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Adjusting diet for musle gain

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  • Adjusting diet for musle gain

    Alright, so I'm a really skinny guy ( 5' 8'' 125 lb ) and my goal is to gain flexibility and strength. I'm using convict conditioning as a routine and I'm trying to figure out if I need a specific diet to match it or not. The book says that 3 square meals a day is all you need, but most body building forums talk about 6 meals a day and eating until you can't anymore.

    My question is; for a slow paced, long term program like convict, do I really need to be consuming massive quantities of food and counting macros? Or is that only for people who are lifting heavy? It seems like convict is more about gaining functional strength and building a good foundation slowly, rather than hitting the iron and getting results soon, so I'm kind of unsure what I should be doing, especially since I'm just at the starting steps of the book.

    This is what a typical day looks like:

    Breakfast: Sweet potato and 2 eggs

    Lunch: Big ass salad ( Spinach, radishes, bell pepper, romaine lettuce, bok choy... ) Half a chicken breast or maybe a thin pork chop, sometimes 2, 1/4 cup of bulgur wheat.

    Dinner: Grapes, carrot, can of tuna, almonds, apple, maybe a desert like apple pie slice.

    2 hours before bed: bowl of wheat flakes, some more fruit ( frozen raspberries, banana etc...)

    It's not strictly paleo, and as you can see, I'm experimenting with implementing whole grains into some of my meals. My goal is really just to eat clean and whole, rather than avoid food groups. My concern is that maybe I'm eating too many fruits and vegetables at the cost of other things and not getting enough calories. According to a sites calculator, I need around 2250 calories to maintain my current weight, and around 2750 to make gains, again I question if this is true for any strength program, or just for heavy lifters? In the early stages convict trains only twice a week, so I worry that it might be excessive. I still need to estimate my daily intake to see where I stand in relation to those numbers, but going by how much fruit and veggies I'm eating, I have a feeling I'm pretty far off.

  • #2
    You're 5'8, 125#. Add a steak and a glass of milk to each meal. If you do any real heavy lifting, add a second glass of milk. You're welcome.
    The Champagne of Beards

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    • #3
      Too little of everything, except the vegetables, add at least half a gallon of milk as a start...
      "All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident."

      - Schopenhauer

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      • #4
        You most definitely need to eat to grow. Try eating steak, the whole chicken breast, and big thick pork chops at every meal on top of what you are already eating if you really want the best shot at reaching your goals.

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        • #5
          As others have said you need to add some more protein buddy. Half a chicken breast for lunch, who eats half a chicken breast ?

          Add in some steak, bacon or quality sausage to that breakfast and also try to add in some more at other times as well.

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          • #6
            I eat more than that on a light day. . . and I'm a female. You really need to eat more - - like a lot more.

            Also, it doesn't matter when you eat or how many meals it takes you to get to your caloric goal for the day. Whether its one giant meal or 8 small meals - as long as you are eating enough calories overall you'll grow and see gains.

            You won't gain strength if you aren't challenging your muscles to adapt (whether thats with bodyweight exercises or a barbell -- again doesn't matter if you're untrained at this point, just pick one and do it). And your muscles can't repair themselves (and become stronger) if you aren't eating enough calories to support growth. You don't have to eat so much that you gain quickly - eat a few hundred over maintenance (if you feel like counting calories) and assess from there - if you aren't gaining weight, eat more.

            At this point though -- I would just EAT! and not bother with counting.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Purple Leather Couch View Post
              I eat more than that on a light day. . . and I'm a female. You really need to eat more - - like a lot more.

              Also, it doesn't matter when you eat or how many meals it takes you to get to your caloric goal for the day. Whether its one giant meal or 8 small meals - as long as you are eating enough calories overall you'll grow and see gains.

              You won't gain strength if you aren't challenging your muscles to adapt (whether thats with bodyweight exercises or a barbell -- again doesn't matter if you're untrained at this point, just pick one and do it). And your muscles can't repair themselves (and become stronger) if you aren't eating enough calories to support growth. You don't have to eat so much that you gain quickly - eat a few hundred over maintenance (if you feel like counting calories) and assess from there - if you aren't gaining weight, eat more.

              At this point though -- I would just EAT! and not bother with counting.
              Looks like you have some nice delts going on there !

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              • #8
                Thank you OldSchhool. So do you sir!!
                This pic is a little over a year old - I'm happy to report that I've grown a little since then.

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                • #9
                  Great replies, guys, I appreciate the feedback.

