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My Bulking Diet

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:

  • Lift days (3x per week) = 3,500 calories
  • Cardio days (2x per week) = 3,300 calories
  • Recovery/Rest days (2 x per week) = 3,000 calories

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):

Round 4 Diet — Lift days

Round 4 Diet — Cardio days

Round 4 Diet — Recovery days

Download my Round 4 Spreadsheets here (PDF):

round-4-diet-lift-days Sheet1

round-4-diet-cardio-days Sheet1

round-4-diet-recovery-days Sheet1

* 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:

  • Pre-workout = 1MR on cardio days, and NanoVapor on lift days (NanoVapor has a lot of calories in it so I don’t want to use it every day, but the pump and strength it gives me is unreal so I just have to use it on those important lift days!)
  • Post-workout = Res/Rec with 3 g extra creatine mixed in
  • Breakfast = Vit B, Vit C, and Vit D
  • Dinner = Multivitamin, Fish/Flaxseed Oil, and Glucosamine/Chondroitin (since I’m old and arthritic LOL!)
  • Late = 5 g creatine mixed with whey protein