Tag Archives: bulking

ideal body

Bulk, Cut and Refine – The Process of Gaining Your Ideal Body

by 3J, www.3jsdiet.com

Lets talk about something that, though obvious to the experienced, is missed a lot by amateur bodybuilders who are aspiring to get that model physique. I will write this article as if speaking of a person with statistically average stats and the process he has to go through to gain a wonderful body. Lets call Mr. Average “Bob.”

Bob is a 26 year old male. He has dabbled in the gym all his life but has never really gotten serious about his training or his nutrition. He is 5’10 165lbs and about 14% bodyfat. Bob is underweight and needs to go through a process of bulking, that would be our step one

The Bulkideal body

Running a 5 day basic compound movement training split, Bob would commit himself to training every week while giving himself rest on the weekends. He would change his diet, allowing for 5-6 meals a day and aiming for about 3000 calories at first. Bob would see how the 3k calories was working for him by weighing himself weekly. Initially bob would see weight gain, ideally about 1-2lbs a week. At some point his body and metabolism would outgrow the diet and he would need to increase calories. Ideally, you want to increase calories so that you continually gain 1-2lbs a week. Usually an increase of 200-300 calories at a time is the right way to go. Not only will you continue to grow, but you will lower the chances of unnecessary fat gain. So Bob does just as I have said, and now, after about 3 to 4 months he has added about 30lbs. Not bad at all for bob, he now weighs 195lbs. Do we jump straight into a cut? Absolutely not!

The Maintenance phase

So why not jump on a cut and bring all those wonderful muscles and abs out that we have worked so hard to get? Its because we have worked so hard to get them. Our bodies have a homeostasis that they like to keep. There is a target number, plus or minus 10lbs, which our bodies are used to. Our metabolism is used to that number, so it likes to keep at that level. If we were to cut after only 3 months of bulking our body is nowhere close to getting used to our new weight. Here is where the maintenance phase comes in. For the next 3 months at minimum, we have to keep our weight at 195. This gives the body enough time to adjust to the new weight and primes us for a much better cut.

The Cutting phase

OK, the 3 months are up. We are ready to cut. Taking into consideration Bobs new and improved weight, we can estimate that we should start cutting at about 3000 calories, which is what he started his bulk with. We will ride the cut out without cardio, looking for 1-2 lbs a week of weight loss until he stalls. Once bob stalls, we will add some cardio, very lightly at first. Losing weight is like an onion, it has to be done in layers. First you cut calories, stall, add cardio, stall, add more cardio, stall, and then cut calories again. Little by little you continue to do this so that you only lose 1-2lbs a week continuously. Having done it correctly you should have saved a lot of muscle you would have lost and made it to 8 percent bodyfat fairly easily.

It is no secret guys – this is how it should be done. Think again when you set up your goals and want to immediately jump into a cut. It will definitely do more harm than good.

weigh measure

Proper Protocol for Weight and Measurements

by 3J, www.3jsdiet.com

Over the years as a sports nutritionist, I have seen many people get confused over the proper protocol of weights and measurements.  What do I mean by weights and measurements? That would be the weight that you take to see if you are progressing in the journey to your goals.  Measurements are the specific measurements you take with a tailors tape measure.  I will discuss both and also cover the proper timing of weight and measurements to get the least biased results.

Biased results, what could you mean?weigh measure

Well, there are a lot of factors that come into play in terms of your weight and how biased it can be.  Water intake, sodium intake, bloat secondarily to hormone levels (high estrogen levels), carbohydrate intake, and time of weighing all play a factor in your weight.  Lets cover them all.

Time of weighing 

The time of day that you weigh yourself will play a heavy factor on the bias of your weight.  It should be obvious that when you weigh yourself at night you will naturally weigh more than you did in the morning due to food and fluid intake.  Your body will be carrying more weight that will be expelled.  typically a person can weight 5-10lbs more at night than they do in the morning!!

Water intake

This is simple if you went from drinking very little water to a lot of water quickly your weight will go up.  Your body does not have time to expel that water through the kidneys and it will hold on to what it can if you were dehydrated (hyper-volume state).   It is wise to keep your water intake consistent.  Usuaully a gallon a day is more than enough.

Sodium intake

Sodium, or salt, will play a factor on how much water your body holds.  The more sodium you have in your system the more water your body wants to hold on to.  If you ate a large salty meal expect to weigh more the next day due to bloat.

Bloat due to hormone levels

If you have high estrogen levels or an imbalance of hormones your body will hold water weight.  Many body builders experience this with the use of steroids.  Keep that in mind if you plan on cycling.

