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On long-term nutritional needs

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  • On long-term nutritional needs

    Good evening Dr. Feigenbaum!

    I have been watching BBM content for quite some time, especially the nutrition-oriented videos and articles. For some context for my question: I have never followed a specific plan outside of macronutrient goals predicated on the table found in "To Be a Beast", not to mention I was going through the classic "permabulk" in late 2017-2018 when I returned to the gym after taking my freshman year of college off as I was not knowledgeable enough on time management to sustain training and lacrosse on top of school. Since the permabulk ended, I ran Jonnie Candito's "programs" in 2019, which got me some decent strength in the big four with about 3100 calories/day. In May of 2019, I ran 5/3/1 boring but big while starting a cut, again based on your suggestions. This 5/3/1 gig ended after a month, when I read your piece on 5/3/1 vs. other methods.

    My strength fell, likely due to my cut lasting from late May to early December, as well as improper training to keep as much of my strength as possible, taking me from 212 lbs to 179 lbs at 6'2". Today, my strength in all of the lifts has returned to a great point and I have gained some decent LBM since trying a smarter approach to hypertrophy-specific training starting in early January. This has also led to very slight fat gain, as would any slight caloric surplus. My current caloric intake, I should add, is about 50 calories LESS than my maintenance/1 lb gain per month at 212 lbs. This only contributes to my confusion and my question below.


    As I stand:
    • 191 lbs in the morning
    • 32 inch waist

    All of this leads me to ask: how can I eat enough calories to sustain my training on Hypertrophy II and beyond (just began today, it's a whole new world of training style) while remaining lean, a healthy waist circumference, and lean body mass development? I do not want to return to the 230 blimp with a low strength/weight ratio I used to be in early 2018, as I would much rather take the same approach as you and Dr. Baraki have for so long.


    Thank you for your time and consistent dedication to helping us all train and live smarter.

  • #2
    Ian,

    Thanks for the post. I'll be honest, this history is a bit confusing. I'll try to parse it out for my own edification/

    -Bulked on unknown calories 2017-2018
    -Candito programs in q1 2019 - 3100kCal/day
    -May-Dec 2019- Cut on unknown calories
    - Current- 2950kCal (guessing)

    Your question, fortunately, has an easy answer- you can eat however you want to on the hypertrophy template. Your waist circumference is well within range, as is your BMI, and you apparently have no medical conditions you report. If you want to gain weight, I'd recommend a small surplus. If you want to be leaner, I'd recommend a small deficit. I know, complicated, right?

    -Jordan
    Barbell Medicine "With you from bench to bedside"
    ///Website /// Instagram /// Peri™ Rx /// Whey Rx /// Barbell Medicine Podcast/// Newsletter /// Seminars ///

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    • IanES
      IanES commented
      Editing a comment
      Good afternoon and thank you doc!

      Yes that information is correct, I did forget to mention I cut calories by 300 at the start, then subtracted 100 more any time I noticed a stall in weight loss, so I ultimately ended up at 2100 even prior to bumping it back up by 300 in December. Currently, according to MyFitnessPal, I am sitting at 3050 and I've seen a very slow gain of ~1/2 lb per week since the initial 3-4 lb jump typically seen during the first week of a bulk. Hopefully my next question makes more sense (;

      Since my goal is to gain weight and avoid the risk of exceeding the volume/intensity my caloric intake will allow, would it be wise to increase slightly when weight gain stalls or should I continue to train and see whether the scale changes in the course of weeks rather than the usual 1 week? I'm just not sure if "barely maintenence" calories would allow for slight increases in LBM over time. Thanks again, man.

  • #3
    I don't understand what the question is, Ian. Your calorie intake is well within range for your anthropometry and demographic. There also isn't any volume/intensity allowance based on calorie intake, as this is entirely training history based.

    I also don't know what "barely maintenance" calories are. If you're gaining weight, you're above maintenance and if you're losing weight, you're below. If you are maintaining, you're in maintenance. I wouldn't expect a substantial increase in LBM while at maintenance calories, no.

    It seems like you're overthinking this and my advice would be to make dietary changes that align with your short term (6-12 week) goals and continually reevaluate that as things change.
    Barbell Medicine "With you from bench to bedside"
    ///Website /// Instagram /// Peri™ Rx /// Whey Rx /// Barbell Medicine Podcast/// Newsletter /// Seminars ///

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    • #4
      My apologies, "barely maintenance" was meant to mean just above or below. As for what I was asking, it was answered with that last sentence; I was trying to figure out whether I evaluate every two to three weeks rather than do what you'd see more commonly, and that is micromanage using a week-by-week average.

      I always assumed that as you increase intensity or volume, so should you with calories, but maybe the reason for pain or high fatigue is less food-based and more dependent on inappropriate loading. I also think that you may be right about me overthinking this, it's not unusual but I am learning to manage.

      Thank you for your time, help, and patience, of course , I hope all is well for you and the business!

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      • #5
        Originally posted by IanES View Post
        My apologies, "barely maintenance" was meant to mean just above or below. As for what I was asking, it was answered with that last sentence; I was trying to figure out whether I evaluate every two to three weeks rather than do what you'd see more commonly, and that is micromanage using a week-by-week average.

        I always assumed that as you increase intensity or volume, so should you with calories, but maybe the reason for pain or high fatigue is less food-based and more dependent on inappropriate loading. I also think that you may be right about me overthinking this, it's not unusual but I am learning to manage.

        Thank you for your time, help, and patience, of course , I hope all is well for you and the business!
        Yea I think that in general, programming and modest dietary changes (e.g. small surplus or deficit) should be looked at independently. Glad to have you here and thanks for the post!
        Barbell Medicine "With you from bench to bedside"
        ///Website /// Instagram /// Peri™ Rx /// Whey Rx /// Barbell Medicine Podcast/// Newsletter /// Seminars ///

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