T Nation

10 Days into a Bulk Gone Off-Course

I started bulking on Joel Marion’s “stripped down hypertrophy programme” ( http://www.T-Nation.com/article/most_recent/stripped_down_hypertrophy ). This was 10 days ago, and I was 72 kg (158.5 lbs or so). Now, I’m about 76kg (167 lbs). Now, I’m in the middle of creatine loading, which had me gaining about 3 lbs last time. Even so, that’s over 5 lbs of change in a week!

I checked my measurements this morning, and my bicep measurements have increased by about 0.65" on average. Unfortunately, my waist size has also increased by about an inch. Needless to say, I’m a bit worried about where this is going!

Here’s the tricky bit, though. I only eat when my stomach is near-empty, and it’s all clean! Since I started, the only “cheat” meals I’ve had were two sushi lunches and a bite of a friend’s cake. I eat oatmeal, brown bread, and other slow-burning carbs for my first 3 meals, and they’re C+P about 50% of the time. In the evenings, I eat P+F for 3 meals (75% P+F success rate). I also wake up to eat at least once at night (because of hunger pangs!). What should I do? Eat less? Or try to eat more veg. with every meal to make sure my meals are digested more slowly? There’s no fridge at my workplace, so it’s tough/impossible to bring certain things in (like a lot of fruit or veg). Here’s what meals 2-4 might look like (at work):

A) Fat-free oatmeal with splenda, whey and berries.
B) Smoked salmon sandwich (brown bread w/grains)
C) Peanut, almond and coconut oil protein shake + Some walnuts as a snack

I do go all out on fruit/veg once I’m home, though.

What should I do to reduce fat gains while fending off hunger? :slight_smile: Should I retrack and cut for a few weeks to lose the 1" I gained on my waist or persevere?

Thanks for reading

If you’re new to eating big you’re going to see some fat come on at first. If your starting to gain size on your arm and weights you lift increase. You’re on the right track. Don’t sweat a little fat gain.

5 lbs is a big jump in a week. You have to take into account, gaining muscle will increase your glycogen storage(more water gets stored in your body). So you have to factor all that shit in.

Do not cut for a few weeks, it’s pointless. If you’re a mile in, doing a 10 mile marathon running and you trip. Are you going to say “oh shit I fucked up, I should go back to the start and run again without out making any mistakes”. Waste of time and energy.

You figure out a plan just monitor your weights your moving and what you see visually. There was something interesting I read, if you carry lots of fat on your upperback area, high carb diet is not for you. If your upperback is naturally lean, carb away.

Now excuse me I have a big piece of steak to grill up.

Pay attention to the small things like unnecessary carbs, salt intake or specific foods that make you feel bloated. When I started my bulk I was gaining at least 4lbs a week but I didn’t gain an inch on my waist until almost 6 weeks(and I’m a ffb so…)

Edit:

The worst cycle you can get caught in is a random cut/bulk. Upon further inspection your diet doesn’t seem to be the cause so I’d recommend that you post your workout info to really give us a better view…

Carlitosway - my upperback is naturally lean. Actually, I’m naturally lean all over, except for my stomach, where I store fat very easily :slight_smile:

Steel88 - I’m gonna try having only 2 carb meals a day and see how that pans out. I can probably bulk quite well on only 2 carb meals a day! Now that I think about it, things like eggs + nuts are easy to take to work and can provide me with a few good P+F meals.

As for my workout, it’s stripped down hypertrophy, as outlined in the linked article:

Group 1

A1) Barbell bench press
A2) Bent-over one-handed row
B) Back squat

Group 2

A1) Military press
A2) Chin-up*
B) Good morning

  • The weight progression on these is difficult to monitor because I am gaining weight so fast :slight_smile:

I alternate between 5x5 and 4x5 in groups 1 and 2, 5x a week. I’m gonna start walking and skipping rope after workouts starting today, in hopes of cutting into the fat gains.

~G

Soooo, you’re bulking AND cutting?

Good luck with that.

[quote]skidmark wrote:
Soooo, you’re bulking AND cutting?

Good luck with that.[/quote]

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[quote]G87 wrote:
I started bulking

What should I do to reduce fat gains while fending off hunger? :slight_smile: Should I retrack and cut for a few weeks to lose the 1" I gained on my waist or persevere?

Thanks for reading[/quote]

[quote]G87 wrote:
cutting into the fat gains.

