Without a doubt — “bulking up” has gotten a bad name lately, but let me tell you why first. One thing Dan Duchaine really grilled into us during our interview with him – is how the market controls everything.
The market honestly is not for the cultish class of rebel bodybuilders who want to get extremely massive and shake the earth at his every step.
No, the market is for Joe public who would like to look lean all year round and build some muscle if he can too. And what is the next most important facet – convenience! It must be simple, easy to do, and just not a pain in the a*s to follow day in and day out.
Yes, everyone wants to be big muscularly if they can, but to the majority – being lean and muscular is vastly more important. OK, I agree that the majority of bodybuilders out there are in this class.
I don’t actually consider those guys HARDCORE in my definition of he word but I must see their side too. To me bodybuilding is about growing not dieting (deprivation).
What I want you to look at is this — the big picture. Are you reading this and want to put on as much muscle, as fast as you possibly can — for the pursuit of your long-term goal?
Or do you want to maybe compromise muscular gains, growing at a much slower rate but you look lean the whole way while trying to put on muscle? This is the tremendously hard decision you have t make.
And yes, I feel it is tremendously hard because no one wants to build muscle at a less then optimum rate and no one wants to be a little fatter than they have to be.
Let’s simplify things shall we? Basically you can divide pretty much all the new and old concept diets into two groups. First there is the moderate to low calorie diets which include (nutrient density, high fat [variation] to fat, low caw) diet theories in which in the overwhelming majority of them the calories are pretty much below 3500.
Then there is the moderate to high calorie diets which include High Protein, Parillo, High fat [again — variation] high carb, etc.) diet theories.
I’m going to be blatantly honest here so bear with me. If you want to stay fairly lean (let’s say optimally lean — that’s a better description) and in a genuinely easy diet concept to follow — all along building muscle along the way (not optimally though), then you should probably be on one of the diets in the first group. You have to do what makes you happy and a lot of you won’t be happy being a little plump even though you wilt be a lot bigger muscle wise.
As a lot of you know, what looks good on paper doesn’t always play out well in real life. And more than anywhere else diet theories which even in my discerning eyes, look good on paper — definitely don’t play out well in the gym. I must repeat this. You must think this out and decide what makes you happy.
I don’t want you guys coming back and saying “Those guys at H.M. made me fat! Yea. I’m a lot bigger but I’m fat!” I ain’t gonna deal with it. (How’s that for some slang) (My grandmother the English teacher would kill me).
So now I’m going to state some facts outside the science/paper arena — that I have seen happen in real life. I’m willing to bet that when you guys think about it, you will come to the same conclusions I have.
A) I have never seen a juiced bodybuilder taking in about 3000 calories a day, go beyond the gains of what ONLY the use/abuse of the sauce has let him gain.
Al) I have seen juiced bodybuilders who took in a tremendous amount of calories get muscle gains and thickness at the fastest rate possible, and so beyond the 3000 calorie/nutrient dense bodybuilders that there isn’t even a close comparison, And don’t even try to argue, “Well it looks like it because they are holding more bodyfat.” True, but when these guys come down in weight there is so much more muscle!
B) I have never seen a natural bodybuilder who tried to stay lean year-round, put on a dramatic increase of muscle size. If you added up alt their brutally hardcore workouts there is no way in Hell that 2-4LBS —at the most (I’ve seen O LBS) in a year is worth it!
BI) I have seen natural bodybuilders who make tremendously huge gains in bodyweight between contests, (and take a lot of verbal abuse for it) come in and crush the competition continually because they gain 10-15LBS of muscle underneath fat every year. Natural powerlifters absolutely crush natural bodybuilders in contests decisively. Why? Off-season bulk-up!
C) Correction — I have seen genetically gifted African-American bodybuilders make gains no matter what the hell they do! And rarely a genetically superb Caucasian bodybuilder too! Ninety-eight percent of you reading this aren’t in those groups so keep reading.
