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Bulking Up, workout/nutrition plan!

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Old 10-18-2005, 02:40 AM   #1
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 1
SlightlySt00pid HB User
Cool Bulking Up, workout/nutrition plan!

Hey everyone,
Ive been reading the posts on the healthboards for years and have used the great advice given by members like naxis, sixbells, and others to use in my fitness program, but this is my first post. I just want to start out by saying you guys are awesome and the service you provide to others is invalueable, so thank you.

So heres my deal -
Im 23 years old, 6'5" and 165lbs., tall and skinny, have been all my life. Ive started and tried to maintain a regular workout program a few times, but it seems something always happens to divert my efforts. The first time i worked out on a routine basis I made some fairly noticeable gains, about 15-20 lbs... unfortunately that was with the help of a vile of steroids a coworker of mine picked up on a trip to mexico. I was dumb and desperate, and didnt do the research enough beforehand to realize the horrible side effects. Also, I was only worried about my chick-magnet muscles (i.e. bi's, tri's, and chest), and didnt work my legs or back. Plus my gains were gone a few months after I got off the roids and stopped working out.

Now its a year later and im back to 165. This time around Im going about it the right way - proper nutrition paired with a full body workout. Also, I quit drinking and smoking and have been taking supplements for the last month to repair the damage alcohol has done to my body. The list is pretty extensive, it's a formula developed at the Health Recovery Center and outlined in a book called Seven Weeks to Sobriety, recommended by my counselor.

Here is my daily nutrition routine, i work late so my mornings usually start around 9 or 10:

9a - protein shake (whey protein, 1/2 banana, 2tbs peanut butter, 1tbs flaxseed oil, honey)
10:30a - 5g creatine
11:00a - workout (appr. 1 hour)
12:30p - weight gainer shake (2200 cal., 45g protein), 5g
4:00p - snack (peanuts, celery w/ peanut butter, pretzels, etc.)
6:00p - lunch (sandwich, usually chicken or ham)
8:00p - protein bar (27g protein)
11:00p - dinner (meat, potatoes and veggies, huge portions)

Altogether im taking in around 4000 cals and 150-175g protein a day, which is around where i want to be. As you can imagine my grocery bill increased dramatically As for the creatine, I plan on cycling it for one month on and 3 months off, just to break through any plateaus I might hit.

Here is a list of supplements im taking as outlined in the repair program i am undergoing, some of which are also beneficial while trying to bulk up and increase my overall health:

Glutamine - 3,000mg
Amino Acids - 3,000mg
Tyrosine - 1,600mg
Vitamin C - 2,700mg
Calcium - 1,200mg
GLA - 900mg
Pancreatic Enzymes - 6,000mg
Betaine HCI - 30 grains
Multivitamin - 6 daily
Antioxidant Complex - 1 daily

As for the workout, here's where some advice anyone might have will definately come in handy. After researching it, i think the HIT method described by sixbells in a previous post would be the best for powerful gains. From my understanding, you start off with a light weight, high rep warmup set. then do three sets with a weight you can do 10-12 reps in the first set, and then to failure on the second and third. Once you are able to do 10-12 reps on the third set, increase weight on your next workout. Heres my ideal workout week:

monday - biceps, back, traps
tuesday - chest, shoulders, triceps
wednesday - legs, abs
thursday - biceps, back, traps
friday - chest, shoulders, triceps
saturday - legs, abs
sunday - rest

I dont know if thats the best routine, originally i wanted to work each muscle group once a week but wasnt sure if spending an hour on one muscle group would be counterproductive or not, so i thought maybe i would bunch the groups together and work them twice a week... any suggestions? actually, any input/suggestions/ideas about my whole program would be greatly appreciated, i've spent a lot of time fine tuning it but if you can offer any helpful hints that would be awesome!! thanks again!

Last edited by SlightlySt00pid; 10-18-2005 at 03:59 AM.

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Old 10-18-2005, 11:24 AM   #2
Senior Veteran
Join Date: May 2001
Location: San Antonio, TX
Posts: 5,588
Naxis HB User
Re: Bulking Up, workout/nutrition plan!

