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bass slayer
08-26-2009, 03:17 PM
This fall/winter I will start another bulk to 215-225ish. On my last bulk I gained 30lbs in close to 4 months but I was eating anything and everything in sight and probably added 5% to my body fat, that said I'm still very happy with the muscle mass I have gained. I WANT a six pack next summer but I think I would like more muscle mass more, just dont want the fat. Is this reasonable goals? Are there any ways to do this, or should I just suck it up and add the weight and then cut?

Gymjunkie
08-26-2009, 03:27 PM
I think there is an article posted recently that helps you out:

http://www.wannabebig.com/diet-and-nutrition/to-bulk-or-to-cut-that-is-the-question-or-is-it/

It's also right on top of this page ;)

bass slayer
08-26-2009, 03:34 PM
Thanks bro, that helps.

A question on that article though, It says if you want to be a certain weight that is heavier and still maintain a 10% bodyfat, you need to eat like you are at that weight and want to maintain. Wouldnt alot of that be fat?

Off Road
08-26-2009, 04:07 PM
Wouldnt alot of that be fat?
It's a bulk...of course you'll put on fat. But, it will go away with more time and effort.

ZenMonkey
08-26-2009, 05:02 PM
I really didnt like that article. I think it is a bad idea to plan your diet like that. Just take your weekly maintenance and add 3500 calories to it. Then, if you like use that total to make a carb cycle

EG:
Say 2700 a day is your maintenance

2700calories x 7 days a week = 18900 calories/week

18900 + 3500 = 22400 calories weekly (bulking at about 1lb a week)

22400calories/7days a week= 3200 calories a day average

To make it a cycle:

22400calories a week = X (3 days) + Y (4 days)

22500calories a week= 3500 (3days) + 3000 (4 days)

Still 3200cal daily average and 22400 calories a week.

This is just a modest cycle. You can push the variables farther apart and get closer to a ketogenic state. Cycling this way will maximize LBM increase and minimize fat gain.

bass slayer
08-26-2009, 09:56 PM
Thanks Zen that helped me out alot.

Daniel Roberts
08-27-2009, 06:12 AM
@ ZenMonkey - completely understand your reticence and ultimately which ever approach one takes, it is still an estimate of required food intake to hit a goal. Horses for courses.

Hopefully the following will demonstrate that our ideas aren't the polar opposites they first seem.

@ bass slayer let's just do the maths with your current and goal bodyweights using both approaches.

1st ZenMonkey's

Current maintenance is roughly 16x 207= 3312kcal

3312calories x 7 days a week = 23,184 calories/week

23184 + 3500 = 26,684 calories weekly (bulking at about 1lb a week)

26,684calories/7days a week= 3812 calories a day average

To make it a cycle:

26684calories a week = X (3 days) + Y (4 days)

26684calories a week= 4300 (3days) + 3446 (4 days)

Still 3812cal daily average and 26684 calories a week.


Now my approach -

Your target is 225lbs @ 10%

Your target maintenance is

225x 16 = 3600kcal per day

You can cycle, use a non-linear approach like ZenMonkey suggested

25200kcal per week = 4000 (3days) + 3300 (4 days)




Either way the totals are pretty similar (ZenMonkey's 3.800kcal vs my 3600kcal) and you know exactly where you're heading.

I have to ask why you think you'd be getting fatter on my approach given that total calorie intake is less?

Either way to each his own, good luck.

ZenMonkey
08-27-2009, 08:28 AM
Either way to each his own, good luck.

Both methods have a similar outcome, yes. I agree that they are not that different either. But why add in the extra steps of having to choose some arbitrary number to work towards and then use an arbitrary multiplier (I know 16 is a standard multiplier, but it never works for me that way)? It just seems like an additional, unnecessary, imprecise 2 steps to add to the traditional approach, an approach that has been used and has been working consistently for a long long time. Just add a pounds worth of calories each week. Its that easy. Thats just me though, Im a simplist.

Ive used this method for all of my "bulks" and Ive only had to "cut" for like 3 weeks. And even so, since I was on a carb cycle all I did was lower my off day calories a bit and the fat fell right off. I do see the point of not wanting to bulk or cut, but at some point youll have to cut calories somewhere to get lean. That, albeit a small one, is your bulking/cutting phase.

