Body building with Huel and - any additional supplements? Training recommendations?

Hi folks - happy huel user here for the last 18months, completely vegan, active, regular gym user, ran a half marathon a few weeks back, 39.

2.03M, 112KG - would like to be 105KG with significant change of fat to muscle.

I’m trying to both lose weight and bulk up on muscle in preparation for a tough mudder in September 2017.

Food wise I eat 150g of huel at a time, normally for breakfast and lunch, sometimes also for dinner. I burn an average of 2,900 calories a day (verified, Apple watch monitors everything I do). So thats 1,885 C of Huel, more if I end up with dinner not Huel.

Specific question - what should I be eating as well as Huel to both lose weight and support muscle building?

If anyone can also recommend any 5 day work out regimes to specifically build muscle, whilst losing fat under these circumstances I’d appreciate it!

Tetsugaku I should be able to give you some sound advice on this seeing as I’ve completed 10 tough mudders over an 18 month period (see Riversidemonkey on instagram for my account which is currently dormant while I take a break from social media)

So first I’ll start with the Tough Mudder Training:

Running is important because of the mileage however if you can peel out a reasonable 10km run then you’ll be in decent shape to take this on as it’s broken up nicely due to the obstacles. However seeing that you’ve just run a half marathon you’re well qualified on this part so I’d just emphasize that Hill and Mud training are of the upmost importance. In my peak condition I was able to complete a 8km mud trail which had some very steep climbs in around 45 minutes and this put me in a strong position. For me tough mudder was about having a laugh, helping people through the difficult parts and completing it as a team, so the time of completion didn’t bother me that much but I guess it depends what you’re going there for. My fastest tough mudder was completed in 1:40 when I had to run it on my own, my slowest tough mudder was run in 4 hours 30 minutes because a friend of mine was struggling with a bad knee.

Now the running is important because you don’t want to be cramping or struggling really, but the strength part is equally as important. You’ll want to be able to perform 20+ wide grip pull ups to help with a vast array of the obstacles and a decent core should go hand in hand with the amount of running you’ve been doing. Back, arms and Legs were the upmost used muscles in the events but strength overall is a big help.

so onto and advised training plan; I’ve said it on here before and I’ll say it again that overtraining (google Mike Rashid) is the ultimate training plan/style to build lean muscle mass while burning fat. It also will work perfectly for an obstacle racer because you will have to put yourself into a state of complete exhaustion in your training which is what you may find at the event. If you put the graft into your training then the event will be a doddle and you’ll enjoy more than you could imagine.

Now with Overtraining, while you won’t be lifting your heaviest throughout, you don’t want to be doing it for more than 8 weeks at a time. From experience the body copes too well with it after this time so I would complete 6 week cycles of overtraining, week off, 6 weeks of specific muscle training each day and to lift heavy, week off then back to overtraining.

finally I’d suggest loading in some more BCAA’s into your regime to help with recovery and muscle support while you’re overtraining, and if you do decide to give this a go then just put up with the pain for the first week and you’ll be so pleased you did. I can advise my typical training plan used in overtraining which you could use as a basis if you’re interest?

Where abouts in the world are you and if it’s UK which event are you doing in September.

Thanks for all that Dave - much appreciated!

So I’m doing the 23rd September, Crawley? We have a team of 4, I’ll likely be the strongest as I’m starting from being half marathon fit.

Running - I’m doing 1k warm ups before training sessions in the gym 4 times a week and 30m runs on wednesdays / stretch / shower / back to work.

Workouts - following the 1k runs, I’m doing 4 sessions a week for about 40m at the moment, mixture of fixed and free weights and strength workouts from an excellent Nike Fitness app. Definitely not at a single pull up just yet but I can do pull downs at 70+KG.

Overtraining / Mike Rashid - ok I’ll look that up - any specific resources or just google lots of it and keep reading?

BCAA’s - never heard of them. Although I should have said I’m taking creatine 8g a day at the moment (mixed into Huel!). Something to add on top?

Typical training plan - more than interested, yes please. Sounds like you’re much more in the place I want to be so would be great to see.

