T Nation

Bulking, Storing Too Much Fat


I'm new to this forum but not new to lifting and diet/nutrition has ALWAYS been my #1 sticking point. After a long time away from the gym (and many pounds lost) I'm starting up again and in the middle of bulking currently.

I weigh 200lbs and try to get 200-300g of protein a day, and close to double that in good carbs. I lift hard in the gym (4x/wk), drink tons of water throughout the day, and the only supplements I'm taking are vitamins and creatine.

My problem is that, although I've only been back in the gym for a few months, I'm visibly packing on the fat. My diet is pretty clean... one cheat meal a week so I don't lose my mind but other than that it's lean cuts of meat, brown rice, wheat breads/pastas, whey protein, etc.

My workouts are about 60-90m long and yet I'm taking in this huge quantity of food. I don't do cardio and my weight lifting is the only time of the day when I'm not sitting in a cubicle on my flat ass. I know every "turnkey" BB'ing diet on the internet says to take in 1-2g of protein per bound of bodyweight and lots of complex carbs and blah blah blah but there is NO FREAKING WAY I'm coming close to burning that many calories even on my hardest gym days. I'm no dietician but that's a HUGE amount of food and while I'm making progress with muscle mass and strength, I find the rate at which I'm adding fat unacceptable.

Anyone have any thoughts on this? Please don't just say "eat less and see what happens", I can figure that part out on my own. Wondering if anyone has had a similar experience or if this conventional BB'ing nutrition dogma isn't quite as "one size fits all" as they make it sound. I don't want to slow my progress but I also don't want to be spending 4 days a week in the gym and still be embarrassed to take off my shirt in public cuz I'm a fat shit.


It doesn't matter what the BB'ing diets on the internet say to do, if you are gaining too much fat during a
bulk, you are either eating too much. not training hard enough, or not getting enough sleep to properly recover. If you think you are giving it all you can in the gym, and are getting 7-8 good hours of sleep a night, you must look hard at your diet for the answer.


400-600g carbs is kind of a lot...


What are your maintenance calorie requirements? I also sit at a desk most of the day. Try eating most of your cals pre/post workout. Eat above maint on training days, at or slightly below maint on rest days. Weekly calories should be a slight surplus.


Already I'm glad I posted this thread. I've asked this question of many people and/or in many forums over the years and all anyone can say is "EAT MOAR!!!!!!!!111one".

Training wise, I usually focus on 2-3 per workout... so for example Chest, Triceps, Legs on day 1, or Shoulders, Back, Biceps on day 2. I do my squats, my bench, my rack pulls, my military presses, etc... I'm not pissing my time away on the pec dec machine or anything and I aim for 2-3 different exercises per muscle group. I'm pretty happy with the effort and intensity that goes into my workouts.

Regarding maintenance calories vs. bulking calories, I've used those calculators but they REALLY seem to run high and that's probably because if I'm not in the gym, my ass is in a computer chair. I don't want to hamper my progress by not eating enough, but I'm 6'5 and visibly putting on fat just 2-3 months into bulking. For it to show on a frame my size that quickly means I'm doing something wrong.


You were probably gaining more than 1 lb a week I would imagine. It sucks but you don't have much more of an option than to slow down. That or be flabulous.

I bulked up to 210 pounds a while ago and I was going way too fast. I've cut 30 pounds so far and I probably need to lose 10 more (to get to 7% mind you). In my opinion bulking that fast ended up being a waste.

You can throw on steep incline walking or HIIT to do a little damage control, but I would take those carbs down a notch or two as well. At least until you're only gaining 1 lb a week.

After my cut I plan to bulk at a rate of 2 pounds a month, I don't care who says abs aren't cool.


Yeah I'm going to dig into some of the articles on this site about macro nutrient timing and all that stuff. I have no problem not having visible abs, they come out just fine when I cut, but what I don't want is a fat face or "love handles".


You could try throwing in a few "diet" days during the week on your off days. Reduce calories by 20% below maintenance on a rest day once or twice a week and see if that helps curb the fat loss while bulking.


Check out my response to "check my diet?" I just wrote up a few good paragraphs there. For your height I'm sure youve got a lot of lean mass and I'm guessing your protein is too low and your carbs are ridiculously too high especially since as you said you sit at a desk all day.


try carb cycling for bulking.

add in a couple sessions of fasted morning cardio.

move more?


Could be all those carbs and water retention causing it.

Maybe slow down on carbs for 4-5 days and check how your belly looks then.
Oats and brown rice have this effect on me.


You are too inactive for your food intake, that is the bottom line, It doesn't matter how clean your food is.

Right now you are: Calories in >> Calories out = High fat gain.

It doesn't matter if you think 3500+ calories isn't a lot, because it obviously is too much food for you right now.

A good start would be to spend 6 days a week in the gym, hard sessions, 90+ minutes, with lots of volume, PLUS some extra work, such as sled pushing/pulling, and maybe a 20-30 minute ab workout before bed.

Right there you are now burning way more calories per day, and stand a better chance of looking leaner.

But even then, you may still be eating too much.

You need to write down a diet plan, allow yourself 3000 calories MAX (including peri workout nutrition), try a ratio of 34% protein, 33% carbs, 33% fats.

Stick to that for a month or two and adjust accordingly.


More gym time (6x week), more volume, more extra work via sled pushing/ab workouts before bed

Less calories (3000 tops), monitor your weight/fat over the course of two months and adjust calorie intake from there.

I hope this helps you, I was in the same boat and it sucks. But you need to be more active and eat less.


Have you counted your calories?
Protein @ 250g = 1000 calories
carbs @ 500g = 2000 calories

No mention of fat = so you're eating more than 3000 calories and getting too fat, sorry man not everyone has a fast metabolism. Either cycle calories and carbs or cut 500 calories a day and continue as you currently are.


I too sit at a computer all day and know what its like to estimate calorie requirements. Like the above post I come in around 3000 per day. It was recommended to me to go as high as 4000 but I put on fat like a bear getting ready for winter. I cut to 3500 and still saw fat gains. 3000 seems to work well for me (currently 203lb). I use this number as a starting point and add in extra if I kill it in the gym or want to bring up a lagging body part (legs). I also eat less than 3000 calories on off days, say 2500-2700.

For your ratios I would go
LBM x 1 for carbs (currently you are >2 x LBM as others have pointed out)
LBM x 2 for Protein
LBM x .5 for fats


My suggestions would be:
- take CLA instead of adding cardio.
- lower your carbs
- take enough fats, especially eggs
- don't train more than 4x/w or that will mess up your testosterone/cortisol ratio
- take a zinc sup for your testosterone.
- try to train each muscle 3x/w ( lower the volume per w/o and increase frequency ).
- take a pre w/o and a post/wo shake.
- if you gain more than 1lb/w lower your calories.


What the fuck?


Get rid of the wheat-based foods and cut carbs. You don't need them if you're sitting down all day.