View Full Version : Recommedations on diet for muscle gain Noob

05-20-2005, 02:13 PM
I'm starting up on my weight lifting again. Here's my situation. I was 230 lbs at about 33% bodyfat. I cut that down to 165 pounds and about 14% bodyfat. That was a pretty big loss of muscle tissue which I want to regain. I understand that for maximum muscle gain I will most likely gain some fat back and I'm fine with that. I figure I'm really done with my weigh loss regime now and want to start bulking up. I'm looking for recommendations on how I should adjust my diet to achieve this. I plan on lifting three times a week, maybe four if my weekends allow it.

Any recommendations beyond the "just eat more protein" line? Should I consume more fats? What about multivitamins? What should I consume before and after a workout?

05-20-2005, 02:48 PM
First off, congrats on your tremendous weight loss. You must feel like a new person.

For starters, you should be consuming 20xyour body weight in calories. This should lead to a 1lb gain per week with minimal fat gain. For you that would be 3300 cals per day. Break this up into about 40%protein 30%fat and 30%carb. Your protein should come from fish, poultry, eggs, lean beef and pork, nuts and seeds and milk. Carbs should come from whole grains, vegetables and limited fruit. And fats should come from oils (olive oil, fish oil).

Try to eat something every 2-3 hours. And get some carbs in the morning. Oatmeal is a great start. A multivitamin is a good idea too.

Read up on the diet section and listen to people who know. There's a ton of info out there.

Good luck!

05-20-2005, 03:00 PM
Wow, that sounds like a lot of calories. Should I continue with some basic cardio as well or is that detrimental to my muscle growth? Also, I've heard that for the first 6 to 8 weeks of weight lifting that muscles don't tend to grow. I think it's called neuromuscular adaption wherein your body will learn to lift more without actually gaining mass. If that's true will I see any change in my body?

05-20-2005, 03:04 PM
Well you lost 65lbs of body weight and over half your body fat... unless your estimating those percantages and didnt have them prefessionally checked by a doctor. I would say if you did have a doctor measure your body fat levels before and after your weight loss, having lost 65lbs you most lost fat and hardly any muscle. If by bulk you mean gain lean muscle mass and get that "ripped" look then go for low weight high rep exercises. Say for instance that you could benchpress 135lbs for 3 sets of 10 reps. You would drop your weight down to say 70lbs and do 5-6 sets of 20+ reps. Now if by bulking you mean getting wicked powerful then youll need to do quite the opposite, use higher weights for lower reps... take that same scenario. You can bench 135 for 3 sets of 10, but to tailor the lift for max strenght gain youll want to go to about 165-185 for 2-3 sets of 4-6 reps. Of couse these numbers arn't exactly what to use but they give you the idea of how to adjust the weight and reps to your strengh for your desires.

05-20-2005, 03:07 PM
It is true that you wont get huge overnight and that adding just 10lbs of lean muscle mass per year is an achievement. If you ballon up a redicilous ammount, say 50lbs in under a year then you know some of its fat... probably over half. Muscle growth takes a while, and muscles that get stronger without getting proportinally bigger are usually had from powerlifting.

05-20-2005, 03:25 PM
So what of cardio then? Should it be avoided at all costs or is some minor cardio recommended. I usually walk home which is about 1.5 hours of walking. That's how I lost most of my weight. Should I continue with this walking on my off days or will that slow down my muscle gain?

05-20-2005, 03:54 PM
If by bulk you mean gain lean muscle mass and get that "ripped" look then go for low weight high rep exercises. Say for instance that you could benchpress 135lbs for 3 sets of 10 reps. You would drop your weight down to say 70lbs and do 5-6 sets of 20+ reps.

worst advice ever

05-20-2005, 06:43 PM
Okay, couple things here

For bulking "ratios" - well, there aren't any. There's nothing magical about ratios. The two things that matter are
1) grams of protein: between 1 and 1.5 grams of protein per pound bodyweight (I usually suggest per pound goal weight if you're very overweight, but this, for you, is a moot point. Props on the weight loss! I used to be fat too. Nice work!)
2) calories over maintenance.

The rest is a matter of comfort and preference.

