As most of you know, Round 4 for me was about BULKING UP!! I was not wanting to get fat though! I wanted to add about 8 – 9 lbs of lean muscle mass over a 90 day period, and I was willing accept a small increase in body fat to help me get there. When I started my bulking round, I was 208 lbs, with 6% body fat. After 60 days, I was 217 lbs with 7.5% body fat. So it worked! I had to cut the round short due to a filming conflict with P90X2 (wanted to look cut for that so I stopped bulking). But the principles of the bulking diet I used definitely worked, and can be used as a template for anyone else looking to add mass the smart, clean way.
I am attaching my Round 4 Diet, and you’ll notice some changes.
First, my calorie target varies from day to day. I had the following calorie targets:
This will allow me to fully fuel myself for muscle growth on the lift days, but not overdo it with unneccesary calories on the light days (like the rest day, the yoga day, and the ab only days). With this diet, I expected to be able to add about 1 lb per week. You will have to find the level of calorie surplus to run to enable yourself to gain 1 lb per week (it could be more or less than what worked for me).
Second, I am using a spreadsheet (I’m attaching them so you can use them or modify them for yourself if you like them). I did a spreadsheet this time so that I could simply check off the box as I eat each item each day. I still think My Fitness Pal is an AWESOME app and very useful, and I still use it if I am eating out or if I have a weekend where the diet will vary a bit. But since I planned on eating nearly the same thing every day, and I’m a creature of habit, this worked well for me as well.
Third, I am shooting for a “range” rather than a specific %, so this gives me a little freedom for substitutions. My protein goal is 30-35%, carbs 50-55%, and fat 15-20% on any given day.
Download my Round 4 Spreadsheets here (Excel):
Download my Round 4 Spreadsheets here (PDF):
* You’ll notice there aren’t big differences in these daily diets. The daily meals and snacks are mostly the same. The key differences are:
Lift Days = I used the pre-workout Nano Vapor (because it has some extra sugar to give me some fast absorbing calories and carbs pre-workout). This adds 210 calories to the daily calorie total. If you don’t want to get a separate PWO, then just consider adding some extra calories in the form of a carb food item before your workout (oatmeal, fruit, etc.).
Cardio Days = Just like lift days except that I used 1 MR for my preworkout, which will cut 200 calories off the daily calorie total.
Recovery Days = I skipped the preworkout and the Results/Recovery formula. However, to get enough morning calories, I CHOOSE 3 (instead of just 2) from my breakfast choices. I will also cut some calories from my afternoon and evening by deleting the afternoon snack of Almonds and the evening Yogurt snack.
Explanation of some of the terms on my Diet Checklist:
Reeses Shakeology = This is my Shakeology, using 1 scoop Shakeology, 1 tablespoon natural peanut butter, and 1 scoop of protein powder.
Choose 2 = I can pick any 2 from that list of 4 items. They will change my % slightly, but still within the range I’m shooting for on any given day. These items are all about 100 calories each. (On recovery days, I can choose 3).
Homemade Bread = My wife makes homemade wheat bread which comes out to 100 calories the way we slice it. If you use standard wheat bread, you can do 2 slices (since standard wheat bread is about 50 cals per slice)
PB = natural peanut butter (I get Smuckers brand from Walmart — the only ingredients are peanuts and salt)
Yogurt = I use both Athenos Greek Yogurt (100 cals/ 11 p / 14 c / 0 f) and Dannon Greek Yogurt (120 cals / 12 p / 17 c / 0 f). These are available at Walmart.
Jerky = I use Jack Links Turkey Jerky from Walmart
Cheerios / H2H = For this snack, I use 1 cup of Cheerios and 3/4 cup of Kashi Heart 2 Heart cinamon O’s (mixed together for variety and flavor)
Carrots (20) = This is 20 count of baby carrots
String Cheese = I use Crystal Farms Light String cheese, 50 cals per stick / 7 p / 1 c / 2.5 f
Almonds = I use plain almonds with sea salt (not the kind cooked in oil). I use 1 serving, which is 24 nuts / 160 cals / 6 p / 6 c / 14 f. I split it into a morning snack of 8 nuts and an afternoon snack of 16 nuts (to spread out my healthy fats throughout the day).