~G[/quote]

No; as you can see, I’m bulking, and just want to “cut into the fat gains,” i.e. minimise the fat gains I’m gonna get on this bulk. I did contemplate cutting for a moment in the first post, but that’s about it.

My first impulse was to put you down for not offering anything aside from a sarcastic remark. Well, maybe the way I phrased things had you confused, so if you have anything good to offer, feel free to re-post. shrug

Sorry - bad day so I’m a bit snarky. My apologies.

I do think that worrying about getting fat while bulking is a waste of time and an attempt to keep the fat off will only slow down your ultimate gains.

But it is your body after all and there is plenty of time. Carry on.

No need for the fat gain to get out of control - keep eating lots but as I’ve said before, throw in some cardio a few times a week.

heh, so the title is 10 days of a bulk gone off course? You gained mass didnt you, quite a bit. Shit id say its right on course!

You probably should have named it

10 Days into an impossible mass gain and fat loss gone off course.

If you are doing the workouts correctly and eating timed meals with excess kcal, your body will grow.

Im currently 150lbs, but im up 30lbs in about a year…i still have a long way to go, but while i was (am) trying to gain, i have growth spurts. You dont just continually grow at a steady pace, youll be hovering along at one weight then all of a sudden, because of hormonal environment, new training (ie, stripped down hypertrophy) food, you grow. And to be honest, you CANNOT gain muscle and NO fat. Hell, read the material by Lonnie Lowery. At best your looking at a 70/30 muscle to fat gain ratio in a optimal environment.

And if you are going to do any “cardio”, do it with weights. IE: Meltdown, Complexes, EDT, that sort of thing. And if you have to get out and run (i used to be a runner) get OUT and run. Save yourself disgrace, humiliation, and go run outside and not on the treadmills made for fat cows. Hell if you see one of those kids playgrounds, they are awesome for pullups and dips and crap. Stop there, do some sets… then get along. That being said. FOCUS on one goal, and give it 110 percent. If you want muscle, you have to eat, you have to lift, and you have to get big.

Its like people want to get big without getting big? wtf is that all about.

Stay on your course. There will be a time and place for cutting some weight. Then at that time think to yourself "K i just made awesome progress with a mass, now i will focus 100 percent on a cut.

Its called mass for a reason, and its called cutting for a reason.

You can be smart about some mass gain (sounds like you have the right training and diet) and REDUCE the potential of fat gain, but its still going to be there in a hyper caloric environment.

When i was 120 lbs sure i had some abs, anyone would at that size. 30lbs heavier i suppose they are still there, yes ive gained some size, but it was needed. I get comments all of the time how healthy i look now that im not a skinny bastard… feels good.

Not trying to get snarky (skidmark) but this is all common ground here. Be a T-Man and know your goals, train hard, and have a PLAN.

Final note, there is no way you gained 1 inch of flab on your midsection in a week(which is 7 days, not 10 like your subject says) while doing stripped down hypertrophy

Its probably water gain from some dietary factor, like salt.

Maybe try getting more cals from proteins/fats and reducing the cals from carbs a little bit. I would think that, along with a bit of cardio, might prove beneficial if you feel as though you are gaining fat too quickly.

Although you might just be getting freaked out for no reason since you’re naturally lean and aren’t used to seeing yourself with a little extra bulk

[quote]skidmark wrote:
But it is your body after all and there is plenty of time. Carry on.[/quote]

This was probably one of the best phrase in the thread; thanks.

BlueJ - I’m a former fat boy, and wasn’t that lean 2 weeks ago, either. I think this was part of the problem; I was cutting for 4 months on a low-carb diet before plunging into the bulk. In light of that, consuming as many carbs as I did was probably stupid as hell!

JustinNegrete - I actually gained more, as it turns out! It was consistently 1.5" measured 2 days in a row, morning and evening. BTW, I did 8 workouts of stripped down hypertrophy so in training time was closer to 2 weeks than 1 week.

Overall, the problem was, most likely, how many carbs I was eating. After months of no carbs, going to huge amounts of carbs (even if only 3x a day) was a stupid thing to do. I went all out on those carbs, too; after eating salad for months, you get used to eating lots of food, I suppose :slight_smile: All-around, I didn’t put enough thought into the bulk, which was stupid, especially since I didn’t have any cardio going on.

