T Nation

Starting Over - Clean Bulk

Hey guys,
I started lifting a couple years ago at 13 or 14. After a year of being around 150lbs, I decided to go on an all out bulk. From sophomore to junior year, I got to 240lbs. Got really strong and put on a lot of muscle, but a lot of fat, too. I was drinking two gallons of whole milk a day and a bunch of other food, too.

I was planning on cutting down to around 190 from there with an estimated LBM of 170.
An unexpected shoulder and back injury had me out for 3 months, and I was cutting meanwhile. I came back at 180 and with lots of muscle and strength lost.

Kept on my cut and was able to make steady strength gains while dropping weight since I’ve come back. But I’m not near the level I was when I had to stop lifting. I’m on day 150 now of a keto died and sufficiently lean. It’s time to start gaining again and this time, the right way.

I’ve been cutting on about 1100 calories a day. It seems like too little, but I feel good and I’m able to make consistent strength gains. Maybe it’s genetics; maybe it’s my age. But I see no reason not to do it this way if I’m able to get good results.

So, there’s the background story…

I’m coming to you guys for help. I have a good amount of lifting experience, and even dieting now, but I honestly don’t know how to properly bulk. I read every stickied diet thread on there that I could.

So, I’m going to do 4 meals a day. And I’m going to have carbs in the morning and pre and post workout. So It’ll be a moderate-carb bulk. Also, on keto, I feel totally fine. Low carb doesn’t phase me. Does this indicate anything about my carb sensitivity?

So, I’m going to do 1.5g protein/lb of body weight a day. Should I start out on 2500 or 3000 calories a day? I’m inclined to say 3000, seeing as I used to eat 6-7k, but I do not want to bulk as messily as I did last time. In fact, I’d prefer not to even have milk this go. I’ve had enough of it for a couple of years. I think I hade myself a lergic.

So anyways, so I’ll need to have ~625 calories per meal. I’m thinking I’ll have:
-meal 1: carbs, protein, fat
-meal 2: carbs, protein, fat
-lift
-meal 3: higher carbs, higher protein, lower fat
-meal 4: no carbs, higher fat

Does this look right? How should the carb/protein/fat ratio for every meal look? Also, what kinds of carb sources should I use? I know people eat oatmeal for breakfast, but why? Are fast-digesting carbs like white bread ever okay? What about that Ezekiel bread? Is brown rice slow digesting and white rice fast digesting? What about potatoes?

Basically, what types of carbs should I have and when? Keep in mind that I’m trying to keep it clean, with minimal fat gain.

Alright, I’d appreciate any advice.
Thank you,

well the things is i have every intention of doing a similar thing to wat u did but not as extreme, u gained too much too quickly. prob wat almost 2lbs a week which ultimately if not super clean would be at least half fat if not more. especially with the whole milk.

i know ur finishing a keto-diet, but why not make use of all the new protocols around atm and do something like this. (using waylander’s protocol)

1: P+F
2: P+F
60mins before: 50g WMS + 25g whey
30mins before: 50g WMS + 25g whey
during : 25G WMS + 25g whey
after: 100g whey + 25g WMS (WMS being waxy maize starch)
3: P+F
4: P + vegies (DC protocol - only protein before bed no carbs no fats)

in terms of calories, dont go too high too quick, or youll get fat again, gradually build these calories up.
seeing as youve been in ketosis for ages ur insulin sensitivity should be thru the roof, meaning u can take advantage of a huge insulin spike pre workout and have made good use of current peri-workout protocols going around.

lift heavy and sleep well.

hope everything works out for ya buddy. if ya want a split, why not try 6 days a week (3 day split, twice a week), works really well, ur lifts will go up and hence the muscle.

good luck buddy. also PM as usual, Waylander or PX for additional advice.

cheers.

oh and carb sources, basmati and brown are simular but opt for brown over white if ya wanna stay lean, choose sweet potatoes over potatoes and wholemeal over white bread, all smarter choices. in terms of oatmeal it agrees with some, doesnt with others, your insulin sensitivity should be real good, so maybe add carbs if you want in other meals, but dont go crazy.

oh and dont be afraid to eat junk food, its good for you :wink: well in taste and calories anyways :slight_smile:

yeah i agree, don’t go straight on 3000 calories a day… ramp it up gradually.

