Muscle Up - The Primal Diet Mass-Building Experiment: Week 1, "Beefcake"

Image Copyright South Park Digital Studios LLC

Can you add muscle without getting fat?  What does a Primal “bulking” regiment look like?  Am I just big-boned?  These are the questions that I intend to answer over the next two months with "Muscle-Up: The Primal Diet Mass-Building Experiment".  

Besides health, my initial decision to go Paleo was motivated by a desire to loose the ring of pudge that was slowly forming around my midsection.  Chronic cardio combined with a “healthy” diet of whole grain breads, oatmeal, hummus, etc. had backed me into a corner that seemed inescapable.  Little did I know at the time that liberation from lectins, phytates, and other NADs (Neolithic Agents of Disease) would be so effective.

Thanks to a strict Paleo regiment (see Caveman Me), my body-fat dropped to the single digits (5.5-9% based on Skindex and BEI respectively) and I was happy to see that the elusive six pack was making an appearance.  But, as the saying goes, “There is no such thing as free abs,” and my newly revealed rectus abdominis came at the cost of looking a little “gaunt”.

While I have happily continued with a more relaxed version of Paleo (more akin to Mark Sisson’s Primal Blueprint regiment) and have gained about 5lbs since hitting a low of 176, I have decided that it’s Beefcake time. 

May the Grok be with me.


The Goal:

190lbs with no more than 10% bodyfat

The plan:


Maximal Central Nervous System Stimulation

Olympic Lifting (Deadlift, Squat, Clean & Jerk) 1x per week
Sprinting 1x per week (Approximately 10 sprints working up to maximal effort)
Barefoot Agility and/or Kettlebell throws in Sand Pit (Approximately 5min) 1x per week

Functional Exercise

Boxing practice 30min 3x per week
Yoga or Tai Chi practice 60min 2x per week
Weighted Dips/Pull-up/Push-ups 1x per week

Low Intensity Incidental and Work-Related Activities

Teaching Fitness Classes 60min 5x per week
Easy bike rides, walking, swimming around in pool 3x per week


Non-starchy vegetables

Nuts (macadamia, coconut, walnut)
Oils (EVOO, avocado, & coconut)
Added animal fats (butter, lard, cheese, & sour cream)

Starchy vegetables
low-glycemic fruits


8-9 hours per night


20-30gms 100% Whey Protein Powder (Jarrow Brand Unflavored) 1x per day post-workout
5gms BCAA 2x per day (upon waking and pre-workout)
5gms glutamine 2x per day (upon waking and pre-workout)
5,000 iu Vitamin D 1x per day
3,000 mg Omega-3 fish oil 1x per day 

(Please share your advice, suggestions, and questions in the Comments section below)

Share on Google Plus

About Unknown

Tony is the host of the Paleo Magazine Radio podcast, author of "Paleo Grilling: A Modern Caveman's Guide to Cooking with Fire", and Cofounder of Powerful PT, an innovative information resource for Fitness Professionals. He has appeared on numerous local and national television and radio broadcasts and regularly hosts healthy cooking workshops and informational lectures. He is also a full-time Personal Trainer and Wellness Consultant who lives in Jacksonville Florida with his wife Jamie.
    Blogger Comment
    Facebook Comment


  1. If you want to bulk have to do the body building routines too....I think I am hearing that's what your looking for..Olympic lifting will get you strong..and big legs and big bubble butt..the other disciplines will rip you...but to actually increase muscle have to encourage separate muscles to grow...lifting and throwing and warrior arts makes your entire body strong..but do not actually isolate muscles and encourage them to grow...PUMP EM UP brother! Add some of the separate routines to your efforts..

  2. Hmmm...maybe some barbell bicep curls, bent rows, DB pull-overs, tricep push-downs, and bench presing (from the floor to save the shoulders)are in order.