I know this might not be the T-Nation way, but I decided to cut, as per Thibaudeau’s carb cycling codex, for a period of 4 weeks. This’ll allow me to lose a small amount of the bodyfat I’ve managed to gain, but the main reason is just so I can get my consumption patterns (especially w/carbs) under control and let my body get used to carbs.

Starting from the first week of October, I’ll start slowly upping my calories and carbs and basically go into a 6-month slow bulk. Once again, this might not be the T-Nation way, but the 1.5" in less than 2 weeks really bothered me. As skidmark said, it’s my body and there’s plenty of time.

Thanks for everyone’s input; it’ll be very useful once I restart the bulk come October. Hope nobody gets too outraged at my decision :slight_smile:

Nice… glad you came to a sound conclusion. Carb cycling seems to work for a lot of people.

Even the T-Dawg Diet 2.0 might be worth looking into. its low to moderate carbs around times of good carb tolerance anyways.

Some easy-to-apply “fixes”:

  1. Make sure you are getting at least 8 hours of sleep per night. Training full-body 5 days per week necessitates it. SERIOUSLY. If you are gaining around the waste cortisol may be an issue so rest, stress-relief and sleep are huge.

  2. Cut off carbs after 6pm (except trace carbs in veggies, etc.).

  3. Take 2 teaspoons of raw, unfiltered, organic apple cider vinegar with 8 oz of water before meals. It’s VERY cheap and works great. Swish with water afterwards to get the acid off your teeth. This will help with bloat and seems to help with fat mobilization and burning for some unknown reason. Great for the skin and hair too.

  4. Do at least 3 low intensity cardio sessions of around 40 minutes before breakfast per week.

  5. Only 1 “liquid” meal per day. So, no more than 1 shake per day to get your calories. With the program you’ve picked I guess that will be a pwo 5 days per week. So be it.

Trust me, incorporate some or all of these and I suspect you will notice marked improvement over the short and long term.

Dont worry about the Fat, Keep it under control with your Diet, Winters coming, Get Big Be Fat, U’ll lose it later.

[quote]trextacy wrote:
Some easy-to-apply “fixes”:

  1. Make sure you are getting at least 8 hours of sleep per night. Training full-body 5 days per week necessitates it. SERIOUSLY. If you are gaining around the waste cortisol may be an issue so rest, stress-relief and sleep are huge.

  2. Cut off carbs after 6pm (except trace carbs in veggies, etc.).

  3. Take 2 teaspoons of raw, unfiltered, organic apple cider vinegar with 8 oz of water before meals. It’s VERY cheap and works great. Swish with water afterwards to get the acid off your teeth. This will help with bloat and seems to help with fat mobilization and burning for some unknown reason. Great for the skin and hair too.

  4. Do at least 3 low intensity cardio sessions of around 40 minutes before breakfast per week.

  5. Only 1 “liquid” meal per day. So, no more than 1 shake per day to get your calories. With the program you’ve picked I guess that will be a pwo 5 days per week. So be it.

Trust me, incorporate some or all of these and I suspect you will notice marked improvement over the short and long term.

[/quote]

Wow, did you read my mind?:slight_smile: Bloating and liquid meals (that don’t give me any sense of being full) were big issues in the 2 bulking weeks. Will try the vinegar, too.

As for cardio, here’s what I do: wake up at about 4:45 am and eat some fruit + drink some whey protein. At 6:45, I wake up and at 6:55 I’m working out. So, can’t really fit in morning cardio, especially since stripped down hypertrophy will have me working out 5 days a week. What I might do, at best, is cycle or jog 2 afternoons a week. Is that an OK alternative, or should I try to rearrange my preferred workout times to fit in pre-breakfast cardio?

[quote]Justin Negrete wrote:
Nice… glad you came to a sound conclusion. Carb cycling seems to work for a lot of people.

Even the T-Dawg Diet 2.0 might be worth looking into. its low to moderate carbs around times of good carb tolerance anyways.

[/quote]

Cheers! And thanks for the earlier post. I’m looking forward to October and the new diet: it’s not really hardcore cycling, i.e. there’s no re-feeds and no no-carb days. So, it’s probably psychologically easier. Hoo-hah!

[quote]G87 wrote:
trextacy wrote:
Some easy-to-apply “fixes”:

  1. Make sure you are getting at least 8 hours of sleep per night. Training full-body 5 days per week necessitates it. SERIOUSLY. If you are gaining around the waste cortisol may be an issue so rest, stress-relief and sleep are huge.

