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    Recomping options

    Hi, I've bulked and cut multiple times. I am a powerlifter and my lifts at 160 are s 435/b 281 paused/d 507. I'm really over the bulking and cutting, and would like to recomp. I've seen multiple options, is there any that would give a slight edge? Also, yes I know I won't be maximizing gains or fat loss.

    Maintanace Calories-2670

    Option 1 (15% Deficit for 3 days/Refeed High Carb +200 on 4th Day)
    Week 1
    Monday 2270
    Tuesday 2270
    Wednesday 2270
    Thursday 3670
    Friday 2270
    Saturday 2270
    Sunday 2270

    Week 2
    Monday 3670
    Tuesday 2270
    Wednesday 2270
    Thursday 2270
    Friday 3670
    Saturday 2270
    Sunday 2270

    Option 2 (LeanGains style +20% on Training Days/-20% on Non-Training Days)
    Week 1
    Monday 3204 (Training Day)
    Tuesday 2136
    Wednesday 3204 (Training Day)
    Thursday 2136
    Friday 3204 (Training Day)
    Saturday 2136
    Sunday 2136

    Option 3 (15% Deficit for 5 days/Refeed High Carb +200 on 6th and 7th Day)
    Week 1
    Monday 2270
    Tuesday 2270
    Wednesday 2270
    Thursday 2270
    Friday 2270
    Saturday 3670
    Sunday 3670
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    If you're going to choose to recomp, you need to figure out what calorie options gives you the ability to consistently progress in your lifts. It's going to be different for each person, but obviously you're going to want more calories on training days.

    Also, I don't understand why you would want to recomp when you are tired of the cutting / bulking phases. Recomping is going to feel like you're going no where in your progression and in the back of your mind you're going to be thinking how you aren't optimizing muscle growth as if you were bulking.
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    IMO: Eating more on training days is the smartest option (option2), however the difference should be smaller than what you're using now. The difference should be something like 500 calories, not a 1000.

    How many protein rich meals per day do you eat? If you want to make progress without bulking the way you spread your protein becomes more important.
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    Originally Posted by Mrpb View Post
    IMO: Eating more on training days is the smartest option (option2), however the difference should be smaller than what you're using now. The difference should be something like 500 calories, not a 1000.

    How many protein rich meals per day do you eat? If you want to make progress without bulking the way you spread your protein becomes more important.
    I actually IF. I find it easier with lower calories. I have about 3 Protein rich meals..I thought you want a large shift in calories? I was also thinking of 4 non training days -15% 2270,..... 3 training days at 3200
    Last edited by STT816; 06-29-2017 at 12:06 PM.
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    Originally Posted by STT816 View Post
    I actually IF. I find it easier with lower calories. I have about 3 Protein rich meals..I thought you want a large shift in calories? I was also thinking of 4 non training days -15% 2270,..... 3 training days at 3200
    Muscle gain is dependent on 24h MPS. Fasting for 16 hours isn't going to help.

    "I thought you want a large shift in calories?" No, you just need to eat enough to avoid being in deficit. A deficit reduces MPS.
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    Originally Posted by Mrpb View Post
    Muscle gain is dependent on 24h MPS. Fasting for 16 hours isn't going to help.

    "I thought you want a large shift in calories?" No, you just need to eat enough to avoid being in deficit. A deficit reduces MPS.
    So you would say there is a benefit to running caloric/carb cycles throughout the week vs running straight maintenance? Also take in to account I am pretty close to genetic potential drug free around 23-25 FFMI. So any slight edge I can do would be great


    This is one guide I was looking at http://outalpha.com/wp-content/uploa...2/Recomp-1.pdf if you scroll to the bottom you can see the details.

