It's that time of the year, bulking begins!
Here's a very informational read by an individual that has a unique approach to this lifestyle/culture.
Some individuals may find it very helpful so I figured I'd share.
Below I provided some of his work.
Nutrition by Gavin Kane PhD.
This is part a 3 three part series,Part 1 deals with nutrition, 2 deals with training, and 3 deals with cycles.
Part One -
Hardcore Bulking Part One - Nutrition
by Gavin Kane PhD.
Off-season; a bodybuilder?s favorite time of year and the favorite words whispered after a recent contest. So the time is here, what are you going to do about it? First step is to determine what you want to do and set some goals. You cannot achieve anything without a plan. Those who fail to plan, plan to fail. So let?s set some clear cut goals. You are going to need all the tools at your disposal before you begin. You are going to work on written goals, nutrition, training, and finally the hardcore cycle.
Write down your goals. Have everything written down and in plain sight as a reminder of what you are trying to achieve. So write down your target weight, your training days, your daily calorie goals, your cycle, etc. Keep a master log book of everything you are trying to do. Like I stated, you must plan for success.
First thing is to determine your target weight and body fat goals. Don?t be overly concerned with fat. This is, after all, the off-season, but there is no need to go above 13-14%. At that point you can still see some abs if you flex them hard enough and you will have acquired the mass point necessary for massive gains. Picking a target weight is very dependent on your level of experience. Since this series of articles is targeted primarily at advanced lifters, I recommend trying to achieve 20lbs of pure mass; some fat, mostly muscle.
So now that you know you are trying to get another 20lbs of size, how do you go about doing this? First and foremost is diet. You cannot make gains if you are not feeding yourself at the goal you want to achieve. So since you know you are trying to get 20lbs, you are going to eat as if you you?re already at that weight. The best way to achieve this is to take in a total daily calorie intake of 30 kcals per pound of bodyweight for ectomorphs, 25 kcals for mesomorphs, and 20 for endomorphs. So for the 230lb average size ecto/meso bodybuilder, he is going to need to eat almost 7500 cals per day. Sounds incredible, I know, but it can be done quite easily. During the off-season you will eat calorie dense foods, some fast food, and some bulking shakes.
I am not going to outline an exact diet for you, but I will give some general guidelines that I highly recommend. Variety is very important in bulking, eating the same foods over and over is boring and there is no reason to. Save the tuna and rice for show time; you can get very creative when bulking and actually enjoy eating. So let?s look at some calorie dense foods that fall in the category of bulking and are acceptable bodybuilding foods.
I love cheese when bulking it is high in protein, goes on everything and it is a very easy way to add calories to every meal. I don?t mean Velveeta or cheese in a can here; I am talking about quality cheese, like Tillamook extra sharp. My other favorite is milk. I love milk with every meal and protein shake when bulking. Oh, and don?t forget my extra special, super bulking treat??natural peanut butter. Tons of calories, high in complete chain protein and essential fatty acids.
So now you have my favorites, let?s go shopping. Grab a pen and paper and write down a shopping list. Don?t just go in the store and wing it. Remember earlier I stated you are going to write everything down. This includes shopping. You write down your weekly shopping list, your training schedule, your cycles and your goals. So back to shopping, you are going to need a lot of food to get to 7500 cals per day. Here are my shopping list recommendations:
7-10% lean ground beef
Honey Nut Cheerios cereal
Natural peanut butter
Now remember, I am not going to set up a diet for you, just give you some ideas of my favorite calorie dense foods. It is up to you to plan some meals and make sure to eat 5-6 meals per day. I don?t see a need to eat more than that because you are not trying to speed up your metabolism; you are trying to slow it down by eating more food at each meal and eating less often. I am a huge proponent of high calorie shakes during the off-season. I personally belong to Muscle Milk anonymous! All kidding aside, they have the most incredible flavors and are highly addictive. Instead of the usual 2 scoops, I use 4 scoops in 16oz 2% milk for a 900+ calorie shake. I have two of those per day, plus my 3 solid meals and then my night time snack.
My favorite night time bulking snack is 4 graham crackers spread with tons of natural peanut butter and then made into two sandwiches, 2 string cheese and a huge glass of milk. It is totally yummy, and I highly recommend it. You probably won?t wake up hungry in the middle of the night. The peanut butter will hold you over until you get up for breakfast.