P90X Bar = I use the Chocolate, which has 260 cals / 20 p / 31 c / 8 f
Cheerios / GoLean = For this snack, I use 1 cup Cheerios and 1 cup Kashi GoLean (mixed together for variety and flavor)
Dinner items can vary between Chicken, Salmon, Turkey, etc. I will shoot for about 8 oz of lean meat at dinner. The veggies can vary (green beans, broccoli, salad, etc.). I will shoot for about 140 calories of veggies (which is quite a large serving). The rice / beans can vary (brown rice, black beans, pinto beans, etc.). I don’t usually have both rice and beans, but whichever it is, I will shoot for about 1 serving (170 calories).
My supplement schedule for Round 4:
What workout program did you do for your bulking up goal ??
Also what are your thoughts on using P90X/INSANITY hybrid for a bulking goal ??
Joe, I used P90X and Insanity. The main thing with my lift days was that I lengthened them. I added extra rest to make sure I could go all out on each set. I kept cardio to twice a week.
I have finally reached my body fat goal of 7% !! A lot of that help has come from reading your website... Thank you very much for the inspiration and motivation ....
Can you help me with a question... I am currently at 160.. i would like to get to 175 or 180 lbs.... But i dont want to gain any body fat % and stay at my 7%... Is this possible to do>???? any advice ??
Carlos, yes and no. You can really slowly gain weight without adding much mass (1 lb every few weeks or so) but it's an extremely slow process. If you know your maintenance need, I would simply start by going 300-400 over and watch your weigh. Any BF gained will be really small and that should equal about 1 lb every 2 weeks. Still slow but it will keep you leaner if that is also a goal.
Thank you so much for the reply coach!
My goal is to gain 15-20lbs in 4 months without gaining body fat for that leaner look. Thats roughly 1lb a week.. If i gain body fat which will probably happen Can i always run a deficit to get back to my 7% to be more defined/lean after the 4 months is over?
Exactly. If you hit 1 lb a week, then cutting should not be bad at all. Just watch the rate you are gaining at and dial it back if you start adding too much weight on (that will mean more BF than muscle).
Hey Coach. On my "rest" day is typically when I do my lawn mowing/yard work etc. Dumb question: should I eat over my maintenance for my rest day since I'm still exerting about 2 hrs of low impact work?
Dan J Carper I would keep it all constant. You are operating on a big average. It will all equal out. If that averages out to surplus, you gain weight over time. If that averages out to deficit, you will lose weight. I wouldn't worry about it.
Hey Coach! I'm currently still trying to "find" my maintenance level for my caloric intake. I came off 1900cal fat shredder 3 weeks ago and am up to 2750 cal/day. I'm still dropping weight (albeit small amt). Is it possible my maintenance could be around 3000 cal/day even though I'm only 152 lbs?!?!
Dan J Carper It definitely could be that high. I would suggest sticking at 2750 for a week or two. And then go to 3000 if you still have dropped a little weight. Having a good metabolic rate is nice! Enjoy it and protect it.
Rob, you could but it would be brutal and I doubt very successful. The Asylum is extreme cardio conditioning. It only has one day of lifting, and even that day is set up to test muscular endurance. The rep ranges are too high to use a lot of weight and the pace stresses you cardiovascularly more than anything else. You would have to overcome a great deficit created by exercise every day to add mass. Look to program like Body Beast if you want real bulking and mass.
Hey Coach. How many g/protein do you think is necessary immediately post-workout? Looking at your Bulking Diet sheets above, it looks like you had appx 27g between the R+R and Shakeology. Stick around that #?
Dan J Carper Post WO and my breakfast Shakeology came pretty close together usually. Their total was about 50g. Post workout is a great time for protein, but it's even more important to make sure you get your goals met for the entire day. 30-50g of protein in a meal is a great goal.