    Also since you say fasting is bad for gains, would it be an option to still "fast" but have 2 protein shakes? So Wake up, protein shake w/ water at 9AM protein shake w water at 11AM and break fast at 1PM with food? I just find for me that having calories later helps a lot...that way i only use 200 calories with protein shakes
    Last edited by STT816; 06-29-2017 at 12:32 PM.
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    Originally Posted by STT816 View Post
    Also take in to account I am pretty close to genetic potential drug free around 23-25 FFMI. So any slight edge I can do would be great



    Attempting recomp may not be your best option. A successful recomp takes many factors to be in line and I think you'd be better off in a surplus if gaining more muscle is your goal. Just keep an eye on fat gain and keep the surplus low. If you keep your bodyfat under control a very short cutting period will suffice.
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    Originally Posted by STT816 View Post
    So you would say there is a benefit to running caloric/carb cycles throughout the week vs running straight maintenance? Also take in to account I am pretty close to genetic potential drug free around 23-25 FFMI. So any slight edge I can do would be great
    Carb cycling for the sake of carb cycling is not a good idea. Eating more carbs on your heavy workout days to compensate for extra expenditure and MPS is a good idea.

    That's where my ball park estimate of 500 calories came from.

    This is one guide I was looking at http://outalpha.com/wp-content/uploa...2/Recomp-1.pdf if you scroll to the bottom you can see the details.
    I don't believe in approaches like these. To gain muscle around maintenance the main factor is maximizing 24h MPS, not alternating surplus and deficit.

    Also since you say fasting is bad for gains, would it be an option to still "fast" but have 2 protein shakes? So Wake up, protein shake w/ water at 9AM protein shake w water at 11AM and break fast at 1PM with food? I just find for me that having calories later helps a lot...that way i only use 200 calories with protein shakes
    Yes that's a good idea. If at 9 AM you have ~30 gram protein from whey you could have a meal at 1PM.

    Here are some relevant quotes from Eric Helms:
    "you can't force feed muscle growth"

    "bulking doesn't make a whole lot of sense if you're not a beginner in your 20s"

    "bulking as an intermediate, advanced or as a woman is probably just going to make you fat. That's because nutrition is permissive"

    "instead focus on progress in the weight room, creating muscular adaptations and as long as you have a nutrition plan that is permissive relative to your growth potential you're going to get bigger as fast as you can".

    Source: https://youtu.be/ud7CnPJcK6U
    Last edited by Mrpb; 06-29-2017 at 01:02 PM.
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    Originally Posted by Mrpb View Post
    Carb cycling for the sake of carb cycling is not a good idea. Eating more carbs on your heavy workout days to compensate for extra expenditure and MPS is a good idea.

    That's where my ball park estimate of 500 calories came from.


    I don't believe in approaches like these. To gain muscle around maintenance the main factor is maximizing 24h MPS, not alternating surplus and deficit.



    Yes that's a good idea. If at 9 AM you have ~30 gram protein from whey you could have a meal at 1PM.

    Here's what I would do: say you start your plan on 3000 calories lifting days, 2500 rest days (just an example). If you notice that you make progress on our lifts it's good. If not slightly increase calories, for example 3100 lifting days, 2500 rest days.

    Here are some relevant quotes from Eric Helms:
    "you can't force feed muscle growth"

    "bulking doesn't make a whole lot of sense if you're not a beginner in your 20s"

    "bulking as an intermediate, advanced or as a woman is probably just going to make you fat. That's because nutrition is permissive"

    "instead focus on progress in the weight room, creating muscular adaptations and as long as you have a nutrition plan that is permissive relative to your growth potential you're going to get bigger as fast as you can".

    Source: https://youtu.be/ud7CnPJcK6U
    Great

    I would want to be around 18,690 calories per week (2670 as estimated maintenance)
    I will be doing an upper/lower split 4 days per week
    2875 4x Training Days/ (-500) 2375 3x Non Training Days --18,625 Calories Per Week


    On non training days I should keep carbs as high as possible after hitting .45g per pound of fats?
    What would you say would be optimal protein intake for this type of goal on either day?
    Besides upping carbs on training days, any other macro changes on training days vs non training days?
    How many meals should I have per day/around how many grams of protein in each?
    Timing on carbs before workouts on training days?
    I use a program based on percentages, how can I know for sure I'm getting stronger? I don't test too often

    Thanks so much
    Last edited by STT816; 06-30-2017 at 08:18 AM.
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    Originally Posted by STT816 View Post
    Great so last set of questions/recap.

    I would want to be around 18,690 calories per week (2670 as estimated maintenance)
    If you can make progress that way great, if not I'd slightly increase. You may get better results on a very small surplus. Perhaps gaining ~0.5-1 pound per month on your average weight.

    On non training days I should keep carbs as high as possible after hitting .45g per pound of fats?
    Yep, similar on rest days.

