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Trying something new...going to call it "Sugar bulking."

macgyver

macgyver

TID Board Of Directors
Nov 24, 2011
1,498
852
#1
Just sharing an idea I am going to try. Approaching 20 years total training in the gym (10 years back consistently) 6 have been since giving up my 'natural' card. AAS usage is what most would describe as 'mild' and what I do when I do it is hard to tell any difference really. I am long past the day where I can measure 'progress'. I have to look at my training from a yearly standpoint and even then, things are hard to see.

Looking back at this past year, I essentially did nothing. My accomplishment was staying in the gym and coming back from a spinal fracture and 3 disk injuries. Needless to say, my training had to change. (I had no choice). It was far from enjoyable, but I did not miss a workout (except a few planned misses)


I have also been utilizing Intermittent Fasting for just over a year, and from an 'effort/reward' standpoint, it is an easy and enjoyable lifestyle option. I stay lean in the 10% range.


For 2020, I would like to make some progress. Moreso, I would like to enjoy training again. Given that my reward has always been enjoying moving heavy weight, I have to find other avenues to enjoy myself.


"Sugar Bulking" is what I am going to call it! I have learned that conventional 'bulks' dont yeild any results for me anymore. I specifically am referring to what most would call a 'clean bulk'. Basically a small sustained caloric surplus every day for months. I have also seen that IF is changing my body in other ways. My bloodwork from a physical recently showed my fasted blood sugar the most "normal" it has ever been. I have consistently test for the past 10+ years at the bottom or even below the scale. This is a bid deal as it is a real clue that to me IF is more than just cals in out.

So my strategy is going to be have some very high carb boluses post training. Easy way to do this will be simple sugars like dextrose. I always as a habit consume a shake I make prior to the gym just because it has been part of my protein intake strategy for 10 years. What I am going to do differently is up the carbs from about 40, to 100 (or more.) (so about an extra 160-240 cals all from simple sugars immediately post workout).

My workouts are going to change as well. I am going to bring in some DC style training. I have never really trained fatigue type "bodybuilding" style training.


So before people poo poo nutrient timing, anabolic window stuff as 'bro science'. I will be the first to say IF there is any effect on these things, they are small. But they do exist. My time frames are not 12 weeks or 6 months....they are lifestyle, day in and day out changes which cumulative effects can and do add up over time. I have in the past prior to IF done intra/post workout simple carb experiments and have seen how I responded. (there most definitely was a noticeable effect). I just never used it consistently as carb/caloric surpluses.

So that is the plan. A little outside the box....but when you reach the end of any real progress, you have to try different things...

This was me this past summer when I pulled back food, but close to where I stayed all year. +/- 5lbs. I have just been 'treading water' essentially. Looking for even any change. Even just a tad of fullness...etc. IF has been great for being able to stay this lean and eat whatever I want. No cardio either (although I know I should be doing some in my latter 40's). But time to do something other than just maintain and see if it has any effect.....






 
Mike_RN

Mike_RN

Senior Moderators
Staff Member
Aug 13, 2013
2,025
1,646
#2
I can't move the scale much on a clean bulk either. My jaw gets tired before I can chew enough food to hit higher calories. Instead I do a " CONDIMENT Bulk" lol.

Examples:
Sour cream and salsa on my chicken and rice.
Buttered tortellini instead of rice or potatoes.
Breaded and sautéed cutlets instead of grilled
Shredded full fat cheeses on meals etc.
Half&Half and real sugar in coffee

Calories can almost double some meals with little change in food volume. Keep us posted on how this plan plays out.
 
macgyver

macgyver

TID Board Of Directors
Nov 24, 2011
1,498
852
#4
I can't move the scale much on a clean bulk either. My jaw gets tired before I can chew enough food to hit higher calories. Instead I do a " CONDIMENT Bulk" lol.


Calories can almost double some meals with little change in food volume. Keep us posted on how this plan plays out.


