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Off Season Approaches

b-boy

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My training day calories and recovery day calories only vary by about 100 calories (25 grams of carbs less) recovery requires calories also, my daily activity is the same minus a workout.

My training days though I dont massively over eat like some of you do.
 

qbkilla

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I'm varying my calories and carbs now. My approach is simple. I train first thing in the morning, so upon waking I have some quick carbs and protein, then have intra carbs and aminos, and immediately post have more carbs and protein. Than once I get to the office I have my "first meal" out of six. So on rest days I eliminate al the pre/intra/post and have a nice and easy adjustment of calories and carbs/protein. Meals 1 through 6 stay the same.

Been at it for one week. Pre show (that didn't happen), I was about 242lbs and after a 10 days, I'm now 250lbs first thing in the morning, full and still tight.

With this setup my nutrition looks like this:

Training day: 4007 Calories: 448C, 367P, 81F
Rest Day: 2512 Calories: 197C, 279P, 65 F

Currently training 5 days a week with 2 days off.

This is similar to mine, the exception I eat more protein in low days as opposed to high for satiety. Also try and eat pineapple with each meal to help with digestion and limit fiber intake. Some high days I get 90g of fiber and feel too distended. On all days I start eating about 4pm pre workout. Coffee during the day , dont have to take Tupperware to work, just keep things simple and feast in the evening, helps me sleep to pound alot of food before bed and feel full.
 

airman

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That's a solid setup. I myself prefer a varied intake as opposed to a static one. I'd much rather eat less on some days so I can eat more on others in addition to the benefits that come from macro manipulation.

I'm sure there are some that have been doing it for a while, but this approach has really been gaining a lot of steam lately as I keep hearing more and more people doing it. On one of Fouad's podcasts, Ben Chow mentioned Patrick Tuor has him eating 4500 calories or something on training days and 2100 on off days. People have been carb cycling for a while now, but the extremes in caloric intake is fairly new to my knowledge. I like it.

It was actually Patrick that inspired me to take my offseason more seriously. I decided to avoid the typical stuff yourself full, gain 20 to 30lbs and just look fat with no real muscle gain. So I'm trying to treat this offseason more with a mindset of an actual prep, just with more food. I watched everyone of Patrick's podcast appearances, anything I could find. Been watching Ben and James, and pretty much implemented everything they are doing to the best of my ability. Even doing their SST style training. It's only been over a week, but I'm loving it so far. And the caloric variance was easy for me as it's just removal of pre/intra/post

This is similar to mine, the exception I eat more protein in low days as opposed to high for satiety. Also try and eat pineapple with each meal to help with digestion and limit fiber intake. Some high days I get 90g of fiber and feel too distended. On all days I start eating about 4pm pre workout. Coffee during the day , dont have to take Tupperware to work, just keep things simple and feast in the evening, helps me sleep to pound alot of food before bed and feel full.

Completely understand your approach. Reason why my off day is fairly low still is because I'm pretty much 10 or so days into a 'rebound phase'. Two weeks ago I was at my lowest depleted weight of 235lbs, then after carbing up I was at 242. With the diet I mentioned, I hit 250lbs, however to be perfectly honest first few days had quite a bit of extras (cookies, granola bars etc), but being strict this week and sticking to the plan 100% I'm already dropping at about 1/2 a pound a day. Will leave the diet for a couple more days to make sure it's not a fluke, and if this continues, will up the calories. The pre/intra/post are fairly high right now with protein and carbs, so will manipulate meals 1 to 6, and this will result in both rest days and training days having higher calories.

As I'm trying to take Patrick Tuors approach, while protein is fairly high on training days, I'm not going to push it to the extreme, instead I'm going to focus on pushing carbs up as high as I can without getting fat. In a few weeks, I will easily be at about 6000+ calories on training days and 4000 on rest days, so the rest day calories will not be so low anymore; but I think low enough to give my digestion and pancreas a break.

As FK86 mentioned Ben Chow, I've been watching his progress and when he carbed up for his show he was 245lbs, and now 8 weeks later he is 278lbs still looking very good. So that's 33lbs in 8 weeks. Which is about 4 lbs a week. Now we know the initial 10 or so lbs comes on fast, so I figure 2 to 3lbs (maybe closer to 2lbs for me to be safe) is a good weight increase to aim for. Obviously keeping an eye on condition and on the training belt notches to make sure the gut is not getting out of hand. I'm only up about 10lbs right now but so far so good.