People are always highly concerned about percentages of protein, carbohydrates, and fat. I am not so concerned, so long as I am getting 2 grams of protein per pound of body weight that I want to be, the rest will just naturally be carbs and fat. So for our hypothetical diet of 7500 calories per day to get to 250lbs, I need 500 grams of protein, which is 2000 calories of protein. That still leaves me 5500 calories of fat and carbs to enjoy. You must eat protein first in every meal, if you are going to get full while eating, it better be on protein and not anything else. It is always easy to squeeze in extra carbs, and needless to say, fat is too easy.
So for our 6 meals, of which 2 are already Muscle Milk and have 170 grams of protein, you don?t have far to go. The next 4 meals just have to have about 80 grams per meal. One glass of milk at each meal is 10 grams, so now you have just 70 grams. See how easy this is? Carbs add up real fast, especially with dense foods like cereal, bread, bagels, and rice / pasta.
Now you are beginning to see how easy bulking while eating clean is. A couple of days per week, I recommend you head over to McDonalds and get 2 or 3 Big Macs or double cheese burgers. Go to In and Out, Burger King, or whatever your favorite is, and do a major feast. You can easily get in 3000 cals in one sitting with 3 Big Macs, a large fry, and a shake. So if you do that 2 times per week, you are going to have two days of about 10,000 cals per day, something that is really going to help with the metabolism and bulking.
We also need to address the very important issue of post-workout (pwo) nutrition. I cannot stress enough how important it is to consume the majority of your daily calories in the first 3 meals pwo on training days. The primary source of energy when training is the conversion of glycogenesis in the formation of glycogen from glucose. Glycogen is synthesized depending on the demand for glucose and ATP (energy). If both are present in relatively high amounts, then the excess of insulin promotes the glucose conversion into glycogen for storage in liver and muscle cells.
When you have completed a workout, your muscle cells are depleted of glycogen and it must be replenished as quickly as possible to promote recovery, and cell repair. Protein cannot be utilized for cell repair if we don?t first address the depletion of glycogen. The best way to replenish depleted glycogen stores is to use a very high glycemic carbohydrate in conjunction with a rapid and easily digested protein to shuttle into the cell for repair.
I personally use a custom made shake that costs me literally pennies to consume. I shop at the local beer brewer?s store and purchase bags of pure glucose or dextrose which they use for home beer brewing. I mix 40 grams of glucose with 16oz (84g) of grape juice and 3 scoops (66g) Nectar whey protein. Nectar is an ultra high quality, flavored whey isolate. This is one of the fastest digested proteins on the market, so in conjunction with my high glycemic pure glucose and grape juice, I have just made a super high quality, muscle repairing shake that costs literally nothing to make. I also recommend you throw in 10 grams of creatine and 10 grams of glutamine at this time.
Your muscles are sponge?s pwo and this is the optimal time to feed them and prepare the tissue to utilize the nutrition for primary protein absorbtion instead of feeding the intestinal tract, a primary scavenger of ingested proteins, especially glutamine.
Your next two meals of extremely important because you are still within the so called ?window of opportunity? for muscle repair with nutrition. Your pwo shake should not leave you feeling full for long; it is easily digested and is intended to be so. You are going to want to eat again one hour after you drink your shake. At this time, you still want an easily digested, low fat protein but you should move into moderate glycemic carbs as we are still ?filling the tank? so to speak but no longer need fast carbs as most of our glycogen was replenished with the glucose.
This meal should be preferably a light, white fish, or chicken breast. I consume mahi-mahi, tuna, or chicken with broccoli and rice or a baked potato. Eat a large portion of protein, the carbs are just a means to an end to shuttle the protein, so fill up with protein first, then eat your carbs to shuttle the amino acid chain into muscle cells.
Our third and final pwo meal of importance while bulking will finally include some essential fatty acids which are also necessary for tissue repair, primarily tendon and ligament tissues. So now we get to really consume the calories and have fun with this meal. I like to eat 8-10 whole eggs, avocado, 6 pancakes, bacon and a glass of orange juice. Another favorite is 1lb lean ground beef in tortilla shells with avocado, salsa, cheese, a baked potato or rice and some milk.