1: P+F (i think it might be better to get some carbs in the morning)
2: P+F
60mins before: 50g WMS + 25g whey
30mins before: 50g WMS + 25g whey
during : 25G WMS + 25g whey
after: 100g whey + 25g WMS (WMS being waxy maize starch) i think these servings may be a little high, perhaps start out with less and see how you feel on it and go from there
3: P+F
4: P + vegies (DC protocol - only protein before bed no carbs no fats)

Hi Artem,

Lets take a look, your currently coming of an extended very low calorie, low carb diet and a slight layoff. For you, right now, regaining muscle tissue is going to be very, very simple for a couple of reasons

  1. Your young, these are your formative years and physiologically your body is primed to grow
  2. Your calories have been stupidly low, see the reason above for why this is the case
  3. Your carbs have also been minimal.

So, to initiate gaining muscle all will have to do is continue with the progressive training and begin to add in foods. I dont suggest that you go crazy initially. Reason being, if you have dieted for an extended period and lost a good amount of weight, simple adding in around 400 - 500 Calories may bring you into a relative surplus and initiate the weight gain. For some people, going straight into the muscle building diets with high calories can cause an uncomfortable rebound with excessive fluid and fat regain.

I would take the simplest plan you can come up with and phase it, adding in whole foods step by step, say every 2 - 3 weeks. I would start with whole food sources and leave the supplements until you are at a point where you can afford to spend the calories on them. Protein powders and fish oils are obviously fine at this point.

So, initially, your first priority is protein. Your number looks fine. Second is fats, set these at around 0.4 - 0.5g/lb. With these 2 values you have your essential nutrients. Split these up into whatever number of meals suits you and your schedule currently. From here, add in some carbohydrates.

Breakfast in the am, pre training and post training are probably the places to start with carbs. For the next couple of weeks, start relatively small with this amount, say, 0.5g/lb, about the same amount as the fat. On your off days just have the breakfast carbs.

In 2 -3 weeks, if all things are well, add in another 0.25 - 0.5g/lb, some pre training, some post training and maybe a touch here and there. On your days off, add in another carb meal.

Thereafter, add in smaller amounts to your other meals as you see fit.

To make this manageable make is as simple as you can, dont go crazy and complicate things with x,y and z. Reason being, you will need to make adjustments and you will need to learn what goes on with your body here, by adding in a load of variables all at once you wont have a clue whats going on.

Protein sources:
Lean meats, fish, protein powders, eggs, some low fat dairy
Carbs:
Oats, rice, fruit, etc
Fats:
Olive oil, nuts, seeds, avocado, etc

Maximize your vegetable intake too.

In reality, for most people, dieting foods and muscle gaining foods will probably be the same, only the amounts will probably vary.

At this time, your number one priority is to nourish your body with lots of good quality foods, on 1,100 calories you were in a very steep negative energy balance and I will guarantee that your micronutrients would have been too low.

Don’t worry about P+c and P+f meals, there are no magical foods or food combination, like ezekiel bread. And white bread probably isn’t the most nutritious food out there. Up to you whether you want to eat it. At your age right now, you need to get yourself eating sufficient amounts, training hard and making sure that all of your nutritional bases are met.

In the beginning here you will probably have to count your macros as your transition and adjust, with a little time and experimenting here, you will get much better at gauging portions, and your food requirements, probably to the point where you can guesstimate what you need.

whats your weight at now?

[quote]Brotha123 wrote:
whats your weight at now?[/quote]

160

[quote]Artem wrote:
Brotha123 wrote:
whats your weight at now?

160[/quote]

wow…

o okay i am tryin to hit a clean bulk to if u have any suggestions let me kno

I’d be interested to see pictures. Are you really 160 right now? So you dropped 80lb?

he has a thread i dont know if pics are there.

