T Nation

Bulking, Good Progress But I Want More


Well I have been "bulking" aka gaining weight, getting bigger, etc. for the past couple semesters. Everybody comments on how I have "gotten bigger" (yes I know, I am not big, imagine how skinny I was before) and it has been awesome to progress and get compliments.

However, I have gained some fat. I attached pics to show everyone. Especially around my hips, I mean my body look like the opposite of a freakin V, looks like i have freakin girl hips. Not to sound dramatic, but who wants excess fat? When I sit down it almost looks like rolls. There has definitely been some fat gain.

Yes I know that fat gain is acceptable with bulking, but what do you guys think about my pics?

Here is my diet plan:
Every day I have three shakes and three meals.

meal 1: shake (whey, oats, pb, banana) at least 700 cals
meal 2: chili mac (mac and cheese mixed with lean ground beef) and 2 percent milk
meal 3: shake (same as above)
meal 4: chili mac (or hamburger helper w/ lean ground beef. and some milk to drink
meal 5: chili mac or hamburger helper (I make it in bulk so I dont mind eating it 3x daily)
meal 6: shake (same as above, before bed)

I have been taking walks/easy bike ride around my neighborhood for about 30 to 40 mins at a time almost every day to maybe fight some fat off, any other tips


Cant seem to post more than one pic?


With that diet, your insulin levels are sky high all day long! I wouldnt be surprised if you had gained a fair amount of insulin resistance. Read articles about nutrient timing and begin to shift towards carbs earlier in the day and fats later. This method isnt the end all, but for someone worried about excess fat, you need to worry about your insulin levels throughout the day. Also look up ways to up your insulin sensitivity.

About the pics, there's only one, and while some size is there, I'd continue clean bulking. If you cut now, youll most likely end up where you started.


Judging by your diet..either you don't know anything really substantial about nutrition...or you don't care..or you do know and care but are too lazy to implement a more thorough diet plan. Seriously.

I think certain people need a shock or some level of harshness to wake them up..I wish someone gave that to me when I was just getting fat about 3 years ago..thinking I was getting "big". Truthfully..if I just saw your picture and had no pretense..I wouldn't think you have lifted a weight in your entire life. This could be due to your diet, your genetics, you training... I'm willing to be you aren't training as hard or as well as you could be. Are you giving proper attention to rest periods? Do you use the proper exercises for you? Do you have any thought when it comes to rep ranges or sets?

Diet wise..you just posted a bunch of shit that you eat..I want to see if not an exact, atleast a very good idea of caloric intake...and macro break down. If you are really serious about your goals, then there would be no reason that you can't log your food and come up with a good idea of caloric content and the macros that make up such. Without seeing how many grams of protein, carbs and fats that you eat per day and how many overal kcals..noone can really help you that effectively.

Taking walks..easy bike rides?? Wtf is this shit. Are you dedicated or not. Every time you go out and do something..you should make it a point that you are doing more than the next person. Even when I'm attempting to put on mass, I still do LEGIT cardio..atleast 3 days a week..that's a joke and not much to ask. We are talking 20-30 mins tops of moderate paced cardio..jogging/running on off days. You know what? There's a shitload of guys doing much more workload than I am and I try to keep that in mind every time I think I'm doing a lot.

If you wanna be in just good shape..stop trying to bulk and just eat around maintenence..lift weights (not like a tool) and do cardio in various forms..and get your macros down for your body.

OR you can be in great shape..but without great genetics..prepare to go above and beyond the previous recommendation. Prepare to "bulk" or put on mass intelligently and with a thorough and sound training/nutrition plan. Prepare to do a lot of work..including some cardio. Prepare to train HARD and right every time you train. Some may disagree with me..and that's fine..whatever works for them. But, I didn't see significant change in my body without paying real attention to the amount of calories and macros I'm putting in my body daily..and training hard...and doing some form of cardio atleast 3 days a week.


That pic actually makes me look bigger than I am, I tried to include a front shot. i look smaller that way.
I really do not know anything about insulin, insulin sensitivity, or nutrient timing. I will start to research all three once I submit this post.


I am def not lazy, I have just done what most big guys do: kept it simple. I also don't know much about nutrition. YES I have read the stickies for anyone who reads this, but I will check them out again and research other stuff like "nutrient timing" that was recommended in previous post.

I do not over complicate training; good exercises, try to increase a rep or weight every week, and pushing hard. My workout routine is good.