Fabio Pinto www.teamripped.com/calorie-calculator Use -500 as your deficit (now surplus).
Could I use a caloric surplus during P90X2 phases 1 and 2 and a deficit during phase 3? I read the body beast nutrition guide and noticed they reversed it and was wondering if the same principle could apply to X2.
Joshua B I would use each phase for as long as you need to in relation to your goals. So if you need to cut more than 30 days to get ripped, stay on a deficit. I might be a little careful doing the Performance phase on a deficit. Those PAP workouts are extremely demanding. It anything, if you need to get leaner I would run a deficit until PAP and then slowly work up to maintenance.
Hey Coach - When bulking with P90X, did you cut out the intense cardio, like Plyo X and Kenpo?
Hey Coach, You ARE the voice of reason! Haha! Thank you for the affirmation. I'm still hitting it hard and hope to tighten that up in a couple weeks as you stated. I'm definitely going to keep the calories up a few more weeks, then do a nice cut. As always, thanks. Oh, I ordered Fountain of Youth Yoga through you as well for days when I don't have 90 minutes to devote to Yoga X, but still need to get it in. Body Beast next. Beast UP!
Hey Coach! I've been doing the 40/40/20 with the 2500 calories as you've advised above for about one month now. I have noticed an increase in muscle mass. I'v added 6 lbs on the scale, however, I feel like my abs are not as defined. Is this normal on a clean bulking routine? I'm using my BF calipers and I'm still showing my body fat holding the same as it was, yet my abs aren't as defined as they were before. Happy with the shoulder/arm/chest bulk and the way I fill out a t shirt, but I'm not digging the way the belly is looking. Am I doing something wrong? have been looking at Steve Edwards P90X for mass workout schedule as well and I'm wondering if the lack of intense cardio has wrecked my results? Any feedback?
Larry, those are great results. 6 lbs and no change on the calipers. Awesome man. You will be less defined as you've probably added a little BF (everyone does, yours seems extremely minimal) and you definitely hold more water when bulking. Eating at a higher caloric level and more carbs will do that. You haven't wrecked your results at all, you've got great results! You will be amazed at how fast you will tighten up with a couple weeks of a deficit again. This is what bulking is, you have to eat a surplus to get that added muscle but you always add a little BF too.
Merry Christmas to you and yours coach thanks for everything that you do. I'm starting Body Beast 1/1/13 and want to bulk up. I'm 6'2" 195 lbs 9% BF. What should my starting caloric intake be? I'm using the 30/50/20. Until I dial it in I may gain more than 1 lb per week do I just shed this at the end of the 90 days with lets say a month of insanity and the fat shredder 50/30/20 or what. I plan on following the program exactly unless you have any other suggestions. Thanks Much
Kevin, I would calculate your need from the Book Of Beast and follow that! Merry Christmas to you too.
Coach Wayne, I really need help making a 40/40/20 diet. I'm finding it really difficult to make to make it.
Erik, get on MyFitnessPal.com and play around. It will be a little smaller portions of protein and more carbs than fat shredder.
As always Coach, thank you so much for your quick response! I won't let you down. The 180 day pics are hopefully gonna be SICK! I'll up to 2500 to start out and try the 40/40/20 (which I'm doing now, just at 2200). Would the 35/45/20 be more carbs for extra energy? Is that what I'm guessing?
Larry, a little more carbs to help start building muscle. When you go to a surplus, you typically move to a 30/50/20.
Coach, I'm at about 8% body fat at this point. I'm at about 2200 calories on a 40p/40c/20f macro ratio now. I'm starting phase 2 of this round. I'm sort of looking for the ok to go ahead and pick up more calories for muscle building. I am almost getting "gaunt" looking and I know it's just because the body fat is gone, but I really want to get that shoulder and chest bulk going. For a 5'10" 161 lb 39 year old, what calorie and macro ratio do you think would work for me at this point doing P90X? I think I might be ready to make a change. We talked about this about a month ago and it was working out and I'm sort of at a stand still with net zero weight gain, but I am looking to make those muscles "pop." Any suggestions? Thanks a million!! Larry
Larry, I would start by trying to find your maintenance. You can stick to 40/40/20 or even 35/45/20. For calories, start with 2500. If you maintain weight there, you will then just need to add calories to start adding mass (+300 to +600) depending on how much mass you want to build and how quickly you actually put on weight.
