I’m a long time reader of T-Nation, but don’t post often. However, I’ve hit the point where I think I need to be seriously working on bulking but want to make sure I’m doing it right, and wanted to hear any tips/suggestions from as many people as possible.
Here is my background: I’ve been seriously lifting (and by that I mean lifting 3-5 times a week and not missing workouts) for a little over a year, although I was an off/on lifter for probably the previous 8-10 years - just never very consistent.
I’m 5’10, 175 lbs., ~14-15% BF (although I haven’t had it checked since last spring, but I can tell not much has changed since then) and 31 y/o.
When I started lifting seriously, I was near 200 lbs and about 23% BF, and not a lot of muscle by any means. So yeah, I think I fit Shugart’s definition of a former fat boy (FFB).
I did the NROL fat loss workouts for about 3 months and got down to about 165 lbs. and 14% BF. The last 10 months or so, I’ve done NROL hypertrophy, NROL strength, Rippetoe starting strength, and the last month I’ve been doing a split routine that I designed.
I basically was between 165-170 most of the time between last December and a month ago, only recently eating more to try to gain some weight.
I feel like I’ve kind of been treading water so to speak since I got down to 14% BF. My thought is that I’d love to get down to single digit BF, but I don’t think I’d have a lot of muscle right now to “show off” if I did, so I’d rather bulk for a while and worry about the low BF after I have more muscle.
But, I think I know my body fairly well by now, and I think that I tend to put on fat rather easily, so I’m a little hesistant to dive right into eating a ton and gaining fat along with muscle.
Is there anyone else that’s a FFB that can give me some tips on what they did or would do if you want to get big but don’t want that gut, etc. to get too big in the process?
I’d say for right now at least, for a medium to long term goal, I’d like to eventually get up to maybe around 180-190 lbs. at single digit body fat, maybe more weight, guess it just depends on how I look when I get there.
The last few weeks I’ve been upping my cals to around 3200-3500 per day, with the higher end for workout days. I eat fairly low carb, with most of the non-fruit/vegetable carbs coming either at breakfast or post-workout.
I try to get around 240+ grams of protein or more, eating 6x per day, plus a PWO shake. The first couple of weeks I put on 2 lbs a week, which seemed like a lot, so I threw in a little cardio at the end of my weight sessions, and last week the gain was 0.5 lbs.
I’m hesitant to put on a lot of weight quickly because I think I have a tendency to put on fat more easily than some.
My split lately has been:
Mon - Legs
Tues - Back
Wed - Chest and Sprinting
Thurs - Low back and Abs
Fri - Shoulders, Bis and Tris
Sat - Running or Sprinting ~ 30-40 min total
Sun - OFF
I can get into more detail on my eating or workouts if necessary. My workouts are mainly compound lifts, sets of 3-4 at anywhere from 5-10 reps normally.
Any tips or suggestions would be really appreciated.