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Bulking N3wb

I went on CT’s “Hypermetabolism” because I wanted to get ripped, obviously. Well, the program (and the diet he provides with it) worked like a charm, but the more my BF% dropped, the more I realized that I have no mass.

I guess I always sort of denied it subconsciously, because I’m an FFB and all I ever wanted was to see my abs, but when I looked in the mirror recently, I realized that I don’t look like someone that lifts weights. That seriously bothered me.

I’m going to finish the last 2 weeks of the hypermetabolism program because I only have two weeks left, and it will really test my will power. Also, I want to try to impress some of my friends back home (I’m at college) with my leanness.

When I do get home however, I will be eating big, and lifting seriously heavily. I have a few questions before I do that though:

  1. Do I have to gain a lot of fat (more than 15% BF) to gain a lot of muscle?

  2. How far above maintenance cals do I have to/should I eat?

  3. Is there a relationship between how much fat I gain and how much muscle I gain? In other words, if I’m gaining a lot of fat, will I be gaining equal parts or more muscle? Another way to ask is, More fat=More muscle (provided that I’m training hard)?

  4. How much LBM can I expect to gain by next March, when I expect to cut again (again, provided that I do everything right)?

  5. What’s the best program, 10x3? 5x5? EDT? Something else? Maybe Westside for legs, and something else for upper body?

I am willing to gain fat, and I don’t care if I can see my abs or not as long as I’m gaining a good amount of solid mass. Obviously, I would like to not gain very much fat, but I don’t care if I do.

My body is in proportion, so I don’t need to focus on one thing too heavily, just overall growth in every area is what I’m looking for. I don’t have any specific goals yet, because I obviously don’t know my program yet. I’d like to gain about 10-15 lbs of LBM, which I think I can do with a lot of hard work.

Attention: I am willing to be a gineau pig! I hereby give my body and free will over my training and nutrition to T-Nation. I will do exactly what I have to do, no excuses.

That being said, I’ll give some vital stats, and await responses:

Height - 5’10"
Weight - 173 lbs
BF - ~9%
Age - 19
Sign - Scorpio :wink:

Max Lifts:
DL - 275 lb
Squat - 225 lb
Bench - 205 lb

Goals:
10-15 lbs lean mass in 10 months or so. My goals will get more fine tuned as the time gets closer to start bulking.

flame me, help me, I don’t care. Just give me some criticism so I can learn from it.

500 cals more than maintenance

1/2-1Lb of muscle a week at least 1Lbs of weight gained a week.

You can expect to gain 20lbs of muscle all things in check.

You dont have to gain 15%bodyfat to get bigger…

If you think you dont look like you lift seriously now wait until you gain a couple lbs of fat.

Either way it wont be easy most people dont understands what it takes to gain muscle they only understand fat gain.

bump.

Why the bump? N3wb seemed to have answered all the questions.

[quote]Joe D. wrote:
Why the bump? N3wb seemed to have answered all the questions.[/quote]

just to get any second opinions.

n3wb, thank you btw.

Lift HEAVY, lower reps.

Count your protein and calories. You need 1gm per 1lb of bodyweight EVERY day.

Drink 4 16 oz. glasses of milk a day.

First off, good job so far and good to hear you’ve moved from one goal to the next.

As far as training, just go ahead and get started with heavy weights and the money movements (both compound and isolation exercises). Keep a training log so you can monitor your progression.

And as far as nutrition goes, stay above maintenance. Let the scale confirm you’re eating enough and let the mirror determine if it’s too much. And when it is, I urge you to increase activity (training intensity, shorter rest periods, cardio) before decreasing intake.

That’s pretty much it. This whole process is about trial and error, and finding out what works for your own body. It’s nothing difficult either; just keep things simple and stay consistent and you’ll reach your next goal.

Ok, cool. Thanks a lot guys. I’ll make a new thread in a couple of weeks with specific goals, a food log, and a training regimine.

Maybe even some of my FFB from back in the day.

I would advise against going for an all-out bulk. You’ll most likely gain too much fat and be back where you were before.

I’d advise that you a follow a progressive lean-bulk phase where you slowly increase calories each week while lifting heavier weights and trying to get bigger and stronger.

Christian Thibaudeau wrote a good article about lean bulking that you should read.

Be sure to follow a program that meets your goals.

[quote]A-Dizz wrote:

  1. Do I have to gain a lot of fat (more than 15% BF) to gain a lot of muscle?[/quote]

Fat gain has nothing to do with muscle. Everyone gains differently. Some people will gain an equal amount of muscle and fat. For others, it may be a 1:2 ratio (muscle:fat) or 1:3 or even 1:4.

But I wouldn’t try to gain a lot of fat and would use 15-18% as a guideline for when you’ve gained enough bodyfat and may need to back off or consider getting leaner before trying to gain more.

Start slowly. Maybe an extra 50-100 calories per day (350-700 per week). Build up over time.

See what I wrote above.

Depends on how hard you train and how your nutrition goes. It could be 5-20lbs or more.

Stick to one program and do it as written. Find the one that meets your goals (you definitely should focus on strength, as you are weak for your height and weight).

FYI - CT wrote:

A training program (especially a training system like Westside, EDT, and my accumulation/intensification rotation) is designed to work as a whole. Believe it or not, there’s a logic behind everything. The individual sessions are designed to allow you to reap the most out of every single workout. You can’t go Frankenstein on us and try to create the “ultimate program” by throwing in a little of everything. It just won’t work!

Nate, thanks a lot man. I was actually just about to make a new thread about how overwhelming all the information about mass building is, and how many different programs there are. That saved me some time and aggravation.