Carbohydrate intake

People seem to miss the obvious, its called carbo-HYDRATES for a reason.  The more carbs you take in the more you will weigh.  Carbs cause you to hold water weight!

weighingProper weighing protocol

Your weight and measurements should always be taken first thing in the morning before you eat or drink anything and after the bathroom if needed.  This will cause the least biased weight so long as you have been following your diet strictly and not cheated. The weight should be taken once a week on the same day every time.  If you cheat the day before with a high carb and salty food then your weight will be biased due to the bloat that comes with carbs and salt.  Your weight should also always be taken the same day of the week especially if you are on a carb cycle type diet.  With a carb cycle diet the weight should be taken the morning after the lowest carb day.

For example if your carb cycle looks like this:

Monday high day

Tuesday medium day

Wednesday low carb day

Thursday high day

You should be weighing yourself Thursday morning since Wednesday was your lowest carb day of the week and therefore has the least bias.

Proper measuring protocolmeasuring

With a tailors tape measure, you should measure the following areas:

• Neck

• Chest

• Stomach at belly button

• Waist line (where your pants sit when worn properly)

• Biceps with arms extended out to side

• Thighs

• Calves

• Forearm 3 inches from elbow

With the above measurements you can get a more complete idea of how your body is changing.  If your weight were to not be moving but your losing inches on your stomach and waist line that would be good news wouldn’t it?  Remember not to solely depend on weight or measurements only, you have to look at the big picture!

usda-guide-to-nutrition-labels-ga-1

How To Properly Read Nutrition Facts

by 3J, www.3jsdiet.com

This article will teach you how to properly read nutrition facts.  Many people do not understand how to properly read nutrition facts, leading to miscalculated macros and total calorie count.

Serving size:usda-guide-to-nutrition-labels-ga-1

The first line under the Nutrition facts is the serving size.  The unit of measurement for a serving can be different based on the product, but most all nutrition facts will usually have a gram weight.

Amount Per Serving:

This is the amount of the macro and micro nutrients you will receive from the serving size.  In this case, the serving size is 172g.  Every time you eat 172g of the product, you get the nutritional value from the information listed below the amount per serving.

Calories:

Here is where people get confused, remember that you get the number of calories, carbs, fats, etc. that are listed PER SERVING.  The serving amount her is 172g which is just a little over 6oz.  If you eat 12oz of the product then you are getting twice what is shown in the nutrition facts.  Thats twice the protein, twice the carbs, twice the fats, etc..

Total Fat:

Gives the total fat intake of each serving.  Do not be fooled by the 0 trans fat reading.  The FDA has strange requirements from companies that let them slip by with trans fats.  I have seen peanut butter that says 0 trans fats yet specifically has the words “hydrogenated” or “partially hydrogenated” in the ingredients.  If you see these words in the ingredients, know that your eating trans fats!

Cholesterol:

Gives the amount of cholesterol the product with provice

Sodium:

Sodium is simply salt.  Its the amount of salt in the product. Be weary of salt intake! You should be aiming for 2000-3000mg of salt daily.  Some foods have a very high salt content.  Soy sauce is a perfect example. Soy sauce can have 300-500mg of salt per tablespoon!

Total Carbohydrate:

Gives the total amount of carbohydrates that you will ingest per serving.  For those of you who are worried about “impact carbs” or carbs that will cause an insulin spike, pay attention to the dietary fiber listed under total carbohydrates.  Subtracting your total carb intake from the dietary fiber will give you your total “impact carbs.”  Sugars are listed to let you know how much sugar is in the product

Protein:

Gives you the total protein intake per serving

Miconutrients:

The last two rows will give you the vitamins and minerals that you receive from the product.

So what are those percentages to the right of each value?

The FDA requires that nutrition facts are based upon a 2000 calorie diet, and that the percentage of the governments required daily amounts of each value be listed.

muscle mass

Bulking For Beginners

by 3J, www.3jsdiet.com

This article will focus on the steps necessary to build a bulking diet based on your individual needs. There is a lot of commotion and, therefore, different opinions on how to bulk or the bulking approach.  A few of the popular philosophies like IIFYM (if it fits your macros) and traditional clean bulking (40/40/20) with higher carbs and lower fats will be discussed, as will the distinction between “clean bulking” vs. “dirty bulking.”