So there you have the three most important meals of your day on training days. It is critical to watch your nutrition at this time, especially since you are trying to repair damaged muscle tissue, replenish glycogen stores, repair connective tissue, and cells. I cannot stress enough how important it is to eat, your body is willing and able to consume massive amounts of calories pwo without spilling into excess body fat storage.
Another critical issue we need to address is the use of insulin and nutrition pwo. The three meals I have outlined fall well within the acceptable specs for humalog use, not humulin-r so that cover pwo nutrition. I will cover the use of R in later articles, as well as proper eating if you choose to use it. For now just use 10-12iu humalog pwo only following the former meal guidelines and you will be utilizing proper protocol and nutrition to maximize your growth.
As stated, look for a future article on insulin use and proper nutrition with it for maximum off season bulking. Insulin is going to be one the greatest products we can use when bulking, especially since you really can?t go hypo if you are going to be eating that many calories each day. We will address multiple use per day on training days to maximize your gains, especially how to super-charge your diet.
I have said it before and I will say it a million more times until you get it through your thick heads. Without nutrition, no gains are possible. Bulking or dieting, it doesn?t matter what your goals are, nutrition is about 80% of our battle. Training and drugs are a means to an end. I can entirely change my physique from fat to lean, from thin to bulk all with diet manipulation. Try doing that with just training and a cycle but only eating 2 or 3 meals per day. Nutrition is your greatest anabolic agent; everything else is just the icing on the cake.
In the next installment of this series we are going to tackle hardcore training principles and eventually what you are all dying to know, the hardcore bulking cycle. For now, read and re-read the information presented before you. Learn to eat right and you can easily put on another 10lbs without even touching a weight or sticking a needle in your glute.
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Hardcore Bulking Part II ? Training
By Gavin Kane PhD
In the first article of the series we attacked hardcore dieting and how to gain maximum mass without maximum fat gains. There are two more pieces to this puzzle, training and cycles. This article is going to focus on the aspects of hardcore training, the type of training that goes along with all those calories you have been eating. Off-season is the time we hit the heavy weights, a return to the basics, meaning no cable-curls, no chrome weights, and no listening to Backstreet Boys while training.
In a return to the basics, I assume and hope that you have been to the basics before, if not this article is exactly what you need to start making gains again. We need to define the basics, what they are, what they mean and why you need them. When I refer to the basics, it is in reference to basic compound weight lifting movements; squats, deadlifts, bench, clean and press, etc. The core of your weight training should consist of basic compound movements since they work the maximum amount of body parts at one time, they require stabilizer muscles for support, and you can use the most weight possible to create hypertrophy.
A compound movement such as the bench press is used primarily to train your chest, but in addition to working your chest you will also train your triceps, deltoids, rotator cuff, biceps, lats, and all tiny stabilizer muscles required to balance and support the weight. Core exercises use more muscles than isolation exercises; therefore, you can use more weight since more muscles are recruited to lift the weight. If you want big triceps, you should bench heavy. This may go against ingrained logic, by now you might be thinking how the hell am I going to get huge triceps when I am benching to get a big chest.
Well, look at simple logic?.if you do the ever popular tricep pushdowns as your mainstay of tricep training, you are short cutting your way to huge tri?s. If you are truly strong on tricep pushdowns, say you are so strong you can do the entire weight stack at your gym, you might be pushing 200 +/- pounds and you?re probably thinking you are gonna get huge triceps?wrong. An isolation exercise will never give you the mass you are looking for. Even if you can pushdown 200 pounds and you get a great pump, that is nowhere near the amount of weight you are putting on your triceps for growth when you are benching 315 pounds or more. No matter how much you can pushdown, it will still never be as much weight as you can press, and with that logic, you will never get big triceps because you are short cutting yourself on gains. Obviously if you are doing pushdowns with 200 pounds but can bench press 315 pounds, you are not using the most efficient training to grow big triceps.
This logic applies to all your body parts; bicep curls are nowhere near as effective as reverse grip bent over rows for back, leg extensions will never get your legs big like squats and on and on. So now that you understand the importance of compound exercises, you need to incorporate them into your training off-season for ultimate growth. There is a time for isolation exercises, like during pre-contest training, or when doing pre-exhaustion movements for higher intensity training.
