Vegan Bodybuilding & Fitness

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 Post subject: Bulking and Cutting
PostPosted: Sun Jan 29, 2006 12:31 pm 
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Elephant
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This thread is dedicated to bodybuilding diets.
Everyone can add their experience, tips, advice on how to gain muscle and/or lose bodyfat.
Later maybe i'll split the topic, but for now, let's have both in one.

Feel free to add your ideas. It's possible that you have different opinions on things, but please don't discuss in this thread. The purpose of this thread is to be a source of information on vegan BB diets.


For a start, here are my thoughts on BB diet.

Everyone who does BB wants to either build up mass or lose bodyfat, or both, preferably. There are many opinions around how to do it best.
Obviously, the exact plan depends on the individuals starting point. It makes a difference if you’re an advanced bodybuilder who wants to lose the last 10 lbs of fat before a competition, or if you’re a beginner who’s first goal is a loss of 60 lbs.



- The diet

In my opinion, bulking and cutting in BB are NOT that far apart as many seem to think. The principles for bulking training can be found in the "General Bodybuilding" sub board.
Of course, both, bulking and cutting, require to adjust your diet also, not only the workout.

For both goals, some general things apply.
- Don’t eat too much in one meal. Eating too much will prevent fast digestion, slow the metabolism and make you feel bloated and fat ;) The nutritients can be absorbed better if you only eat a small portion.
- Drink water. Everything else is not a drink, but food (except tea). Drink enough that your urine is clear, not dark.
- Fresh fruits and veggies!
- Whole grains are better than refined starches.
- Eat as much organic as you can afford. It’s not only better for your body, as it contains less chemicals, it also supports more environmental friendly ways of agriculturing.
- Enjoy every meal.
- Listen to your body! Never eat “when you must”, or don’t eat when you’re hungry.
- Try to eat as few as possible of the following: processed, industrial, pre-made food, especially those containing: artificial flavour, artificial sweetener, artificial color, preservatives, hydrogenated fat, modified starch, flavour enhancer (sodium glutamat), and so on.


Bulking diet:

I do NOT believe that you can only build muscle when you’re on a high calorie diet, i mean, taking in more calories than you need. Of course this will lead to weight gains, but who wants to gain fat?
I know that you can build muscle without taking in so much calories. The keys are proper amount of protein, rest and an intelligent workout. If your program is specifically desigend for it, you can even burn fat and at the same time build muscle. There are limitations to this, though. An intense program like that shouldn’t be followed over a long time.
Beginners usually do automatically lose fat AND gain muscle. That is possible for advanced athletes also, it’s only more difficult.
So my advice if your primary goal is to gain muscle is to eat enough protein but don’t exaggerate with the calories and watch your bodyfat. It will be hard to lose again and by doing so, you’ll probably lose some of the hard earned muscles, too!
When you’re the skinny, hard-gainer type, eat whatever you find and try to make it protein-rich foods. Don’t worry about getting fat, the intense workout will prevent that.
If you’re on the other hand someone who easily gains weight, don’t worry about having to eat much in order to gain muscle. The key to muscle growth is the workout! Watch the simple carbs, though.

When i say “proper amount of protein” i do NOT mean the often recommended 1-2 gram per pound of bodyweight. I think that much is not necessary, not for natural athletes. For vegans it’d be especially hard to get that much anyway.
I think around 1 g per kilogram of bodyweight is a good aim for most of us. If you aim a little higher, it won’t hurt. I don’t recommend to count and calculate too much on a daily basis. Better estimate your numbers (protein, fat, calories). While bulking, you shouldn’t restrict yourself too much. Eat healthy food, and listen to what your body says, it knows how much is enough!

Another point is that you don’t need to - rather: should not – eat the same amount of protein and calories every day! It’s perfectly okay if one day you only manage to get 80g of protein and the next two you’re around 130! The body adjusts not only to work out, it also adjusts to calorie and protein intake. An excessive protein intake over a long time can actually weaken your performance. Give your body a break now and then from forced protein/calory intake!


