T Nation

Bulking How Its Done

[quote]J. Prufrock wrote:
Laugh out loud at X not being able to resist coming in here and trying to push his opinion on others about the tried and true “EAT BIG GET BIG” approach. Also, laugh out loud at the whole, “what if the guy didn’t get big enough?” What the hell is “big enough”?[/quote]
Lets try to keep this out of here.
Just respond to the OP and keep the good ideas flowing.
What is your approach to “bulking”? cringe at that word

Hey guys…what’s going on in here?

Same story as before? OK I’m out.

Good luck OP.

[quote]Professor X wrote:

[quote]Ripsaw3689 wrote:

[quote]Professor X wrote:

[quote]Ripsaw3689 wrote:

Eat a little above maintenance and adjust accordingly. Gaining 1-2 lbs a month by weighing yourself daily and taking the average is how I will continue to gain lean mass. I will cut when I am dieting down for a show. [/quote]

Also, I haven’t heard anyone tell someone to gain much more than 3-5lbs per month and basing this all on the gains seen.

Someone starting earlier with great genetics may see more than that so it is also about NOT holding back progress to hold to some specific number range.

If your body is ready to grow 5lbs and you only feed it enough for 2, you will hold yourself back.[/quote]

You are also susceptible to gaining much more fat and in the long run, you will have to cut for much longer and get less results than if you take it slow. Slow and steady wins the race. [/quote]

Less results?

How do you arrive at that conclusion when the biggest people here did bulk up in majority?[/quote]

I’m going off the approach that many modern IFBB pros take. They are big as fuck. They never get fat. They realize that it is counter productive to have to cut fat gained when “bulking” and that your body can only make small amounts of muscle at a time.

[quote]Ripsaw3689 wrote:

That was just an example. 2 year bulk will probably result in a 9 month-1 year cut. In those 3 years, you could have taken things with a more moderate approach and not waste an entire year minimal lean gains. Different strokes for different folks.
[/quote]

9 months to diet down?

That would mean something went very wrong if it takes someone that long. No one is recommending someone get that far gone.

if someone has that much trouble losing some body fat, they shouldn’t gain it.

[quote]Ripsaw3689 wrote:

I’m going off the approach that many modern IFBB pros take. They are big as fuck. [/quote]

Yes, and most were using testosterone enanthate from the time they were in high school.

That plays a big role in body comp when someone gains.

No one is trying to get fat. It is way easier to stay leaner all year when you take enough testosterone to keep the gains.

I for one wish I had not, “bulked,” but rather tried to add a few pounds a year while maintain a certain level of leanness. I reached 220 and was gettting winded walking up stairs. By the time I lean back down to around, I don’t know say 12% bf, I’ll be in the 180s, which is where I was 5 years ago.

That being said, my goal isn’t to be monsterously huge. I have no idea what kind of dedication to the, “bulk,” it would take to reach 250+ pounds of relatively lean mass. I just know for a regualar gym rat like me, maintaining a relatively low bf% like 12-15 while gaining a few pounds per year makes the most logical sense.

I agree with Smashingweights, the whole, “cut,” and, “bulk,” thing is a bit silly.

@Smashing-You’re right. I apologize to the OP for acting out of line. I would have to say that “bulking”, as an actual method of bodybuilding doesn’t exist. I just think that it is a word made up for guys who don’t mind adding extra fat when building muscle. Obviously, I agree that fat gain can’t be altogether avoided, but should be limited as much as possible. Adding “size” isn’t the same as building muscle. Fat gain doesn’t have to get out of hand.

it’s a fair enough question to ask, but the problem comes from there being so many variables. For example:

-different people have a different threshold for how much fat they are willing to carry, so they might not bulk as aggressively as someone who is comfortable having a higher bf %.

-individual variation in fat distribution means some people carry fat better than others (evenly distributed as opposed to just around their gut) so again these people will be more comfortable adding a little fat.

of course these two points assume that by “bulking” you mean you would let yourself add a significant amount of fat. Not everyone’s keen to do that, so “bulking” means different things to different people.

The old-school approach certainly seemed to be “fat be damned!” and that it was all good as long as you were getting stronger (stronger being taken to equal more muscle) but in recent years there seems to have been a shift away from that, with people choosing to stay a lot leaner. I know John Meadows is a big advocate of staying lean in the off season and has his clients do the same.

