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Vegan for 14 months, trying to bulk up properly


blabbate
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Hey everyone! Brand new to this forum and looking for some tips.

 

A little background. I'm 29 y/o and went vegan and low-fat 14 months ago for health reasons. So far, things have gone wonderfully. My weight has gone from 280 down to 175, body fat from 30+% to 9.5%, and cholesterol from 255 down to 135. So I'm a true believer in vegan health.

 

However, I've been trying to gain muscle for the past 6+ months and haven't had a huge amount of success, probably because I'm so afraid of gaining fat.

 

Anyway, I'll probably be asking for help in the Diet/Health forum or maybe Bodybuilding/Strength Training. If those aren't the right places, please let me know! In the meantime, I'll be reading through the threads to see if my questions have been answered!

 

Thanks, Bruce

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Welcome, bruce!

 

It seems like it's really easy for you to burn fat (since you lost so much weight so fast! Congratulations!!!). If you want to gain muscle, check a couple of things:

 

1. Resistance training. 3-4 sets per move and 5-10 reps per set should be ok for a beginner. You can start with full body workout 3 times a week and you should be fine.

2. Eat enough protein and otherwise check that you eat a bit more calories than you consume. Also, remember to get carbs and protein right after workout, preferably in liquid form.

3. Rest. If you sleep enough you'll grow well.

 

Good luck with gains!

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Hey there.

 

Firstly, Congrats on all the weight you have lost.

 

The key to gaining muscle is getting enough quality protein, & I am afraid to say, eating lots of calories! Eat more than you are, & keep lifting weights, making sure you force yourself to lift heavier weights each week/2 weeks.

 

If you find you are eating too much & are gaining fat, as well as muscle, do some cardio like running or swimming to trim down the fat.

 

Feel free to ask questions away, most people on here will try to help where possible.

 

Good luck!

 

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The key to gaining muscle is getting enough quality protein, & I am afraid to say, eating lots of calories! Eat more than you are, & keep lifting weights, making sure you force yourself to lift heavier weights each week/2 weeks.

 

Thanks! I think I asked this question somewhere else in the forums, so I apologize if it's a repeat, but what's generally considered the best quality protein? I'm using almost exclusively soy protein at this point, and I don't know if it's the right way to go.

 

If you find you are eating too much & are gaining fat, as well as muscle, do some cardio like running or swimming to trim down the fat.

 

Any worries about this interfering with the muscle gain? Would HIIT be better than plain aerobics? Or do I just have to resign myself to gaining muscle a bit more slowly if I really want to keep all the fat off? Looks like I need to invest in a very accurate scale, too.

 

Thanks for all the help and encouragement!

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I think soya is good but I have recently become intolerant to it, so I have replaced it with pea protein & hemp protein.Troy, has success using just gemma (pea protein) so there are some options for you.

 

As far as gaining fat, yeah I think if you wanna not gain any fat you may sacrifice a little muscle growth.

 

I am at the moment gaining muscle & a tiny bit of belly fat which I will zap off when it gets too much, at the moment though its minimal so I must be using most of my daily calorie intake.Its finding your bodies balance, so try experimenting mate.

 

I have to eat over 3000 calories a day to gain anything, but others on here need less, some more.I do no cardio but some have to.Its a bit of a personal balance to strike

 

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Sounds reasonable enough. I may try to find some Gemma or hemp just to mix it up. I'm not sure what my amino acid profile looks like right now, but I'm starting to keep a food diary to monitor caloric intake, so I can figure it out from there.

 

From what I've seen around the forums, it's best just to accept a little bit of fat gain in exchange for much more muscle, then, as you said, zap it off when it gets to be too much. And it should be easier with more muscle, right?

 

I'm a little concerned about monitoring the bulking from a logistical standpoint. I don't trust isolated weight or bf measurements from a scale, so I guess I'll be doing a lot of averaging and watching my abs.

 

Thanks!

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Yeah my scales at home are a bit untrustworthy, I think your best bet is electronic ones (mine are just old balance weight ones)

 

I find the mirror is the best scale

 

Also I always find that every time I lift more weights, my body weight goes up also.So if you are gaining strength, you will guaranteed to be gaining weight too.

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Yeah my scales at home are a bit untrustworthy, I think your best bet is electronic ones (mine are just old balance weight ones)

 

We have two electronic ones at home (a Taylor BF and a Health-O-Meter) and I think they're fairly accurate, but there's still the question of when to weigh myself and how often in order to determine how much bulk I've really added. I'll probably take a bunch of readings and graph or average them over time.

 

Also I always find that every time I lift more weights, my body weight goes up also.So if you are gaining strength, you will guaranteed to be gaining weight too.

 

Since I'm currently not gaining strength and not gaining weight, that makes sense to me.

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