Cutting diet:

Again, it strongly depends on the individual.
What is different here from the bulking diet, which we (as bodybuilders) eat most of the time?
Mainly, the amount of calories ;) Surprise! :D

When you start a cutting cycle, decrease the calories slowly. First, cut out all the crap you usually eat sometimes, which is okay when you’re bulking, but now you’re not, remember that!
Cut out all sugar, except fruits, first. No sweets, no cakes, no cookies. After a while, cut the white flour stuff, too: pasta and bread.
If you want to, or have to, lose quite a large amount of fat, slowly decrease your calories by decreasing the amount of carbs and fat you eat. That really depends on your normal diet – i only decrease the carbs, for i always eat low fat. Do not decrease the protein! It’s not so easy to keep the protein high and get the fat low, though.
Eat lots of veggies, replace the carb-loaded foods by them. Salads and veggies replace pasta, potatoes and rice. Don’t go too low with the carbs, though, they’re still your fuel.

Later in the day, reduce the carbs. Eat your carbs early, and don’’t eat them in the evening or at night. That’s the time for salads, veggies and protein.

I recommend doing a “refeed day” once per week. That means, one day per week you are allowed to eat anything that, and as much as you want.
This day will prevent your metabolism switching to hibernation mode.

When cutting, the same golden rule as for bulking applies: BE PATIENT!
When you cut down your calories etc, too fast, you’ll lose too much muscle in the process. Not a good exchange in the long run.

Another point that comes to my mind: don’t use “light” products! They are usually unhealthy, processed, artificial, industrial “food”, designed to copy a special taste without delivering the calories. Therefore, they contain lots of artificial substances, such as sweeteners. Beside that these substances are unnatural and unhealthy, artificial sweeteners actually can make you GAIN weight! They work as appetizers, not a good thing on your diet!

Don’t weigh yourself every day and get excited about the outcome. Once or twice a week is better, always on the same day and time, under the same circumstances (in the morning, before breakfast, after toilet, naked). If you’re mentally strong enough ;) to deal with the fluctuations, you can weigh yourself everyday and make a cross in a system of coordinates. Then, every three days take the average and make a cross in a different color. Draw a line between crosses of the same color. It’s a way to make your way visible.


- Cutting program

In order to lose fat and at the same time maintain your muscles, you have to lift heavy. That means, do NOT go for high reps in order to burn more calories, but stick with the heavy weights.
In general, i wouldn’t recommend that you try to increase the weights during your cutting cycle. Take a heavy weight and try to increase the number of reps instead (say, starting with 5 reps). If you’re making good process (which i doubt, when you’re on a calory-rectricted diet ;) ), it’s okay to increase the weight, though (when you reach 12 reps).

In general, the same principles as for bulking cycles apply, with the following differences:

- Work out more often. Heavy weights with a reasonable volume every day burn lots of calories and at the same time increase your metabolism. Moreover, it will prevent losing your muscles.

- Obviously you can’t simply work out more often without changing anything else. Go for a slightly lower intensity (no muscle failure!) and a slightly higher volume.

- Add some cardio. Cardio training is a great way to burn some calories more. I recommend to do that in the morning, just after getting up. Kick your ass out of the bed an hour early and burn some before breakfast.
Important is that that you don’t do the weights and the cardio in one session! Never! If you don't have time in the day for two separate workouts, then choose either cardio or weights, and only do one workout, rather than combine them into one workout.

That’s all.
Yes, it IS that simple. It’s still the same exercises. ;)
Forget the high rep bla bla – muscle growth is induced by heavy weights, and that is especially important on a cutting diet!!

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Last edited by Daywalker on Wed Feb 01, 2006 8:29 am, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Bulking and Cutting
PostPosted: Sun Jan 29, 2006 3:35 pm 
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Stegosaurus

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Daywalker wrote:

I do NOT believe that you can only build muscle when you’re on a high calorie diet, i mean, taking in more calories than you need. Of course this will lead to weight gains, but who wants to gain fat?
I know that you can build muscle without taking in so much calories. The keys are proper amount of protein, rest and an intelligent workout. If your program is specifically desigend for it, you can even burn fat and at the same time build muscle.


Amen to this Alex! I cant tell you how many times I hear (sometimes from people on this board) that "you cant lose body fat and build lean muscle at the same time. That this is "impossible." " :roll: :roll:

Newsflash to people who believe that: You're wrong!!!!!!!!!

Yes, you CAN lose fat and build muscle mass at the same time. I personally know people who have done it, and yes, it is backed up by science as well. So there is both scientific and empirical evidence for it.

So I have no idea why people think they need to put bulk up and thereby put on fat, in order to build muscle, and how this is the only way to put on muscle. Non-sense!!!

