T Nation

Weight Gain while on Program?


#1

Hey everyone. I have read two of the 5\3\1 books and I know what Jim has outlined for his diet while on the program and his thought of weight gain while building strength. I just started and am returning from some time off. I was roughly 170-175 lbs before I took time off and know I am about 182 lbs. This isn’t a lot but it is noticeable and the heaviest I have been since I started getting fit. About a year and a half, two years ago I started lifting and getting fit. I started at 180 lbs and dropped to about 163lbs. After a while I noticed my lifts stalled so I started eating more and started to improve slightly. Got bored of following a diet plan\counting calories and took some time off and noticed I still ate pretty healthy but my lifts were growing again. Than I got hurt and slowed down and eventually took a break from lifting to rehab myself.

My question is people following the program do you count calories , do you eat a strict low fat high protein diet or do you just eat what you want and get strong but have to buy a new wardrobe all the time?


#2

Well I’ve been doing the BBB workout for almost a year and eating my ass off, no junk, as much protein as possible, good carbs etc. Not doing much cardio though and have gained like 20lbs…! Stronger then ever, gained some size but my damn waist size has gotten bigger to. If I could figure out how to keep gaining size and strength while losing fat at the same time I’d be happy as hell. Love the workout and the strength gains but not the big waist …!!


#3

This is highly variable based on one’s goals. Do you want to get as big and strong as possible? Yes? Then eat a lot, and track it to make sure you’re actually meeting your eating goals. Do you want to lean out as much as possible? Then track your calories and macros to make sure you are staying within your range.

I am about your size, but I’ve been 170 +/- 5 pounds for more than a decade. My goals are to be relatively strong and relatively lean, but I’m not willing to gain weight unabashedly to reach new numbers in the gym, nor am I willing to take on the eating lifestyle needed to get into single digits of % body fat. This is something you’ll have to decide yourself.


#4

It’s a double edged sword. If your waist is growing significantly then you might be overdoing it with your calories. It sounds like you’re a bit experienced so I’m guessing you won’t add more than 0.5-1.0 lbs of muscle per month. The scale will move a bit more than that due to increased glycogen and water storage.

If your goal is to be a power lifter then just eat and lift. If you’re like most of us and want to balance strength and physique then you’ll have to be more careful. I suggest trying a cutting phase every once in a while to keep the fat gain in check. Eat to grow/gain for 5 or 6 weeks and then try a cut for 2 weeks. That’s not enough time to kill your strength gains but might be just enough to save your body comp.


#5

Like other have said, itd be cool if you can be content with finding a happy medium. Not eating your face off just for the sake of size nor restricting quantities at meals because you want sharper abs.

Hovering in that 12-15% range for bf is nice because you wont have to eat like a bird and you certainly wont look round. Strength and hypertrohy gains will happen in this range. You’ll look good with no shirt but still visibly muscular with one. Have fun with it!


#6

Never counted a calorie in my life, I eat high fat, high protein low carb. When I want to gain weight, I eat more food, and when I want to lose it, I eat less food. I don’t let myself get fat. All the hard work makes that difficult.


#7

My diet:
Breakfast
Left overs (if there was enough)
Or
6 egg omelette and mash potato cooked the night before.

Lunch is
4 chicken thighs and carbs (2 large jacket potatoes or 750g of mash or rice)
Or
Chilli with 2 large potatoes or rice.

Huge dinner.
If we have mince I’ll have most of the 1 1/2 lb we cook up.
If we have chicken breast il have 2-3.
If we have prok I’ll have 3 loin steaks
If we have lamb I’ll have an omelette later as lamb’s expensive.

Lots of weight gain. No extra body fat to speak of.


#8

Thanks guys. I am looking to get strong but be somewhat lean. Most of my life I have had a stomach and until about a year ago I had lost most of it. I look in the mirror recently and it seems to have been making a come back. Im 32 years old and not enough time to spend in the gym and get washboard abs so I have no delusion that I am going to have abs in this lifetime. I might try to do the 5-6 week cycle followed by a 2 week cut. Might be enough to keep me on track more than I have been. When I had a lifting schedule and was faithful to it I kept on track with a clean eating style but recently I have wanted to eat anything and everything with little regard. Im no fool I know how my body got to the shape its in but the thought of chicken and rice for dinner just does nothing for me like It used too. So Ill start with the 5\2 week cycle


#9

Whenever I need to lose weight I do BBB.
Set your training max low and push Jokers 1 lift per week. This alllows you to maintain strength. Training max is just a constant when you have command of all the tools from the books. If done right u should be able to cut SOME calories and lose body fat.


#10

So when you guys “cut” for a couple weeks, do you actually lower your intake by a certain number of calories or just cut back on eating all together ? Like less carbs etc …? I usually eat most carbs by lunch time but I always have some rice or potatoes with my dinner also. I really don’t care what the scale says as far as my weight but I really need to get my waist line a little smaller…I went up a couple inches in the past two years and don’t like the way I feel or look.


#11

Carb manipulation varies by individual. We have guys here who eat low carb and they’re big, strong, and lean. We have high carb guys who are the same. I try to eat most carbs early in the day and around my training. My physique seems to do ok with that.

If I’m doing anything it’s a planned number. I determine my goal and the time frame first.

Here’s an example:

I want to cut 10 lbs.

Safe weight loss is 1-2 pounds per week which is a deficit of 3500-7000 calories. If you want to lose 2 lbs per week then decrease your calories by 1000 calories per day.

That could also mean cutting calories by 500 and burning 500 at the gym or any combination like that. Just make sure the deficit is 1000 each day.

That’s just my approach. I’m very mathematical about things and way too OCD about tracking my food.