Before one begins a bulking program, he has to create such a program that will fit his needs.  Eat too much too quickly and you will just get fat.  Eat too little and you will not have a successful bulk.

picture of man with strong muscle mass

man with strong muscle mass

Figuring Out your Daily Needs:

I cannot begin explain how important it is to begin your bulking diet with a daily caloric goal in mind.  In order to get a rough estimate of what that caloric goal for your body should be, you must calculate your BMR (basil metabolic rate) and TDEE (total daily energy expenditure). Here is how you calculate both:

BMR formula #1 (if you bf is high, use this one… you need an accurate bf reading)

BMR (men and women) = 370 + (21.6 X lean mass in kg)

In order to figure out your BMR, you need to know what your lean body mass is.. so, in turn, u need to know what your body fat percentage is. If you don’t know your body fat percentage, go to your gym and get tested (please don’t use electronic scales to get your bf checked, they’re horrible). If you cannot find a gym to get tested at, please post up a picture for estimates on a bodybuilding forum, many vets are good at giving estimates.

Total weight x bf (bodyfat) in decimal form = total bf weight

Total weight – total bf weight = total lean body mass

If your total lean body mass is in lbs, u can divide it by 2.2 to get it in kilograms.

Here is an Example:

6’4 275lbs at 14% bf.  I would multiply 275 by .14 (bodyfat percentage converted from percent to decimal)= 38.5lbs

275 – 38.5 = 236.5lbs lean body weight

236.5 / 2.2 = 107.5 lean mass in kg

370 + (21.6 x 107.5) = 2692 BMR

BMR formula #2 (only to be used if your bf is under 15%)

Men: BMR = 66 + ( 6.23 x weight in pounds ) + ( 12.7 x height in inches ) – ( 6.8 x age in year )

Female BMR = 655 + ( 4.35 x weight in pounds ) + ( 4.7 x height in inches ) – ( 4.7 x age in years )

TDEE

Once you have your BMR, you need to calculate your TDEE, this is simply done with some multiplication. You can multiply it by an activity number to figure out your daily caloric expenditure, be honest here as this is the very cornerstone of your diet, if you are between two of the below activity levels then just multiply by a number in between them. To determine your total daily calorie needs, multiply your BMR by the appropriate activity factor, as follows:

If you are sedentary (little or no exercise) : Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.2

If you are lightly active (light exercise/sports 1-3 days/week) : Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.375

If you are moderatetely active (moderate exercise/sports 3-5 days/week) : Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.55

If you are very active (hard exercise/sports 6-7 days a week) : Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.725

If you are extra active (very hard exercise/sports & physical job or 2x training) : Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.9

The Sweet Spot:

The term in bodybuilding is defined as the amount of calories and macros one needs to gain 1-2lbs of weight per week.  The sweet spot is usually 500-700 calories over your total daily energy expenditure.  There are many factors that come into the sweet spot, and the sweet spot can change as you progress.  Your body is a big fan of homeostasis and will adapt to any environment to the best of its abilities for survival purposes.  Here is an example of the sweet spot changing:

John Doe is 5’11 feet tall and weighs 165lbs.  John is not an avid eater, he eats once or twice a day and regularly consumes 1500-1700 caloires.  It is clear that john has been undereating and his metabolism has slowed down to compensate for the lower calorie intake.  When John decides he wants to bulk, he cannot jump to 3000 caloires.  Instead, his sweet spot is likely going to be somewhere between 2000-2300 caloires.  As john gains weight and progresses, his sweet spot will move up quickly until he has reached a prime metabolism (where his metabolism would be if he was eating correctly in the first place). John will gain weight at 2300 calories for a short while and come to a stall.  When John sees this stall, he should up his calories by 200 for 5 days to see if he is gaining weight again.  This cycle should be repeated until the weight gain continues.  Gaining weight is like an onion, there are layers to it.  As you progress, you must peel of the layers.  Usually a stall means you’re through with the current layer, you must peel it off to continue by adding weight.

picture of steroid user

steroid user

The 40/40/20 approach to bulking has been long known to be the gold standard for good reason, it works for the average bulker. This approach requires that 40 percent of your total calories come from protein, another 40 percent come from carbs, and the final 20 percent come from fats.  Lets break it down so you understand a bit better.

Things to keep in mind:

1g Protein is 4 calories

1g Carb is 4 calories

1g Fat is 9 calories

So you have figured out that you need 3000 calories to bulk (with a TDEE of 2500 this would be the place to start).  OK guys, get ready.. we have some math to do again!

40% of 3000 calories is 1200 calories (3000 x .40= 1200).  So we immediately know that we need 1200 of our 3000 calories to come from protein and 1200 to come from carbs since they both combined have to make up 80% of your daily intake (that’s the 40/40 part of the 40/40/20).

As stated above, we know that a carb or a protein has 4 calories per gram.  We divide 1200 by 4 to get the amount of carbs needed for both.

1200 / 4 = 300

We now know that we need 300g protein and 300g carbs.  We must now figure out the amount of fats we need in this diet.