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 Post subject: Re: Bulking and Cutting
PostPosted: Sun Jan 29, 2006 3:45 pm 
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Stegosaurus

Joined: Wed Dec 31, 1969 7:00 pm
Posts: 3110
see blue.

Daywalker wrote:
- I recommend to do that in the morning, just after getting up.

100% agree with you again. In other words, cardio is NOT for pussies as some people seem to think. It is a vital part of any "getting cut" program. Also, doing cardio on an empty stomach first thing in the morning, like you suggest, I find works best. Waiting about 30-45 minutes or so after your workout to have your post-workout meal/supplement also is very effective based on my own personal experience and things I have read.

Important is that you don’t do the weights and the cardio in one session! Never! If you don’t have enough time for both, then choose one.

Hmm.... there seems to be an inconsistency in this statement above so maybe there is a typo? Anyway, I dont agree that you should "never" do cardio and weights on the same day. IN fact, I think that a good weight lifting FOLLOWED BY a good 20 minute cardio session is very effective in losing fat and retaining lean muscle. The trick, in my opinion, is not to avoid cardio and weights in the same workout, but rather make sure you arent in the gym for too long. In my opinion, excessively long workouts (whether all cardio, all weights, or both) are the problem - i.e. counterproductive to the goal of losing weight and retaining lean muscle.

And if one does do cardio and weights in the same workout, always do weights first, and your cardio session after the weights.



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People reviled today for their activism will be tomorrow's angels, and people respected today for their power will be tomorrow's demons. History will absolve us and condemn them. ~ Paul Watson


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 01, 2006 8:26 pm 
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Elephant
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genious. i agree with you alex


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 01, 2006 10:30 pm 
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Elephant

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Hey alex why do you recommend to do only weights or cardio when cutting? I am weight training each day then do 20 mins of cardio which isn't that intense. Is it okay to keep doing this or should I stop?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 03, 2006 4:52 pm 
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Elephant
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Location: Vegan Strength Cult, German HQ
CollegeB wrote:
Hey alex why do you recommend to do only weights or cardio when cutting?

Sorry if i wasn't clear enough on this point.

I only say it's best to do cardio and weights in different sessions.
It depends on the individual metabolism how much cardio is necessary, if at all.

Quote:
I am weight training each day then do 20 mins of cardio which isn't that intense. Is it okay to keep doing this or should I stop?

I think it's okay, but don't see the benefit of the 20min low intensity cardio (in regard to muscle building and fat burning). Of course it is good for your heart, health and fitness.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Apr 13, 2006 11:02 am 
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Rabbit
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Daywalker wrote:
CollegeB wrote:
Hey alex why do you recommend to do only weights or cardio when cutting?

Sorry if i wasn't clear enough on this point.

I only say it's best to do cardio and weights in different sessions.
It depends on the individual metabolism how much cardio is necessary, if at all.

Quote:
I am weight training each day then do 20 mins of cardio which isn't that intense. Is it okay to keep doing this or should I stop?

I think it's okay, but don't see the benefit of the 20min low intensity cardio (in regard to muscle building and fat burning). Of course it is good for your heart, health and fitness.


I have found that it works well for me to do cardio on days off also, it keeps my intensity of lifting by not doing cardio the same day. I have a question, I always read and thought that it was actually better to do cardio prior to lifting if you do both on the same day. The reason being that you can burn more fat before the lactic acid builds up in your muscles will which then make your body tap into its glycogen levels. Then I read a few articles recently stating that if you do cardio on lifting days do it after lifting because then your glycogen level will be depleted and your body will have to tap into stored fat. Opinions?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jul 10, 2006 11:30 am 
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Finch

Joined: Mon Jul 10, 2006 8:27 am
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Sean wrote:
Daywalker wrote:
CollegeB wrote:
Hey alex why do you recommend to do only weights or cardio when cutting?

Sorry if i wasn't clear enough on this point.

I only say it's best to do cardio and weights in different sessions.
It depends on the individual metabolism how much cardio is necessary, if at all.

Quote:
I am weight training each day then do 20 mins of cardio which isn't that intense. Is it okay to keep doing this or should I stop?

I think it's okay, but don't see the benefit of the 20min low intensity cardio (in regard to muscle building and fat burning). Of course it is good for your heart, health and fitness.