    What would you say would be optimal protein intake for this type of goal on either day?
    30 gram protein from whey at 9AM, mixed meals should have a total of 3 gram leucine or more. Maximising overnight MPS takes 40 gram quality protein.

    Timing on carbs before workouts on training days?
    Do what works best for your performance.

    I use a program based on percentages, how can I know for sure I'm getting stronger? I don't test too often
    Tough one. Even with percentages I still think it's possible to know whether you're making strength progress or not. But I'm not a powerlifter, so can't answer that question fully.

    As for your lifting program, a 4x per week upper/lower split is good and offers a nice balance between training and recovery. However, at your level you may be able to break a plateau using higher frequency training. People are getting good results with training lifts more often. Example here: https://bretcontreras.com/7-tips-for-a-bigger-bench/
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    Originally Posted by Mrpb View Post
    If you can make progress that way great, if not I'd slightly increase. You may get better results on a very small surplus. Perhaps gaining ~0.5-1 pound per month on your average weight.


    Yep, similar on rest days.


    30 gram protein from whey at 9AM, mixed meals should have a total of 3 gram leucine or more. Maximising overnight MPS takes 40 gram quality protein.


    Do what works best for your performance.



    Tough one. Even with percentages I still think it's possible to know whether you're making strength progress or not. But I'm not a powerlifter, so can't answer that question fully.

    As for your lifting program, a 4x per week upper/lower split is good and offers a nice balance between training and recovery. However, at your level you may be able to break a plateau using higher frequency training. People are getting good results with training lifts more often. Example here: https://bretcontreras.com/7-tips-for-a-bigger-bench/
    So if I am gaining .5-1lbs a month it is still technically a bulk no?

    If I wanted to maximize mps after sleeping fast wouldn't I want 40g protein shake then?

    I was asking more about protein per day, do you think .8g is optimal? Would it be necessary to do any more than that? I thought I saw you say in another thread high amounts like 1.5gx bw is helpful

    What is the point of higher carbs on training days if I don't use them pre-workout? Is it that they help recover better?
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    Originally Posted by STT816 View Post
    So if I am gaining .5-1lbs a month it is still technically a bulk no? Gaining weight would indicate a bulk, yes.

    If I wanted to maximize mps after sleeping fast wouldn't I want 40g protein shake then? 30g is enough.

    I was asking more about protein per day, do you think .8g is optimal? Would it be necessary to do any more than that? I thought I saw you say in another thread high amounts like 1.5gx bw is helpful Can be beneficial to an extent but keep diminishing returns in mind, .8g is the minimum, more is fine.

    What is the point of higher carbs on training days if I don't use them pre-workout? Is it that they help recover better? Personal preference, some people perform better with carbs and others do not; time carbs to preference and what allows you to perform best.
    More on protein-

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubme...otein+exercise
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    Originally Posted by STT816 View Post
    So if I am gaining .5-1lbs a month it is still technically a bulk no?
    Yes that would be a slow bulk. Although you may get good results where you're in that grey zone where you don't know whether you're gaining or not.

    If I wanted to maximize mps after sleeping fast wouldn't I want 40g protein shake then?
    30 gram protein is enough. That could be 40 gram whey. 40 gram protein maximises overnight MPS, for about 7-8 hours.

    I was asking more about protein per day, do you think .8g is optimal?
    Historically protein has always been recommended in grams per day. That's not how the body works though. I've told you above how much protein you need per meal. That may come out higher than 1 gram per pound, it depends.

    I thought I saw you say in another thread high amounts like 1.5gx bw is helpful
    For intermediates at ~15% trying to recomp, maybe. Not in your case.

    What is the point of higher carbs on training days if I don't use them pre-workout? Is it that they help recover better?
    That and more calories available for fueling MPS.
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    Originally Posted by Mrpb View Post
    Historically protein has always been recommended in grams per day. That's not how the body works though. I've told you above how much protein you need per meal. That may come out higher than 1 gram per pound, it depends.
    Any easy way to make sure you're getting 3g leucine per meal? Like x amount of grams of protein is usually 3g of leucine? Also how many of these protein rich meals would maximize mps...3?4? more?