I am VERY serious about goals which is why I posted..Life is too short to be mediocre I want to live up to my standards. I have never broke down my macros. I just know my cals are around 4000 or so. I mean, look at professor X; (FROM WHAT I HAVE INTERPRETED) he does not count his macros, he just eats a bunch of steak and rice and has cheat days with shitloads of carbs. Not that I am X, but just an example.

I just do walks and bike rides to "stay active" to maybe keep a little fat off. I have always had a mental block that doing cardio=burning muscle. Why do you recommend cardio? I have read alot of big guys here don't do it.

I am definitely willing to take my bodybuilding to the next level and build an awesome body, not just be in "good" shape.

Also, thank you for the lengthy post.

To clear up any posts about laziness, that is NOT a factor here. I have just tried to keep a simple approach but I will revise that if necessary.


I dunno I guess I'm not big enough for my advice to be listened to or something. Professor X and you are not the same people. He doesn't even like when people hop on his nuts or quote him or say well X did it, so should I. Plenty of big dudes have gotten big that way..and just as many small newbs have just gotten plan fat and discouraged doing it that way.

I can tell you straight up..I've done both and everything in between and you can't force feed muscle growth. You can supply a proper surplus to achieve optimal growth..but taking in 4000 calories at your size is just straight unneeded. I've gained 15lbs in 4-5 weeks by eating 2400kcal on training and approx 1600-1800 on nontraining. People don't want to hear that though..it isn't hardcore enough for them or something.


It is slightly frustrating when I read two different things. Some people say excess cals arn't needed and focus on macros, others say cals all the way. As you can see I have been slightly confused because of this. Can you point me in the direction on good articles/posts on macros and stuff about nutrition?
I am currently learning about nutrient timing and what insulin sensitivity is. Also, your pics are decent so your advice is appreciated...

As far as the prof X thing, forget I said that so no overreactions or misquotes happen.

forgot to mention: I am 6 foot 4, 235 lbs currently.


Fruit and pasta make you fat. Its a wonder you dont look like the Michelin man. someone already mentioned nutrient timing. Do a search for John Berardi and read everything he has ever written (I'm not kidding)


fruit and pasta make you fat...uh ? wtf.


Actually..at that height and weight...you may need that many calories bro. And calories do matter..I never said they didn't.

What I think is..you really only need to START at around 20% over maint. level calories for your height and weight. If you aren't gaining at that..you increase cals by about 200 calories..if you are gaining too quickly (probably excess fat)..decrease cals a bit.


Sorry, Fruit and pasta make me fat.


I understand the cals thing, gaining stick at it, if not up by 200.
But its the macros (which you first talked about) that I have not cared about or understood. Are you still standing by your word that macros (protein, carb, and fat ratios if I understand correctly) are important?
Or do you think that my example of a days meal plan is ok as far as macros and to just add more cals when I stop gaining?


Can we get a routine?
All the nutrition advice in the world won't matter at all if you're exercise selection is comprised of yoga and bosu ball curls..


LOL definitely not that, I have a solid routine. Its obvious that my food routine could use some work.

Here is my workout routine:

Every exercise uses the technique of "ramping up" aka starting at a low weight, then working up each set to a final one or two top sets, pushed to "failure"

MONDAY- ARMS- close grip bench press/ ez bar curls/ lying dead stop tri extensions/ db curls/ one arm overhead db extensions/ db hammer curls

TUESDAY- LEGS- (YES I KNOW no bb squats it is NOT laziness I fucking hate them it ends up being a back workout without any work in quads-was gonna post a vid but changed my mind, it doesnt matter my form ive tried everything i dont prefer them) DB split squats/ hack squats/ lying hamstring curls

WEDNESDAY- CHEST and ABS- DB bench/ db incline press/ AB rollouts

THURSDAY- BACK- Lat pulldowns/ db row/ cable row/ bb shrug/ rack pulls

FRIDAY- DELTOIDS-(no lateral raises-discomfort in shoulder) seated BB press/ Reverse pec deck rear delts/
machine overhead press

SATURDAY and SUNDAY- spray tan/beach (jk)


You look like you subsist on a diet comprised primarily of hamburger helper. Not coincidentally, you do subsist on a diet comprised primarily of hamburger helper.


I'd definitely eat more fruits(preferably bananas or berries) and veggies.
I've had great results in upping calories to ridiculous levels, but only when I simultaneously upped my veggie and fruit intake.