I have found that it works well for me to do cardio on days off also, it keeps my intensity of lifting by not doing cardio the same day. I have a question, I always read and thought that it was actually better to do cardio prior to lifting if you do both on the same day. The reason being that you can burn more fat before the lactic acid builds up in your muscles will which then make your body tap into its glycogen levels. Then I read a few articles recently stating that if you do cardio on lifting days do it after lifting because then your glycogen level will be depleted and your body will have to tap into stored fat. Opinions?


Do both? I split my cardio in 1/2 to do before as a way to warm up my body in the morning, then I do it afterwards as a cooldown, and a way to continue burning calories and slow down the intensity.


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 Post subject: Fat
PostPosted: Wed Jul 12, 2006 8:03 pm 
For cutting fat what worked best for me was timing my post workout meal. If you want to recover well and replenish you should eat within an hour after a workout, otherwise your body will eat itself to repair itself...I would wait two hours after my rides and that seemed to work for quite a while...now I'm just contemplating if my extra mass is skin or fat :cry:


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 21, 2006 12:37 pm 
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Manatee
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Daywalker wrote:
I think it's okay, but don't see the benefit of the 20min low intensity cardio (in regard to muscle building and fat burning). Of course it is good for your heart, health and fitness.


The benefit is that fat only burns on low intensity, because oxygen is needed to burn fat. With (too) high intensity you are missing the oxygen and no fat will be burnt.


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 Post subject: Nobbi
PostPosted: Fri Jul 21, 2006 2:07 pm 
Your right...I've been burning fat for a long time but only on my long easy rides when my heart rate tops out at 130 or so...after that its all carbos when my HR goes higher. Now that I'm lower in weight my heart doesn't need to pump as quick since I have so much less muscle so I should probably be riding with a peak of 120 but I'm running out of fat and its way to boring to ride that slow.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jul 24, 2006 4:21 pm 
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Elephant
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nobbi wrote:
Daywalker wrote:
I think it's okay, but don't see the benefit of the 20min low intensity cardio (in regard to muscle building and fat burning). Of course it is good for your heart, health and fitness.


The benefit is that fat only burns on low intensity, because oxygen is needed to burn fat.

Maybe we should define "low intensity".
It's not true that low intensity is required to burn fat. It's true, however, that the percentage of fat used as an energy source is the higher the lower the intensity is. BUT the total fat burned is not higher.

Quote:
With (too) high intensity you are missing the oxygen and no fat will be burnt.

The intensity must be VERY high to prevent fat from being used as an energy source, you can't keep this sort of intensity up for 20 minutes.
Moreover, this kind of intensity (which would be a sprint training), would increase your metabolism and burn a lot of calories after the actual workout.

It's a myth that fat is only burnt with low intensity.

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 Post subject: fat
PostPosted: Mon Jul 24, 2006 7:47 pm 
Fat is definately burned at all intensities...even sitting on your ass...its just that you don't burn fat until after your carbos are gone if your at high intensity


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 01, 2006 6:35 pm 
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I agree with the above because recently I have personally cut fat and gained lean muscle mass.

I dropped 9lbs of fat and gained 7lbs of muscle at the same time. I think this was over about 4 months. Basically during that time I went vegan, really upped the greens in my diet, and also lifted weights 3-4 times a week. I have done sporadic cardio and am getting more consistant.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 28, 2006 6:42 pm 
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I have found that a glass of juice (prime the pump. can't run on empty - althought it feels better to have an empty stomach, but my body has been fasting for more than eight hours) in the morning before my jog keeps my metabolism up.

I still do a low intensity jog on the treadmill (now that it is below 40 degrees outside. Ugh!) for 20 minutes only since I am in my bulking up phase. I also experiemented by stopping cardio in order to save more energy for recuperating since I am upping the weights for lifting. But I felt more tired and sore, and not springing backas fast. I went back to jogging every other day (I do yoga on the other days) and feel better. I guess my body needs to get the blood moving in the morning to clear out the toxins (from lifting heavy) and get my brain pumped for the afternoon workout.

I am also going to up my greens (spirulina, chlorella, or any other green algae superfood) and see if that helps in my recovery time as oregonisaac advised (if that is what greens you meant. I already do kale, mustard greens, baby green salads, and green vegetables that are not leafy. Green superfoods have mostly protein instead of carbs, plus all the antioxidants and other nutritients needed by the body).


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