I've never went past 265lbs, but I also never took my time to get there. In the past I did follow a meal plan, but I never limited extras and ate pretty much what I wanted for snacks and desserts, so I think by the time I hit 265 I my insulin sensitivity was completely shot, and I was not making any real muscle gains, no matter how much I increased the food. So it will be interesting (to me at least) of what I can accomplish if I really apply myself and stick to a plan. I think the biggest lesson I've learned this year, is to not be afraid of calories, just have to choose wisely where they come from and how you apply them.
 

Elvia1023

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My approach in the past as never been exact enough to follow a "set plan". It was very instinctive and I would listen to my body a lot so in turn that would result in mixed calorie days through the week. Training days will usually be higher. Now I am more consistent with my meals and I go for a fairly balanced approach. Slowly increasing calories as everything else builds up. Pretty much 50g protein, 100g carbs and fats vary for every meal (majority of fats are morning and night) but usually about 100-120g per day right now. I will be taking in more carbs when training due to my intra nutrition (my gym has only just reopened today). I can have around 400g carbs in my pre/intra/post nutrition when everything is in place.

I am always aware of my digestion so some lower (rest) days will be utilized to give it a break. I generally keep to the same macro sources and carbs are rice, pasta or fruit. Protein is mainly beef and chicken. I have berries with every meal. I have 1 avocado everyday. I will utilize certain fats (evoo, cashew butter etc) when I need to up calories. I take EAA's in between meals mainly to flavour water and get my water intake high enough for the day. Digestive enzymes are used. 30g glutamine daily. Greens powder used. 2ml synthetine daily. Slin will be added but at low doses spread out. Lot's of measure in place to optimize the way my body handles and processes large amounts of food.
 

Elvia1023

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This is similar to mine, the exception I eat more protein in low days as opposed to high for satiety. Also try and eat pineapple with each meal to help with digestion and limit fiber intake. Some high days I get 90g of fiber and feel too distended. On all days I start eating about 4pm pre workout. Coffee during the day , dont have to take Tupperware to work, just keep things simple and feast in the evening, helps me sleep to pound alot of food before bed and feel full.

Do you eat fresh pineapple?
 

qbkilla

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Yeah usually 100 to 200g with each meal.
 

Elvia1023

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Yeah usually 100 to 200g with each meal.

When I was doing that I would have to wash my mouth with water after every time I ate fresh pineapple. It's obviously a meat tenderizer (bromelain breaks down protein) so it would destroy the sides of my lips and inside my mouth if I didn't. It basically breaks down your mouth's protein cells. I love pineapple so I have it occasionally but usually just go with a bromelain supplement with meals to get the digestive/absorption benefits.
 

Papa Van Smack

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Many years ago, I had a few things I'd do with diet to grow. These will help you grow, but I never reached a high level in competing, so whatever that's worth.

1. Muscle Milk for breakfast. I'm never hungry in the mornings, adding that meal was huge. Eventually breakfast got bigger, I'd add eggs and toast.

2. A few post workouts
A. I'd drink a build mass, osmo nutrition, 100g carbs/50g protein. Then drive to a local tavern and eat 10 chicken legs, or get a large chicken fried rice. Take a short nap and have dinner.

Another successful routine i did, probably had me at my strongest, post workout would be a 20oz coke on the drive home. Then 1lb of steak and 3-6 eggs, depending on appetite. At the time I was also having some cottage cheese before bed, not much, just a few spoonfuls.

3. Late night meals. PB&J with potato chips and a half gallon of whole milk. Sometimes I'd make that a muscle milk shake. This was very very effective for gaining size.

4. Ice cream. Adding a pint most evenings is something to look forward to, adds calories, and it will help u grow.

5. If I wasn't already, eat dirty. McDonald's, taco bell... whatever, just get it in. Chicken nuggets, pizza, burgers....and add the soda, fills glycogen stores if you've trained properly.

6. All of these "tips" were successful when I was eating 3-4 chicken/ rice/ broccoli meals per day. Then I'd "supplement" my caloric intake, always post workout, with one of these options.

