T Nation

23, Skinnyfat. Questions on Gaining Mass


Hey I'm 23, 6'0", 160lbs, 12% body fat. 4 years ago I was 240lbs, dropped it all, gained a lot of muscle doing it, joined the crew team at college, did that for a year and then got lazy lost a lot of muscle and have been inactive for two years give or take some random 1 month spurts in the gym. I'm fairly skinny but I still have distinctive love handles and a tiny bit of pudge covering the abs.

My current diet is something along the lines of 2000 calories a day with about 160g protein. Lower body 2xweek lower body, 2xweek upper body, light cardio 5 days a week. I'd classify myself somewhere in that skinny fat range to slightly athletic. My goal was to be about 160-165 and cut body fat to 7-8%, I have no desire to be HUGE.

I'm used hitting the gym when I was a lot heavier and I was used to eating the way I stated above and make moderate muscle gains while losing fat. After two months of working out my gains are minimal, its dawning on me that at 160 I'm not making the same gains I would've 3 years ago at ~200lbs so I finally chose to start bulking and I have some questions.

Before I start saying anything else my revised goal is to be about 170-175lb and get into high single digit body fat still. I was thinking something along the lines of about 3000calories with ~250-300g protein daily, does that sound appropriate?

Some of my real questions are how much of a time frame should I be taking to add ~15lbs, 1month? 3months? Also I'd like someone to verbally bitch slap me if anything I'm saying or doing makes no sense.

I'll add some pictures when I can.

http://s147.photobucket.com/albums/r310/Ianitis/Tnation/ Pass: bulking


I can see why the search function didn't help you get the info you need. There's an absolutely deplorable lack of information on not desiring to be huge on these forums.


Well the protein intake is upped which is GOOD! Lol before dude 160g protein? That was bad. period.

Just stick to the basics in the end, lift heavy, increase your protein, don't make cardio the main objective here as now your goal should be to increase your lean body mass.

So maybe have you thought of Carb Cycling?


OK so almost 2 weeks later....
Still weighing about 160lbs, 11% bodyfat or so, getting between 160-240g protein per day, its hard getting enough in between class and work.... I need to start cooking 5lbs of chicken on my days off and bringing it where ever I go...

Whole photobucket of pictures http://s147.photobucket.com/albums/r310/Ianitis/Tnation/ (pass: bulking)
Orange tinted photos taken 9/21, white photos are from 9/10.

Since I originally posted this topic I have joined my first 5k race http://www.warriordash.com and have since then been doing a LOT of cardio... yes I know counter productive... I've decided to hold off any bulking until after I get done with my race (Oct 10th) then after that I will tryout carb cycling bulking for 2-3 months and then take it from there.

I'll add 2-3 pictures here.... 1 of me relaxed, 2 flexed, about 25-30 more in my photobucket.



btw while i'm training for my 5k run its 4xabs (Ian King's Ab program phase 1).
3x Upperbody,3x6-12, I always aim for 12 but I'm adding more weight than I used to so I usually hit 6-10, typically what I'm getting to is, with a lot of sets hitting failure.
Bench 3x8
Seated Row 3x10
Shoulder Press 3x8
Pulldown 3x10
Incline flys 3x10
Lateral Side Raises 3x10
Triceps Isolation 3x10
Biceps Isolation 3x10

2x 3.5 mile runs hard (personal best 33minutes so far) and 3x 3.6mile easy runs with out of shape friends. This is my first time incorporating any long distance cardio, all my previous cardio has always been like 10-12 minute miles on the treadmill after a workout... or a ton of walking from my job. Supplementing my runs with glute isolation exercises since running only exhausts my calves and thighs, also my glutes are pitiful....

Again, after the 5k, Carb Cycling Bulking... And anyone have any objections to me doing all 3 of Ian King's 12 week programs (Super strength, Limping into October, and Awesome Abs), or should I really look to do something different?


I think it's time you stopped working out your glamor muscles and start hitting your back (and probably legs) HARD. I don't have a photobucket account so I didn't see your other pics, but the pics you posted on here (the last one especially) look like your arms are way out of proportion to the rest of your body.

Anyways, I think I'm going to try out some of Ian King's workout routines at some point, but I feel like you should start with something other than his specialization programs. Try Starting Strength or Total Body Training first, run through those programs a few times, develop some decent size and strength gains first, and THEN you should have enough experience and knowledge to decide which muscle groups you want to do specialized workouts for. Right now, your entire body needs more mass, not just one specific muscle group.

This is all just my opinion, though.


I don't know what you're looking at, but the OP is flat out skinny all over. He needs to train everything and gain size everywhere!

That's good to know.


I plan to hit everything hard but thats besides the point, yes my back is something that I'm actively pushing myself to get to higher weights, gone from doing 3x10-12 of 100lb rows to 3x8-10 of 140 lbs seated rows in the past 2-3 weeks, my pulldowns went from 120 to about 140-150 as well. Trying to get off the front squat machine and onto either the smith and/or free weight squat. Was doing 260lb squats then dropped 40lbs and aimed for maintaining a good depth throughout my whole set.... Just tried free weight squatting again last workout for the first time in a year.... 140lbs and I was struggling... sadface. Either way I'm not expecting to see much gains until after I start to eat right, just trying to maintain and slight gains where I can get it.

Well like I said, I plan to start my bulking after Oct 11th, until then I'm 5k training, all your feedback is much appreciated, my workout/nutrition plan is apt to change a billion times between now and then...

Also what should my weight gain per/week or month be?


Read the stickies in the bodybuilding and beginners forums.


diddo for you big guy.


hahahaha zing!


Read the stickies (the threads at the top of the beginners forum) before posting again. Read through those and then read through a couple of the stickies in the Supplements and Nutrition forum as well.

Not trying to be a dick but you will get a lot of your questions answered by reading what other people have wrote. I'm sure your questions have been answered more than once and you'll even pick up things you never thought of by reading through those. Some of them are quite long and extensive so just take an hour or two and read through a couple. You'll get a lot of really good information out of there.

as far as training goes you're going to want to make sure and train everything equally. Dont neglect legs or back or something because they're not a glamour or beach muscle (almost everyone does that when they first start) Usually they get into the iron game to look good so they'll focus on the beach muscles. You'll be setting yourself up for failure and eventual injury by doing that so just make sure you're training everything equally to avoid complications down the road.

Good luck man