Cl) I guarantee you — GUARANTEE! — that somewhere right now there is a natural bodybuilder right now reading this who is ****ed off and saying it is bull****.
This guy trains incredibly hard, eats incredibly clean, uses the best supplements religiously and stays lean and muscular year -round. Don’t try to argue with him, because he is set in his ways—that’s how natural guys (and some juicers too) are. They are right and you are wrong.
They are the most holier-than-thou experts around. I only have one thing to say — check the scale! You weighed 188 three years ago and now you weigh 190??!! Great — in 10 tears you will weigh 200L8S! CASE CLOSED! Two hundred and eight workouts in a year for a measly pound of muscle!
D) Shawn Ray, Tony Pearson, Porter Cottrell, Lee Labrada, Mike Ashley, Robby Robinson — these are examples of some bodybuilders who stay lean year-round —and there are some very big guys here and also some very good bodybuilders (Ray, Labrada) but honestly how much improvement in muscle mass do you see from year to year!! Not that much.
Dl) Dorian Yates, Nasser El Sombaty, Dave Fisher, Lee Priest, Chris Duffy, Michael Francois. These were some great and middle of the road bodybuilders too. But all these guys do pound the food and get bigger every year. Especially the first four!
Yates, Sombaty and Fisher were all over 30 or close to it. They have been lifting for over 10 years and are gaining big time muscle still. There are some non-wealthy bodybuilders in both groups, so don’t be ignorant and say, “They must use more drugs:”
E) Is this bodybuilding or should it be called “body leaning” because it seems to me that is where all the new diets are leading to in my eyes. The compromising of extreme muscle gains for the general fear of being fat.
I want you to ask yourself this —How long does it take to build extreme muscle size? I would say 5-15 years in my opinion, —— — How long does it take to lose body fat once you have reached the huge muscle size you want? 3-5 months??!! You tell me what the focus should be on.
A friend reminded me of something. There are models and strippers out there that take a lot of s******s (some on the level of chronic abuse) who train hard, eat really clean because they have to stay lean for their job and yet — they look the exact same year after year after year. When they first started using s******s— yes they looked better — but they hit that plateau fairly quick and stayed there.
Do you see my point yet? What is your goal? Is it to be extremely big or extremely lean? If there is a 175 lb bodybuilder out there who wants to weigh 235 lbs with 8% body fat and thinks he will accomplish that with 2800 calories and nutrient density_ man you are really fooling yourself! It will not happen! I promise you, in four years time you just might weigh 195 lbs.
If you went ahead and used illegal s******s you might make it to 215 lbs. But honestly, do you know the quickest way there? — Bulking up to about 285 lbs would get you there.
Yes, you would probably be pretty fat, and not happy about being that fat but when you came down, you weigh 230-235 lbs. And be very happy. A sacrifice to get to your final goal. — — The people who tout low calorie diets (I’m not putting them down — I respect them) are their main objectives to keep lean or to build muscle?
Read into that please. The examples of themselves and the students they give—Was most of the muscle they have now from past bulking diets? Of course they look better now—they are lean! But was the muscle from bulking up??!! Yes it was most of the time.
Do you know what I consider the hardest thing in bodybuilding? Oh yeah, the training and dedication is hard — but to continually pound down 6 meals a day on a continual basis is the utmost of chores and dedication. I don’t miss meals. Ahh, that’s too easy — I don’t miss meals to the best of my ability…OK.
So this is where you have to ask yourself—what are my ultimate goals and what is the happiest way I can get there? Do I want to stay extremely lean and maybe compromise some muscle gains? If I bulk up, will the negative people who wait at every chance to say “Getting kind of fat” affect me? Will society keep me from what I truly want to accomplish?
See, I admire Dorian and Nasser because they are driven. You will never see those two with a tucked in dress shirt an in the off-season. They are bulked up. Chubby if you like. But they know what kind of muscle they want to put on and don’t give a damn what anyone else says on the way there. Dorian caught a lot of flak on how he looked at the Night of Champions at roughly 300LBS. So what? Did you see what he looked like at the 95 Olympia? DOMINATED is the word.
