T Nation

The Best Muscle Mass Gaining Diet?

So, although my post count isn’t very high, i’ve read through plenty of information regarding nutrition and diets to gain mass.

Some say they gain ludicrous amounts of clean mass is possible by bulking on the anabolic diet (low carb with carb loading days, high fat / protein) however Thib (whom i often take heed to) does not agree with the anabolic diet.

Others say that eating plenty of the right carbs at the right time (wholegrain throughout day, 75g sugar PWO) when bulking is the key to mass gains and doesnt have much risk of excessive fat gain

Good ol’ Thib posted somewhere that the ideal nutrient breakdown for mass gain is something like

  • Protein: 1.75g to 2g per pound
  • Fat: 0.65g to 0.85g per pound
  • Carbs: less than 50g

Some old-school bodybuilders swear that bulking while in a state of ketosis is brilliant for clean mass (cant remember who i read that said this, but there are a few out there, i promise)

Arnold’s bodybuilding book says ketosis = bad, carbs = good

I’m hoping someone can post their experiences on various nutrient breakdowns and tell me which they found gave them plenty of mass gains with minimal fat gains (I am not afraid to get some fat but i want to make sure i’m getting the most muscle per pound of fat possible)

If someone complains that i didn’t post details etc etc, im 6"4, 210 pounds, 12% bodyfat (finishing my cut in 3 days) and very very hungry for a diet which is heavily supported by hopefully the vast array of posts this thread receives.

Hwah? Where does Thibaudeau recommend less than 50g of carbs for MASS? Link, please!


Thibs has recommended plenty of different diet plans for gaining mass. Some better than others depending on the INDIVIDUAL! For eg. If you an ecto who doesnt gain very well, I doubt that Thib would have sworn by a low carb approach, with more calories from protein and fats, rather than carbs…

I have saved this reco from his Thib’s Q&A’s which you will like:

I never said that carbs cycling was better THAN TARGETED CARBS EATING… I said that it was a strategy better used to GAIN MUSCLE WHILE MINIMIZING FAT GAIN rather than using it to LOSE FAT.

Let’s take it down a few notches shall we.

A = carbs cycling to gain mass
B = carbs cycling to lose fat
C = targeted carbs dieting to gain mass
D = targeted carbs dieting to lose fat
E = pure low carbs dieting
F = pure higher carbs dieting

= is superior to…

For an average individual (12-15% body fat) trying to gain mass WHILE MINIMIZING FAT GAIN)…

A > F
C > A

For an average individual trying to gain mass WHILE ACCEPTING AN AVERAGE FAT GAIN to maximize growth…

C > F
A > C

For an average individual trying to lose fat…

B > F
D > B
E > D

For a LEAN individual (less than 10% body fat) trying to gain mass while minimizing fat gain…

A = C
A > F
C > F

For a lean individual trying to gain mass while accepting some fat gain to maximize growth…

A > C
C > F

For a lean individual trying to get ripped…

B > E
D > B

For a skinny guy (who has trouble gaining mass) trying to grow…

A > C
C > E
F > A (in most cases)

A guy above 15% should stick to low carbs or targeted carbs.

Of course this is just a general guideline. It will apply to about 75% of the cases.


GymJunkie, you’re correct, i like. Thanks alot


8th post from the bottom. Although Thib is initially referring to a diet for fat loss, he states that you would increase fat/protein by 10-15%, but not carbs by 15%. If you do the math, you’ll get the macro-nutrient breakdown that i posted above

However, thats all irrelevant since GymJumkie’s post trumps my little quote from one of Thib’s posts.