T Nation

Bulking Above 16% Bad Idea?

what do you think about this? currently not at my strength or size goal, but the caliper says 16%

I read somewhere that the fatter you get the more efficient the body get at storing fat? i originally wanted to keep bulking till December, but maybe i should quit sooner what do you think?

It’s really up to you. I personally don’t like to be holding much bodyfat because it looks shitty, and makes cutting harder. Gaining lean mass may be more efficient at around 15%, but it really depends on the individual. Many people have no problem gaining LBM while 10% or under.

While you’ll have people disagree on exactly what bf% going above constitutes ‘too much’ in terms of insulin sensitivity, I think it’s always going to come down to at what level do YOU feel comfortable. Obviously competitors don’t walk around all year long in contest shape, but some enjoy being leaner, while others like to enjoy themselves a bit more when not dieting. Of course these are people who know from experience just how far they can go above their stage weights and still make progress while also being able to shred back down for future shows within a given time frame.

The issue that is inevitably raised in discussions of this matter, is when guys who’ve been ‘bulking’ for years start throwing blanket statements about how it’s never hindered their own progress, yet having never truly been extremely lean themselves. (I have no doubt it will come up in this thread at some point.)

My personal advice is to not worry about the NUMBER that you’ve been given, and instead look at the mirror. Are you embarrassed with you you look? Do you feel that you’re making gains, either strength or size related while at your current level of softness? Based on your answers to those questions, there’s your final answer :slight_smile:

S

Im still trying to figure this out, i bulked up to damn near 20 percent BF this last year and let me tell you it sucked. I added muscle, but at what expense? i felt like crap a lot of the time, my stomach hated me, towards the end i wanted to puke every leg workout just because of the sheer amount of food in my stomach at all times (4500-5000 cals, above 400 g protien and carbs).

However that being said…it did WORK, i added muscle and that is the most important thing. After my contest I’m going to try a more reserved approach and see how that works.

[quote]buildsomemuscle wrote:
I read somewhere that the fatter you get the more efficient the body get at storing fat? i originally wanted to keep bulking till December, but maybe i should quit sooner what do you think?[/quote]
If you’re getting worried about gaining too much fat, cutting back on the binge drinking, pizza, and hot dogs would be my first suggestion, rather than stopping the entire bulk early.

[quote]Chris Colucci wrote:

[quote]buildsomemuscle wrote:
I read somewhere that the fatter you get the more efficient the body get at storing fat? i originally wanted to keep bulking till December, but maybe i should quit sooner what do you think?[/quote]
If you’re getting worried about gaining too much fat, cutting back on the binge drinking, pizza, and hot dogs would be my first suggestion, rather than stopping the entire bulk early.[/quote] drinking is a good way to socialize with your friends and possibly get chicks. which is hard if you dont atleast get to know them at an event like a party, how do people just walk up to girls and get to know them? i am not that socially skilled.

edit: wrote this right after writing another rather large reply still this one gets posted first?

[quote]buildsomemuscle wrote:

[quote]Chris Colucci wrote:

[quote]buildsomemuscle wrote:
I read somewhere that the fatter you get the more efficient the body get at storing fat? i originally wanted to keep bulking till December, but maybe i should quit sooner what do you think?[/quote]
If you’re getting worried about gaining too much fat, cutting back on the binge drinking, pizza, and hot dogs would be my first suggestion, rather than stopping the entire bulk early.[/quote] drinking is a good way to socialize with your friends and possibly get chicks. which is hard if you dont atleast get to know them at an event like a party, how do people just walk up to girls and get to know them? i am not that socially skilled. [/quote]

Practice. And a skill worth learning, especially while you’re still surrounded by women. It gets harder later, so take advantage of the opportunity to learn how to do it now.

Plus you can drink and meet girls without getting drunk. Just watch your intake, stay away from too many shots, and nurse a beer or mixed drink for awhile.

If John Meadows tells me not to go above 12%, I’m not going above 12%.

also, curls for the gurls, and such.

[quote]buildsomemuscle wrote:

[quote]Chris Colucci wrote:
If you’re getting worried about gaining too much fat, cutting back on the binge drinking, pizza, and hot dogs would be my first suggestion, rather than stopping the entire bulk early.[/quote] drinking is a good way to socialize with your friends and possibly get chicks. which is hard if you dont atleast get to know them at an event like a party, how do people just walk up to girls and get to know them? i am not that socially skilled.[/quote]
You wrote in another thread that every week or two, you drink to the point of throwing up. That’s an entirely different situation than drinking socially to meet girls. That’s also not the point of this thread.

I only mentioned it here because your diet is crap. You can’t drink a ton of empty calories on a regular basis and eat crap food (in another thread, you said pizza and hot dogs were average food for you), and then come and complain about gaining too much fat while bulking.

If you’re not at your size and strength goal, it would make much more sense, in my mind, to fix your diet before stopping the entire bulk early. But your priorities and goals are your thing, so it’s your call.

Waiting for Prof. X to post.