Daniel Roberts
08-27-2009, 09:04 AM
Fair enough but in the example above your method had a total of 4 steps to determine the new daily total, mine had 1.
Not sure how mine is more complicated or more imprecise? Anyway, I value simplicity and common sense, that is the message of both my recent articles, and in that we are both agreed.

Fair enough but in the example above your method had a total of 4 steps to determine the new daily total, mine had 1.
Not sure how mine is more complicated or more imprecise? Anyway, I value simplicity and common sense, that is the message of both my recent articles, and in that we are both agreed.

Sorry didn't see your edit. Again and as I state in the article this isn't a plea to change the approach of those who know what they are doing , as you obviously do, this for those lost and aimless.

Given that my (I say 'my' it's not my approach plenty of others have come to the same conclusion) approach in the given example comes in at within 200kcal below yours, the rate of fat gain, will be slower and the final maintenance will obviously be lower.


You say you drop your carbs out of the higher calorie day to lean up, that couldn't have been much more than a few hundred calories, which again is simply the difference roughly between our two totals.

I don't understand why, when we're not talking extreme leanness, you believe a cut will be necessary.

ZenMonkey
08-27-2009, 09:08 AM
Fair enough but in the example above your method had a total of 4 steps to determine the new daily total, mine had 1.
Not sure how mine is more complicated or more imprecise? Anyway, I value simplicity and common sense, that is the message of both my recent articles, and in that we are both agreed.

Im not sure how you ascertain that mine has more steps.

Mine:

Add 3500cals to maintenance

Eat accordingly

Yours:

Decide arbitrary goal weight

Use arbitrary multiplier to find that maintenance

Eat accordingly


There is more chance for mistake and marginal differences with your method. It is imprecise because of the tool being used to determine someone's maintenance at a body weight they have not achieved. That is a bit like putting the cart before the horse.

Again, this is a silly tiffle. If probably doesnt really matter which one you go with, OP. We are just arguing syntax when the semantics are the same.

Daniel Roberts
08-27-2009, 09:24 AM
You keep catching me out with edits!!

Just for accuracy, adding 3500 to your maintenance if you know it (I know you do) still requires you divide the total by 7 to hit your daily total, your simplified method then looks like this

Yours:

Add 3500cals to maintenance

Divide total by 7 to get daily amount

Eat accordingly

Mine:

Decide arbitrary goal weight

Use arbitrary multiplier to find that maintenance

Eat accordingly


But you're right, this is a debate about methodology not the end result, for the OP take your pick, whichever's easiest.

ZenMonkey
08-27-2009, 09:30 AM
You keep catching me out with edits!!

Just for accuracy, adding 3500 to your maintenance if you know it (I know you do) still requires you divide the total by 7 to hit your daily total, your simplified method then looks like this

Yours:

Add 3500cals to maintenance

Divide total by 7 to get daily amount

Eat accordingly

Mine:

Decide arbitrary goal weight

Use arbitrary multiplier to find that maintenance

Eat accordingly


But you're right, this is a debate about methodology not the end result, for the OP take your pick, whichever's easiest.

Haha! Nice retort. Here's mine:

Mine:

Add 500 calories a day to maintenance

Eat accordingly

Yours:

Decide arbitrary goal weight

Use arbitrary multiplier to find that maintenance

Eat accordingly



This is fun. :hello: I must say though, it is nice to see some new thoughts on how to reach a goal. Your approach is intriguing and perhaps there is a middle ground where we can split the difference between the two. Or maybe they are too fundamentally different to do that. Either way, it is fun to talk about diet theory with you.

Daniel Roberts
08-27-2009, 09:35 AM
Haha! Nice retort. Here's mine:

Mine:

Add 500 calories a day to maintenance

Eat accordingly

Yours:

Decide arbitrary goal weight

Use arbitrary multiplier to find that maintenance

Eat accordingly



This is fun. :hello:

touche!

ZenMonkey
08-27-2009, 09:39 AM
Haha, check the edit! Got you again!

Daniel Roberts
08-27-2009, 09:42 AM
Haha, check the edit! Got you again!

Well played my man. Tip of the cap to you - I should never underestimate your sneakyness!

Gymjunkie
08-27-2009, 09:42 AM
How about those multipliers? I use 18, others use 16, Lyle McDonald I believe recommends 14-16. How someone came up with them? Any one knows it?