The whole training program is designed with the idea of maximum weights, maximum recovery, and maximum growth. It is important to remember that muscular growth takes place outside the gym, not inside it. Growth comes from rest and proper nutrition. In the gym training is actually causing trauma and damage to your muscles, you are not going to grow until you leave the gym, eat and sleep. This training program is designed to incorporate with my hardcore bulking diet, the training matches the eating. Compound movements burn a lot of calories, cause the most tissue damage and require massive amounts of calories and protein to repair and recover.
Each muscle is only trained one time per week, you can train most body parts multiple times per week when you are doing primarily isolation exercises, but heavy compound movements require lots of rest, usually one week will suffice for recovery in most trainees, but since many exercises overlap body parts, if you do not feel fully recovered before your next workout, don?t train.
Ectomorphs require more rest than mesomorphs or endomorphs. If you are not making gains on this training program and you are following my hardcore bulking diet, chances are you are overtrained. Common signs of overtraining include; restlessness, sleepless nights, chronic fatigue, lack of appetite, loss of interest in usual activities, decreasing strength, and body aches among others. There is an old saying that there is no such thing as overtraining, just under eating. While this may be true in many individuals, this will not be true if you are following my hardcore bulking diet.
The following is a 4 day per week workout, designed to train each body part one time per week, with overlap usually working each part twice per week. Each workout day should allow for one hour of training, rest periods are to be 2-3 minutes between sets for all large compound movements, and 1 minute for smaller exercises. You should strive to increase weight by 5lbs per week in all large compound movements, and 2.5 lbs in small movements. It is important to either go up in reps or weight each workout. Do not guess, keep a log book, just as with your diet, you cannot know what you are doing and where you are going, if you do not know where you have been. It takes 2 seconds to write down your sets and reps in a small book, and then refer to it the next week so you know what you need to improve on when you start your workout. Have a solid game plan, do not walk around the gym with imaginary lat syndrome like the rest of the morons who do not make any gains year after year. Commit to making gains, follow my training and diet and you will grow?it is that simple.
Day 1: Chest and Delts
Bench Press 5x5 (ex: 135x5, 185x5, 225x5, 315x5, and 365x5)
Incline dumbbell press 3x8
Weighted Dips 3x8 *
Jerk and Press 5x5
Side laterals 2x12
Day 2: Legs
Leg Extensions 2x15
Stiff leg deadlifts 3x8
Heavy dumbbell lunges 3x6
Standing calf 3x12
Seated calf 3x8
Day 3: Back
Chins 3x max reps or Pulldowns if you are too weak or heavy to do chins
Reverse grip barbell rows, Yates style 3x8
Rack Deadlifts 5x5 **
Barbell Shrugs 3x6
Reverse flyes 2x15 ***
Day 4: Arms, Abs and other crap
Standing barbell curl 3x8
Reverse grip bench on smith 3x12 ****
Preacher curls 3x8
Skull crushers 3x12
Full body stretching
* Dips for chest require elbows tucked in close to your body, chin tucked in your chest and a forward lean.
** Set the pins 2 inches below your kneecaps on the squat rack. Add as much weight as you can, take a wide stance and pull your dead. You will be able to use much more weight and the focus will be on your traps and lats.
*** Bend over at the waist with 20lb or so dumbbells and do what is similar to db chest flyes but reverse them to work your rear delts, rhomboids and terres major and minor.
**** Use a smith machine and weight similar to your bench press. Keep your triceps tucked in close to your body, lay totally flat on the bench and hold the bar across your palms with your fingers facing away from your body ? toward your toes, the opposite of a bench press grip. Let the weight come down slowly building tension in your triceps like a spring and then explode up. Higher reps make the triceps grow faster, you do low rep tricep workouts with chest and delt day.
That is it, each workout is one hour if you are slow, 30 minutes on a quick day. The point is not how much you do, it is how hard you do it. For some trainers this might seem like too much, for others, not enough. Even though the large exercises are listed as 5 sets, that includes your warm-up and working sets. See the example for bench, if you can do 365 for 5 reps, start with 135lbs for 5 reps, go to 185 for 5 reps, etc until you reach your working set as your last set. That 5th rep must absolutely be your last rep. The following workout, use that weight until you get to 8-10 reps, then add weight to bring it back down to the 5th rep being your last and repeat each workout in that fashion so you make gains every single week. So while 5 sets may seem like a lot on paper, you are really only doing one all out full working set on each exercise with it taken to full muscular failure.