Are you a hardgainer? Sans steroids, was it hard for you to build or maintain muscle? As a beginning program, I think that looks fine. Just keep a close eye on signs of fatigue or over-training. Twice-a-weeks are only effective for a certain time period - kind of like any workout program - so don't necessarily rely on creatine to keep you out of plateaus. In 4-6 weeks, doing each muscle group once a week will be a good switch up, with pleanty of recovery time which becomes more and more important as you continue. You might also want to add a little bit of cardio. Not a lot, obviously, but for lung and cardiovascular health, it will do a world of good. Even walking is sufficient to begin with.
For diet, the only thing I'd recommend is to split the weight gainer shake in 2 and have half immediately following the workout, and the other half around 2pm (or roughly 2 hours later). You have almost a 4 hour gap between meals and that's too long. Your body also cannot process that many calories at once so some of that would be wasted taken all at once.
Supplementation looks spot-on. Should help patch you up as well as help you grow. Congrats on leaving "The Dark Side". I know it's not easy to quit any of that. You'll be a health-nut, gym-rat in no time.
Keep your body lean, your blood clean and your mind sharp. -Rollins

Old 10-20-2005, 11:58 AM   #3
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 1
GymNut HB User
Re: Bulking Up, workout/nutrition plan!

Glad to hear you're cleaning up! Congratulations and good luck with everything.

Some things I see with your current program -

6 days a week of lifting is too much for a hard-gainer. By lifting this much, you are burning a lot of calories that would be better put toward muscle building. Ideally, you would switch to only about 4 workouts every 10 days. This gives your body optimal time to recover and rebuild - essential parts to increasing lean body mass. At most I would perform 3 strength sessions a week leaving at least one full day of recovery between workouts. This will also help you to avoid overtraining. This may seem difficult with all the muscles you want to work, but it's pretty simple (see next two paragraphs).

Also, I would switch from the typical body-building style workout you are doing. Sure, it works for them, but they are not hard-gainers. I would recommend total body workouts. This is better for overall health, balance, core stabilization, etc. In addition, by performing a full body workout, you will produce more natural testosterone, speeding your gains.

Focus more on complex movements than on isolation exercises. Rather than doing bicep curls, or tricep extensions, or leg curls, etc., focus on getting the most bang for your buck. Isolation exercises are with certain exceptions an unnecessary evil. Bench press variations also work your triceps, rowing and pull-up variations also work your biceps. Squats, step-ups, Lunges all work hamstrings, quads, and glutes. I've never seen someone with a huge chest and tiny arms. One great thing about the human body is that it always tries to maintain balance (homeostasis). This means once your big muscles (chest, back) begin growing, the smaller muscles (biceps, triceps) will follow suite.

Also, I don't know what your routines consist of, but I would probably also avoid resistance machines for the most part. They eliminate the need for stabilization and lead to a weak core and incorrect muscle firing patterns. (For example during any movement, your spinal stabilizers should contract before any of your extremities move. Sitting wedged in a leg press machine minimizes the need for your core and your legs may contract first. Over time, this leads to being all screwed up!) Free weights are the way to go. In addition to core strengthening, they are more difficult and activate many more muscle fibers because you're not locked in a preset range of motion and you need to stabilize each movement.

For the workout specifics, you might try undulating periodization (fancy term for frequently switching it up). Research has shown this to be superior to most ways of training to increase both size and strength. Here's how it works: You will vary the sets reps and loads you use each workout. You want to stay within the 24-50 rep range for each workout as this is optimal for growth. If you are working out 3 days a week, you would perform 2 sets of 15 reps one day, 3 sets of 10 the next, and 4 sets of 6 the third. Use weight accordingly. You will be lifting a lot heavier on your 4 x 6 day. As you progress, you may move up to 3 x 15, 4 x 10, and 5 x 5. If you are performing different workouts each day, you will want to mix it up so you are doing different sets and reps each time you repeat a workout. By varying your sets, reps, and loads, your body doesn't get accustomed to the workout as quickly and you are able to work on both strength and endurance simultaneously rather than breaking them into different phases. There are definitely other effective methods also, but this is a great place to start.

I don't know how often you switch up your workout, but it is good to change exercises every 4 weeks to avoid plateaus. If doing undulating periodization, you can prolong this to every 6 weeks.

Also, it's important to minimize your cardio. I agree with Naxis that you should do something, but I'd not do anything more than walk. Cardio is a staple for weight loss because it burns a ton of calories - something you don't want!

If you cut down your workouts and keep your diet the same, you should begin to see weight gain. If you are still not seeing any, try adding another 500 calories a day - theoretically you should gain a lb. a week by doing this. If you are still not getting anywhere, you need more calories, plain and simple.

For diet, I agree with Naxis review. The post-workout food is essential. You have about a 30-minute window to replace your glycogen (stored energy) stores and begin the recovery process. Protein shakes are great post-workout because they are easily absorbed.

Keep up the hard work!

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