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  1. #1
    Registered User Greenflies's Avatar
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    Back to the front

    Hello, been lurking this forum and using the BB articles for some time, but after a long hiatus due to quarantine, I might start from scratch with several questions for the experienced users.

    Before quarantine I was cutting. I'm far from showing my six pack, still bloated stomach (mainly due to weak abs and anterior pelvic tilt I'm progressively trying to fix). Eating healthily and removing alcohol completely. I've done very little exercise during these months but I've already lost +10 kg, so I think it's about time I'm getting ready for a clean bulk, right?

    First off, I think I should be eating on maintenance level for a week or two before I'm ready to up the cals and macros, am I right?. I've been trying to find the exact numbers but some stickies seem to be removed and most of the pages I'm checking show different results. Let's say, I'm 170 cm, 59 kg and unemployed at the moment, so most of my exercise would come from gym (~ 60/90 minutes sounds fine?). I'll cut cardio sessions completely and focus solely on a bulking routine.

    Is there any routine and basic guide that could be taken as template for getting back to track from a relatively long break (+ 3 months of quarantine) that means bulking up again? Where could I successfully and reliably take note of my new macros and how important would it be to use supplementation for my goals? Could I avoid them if I'm able to reach my macros successfully or do you recommend me some further boost?

    Sorry for the generic questions but I just want to be sure of everything before I'm sticking to a new plan for quite some time to be able to see some results and act accordingly. And, since some threads seem to be taken down, I'd gladly appreciate some reliable sources of info, be them for clean bulk nutrition and/or routines that could pack me back my lost muscles and hopefully with some extra gains.

    I'm attaching three pics. You can easily state which one shows myself flexed, heh. Not particularly impressed with my physique, sp. now that I've lost quite some muscle, but I think I can really appreciate some further input.
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  2. #2
    Registered User Greenflies's Avatar
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    So any idea on how to proceed and/or any improvement in my physique? Thanks in advance.
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    Registered User KathleenRyan's Avatar
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    Clean bulk sounds like a good idea. I'd keep the surplus very small, only 200-300 calories for the best lean gains.

    Your body looks like it'd benefit from more compound movements, and if you're trying to build strength and muscle on a clean bulk this is where I'd put most of my focus right now. I'd recommend doing a split like PPL (Push, Pull, Legs) 4 times a week (2 days on, 1 day rest).

    Only supplement I'd really recommend taking is Whey. Anything else won't make a huge difference. Note that contrary to popular belief and memes, cardio or other physical activity on your off days won't immediately kill your gains. In fact light to medium intensity cardio or physical activity on your off days will help with your overall recovery and fitness.

    Personally I never count macros, and always just estimate what my daily caloric/protein intake is, but that's because I've been doing this long enough and have messed with my diet enough to where I'm able to ballpark my numbers pretty closely.

    I'd recommend counting your calories and protein intake on something like MyFitnessPal for just a week or so, so you get an idea of what your meals should look like. Make sure you get about 1 gram of protein per lb of bodyfat (so you should aim for around 130-140g protein daily).
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    Registered User Greenflies's Avatar
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    Thanks a whole damn lot for your input, Ryan.

    I will act accordingly as for surplus goes - keeping a week of distance, at maintenance level after such a long cutting phase.
    Might I consider that some body recomp could take place from those compound movements, too? I mean, in terms of stomach bloatedness - I think we're not talking about layers of fat, but lack of muscle definition and some anterior pelvic tilt.

    I'm definitely opting for a PPL routine (any specific recommendation?) with 1 day of rest for cardio, stretching and abs - like a stroll in the park, long walk or maybe treadmill/bicycle at home.

    As for macros goes, I've done my share of counting them but it's extremely annoying, I concur. Might get back to it, though, since I've done really good with MyFitnessPal indeed, and now that I want to get it really straight it looks like an ideal option.

    Never done whey protein in my life, so I'm up for some further reading. I guess a couple of shakes pre and post workout should do in order to benefit best and help me reach my protein intake.