  2. Cut off carbs after 6pm (except trace carbs in veggies, etc.).

  3. Take 2 teaspoons of raw, unfiltered, organic apple cider vinegar with 8 oz of water before meals. It’s VERY cheap and works great. Swish with water afterwards to get the acid off your teeth. This will help with bloat and seems to help with fat mobilization and burning for some unknown reason. Great for the skin and hair too.

  4. Do at least 3 low intensity cardio sessions of around 40 minutes before breakfast per week.

  5. Only 1 “liquid” meal per day. So, no more than 1 shake per day to get your calories. With the program you’ve picked I guess that will be a pwo 5 days per week. So be it.

Trust me, incorporate some or all of these and I suspect you will notice marked improvement over the short and long term.

Wow, did you read my mind?:slight_smile: Bloating and liquid meals (that don’t give me any sense of being full) were big issues in the 2 bulking weeks. Will try the vinegar, too.

As for cardio, here’s what I do: wake up at about 4:45 am and eat some fruit + drink some whey protein. At 6:45, I wake up and at 6:55 I’m working out. So, can’t really fit in morning cardio, especially since stripped down hypertrophy will have me working out 5 days a week. What I might do, at best, is cycle or jog 2 afternoons a week. Is that an OK alternative, or should I try to rearrange my preferred workout times to fit in pre-breakfast cardio?

Justin Negrete wrote:
Nice… glad you came to a sound conclusion. Carb cycling seems to work for a lot of people.

Even the T-Dawg Diet 2.0 might be worth looking into. its low to moderate carbs around times of good carb tolerance anyways.

Cheers! And thanks for the earlier post. I’m looking forward to October and the new diet: it’s not really hardcore cycling, i.e. there’s no re-feeds and no no-carb days. So, it’s probably psychologically easier. Hoo-hah![/quote]

Make sure the liquid meal is not your first meal of the day either. I can’t prove it, but I find that even a low carb “healthy” shake for breakfast screws up insulin for the rest of the day. It’s not the way to get started off.

So, waking up at 4am and having fruit and a shake = bad idea. Stop it. The nutrition sucks, breaking up your sleeping sucks, etc. Sleep >>>> getting in a liquid meal and sugar/fruit.

If you are working out at 655, then wake up at 630 and take your half-shot of ACV then have some good oatmeal and a tablespoon or 2 of natty peanut butter. At 650 take some BCAA if you have them then work out. Immediately after your workout, have your pwo shake.

As for cardio, can you do 20 minutes of walking on an incline afterwards? If you don’t have any time for that, then do the cycling jogging in 2 of the afternoons like you said. Don’t try to do HIIT if you are lifting every day. Just keep it steady and shoot for at least 40 minutes. This WILL NOT BE CATABOLIC.

Then, do morning, fasted cardio on the weekends. Slow to moderate jogging, steady state, no less than 40 minutes.

That will give you 4 sessions per week. The slower pace will help with recovery and be good to control the fat. You will probably get leaner too (and add the muscle) if you adhere to the other stuff I mentioned (carb cutoff, ACV before meals, etc.)

Good luck. If you can provide updates that would be nice.

Stick with the program for at least 3 weeks before judging it.

Once you start getting decent numbers on the 5x5 part of the program you should be soaking up calories

G87. This waist increase of 1.5" over 10 days is most likely from all the extra food in your intestines. I wouldn’t worry about it. You really should get your bf checked and just work from that. Bloated stomach and intestines obviously doesn’t necessarily mean extra bf. If your bf is going up too quick then you’d wanna do a rethink.

Trextacy - I can’t pull off eating and then working out. In the mornings, the most I might have is the BCAA’s. I have bulk powder, so something like 10g isn’t a problem. Do you think I should have a bigger meal and/or carbs before bed to counter-balance this? BTW, I tend to wake up at night anyway, so it’s not too much of a disturbance for me to have a shake. Although, you’re right, having a whole meal at night has been making it hard to fall back asleep.

Intersweat - now that the bloating and full stomach stuff has gone down, I still gained 0.75" or so… I’ll lose that in the 3 weeks and go through with the bulk as per my last post.

Cprimero -The program is GREAT. The problem was in my nutrition. I’m going back on the program in October.

Trextacy and everyone else - are there any good alternatives to organic apple cider vinegar, to help my bloating? I live in a third-world country (cough Russia cough) and getting any good ACV will probably be impossible until I visit some friends in England come october.