If you're going to make it fun, throw more fat in there too!
No doubt I utilize those when simple cal surplus was the desire. Like I said earlier, I found that simple surpluses no longer yield any appreciable results even with mild runs. My go-to when there was progress, was a daily 250cal surplus. I had no trouble structuring it and hitting it. Just after the 4 1/2 months of eating up, and 12 weeks dieting down, I would be right at the same place where I started. Going with bigger cycles was not the direction I wanted to go at my point in life. So from there out I just decided to stay 'in shape'


My idea is more to see if targeted boluses of simple sugars combined with a training style change may have an impact. Obviously, the validity of nutrient timing can be hotly debated. But I am admitting that its effects are small at best. BUT they are there especially when one is lean enough with simple carbs. Coupled with intermittent fasting, I believe that I MIGHT be able to utilize this (in very narrow window) to my advantage.

This is all theory....but I have nothing to lose. My injuries have me to a place where I simply cant go 100% strength-wise. I have to find a sustainable alternative method to keep going. I do now, but I am not enjoying it.

So this is like one big experiment with really nothing to loose . If it does not work....no loss. I am not making much progress anyway. If it does, however, it will take a while to tell. I CAN tell after a year of IF that it makes a difference. 100%.

As much as I always say it is all cals in cals out, that is not the case with IF. But the effect is super subtle. Calories (total) still rule, but I cant deny the cumulative leaning effects of IF may exist (although VERY small). If I did not have full abs already, I would never see them. As an example, over a year timeframe, the difference in how veins may show in lower abs even when not trying to lean...etc. Very small differences, but there for sure and worth it for me just as an easy lifestyle.
 
ITAWOLF

ITAWOLF

VIP Member
Dec 9, 2010
1,165
548
#5
Mac your the man
most people don't look at it like some
I see most people are at their tops lbm in the range of 170-200
even Arnold was like a lbm of 220 when he was winning
yes some people are a monster 260 -- but strip away a lot of bs -- to find their lbm is still in the low low 200
when you actually get to a bf % of say 8-10% and weigh in over 200 -- ur a big mofo
to the general public

I know my genetic pot is not great -- with my bone size -- my wrist is 8" around -- and im by far the tallest in my family ---by 5"
so I was stuck and had to go the AAS route to push myself
done all the bs of bulk -- trim -- etc etc

now midway thru my 50s I still hold good size but more of a cost and a lot harder to grow or even keep what I have-- so I say you can grow and grow
until your caloric intake/ hormonal system can't support your muscle mass anymore then u stall

ill take a 180 at 8% all day -- but not yet lol
212 at 7% as of last weeks dunk in --- but truth is im tired of eating right and waiting for my liver or kidneys to give out but as for now its my teeth from eating all the time
I don't have FD jaw muscles but then again I prefer my steak on the grill med rare and I cut it with a knife

keep us posted -- love to hear more

sorry for off topic ramble some but I feel your pain
 
macgyver

macgyver

TID Board Of Directors
Nov 24, 2011
1,498
852
#6
@ITAWOLF Thanks brother. Overall, I am not unhappy with where I am for sure. But you dont grind for years to get here only to say 'oh, I made it, now I can just coast'. That has kind of been my last year but I felt the victory was just staying in the gym despite the back injury. In 09 I broke my neck and had a frontal brain injury. Reaching that low in my life is what brought me back to the gym after a 10 year layoff. The back injury was a far worse thing to go through believe it or not. But I still went to the gym and did what I could. (under my Dr's consent since he said let pain be my guide. But the spinal fracture I was not allowed to load my back)

Just passed my mid 40's and going into my latter now, I am so happy to have found the good brothers over here at TID. Prior to joining here I was lifetime natural. I am a small jointed guy as well with 7" wrists. 5'9 (probably closer to 5'8 ;) ) but I was blessed with being strong and having the ability to put on good mass. I topped out at right at 190 and 10% +/- w/ 18" arms


My TBI from 09 left me with low -t (which I did not discover till 2012). I went on TRT @ 42 and then decided to dabble a little more. I was given the best advice by several of the vets over here given my age and goals. Slow and steady wins the race was the advice. I have never really gone past a 'beginner' cycle. Truthfully I cant say I have ever even been able to tell the difference of being 'on' or a regular TRT dose. But I have been able to add aprox 10-12 lbs lean over the past 6 years which I dont think I could have ever held as this low BF naturally.