I personally hate long formulas to count BMR so I use multiplier and 500 cals over BMR approach. But if multiplier is just an arbitrary number than it might not be as good as "real formula" ...

Cheers

muscled
08-27-2009, 09:45 AM
Why not simplify, if you are like me and can't be bothered by numbers, and start your bulk by adding one steak a day, or 12 eggs, or one litre of whole milk, for the first couple of weeks and see what happens on the scale and in the mirror? Then you can either adjust or, if you like waz happnin, stick with it.

ZenMonkey
08-27-2009, 09:54 AM
How about those multipliers? I use 18, others use 16, Lyle McDonald I believe recommends 14-16. How someone came up with them? Any one knows it?

I personally hate long formulas to count BMR so I use multiplier and 500 cals over BMR approach. But if multiplier is just an arbitrary number than it might not be as good as "real formula" ...

Cheers

I think multipliers in general are crap. Here's how I find out my maintenance (which is a bunch of other steps, so Daniel Roberts, here is a bunch of ammunition to put holes in my argument :) )

(Keep in mind this is a very strict way to do this, one not need be so strict for results. This is just the working model)


1. I set up a consistent eating program and pledged to adhere to it for a minimum of 4 weeks. It just has to be a program of consistent calorie intake and it has to be at least 4 weeks long. (Six weeks is better and is quite honestly what I would recommend for you, but I had a good long history of weight averages and calorie tracking so I had a very clear idea of what my average weight was when I started, and I could get away with the 4-week version.)

2. I set up a consistent weight-training program that I would adhere to during this time. Again, the important thing is that you COMMIT to your program and you STICK TO IT all the way through. A little variation is all right, because life happens, and we can't always be workout angels...but do not, do not, do NOT plan-jump! I don't care how boring it gets!

3. I set up a consistent program of cardio that I would do during this time. In my case it was zero. If you want to do cardio, that is perfectly fine--plan it in and stick to it. Just know that your eventual calculation of maintenance calories will include several hours of cardio per week. Again, if you like cardio for recreation then that's no problem--you'll be doing it anyway next time you set up a specific weight loss plan, no biggie. Cardio "for weight loss" is quite another matter, however. If you do a bunch of that while you're trying to figure your maintenance, then you will end up with an artificially inflated number at the end of everything. So I would recommend to do recreational cardio only during this time, stuff that you will be doing and enjoying in the future regardless of whether you're trying to lose weight or not.

4. The Weighing: Weigh once a day, at the same time each day. Write this number down. However, we are not going to be all that concerned about daily weight on this program. What I want you to do is keep a rolling average. Add up today's weight with the previous six days' weights, and divide by 7. THIS NUMBER is what you enter into your spreadsheet or whatever you use to keep track of your weight. Do this every morning and at the end of a month you will have a record of AVERAGE weights which will do a lot to smooth out the water bumps and give you some solid information about what your weight has been doing on this amount of calories.

5. The Counting: If you do not have a food scale, don't even think of starting this experiment until you've got one. Volume measurement is not particularly accurate, especially with meats where the water content can vary a great deal depending on how it's been handled. Also, weigh your meat RAW when you are prepping food. Again, water content in a finished meat will vary a lot depending on how it has been cooked. You need the most exact measurements possible. Volume measurement is fine for milk and other liquids, but for solids you must weigh.

Weigh everything that goes in your mouth, insofar as it is practicably possible. Of course there will be occasions over a month's time where it's not a reasonable proposition to do that. I'm not asking you to ruin everyone else's dinner out by freaking over what your piece of meat might have weighed raw. The 80/20 rule applies here...if you weigh 80% of everything, you're in good shape to get a usable estimate at the end of all this.

Vegetables: I did not bother weighing or measuring my vegetables when I did this. I knew I would go mad if I had to weigh and count things like mushrooms, celery and green beans. If counting veg does not bother you, then go ahead and count them. But if you don't want to, then don't stress about it. I don't believe it makes a huge difference.

Free or off-plan meals: Of course this is going to happen from time to time. You can't cancel your life because you're trying to work out your calories. Again, don't stress, just make a note of what you ate and perhaps a rough calorie estimate (you will get very good at estimating calories if you weigh and count the way I recommend). Oh, and I know you're not much of a drinker, but I should mention this...when you do drink, don't just think "awfukit" like many people do. Allow for those calories in your estimate. An average of 150 cals per glass of wine or bottle of beer should be adequate without making you nuts trying to figure out what you had down to the last milliliter.