What way is best? No one can really say. I know that I personally don’t carry fat very well at all and that when I’ve tried to really push the boat out (2 double cheeseburgers post workout! lol) with calories all it did was give me a shit looking pot belly, and I didn’t gain muscle any faster. I also don’t really buy the idea that different people gain better at different body fat levels. I don’t understand how carrying fat could ever help someone build muscle.

But then I guess people will always stick to what’s worked best for them in the past and why not? If it ain’t broke…

[quote]rds63799 wrote:
it’s a fair enough question to ask, but the problem comes from there being so many variables. For example:

-different people have a different threshold for how much fat they are willing to carry, so they might not bulk as aggressively as someone who is comfortable having a higher bf %.

-individual variation in fat distribution means some people carry fat better than others (evenly distributed as opposed to just around their gut) so again these people will be more comfortable adding a little fat.

of course these two points assume that by “bulking” you mean you would let yourself add a significant amount of fat. Not everyone’s keen to do that, so “bulking” means different things to different people.

The old-school approach certainly seemed to be “fat be damned!” and that it was all good as long as you were getting stronger (stronger being taken to equal more muscle) but in recent years there seems to have been a shift away from that, with people choosing to stay a lot leaner. I know John Meadows is a big advocate of staying lean in the off season and has his clients do the same.

What way is best? No one can really say. I know that I personally don’t carry fat very well at all and that when I’ve tried to really push the boat out (2 double cheeseburgers post workout! lol) with calories all it did was give me a shit looking pot belly, and I didn’t gain muscle any faster. I also don’t really buy the idea that different people gain better at different body fat levels. I don’t understand how carrying fat could ever help someone build muscle.

But then I guess people will always stick to what’s worked best for them in the past and why not? If it ain’t broke…[/quote]

This was a very good post.

^heh, I kinda thought you were going to tear me a new asshole there Prof.

[quote]rds63799 wrote:
it’s a fair enough question to ask, but the problem comes from there being so many variables. For example:

-different people have a different threshold for how much fat they are willing to carry, so they might not bulk as aggressively as someone who is comfortable having a higher bf %.

-individual variation in fat distribution means some people carry fat better than others (evenly distributed as opposed to just around their gut) so again these people will be more comfortable adding a little fat.

of course these two points assume that by “bulking” you mean you would let yourself add a significant amount of fat. Not everyone’s keen to do that, so “bulking” means different things to different people.

The old-school approach certainly seemed to be “fat be damned!” and that it was all good as long as you were getting stronger (stronger being taken to equal more muscle) but in recent years there seems to have been a shift away from that, with people choosing to stay a lot leaner. I know John Meadows is a big advocate of staying lean in the off season and has his clients do the same.

What way is best? No one can really say. I know that I personally don’t carry fat very well at all and that when I’ve tried to really push the boat out (2 double cheeseburgers post workout! lol) with calories all it did was give me a shit looking pot belly, and I didn’t gain muscle any faster. I also don’t really buy the idea that different people gain better at different body fat levels. I don’t understand how carrying fat could ever help someone build muscle.

But then I guess people will always stick to what’s worked best for them in the past and why not? If it ain’t broke…[/quote]
Sooooooo your answer to the OP is what exactly?
Lol
The OP wanted to know what our individual approaches to “bulking” where.
What’s yours?
What would your advice be to the people he listed in the OP?

[quote]Smashingweights wrote:
Sooooooo your answer to the OP is what exactly?
Lol
The OP wanted to know what our individual approaches to “bulking” where.
What’s yours?
What would your advice be to the people he listed in the OP?[/quote]

lol yeah I did sort of go off on one then…

I’m lean gains all the way baby!

I think that people overthink this whole thing. My advice for stuff like this is always the same for anybody: Hit your protein target and don’t eat any processed shite. I don’t think you can go too far wrong doing that.

If someone has competitive goals then they’ll need to track macros, but for recreational lifters then I think that’s all they need to do.

[quote]rds63799 wrote:

[quote]Smashingweights wrote:
Sooooooo your answer to the OP is what exactly?
Lol
The OP wanted to know what our individual approaches to “bulking” where.
What’s yours?
What would your advice be to the people he listed in the OP?[/quote]

I’m lean gains all the way baby!

[/quote]

So I’ll use myself as an example here. I’ve “bulked” from 170 to 215 over a few years, now there were two short breaks in there where I focused on losing fat. I’ve never been really lean and stay between 12-17%. So right now at 215 and 17% I plan on dropping 15-20 pounds to end up somewhere around 12% bf. Now once I do that instead of bulking like I have in the past, I’ll slowly up my calories again.