[quote]The Mighty Stu wrote:
While you’ll have people disagree on exactly what bf% going above constitutes ‘too much’ in terms of insulin sensitivity, I think it’s always going to come down to at what level do YOU feel comfortable. Obviously competitors don’t walk around all year long in contest shape, but some enjoy being leaner, while others like to enjoy themselves a bit more when not dieting. Of course these are people who know from experience just how far they can go above their stage weights and still make progress while also being able to shred back down for future shows within a given time frame.

The issue that is inevitably raised in discussions of this matter, is when guys who’ve been ‘bulking’ for years start throwing blanket statements about how it’s never hindered their own progress, yet having never truly been extremely lean themselves. (I have no doubt it will come up in this thread at some point.)

My personal advice is to not worry about the NUMBER that you’ve been given, and instead look at the mirror. Are you embarrassed with you you look? Do you feel that you’re making gains, either strength or size related while at your current level of softness? Based on your answers to those questions, there’s your final answer :slight_smile:

S[/quote]

I will say Stu advice is good but I somewhat dont totally agree. While I do agree that psychologically go to whatever % you’re comfortable with is good, I dont think its necessarily optimal physically.

Here is what I mean.

I know I can get into this “fuck what others think fuck everything ima become a monster and get ultra huge and whatever if I dont look good for 2-3 months where im fat”… THE THING IS… there is a certain point where you are too fat to evaluate muscle gains and I actually firmly believe that there is a certain point where your body is much more primed to add fat than to add muscle.

I think when you are leaner, the body is better at adding muscle

This is what I think

@Zraw- Oh I fully agree, maybe that wasn’t clear. I just wanted to stress that finding the exact # of what level bf is the line you never cross is silly, as there are too many other individual variables. That said, no one ever competes once, and doesn’t say “boy, I wish I hadn’t gotten so heavy in the first place, it really didn’t contribute as much to muscle gain as I would have thought it would.”

S

This is a really funny thread.

LoRez you wan the funniest post of the day in my opinion with

"Practice. And a skill worth learning, especially while you’re still surrounded by women. It gets harder later, so take advantage of the opportunity to learn how to do it now. "

I generally disagree with bulking always. What’s the hurry?

[quote]The Mighty Stu wrote:
@Zraw- Oh I fully agree, maybe that wasn’t clear. I just wanted to stress that finding the exact # of what level bf is the line you never cross is silly, as there are too many other individual variables. That said, no one ever competes once, and doesn’t say “boy, I wish I hadn’t gotten so heavy in the first place, it really didn’t contribute as much to muscle gain as I would have thought it would.”

S[/quote]

No worries I knew what you meant but figured some might not interpret it the right way and go

“Oh well I dont mind being 25% ill get big”

Coming from experience bulking up to a really high BF was one of the worst decisions i ever made. I wasted 2 months of noob gains just to get my BF under control and i still am not lean.

[quote]jp_dubya wrote:
I generally disagree with bulking always. What’s the hurry?[/quote]

jp_dubya i totally agree with you. My 28 years old nephew has 10 years of experience and added 40 pounds of muscles allways being lean(he is 5 9). He laughs about the macho guys who train real hard and get injured. He trains smart gaining without a rush.

" Bulking " sounds like a code word to me. Being juiced the overcompensation cycle is shorter so the need to push nonstop is there so calories are needed for the weak guys to put up.
A strong man never shows is strenght. It is too valuable it stays in is safe for when he really needs it.

Just listen, “the girly guys” will yell at me. Hopefully they might use their manly huge powerfull fingers to put me on ignore.

[quote]jp_dubya wrote:
I generally disagree with bulking always. What’s the hurry?[/quote]

Great post. I’ve thought the same thing for some time. Considering natural gains are so damn slow after the first two years, what’s the sense over-bulking? It’s not like it’s going to miraculously result in more than the small gain naturals make after the firs two years–like 5 to 10 pounds a year, if that!

I don’t understand why this topic comes up again and again. Why not simply take the word of someone like Shelby? He is more experienced to get people lean as well as big (natty and assisted) than ANYONE by far on this forum (and he isn’t biased in any way).

I believe he wrote an article about this on here some time ago - check it out. His bottom line: not a good idea to bulk at a high bf like 16% . First get lean(ish) and then bulk, then cut some of the gained fat and repeat.

[quote]infinite_shore wrote:
I don’t understand why this topic comes up again and again. Why not simply take the word of someone like Shelby? He is more experienced to get people lean as well as big (natty and assisted) than ANYONE by far on this forum (and he isn’t biased in any way).

I believe he wrote an article about this on here some time ago - check it out. His bottom line: not a good idea to bulk at a high bf like 16% . First get lean(ish) and then bulk, then cut some of the gained fat and repeat.[/quote]

It’s funny you say that, because I actually hired Shelby to manage my last bulk, and I assure you he had me up over 15, closer to 20% bodyfat…maybe even higher. It all depends on the individual, and Shelby’s experience with clients of my body type told him that’s where I needed to be to be making optimal gains.