Segway: I personally think Parillo got a bad rap. I don’t agree with his basic what to eat theories — but I do think he has some ideas that could be put to use. Let’s start this first — I don’t care what crap you read that bodybuilders only need 1.3 grams of protein per kilogram. Bull****! Look at some of the recent studies that pertain to bodybuilders that lift very heavy and very intense.
Not fitness bodyshapers . . .0K! Four grams per kilogram of bodyweight is a good goal to shoot for. Actually shoot for the protein content of the bodyweight you want to weigh.. i.e. 260LBS = 354 to 472 grams of protein a day. 300LBS = 409 to 545 grams a day.
Second of all you are going to have to decide which way you are going to go(a) moderate/high carbs and varying fats or b) high fat and low carb diet — Duchaine’s and Dipasquale’s diet.
The big problem everyone has with the high carb diet is that with the high carbs comes an onset of high insulin which will—yes tend to put fat on the body (lipogenesis).
But that is not all bad because insulin also pushes nutrients (amino acids) into the muscle cells and there is nothing wrong with that. But when these nutrient stores are filled, this is where a lot of bodyfat is laid down on the body.
So it is a catch 22 situation. The extra bodyfat could probably give you a little extra leverage in some movements. But this is not what I think most diet experts are looking at. They look at insulin from a leanness perspective instead of its benefits of pushing nutrients into the muscle cells.
The problem with the higher carb bulking diets is that you can get very groggy and sleepy especially after a very high carb meal. It comes from an onrush of insulin and the release of a chemical in the brain — serotonin (especially when nutrient/carb stores in the muscle are saturated already). So there are good points and bad points to high protein — moderate to high cart diets.
People with superb metabolisms can benefit greatly from them in the way of superb muscle gains if they can put up with the groggy episodes that will affect them from time to time. Others who decide to go this route with lesser metabolisms either put up with the extra bodyfat and realize that when the tines comes they will take it off or perform aerobic work to keep their bodyfat levels in check.
But you must realize that yes, the aerobics will let you have a high density/high nutrient/calorie diet but it also is an additional form of stress on the body that can catabolize muscle if overdone.
This is where I thought Parillo had some nice ideas as far as aerobics done only for l/2 an hour at a time morning and night. I would also think that on training days only the morning session (if that) would have to be done. Better yet, my opinion would be only do the aerobics on off training days if you feel you have to do them.
To be totally honest, people who take s******s are probably not going to have to do much aerobically because anabolics have a slight thermogenic effect and also they will be in such a superior muscle building situation that most gains (initially at least— not long term) will be in the way of muscle, not bodyfat. With receptor sites saturated and slower muscle gains, body fat will accumulate, many add clenbuterol to bulking diets to keep bodyfat at a minimum.
Phenformin, Metformin and Vanadyl Sulfate work extremely well for most people on high carb diets. They mimic insulin in a way — driving glycogen into the muscles. In theory this should make you fuller looking and have less glucose left over to be transformed into triglycerides — stored bodyfat.
A word to the wise — Metformin and Phenformin are very strong drugs so use them with caution. If you are not insulin deficient to some degree I would stick to the Vanadyl Sulfate.
You know everyone and his mother argues how high calorie diets don’t work and their big point is the bodyfat. But I have yet to see someone disprove that it is the fastest way to put on muscle! Yes it puts on body fat, but there are ways to control that pretty much aerobically if someone is really serious about putting on the size. I look at someone like Michael O’Hearn who has to stay fairly lean now because of work, but was a serious powerlifter and has been up to 285 LBS or so. That’s about 60 LBS over his bodybuilding contest weight.
