Creatine: Unlike while cutting, creatine can be used while bulking since the water retention from its use will not be an issue since you are “bulking”. In the body, creatine is synthesized from the amino acids glycine, arginine and methionine. Taking supplemental doses of creatine monohydrate can increase muscle creatine and phosphocreatine (PC) concentrations by up to 40%. These increases can lead to improvements in muscle energy production and recuperation.
7. Cheating- Cheating is essential. Why? Remember, the body runs on homeostasis, it likes to keep balance. After eating so well after a week, your body begins to adjust, and lean mass gain / fat burning over time will not be as rapid. The other extremely important aspect is mental sanity. So many diets crash and fail because people don’t give themselves a chance to breath. Remember, cheating is not an opportunity for you to pillage the entire mall food court. Shoot for a cheat meal, not an all out binge. A fast food value meal can be 2,000 calories. Eat that 3 times on one day, and you’ve consumed 6,000 calories. And that’s not good in any case.
8. Cardio - D*mn right cardio!! Yes even when bulking. Why? Because cardio works the most important muscle of all – YOUR HEART. Not only that, but doing cardio 3 times a week will help keep the fat you will gain in this diet to a minimum. Cardio should be performed on an empty stomach first thing in the am. The proper cardio for burning fat is done by staying in your target heart rate for fat burning which is 65-70% of your max heart rate for a period of 45-60 minutes. To figure this out you can use the following formula:
(220 – your age) * .65
(220 – your age) * .7
Example for a 22 year old:
(220 – 22) * .65 = 128.7
(220 – 22) * .7 = 138.6
From this we can conclude that for a 22 year old target heart rate for fat burning should be between 129 and 138 beats per minute for 45-60 minutes.
Why 45-60 minutes?? Because fat burning (lipolysis) doesn’t typically kick in until the 20 minute mark, so only doing 30 minutes of cardio yields 10 minutes of fat burning. You get the point.
**Cardio Disclaimer: Some people have a harder time gaining weight than others, and doing cardio might not be the best idea for these people. For others who wish to use the fat burning abilities of cardio but still gain size, 30-35 minutes of cardio 1-3 times a week may be a better choice. Remember it is your body and only you know what works for you.
Now The Sample Diet:
Note: This is a sample diet for our 26 year old, 6ft tall, 220 pound gentleman mentioned in the example above for figuring out calorie needs. This diet will NOT work for you if those criteria don’t apply to you; however it is easy to customize the below diet to take in account your own statistics. It is the principles that are applicable.. I am not going to post the total amount of calories, only the carb, protein and fat macros for the whole day.
Based on the Harris Benedict formula above, our friend here needs 2997 calories a day to maintain his current weight. So in order for him to gain 1 pound a week, we need to increase his calories to right around 3500 a day since that will yield 3500 calories over his maintenance numbers needed for the week.
Meal 1: Pro/Carb
8 Egg Whites, 1 Scoop Of Whey Protein, 1 cup oatmeal
50g protein / 54g carbs / 5g fat
Meal 2: Pro/Fat
Lean Ground Beef, ¼ cup swiss cheese, green veggies
55g protein / 2g carbs / 20g fat
Meal 3: Pro/Carb
Chicken Breast, 1 and a half cup Brown Rice
55g protein / 64g carbs / 3g Fat
**Disclaimer: Meal 3 can be a pro/fat meal if you are ultra sensitive to carb intake.
Meal 4: Pro/Fat
2 Cans of Tuna, 1 Tbsp Full Fat Mayonnaise, Veggies
60g protein / 2g carbs / 13g Fat
Meal 5: PWO Nutrition
2 Scoops Whey Protein / 80g of Dextrose
40g protein / 80g carbs / 0g fat
Meal 6: PPWO
Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast, ½ cup Brown Rice (Measured Uncooked)
50g protein / 70g carbs / 3g fat
Meal 7: Pro/Fat
Lean Protein of your choice, 2 Tbsp Natural Peanut Butter
50g protein / 5g carbs / 18g fat
Meal 8: Before Bed
3 Scoops of Whey Protein, 1.5 Tbsp. Flax Seed Oil
60g protein / 3g carbs / 21g Fat
That turns into approximately 420 grams protein, 250 grams Carbs, and 83 grams of fat. This is roughly 3500 calories
*Reminder: This is a PRIMER. It’s not mean to be comprehensive. Everyone is different, to find out what works for your body takes trial and error.
Here comes the fun part: Question and Answer….
Q: What about dairy?
A: This is totally dependant upon your goals. If you don’t mind the bloat from milk then go for it. Skim milk is a better choice as far as mixing fats and carbs go. Remember you are bulking so you have more freedom in your dietary choices.
Q: How often should I eat?
A: You’ll have to do the math to see how often you will have to eat to get your 7-8 meals a day in. If your up for 16 hours a day, then every 2 hours is how often you need to eat.
Q: Is sodium an issue?
A: Outside of the bloating issue, or if you have high cholesterol, no.
Q. How do I make my meals not taste like cardboard?
A. Be creative. Mix in some sugar free jam or splenda in your oats, some hot sauce or soy sauce on your meats, or pick up some sugar free ketchup.
Q. I don’t like old fashioned oats. Can I eat the pre mixed oats with fruit?
A. No. Be a man. Those mixes have ridiculous amounts of sugar.
Q. What about fruit?
A: Go for it, like with dairy you are BULKING. You have more freedom in your dietary choices.
Q: What are some good sources of Lean Protein?
A: Eggs, Fish, Chicken, Steak, Ground Beef, Whey Protein, Turkey….. the list goes on forever. Do a search and look through other people’s diets for ideas on protein
Q: What are some good sources of complex carbohydrates?
A: Rice, Pasta, Whole Wheat Bread, Yams, Oatmeal…. Same as above
As a final note we would like to thank SwoleCat and the rest of the diet forum participants for their help and influence on this post.
And we will end this sticky with a quote:
“Your desire to change must be greater than your desire to stay the same.”