Thoughts On The “No Bull” Bulk – Part 1

As the title would suggest, this post is a memory dump of sorts. While I like to think (and think and think and think), cementing these ideas, for me, requires an expression. Either through talking about it or writing about it, I have to articulate my thoughts to cement my ideas. Since Sarah has heard me roar on and on about all aspects of this, I turn to y’all for a bit of cementing. Thinkering, if you will.

  • In line with my post on RMR and calories in general, I got my hands on a Bodybugg to play around with. I really like this device, especially in seeing how much calories are burned doing things like housework or just being on your feet versus on your arse. I write this at my own peril, as Sarah will likely put me to the mop because, “(you) want to burn calories.” Regardless, the device has determined my maintenance caloric intake to be right around 3000kcal/day.
  • Further, playing around with this device, I’ve found that I burn a LOT of calories doing simple intervals and long walks. For instance, last week I did a simple workout where I would “sprint” 100 yards and walk 300 yards. I did this 4 times, followed by a steady 1/4 mile jog. Later than evening Sarah and I walked 3 miles down at town lake. Total burn for the day: 3768(!).
  • Even though I just wrote about the No Bull Muscle Gain Plan (acronym…Nob MuG?) last week, I’ve been engaging in it for the better part of a month. In the book, Kelly wants to see weight going up at least 1lb every 2 weeks (the cycle length suggested in his book). This hasn’t been the case for me and it’s simple maths to see the reason why. My overeating phases have been at least 500kcal over maintenance per day while the undereating phase is bodyweight x 12, or ~2000kcal per day in my case. Spread this out over a week and you’ll see the dilemma: the per day average is ~3074 kcal or nearly maintenance, never mind what I’m burning above.
  • So in an effort to take any OCD tendencies out of this whole thing, I’m making it simple: the base is unmeasured/unweighted paleo and the difference is the milk. This is quite what I was eating like before but it allows for a little bit of caloric auto-regulation due to appetite, so if I’m a bit more hungry I just eat a bit more. I don’t go hog wild but eat to satiety.

The “No Bull” Mass Gain Experiment

Check out those cool graphics

I’m naturally a pretty lean gain, but in an ectomorphic “skinny-fat” sort of way. When I first got “serious” about strength training, I was 18 years old and went from the low 160’s to the mid 180’s in about 4 months time. Everyone noticed, especially people I hadn’t seen in months. Unfortunately, I fell victim to thinking I could eat my way up to larger and larger muscles and ended up getting quite fat. In the 9 years that have followed I have gained lots of muscle (and lots of fat); I’ve also lost a lot of fat (and a lot of muscle). Thanks to a long summer vacation, I’m now the leanest I’ve ever been at ~9% bodyfat. It’s time to put to the test a cyclic mass gain system by way of Kelly Baggett. Continue reading

Of Calories And Counting

Doesn't look very tasty, actually.

Long time no post, eh? I’ve been a bit of a world traveler with stories to tell about Central America. One of the things I didn’t get a lot of is calories while I was on vacation. Perhaps in line with Seth Robert’s Shangri-La Diet, the flavors of the food I was eating wasn’t what I was used to. They were novel and as a result I didn’t really crave them. I came home below 9% body fat, my lowest ever. A perfect time to bulk and test a recomp system…a report for later.

I digress…calories. I wasn’t getting many. How many should you be getting? How many ARE you getting? Well, that depends. Continue reading