7. Recent option, I snack on beef jerkey throughout the day. It has 20g protein, and I eat it over my 8 hour work shift. Basically just ensuring I have a steady flow of amino. I've had good results with this. I think it's the steady supply, I just take a bite or two every hour.

8. Hard boiled eggs. I get 3 breaks at work. No reason I can't eat one on each break. Sometimes I'll add a spoon of peanut butter to help me feel more full.

I do none of these consistently, and certainly not all of them at the same time. Just a couple of things I cycle through, depending on what I'm hungry for, to add calories.
 

165StateChamp

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I keep a consistent daily caloric/macro intake with one 2k-3k calorie free meal once a week, preferably on an off day prior to a larger body part.

This probably results in staying slightly softer than if I were to have a calorie/carb cycling approach but my goal in offseason is to maximize muscle gains rather than stay leaner as I can maintain a respectable offseason condition even while doing this and have an easy time getting in contest shape compared to most.

Definitely would not recommend this approach to those who get fat easily or struggle to get in shape.
 

Butters

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i tend to get fat pretty quick if i eat high carbs

so this next gaining phase will follow along the lines of this article posted by Matt Porter (may he rest in peace).

 

qbkilla

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When I was doing that I would have to wash my mouth with water after every time I ate fresh pineapple. It's obviously a meat tenderizer (bromelain breaks down protein) so it would destroy the sides of my lips and inside my mouth if I didn't. It basically breaks down your mouth's protein cells. I love pineapple so I have it occasionally but usually just go with a bromelain supplement with meals to get the digestive/absorption benefits.

I think I've had that happen 1-2 times ever eating pineapple, but 99.9% of the time it doesn't do anything to my mouth. For some reason cinnamon gum has broke my mouth out over the years just as th pineapple did a few times, lol. Maybe put cinnamon on it or mix some yogurt on it to get it down? Sometimes the little things make a difference, or put some Waldon farms syrup on it. But I do feel like I digest better when I eat the pineapple with large protein meals. For some reason if Im stuffed after eating a steak and potato meal, then I eat something cold, the hunger comes back like it helped digest it. Makes no sense lol.
 

qbkilla

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I think I've had that happen 1-2 times ever eating pineapple, but 99.9% of the time it doesn't do anything to my mouth. For some reason cinnamon gum has broke my mouth out over the years just as th pineapple did a few times, lol. Maybe put cinnamon on it or mix some yogurt on it to get it down? Sometimes the little things make a difference, or put some Waldon farms syrup on it. But I do feel like I digest better when I eat the pineapple with large protein meals. For some reason if Im stuffed after eating a steak and potato meal, then I eat something cold, the hunger comes back like it helped digest it. Makes no sense lol.

I eat alot of sauerkraut too. 1.5 cup mixed with 8oz salmon makes it fill you up like 16oz of salmon, just adds bulk to the meal and little calories and apparently good for digestion. Not something I would do on a high day or offseason but when cutting sauerkraut is a blessing to help with hunger.
 

hawkmoon

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I cycle my calories and carbs, influenced by Justin as well. Earlier this year I did Humalog twice a day as well.
it works well for me in that it keeps my insulin sensitivity high, give my GI tract a break on low days, and gives me enough for hard workouts n high days.
 

luki7788

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Many years ago, I had a few things I'd do with diet to grow. These will help you grow, but I never reached a high level in competing, so whatever that's worth.

1. Muscle Milk for breakfast. I'm never hungry in the mornings, adding that meal was huge. Eventually breakfast got bigger, I'd add eggs and toast.

2. A few post workouts
A. I'd drink a build mass, osmo nutrition, 100g carbs/50g protein. Then drive to a local tavern and eat 10 chicken legs, or get a large chicken fried rice. Take a short nap and have dinner.

Another successful routine i did, probably had me at my strongest, post workout would be a 20oz coke on the drive home. Then 1lb of steak and 3-6 eggs, depending on appetite. At the time I was also having some cottage cheese before bed, not much, just a few spoonfuls.

3. Late night meals. PB&J with potato chips and a half gallon of whole milk. Sometimes I'd make that a muscle milk shake. This was very very effective for gaining size.