In what most would consider 'normal' shape, I am pushing 230. That is without full abs, but an outline of them and no gut but aprox 20 mm skinfold at the abs. (legs stay around 5mm). Carrying that much weight does not feel good for me though.

Me too sorry for the rambling....but it really cool to actually have the resources of knowledge and experience that is here at TID. (dic pics aside ). I certainly dont think I would be where I am now. I dont do things in a conventional BB fashion, but I figured I would share. I have no idea what the results will be, but it cant be any worse that no progress, which is what I did last year!

Going to spend the rest of the year figuring out what exercises I want to rotate into my DC program so I can be ready to go! I am excited for a change. Dropping down to 3 day/ week will give me some extra motivation to really make each one count!
 
ITAWOLF

ITAWOLF

VIP Member
Dec 9, 2010
1,165
548
#7
@ITAWOLF Thanks brother. Overall, I am not unhappy with where I am for sure. But you dont grind for years to get here only to say 'oh, I made it, now I can just coast'. That has kind of been my last year but I felt the victory was just staying in the gym despite the back injury. In 09 I broke my neck and had a frontal brain injury. Reaching that low in my life is what brought me back to the gym after a 10 year layoff. The back injury was a far worse thing to go through believe it or not. But I still went to the gym and did what I could. (under my Dr's consent since he said let pain be my guide. But the spinal fracture I was not allowed to load my back)

Just passed my mid 40's and going into my latter now, I am so happy to have found the good brothers over here at TID. Prior to joining here I was lifetime natural. I am a small jointed guy as well with 7" wrists. 5'9 (probably closer to 5'8 ;) ) but I was blessed with being strong and having the ability to put on good mass. I topped out at right at 190 and 10% +/- w/ 18" arms


My TBI from 09 left me with low -t (which I did not discover till 2012). I went on TRT @ 42 and then decided to dabble a little more. I was given the best advice by several of the vets over here given my age and goals. Slow and steady wins the race was the advice. I have never really gone past a 'beginner' cycle. Truthfully I cant say I have ever even been able to tell the difference of being 'on' or a regular TRT dose. But I have been able to add aprox 10-12 lbs lean over the past 6 years which I dont think I could have ever held as this low BF naturally.

In what most would consider 'normal' shape, I am pushing 230. That is without full abs, but an outline of them and no gut but aprox 20 mm skinfold at the abs. (legs stay around 5mm). Carrying that much weight does not feel good for me though.

Me too sorry for the rambling....but it really cool to actually have the resources of knowledge and experience that is here at TID. (dic pics aside ). I certainly dont think I would be where I am now. I dont do things in a conventional BB fashion, but I figured I would share. I have no idea what the results will be, but it cant be any worse that no progress, which is what I did last year!

Going to spend the rest of the year figuring out what exercises I want to rotate into my DC program so I can be ready to go! I am excited for a change. Dropping down to 3 day/ week will give me some extra motivation to really make each one count!
well said brother-- I feel ya and no one knows their body like themselves --- keep plugging away till you get to gym in the sky
not sure how much longer i will use .. but ill be here just for the brotherhood
at 255lb and 17% or so my dang body was in a life or death match to hold that weight -- and all the sides and gear
i feel great around 200-205 -- hope you find that spot

carry on
great post
 
macgyver

macgyver

TID Board Of Directors
Nov 24, 2011
1,498
852
#8
Some very interesting results to report thus far.

In this short time, I have seen a scale shift of 8lbs. I am sure it is glycogen retention. I look way more filled out. Workouts now leave me feeling very tight whereas I never used to get pumps before. I look a lot bigger, but I am carrying a little more water on given days. I use lower ab veins as a barometer for bloat as they are the first to flatten out.