I’m going to try to come up with my own program using Ian King’s Top 10 movements for mass, and put them into a 4 day split. It will most likely be 3 or 4 exercises per day, 3X4-6.

I was also taking a look at CT’s Training Strategy Handbook article
http://www.T-Nation.com/readTopic.do?id=1474118
and I was thinking about using one type of training for a couple of weeks, then breaking and switching it up.

Should I try that, or just wait until I start to plateau from my original program?

Rather than trying to put your own program together, I would highly recommend trying something already written on T-Nation for the following reasons:

  1. You won’t just focus on your strengths or perform only exercises you like.

  2. It will have a method of progression already built in

  3. You can focus on working hard and just following it as written

Since strength and mass are your priorities, I’d figure out whether you are A) Training for asthetic purposes or B) Training for athletic purposes.

Then, find programs that are geared toward your purpose. Chad Waterbury has some good overall strength and mass programs that work great for those who need more of everything.

Christian Thibaudeau’s workouts are geared for someone who already has a good base of size and strength but needs to refine some areas.

I’m against programs that neglect isolation exercises, as you need them to build an overall asthetic physique. However, I am for full-body programs and upper/lower body splits for the beginner or those who don’t have much strength or overall mass.

For those people, they can greatly benefit from compound exercises and more simple workouts. Once they build a good base, they can add more isolation work.

So you may want to start with something like Total Body Training or Anti-Bodybuilding Hypertrophy by CW and follow that for 6-8 weeks. Then, switch to an upper/lower body program to begin to refine some areas (shoulder/arms) for another 6-8 weeks and then move on to something like a specialization program or something with a mix of compound and isolation exercises (many of CT’s workouts).

[quote]Nate Dogg wrote:
Rather than trying to put your own program together, I would highly recommend trying something already written on T-Nation for the following reasons:

  1. You won’t just focus on your strengths or perform only exercises you like.

  2. It will have a method of progression already built in

  3. You can focus on working hard and just following it as written

Since strength and mass are your priorities, I’d figure out whether you are A) Training for asthetic purposes or B) Training for athletic purposes.

Then, find programs that are geared toward your purpose. Chad Waterbury has some good overall strength and mass programs that work great for those who need more of everything.

Christian Thibaudeau’s workouts are geared for someone who already has a good base of size and strength but needs to refine some areas.

I’m against programs that neglect isolation exercises, as you need them to build an overall asthetic physique. However, I am for full-body programs and upper/lower body splits for the beginner or those who don’t have much strength or overall mass.

For those people, they can greatly benefit from compound exercises and more simple workouts. Once they build a good base, they can add more isolation work.

So you may want to start with something like Total Body Training or Anti-Bodybuilding Hypertrophy by CW and follow that for 6-8 weeks. Then, switch to an upper/lower body program to begin to refine some areas (shoulder/arms) for another 6-8 weeks and then move on to something like a specialization program or something with a mix of compound and isolation exercises (many of CT’s workouts).[/quote]

thanks nate, you’ve been more than helpful

Quick question, should I do direct arm work, including forearms?

What about trap isolation work vs. total upper back work?

[quote]A-Dizz wrote:
Quick question, should I do direct arm work, including forearms?

What about trap isolation work vs. total upper back work?[/quote]

Work everything, if you dont feel you hit your traps hard enough do more shrugs or what ever…

If you dont feel you hit your forearms enough do some more curls or wrist curls etc.

Why shouldnt you do direct arm work would be a better question. Sure pullups and rows hit your biceps but curls are “FOR” your biceps.

What program are you following?

You may be able to add some direct arm work to the program if it is not already included. But I would keep it very simple and keep the volume fairly low (6-8 total sets per muscle group). You could add some forearm work as well, but I would keep it simple too.

As for traps, you should be able to get plenty of work from some deadlifts, shrugs and from overall back work (rows, chins, rear delt work).

I still have about 3 weeks before I jump into my long bulk cycle, so I have some time to get a really solid program set up.

I was thinking about trying EDT. Obviously, starting with the first cycle for the first month, the second cycle for the second month, and then maybe the arm mesocycle.

If I do that, should I reserve a few weeks for deloading in between somewhere?

I’m kind of tired of having to time everything in my workouts, too. The hypermetabolism wore me out on that aspect. The whole program is timing timing timing.

I’m looking for a good program where I can do cleans, squats, deads, and bench without having to worry too much about timing and what I did in my subsequent workout. Is there a good mass program anyone knows of preferably with low reps that allows me to incorporate all this stuff? Maybe 10x3?

if EDT really works really well though, then I can still give it a shot.

Bump.

What the best case scenario would be for me is a training and nutrition program with the highest level of the “just eat and lift” mentality.

I want there to be as little counting and number crunching as possible, because like i said in my last post, I’m over it from CT’s program.

I know enough about basic nutrition principles and nutrient timing that I can get a good clean bulk with a sufficient macronutrient ratio by just eyeballing it. I also have no problem eating clean year round.

How does 5x5 or 6x4 with a general diet of all clean food sound?

Sounds like you have the nutrition side fairly well nailed. For 5x5, go to geocities.com/elitemadcow1/5x5_Program/Linear_5x5.htm

This is fairly straightforward. No timed rest breaks. Simple set/rep scheme. All compound exercises. Plus it works!

This only has to be as complicated as you want to make it. Your training and diet doesn’t need to be analysed in such detail before you have even started to put it into practice.

Just start something and make changes as necessary, the only thing you need to concern yourself with is whether you are making progress, that’s all that matters.