But here’s my question. Once I find my maintenance after my “cut”, to gain slowly would I just do a 300 cal surplus? Then If I do that how often do I asses progress? Like if I go a month without gaining any weight, then bump it up? And for those who do stay leaner when gaining how long do you go before dropping body fat again? Theoretically you should be able to gain longer than a traditional bulk correct?

I think it would help if people had more realistic expectations when it came to lifetime muscle gain.

The natural guy bulking up to 250+ is either delusional or misinformed (assuming normal height).

Last year I got frustrated with being small and seeing no progress, so one day I decided that it was always going to be better to be big and fat, than skinny and still fat (160 with no abs). I just focused on adding lbs to the bar, and lbs to the scale every week. I paid no attention to calories/macros, and ate 4 meals a day until I was literally sick. In 6 months I was up a lot of weight, and I was one hell of a lot stronger (been hovering at 200+ since mid summer). People started to make all kinds of jokes/comments about it, and my extended family was blown away by the weight gain. I also found that I hope to one day be strong enough to do a PL event. I think I would enjoy it.

My only rule was that I was not going to eat empty calories, and that I was going to always work harder/do more than last time to earn my calories. I didn’t get any worse than I already was.

[quote]Steel Nation wrote:
I think it would help if people had more realistic expectations when it came to lifetime muscle gain.

The natural guy bulking up to 250+ is either delusional or misinformed (assuming normal height).[/quote]

The force is STRONG with Paul Carter, he is a bad ass dude.

The money quotes…

“The biggest most guys have is that they underestimate their bodyfat. The guy that thinks he’s 10% is usually more like 15-17%. Calipers are nice, but they can be off by as much as 5%.”

“But I have visible upper abs in the morning!”

“You’re still fat. I wish I had a dollar for each time some fat guy told me this. This is NOT abs. Second, everyone carries bodyfat a little bit differently. The 20%+ fat guy could still have an outline of abs, but carry the majority of fat in his legs and ass (no homo). The 15% guy may carry that “belt of fat” around his waist, but have very lean legs and a really lean sexy ass (no homo).”

Good thread.

Now we can let that other thread die and…continue in this one.

[quote]UtahLama wrote:

[quote]Steel Nation wrote:
I think it would help if people had more realistic expectations when it came to lifetime muscle gain.

The natural guy bulking up to 250+ is either delusional or misinformed (assuming normal height).[/quote]

The force is STRONG with Paul Carter, he is a bad ass dude.

The money quotes…

“The biggest most guys have is that they underestimate their bodyfat. The guy that thinks he’s 10% is usually more like 15-17%. Calipers are nice, but they can be off by as much as 5%.”

“But I have visible upper abs in the morning!”

“You’re still fat. I wish I had a dollar for each time some fat guy told me this. This is NOT abs. Second, everyone carries bodyfat a little bit differently. The 20%+ fat guy could still have an outline of abs, but carry the majority of fat in his legs and ass (no homo). The 15% guy may carry that “belt of fat” around his waist, but have very lean legs and a really lean sexy ass (no homo).”
[/quote]

Good article on the whole. But he did list some known not natties for his calculations at contest conditon

[quote]ryanbCXG wrote:

[quote]UtahLama wrote:

[quote]Steel Nation wrote:
I think it would help if people had more realistic expectations when it came to lifetime muscle gain.

The natural guy bulking up to 250+ is either delusional or misinformed (assuming normal height).[/quote]

The force is STRONG with Paul Carter, he is a bad ass dude.

The money quotes…

“The biggest most guys have is that they underestimate their bodyfat. The guy that thinks he’s 10% is usually more like 15-17%. Calipers are nice, but they can be off by as much as 5%.”

“But I have visible upper abs in the morning!”

“You’re still fat. I wish I had a dollar for each time some fat guy told me this. This is NOT abs. Second, everyone carries bodyfat a little bit differently. The 20%+ fat guy could still have an outline of abs, but carry the majority of fat in his legs and ass (no homo). The 15% guy may carry that “belt of fat” around his waist, but have very lean legs and a really lean sexy ass (no homo).”
[/quote]

Good article on the whole. But he did list some known not natties for his calculations at contest conditon [/quote]

Correct, in the comments he was saying he was going on his best knowledge.