Huge thanks again!

I would say BCAA supplements are pointless. They (most probably) don’t have any effect at all. Make sure you get enough protein over all and you’ll be fine. If needed, whey protein is a much more priceworthy supplement.

Despite the popularity of BCAA supplements we find shockingly little evidence for their efficacy in promoting MPS or lean mass gains and would advise the use of intact proteins as opposed to a purified combination of BCAA that appear to antagonize each other in terms of transport both into circulation and likely in to the muscle (Churchward-Venne et al., 2014).


I don’t see why you’d want to take BCAA’s. Huel’s already really high in protein, wouldn’t that already provide more than enough of each amino acid?

Imo, apart from creatine and beta-alanine, it’s not worth adding anything else.

1 Like

Would need to be vegan :slight_smile:

Well I have no idea that’s the point really. I’m more than happy to take anything that works and doesn’t have any bad side effects. Costs not a problem.

Then Huel will be fine for you. Edit: Maybe – MAYBE – add some plant based protein. It won’t make much difference since Huel is already high in protein, but it won’t hurt.

But I’m dramatically cutting calories which means my protein is reduced a lot as well - surely that needs addressing?

How many calories are you consuming daily?

If you are cutting calories you need to keep your protein high to avoid muscle loss. It’s carbs (mostly) and fat which you want to reduce.

see the original post for full numbers :slight_smile:

If I’m sticking to mainly huel - how do I do that though?

Seems like a very drastic cut…are you sure you’re going to be able to keep that up? Why not go for a deficit of 500 or so calories?

You could substitute some Huel for a protein powder if you wanted to up your protein intake - though with 2,000 calories from Huel, you’d be getting 150g of protein. Wouldn’t that be plenty, even for a cutting phase?

Mainly because I’m twice the size of most people so I worked it out as a percentage of daily burn rather than an arbitrary 500 - the non huel days are pretty up and down, often I’m bloody ravenous and eat anything I can find in the fridge! This is worked out on a 35% deficit.

I have literally no idea what I should or could be having for total protein so I don’t know the best way to add protein powder to the daily intake, or if it’s needed.

But I’m here for ideas, I’m not stuck on anything I’m doing now, more than happy to change things completely.

1 Like

I would aim for 0.82g of protein per lb of bodyweight, so in your case 203g of protein a day. This equates to 812kcals of protein a day, so make up the rest of your target calorie intake with carbs and fat.

You won’t be able to do this on Huel alone because of the carb/protein/fat ratio of it, so you’ll have to use some Huel mixed with a protein powder for instance (which is what I’m doing - 75g of Huel with 25g of vegan protein powder).

Just a suggestion though!


That should do you for a start for overtraining. Ignore the BS about BCAA’s being pointless and try them yourself, you’ll notice the difference. Try a week or two overtraining then continue but use BCAA’s and just watch your recovery time speed up.

Creative is a decent too, but cycle for 6 months and after you have loaded with 8g per day make sure you drop to 5g per day. Lots of discussion of whether to take pre or post workout but having done both I would always take mine straight after a workout. Plenty of water and you’ll be sweet.

If you do go for overtraining and give it your all then you’ll burn loads of calories so I’d look at your calorie intake each week by monitoring your weight. Don’t be afraid of carbs just at the right ratio and if your gym has body fat scales use them to monitor how you’re doing.

By building lean muscle mass you’ll increase your BMR and you’ll turn your body into a fat burning furnace.

Holmbush estate is a new location so no inside information I’m afraid but just make sure you do some running in the woods and you’ll be sweet.

Good luck mate and let me know how you’re getting on with overtraining, it’ll be tough to start with but it’s the best way I promise

Congrats on your 525 lbs squat by the way. Maybe I’ll give those BCAA:s a shot after all.

I stopped buying BCAA’s, partly because of this (and other articles):

1 Like

That’s not my PB that’s Mike Rashids suggestion from his training plan.

You should scale it down to your own abilities :slight_smile:

However I can squat 375lbs for 5, which for an everyday chap I’m quite proud of

1 Like