There are a lot of excesses in this sport and I personally believe that the body is an incredibly adaptive machine — and if there is a tremendous demand (brutal heavy workouts), the body will not just store every single excess calorie as bodyfat, but will slowly adapt itself into a greater and greater musculature. Before you debunk this, think back through history of how man has adapted and evolved.
The command (heavy weights) has to be there, no doubt. Think about the Sumo study that we talked about in issue six. The Sumo wrestlers had greater lean body mass than the bodybuilders.
How? They hardly weight train. But their caloric intake is a lot higher. What would happen if the Sumos both weight trained and kept their bodyfat in check with daily morning and night aerobics? You tell me! The only difference in that equation was food intake.
I am not saying that the nutrient density low calorie diets don’t work, not at all! They work— they are great at keeping off excess bodyfat and slowly building muscle at the same time. I think they are great for the businessman/fitness person. But for an extremely Hardcore bodybuilder trying to build up mass to intimidating proportions,
I really think you have to goad your body into believing it has to adapt to a bigger musculature. 2,700 calories tells it to stay midsize. 6,000 – 10,000 calories tells it something else — and in my opinion that something is get much bigger by storing bodyfat and a bigger musculature. Yes, the musculature is a slow adaptation and the bodyfat a fast one, but I feel the muscle adaptation is far greater than it is from the low calorie diets.
And we have talked about how to keep the control of bodyfat with aerobics. I didn’t say it was easy or simple. But if your body won’t gain bodytat at 2,000 calories a day, why the hell do you think it will gain any muscle — which is so much harder to do!
I’ve mentioned the high protein/moderate to high carb diet. I’m going to skip Parillo’s because I don’t personally agree with all his dieting theories (Sorry John). But the other high calorie diet that I think is very worthy of mentioning is the high fat diet that both Dipausquale and Duchaine have worked on. Dipausquale has been kind ot vague with his theories somewhat on this diet, but I do believe Dan is going to be much more precise with his.
He told us that. Both bulking diets I’ve talked about recommend red meat as a main cog in the diet. I agree totally. The creatine and amino acid pool in red meat is very beneficial. The high fat diet goes something like this— 5 days high fat (Monday thru Friday) /carbs kept under 30 grams a day each of those days / roughly 55-60% fat, 30-55% protein and 5-8% carbs.
On the weekend there is a 2 day carb load where the breakdown is 30-40% fat. 10-15% protein, 45-60% carbs. So during the week, samples of food you can eat are — steak, sausage, bacon, ham, eggs, pork, chicken, lamb, veal, kielbasa, (no-carb) protein drinks, etc. – –
During the weekend pretty much anything goes and you can carb up to your hearts content. I know what some of you are thinking or have been programmed to think! That this diet is dangerous because fats are dangerous. Not altogether true!
The principles and theories behind this diet are extremely sound. Without the chronically elevated insulin levels of the high carb diet comes less stored bodyfat. OK, here it is laid out. You carb up over the weekend and your body uses the stored glycogen in the muscle for energy during Monday and Tuesday (varying), and then switches over to using tree fatty acids and bodyfat as energy when the glycogen stores are gone.
The free fatty acids are broken down from the high fat diet and triglycerides (from stored bodyfat)are broken down to free fatty acids and then to ketones—an energy source. In a sense, stored body fat acts as glycogen and the free fatty acids act as glucose.
Lowering the calories uses more body fat as energy. To gain mass, a higher calorie intake is taken in. This diet looks to be right up the natural bodybuilder’s alley.
And I urge you to either try Dipausquales book or Duchaine’s book when it comes available. There is too much info to summarize Dipausquale’s book here- It is called the Anabolic Diet — 50 bucks or so. Some of Hardcore Muscle’s readers have been giving me feedback on the high fat diet and most of them that stuck to it — think it is a godsend! If your body doesn’t metabolize carbs very well and you have been stuck for a couple years with minimum gains — give this a try will you??!!