I do not like or recommend forced reps. If you can?t lift it, you shouldn?t. Sticking points is one issue, but you have all seen the kid in they gym benching 225lbs, where he is only do 135lbs and his partner is rowing the rest. Don?t be that guy. Do your own damn set and rack it. Occasionally add a drop set, pre-exhaust, change the order of the exercises that day, etc., but stick to the workout and make an honest effort to go up in weight each week or add reps.
Do this while following my hardcore diet in article one and you will make gains, bar none. Even supposed hard gainers add 10-20 pounds of mass while following my workouts. Drugs are not needed, food is. But since most everyone is on a cycle these days, part 3 will address the hardcore cycle?.stay tuned.
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Hardcore Bulking Part III ? The Cycles
By Gavin Kane, PhD.
Alright, by now I assume you have read parts 1 and 2 and understand and have applied the principles listed. If not, stop reading this now and go back to the first two articles or this one won?t help you. This is not a crash course on cycling steroids; this is how to use steroids in conjunction with my first two articles that establish proper eating and training. Most of you will not need to add a cycle off season if you follow my principles in the first two articles closely. But since it is my job to fully educate you, and I am not na?ve, I know this is the article you have been waiting for most of all.
Off season cycling is very simple, in fact this is going to be a very short conclusion to my series?take test, lots of it and grow. Done. Well, alright there is more to it than that, but that really is the gist of it. Steroids are pass?, old news, something I rarely write about anymore simply because they are a means to an end, nothing new to be written, and nothing exciting about them. My attention and focus lately is on the plethora of peptides on the market, at least there is real science to still be explored in there. Anyway, I digress, back to this article.
While we are off-season, we have little concern of gaining body fat, this is not to say that you should get over 15% or use it as an excuse to just get flat out fat, but I honestly don?t care about abs off-season and this is a prime time to use insulin. You will accumulate some fat with the addition of insulin that is just the way it is. I can prevent fat accumulation but is requires incredible attention to detail, timing issues, and other things way beyond the scope of an article that is generalized for mass use. You can pay me to custom tailor the whole scope of this series personalized for you but that is again, a separate issue.
There are very few things needed for an off-season bulking cycle; test, insulin, igf, dbol/anadrol, and some other relatively easy to acquire items. I would highly recommend you abstain from the use of anti-estrogen products, or suicidal aromitase inhibitors as much as you can, they severely limit gains. Use them only if you are sensitive to gynecomastia, but if you only get puffy, itchy nips and not full blown gyno, then live with it. You will seriously hinder your gains using Nolvadex, arimidex, letro or any other estrogen blocking/inhibiting products.
It is very hard to me to make recommendations on cycle use for mass public articles when I have no background, previous cycle use, dosages, tolerance, etc. What I will make is recommendations for beginner, intermediate, and advanced users and you can custom tailor them based upon your experience. Each level will require slightly more compounds, more advanced use, etc.
Here are some basic outlines and guidelines for cycles based upon experience, following the cycle outlines will be a basic discussion.
500mg Test Enanthate per week
750mg Test Enanthate per week
300mg Deca per week
20mg Dianabol ed weeks 1-8
1500mg Test Enanthate per week
600mg Deca per week
400mg Equipoise per week
40mcg IGF-1 LR3 pwo only
10mg Humalog insulin pwo only
40mg Dianabol ed weeks 1-8
Advanced user or competitor (not for the faint)
2000mg Test Enanthate per week
600mg Deca per week
400mg Equipoise per week
40 Dianabol ed weeks 1-12
50mg Anadrol ed weeks 1-8
80mcg receptor grade IGF-1 LR3 (40mcg am, 40mcg pwo days only)
Humulin R insulin 3iu each meal M, W, F
Humalog insulin 15iu pwo
k, those are some very basic guidelines from safe to flat out insane. Please let me clarify and reiterate that if you are not following my first two articles about food and training, don?t follow this, don?t read this and don?t come to me. This is a series, a connective synergy of parts, don?t use the parts separately, this is a sum to equal the whole.