Hey coach I am trying to add muscle but I find it hard to get all the calories I need. It would help if I could load up on about 100 carbs in the morning at breakfast and really get a big meal in to start the day. is that too many carbs at once? Also is there a limit on how many carbs you can eat at one meal? WIll it be stored as fat if you eat too many at once? I still do not go over my daily limits and do not eat a huge amount of carbs before bed. Could I do 100 carbs at breakfast and about 70-80 on my next two meals then I will not need to load up as much later in the day? Thanks
Sam, that's fine. The tough thing about bulking is that you have to eat big meals and some will be stores as fat. I don't see 100g as an outrageous amount for one meal. Make them complex carbs and you should be set.
Hi Coach, It's me again (see posts from August 3rd). I am 5’11.5″, now 163 lbs, 29 y.o., male, and I can't seem to gain muscle! I have done most of Round 2 of P90X on a 2,800 cal bulking diet (30P/50C/20F), and switched to 3,000 cal for the last third or so since I was barely gaining. I am now coming into week 3 of Round 3, and I've been eating 3,200 to 3,300 cal per day for the last few weeks. Since beginning of Round 2 I only gained around 8 pounds, and now I'm completely stuck! My weight hasn't changed AT ALL for the last 3 weeks! Neither has my body fat (around 6%), which is good I guess. (I weigh myself and measure my body fat every Sunday morning after toilet on an empty stomach.) Does that mean I should eat even more? Or is there something wrong with my diet (http://www.myfitnesspal.com/food/diary/bdead)? I mean I'm eating almost as many cal's/day as you did while bulking, but I'm much shorter and lighter than you LOL! By the way, for Round 2 and now in Round 3 I am using a weighted vest to max out around 8-10 reps wherever possible in order to achieve hypertrophy. I also pay attention to my form. But so far, I haven't done very well... Sorry for the long message, but I am getting quite disheartened and need some direction. I have actually just ordered Body Beast since I am also getting a bit bored doing P90X the third time in a row, and I also hope it will help me since its main aim is to gain mass. Any help would be greatly appreciated! Thanks, Coach! Martin
Martin, it does mean that you need to increase calories. You MFP looks find (just be consistent with your surplus). Remember as you lean body mass increases, your calorie need will increase. 8lbs is great! Bump it to 34-3600 and see where it goes. Those calculations we do are always just starting points. We have then tweak them as we actually do the work. Do work Martin! Eat BIG, lift BIG, and get BIG!
hey coach I am 5'6 and weight 145 ponds i do not know my body fat percentage but i am not fat if i flex my abs i can see them lets just say that to give you an idea. i wanted to know if in order to bulk up should i do less of the cardio work outs or reduce the numbers and give more intensity to the weight training work out of the p90x program. also have you heard of the EGGWHITESINT.COM its like a protein supplement let me know what you think another question after a bulking phase you would have to fallow with a shred fat phase right??? i just wanted to know those there things
David, cutting cardio is a great way to help your bulk. It is much easier to maintain a calorie surplus that way. Go as heavy as you can in your weight training. Use a weighted backpack or vest to increase the intensity of push ups and pull ups. I have heard of EGGWHITESINT.COM. Egg protein supplements have been around a long time. Use it to hit your protein budgets. Most people do cut after bulking to get back a leaner BF%.