                  To clarify on why I eat half a chicken breast for lunch, it basically comes down to cost. I'm really struggling with a budget right now and it shows in my diet. Vegetables are cheaper than meat, and the meat that I get tends to get stretched out to make it last longer. I'm doing around 260 a month on groceries and I'm trying to cut that down to sub 240 or even less. Eating clean definitely has a financial learning curve.

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                  • #10
                    I understand how difficult it can be to shop on a budget. Here are some ideas that might help!
                    Chicken thighs are usually less expensive than the breasts.
                    Also, get yourself a crock pot . Buy a pork shoulder (I just got one for $8 the other day). Put the shoulder in the crock pot with some water, salt and pepper. Turn the crock pot on for 8 hours - enjoy delicious pulled pork for three-four days You can do this with lots of the tougher cuts of meat that are usually cheaper than the premium cuts. A crock pot would be a valuable investment for you.
                    Organ meats and things are also good for you and generally less expensive.
                    Eggs are really cheap too and a great source of protein.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by mageta View Post
                      Great replies, guys, I appreciate the feedback.

                      To clarify on why I eat half a chicken breast for lunch, it basically comes down to cost. I'm really struggling with a budget right now and it shows in my diet. Vegetables are cheaper than meat, and the meat that I get tends to get stretched out to make it last longer. I'm doing around 260 a month on groceries and I'm trying to cut that down to sub 240 or even less. Eating clean definitely has a financial learning curve.
                      Definitely second the crockpot idea, even the cheapest,toughest of joints fall apart after 8-10 hrs.

                      Eggs can often be found on sale or if you have some farms nearby they are often at a great price.

                      Quinoa is a good cheap source of protein if you permit it in your diet.

                      Going to the store in an evening close to closing is a good way to catch meat products that are marked down in price, I often pick up good steaks doing this.

                      Tinned sardines are another cheap healthy protein source.

                      And obviously milk !

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by OldSchhool View Post
                        And obviously milk !
                        Yep, plenty of milk...
                        "All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident."

                        - Schopenhauer

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by mageta View Post
                          Great replies, guys, I appreciate the feedback.

                          To clarify on why I eat half a chicken breast for lunch, it basically comes down to cost. I'm really struggling with a budget right now and it shows in my diet. Vegetables are cheaper than meat, and the meat that I get tends to get stretched out to make it last longer. I'm doing around 260 a month on groceries and I'm trying to cut that down to sub 240 or even less. Eating clean definitely has a financial learning curve.
                          In most cases I don't recommend eating more. I usually don't even recommend more protein either. Because most people get enough. For the purpose of muscle gain, I usually recommend a main focus on training hard, along with simply eating as you wish of the good foods, then cutting once in a while to keep the extra fat off. That way you gain the weight slowly. It ends up being all quality weight that way, all muscle. Then you never have to do a long cut.

                          Anyways, in your case your food intake just looks rather low. I like the emphasis on fruit. But you've got to throw in some more protein in there. You don't need a lot, but you definitely need more than what you're eating now.

                          I can give an example of some of the meals I eat here.
                          1. eggs, a small amount of meat, 1 cup rice
                          2. eggs, crocadile with butter, vegetables, 1 cup rice
                          3. a few pieces of fruit (or ice cream as my 20 out of 80/20)

                          The rice saves a lot of money. That's one thing poor people have no trouble affording. It also has "some" protein. Then you add in some eggs, then a small-medium amount of meat. It all adds up to get enough protein.

                          I really don't think you should have any trouble eating on a budget. When I was in college, I ate less than 20 grams of carbs per day for several months and it was A LOT of 75% beef. Yuk!!! USA beef is nasty and just the thought of it makes me want to puke!!!

                          Anyways, I'm just saying, throw in a little bit more meat and fat. Eggs are cheap and help add to the protein. And starchy carbs are usually cheaper than fruit. So for example, you could go half starch half fruit if you want a good healthy mix.

                          Anyways, I'm just saying. You don't need a crazy amount of food. Don't go overboard. But you definitely need to up the protein and you can while on a budget.

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                          • #14
                            The crockpot is a great idea. If money is an issue, loosen up on the diet. Eat some rice, potatoes, sweet potatoes, peanut butter, other nut butters. Learn to forage some local wild edibles. Shoot some rabbits, deer if you dare. Buying certain foods in bulk can help. Go fishing, get some crawdad traps.

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                            • #15
                              Some help from Coach Wade:

                              The Ten Commandments of Calisthenics Mass


                              NB
                              That's Part I, Part II is linked at the bottom of the page.

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