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Bulking with bodyweight training and Primal eating

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  • Bulking with bodyweight training and Primal eating

    Male, 24 years old
    6'0"/178 lbs.
    Calories: 2000ish non-workout days/3000ish workout days (2500 weekly average, generally), averaging around 1 g protein/lb bodyweight
    3 days/week bodyweight resistance training (ring dips/ring pushups, pullups/ring rows, pistol squat progression)

    Goals
    Add 10 lbs muscle using bodyweight training and eating clean, low-carb Primal

    Question
    How do you build muscle mass? What training and eating principles make mass gain possible? I realize these principles are likely very simple, but everything I've seen has them in the barbell-lifting context: "Deadlift, squat, bench, and press + eat tons = muscle mass"

    Story
    I have stayed steady between 170 and 180 lbs. for a couple years now, but I do not have well-defined muscles. I think the best way to remedy this is to build some mass. My muscles are not large, and losing weight to reveal them would take me lower than I want to go (I'm below the "ideal" weight for my height as-is). When I see people talking about building mass, they almost always are training with barbells.

    First question: is it possible to build muscle mass using bodyweight exercises only? I know bodyweight does not progress linearly like barbell training does. I'm a student without access to barbells, but I have a pullup bar, gymnastics rings, and a weight vest that can go to 100 lbs. What kind of training effectively builds muscle?

    I know that one early response will be "eat til it hurts," but is that the only variable? Just eat a ton of food, making sure I get adequate protein (1 g/lb desired bodyweight daily)? If so, that brings me to question 2: can I build muscle mass eating clean, low-carb Primal?

    Sub-question 2.1: why does GOMAD work, aside from being an easy source of protein and calories? Liquid dairy doesn't sit well with me, so I want to figure out the principles behind GOMAD and see if it works with other foods. Maybe it's the lactose; milk and ice cream are when I tend to have problems.

    Sub-question 2.2: why does eating carbs work?

    Summary
    I am not asking anyone to hand me a meal and training plan. I just want to know how building muscle mass works so I can make a plan to put on 10 pounds of muscle. I feel and look soft, but many out-of-shape, CW acquaintances tell me how lean I am. I disagree; I think I can improve significantly on where I am.

    Any help is appreciated.
    Journal of an American Dragon: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread89897.html

  • #2
    To clarify, I don't mean going VLC. I eating around 100 g daily carbs from vegetables right now and it suits my body and budget pretty well. And I think veggies are darn tasty.

    Dairy-wise, I may be okay (digestively) with cheese and cream. I haven't tried too often.
    Journal of an American Dragon: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread89897.html

    Comment


    • #3
      To build mass, aim to be doing weights that allow for 6-10 reps before you lose form/can't go further. Body weight workouts can build mass, but you have to tweak them ... E.g if you can do 20 push-ups without a problem, tweak the type of push-up you're doing.

      I built some mass doing from the knees push-ups because I could not do many - now I'll graduate to "real" push-ups :P

      Carbs help because they fuel your muscle.

      Comment


      • #4
        Hell, just be lazy like me and do heavy compound lifts, progressively adding weight to the bar, three times a week.

        Comment


        • #5
          10 lbs of muscle mass using bodyweight training ... pretty impossible in a good period of time.

          I would recommend you going to the gym
          I am not a bodybuilding/fat loss/strength training "guru" BUT I achieved a lean state with ease after learning the correct way to train and eat and I want to HELP YOU achieve the same.

          Getting fit is also about managing your mindset:
          http://getfitmindset.com

          Comment


          • #6
            Bodyweight training is great, but there's a point where it's not enough to make consistent progress due to the inability to apply progressive overload. If you have access to a gym, that's probably the best option if you're looking to build muscle.
            My nutrition/fitness/critical thinking blog:

            Comment


            • #7
              I recommend doing handstand work to build your shoulders.



              You'll definitely have to add weight to put on muscle, but if you're willing to get a weighted vest, you can do that.

              Comment


              • #8
                I have the weighted vest. So strictly progressive overload is what works, not building to harder variations of bodyweight exercises, like one-arm pushups and chinups?
                Journal of an American Dragon: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread89897.html

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by mightstone2k View Post
                  I have the weighted vest. So strictly progressive overload is what works, not building to harder variations of bodyweight exercises, like one-arm pushups and chinups?
                  Harder variations do represent increased overload. The single arm pushup puts all the weight on one arm and requires twice the strength in it. Different variations work different muscle groups as well.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by eKatherine View Post
                    Harder variations do represent increased overload. The single arm pushup puts all the weight on one arm and requires twice the strength in it. Different variations work different muscle groups as well.
                    Right. When I say "bulk with bodyweight training," I mean working harder progressions and playing with leverage, not just doing endless pushups/pullups/squats. I know using a barbell will let me put on muscle quicker, but a gym is out of my budget. I'm already going up to my eyeballs in student loans. I'm willing to take longer to put on the mass; I just want to know if it's possible.
                    Journal of an American Dragon: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread89897.html

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by mightstone2k View Post
                      I have the weighted vest. So strictly progressive overload is what works, not building to harder variations of bodyweight exercises, like one-arm pushups and chinups?
                      Yes, moving to harder variations is a method of progressive overload. What I meant with my post is that there are more limitations to bodyweight training than there are to weight training, where it's simple, just add weight to the bar/do more reps.

                      If a gym is out of your budget, you can absolutely make solid progress with bodyweight training. Just understand that your results will be limited compared to heavy barbell and dumbbell training.
                      My nutrition/fitness/critical thinking blog:

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I think you may need to up your calories as well.

                        Heck, I'm 5'3, 120lbs and *I* can eat 2K cals a day most
                        days and see nary a weight gain difference.

                        I know you say you eat 3K on training days, but try bumping
                        that up to 4K, I would think.

                        You may gain a bit of fat with extra cals, but then that's the fun
                        of cutting when you're done

                        Julia

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          There was a bodyweight and isometric exercises based bodybuilding routine in the early 20th century designed by Charles Atlas.

                          Bodybuilding.com - The Charles Atlas Workout Revisited!

                          Why don't you take a look at it?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by jakejoh10 View Post
                            Yes, moving to harder variations is a method of progressive overload. What I meant with my post is that there are more limitations to bodyweight training than there are to weight training, where it's simple, just add weight to the bar/do more reps.

                            If a gym is out of your budget, you can absolutely make solid progress with bodyweight training. Just understand that your results will be limited compared to heavy barbell and dumbbell training.
                            Ahhhh, okay. I misunderstood you. I have Overcoming Gravity and Never Gymless, so I have some really good source material on how to progress bodyweight exercises. It just seems like few people try adding mass this way. Probably because it's not as easy, but... it's possible and that's all I need.

                            Julia: going to 4K a day terrifies me. I'm bumping up to 2500/3500 and I'll see how that works. Maybe down the line I'll go to 2500/4000. My game plan is to fill the gaps with cheese right now. It's high calorie, fair amount of protein, and easier to find raw, grass-fed and/or organic than meat. Once I get back to Chicago I may reassess that.

                            So in short: this is possible, I just need to eat more and use progressive overloading?
                            Journal of an American Dragon: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread89897.html

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I'll check that out when I'm on a real computer, Vince. Thanks!
                              Journal of an American Dragon: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread89897.html

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