6. At the End: You will have 4-6 weeks of daily AVERAGE weights, and 4-6 weeks of very precise calorie measurements. I had to do a bit of fiddling because I was on a keto diet, which of course strips a lot of water off with the fat. If you don't go keto then you won't have to do this. All you do, then, is add up your total calories for the entire month (including a reasonable estimate for your free/offplan meals), divide by the number of pounds/kilos change in your weight, and you will get the number of average calories you were under or over. This is your maintenance calorie rate at the moment.


Why not simplify, if you are like me and can't be bothered by numbers, and start your bulk by adding one steak a day, or 12 eggs, or one litre of whole milk, for the first couple of weeks and see what happens on the scale and in the mirror? Then you can either adjust or, if you like waz happnin, stick with it.

This is another great idea. Just keep eating the same and add in 1-2 protein shakes accordingly. I guess it would only work for X amount of time until you had to revamp your entire diet to fit in the extra calories. Then I think you might find yourself in the original position.


Well played my man. Tip of the cap to you - I should never underestimate your sneakyness!

:hide:

Gymjunkie
08-27-2009, 10:11 AM
I think multipliers in general are crap. Here's how I find out my maintenance (which is a bunch of other steps, so Daniel Roberts, here is a bunch of ammunition to put holes in my argument :) )

(Keep in mind this is a very strict way to do this, one not need be so strict for results. This is just the working model)


1. I set up a consistent eating program and pledged to adhere to it for a minimum of 4 weeks. It just has to be a program of consistent calorie intake and it has to be at least 4 weeks long. (Six weeks is better and is quite honestly what I would recommend for you, but I had a good long history of weight averages and calorie tracking so I had a very clear idea of what my average weight was when I started, and I could get away with the 4-week version.)

2. I set up a consistent weight-training program that I would adhere to during this time. Again, the important thing is that you COMMIT to your program and you STICK TO IT all the way through. A little variation is all right, because life happens, and we can't always be workout angels...but do not, do not, do NOT plan-jump! I don't care how boring it gets!

3. I set up a consistent program of cardio that I would do during this time. In my case it was zero. If you want to do cardio, that is perfectly fine--plan it in and stick to it. Just know that your eventual calculation of maintenance calories will include several hours of cardio per week. Again, if you like cardio for recreation then that's no problem--you'll be doing it anyway next time you set up a specific weight loss plan, no biggie. Cardio "for weight loss" is quite another matter, however. If you do a bunch of that while you're trying to figure your maintenance, then you will end up with an artificially inflated number at the end of everything. So I would recommend to do recreational cardio only during this time, stuff that you will be doing and enjoying in the future regardless of whether you're trying to lose weight or not.

4. The Weighing: Weigh once a day, at the same time each day. Write this number down. However, we are not going to be all that concerned about daily weight on this program. What I want you to do is keep a rolling average. Add up today's weight with the previous six days' weights, and divide by 7. THIS NUMBER is what you enter into your spreadsheet or whatever you use to keep track of your weight. Do this every morning and at the end of a month you will have a record of AVERAGE weights which will do a lot to smooth out the water bumps and give you some solid information about what your weight has been doing on this amount of calories.

5. The Counting: If you do not have a food scale, don't even think of starting this experiment until you've got one. Volume measurement is not particularly accurate, especially with meats where the water content can vary a great deal depending on how it's been handled. Also, weigh your meat RAW when you are prepping food. Again, water content in a finished meat will vary a lot depending on how it has been cooked. You need the most exact measurements possible. Volume measurement is fine for milk and other liquids, but for solids you must weigh.

Weigh everything that goes in your mouth, insofar as it is practicably possible. Of course there will be occasions over a month's time where it's not a reasonable proposition to do that. I'm not asking you to ruin everyone else's dinner out by freaking over what your piece of meat might have weighed raw. The 80/20 rule applies here...if you weigh 80% of everything, you're in good shape to get a usable estimate at the end of all this.

