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  1. #1
    PaleoAP's Avatar
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    Paleo Caloric Surplus

    ew months or so I've been tinkering with eating excess calories on lifting days (every third day), and having a caloric deficit on non-workout days. My goal is of course like everyone else, to put on muscle mass whilst losing fat. My goal currently is still body recomposition, but I was getting nowhere with this plan.

    So now I would like to focus on putting on muscle mass while minimizing fat gain. I have heard many testimonies of those who have gained muscle and lost fat at the same fat while leading a paleo lifestyle and am wondering if there is any merit to the claims?

    Some stats:

    6'2'', 185 lbs, about 10-12% bf, male, 20 yrs old
    -I eat 100% paleo with no exceptions food-wise
    -Always get 1-1.5 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight
    -I do drink on the weekends as I am in college but I keep it under control in comparison to the average college student
    -My sleep and rest isn't great but hey that's college, I sleep in when I can and am constantly taking naps


    Right now I've been consuming around 3000 calories per day in an attempt to gain mass. Carbs are higher on lifting days, around 150 grams, and lower on non-workout days, sub-100 grams always. I also take long walks, about 4-5 miles about once to twice a week and I do sprints or play intramural football once a week. Aside from that physical activity is mostly walking to all of my classes. A standard lifting day looks like this:

    Backsquat: 5 sets, progressive loading each set until near-failure. Final set is roughly 90% of my 1RM
    DB Bench Press: 4 sets: 160x6, 180Xmax, 160Xmax, 140Xmax
    Weighted Chins w/30lb: 3Xmax reps
    Weighted Dips w/45 lb: 3Xmax reps
    BB Rows: 2XMax reps

    Any advice or personal experience would be greatly appreciated! I definitely don't want to simply get fat so let me know if I should be worried about this plan. Thanks!

  2. #2
    IcarianVX's Avatar
    IcarianVX is offline Senior Member
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    I am able to do the lose fat/build muscle thing on Primal. Are you *strict* paleo or do you follow Primal? As in, able to have some dairy, nightshades, etc. There is a difference and it will make it much easier on you if you are Primal. If you are lifting regularly, eating paleo/primal and can tolerate dairy, I would suggest GOMAD as it does work.

    The best way to gain muscle (not strength or performance based) for me has always been high rep/high volume even on the big 3 lifts. Usually 4 to 6 sets of 10-14 reps of everything. I did get stronger, but not as strong as doing 5 sets of 2 to 4 reps of extremely heavy weights. That's just me though, you will have to test things out and figure out which one is best.
    People too weak to follow their own dreams will always try to discourage others.

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    I'm guessing you already know about Leangains (Intermittent fasting diet for fat loss, muscle gain and health). For what it's worth, I've had pretty god results following it and sticking to a Paleo diet. ChocoTaco's threads on this forum may be of interest also. Currently he's doing Ultimate Diet 2.0, but he's been doing the carb/calorie cycling thing for many months now and has chronicled it.

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    PaleoAP's Avatar
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    I am in fact 100% paleo without dairy. Have considered reintroducing it but at the same time I am having no trouble consuming 3000+ calories with strictly paleo foods sans dairy. I have tried Leangains before but found it difficult to stick with and I had minimal results. However I also had some sleep/stress issues going on at the time which are never good. I might have to give it another shot. How would the calories work if my goal were to gain muscle however? Would I still have two low carb off days with around 2000 calories and a higher carb 3000 calorie lifting day? Or would I simply always consume a caloric surplus?

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    yodiewan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaleoAP View Post
    How would the calories work if my goal were to gain muscle however? Would I still have two low carb off days with around 2000 calories and a higher carb 3000 calorie lifting day? Or would I simply always consume a caloric surplus?
    For Leangains, your calories and carbs are always higher on lifting days, especially so in the post-workout meal. The number of days depends on how often you lift. Rest days (or HIIT days) are lower calorie and carb. If you're trying to build muscle then you should have an overall weekly calorie surplus, but still have fewer calories on rest days.

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    vb66's Avatar
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    Your calories seem a little low to be gaining muscle for a young active male at your size. I would try pushing your calories higher, especially on lifting days.

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    I use the leangains approach too and I keep my fat gains low while I'm adding muscle. I still do have muscle gaining and cutting phases but they're a few pounds as apposed to fulking and getting fat. I think it is possible to gain muscle and lose fat if you're untrained and have a lot of excess fat to lose. Once your muscle gains have slowed down and you're close to idea you need to be more focused.

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    Thanks for all of the input everybody, I think I'm going to give the leangains program another go. I'll be sure to really up the calories on lifting days and still have the two rest days at or below maintenance cals. Anybody have any insight on the sort of lifting plan that Martin endorses?

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    Fix your sleep.

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    yodiewan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaleoAP View Post
    Anybody have any insight on the sort of lifting plan that Martin endorses?
    He gives an example in his latest post. Basically, pick a compound lift (or 2 at the very most) to foucs on. Start with that lift, doing a few warmup sets. Then do your work sets. Then do a couple reverse pyramid sets (reduce weight by ~10% and increase reps from the previous set by 1-2). Add in a few accessory lifts with higher reps/lighter weight.

    At least that's what I've gathered. I've been using the 5/3/1 plan for several months now and getting great results.

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