If you just got done with Keto being that you’re most likely overly insulin sensitive - you have to EASE teh carbs in week by week . first start adding in more n more pre-wo and leave the rest of your diet Keto style.

Then progress day by day eating more veggies the first few weeks like 10g more total per week.Then add in some some ROOT veggies next few weeks … you should be up to 40-60g per day carbs now not including pre-wo -which should be oatmeal really only for your CHO - steel cut or 5 min cook.
Then after that first month do a refeed just above maintenance - include fruit before starting - THEN start your carb cycle

I would like to see how you looked at two-forty, any pics?

You have to be fucking kidding me.

[quote]Artem wrote:
Got really strong and put on a lot of muscle[/quote]

NO MATTER how clean your bulk, you’ll end up the same way unless you focus on getting stronger. If you’re going to get to 240 again and want to stick with DBs for benching, I’d hope you got to repping the 120’s on an incline and being able to squat twice bodyweight AT THE VERY LEAST (even if its on a smith/tru squat).
You didn’t get fat the first time because you ate something unclean, you just gained weight TOO fast to gain a commensurate amount of size.

[quote]tribunaldude wrote:
NO MATTER how clean your bulk, you’ll end up the same way unless you focus on getting stronger. If you’re going to get to 240 again and want to stick with DBs for benching, I’d hope you got to repping the 120’s on an incline and being able to squat twice bodyweight AT THE VERY LEAST (even if its on a smith/tru squat).
You didn’t get fat the first time because you ate something unclean, you just gained weight TOO fast to gain a commensurate amount of size.[/quote]

Even the fast weight gain thing isn’t THAT true. Like, you could have atleast gained 40-60 or 30-70 muscle to fat… I mean, that would have been awesome.

So 80 lbs. of weight, 30 and 50 muscle to fat… hells yah. But you’re 160 now.

I’d say just keep pushing the weights as hard as you can and try to keep carbs around workout time.

Artem can I just say: If you ever bulk, and wonder how much muscle you have - Look at your strength levels.

A good base level of strength for an appreciable amount of muscle mass would be say… 315 squat, 265 bench, 365-405 deadlift - all for 5-6 reps.

Keep that in mind, thats why when you got up to 200lbs, but could only squat 225, you didn’t have shit left over when you cut down.

[quote]tribunaldude wrote:
NO MATTER how clean your bulk, you’ll end up the same way unless you focus on getting stronger. If you’re going to get to 240 again and want to stick with DBs for benching, I’d hope you got to repping the 120’s on an incline and being able to squat twice bodyweight AT THE VERY LEAST (even if its on a smith/tru squat).
You didn’t get fat the first time because you ate something unclean, you just gained weight TOO fast to gain a commensurate amount of size.[/quote]

Agree 100%.

You don’t need to focus on all this low carb/low fat, macronutrient bullshit AT ALL. Eat 6 clean meals a day and you’ll be golden.

I.e

meal 1 - oats/protein shake
meal 2 - meat/rice

pre-workout - Protein**/fast-absorbing carb & electrolytes***
during workout - Protein**/fast-absorbing carb & electrolytes***
post-workout - Protein**

meal 3 - meat/rice
meal 4 - meat/sweet potato
meal 5 - meat/veg
meal 6 - peanut butter/cottage cheese

Measure out the food you are eating, so you know how much it takes to gain/lose weight. Keep it simple.

If you can’t afford four 8-16oz meat meals a day, swap one out for a big protein shake with EVOO.

Look at how Waylander sets out his diets for a good example - simple and easy.


**
This could either be Casein Hydrosylate (if you can afford it), or regular whey protein.


Something like Surge workout fuel, vitargo (highly recommended), waxy-maize or even Gatorade is good.

Mix them with like a fruit juice concentrate for good taste.

[quote]tribunaldude wrote:
You have to be fucking kidding me.

Artem wrote:
Got really strong and put on a lot of muscle

[/quote]

Oh TD, how I have missed you haha.

Goodluck Artem.

So you got a net gain of…10 lbs?