    Once again, thanks a lot for your time.
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    Registered User KathleenRyan's Avatar
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    One protein shake sometime in the AM, and another one in the PM would probably be good to start with. Protein shakes are great, just keep in mind that with any supplement, it's job is to enhance what's already in your diet, and not outright replace it. Your body will have an easier time absorbing and processing your daily protein if it's spaced out a bit time wise, and if it's coming from different sources (IE some from whey, some from meat, some from nuts/legumes/seeds, etc). Basically just try to get a decent hit of protein with every meal.

    Your idea for a rest day sounds great/ideal, that's exactly what I'd recommend doing. For PPL, you'll be looking to do something like this:

    3 sets per exercise, 8-10 reps. The last rep should be challenging/difficult, if you're hitting 10 reps easily and your form is good, time to up the weight.
    PUSH
    Pushing chest exercise
    Fly/Open chest exercise
    Overhead shoulder exercise
    Lateral shoulder exercise

    PULL
    Deadlift based exercise
    Row based exercise
    Lat based exercise
    Chinups

    LEGS
    Quads Pressing exercise (squat)
    Quads Pressing exercise (2) (leg press)
    Hamstring/Glutes exercise
    Hamstrings/Glutes exercise (2)

    ^^^^What I'm trying to describe up here is that you can build a PPL workout with a variety of different exercises as long as we try to hit all our bases. For our chest day we want some pushing exercises, and also some "fly" type work to hit the chest from both directions. For back day, we want a heavy compound motion (deadlifts) to build overall posterior power, combined with more targeted exercises to get full development and work our accessories. The chinups at the end of the workout will also help hit your biceps.

    Let me know if you want more examples, but what I'm saying is you can fill in the above template with your own exercise choices, just try to keep it true to that category/movement pattern.
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    Registered User Greenflies's Avatar
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    Hi again,

    I'm following the Push Pull Legs Routine in BuiltWithScience now (I'm not able yet to post links).

    Looking complete and challenging so far. I'm following your advice of 8-10 pushing it harder, for now - once I'm done with the week(s) at maintenance level and going to clean bulk I'd do more reps as recommended in the link.

    The only thing that makes me dubious: should I squat and do movements that could worsen my anterior pelvic tilt (can they?)? I guess strict form and less weight is the key, but one never knows.

    Thanks!
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    Registered User Greenflies's Avatar
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    Well, after being recommended by a nutritionist, I got a hold of World Gym's Massbol gainer, and I'm noob in supplementation so I just want to be sure of what I'm doing in order to reach my macros and optimize its effect.

    - Shall I start its consumption once I'm bulking or do I already try it during this week of maintenance?
    - In order to make it last and just reach the extra +20 gr of protein (it's not difficult for me to get 100-110 from natural sources - I think it will be harder to reach my ~ 2500 cals, I guess taking nuts will help a lot), could I take just 50 gr of the product instead of the 100 gr that seem to be recommended (about two doses per day) without affecting the extra benefits, i.e. BCAA's and vitamins?

    My nutritionist told me I'd rather take it after training, preferably during the following 45 minutes, but is there any other timeline to consider?

    THanks a lot for your input, again!
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    Registered User Greenflies's Avatar
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    Still doing the same routine: builtwithscience.com/push-pull-legs-routine (not allowed to post links)
    Some Q's:

    1. I rarely felt my muscles going sore these days and I expected much more pain for my legs (I've rarely squatted due to my anterior pelvic tilt). Does that mean I'm necessarily doing something wrong in form?

    2. Rest days/cardio. I'm aiming for caloric surplus, but would that cardio be detrimental to my muscle growth? I mean, do I rather go for a walk and some stretches instead of going full-on HIIT and then consuming some extra cals to made up for those lost (seems a bit incongruent), thus benefitting of the cardio itself?

    3. As told before, I've always struggled with anterior pelvic tilt, even stretching constantly. Should I see a massive improvement now that I'm constantly upping the weight for my hip thrusts, for instance?
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