T Nation

Bulking Questions

First off I’ll tell you a bit about what I’m doing now. I’m training for size and strength. I train mixed martial arts and brazillian jiu-jitsu @ american top team in port st. lucie. I currently weight about 166 pounds (up 10 pounds in about two weeks it seems like) I’ve been told that I should bulk up.

I’m about 5’10 or so, give or take an inch. I’ve been going to the gym for about 3 or 4 months now and recently have been missing days. I just managed to get in a full 3 day week and plan on continuing this routine. I do Bill Starr’s 5x5 routine that I got form elitefitness.com.

My 3 rep PR’s on friday were, squat 155, bench 145, bent row 125, deadlifts 165. (I feel like I can do much more then that on my DL, and I do DL’s on wed. not fri.) I’ve been trying to eat around 3k in calories per day. I try to eat more on lifting days and less on off days. I want to do HIIT on tue. and thurs. as well.

I plan on taking creatine daily as well. I’ve added a lot of fat to my belly in the last two weeks!

  1. Does this seem like a solid bulking plan?

  2. How much weight should I add if I want to be around a solid muscular 170-180 pounds. (remember I want to do a mixed martial arts fight eventually)

Also I seem to be adding weight fairly easy with what I’ve been doing lately. (unclean bulking) and beer drinking!

  1. Is there anything that I am doing wrong besides the obvious unclean bulking and drinking?

  2. Anything else you guys reccomend I start doing? For example if I wanted to record this in a journal, what would be the most important things I log/track?

Thanks for any help, it will be put to good use! I’ll post some low quality cell phone pics if necessary. They really are crappy though. thanks again!

I hope you are young because your PR’s are very, very weak. You need to get a hell of lot stronger if you ever want to fight MMA.

I have to ask why not try bulking with clean foods and cutting the beer down/out?

As a former fat pig, turned skinny bastard, and working my way up to (hopefully) 210-215 @ 10-12% BF (I am also 5 foot 10 BTW), I will tell you there are two ways to get where you are going.

Bulk Fast, eat like a pig, and to hell with it. You will go from, lets assume, 166 w/ 150 lean mass to 210 with your target 170-180 lean mass. Then have to diet down.

Bulk Properly, Eat TONS, but eat protein with every meal, choose your carbs, Etc. You?ll get to 190-195 with 170-180 lean mass. Then diet down, you choose.

I know everyone here is going to tell you to eat and lift, but if you are serious about MMA you can?t afford to carry around a lot of fat, even during a bulk, and the sooner you realize that nutrition is just as important as training the less time you will waste with short bulking and cutting cycles instead of a loooong bulking cycle with great growth and a single cut to your selected weight.

So to answer your questions:

  1. No that is not a solid bulking plan, it is a plan for weight, not muscle, gain. I find that the higher the BF% the less muscle you gain. In other words, if I am at 10% BF I gain 10 pounds of muscle per pound of fat, if I am at 15% I gain 5-7 pounds of muscle per pound of fat. So if you can stay lean while you bulk you will stay in the high muscle gain zone longer.

  2. The weight you need to add depends on how much fat you gain per pound of muscle. You will just have to gain till you have 170-180 pounds of lean muscle mass, preferably 185-190 incase you loose some dieting down.

For me I usually gain 1-2 pounds of fat for every 10 pounds of muscle I gain, so my BF% stays fairly constant, but my bro-in-law gains 12-15 pounds of muscle for every pound of fat, while my brother struggles to gain 5 pounds of muscle for every pound of fat.

  1. You did not give enough information in your post for us to know, what is your training like? I looked up Starr and got 8 different programs. How much cardio you doing? How old are you?

But if you are gaining fat with only 3,000 calories you are doing something wrong, I have gained fat with only 2,200 calories but we are not after fat here, in a clean bulk I eat 3.5 to 4.25K per day.

Either your training is wrong, or you are eating the wrong foods at the wrong times (Or probably both). I know lots of guys who drink beer when bulking without getting fat, I suggest you read the nutrition articles on this site (carb cycle codex comes to mind) even if you don?t follow the diet you learn good stuff, like no carbs before bed, no carbs without protein Etc.

  1. Keep two logs, one with everything you eat, one with everything you lift. You are not scared to get to get fat, that is a huge first step, but just because you can does not mean you should. Try to eat clean, and focus on gaining muscle, calories turning to fat are useless, but if you eat the same amount of calories and create muscle you will be better of.

Personally I find better results with higher reps during a bulk, I usually do 3 or 4x10 or 4 x 8 when bulking.

Your PRs are very low; I assume you are over 18 cuz you drink, so you should try to seriously improve strength, especially leg strength. Just for reference when I started training at 170 pounds I could double all your PRs except bench, make sure you?re using proper form.

Hope that helps

Lol yes guys I know my lifts are weak! I will be 21 june 17th. I just started lifting weights like less then 3 months ago. Before that I NEVER lifted. I just read a pretty good article on here about bulking. I think I will try that and see how it works. Thanks for the tips.