You will notice starting from the most basic cycle that if you are new, less than 200lbs, or have done less than 3 cycles, you absolutely will not need more than 500mg test per week. This is a maximum dosage that is assistance to your training and diet; it will help with recovery, add serious amounts of muscle to new users and change your entire physique. I highly recommend all users return to the basics of eating, training, and cycling. Just because you have been abusing your body with 2000mg test per week does not mean you have to continue to do so. With proper eating and training as I have outlined, you can drop to 500mg test per week and probably gain more than you ever have, even doing high dose cycles. The reason is that you will have your nutrition and training in order, something you have probably lacked and used steroids to overcome your shortcomings.
Moving up the chain, we add equipoise to each cycle because off-season it is the best product to increase red blood cell count, which will lead to greater pumps and an increase in protein synthesis. Also this product is highly beneficial for increasing appetite, and you are going to need it with all the food I want you to eat. I have also added a small dose of deca because it will increase synovial joint fluid accumulation, assist with regenerative tissue repair, and create a total body fluid increase, something not all that unwanted off-season.
In the advanced intermediate cycle, the addition of insulin comes into play, along with the addition of an oral and igf. The dbol will help with strength gains, it is also highly beneficial for protein synthesis, and again water retention. So long as your blood pressure remains in tact, water retention is actually a good thing off-season, it helps prevent injuries, creates a sodium balance for hydration and other reasons too long to list. This is the first time I recommend insulin. Insulin use can be very, very safe, especially off-season with the massive amount of carbs consumed, but there is never a reason for use by beginners, not matter how safe I can make it.
A dose of 10iu of a fast acting insulin like Humalog will clear the system in 2-3 hours, as well as minimize fat gains. You will consume a post workout shake of either waxy maize, or glucose and whey. One hour after that you eat a high, clean carb meal such as rice, oatmeal, or white potatoes, and lean meat. You can resume normal eating shortly after that meal.
The addition of IGF is included to create new cell growth. You can create new cells but you will need a massive amount of carbs, protein, and androgens to activate and utilize the new cells. This is why I recommend IGF off-season primarily, not for pct or dieting. The best time to create new cells is in a highly anabolic rich environment, something I just did by having you take dbol, test, and a ton of food.
Finally there is the advanced user, competitor cycle. Some main changes include an increased dose of IGF because each cycle will generally require higher dosages, the addition of anadrol, and the use of long lasting insulin. The anadrol with dbol was addressed in another article; please reference that article for the benefits, reasons and use of the compounds together. Finally, the addition of longer lasting insulin is used to create an anabolic rich environment three days per week, 24 hours per day during those days.
Humalog is still used pwo for faster nutrient uptake, but now with the addition of Humulin R, in small safe doses, you will be able to process and utilize your nutrients more efficiently from each meal. Each small dose will not cause a blood sugar drop, nor is that an issue because of the amount of calories consumed each day. You will still be consuming fat, but because of the really low dose of insulin, fat accumulation is not a major issue with the Humulin R. You will get far more anabolic benefits than you will fat accumulation.
People often ask why I don?t recommend MGF, GH, Tren, and other exotic compounds off-season. Simple answer, you don?t need them. GH is great for dieting, but the anabolic gains are primarily from the conversion to igf, so why waste money when you can buy it direct. The jury is still out on MGF, I have much more research to do, for now it has been beneficial in dieting. Tren and other toxic compounds are again useful for shows, when you are eating a protein rich, low carb diet, and can see the gains in lean mass accumulation.
Each cycle is sequenced for use with my diet, training and protocol. These cycles are fairly advanced and not necessary for use without my protocol. The timing issues are relevant, the compounds are used for specific reasons. This is the final chapter in the series. Every part of your off-season has been covered, from eating, to training, to cycling. The only other part of the equation is rest. Make sure to sleep 8-10 hours per night, taking naps during the day if possible. It is not unusual for a beginner to gain 30 or more pounds using my protocol, and I have had very advanced pro?s gain up to 20 pounds or more using this exact advanced protocol, guys who thought they were near their genetic maximum.