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    High fat vs hi carb - Bulking

    Hi all,

    I know that the body works on minimums and not macros splits. However, just wondering what peoples thought are on limiting fats to something reasonable. So for example, typically when I bulk Ill get something like 140g protein, 400g carbs, 120g fat = 3200cal

    My body weight is ~ 155lbs so my minimum fat should be say 0.45*155 = 70g

    Would there be any advantage to cutting down my fat to say 70-80g and upping my carbs to 500+ a day? So maybe 150/500/70?

    I'm just having a really hard time gaining muscle that's all. Been doing the fierce 5 programme for 2 years now.
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    Originally Posted by mojojonz View Post
    Hi all,

    I know that the body works on minimums and not macros splits. However, just wondering what peoples thought are on limiting fats to something reasonable. So for example, typically when I bulk Ill get something like 140g protein, 400g carbs, 120g fat = 3200cal

    My body weight is ~ 155lbs so my minimum fat should be say 0.45*155 = 70g

    Would there be any advantage to cutting down my fat to say 70-80g and upping my carbs to 500+ a day? So maybe 150/500/70?

    I'm just having a really hard time gaining muscle that's all. Been doing the fierce 5 programme for 2 years now.
    A couple of possible benefits i can think of:
    1. If it helps you to get in your calorie requirements. Some people may get full on fats but can chug juice to get in carbs.
    2. If you time carb intake around your workouts to give you the best performance. Some people have more strength/stamina on higher carbs pre-workout.
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    team ketchup AdamWW's Avatar
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    I think you're missing a big picture: you don't have to target a specific set of numbers each day.

    You can have higher fat days, lower carb days... it can literally be as fluid/variable as you feel like as long as you're hitting fat and protein minimums.
    The power of carbs compels me!
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    Just thinking out loud. But wouldn't Carbs and protein provide the body with an easier path to build and repair muscle than fats? I understand fats are critical for all sorts of things.
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    Originally Posted by mojojonz View Post
    Just thinking out loud. But wouldn't Carbs and protein provide the body with an easier path to build and repair muscle than fats? I understand fats are critical for all sorts of things.
    I, personally, try to consume lots of carbs in order to have good energy/fuel for my muscles, while making sure to have enough protein and fat in my diet as well. I'm not quite sure what it'd be like if I ate a lot more fat than I do now, but I'm not sure that it would make a huge difference. I've heard some people do better on a high-carb diet while others are fine with a lot of fat-intake, provided their calorie consumption is appropriate for their goals.

    Like, I usually have somewhere around 50-90g of fat in a day, but easily 300-500g of carbs. I'm only 130 lbs, though.

    Do you feel like you lack energy in the gym? And/or are sluggish? I don't think lowering your fat and increasing your carbs is going to help you build muscle at all. What it may do is increase your performance while lifting, but even then I'm not super sure of that since the body can use fat as fuel as well.

    If you have the means to experiment, I'd say spend a week or two transitioning to a low fat high carb diet with equivalent protein and calories, and try that out for a couple months. See how you feel before, during, and after your workouts in addition to if you notice any changes in your progress. If you've been doing Fierce 5 for 2 years now, though, your best change might come from altering your routine. It might be time for you to start an intermediate/advanced routine with more volume.
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    If it works then I would think about increasing your carbs. Whenever I do low carb and high fat diets I can’t function properly lol
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    Originally Posted by mojojonz View Post
    Just thinking out loud. But wouldn't Carbs and protein provide the body with an easier path to build and repair muscle than fats? I understand fats are critical for all sorts of things.
    In general yes, most people tend to perform better using a higher carb approach vs fats
    The power of carbs compels me!
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    Originally Posted by kharneth View Post
    If you've been doing Fierce 5 for 2 years now, though, your best change might come from altering your routine. It might be time for you to start an intermediate/advanced routine with more volume.
    Well I was actaully on the intermediate version most of last year, made a tiny wee bit of progress. But after a while I was simple adding fat and no muslce. My bench press didn't increase for the whole year. It was about 3-4 resets. All the new exercises improved.

    Basically, Im doing something wrong, so need to play around.

    I'm going back to the Novice routine, as I want to make sure I "finished" it, plus I can sleep in more days.

    I'm not too tired or anything, but I do love my carbs, so I'm definitely going to try a high carb approach. Cutting now, so will start in about a month
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    Originally Posted by AdamWW View Post
    I think you're missing a big picture: you don't have to target a specific set of numbers each day.

    You can have higher fat days, lower carb days... it can literally be as fluid/variable as you feel like as long as you're hitting fat and protein minimums.
    I think you might be missing the point of OP's question though. Looks like he's asking this as it pertains to performance, not body comp.
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    Originally Posted by mojojonz View Post

    Would there be any advantage to cutting down my fat to say 70-80g and upping my carbs to 500+ a day? So maybe 150/500/70?
    Only one way to find out: try it.

    I'd feel lethargic on 500 gram carbs per day.

