| | Bulking Revisted

Author / John


I am starting on Jacked Street and want to hit the Power Athlete Bulk Protocol. I remember you did a write up on TTMJ about Bulking where you discussed how you would attack eating 6000 calories with meal timing plus trips and tricks. 

Anyway I can get you to reboot it for some motivation now that I am living on Jacked Street?

Jimmy N. 



That series was by far my favorite one posts on TTMJ, so for the revisit I am posting it on Power Athlete. Really there is nothing more that I love than talking putting on size and muscle. Problem is in today’s world, everyone just wants to be lean. They need to learn the ebb flow of atheistics – part of the year you put on size and the other you spend trying to strip off excess fat to show off all that new found muscle.

So here is your reboot.

1 – What to eat?
2 – How much to eat?
3 – When to eat?
4 – Tricks of the Trade

What to eat?

Protein is a vital part of the diet and will up the focal point of many meals. The bulk of our proteins are animal based, and we have a simple way to classify them.

“If it runs, swims or flies it is good to eat. If it has a mother, a face or soul then it is on the list.”

This will include meat, fish, fowl, seafood, eggs and dairy.

I always recommend these foods come from grass-fed, cage-free, wild caught sources. While we can argue health benefits, I believe in supporting locally raised food.

Eggs have long been since considered taboo and people have thought to regulate the consumption of eggs. If you have some form of autoimmune issues, then I would limit and avoid eggs as they can exasperate the condition.

Dairy needs to be separated into two parts: fresh and fermented. Fresh dairy refers to milk. And when I refer to milk, I mean whole milk. Milk is an amazing product as it is the sustenance a mother mammal feeds a baby mammal in the first period of its life.

Will drinking whole milk help you grow big and strong?


Fermented dairy refers to cheese, yogurt, kefir, Greek yogurt, sour cream and buttermilk. The fermentation process blunts the lactose and individuals who consume fermented dairy will not have the same insulin response as when drinking fresh dairy. Basically, getting the calories, protein and fat minus the big insulin spike. Another plus for fermented dairy is they contact probiotics that increase gut health.

Will eating full fat Greek yogurt and cheese help you grow big and strong?

Oh ya.

The carbohydrate is the misunderstood bastard child in today’s world. With the influx of low carbohydrate diets we have lost sight of consuming carbohydrates. While I do not eat a carb heavy diet by American standards, I do eat a decent amount of carbohydrates, as putting on the bulk will demand it.

The bulk of the carbohydrates recommended here are coming from roots, tubers, vegetables and fruit. Roots and tubers include carrots, radish, yucca, yams, sweet potato, turnips, garlic, onion and shallots and any exotic you can find at your local market.

What about rice and oats as a source of carbohydrates?

I can recommend gluten-free steel cut oats and simple white rice cooked in a rice steamer, as long as they are tolerated.

Leaving the best for last – Fat.  We need fat in our diet for a few reasons; first it allows us to stay satiated longer as fat takes longer to digest. Second, we need saturated fat for a healthy androgen profile. Third, we can consume more calories per ounce from fat than any other macronutrient. And if the name of the game is calories consumption, then fat is our best friend as the 9 calories per gram compared to 4 for carbohydrates and protein.

Which type of fats should I consume?

We should get all of our fats from saturated and monounsaturated fat sources.

How much to eat?

I am sure you listened to the Power Athlete Radio Episode #78 with Dr. Mauro DiPasquale. As I have stated before, I met Mauro in 1999 and he switched me on to the Anabolic Diet. He then wrote a diet prescription during my first off-season and this is where I saw some tremendous gains.


Looking back this was really the first time I followed a specific diet with foods and macros. In college, I was just trying eat a total amount of calories. who cares where they came from. But under Mauro’s supervision, I made some great gains in size and strength. Looking back, it was the addition of fat to the diet that resulted in some major changes.

Back in the day, I had gotten most of my diet cues from BB magazines and it was heavily weighted in protein. At the time I was eating 2+ grams of protein per pound of body weight, over 600 grams of protein a day. I was eating a ton of carbohydrates and was way too low in fat.

I was under the impression, if you ate fat, you got fat…right?


From Mauro’s direction, I realized mainstream America was wrong. The diet I was taking cues from was not about performance and was more geared for body builders with sub 7% body fat.

By eating a solid amount of protein and supplementing with fat, I was able to up my calories without much effort.

