3

votes

How do you "BULK" on a Paleo diet?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created April 04, 2011 at 4:29 PM

So, I've been a weightlifter for a long time (mostly the Olympic lifts). Generally, it is common wisdom that you need to "bulk" in order to gain muscle mass. Now, how is this to be done on a Paleo diet? Or, if not, how do you see adding muscle mass while on the Paleo diet?

4ec0fe4b4aab327f7efa2dfb06b032ff

(5145)

on October 28, 2011
at 07:02 PM

Natural peanut butter should be nothing but peanuts (and salt, if you get salted). My favorite brand is Teddy Bear.

26b7615ef542394102785a67a2786867

(7967)

on October 28, 2011
at 06:58 PM

Hey, me too! Calories are important, but glucose is the key. Plus starches are great vehicles for fat calories.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on May 12, 2011
at 01:20 PM

(no wonder I miss it.)

170794d4eef80de2691106c483a31ebd

(96)

on April 07, 2011
at 01:56 AM

not to mention hydrogenated oils, salt, and sugar!

F5698e16f1793c0bb00daea6a2e222a4

(678)

on April 06, 2011
at 08:10 PM

I did find this - The effects of regular strength training on telomere length in human skeletalmuscle - http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18091019

F5698e16f1793c0bb00daea6a2e222a4

(678)

on April 06, 2011
at 01:52 PM

Interesting. Would you mind explaining further? Or pointing me to where I can read more about this? Thx.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on April 05, 2011
at 07:27 PM

That would be quite a bit of n6!

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on April 05, 2011
at 03:14 PM

this is a killer reply. Aces, Dr. Ryan

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on April 05, 2011
at 03:12 PM

Tempting me with this. I am gaining well with strict paleo but it'd be fun to experiment with this for a month:) Doesn't hit the GI tract hard? With gas, etc?

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on April 05, 2011
at 03:11 PM

totally agree with this. Definitely go with starch PWO. I myself, weighing 174 pounds, eat one pound of sweet potato within 30 minutes of lifting heavy. That gets me about 115 grams of carbohydrates. One pound of lean protein too. Then dinner is low in starch but high in fat. You'll gain. At the end of the day you JUST NEED A LOT OF CALORIES.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on April 05, 2011
at 01:06 PM

I'm no expert on the amount of carbs necessary, but Dr. Ryans' advice sounds about right. You may need to experiment and adjust to your own bodily requirements.

Cab7e4ef73c5d7d7a77e1c3d7f5773a1

(7304)

on April 05, 2011
at 10:49 AM

Some fruit is probably ok, just don't have it as all of your pwo starch. Fructose can help muscles uptake of glycogen.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on April 05, 2011
at 01:47 AM

Same here. Then on non lifting days I eat higher fat lower carb but still in big quantities. Cyclic low carb it's called usually. Just eat a lot and you'll gain no worries. Since November 1 I've gone from 158 to 174.5 lbs body weight today. I eat clean all the time, I just eat a lot. And those PWO pigouts help:)

A5ead9de259ae72f2165ecb12f4ae764

(440)

on April 04, 2011
at 11:29 PM

Great question. I've been struggling to put weight on myself. I usually eat three times a day but lately I've been trying to fit in a fourth meal for added calories.

072fd69647b0e765bb4b11532569f16d

(3717)

on April 04, 2011
at 10:30 PM

I'm not an expert on bulking (or Paleo for that matter) but I don't think you will see many recommendations on here for the fruit, even PWO, mostly due to fructose intake and its impact on the liver instead of muscle function. Stick to the starches for your PWO carbs. I don't do real well with the tubers so go to squashes, pumpkin, etc. for a decent amount of variety.

77732bf6bf2b8a360f523ef87c3b7523

(6157)

on April 04, 2011
at 07:52 PM

I don't really track my macronutrients, I don't really bother with macronutrient timing, and I haven't done any met-con in months, so I don't have a good answer for you. But maybe Dave or others will chime in.