Since 2400 calories have already been taken by protein and carbs, the last 20% of the calories will be 600. Remember that a gram of fat is 9 calories.  So we divide 600 by 9.

600 / 9 = 66.6 (round off to 67 is fine)

In order to run a successful 40/40/20 split at 3000 calories you need 300g protein, 300g carbs, and 67g fats. Simple enough right?

Disclaimer: The 40/40/20 split is not an ideal split for someone who has a tdee over 3000 caloires.  Simply put, anything over 300g protein is unnecessary for bulking for the majority of the population.  When having to go over 3000 calories one should increase their carbs up to 500g a day and, ONLY WHEN REACHING THAT POINT, should add fats to increase calories past the 3800-4000 calorie mark.

Good meats/protien to eat: Chicken Breast, Turkey Breast, Eggs/Egg Whites, Bison/Deer Meat, 93% and up lean beef (ground beef, roast beef, london broil are just a few examples), Fish (tuna, salmon, talipa etc..), Whey (PWO ONLY), Casien (BEDTIME ONLY), Game meat

Good Complex Carbs: Oats (all natural steel cut/rolled oats), Sweet potatoes, Yams, Ezekiel Bread (or any sprouted wheat bread), Glutin Free Bread, Red kidney beans, Black beans

Good Essential Fatty AcidsAlmonds, Avocado, Cashews, EVOO (extra virgin olive oil), Fish Oil

The IIFYM Approach:

One of the most controversial and talked about approach in dieting as a whole is the IIFYM or if it fits your macros approach.  I personally dislike the approach as its known in the bodybuilding community not because its not effective but because it is highly abused by the general public.  IIFYM requires that you have a set amount of calories and macros that come within the daily needs that you have for your goals.  For example, if you are bulking at 3500 calories, you set your daily goals to 250g protein, 300g carbs, and 90g fats.  Your total calorie count is 3010 which leaves 490 calories for you to eat whatever you want daily, and i do mean anything; You could have pizze, ice cream, waffles, whatever your heart wants.  In theory, the program will work. Will it be as optimal as the 40/40/20 split i have described above? It absolutely will not.  But, one can lead a fairly healthy life and make progress in his bulk using this method.  The issue with this approach comes with people abusing the system by thinking they can eat ANYTHING they want as long as it hits their macro goals.  To the IIFYM dieter “a calorie is a calorie.”  It is at this point that the whole system goes down in smoke.  It also leads us to our next topic.

The “Clean Bulk” vs. “Dirty Bulk”

Lets go back to the last subject we were talking about.  Those who believe they can eat anything they want, e.g. “dirty bulking,” allow themselves to eat fast food and junk food in order to hit their total daily goals.  To the IIFYM bulker who has the notion that “a calorie is a calorie” and “the body cant tell the difference between a simple carb and a complex carb” the world is a free flowing river of junk food and crap that he will put in his body.  Nothing angers me more than these ill advised self-justified notions!  A calorie from a complex carb will affect the  body MUCH DIFFERENTLY than a calorie from simple carbs like sugar/dextrose/high fructose corn syrup.  The most obvious difference will come in the amount insulin spikes after eating complex carbs and simple carbs.  Also, fats play an important part of the human bodies daily process.  There has to be a balance between the different types of fats.  One of the most important balances come from omega-3/omega-6 fats, monosaturated fats, polysaturated fats, and saturated fats.  In all honesty your body needs ALL OF THESE FATS.  But eating fast food and junk will fill your body will too much of one fat and not enough of the other (usually high trans fats and saturated fats).  

So what is the real difference between the clean bulk and the dirty bulk? Simply put, clean bulking pulls macros from complex carbs, has a balanced fat intake, and the correct amount of protein to reach the daily macros prescribed.  A IIFYM dirty bulk will not have the correct balance between fats and will not pull from complex carbs.

When to “Dirty Bulk”

here is a place for dirty bulking in the bodybuilding world.  But it only comes when you have to eat over 4200 calories usually.  At some point,  the lower levels of insulin from complex carbs and the total amount of food that you can eat in a day have reached their limit in weight gain.  At that point, its time to introduce more simple carbs.  Carbs like white bread, white rice, white pasta, white potatoes, or any carb that would be considered semi-simple/simple that is not full of processed stuff is ok! Also, it is a good time to increase your fats for the better duration of your bulk.  I hope this article has given you a new perspective on the correct way to bulk.