Here is an example of my 6k diet.

Meal 1 – 6 whole eggs (36 g Pro / 30 g Fat)
3 packets of GF Oatmeal (57 g Carbs)
1 Avocado (29 g Fat)


Meal 2 – Whey Protein Shake (50 grams Pro)
2 Scoops Vitargo (72 grams Carbs)

Meal 3 – 12 oz of canned white tuna (84 g Pro / 15 g Fat)
1 cups of Cooked Greens (33 calories)
2 cups of Steamed White Rice (90 g Carb)

Meal 4 – 10 oz of turkey (80 g Pro / 10 g Fat)
1 large potato (63 g Carb)
2 tablespoons Olive Oil (28 g Fat)

Meal 5 – 10 oz of cooked chicken breast (80 g Pro / 10 g Fat)
1 large potato (63 g Carb)
2 tablespoons Coconut Oil (28 g Fat)

Meal 6 – 16 oz Rib Eye Steak (112 g Pro / 96 g Fat)
2 cups of Cooked Kale (66 calories)
3 cups of Steamed White Rice (135 g Carb)

Meal 7 – Whey Protein Shake (60 grams Pro)

Protein – 502 Grams (2008 calories)
Carbs – 488 Grams (1953 calories)
Fat – 236 Grams (2124 calories)
= 6085 calories (33C/32P/35F)

When to eat?

If you want to eat 6-7 meals in a day, you are going to have to wake up early.

I plan my first meal and start spreading them out by 2-3 hours.

The only meal I avoided fat was the post workout meal. A shake of protein and carbs was consumed immediately after training with a meal of real food 90 minutes later.

My final meal came right before bed. I can eat and go right to sleep but many people struggle with eating before bed. But this is dependent on the person.


– Soft boil your eggs. They are easier to pack and the bioavailability of the nutrients in the egg are higher when cooked in the shell.

– Always slightly undercook red meat. Slightly over cook any poultry. Red meat should be eaten rare but at max medium rare.

– Drink coffee in the AM and green tea in the PM. I recommend consuming 1 oz of liquid per 2 pounds of body weight. Count the coffee and tea in this equation.

– Look for a whey protein lowest in ingredients; less crap to deal with.

– Buy a slow cooker and a pressure cooker. Eat has better nutrient quality when slow cooked compared to blasted on high heat.

– Always steam or lightly cook any plant material to make it easier digestible.

– Never use olive oil in high heat situations. Use saturated fats in high heat situations.

– Own and learn to use a rice steamer.

– Food preparation is the key. Never let yourself go hungry or things will go off the rails with 2 bags of tortilla chips consumed in 10 minutes and spend the rest of the day trying to make up your macros.

– Simple yellow mustard goes great on everything; literally, everything. I use it on eggs, rice, meat and veggies.

– Use sea salt or pink Himalayan Salt on meat and sparingly on the greens.


– Hot sauce makes everything taste better. And it is high in capsaicin which has been known to kill cancer cells. I put hot sauce on everything.


I have laid it easy – start with the right foods, figure the proper amounts, put some thought and timing into the each day’s meals and you will be able to pack on the muscle and size you are looking for.

Remember, part of being big and strong is the bulk.

Good luck on Jacked Street and keep me up to date on your progress.


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John Welbourn is CEO of Power Athlete and Fuse Move. He is also creator of the online training phenomena, Johnnie WOD. He is a 9 year veteran of the NFL. John was drafted with the 97th pick in 1999 NFL Draft and went on to be a starter for the Philadelphia Eagles from 1999-2003, appearing in 3 NFC Championship games, and for starter for the Kansas City Chiefs from 2004-2007. In 2008, he played with the New England Patriots until an injury ended his season early with him retiring in 2009. Over the course of his career, John has started over 100 games and has 10 play-off appearances. He was a four year lettermen while playing football at the University of California at Berkeley. He graduated with a bachelor's degree in Rhetoric in 1998. John has worked with the MLB, NFL, NHL, Olympic athletes and Military. He travels the world lecturing on performance and nutrition for Power Athlete. You can catch up with John as his personal blog on training, food and life, Talk To Me Johnnie and at Power Athlete.


  1. Pieter Ronaldson on November 29, 2016 at 11:42 am

    Awesome, plain and simple article, yet very useful!! Thanks.

  2. Steven Randall on November 29, 2016 at 1:22 pm

    Great info! #crushingstigmas

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