    I think I'm all set after this lol
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    Originally Posted by STT816 View Post
    Any easy way to make sure you're getting 3g leucine per meal? Like x amount of grams of protein is usually 3g of leucine? Also how many of these protein rich meals would maximize mps...3?4? more?


    I think I'm all set after this lol
    4-5 meals would be optimal; you can check the leucine content of foods at cronometer or nutritiondata. Leucine content will vary based on food, not so much protein content alone.
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    Originally Posted by gbullock32 View Post
    4-5 meals would be optimal; you can check the leucine content of foods at cronometer or nutritiondata. Leucine content will vary based on food, not so much protein content alone.
    Soybeans and steak are 2 of the highest. Fish, chicken and eggs are good also. I think most guys that are getting enough protein use these foods already so leucine shouldn't be a problem
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    Originally Posted by STT816 View Post
    Any easy way to make sure you're getting 3g leucine per meal?
    www.cronometer.com

    Like x amount of grams of protein is usually 3g of leucine?
    160 gram chicken = 3 gram leucine for example. But even pasta, rice and bread contain leucine.

    It may work out as 40 gram protein per meal... it depends.

    Also how many of these protein rich meals would maximize mps...3?4? more?
    5 total protein servings, so assuming you have a morning and a night protein shake: 3 mixed meals would be good.
    Last edited by Mrpb; 06-30-2017 at 12:08 PM.
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  18. #18
    Registered User STT816's Avatar
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    guess i'm not done lol...

    Say you're saving calories because you are going out to dinner later or don't want to waste ~150 calories in the morning on a 40g (30g protein) protein shake (w. water which doesn't taste very good IMO) every morning...or could possibly be 300 calories if I needed 2 shakes if I woke up very early say 5:30AM or so which I need to do for work sometimes and break fast around 1PM....

    -would a BCAA supplement with the equivalent to 3g leucine replicate a meal?

    -Also would this work if I took 1/2 TBS in place of a meal? https://www.amazon.com/BulkSupplemen...2Bleucine&th=1

    Seems like it would be much easier to hit 3g with a leucine specific supplement..Would one be better over another?


    much appreciated as always
    Last edited by STT816; 06-30-2017 at 01:02 PM.
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  19. #19
    Common sense/moderation. gbullock32's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by STT816 View Post
    guess i'm not done lol...

    Say you're saving calories because you are going out to dinner later or don't want to waste ~150 calories in the morning on a 40g (30g protein) protein shake (w. water which doesn't taste very good IMO) every morning...or could possibly be 300 calories if I needed 2 shakes if I woke up very early say 5:30AM or so which I need to do for work sometimes and break fast around 1PM....

    -would a BCAA supplement with the equivalent to 3g leucine replicate a meal? No.

    -Also would this work if I took 1/2 TBS in place of a meal? https://www.amazon.com/BulkSupplemen...2Bleucine&th=1 No, you need protein too, not just leucine.

    Seems like it would be much easier to hit 3g with a leucine specific supplement..Would one be better over another? Neither would beat whey, or a meal.


    much appreciated as always
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  20. #20
    Train hard play harder Tommy W.'s Avatar
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    Originally Posted by gbullock32 View Post
    Answers in bold.
    Right you are. Taking leucine or any amino by itself is not advised as it can compromise the others. Taking aminos as supplements are inferior to taking protein in the way of food no matter how you look at it
    If you don't get what you want you didn't want it bad enough
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  21. #21
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    Originally Posted by STT816 View Post
    guess i'm not done lol...

    Say you're saving calories because you are going out to dinner later or don't want to waste ~150 calories in the morning on a 40g (30g protein) protein shake (w. water which doesn't taste very good IMO) every morning...or could possibly be 300 calories if I needed 2 shakes if I woke up very early say 5:30AM or so which I need to do for work sometimes and break fast around 1PM....

    -would a BCAA supplement with the equivalent to 3g leucine replicate a meal?
    7 gram protein from whey + 4 gram leucine would work or 10 gram EAA.

    25 gram protein from whey would work too by the way (30 isn't necessary).

    A protein bar can make a nice breakfast too.

    Seems like it would be much easier to hit 3g with a leucine specific supplement.
    It's quite easy to hit it with meals. And it's not like 2.5 won't work, 3.0 gram will just be slightly more optimal.

    And you can always top it up with a supplement.
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