few places on this site that fruits can help you loose weight. Dunno if you want to do this, but try eating junkier! :stuck_out_tongue: You may shave years off your life but you will feel more like a man for your living years atleast. hahah

Good Luck guy, keep up the hard work.

[quote]john-lennon wrote:
your only burning 1056 cals for playing basket ball and tennis for 6 hours a week and also biking 30 miles ? i find that really hard to believe.

anyways its not rocket science, if your not gaining muscle mass, up your calories by 500 or so, wait a couple weeks, up again if needed
keep doing that until you start gaining MUSCLE mass, and cut back if you gain EXCESS fat, some fat is to be expected, but not crazy ammounts of it

you should be eating like 8-9k calories a day dude doing all that stuff you do[/quote]

I think he was getting an average day’s caloric expenditure.

To the OP: If you were to cut your activities in half like previously suggested, that’d be another 3500+ calories in the weight gain balance per week, so I think that’s a pretty good suggestion, but also I think that you should try to get up in the middle of the night and have a shake. Drink a lot of water before bed so you wake up and have to pee and do it then.

Yeah, that was an average daily calorie expenditure according to his formulas. I just took my weekly totals for the basketball etc… and divided by 7 since i really dont do those things every day. some days i come home, watch the playoffs, and do homework. I guess before i thought 3-4k was enough but apparently it isnt so Im gonna go for 5k calories and if that doesnt work I just have to try and eat more. I appreciate all of the suggestions and will try to incorporate that with all that i have read.

Im not too worried about gaining fat right now, it may just be a necessary evil to get where i want to be and I can always lose it later once i build some muscle. 175 is just a preliminary goal. I will reasses once i get there and see how I perform at that weight and how it looks.

Honestly, when i was 140 i thought 160 would be great but Im almost there and i still look skinny as fuck and am pretty weak at the gym. But i have gone from a 145 bench, 185 squat, and 205DL to my current numbers so I am making progress.

thanks agian.

I will update for those guys in similar situations that showed interest. I am keeping detailed food and workout logs.