Nutrition Guide

First read these 4 blog posts.  A good portion of the rest of this is based on what I wrote in these:

Eating to Match Your Exercises

How Much Protein Do You Need

Healthy Fats


Now, whether I'm bulking or cutting it really comes down to the same base macros that I manipulate. So for me my base is around 2500 calories, this where I am on non-training days.  Of course I have almost no non-training days, but it's the base that I go off of when planning everything else, and is key to everything else I do nutritionally.  I'm pretty athletic / advanced at this point, so if you're not then you may want to cut a couple hundred calories off of that for your starting base, depending where you are. If you're a girl probably 1800 is a good starting spot.  At that base I try and get roughly half my calories from fat, 1/4 from NET carbohydrates, and 1/4 from protein.  That shakes out to roughly 150g of each. So that's the base I start with.

If you read the above posts, you'll note that I try and match my diet on a given day with how I train.  Most of my training is heavy, in the 1-3 rep range.  So I'm not burning a ton carbs, but would still like some post workout.  So on those heavy-training days, to that 2500 calories, I add in roughly 50g of carbs, and 25g of protein.  (I’d bump it by a bit less if you’re a girl, that goes for all these numbers, whenever I talk about adding in protein, carbs, or fat.  Maybe use ½ or ¾ of the numbers I suggest for add-ins). This gets me to about 2800 calories per day, and about 150F/200C/175P.  If it's my sprinting day what I'll usually do is drop fat back a bit to about 100G, and bump up carbs to 275 net, and protein to 200. This is because I run 100s, 110s, and 200s.  The first couple 100s are largely drawing on ATP/CP system, but I don't wait around for full recovery, so I'm clearly dipping into anaerobic for most of it.    I use similar macros to sprint-days for days I train with higher reps, although I don't knock the fat back as much, and don't bump up the carbs as much, so I'm still around 2800 calories.  So that's my training base.


For me, bulking is just amping up these numbers.  Let's take a relatively light bulk, say 3200 calories. If it's a day where I'm working out heavy, instead of being at 2800 calories, and a 150F/200C/175P, I would add in another 75G net of carbs and 25G more protein.  So I'd be around 150/275/200.  Based on what I wrote above in the How Much Protein article, I don’t go much higher than this on protein. If I went on a large bulk, say 4000 calories, I’d still have protein capped around 225G, in that case I’d have to up the fat to get some extra calories in, but I try and get fairly close by using carb manipulation.  So in the case of a 4000 calorie bulk I’d probably go 175F/350C(net)/225P.  For days when I sprint, again going carb-heavier, I’d go 100F/350C(net)/225P.  To hit 4000 I’d go something like 150F/425C(net)/225P.


For cutting, it’s similar, but in the opposite direction.  I’m not a huge fan of cutting calories below where my intended maintenance level will be. So if my maintenance level will be 2800 calories on a heavy training day, then that’s what my caloric intake on those days will be.  There’s nothing wrong with dipping lower, but I have an easy time losing fat, so I don’t need to really go as extreme as others.  So what I do, I take what my new base will be after bulking up, and set my macros to those levels.  So instead of 2500 calories base, maybe after this bulk I’ll be up to 2600, 155F/150C/150P or something like that.  The additions for training days remain exactly the same (50C/25P), since I’ve already accounted for my new needs by calculating a higher base-line.  Your workouts aren’t inherently different because you suddenly added a few lbs. of muscle or connective tissue.  That’s why the baseline number is so key, that’s where the difference is as you progress.  Now, I noted I don’t cut calories below my target baseline when cutting.  let’s say I didn’t mind dipping lower on calories though, here’s what I’d do:  I’d set that baseline to say 2200 calories instead of my new 2600 calorie baseline, say maybe 125F/125C/150P.  Again, all additions remain the same for training type that day; so if I had a heavy training day, I’d add 50G carbs and 25G protein to that 2200 base, and get 2525 calories that day.

Wrap-Up & Examples

In case you’re wondering how I calculated that baseline, I get that by taking roughly where I want to be at my maintenance weight and body comp. Say it’s 195 lbs. at around 9.5% bf, that puts me around 175 lbs of LBM. I then take that number and multiply it by 14 for my number of calories I want to average per day, over the course of a week.  If you have a slower metabolism, or are female drop that multiplier, if your metabolism is faster then up it.  It's just a ballpark number, to get you started. You’ll have to almost certainly tweak it based on what you see in the gym and in the mirror.

Here’s a couple quick examples to show you.  Click on them to blow them up.

This is a sprinting day I would have, at around 3100 calories, maybe for a small bulk or something

And here’s what I’d eat on a day for heavy training, around 3200 calories. 

 And one more example at 3200, slightly different.

Note that these are all bulking examples.  If they were cutting or maintenance there’d be no PB in the shakes, probably half as much rice each day, maybe even none on the non-sprinting days, and cut the chicken portions by an ounce or so.  

As for routines to do…Smolov, 5/3/1, starting strength. There’s a million. Just pick one and stick to it.  If you’re more advanced and having something you like doing, then keep doing it! I don’t do any ‘name-brand’ routine, simply because I enjoy how I train now and am satisfied with the results.  Whatever routine you pick, make sure it’s based around heavy compound movements (squats / deadlifts / benching / rows / pullups / standing press).   That’s a whole other post, and this is already a novel, so I’ll stop now.

Hope this helps some, I know it’s not easy.  If you need any help just comment on a post here!

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