Getting bigger and stronger is a fantastic goal and can be a LOT of fun.
You know what’s not fun? Waking up to realize that of the 50 lbs you fought and sweat to put on 30 lbs of it is garbage weight. This is an absolute heartbreaker and can literally set you back a year of training and dieting.
On the flip side everyone knows a guy who has an awesome six pack but would look 10x better if he gained 10 or 20 pounds but is terrified of getting soft in the process.
How do you strike a balance between your weight gain aspirations and avoiding the pitfall of a Lee Priest style bulk? Staircase dieting is your answer!
Staircase dieting works much the same as a reverse diet, except it’s a blown up and accelerated version. With staircase dieting you push your weight up a predetermined amount (usually between 5 and 10 pounds), give yourself an adjustment period at your new weight and then repeat the process until you’ve reached your target.
So what makes staircase dieting so much better than the traditional bulk cycle?
Staircase dieting chunks-down your goal.
Want to save a million dollars? That’s a great goal but to get there first you’re going to need to save $1000, then $10,000 then $100,000… you get the idea. Staircase dieting allows you to cut down your goal into bite size pieces (get it?) and attack them one step at a time instead of staring down a seemingly impossible weight gain mountain.
Staircase dieting breaks up the suck.
Eating until you’re full is kind of fun. Eating again when you’re already full… that sucks. No matter how good your appetite is there is a point during any bulk where it’s just rough to keep eating all the time. With staircase dieting you get to break up your eating into periods of blast and cruise so that when it’s time to go hard you can go hard but you know that it won’t last forever.
It doesn’t allow you to get fat.
Imagine how horrible it would be waking up to discover your bulk went off the rails and you gained way more fat than you ever intended. Because of the check-points in staircase dieting you’ll never get too far off track before having to sit down, re-evaluate and (if necessary) correct the ship before it sinks.
No that you see all of the benefits of the staircase diet approach – how do you use it?
Staircase dieting is very simple. You’re going to run a series of mini-bulk cycles followed by mini-maintenance cycles where you allow your body to acclimatize to the new bodyweight. Here’s an example:
Say you currently weigh 190 pounds and would like to get to 225. You decide to chunk this down into the following staires:
*These would be great targets as the closer you get to your goal the smaller the jumps you want to make*
Let’s assume at 190 lbs you’re eating 2500 calories per day. To climb your first stair you slowly increase your calories to 2800, 3000 and then 3200 to finally get to 200 lbs. What you’ll find as you get to, and stay at, 200 lbs is that you can slowly lower these calories and stay at 200 lbs. If you take your time you might find that after 3-4 weeks you can maintain this new bodyweight with 2850 calories and aren’t noticing the weight so much in your day to day life.
Once you have this feeling it’s time to climb the next stair.
You’ll then repeat this process stair after stair until you reach your final target of 225.
This method definitely isn’t the fastest way to your goal weight but it IS the fastest way to get to your goal weight and be happy with it! With this method there’s no need to get to bulk up and have to cut back down so that you can feel and look good before trying to bulk back up again and this method also makes sure you don’t have to suffer unnecessarily on your weight gain journey.
The next time you decide to bulk up try this method. Take it step by step and you’ll be glad you did!