072fd69647b0e765bb4b11532569f16d

(3717)

on April 04, 2011
at 05:57 PM

My workout group has recently dialed back two met-con days for and substituted pure strength training days instead (i.e. Westside max effort days). We do still met-con and run a decent amount, which I like. I'm about 173 and wouldn't mind getting up to 180ish. Do you incorporate carbs on both strength and met-con days in somewhat equal amounts?

Af1d286f0fd5c3949f59b4edf4d892f5

(18472)

on April 04, 2011
at 05:46 PM

good stuff dr ryan

77732bf6bf2b8a360f523ef87c3b7523

(6157)

on April 04, 2011
at 05:14 PM

Digestive enzymes help, especially if you're eating 4000-6000 calories a day.

Be1dbd31e4a3fccd4394494aa5db256d

(17969)

on April 04, 2011
at 05:00 PM

This advice smacks of 70s Big! Them dudes are big. 70s big.

Af1d286f0fd5c3949f59b4edf4d892f5

(18472)

on April 04, 2011
at 04:56 PM

I doubt there will be a better answer to this question. I was gonna answer, but now I don't need to.

  • 77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

    asked by

    (78467)
  • Views
    43.8K
  • Last Activity
    1426D AGO
Frontpage book

Get FREE instant access to our Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!

13 Answers

13
A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on April 04, 2011
at 04:54 PM

Eat more. A lot more.

Weightlifters and bodybuilders typically advise to eat more. And what do they eat? Beef and eggs - a lot of protein. You could throw some fish in there if you like.

It's hard to eat that much, which is why a lot of them use protein shakes. Or dairy. GOMAD is a proven tactic, although not paleo. That's a gallon of milk a day, by the way.

Kinda off topic, but when I was a kid, I read Rod Laver's autobiography. His favorite meal? Steak and eggs. He would eat them almost every meal and became grumpy if the hotel he was staying at didn't have it on the menu. He had a massively huge left wrist and forearm and was nicknamed "The Rocket".

77732bf6bf2b8a360f523ef87c3b7523

(6157)

on April 04, 2011
at 07:52 PM

I don't really track my macronutrients, I don't really bother with macronutrient timing, and I haven't done any met-con in months, so I don't have a good answer for you. But maybe Dave or others will chime in.

072fd69647b0e765bb4b11532569f16d

(3717)

on April 04, 2011
at 05:57 PM

My workout group has recently dialed back two met-con days for and substituted pure strength training days instead (i.e. Westside max effort days). We do still met-con and run a decent amount, which I like. I'm about 173 and wouldn't mind getting up to 180ish. Do you incorporate carbs on both strength and met-con days in somewhat equal amounts?

77732bf6bf2b8a360f523ef87c3b7523

(6157)

on April 04, 2011
at 05:14 PM

Digestive enzymes help, especially if you're eating 4000-6000 calories a day.

Be1dbd31e4a3fccd4394494aa5db256d

(17969)

on April 04, 2011
at 05:00 PM

This advice smacks of 70s Big! Them dudes are big. 70s big.

Af1d286f0fd5c3949f59b4edf4d892f5

(18472)

on April 04, 2011
at 04:56 PM

I doubt there will be a better answer to this question. I was gonna answer, but now I don't need to.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on April 05, 2011
at 01:06 PM

I'm no expert on the amount of carbs necessary, but Dr. Ryans' advice sounds about right. You may need to experiment and adjust to your own bodily requirements.

6
E8022f05c250e19a65b92207dd1630ca

on April 04, 2011
at 05:28 PM

This is something that I have been playing with over the past year or so since I've been eating paleo for a couple years and found myself stuck around 180. As a competitive crossfitter I was doing too much met-con type activity so I dialed it back and subbed in a couple strict strength/o-lifting days. Since doing that I gained a couple pounds, but no drastic change. It wasn't until I added more starchy carbs to my diet, especially post WOD that I was able to get up to 190. This proved to be huge for my lifts both O-lifts and power lifts and I would say that virtually all of the weight I put on was muscle. My advice would be to eat at least 1 gram of protein per pound of lean body mass give or take a few grams extra, and make sure you're consuming some fat at every meal also (coconut milk, avocado, fatty meats from grass-fed sources, butter/ghee, olive oil, and seeds). If you want bulk and strength gains I would advise to add 100-150 g of starchy carb post workout (roots, tubers, bulbs) so that your carb intake consists of glucose (not fructose sources like fruit). Your body will soak this up and help you tremendously with bulk and strength gains. And lastly, just like Dave advised...eat more, but don't be afraid to eat more carbs too if you want to put size on.