andropen-275-image

Andropen 275

picture of andropen-275-image

andropen

Andropen

Testosterone Acetate, Testosterone Decanoate, Testosterone
Propionate, Testosterone Phenylpropionate, Testosterone Cypionate
Testosterone + 5 esters
[4-androstene-3-one, 17beta-ol]
Molecular Weight of base: 288.429
Molecular Weight of Acetate ester: 60.0524
Molecular Weight of Propionate ester: 74.0792
Molecular Weight of Phenylpropionate ester: 150.174
Molecular Weight of Cypionate ester: 132.1184
Molecular Weight of Decanoate ester: 172.2668
Formula (base): C19 H28 O2
Formula of Acetate ester: C2 H4 O2
Formula of Propionate ester: C3H6O2
Formula of Phenylpropionate ester:C9 H10 O2
Formula of Cypionate ester: C8 H14 O2
Formula of Decanoate ester: C10 H20 O2

Manufacturer: British DAndropen is a combination of five of testosterones. The presence of the acetate ester allows the testosterone to display a rapid initial physiological response. The other four esters, which release at slower rates, prolong the physiological response with a relatively flat absorption curve over the duation of the injection life-cycle. Testosterone is a male sexual hormone with pronounced, mainly androgenic action, possessing the biological and therapeutic properties of the natural hormone. It is normally produced in women in small physiological quantities. In addition to the specific action that determines the sexual characteristics of the individual, testosterone also has a general anabolic action, manifested in enhancement of protein synthesis. Under the effect of testosterone, body weight increases and urea excretion is reduced. High doses suppress the production of hypophyseal gonadotropin, while low doses stimulate it. It has an antitumor effect on mammary gland metastases

Presentation:
Comes in 10 ml multidose vials. Each vial contains 20 mg per ml of testosterone acetate, 90 mg per ml of testosterone decanoate, 45 mg per ml of testosterone propionate, 45 mg per ml of testosterone phenylpropionate, and 75 mg per ml of testosterone cypionate. Vials come with a purple coloured flip-off top.

Andropen 275 is mixture of five different ester compounds designed specifically for athletes and body builders. It is a great steroid to stack for bulking or cutting, as it will produce results in muscle gain, fat loss, etc. Expect the usual side effects associated with testosterone acne, water retention, gynocomastia, etc. Price wise, Andropen 275 is less expensive than other steroid cocktails but still more than single ester compounds.

durabolin-image

Durabolin (nandrolone decanoate)

diagram of durabolin

Side effects are mild and rarely reported when the drug is used responsibly.

Durabolin is a verypopowerful anabolic steroid known for its versatility in both bulking and cutting cycles. Side effects are mild and rarely reported when the drug is used responsibly. Acne, insomnia, testicular atrophy, impotence and nausea are some of the side effects possible from Durabolin use. Some of Durabolins more positive properties include reversing muscle destruction, increasing red cell production and promoting tissue regeneration, which is why this drug is often administered medically to patients wasting from HIV.

Durabolin is very similar to the popular Deca-Durabolin. Durabolin must be injected frequently and in regular intervals, every 2-3 days. The substance nandrolone-phenylpropionate quickly gets into the blood, where it remains active for two to three days. The dosage is around 50-150 mg per injection, or a total of 150-600 mg/week. Durabolin has a distinct anabolic effect which assists the protein synthesis and allows the protein to be stored in the muscle cell in large amounts. This is combined with a moderate androgenic component which stimulates the athlete’s regeneration and helps maintain the muscle mass during a diet. It shows that Durabolin stores much less water in the body than Deca-Durabolin. For this reason, Durabolin is more suitable for a preparation for a competition while Deca should be given preference for the buildup of strength and muscle mass. Durabolin, however, can be used for this purpose as well. The gains are fewer and slower than with Deca but of a higher quality and remain, for the most part, after discontinuing the compound. This is mostly due to the fact that lower dosages are used in most cases, resulting in less HPTA suppression.

The side effects of Durabolin are few. Water retention, high blood pressure, an elevated estrogen level, and virilization symptoms occur less often with Durabolin than with Deca-Durabolin. Female athletes therefore take Durabolin in weekly intervals since, due to its short duration of effect, no undesirable concentration of androgen takes place. Three to four day intervals between the relative injections are to be observed. Durabolin is one of the safest non-toxic steroids offering satisfactory results. Durabolin has no negative effect on the liver function so it can even be taken in cases of liver disease. Side effects occur only in rare cases and in persons who are extremely sensitive. Virilization symptoms in women such as huskiness, deep voice, hirsutism, acne, and increased libido are possible but occur only rarely if reasonable dosages are taken at reasonable intervals. Men usually experience no symptoms with Durabolin. Since the release of gonadotropins in the hypophysis is inhibited, a proper post cycle therapy of HCG and Nolvadex/Clomid is recommended.