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Thread: Bulking with bodyweight training and Primal eating page

  1. #1
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    Bulking with bodyweight training and Primal eating

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    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.

  2. #2
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    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.

  3. #3
    Allenete's Avatar
    Allenete is offline Senior Member
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    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.

  4. #4
    Legbiter's Avatar
    Legbiter is offline Senior Member
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    Hell, just be lazy like me and do heavy compound lifts, progressively adding weight to the bar, three times a week.

  5. #5
    Marinas Florin's Avatar
    Marinas Florin is offline Senior Member
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    10 lbs of muscle mass using bodyweight training ... pretty impossible in a good period of time.

    I would recommend you going to the gym
    No Bull fat loss and muscle gaining at http://www.nobsbb.com

    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.

    Lose Weight/Gain Muscle/Strength - FEEL BETTER

    Start here: http://www.nobsbb.com/new-start-here/

  6. #6
    jakejoh10's Avatar
    jakejoh10 is offline Senior Member
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    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:

  7. #7
    eKatherine's Avatar
    eKatherine is offline Senior Member
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    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.

  8. #8
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    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?

  9. #9
    eKatherine's Avatar
    eKatherine is offline Senior Member
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    Quote 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.

  10. #10
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    PrimalCon New York
    Quote 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.

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