There is only one problem I have with the high fat diet. I wonder with only manipulating insulin on the weekends, if there is any loss of benefit during the week of not having insulin driving amino acids into the muscle cells. Something tells me Dan Duchaine, being the problem solver that he is — will have some sort of solution to this in his diet.
Basically my opinion is this — you have 30 grams of carbohydrate to play with during the week days. Obviously the best way to utilize them would be to do so on training days right after a workout where your body would be most insulin receptive. Half a cup of grape juice (the rest water) in a no carb protein drink (would have only 17 grams of carbs) could probably do some good and still give you 13 grams of carbs to play with the rest of the day.
I’m not so sure that some sort of insulin spike (in an after workout scenario on the Wednesday, Thursday, Friday — high fat / no carb days) would prove to be harmful. I’m talking about only on workout days, of those 3 days. Something in an allowance over the 30 grams consisting of Dan’s prior recommendation of juice and ion exchange whey powder. A whopping dose of it!
But that would bring you over 30 grams at carbs. On the high fat diet, you would definitely have to supplement multivitamins to ward off any chance of deficiencies anywhere. In theory, if you kept strict on this diet — it would be less likely to acquire an abundance of bodyfat even when bulking. But as in the other high calorie diet — you might have to include some aerobics if the bodyfat levels start getting over the level you have set to yourself.
The downside to this diet is it can get very monotonous eating the same meats day after day. That is why you have to make a concerted effort to change things up. Chicken wings, scrambled, poached, boiled, eggs, steak, marinated with different marinades, pork chops, etc. Remember condiments and marinades have a lot of hidden carbs. People who are very sinewy, very muscular and have trouble putting on muscle could take their choice of these two diets and benefit from either one of them.
African Americans and some taller whiles are usually in that group. Others would most likely have to keep a check on the bodyfat with very slight aerobics. Some lead a very active life style (work, play) and can keep that extra fat off. Endomorphs will really have to work hard with aerobics because they will really push the fat levels up. That is your genetic blueprint, I’m sorry.
In this sport, both you and I know people who train hard and heavy. There are so many bodybuilders out there now it’s incredible. Go to your gym and count the people who lift hard. Now go thru all those people and think how many have gotten continually bigger over the years (including yourself). How many plateaus do you see?
Most of those people are eating 2300-3000 calories a day. Are you one of those people who blindly thinks he is growing but then 10 years later looks back and realizes that thru all those years and all those workouts (the time put in) that you really are exactly the same??!! What a waste. Don’t take no for an answer.
The body is an adaptive machine. Force that mother to adapt. Strength is size. To be a 250LB bodybuilder you are going to have to eat like one and train like one. A 250 LB bodybuilder who wants to be a 280 LB bodybuilder will not get there if he eats 2500 calories. He has to eat his way up to 28O LBS.
Muscle is a hard to come by commodity. To get fat is pretty easy. You know how to control that fat — it will range from no aerobics to 1/2 hour aerobics, morning and night 6 times a week. In 4 years from now do you want 4 more pounds of muscle or 30-45 LBS more muscle.
I’m a bodyBUILDER, the choice is easy for me. I hope you reread this article and really look at the examples and comparisons I cited. It comes down to what makes you happy.
In my eyes at least, a hardcore bodybuilders main emphasis is on muscle (hard work, strength, and dedication) and a secondary emphasis on body fat. Some people will put an emphasis on bodyfat and a secondary emphasis on muscle. If you take genetics and drugs out of the equation, how would you — the trainer — answer the following question?
“Im 180 LBS and I want to be 280 LBS. I want to gain muscular size at the quickest, fastest rate possible all the while keeping my bodyfat at a satisfactory level.
There is a million dollars in it for you it you can do it in 6 years or less.” What would you have to have him do to get him there??!! ME? — This guy would never miss a meal, get to know a treadmill on a regular basis, and be a rest pausing maniac. And I would have a million in 5 years. not six!
by Dante Trudel (DC)
Great article!! Thanks!
Nice read !