Strength has spiked (or preception of strength)


With regards to appetite, I can feel the my body's feedback kick in where I feel a little more full on the days I do this. It is only a extra 200ish cals PWO, but I am having a tad of trouble eating dinner which is generally when I get home from the gym. (40 min PWO +/-).


What will be interesting to see is if I start to pick up fat overtime doing this. That is the $1,000,000 question. Or if my body is able to utilize the extra carbs without a lot of excess spillover into fat. Or it may be somewhere in between.


This is kind of all uncharted for me, and the past year has seen me eating lower-ish carbs. (generally under 200/day).


As I mentioned, even if this proves to be a total waste of time, it cant be worse than the progress (or lack thereof) of the past year. I also am not committing to a 4-5 month long eating up process and then 10-12 weeks of dieting before I can evaluate.
 
macgyver

macgyver

TID Board Of Directors
Nov 24, 2011
1,498
852
#10
Update:

Now on 2nd week into full blow DC. The volume is low-er than I had been doing, but definitely not the lowest program I have ever done. I did a 3-day upper lower split for the first few years coming back to the gym that we even lower volume, but I made some of the best progress of my life on it.

I think there is some misunderstanding on DC. Having read interviews with the creator, he fully intends on doing warm-ups leading to the single giant set. This has actually got me in the habit of doing better warming up for each exercise. When I dont feel I will be up to putting out full output, sometimes I repeat my sub-maximal warm-ups and it definitely helps prime my CNS for to be ready to push as hard as I can for the single set. I have noticed the 'switch' has come back and my strength is much more on tap with just 6 workouts under my belt at this point.

A great example, is I took over a year off benching and when I returned, 135 felt heavy. So then I put on 225 and it felt even heavier the first few reps. Almost like I could not press like I used to. It was not until I put on 315 that I realized it was all in my head. 315 of course felt 'heavy' too, but it felt just about as heavy as 225. The CNS activation can not be ruled out.

This program does a great job for me priming my brain to lift to maximal effort. (something I have not done in over a year) Also what I love is that I can do it, To me a weight that I can lift 10 reps is not "heavy" even if it is 400lbs. "Heavy" to me is the 3-4 rep range. Anything I can do for 10-12 does not feal heavy regardless of the weight. Since the giant sets generally have you failing at 10-12 reps, I can push hard, but not have to move very heavy weight.

I am still working around my spinal issues from last year, so finding this program helps a ton.



I also have my sugar bolus down now. It consists of aprox:

90g simple sugars in my post workout shake banana, strawberry, apple juice, dextrose
Then 20 min later I eat dinner which might be 50g carbs
Then immedietly after dinner, I eat 1.25 servings Sherbert (almost no fat) and another 45g carbs
Then immedietly a serving of rasin bran. Another 50 grams of carbs.

So I am shoving in aprox 230-240 grams of carbs (1000cals) all post workout



Weight is up aprox 12 lbs. 213 A little water but still have lower ab veins. Skinfolds still the same. Arms and legs are paper thin, only real fat is around my lower abs but I have full abs. I am in the same shape as the lowest pic above, but not as lean as the first pic. I am way filled out. Tried to put a compression shirt on that I wear to gym at times, and it was way too tight. Wife commented a few times for me to 'put your arms down and quite walking funny'....so I know I have filled out :D


Just going to keep going with this and see what happens. Working out only 3 days a week actually makes me want to train more now...which feels great again!
 
macgyver

macgyver

TID Board Of Directors
Nov 24, 2011
1,498
852
#11
Here is a pic of legs from tonight. Totally 'cold' and tonight is not a workout night. I can see much greater fullness aready in my hamstrings. Obviously shifting the scale 12 lbs over the past month or so has not really hurt definition. My wife has made comments about my chest and back filling back out as well.


I am excited to keep going on this.....



 
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