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Learned Since You Started? How Many Calories For Bulking?
You said in your last article:
"I get better and better, I flat out improve every time. I feel good at this point and I really have control over the whole diet scheme, we did it right this year. Heck, I like dieting!"
What did you learn since you started?
Also, I am planning on going on my first cut phase soon and I know the basics. I was planning on a 40/40/20 ratio. I am an ectomorph and plan on taking in about 12x my bodyweight in calories. I also plan on bumping calories up to about 15-16x my bodyweight every 3-4 days or so. Is that a good idea? Any advice?
I like this question because I felt that I could answer it extremely appropriately being that I am still going through my contest season. I am doing the Louisiana Grand Prix, which involves a combined point system. The basics are this you do the three contests in the state and as you place you accumulate points. Anyways I have done two shows this year and I am competing the following two weekends back to back. It has been a long 23 weeks and I have learned a whole lot about myself.
I have learned so much about bodybuilding, myself, the human body, nutrition, dieting, gaining, and the whole realm of our world, throughout this competition season. This realm that I am referring to is the realm of the way a bodybuilder views life. It is a different view as you probably already know. We do things that others see as unhealthy, strange, too strict, obsessive, and a waste of time. But, to us, the bodybuilders, it is all that we have and all that we want to know about. I am particularly talking about the bodybuilders that are interested in putting the word out and putting the facts out in attempt to educate others. I am doing this through these FAQ's, articles, consultations, and books. (My first one is going through editing now and will be available soon!)
When I stated that I flat out improve every time, a meant it. I always learn something about my body and how it responds to different foods, training strategies, and supplements. I am competing in my 3rd show of the 2002 competitive season this weekend and I enter each with a feeling of confidence. I have confidence in my strategies because I know that they work. I also experiment and try to do something a little different for each show. I believe that when you get really lean you can do this because as long as you are lean you can always "fix" yourself so to speak.
When you are lean you are bullet proof and that is why I learn every time I do a show. If I were to go into each show and do the same thing over and over I would just stay at one level. I take risks and try new things and it seems to be working fine and it has never backfired on me. Besides, I always have the guidance of a true bodybuilding legend, Mr. Maris Lee. This guy is amazing. Anything you ever wondered about bodybuilding he could spit it out. He will be competing with me this weekend and I am simply honored to be doing the same show as he. We are peaking out together and I am learning from him. I often refer to him as my Jedi Master and I his young Jedi Apprentice. He even told me today that he has been letting me do what I wanted to do meaning let me experiment. He did this willingly and on purpose because that is the only way that I will learn. He is right! Getting ready for this show he just soaked in my theories and let me act upon them only making small suggestions or comments at times. He let me dig real deep and I almost self destructed but I needed to go through this. I learned and it worked, but there are other ways to go about getting similar results. I tried this way and I never want to go back there, I was in another world for about 3 days straight.
Many people have asked me why I use a nutritionist. Some do not think that I have anything left to learn. They are wrong, Maris himself would admit that he is still learning. He is about to do his 51st show, you think this guy has some experience? I am entering my 9th & 10th in the next two weekends. Who knows bodybuilding better? Maris has helped out over 100 bodybuilders and has experience working with all body types, his knowledge is golden. The major thing that I learned this year was how to get really lean and the fact that it is harder to lose muscle that I thought. This is primarily due to my genetic make up and my body's ability to hold on to muscle really well. In order for me to get super striated and lean I must go the limit and dig deep. That process can be painful, but the good thing is that I not only hold onto fat well I also hold on to all of my muscle. That is why I often say that sometimes you have to break a few rules to get really lean. This year I was able to break rules and be stress free because about doing so because I have faith in my supplements, particularly HMB and L-glutamine when dieting, and I know that my muscle is not going anywhere.
About your second question, I like the whole "bumping calories up to about 15-16x my bodyweight every 3-4 days or so" theory. Doing this will keep the metabolism alive and allow you to dig a little on the 3-4 days that you are lower on your calories. I do not agree with the whole "40/40/20 ratio" idea. I like using about 250-300 grams of protein each day. This will allow the muscle to remain healthy. I would say that on day four of your low Kilocalorie state it would be okay to use some fat (30grams) from your good sources like soy nut butter or natural peanut butter. As far a carbohydrates I do not like using them unless it is that high calorie day. Otherwise I use fibrous carbohydrates only. I get great results with green beans, broccoflower, broccoli, cauliflower, and spinach. I prefer spinach as the primary green because it is 100% vitamins, minerals, and fiber. It is a dieting "free food" and I do not think that you can over consume the stuff.
But keep in mind what the gist of what the article/FAQ is about. EXPERIMENTATION! So, the only way to know if your 40/40/20 program would have worked is to un-biasly give it a whirl. I am just speaking from my theoretical standpoint on the matter. Good Luck!