Af1d286f0fd5c3949f59b4edf4d892f5

(18472)

on April 04, 2011
at 05:46 PM

good stuff dr ryan

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on April 05, 2011
at 03:14 PM

this is a killer reply. Aces, Dr. Ryan

26b7615ef542394102785a67a2786867

(7967)

on October 28, 2011
at 06:58 PM

Hey, me too! Calories are important, but glucose is the key. Plus starches are great vehicles for fat calories.

2
Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25472)

on April 05, 2011
at 03:44 AM

You eat protein and fat you will gain muscle bulk faster because of the effect on the skeletal muscle stem cell recruitment and the effect on telomeres and how it congruently aligns endogenous GH release. gH release also in and of itself furthers recruitment of stem cells and those cells tend to have more longevity once formed.

F5698e16f1793c0bb00daea6a2e222a4

(678)

on April 06, 2011
at 08:10 PM

I did find this - The effects of regular strength training on telomere length in human skeletalmuscle - http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18091019

F5698e16f1793c0bb00daea6a2e222a4

(678)

on April 06, 2011
at 01:52 PM

Interesting. Would you mind explaining further? Or pointing me to where I can read more about this? Thx.

1
42f31d2df6a59f40845020e3ffd70394

on October 28, 2011
at 09:08 PM

Liquid calories! It's one of the biggest reasons people fail to lose weight on a paleo diet so why not use it to your advantage. Smoothies that combine frozen fruit, whey protein, eggs, nut butters, and coconut milk are a delicious and inexpensive way to add an extra meals worth of calories.

1
62f6311d7e54c86d238e0052415c4462

(10)

on October 28, 2011
at 06:55 PM

What has worked well for me is making a Shake with Protein, 60g flax seeds, crushed berries and a little fruit juice, you could also add 1-2 tbs of olive oil... This is basically a paleo 'mass builder' shake but a healthy version.

I always make a big sweet potato mash with parsnip and carrot for post workout eaten with 3 mackerel fillets.

Use the harris benedict formula to work out your calories needs if you're struggling to put on weight.

I personally target for 3500-4000kcals eating around 75-125g of carbs and I build very quickly.

Make sure you're eating enough monounstaurated and other fats before you go carb crazy, then gradually increase carbs as needed.

This will prevent excess body fat.

I know a lot of people like a formula to work with so this is what makes logical sense to me.

Carbs for male 75g add 100g for every hour of exercise

Carbs for female 50 add 100g for every hour of exercise

1
170794d4eef80de2691106c483a31ebd

(96)

on April 05, 2011
at 05:28 AM

At least a box of quality Aroy-D coconut milk or cream per day and a good sized yam post workout with some protein (I do whey but your call of course) on top of your other meals with extra fat sources.

That'll do the trick.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on April 05, 2011
at 03:11 PM

totally agree with this. Definitely go with starch PWO. I myself, weighing 174 pounds, eat one pound of sweet potato within 30 minutes of lifting heavy. That gets me about 115 grams of carbohydrates. One pound of lean protein too. Then dinner is low in starch but high in fat. You'll gain. At the end of the day you JUST NEED A LOT OF CALORIES.

1
8a49caa92fbc21adfb9ba2bf561eb83d

on April 05, 2011
at 02:42 AM

This isn't exactly paleo, but it worked for me. Try to eat a half can of natural peanut butter every day. I know I know, peanuts are legumes. But if you're trying to bulk, and you eat paleo, your body needs more calories and it's already running off a higher ratio of fats to carbs. A half can is like 1300 extra calories and has gobs of fat. Try it, I got bigger and all my lifts went up. I ate Skippy Natural peanut butter, you can buy it at wal-mart for $2 a can.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on April 05, 2011
at 03:12 PM

Tempting me with this. I am gaining well with strict paleo but it'd be fun to experiment with this for a month:) Doesn't hit the GI tract hard? With gas, etc?