Vegetables: I did not bother weighing or measuring my vegetables when I did this. There were two reasons: First, I was eating the same veg and in the same quantities on the PSMF that I normally eat, so that would simply be a constant number; and second, I knew I would go mad if I had to weigh and count things like mushrooms, celery and green beans. If counting veg does not bother you, then go ahead and count them. But if you don't want to, then don't stress about it. I don't believe it makes a huge difference.

Free or off-plan meals: Of course this is going to happen from time to time. You can't cancel your life because you're trying to work out your calories. Again, don't stress, just make a note of what you ate and perhaps a rough calorie estimate (you will get very good at estimating calories if you weigh and count the way I recommend). Oh, and I know you're not much of a drinker, but I should mention this...when you do drink, don't just think "awfukit" like many people do. Allow for those calories in your estimate. An average of 150 cals per glass of wine or bottle of beer should be adequate without making you nuts trying to figure out what you had down to the last milliliter.

6. At the End: You will have 4-6 weeks of daily AVERAGE weights, and 4-6 weeks of very precise calorie measurements. I had to do a bit of fiddling because I was on a keto diet, which of course strips a lot of water off with the fat. If you don't go keto then you won't have to do this. All you do, then, is add up your total calories for the entire month (including a reasonable estimate for your free/offplan meals), divide by the number of pounds/kilos change in your weight, and you will get the number of average calories you were under or over. This is your maintenance calorie rate at the moment.



This is another great idea. Just keep eating the same and add in 1-2 protein shakes accordingly. I guess it would only work for X amount of time until you had to revamp your entire diet to fit in the extra calories. Then I think you might find yourself in the original position.



:hide:

Is there anything you don't know? lol

Thanx for such in-depth post! I hate counting cals but it's needed. I'm gonna get mini-scale to weigh foods.

bass slayer
08-27-2009, 11:24 AM
Both Zen and Daniel- You both seem to know your stuff and both have me eating about the same amount. I appreciate the help from both of you. I just now have to figure out how Im going to get in all those calories lol. Its a tough business eating maintenence for 200lbs +. What is a good way to track what you eat?

Polish Hammer
08-31-2009, 05:27 PM
Put the weight on by any means,then cut for summer.Plenty of time to get your BF down.

Brian999
08-31-2009, 05:37 PM
honestly dude, what helped me was I stopped saying 'Im going to bulk to 225'. For some that works, for me it didn't. Just bulk clean, once you feel you have good size then cut. I bulked from 170-238ish and honestly didn't look that bad. I dropped, and am bulking again.

When I had a weight goal (225 too) I didn't feel I was that big when I got there, and felt like I had waay more potential. Take advantage of the newbie gains. Im barely going to be lifting for 1 year, and I'll post a pic next week maybe, but my strength, and size went up so much. How long have you been lifting? I have seen you on the boards since I first registerd. When I started SS I wasn't even doing 135 bench for reps, now I can do 245 for reps.

turtle12stone
08-31-2009, 06:07 PM
What is a good way to track what you eat?

have you tried fitday.com?? i was just led onto it, give it ago.

bass slayer
08-31-2009, 07:09 PM
honestly dude, what helped me was I stopped saying 'Im going to bulk to 225'. For some that works, for me it didn't. Just bulk clean, once you feel you have good size then cut. I bulked from 170-238ish and honestly didn't look that bad. I dropped, and am bulking again.

When I had a weight goal (225 too) I didn't feel I was that big when I got there, and felt like I had waay more potential. Take advantage of the newbie gains. Im barely going to be lifting for 1 year, and I'll post a pic next week maybe, but my strength, and size went up so much. How long have you been lifting? I have seen you on the boards since I first registerd. When I started SS I wasn't even doing 135 bench for reps, now I can do 245 for reps.

Im going on 9 months. My lifts have increased some but im still weak. I started at 70bs for bench when I was on starting strength and now im only up to 120 on bench for 5 reps. My bench is terrible. Your progress you made on the bench is incredible. 100lbs in a year! You must have great genetics.

Ive finally descided im going to maintain at my weight for a while and work on muscle mass and deffinition. Maybe see if I can add a couple pounds of clean natural weight a month.

New2IRON
08-31-2009, 10:30 PM
Fat is where most of your energy comes from. I remember once going on a bulk and not eating any fatty foods. I couldnt hold my head up through the day.

Fat is good in moderation and it is needed to bulk...Just make sure to cut it later