Just thought I could through in some "good" advice, I have experience through much trial and error, helping me bulk with the smallest amount of fat possible. I would also like to point out everyone is different, but for most of us we probably are sitting on our butts all day until we workout and then after, so our caloric needs won't be found using a special mathematic formula of any kind. It's all about trial and error. But this has worked wonders for me, but it takes about a month or a little longer to dial in right. I will use my example: I weigh 180 pounds For Carbs I used 1g x BW = 180g of carbs Healthy Fats: .5g x BW = 90g of Fat Protein: 1.25g x BW = 225g of Protein This has worked amazing for me, as you come along with bulking if your not seeing at least .5 - 1 pound of weight gain a week, up the carbs by 1.25g x BW or 1.5g BW or 1.75g x BW , and so on and so forth until your in that anabolic .5 - 1 pound of weight gain per week. Just don't adjust the Fats or Protein ratio's, only the Carbs on a weekly basis until your comfortable with it. Trust me, it is much smarter to easy into bulking like this, fitness isn't a race, it's a lifestyle of short term goals and long term goals. This formula also takes a lot of guess work, and stress of your shoulders to find out your bulking needs. I may not be into the whole P90X homefitness thing, but I love what everyone is doing here, and I am a fan of your's Coach Wayne, and like you say, "STAY ACCOUNTABLE" !!!!! I also have another piece of advice that has worked wonders with building muscle fast. Most people say 8-10 reps, or 12-15 reps for size. This is just a thought, but I have really seen insane results with this method. Since I know P90X is a 12 week program: For the first week keep all rep ranges in 12-15 reps, then week two switch to 9-11 reps, week three go 6-8 reps, and finally week four go heavy with 3-5 Reps. Then repeat, but then the weight you used for 12-15 will be the weight you used for the 9-11 reps the weeks before, and so on and so forth. This has really helped me.....Sorry about the rant, but I want to help people make this as easy as possible, because I spent months spinning in circles and stressing, until I found this wonder information.
Thanks coach! It's only day 5 of my bulking diet so it's bit early to say whether I've gained anything but I'll definitely check every 7 days! I suppose bringing down the reps with weight also applies to lunges and squats and anything else. One more thing: your bulking diet calories vary from day to day based on the type of workout, is it necessary I do the same? If I eat the same calories every day, would I gain more fat along with muscle?
Martin, it is not necessary to vary. You will have a little bit of a leaner bulk if you adjust them. But if you are going all out on your bulk, just keep them the same. The size of your bulk will also determine how much fat you gain. If you go too big, you will gain more fat. Looking at the Beast's plan for bulking, Sagi recommends 20% above maintenance.
Hi Coach, I am 5'11.5", 155 lbs, 29 y.o., male. I have just completed round 1 of P90X and am in my first week round 2, on a 3,100 cal/d bulking diet (30%P/50%C/20%F - also first week). QU 1) However, I feel hungry between meals sometimes, despite trying to keep the food low-GI, the cal/meal and the time spacing as constant as possible. Does that mean I should up the cal? It's funny that on the fat shredder diet I never got used to the lower cals (I always felt hungry), and now that I've dropped to under 7% BF and gone to 3,100 cal my body still wants more! LOL QU 2) If my goal is to bulk, should I use a weighted vest to bring down reps on body weight exercises (pull-ups, push-ups, lunges, ...) throughout the resistance workouts, or should I only add the vest to some exercises? Should I still do the Plyo and Kenpo workouts (cardio) as intensively? Thanks again and again :)
Hey Martin, have you gained weight? If you are hunger and not gaining weight (give it a week of two) then I would add some more calories. Definitely use a weighted vest. You want to bring your push ups and pull ups down. Higher reps are not ideal for size. You can still go hard on cardio, or even drop one of the days and add in some more rest. You grow during rest. Bring it!!
I am currently trying to gain weight. I did the fat shredder for way to long and got too skinny and malnourished. The Dr. put me on a mission to gain weight. I am currently on 50% carbs, 30% healthy fats (avocado, nuts, peanut butter), and 20% protein. Once I get some weight back he wants me on a 40/30/30 carbs, fat and protein. I was eating 1800 calories so I am going to bump it up to 2300-2500 calories a day. I cycle a lot and burn about 400-600 calories each ride. I am training for a triathlon so I am only doing cardio (running, cycling and swimming). Will I gain weight back in muscle? I really want to get my legs big and strong.