I personally think that starting out at a 37" waist tells me you had too much bodyfat to begin with. Therefore, you insulin sensitivity to carbs would not be good to start out with meaning that your body would preferably store them in your fat cells as opposed to muscle stores.
That being said, you did get stronger in all of your lifts which tells me that you did indeed gain muscle although you put on a good amount more of bodyfat considering your new waist measurement.
Live and learn. I made a huge number of mistakes starting out but I look at it as failing forward. Personally I would solidify my gains by staying at this bodyweight for a couple of months while slowly adding some cardio and slowly decreasing the starchy carbs.
If you are eating carbs in the afternoons and evenings I would start there because your body doesn’t process carbs well as the day goes on.
After a couple of months and your still keeping all of your strength I personally would cut down some more and get your waist definitely under 37" before you start your next bulk.
To give you an example, the largest I ever bulked up to was a 40" waist measurement so I made the same mistake. I’m 6’1" and at the time I got up to like 235 lbs.
Regardless, the positive part of this is even though I put on way too much bodyfat I still believe that my body got used to this weight so it became easier to put on more muscle and be leaner the next time I bulked up to 230 lbs.
In my case I did lose the bodyfat first before my first bulk and got down to like a 32" waist (BTW, I’m not saying you have to get down to a 32" waist before you start bulking again but I’m thinking you want to be at or under 15% bf).
But then when I bulked up I ate too far over my maintenance calories and ate too many carbs in the evenings so I put on too much bodyfat too quickly.
I hope this helps.[/quote]
It does help, thanks.
My body fat might have been a bit high to begin with, but I also think I just have a big pelvic girdle.
As you stated though, hopefully with the cardio and fixing my diet I can drop some of the fat while holding onto some of the muscle.
Looking back I always thought I had to fight the scale to get my weight to go up, but it was clearly going up much easier than I anticipated.