Forgotten Bulking Ideas of the Past

TAGS: tuna, quick meals, peanut butter, PB&J, milk, honey, gain, banana, bagels, Kentucky Strong, protein, Chase Karnes, size

Back in high school when I started lifting, my goal was to get as big and strong as humanly possible. Standing 5’9” and 135 pounds meant I had a long way to go, though—and a lot of eating to do. A lot of what I ate to pack on size while I was in high school is now taboo and not trendy to eat.

Heaven forbid someone eat anything that contains gluten, wheat, dairy, bread, or pasta, because that stuff will kill you. Just like eggs are bad for your cholesterol….oh, wait. They changed their minds on that, didn’t they? In all seriousness, I get a lot of emails from guys asking what they should eat to get jacked. Sadly, most of the time they also mention they don’t eat any of the things listed above. Why? Because that’s what they are told. Gluten is bad. Wheat is bad. Dairy is bad. Bread is bad. Pasta is bad. This is all bullshit.

Now, before I get called a hypocrite, I will say that I don’t eat a ton of gluten, wheat, dairy, bread, pasta or milk. I’ve been training for 15 years and I’m not trying to pack on maximum size anymore. When I do go into a gaining phase, I keep things cleaner. I’m an advanced lifter, not a beginner or intermediate who’s looking to pack on some serious size. I also have weight class restrictions that keep me in check. Most of my meals now consist of grass-fed beef, all-natural chicken, venison, bison, bacon, eggs, white rice, potatoes, blue cheese, grass-fed butter, olive oil, coconut oil and vegetables. That being said, I still love to kill some pizza, burgers, sushi, and pasta.

I’ve gone from 135 pounds to 220 at the highest and I’m sitting at 198 at the moment. When you are trying to maximize your caloric intake, sometimes you just have to eat some food that others won't touch. For the record, I did eat some gluten last month and I’m still alive.

So, I’m going to take you back to some of the bulking ideas I have used and had success with. 

Wake And Shake

This is just what it sounds like. Wake up and slam a protein shake. I’d typically throw two scoops of cheap bagged whey protein in 16 oz. of milk. This wasn’t breakfast either. I’d wake up, slam the shake and then start cooking breakfast. I’d then eat breakfast once it was done and begin my day. This alone starts the day off with 445 calories, 64g protein, 26g carbs and 10g fat before you’ve even eaten breakfast.

Peanut Butter and Jelly on White Bread

This was a staple of mine for years. Who doesn’t like peanut butter and jelly? Best of all, I could make two of these and throw them in my backpack and take to school with me. I’d eat these mid-morning between classes. What I love about the good ole PB&J sandwiches is that they taste great, are full of calories, are easy to transport, and don’t have to be refrigerated. Two sandwiches boasts 412 calories, 12g protein, 57g carbs and 18g fat. Throw in a big glass of milk and you’ve added another 245 calories, 16g protein, 23g carbs and 10g fat.

Bagels, Peanut Butter, Banana and Honey

What’s easier than throwing a bag of bagels, jar of peanut butter, honey and a few bananas in a bag? None of this has to be refrigerated either and is an easy way to down some serious calories. Again, this combo tastes great. Split the bagel in half, spread the peanut butter, cut up the banana and place on top of the peanut butter, then drizzle with honey. One of these alone will help you bring in an extra 646 calories, 20g protein, 107g carbs and 18g fat. Simple and effective.

Tuna and Egg Patties

This may sound a little gross at first, but I promise you that if you give this a try, you’ll be pleasantly surprised in how good it really does taste. What I love about these is you can pre-cook a bunch of these patties and take them with you on the go in Tupperware. They taste great hot or cold. Mix two eggs with a 2.6 ounce packet of tuna. Coat a small skillet with olive oil and pre-heat to medium. Pour the mixture onto the heated skillet and cook for 2-3 minutes. Flip and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Eat hot or cold. I love throwing some ketchup or hot sauce on them along with salt and pepper, to taste. Eating three of these bad boys brings in a whopping 836 calories, 89g protein, 8g carbs and 47g fat. They are so simple to cook that any meathead can figure it out.

Milk with Every Meal

I easily killed a gallon of two percent milk each day in high school by drinking 16-20 ounces with each meal. If any was left, I’d down the rest before bed. It’s not very filling and drinking a gallon of two percent milk only adds in an extra 1920 calories, 128g protein, 192g carbs and 80g fat.

If you want to be a hip trendsetter and eat only organic gluten-free food, then by all means go right ahead. I won’t say you can’t get jacked eating this way, but for the average Joe who wants to get jacked, he’d be better off saying f^$k that and getting in some of the taboo foods above. I’ll also leave you with this: don’t eat yourself into a fat slob (unless that’s your goal), but putting on serious size takes a lot of calories, hard training, consistency and time. You may lose those precious abs for a few months, but that’s okay. You can find them again—trust me.

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