    I'm just having a really hard time gaining muscle that's all.
    Weight or muscle? Gaining weight is easy.

    If you're eating enough gaining muscle has more to do with your training than with your nutrition.
    Been doing the fierce 5 programme for 2 years now.
    The fierce 5 novice program?
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    team ketchup AdamWW's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by EliKoehn View Post
    I think you might be missing the point of OP's question though. Looks like he's asking this as it pertains to performance, not body comp.
    He didn't even use the word 'performance'...
    The power of carbs compels me!
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    Originally Posted by AdamWW View Post
    He didn't even use the word 'performance'...
    Well that seems pretty well implied being stuck on a novice program for two years.

    To your credit, he did specifically say that he is having trouble gaining, though.
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    Originally Posted by EliKoehn View Post
    Well that seems pretty well implied being stuck on a novice program for two years.

    To your credit, he did specifically say that he is having trouble gaining, though.
    Did you miss post #7 where I specifically comment on this?

    He also did not specify if it was the novice version of the routine.
    The power of carbs compels me!
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    "Fierce 5 program"
    5month Novice routine
    2-3 months Cut,
    9months Intermediate routine
    2 months cut
    Back to Intermediate routine
    Cut
    etc. Thats been about 2 years

    Yes, I was talking about body comp. It appears I can build muslce straight away but then my gains stall somewhat, and it becomes mostly fat. I know this through using skin calipers, waist measurement, and as I said my bench press has barely increased at all, other than the first few months on the Novice routine.

    This year Im trying the following:
    -Improving my sleep.
    -Improving rom, and reseting my weight for form too
    -Sticking with the Novice routine for longer
    - Lastly, cutting my fats a bit in favour of more protein/carbs, which was the main question of this thread.
    Although peoples answers seem to suggest it's unlikely this move will help with body comp, unless it affords me better performance, which might have the side effect of helping me building more muscle.

    Im just going to give it a go anyway!

    Thanks for the replies everyone
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    Originally Posted by mojojonz View Post
    Yes, I was talking about body comp. It appears I can build muslce straight away but then my gains stall somewhat, and it becomes mostly fat. I know this through using skin calipers, waist measurement, and as I said my bench press has barely increased at all, other than the first few months on the Novice routine.
    What is your 5rm bench press now? and squat?
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    Originally Posted by Mrpb View Post
    What is your 5rm bench press now? and squat?
    So Im 155lbs when I'm about 9-10%bf

    At the end of the novice routing I could JUST get out 5reps of 72lb (33kg) dumbell BP (each hand, max range of motion). On the intermediate routine, I literally didn't increase that one bit!! Basically Id cut, lose some strength, then it would go back up that point and not move, I stalled like 3 times in a row, and was ready for a cut again. (I should note all the additional exercises on the intermediate routine, improved of course)

    Squat was 90kg (200lbs) with full range of motion. Again, moved maybe a little on the intermediate routine.

    My conclusion from this is, its note the routines fault. I figure I'm doing other things wrong (as listed above). By extension of this, I probably didn't truely finish the novice routine.
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    Originally Posted by Mrpb View Post
    Weight or muscle? Gaining weight is easy.
    If you're eating enough gaining muscle has more to do with your training than with your nutrition.
    The fierce 5 novice program?
    Yes gaining wieght is easy for me, and I have my calorie counting down to an art!! I just seem to be gaining fat mostly. See my above reply about the fierce 5

    A typical bulk cut cycle looks like this for me.
    - Get to some strength on my major lifts by which time im about 15% bf
    - Cut for few months to say 9%bf, in which time I lose a little strength/muscle
    - Start eating again, my strength shoots back up quickly to where it was,
    - But then I get bulking from about 11%-15%bf, over which time my major lifts dont increase at all, and i mostly just put on 4% fat
    - Rinse and repeat. With no real difference over entire bulking/cutting cycles

    Dumb
    Last edited by mojojonz; 02-25-2021 at 09:36 AM.
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    Originally Posted by mojojonz View Post
    Yes gaining wieght is easy for me, and I have my calorie counting down to an art!! I just seem to be gaining fat mostly. See my above reply about the fierce 5
    Are you sure you're actually pushing/training hard?
    The power of carbs compels me!
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    Originally Posted by AdamWW View Post
    Are you sure you're actually pushing/training hard?
    Well I am within my ability. One big thing over the last 2 years had been poor sleep. I have kids, and so have to get up at the crack of dawn. I'm attempting to fix that this year, by doing at least 1 workout in the weekend during the day, and just getting up a little later. Also part of the reason to switch to higher carbs
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    Originally Posted by mojojonz View Post
    So Im 155lbs when I'm about 9-10%bf

    At the end of the novice routing I could JUST get out 5reps of 72lb (33kg) dumbell BP (each hand, max range of motion). On the intermediate routine, I literally didn't increase that one bit!! Basically Id cut, lose some strength, then it would go back up that point and not move, I stalled like 3 times in a row, and was ready for a cut again. (I should note all the additional exercises on the intermediate routine, improved of course)

    Squat was 90kg (200lbs) with full range of motion. Again, moved maybe a little on the intermediate routine.