If you're doing light cardio as you stated maybe try doing it fasted in the morning.

Also, I'm assuming you mix your shakes with milk?
If you do, that would be a pretty good amount of dairy consumed daily, which could (and VERY much did in my case) result in digestive problems, which in turn negatively effects your nutrient absorption. Maybe you're more Lactose Tolerant (or Pasteurization tolerant..) than me, but it's something to consider.

Also, if you're anything like most people, you don't get enough sleep, or if you do it's not of a very high quality. I've found sleep to be the missing link for a lot of otherwise good lifters, myself included.

As for training advice, and I might get flamed for this, I think you're way over-thinking things.
Does a beginner really need to split up Delt and Arm day? I don't think so, others disagree with me.
I've never had a problem going with a leg day, an arm and chest day, and a back and arm day. More work in each workout means more gains. You're definitely not hitting your chest hard enough, or your legs. Not to mention NO forearm, calf, trap, training at all.

Finally, Squat is king. Look up Dave Tate's "So You Think You Can Squat" videos, they were an invaluable tool to me, being a taller lifter as well. (6' 1") Increasing Box Height a little above parallel to start helped a lot to..

Wow, what a wall of text. Hope it helps.

P.S. What Sronghold said..


I am just wondering how is upping calories only beneficial if you are taking in more veggies and fruit with that it doesnt make sense to me. Or is it because they help with digestion? ( i take polquins digest force and bloating is gone)


Fruit and especially veggies=more fiber=your insulin doesn't skyrocket every single time you eat your pasta and hamburgers. You also get the benefit of all the vitamins and other stuff on the way. You should seriously consider reading most if not all of the stuff Berardi has wrote, its a good idea not to make stuff too complicated but your diet doesn't look like what a bodybuilder should be eating if he wants to gain lean mass and maintain good health.

Yes I know, Arnold and Cutler and Ronnie and Prof. X probably could do it, but those guys all have way better genetics for this than you, and the first three also had a little extra help in form of vitamin S so don't bring it up. If you make your food yourself, it only takes a little time to read some of the most important articles by JB and start basing your diet on the stuff he recommends, no need to make it overwhelmingly complicated, just buy some lean meat, veggies, fruit, clean carb sources and nuts and don't invest on the other shit you find in your grocery store and you should be good to go.

I'm not a body builder and I too am fairly new to the iron but I'd most definitely suggest you at least give a shot to the big three (Squat, DL and PB in case that doesn't ring a bell) and focus your training around those, make them the staple of your routine and get your technique in order (if your squat workout turns into a back workout there is a fair change you either have a very significant imbalance somewhere or your form is closer to GMs than back squat).

In case you still find some lifts not fit for you, there are always millions of solid variations of those lifts (front squats, SLDL, single leg exercises etc.) to try out and see what fits for you. Its easy to say some stuff just doesn't work for you, but trust me, unless you have lifted for many decades and really dedicated yourself to this stuff, you probably don't know a shit about training and you are just learning.

Get your technique right, I know there are millions of freaks of nature who can just cheat their ass off and not get hurt once while growing big as a house but there is a fair change you are not that special and you should pay some attention to your form, you don't want to fuck up any part of your body at least early on, at worst its going to hunt you for the rest of your life.

Bottom line, until you gain some serious experience in this stuff I'd say you should just keep a humble attitude and try to learn from everything you read and experiment. You are not prof. X, you are not Ronnie Coleman and you will probably never be a Mr. Olympia, but that doesn't mean you can't achieve some serious results. Just remember not to rush into too big challenges too soon or you are going to end up broken.

True knowledge of what is good for you and what is not is only born when you shut it all out of your mind and get to work, but outside that time, if you really are as dedicated as you claim to be, you might as well put that time to some use and read more stuff from the people who have more knowledge on these subjects.

Also, regarding the cardio question. It will not be 100% beneficial for you muscle gain, but it might also save you from some very mean diseases you don't want to go through, and even if you think that you are invisible to those things, you want to get big and don't give a fuck about health reasons, if you put a little time and dedication into that every week your body will thank you later. Not like I have experience there myself, but that is what I believe and that is what I've heard so that's what I'm going with.

Keep it simple but also keep it smart, no need to make it too hard when all the information is out there for you. Or in this case, most of the stuff is on this very site.


Hard to disagree with you.