4. Ice cream. Adding a pint most evenings is something to look forward to, adds calories, and it will help u grow.

5. If I wasn't already, eat dirty. McDonald's, taco bell... whatever, just get it in. Chicken nuggets, pizza, burgers....and add the soda, fills glycogen stores if you've trained properly.

6. All of these "tips" were successful when I was eating 3-4 chicken/ rice/ broccoli meals per day. Then I'd "supplement" my caloric intake, always post workout, with one of these options.

7. Recent option, I snack on beef jerkey throughout the day. It has 20g protein, and I eat it over my 8 hour work shift. Basically just ensuring I have a steady flow of amino. I've had good results with this. I think it's the steady supply, I just take a bite or two every hour.

8. Hard boiled eggs. I get 3 breaks at work. No reason I can't eat one on each break. Sometimes I'll add a spoon of peanut butter to help me feel more full.

I do none of these consistently, and certainly not all of them at the same time. Just a couple of things I cycle through, depending on what I'm hungry for, to add calories.
No offense, but these are tips on becoming a pig slave, not a bodybuilder
 

TheOtherOne55

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Completely understand your approach. Reason why my off day is fairly low still is because I'm pretty much 10 or so days into a 'rebound phase'. Two weeks ago I was at my lowest depleted weight of 235lbs, then after carbing up I was at 242. With the diet I mentioned, I hit 250lbs, however to be perfectly honest first few days had quite a bit of extras (cookies, granola bars etc), but being strict this week and sticking to the plan 100% I'm already dropping at about 1/2 a pound a day. Will leave the diet for a couple more days to make sure it's not a fluke, and if this continues, will up the calories. The pre/intra/post are fairly high right now with protein and carbs, so will manipulate meals 1 to 6, and this will result in both rest days and training days having higher calories.

Airman, how lean were you at 235? And what did you look like at 265?
Realistically, if you were competition depleted and lean lean at 235....getting to 265 in good condition should be easy AND you'll get their fairly quick.

Also, are you a BBer or are you just a meathead who wants to get bigger. lol sorry for the questions but they actually matter in the grand scheme of things.
 

Elvia1023

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I think I've had that happen 1-2 times ever eating pineapple, but 99.9% of the time it doesn't do anything to my mouth. For some reason cinnamon gum has broke my mouth out over the years just as th pineapple did a few times, lol. Maybe put cinnamon on it or mix some yogurt on it to get it down? Sometimes the little things make a difference, or put some Waldon farms syrup on it. But I do feel like I digest better when I eat the pineapple with large protein meals. For some reason if Im stuffed after eating a steak and potato meal, then I eat something cold, the hunger comes back like it helped digest it. Makes no sense lol.

It was never a major problem for me and even just washing my mouth out with water afterwards would stop the issue every time. I figured I would ask because a lot of guys cook pineapple or have tinned pineapple and that means all the bromelain is lost so they won't get the same effect. I love pineapple so I did go through a stage of adding it to nearly all my meals. I actually do add cinnamon to it but that's when I cook with it and that's all for the taste as cooking will destroy the bromelain. It definitely does help protein digestion so it's not in your head. Everything I have tried from Waldon farms has been horrible :D
 

airman

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Airman, how lean were you at 235? And what did you look like at 265?
Realistically, if you were competition depleted and lean lean at 235....getting to 265 in good condition should be easy AND you'll get their fairly quick.

Also, are you a BBer or are you just a meathead who wants to get bigger. lol sorry for the questions but they actually matter in the grand scheme of things.
I was pretty lean at 235lbs. I'm a physique competitor and condition was good enough to place 2nd last year at Canadian Nationals. Place 4th at North Americans this year (but my excuse is that I only had 5 weeks at the gym prior to the comp lol). This year's competition got cancelled with about 36 hours prior to stage time (covid).

My pics at 235lbs, then after carbing up at around 240lbs are on the second last page of the Post Your Pic thread. Also just posted current pics at 252lbs (2 weeks post comp that didn't happen).

Yeah, it should be easy to get to 265 but in the past I've always looked good for about a month, and then the extra junk food (caught up to me).

This is me back in May 2020, at 260lbs... As you can tell, just get soft/bloated no muscle gain. Skinny fat lol

7vbdiIKl.jpg
 

airman

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Also a disclaimer, the pic from May was after a couple months of only having some bands, 65lb dumbbells and a pullup bar lol
 

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