170794d4eef80de2691106c483a31ebd

(96)

on April 07, 2011
at 01:56 AM

not to mention hydrogenated oils, salt, and sugar!

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on April 05, 2011
at 07:27 PM

That would be quite a bit of n6!

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on May 12, 2011
at 01:20 PM

(no wonder I miss it.)

4ec0fe4b4aab327f7efa2dfb06b032ff

(5145)

on October 28, 2011
at 07:02 PM

Natural peanut butter should be nothing but peanuts (and salt, if you get salted). My favorite brand is Teddy Bear.

1
7792d8e2ada34662a3226a7d1952940a

on April 04, 2011
at 06:45 PM

http://www.thepaleopowerlifter.com/

This might help you along too.

1
Be1dbd31e4a3fccd4394494aa5db256d

(17969)

on April 04, 2011
at 04:58 PM

The book Perfect Health Diet explains how fat is actually just as important as protein and carbs since fat is much of muscle tissue and while protein and carbs decrease testosterone, fat increases it. So definitely don't go stingy on any macro-nutrient.

edit: actually don't quote me on that carbs actually decease testosterone, It might just be that the more carbs one eats the less fat one eats and therefore has lower testosterone. Still, the principle applies.

0
Fb4824b2611bb1eb212d63185888540b

on July 24, 2013
at 08:48 PM

I would say to bulk with least harmful carbs: potatoes, sweet potatoes, quinoa, white rice.

0
3020fb359dfbedaf90f1611b036d3432

(1138)

on April 04, 2011
at 09:33 PM

Add a lot of starches PWO, mostly tubers and some white rice if you tolerate it. I am mostly low-carb, high-fat paleo, but after lifting weights 2-3x a week I eat around 200g of starches (potatoes, sweet potatoes, plantains, white rice, etc).

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on April 05, 2011
at 01:47 AM

Same here. Then on non lifting days I eat higher fat lower carb but still in big quantities. Cyclic low carb it's called usually. Just eat a lot and you'll gain no worries. Since November 1 I've gone from 158 to 174.5 lbs body weight today. I eat clean all the time, I just eat a lot. And those PWO pigouts help:)

0
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 04, 2011
at 08:28 PM

Well, the dilemma for me is that on the one hand I want to increase insulin sensitivity. On the other hand, I don't want to lose muscle mass and, in fact, want to gain some. I bulked up to 230 pounds and was at that weight until late last Summer. Now I am down to 200. I've only really been eating Paleo for a few weeks now. I will check out some of your suggestions which sound excellent. What I have decided to do for now is eat strict Paleo except for my Post-workout meals in which I will include starches and/or fruit. I workout three times per week, so that make three starch PWO meals. Other than that, I will eat meat, veggies, some butter/coconut oil/coconut milk and occasionally some low-glycemic fruit.

072fd69647b0e765bb4b11532569f16d

(3717)

on April 04, 2011
at 10:30 PM

I'm not an expert on bulking (or Paleo for that matter) but I don't think you will see many recommendations on here for the fruit, even PWO, mostly due to fructose intake and its impact on the liver instead of muscle function. Stick to the starches for your PWO carbs. I don't do real well with the tubers so go to squashes, pumpkin, etc. for a decent amount of variety.

Cab7e4ef73c5d7d7a77e1c3d7f5773a1

(7304)

on April 05, 2011
at 10:49 AM

Some fruit is probably ok, just don't have it as all of your pwo starch. Fructose can help muscles uptake of glycogen.

0
66e6b190e62fb3bcf42d4c60801c7bf6

on April 04, 2011
at 05:12 PM

when i felt i was dropping weight too quick(i.e. i didn't want to spend a ton of money on a new wardrobe halfway through winter), i started adding alot of starch in my diet in addition to my powerlifting protocol. this leveled out my weight loss- my waist continued to slowly get smaller though so i'm figuring i was losing fat while packing on muscle. now i'm in spring shreddown mode and have removed starches and the weight/fat loss has picked up significantly.

Answer Question


Get FREE instant access to our
Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!