View Full Version : The union of nutrition, cardio, and lifting for MUSCLE GAIN

10-23-2005, 06:38 PM
The bottom line question is - Does it exist? All three joined for one goal.

My stats
17 years old
160 lbs
Ran a lot last summer and lost 50 lbs (fat and probably a good deal of muscle)
Ultimate goal - Max muscle, minimum fat
What I at least want to avoid - fat gain, minimum muscle

I was talking to a personal trainer and I told him I wanted to bulk. The first thing he said was "eat more". But also he brought up cardio and I said "Does cardio really help while gaining muscle?" since in order to loose fat you need a calorie deficit. He said "lots of people think you need to bulk up and gain fat then cut it away, but I don't suggest it".
Is cardio really the muscle burning monster some people make it out to be?
I was reading "burn the fat feed the muscle", in it the author (Tom Venuto) has a plan were he includes cardio + weights for an "increase in lean mass and a decrease in body fat". But also he says "to lose body fat you need a calorie deficit".
Do you need a calorie deficit to look leaner? Can you have a calorie deficit (as in you burn more calories through both cardio and lifting than you consume) and still gain muscle?
Nutrition. The trainer I was talking you also said "You can consume to much protein". I forgot his exact explanation but it has something to do with a decrease in testosterone or the way your body absorbs the protein, any way the effect would be counter productive. He also said "eat more". What I eat is now the question. If I take into account the to much protein situation and the obvious mistake of to many carbs + fat, what is the right balance?
Finally, extreme bulking to me (and I am a total newb as you can tell) just seems like getting fat and strong. That's probably because I've never done it but logically eating 1000 calories over maintenance can't be the only way to gain muscle.
Is it necessary to get fat to gain muscle? Is there another way?

Well, I've tried to answer my own question and have come up with this plan.
If you think you have a better idea, post it and please explain why I should choose it over this.

Cardio 3 days a week 25 min HIIT. 1 on 2 off days and 1 session on a lifting day - I hear some good things about running in the mourning and then lifting later on.. so I'll include one. I feel like I should, but don't plan on running on an empty stomach. Again there is no logic behind this since I "know" that running on an empty stomach will utilize fat for energy. But, I also "know" that running on an empty stomach and could cause the break down of muscle. I also "know" minimum or no cardio is needed for muscle gain. This I think is a good compromise. I don't have much fat to loose.

Nutrition - At least 2,500 calories at most 3,300
I'm going to eat meals (at or above 400 calories) when I'm hungry and NEED food - breakfast will be the biggest meal (over 600 calories). Also I'll try to eat a snack (under 400 calories: high protein) 2 and 1/2 - 3 hours after each meal. I'll try to eat 7 times a day. Good food, no cheating.
ALSO, I have 2 ideas in mind for carb situations.
1. Carb cycle;
2. Starchy carbs in the mourning, fibrous from noon till bed.

Lifting - WWB1 It's a good routine, anyone ever hear of it? :windup:

Any thoughts?

10-23-2005, 07:31 PM
Hey there TJ

To start with, I'd keep it pretty simple for now.

WBB1 is a good plan to start with.

As far as diet is concerned, most of us here will probably tell you to get in 1-1.5g protein per pound LBM, and at least 0.5g fat per pound LBM. I like my protein near the 1.5g/lb LBM mark, and fats, anywhere from 0.5 - 0.8g/lb LBM suits me nicely. Fats are important for proper endocrine function. At your age, sufficient food, plus heavy compound lifts (squat, dead, bench) and your natural endocrine profile will reap you many benefits.

3 days a week of HIIT sounds like too much, and true HIIT - well, if you can do 25 minutes of it, I'll be impressed. I do my HIIT as follows:

3 minutes of fast incline walking, stretch calves, hams, quads
8 intervals of HIIT (one interval = 30 seconds of sprinting, 30 seconds of walking)
9 minutes of fast incline walking to burn off free fatty acids (FFAs) mobilized by the intervals, and to cool down.

If you want to do this once or twice a week after lighter or upper body workouts, or on non-lifting days, and perhaps 8-15 minutes of steady-state cardio (fast incline walking) after your lifts, this will give you plenty of cardio.

If you find you're not making gains, not putting on size, eat more.

If you find you're getting a little too much fat gain, pull back the calories a bit.

The leaner you go into a bulk, the better you'll partition into muscle mass. So if you stay reasonably lean throughout, don't increase the cals too fast, you should see some nice slow gains without having to have 3 wardrobes.

As far as carb cycling is concerned, I like to do it this way:

Non-lifting days, I eat no or very little starchy carb.

Lifting days, I eat starchy carb in the meal before and the meal right after I lift.

The rest of my meals are the same as on non-lifting days.

If you're doing HIIT on a non-lifting day, feed it the same as you would a lifting day.

You can use the carbs to calorie cycle if you like.

There are lots of ways to diet. This is just how I like to do it.

Good luck!

10-24-2005, 07:20 PM
Ill make it simple for you. Carb cycle = pointless. Cardio does not mean a caloric deficit as long as you eat enough cals, keeps heart in shape. To bulk you do not need 1000 cals. That is if you want to get fat and bulk, if you dont want any fat, add 10 cals a day, and youll hardly notice it. 3 days cardio, 3 days weights on 6-12 reps with compound lifts, slowly increasing cals, and around 200g of protein and a necessary amount of carbs for energy purposes and 1000 cals of fat, assuming all of this is healthy food will get you the body you want. All but guarantee it, unless you get something mentioned ^ wrong. :)

10-24-2005, 07:26 PM
Wanna explain carb cycle = pointless, RBC?