    My conclusion from this is, its note the routines fault. I figure I'm doing other things wrong (as listed above). By extension of this, I probably didn't truely finish the novice routine.
    Next time try bulking on a higher volume program. Fierce 5 is relatively low volume.

    How fast did you bulk? weight gain per month
    Last edited by Mrpb; 02-25-2021 at 09:56 AM.
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    Originally Posted by AdamWW View Post
    Did you miss post #7 where I specifically comment on this?

    He also did not specify if it was the novice version of the routine.
    No, I did see that. I too am curious if, beyond 300-400 g/day it makes much of a difference.
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    Originally Posted by Mrpb View Post
    Next time try bulking on a higher volume program. Fierce 5 is relatively low volume.

    Howf fast did you bulk? weight gain per month
    I've experimented with 200cal a day but found 300cal/day was better. So that'd be roughly 2lbs per month.
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    Originally Posted by mojojonz View Post
    I've experimented with 200cal a day but found 300cal/day was better. So that'd be roughly 2lbs per month.
    Do you mean higher volume as in higher reps? Or the intermediate fierce 5 routine. Beacuse I mentioned I did that for about 8months. And had almost no net gains
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    Originally Posted by mojojonz View Post
    Do you mean higher volume as in higher reps? Or the intermediate fierce 5 routine. Beacuse I mentioned I did that for about 8months. And had almost no net gains
    No higher volume means more hard sets per week. For example: If you don't make progress on 6 sets bench press per week you try 12.
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    team ketchup AdamWW's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by EliKoehn View Post
    No, I did see that. I too am curious if, beyond 300-400 g/day it makes much of a difference.
    So then why did u imply I didn’t notice he asked about performance ? I specifically commented on it in post 7
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    Originally Posted by AdamWW View Post
    So then why did u imply I didn’t notice he asked about performance ? I specifically commented on it in post 7
    Ah yes, I think I read back and noticed that later, but was busy and a little distracted and missed the connection there. However, post 3 didn't seem to agree with post 7 on the performance angle. I.e. the "big picture" you were referring to (where carbs and fats are interchangeable within a calorie budget) might actually make a real difference as per performance.

    Since you stated that higher carbs are positively correlated to better performance, then why was OP missing the big picture in your own original post?
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    Originally Posted by EliKoehn View Post
    Ah yes, I think I read back and noticed that later, but was busy and a little distracted and missed the connection there. However, post 3 didn't seem to agree with post 7 on the performance angle. I.e. the "big picture" you were referring to (where carbs and fats are interchangeable within a calorie budget) might actually make a real difference as per performance.

    Since you stated that higher carbs are positively correlated to better performance, then why was OP missing the big picture in your own original post?
    Like I said, his original post did not mention performance

    The reply of mine you questioned was perfectly reasonable is that the big picture of energy intake, protein/fat minimums and then personal preferences is what matters.

    If he happens to deviate from specific macro targets because he likes it, or just happens to undulate randomly, it doesn’t matters so long as his needs are met.

    I then mentioned later (post 7) that MOST people people perform better by prioritizing carbs as their primary substrate.
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    Classic thread

    Training like a powerlifter and wondering why he doesn't look like a bodybuilder...smh

    Now, I understand OP is probably not eating enough or training with a high enough RPE; but geeze that fierce 5 really is too generic.
    I know ima get blasted for saying this on this forum that promotes that program so highly but you need more isolation and direct work.

    Sorry, but that's how I feel about it

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  29. #29
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    Originally Posted by smokinal View Post
    Classic thread

    Training like a powerlifter and wondering why he doesn't look like a bodybuilder...smh

    Now, I understand OP is probably not eating enough or training with a high enough RPE; but geeze that fierce 5 really is too generic.
    I know ima get blasted for saying this on this forum that promotes that program so highly but you need more isolation and direct work.

    Sorry, but that's how I feel about it

    Carry on
    It's recommended because its a proven novice program with many success stories; nothing like a powerlifting routine.

    What makes you think it's 'too generic' for novices?

    It literally follows all current, study-supported standards for reps, sets, and volume per week

    Novices don't need complexity, they need to master the basics.
    Last edited by AdamWW; 02-25-2021 at 04:52 PM.
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    Originally Posted by AdamWW View Post
    It's recommended because its a proven novice program with many success stories; nothing like a powerlifting routine.

    What makes you think it's 'too generic' for novices?

    It literally follows all current, study-supported standards for reps, sets, and volume per week

    Novices don't need complexity, they need to master the basics.
    I agree with you on those things bud.
    What I don't like is following this program for 2 years. Even a novice should have these movement's form, and understanding of them, down in 6 months tops. At that time, it's time to start adding more.
    I just truly believe that isolation work directly targets a given muscle group better, and more efficiently, than compounds; therefore better growth.

    We see these threads all the time and this is another example of it.
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