Personally, I prefer a higher fat diet. Some folks do well on lower fats. Either is fine. Just make sure the calories are where you want them to be, and that you target the carbs into the meals immediately before and the ones following your lifting. Fats are a caloric ballast. Period.

You can take a peek at the link in my sig to see a sample diet and how I time everything. But that's just me. You might find you want more carbs and less fat, which is also fine.


Now, how to increase the calories so you don't turn back into a tubbo.

When I bulk this fall, I'll be adding an extra 100 daily calories each week so I can track and make sure I don't turn into blubber too fast.

You're a boy, and young, and bigger than me. Probably add an extra daily 200 calories for a week, then another 200 until you get to a level you're comfortable with and where you're getting results.

Now, the training.

Low weight, high reps does NOTHING.

If it did, as I've said in an earlier post, you'd see a LOT of ripped soccer moms getting out of toning class at the community centre.

The only real difference between cutting and bulking is diet.

For cutting, you keep the weight as heavy as you can, dropping the sets if you need to so you can keep the lifting heavy and intense. This helps maintain your muscle mass while you drop fat.

As an example, if you were doing 4 sets of 10 reps while bulking, you might drop it down to 3 sets of 8-10 reps for cutting, but using the same weight.

Best of luck!

05-20-2005, 07:03 PM
Oh, and the cardio thing:

I wouldn't do the hour and a half walks during a bulk.

20 minutes a day would be fine, good for your heart. But if you start gaining fat too fast, it's your diet, not your cardio. It just means pull back a bit on the calories.


05-21-2005, 10:29 AM
Well then I guess im a special case, doing the lower weight higher reps workouts Ive added an inch and a half to my biceps in just under 8 months and probably an inch or so to my triceps bringing my total arm size to 18 inches. Same with my thighs, took them from 31 to 33 inches.

05-21-2005, 10:42 AM
if you dont know your maintenance calories id start off at 15x bw and see if you gain from there

05-21-2005, 11:43 AM
Here's some basic guidelines:

Good foods
protein: chicken breasts, tuna, cottage cheese, eggs and egg whites, lean cuts of beef

carbs: oats, whole wheat bread, yams, veggies, fruits, brown rice, barley

fats: raw almonds and walnuts, flax, fish oil(from salmon and other fatty fish or from caps), oilve oil, natty pb

Here are some guidlines to follow...

-eat 6+ meals a day, eating a meal every 2-3 hours
-eat at least 1g of protein be pound of body weight
-to get an estimate of how many calories you are going to need to eat to gain weight take your body werght X 20
-avoid processed food

I'd suggest low reps, heavy weight, like 4-7 reps for bulking. Stick with compound movements, and get plenty of rest.

05-24-2005, 10:20 AM
Thanks for your advice guys. Very helpful. I start my routine today but will probably have to whip my diet into shape later this week or next week. A few more questions though-

"Fats are a caloric ballast." What does this mean?

It would appear that the key to muscle gain is consuming protein at a rate of 1 to 1.5 grams per pound of bodyweight and eating 6 to 8 times a day. Also consuming my bodyweight in calories X 15 or 20. Now, I plan on working out only every other day. Should I still be eating this same diet everyday? I would assume yes. I would like to maintain a low fat diet if at all possible. I eat a lot of chicken already. Would this be a problem?

Neuromuscular adaption. I brought this up on my original post but nobody commented on it. If this is true than I would imagine I'd see some improvement in my definition but no significant weigt gains from muscle. Is this true?

Jorge Sanchez
05-24-2005, 03:18 PM
It is true that you wont get huge overnight and that adding just 10lbs of lean muscle mass per year is an achievement.

Good question. Anyone got an answer?

05-24-2005, 03:37 PM
"fats as a caloric ballast" means it doesn't matter what the percentage of calories from fat is. You need your protein at the right level, you need sufficient calories. Pick and choose between carbs and fat for the additional calories. You'll need carbs around your lifts (before, and especially AFTER), but not otherwise, unless this is where you prefer to get your calories.

If you prefer to get your calories from fats at these other times (like I do), knock yourself out. It doesn't matter. Just make sure you get in sufficient fat for your health and for optimum muscle growth (usually, about 30% of cals from fat is a good minimum for most people), and fill up the rest of your calories from healthy choices for carbs or fats.