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Bulking vs. Cutting???

I would like to hear some thoughts on bulking without getting fat. Seems to me there is no physiological reason one can not gain muscle without also gaining a lot of fat. If you are meticulous about diet.

[quote]Jersey5150 wrote:
I would like to hear some thoughts on bulking without getting fat. Seems to me there is no physiological reason one can not gain muscle without also gaining a lot of fat. If you are meticulous about diet.

[/quote]

There isn’t. It’s just going to take a loooonnnggg time and you are going to have tobe on top of your diet and program constantly.

If your goal is to lift weights over the course of your life and if you add 10-50 lbs over 10-50 years then so be it.

[quote]Jersey5150 wrote:
I would like to hear some thoughts on bulking without getting fat. Seems to me there is no physiological reason one can not gain muscle without also gaining a lot of fat. If you are meticulous about diet.
[/quote]
You CAN gain muscle without gaining fat, it’s just a slower and tougher(tougher, depending on the person). Most people want to get huge, fast. Their are some genetic freaks that get huge while keeping low body fat, but the normal person picks some fat up on the way. I don’t know what you exact question is, but those are my thoughts.

You say a lot of fat. Yes, it’s possible to gain muscle and “bulk up” without becoming a tubbo. However, if you don’t have great genetics and don’t use “assistance”, any desire to gain an appreciable amount of muscle mass will result in fat gain. Slow is better if you want to limit fat gain, but you still need not worry about your abs while bulking. The reason for this? Well, the human body is very complex, a hell of a lot more than any of us can probably imagine. So you’re meticulous and figure out you need 3158 calories to maintain, so you figure 3500 calories on a training day should put you in a nice positive energy balance but not too much? Well, how do you know for sure? You don’t. There’s no real way to determine that you’re eating the precise amount for good muscle growth without gaining some fat as well. Once you factor in all the hormones that come into play, it gets even more complicated. To make things short, don’t worry about a little fat gain. If you want more muscle, eat the healthy foods you know you should be eating, train hard and strive to put more weight on the bar in the “big lifts”, and pay attention to sleep/recovery.

Oh, and another thought for you. Looking at things in the long term, the wisest decision you can make in terms of your physique/getting big is to take a couple years and gain a lot of weight. This will be a long, bulk. You will eat big and get big. Depending on how skinny to begin with/age/many other factors, this could mean gaining 40-60lbs. in 2 years. That is a huge change. Yes, you will gain fat and lose your abs. But if you are secure enough with yourself and can handle gaining some fat too, it’ll pay off much more than bulking then cutting, bulking then cutting. This is the fastest, most effective way to make big changes, and you need to look at things in the long-run to actually go through with something like this.

[quote]Jersey5150 wrote:
… there is no physiological reason one can not gain muscle without also gaining a lot of fat.
[/quote]

Key phrase: “a lot”.

Why would you gain muscle slower if you try to stay relatively lean at the same time?

[quote]Jersey5150 wrote:
Why would you gain muscle slower if you try to stay relatively lean at the same time?[/quote]

Gawd, this is a play on words. Everyone’s goal is to stay “relatively lean”. No one has the outright goal of becoming a fat ass with a 45-50" waist. If your goal is to stay so lean that your abs are always present in full effect, that means you are constantly playing the game of cutting back calories and adding calories. Your body doesn’t grow in a linear fashion. It grows in spurts (ie. you can’t predict how much muscle you will gain over a given time period). That means that while you may be giving your body less, it may need more at that time to see further growth.

I personally would rather make sure I am giving my body everything it needs to grow well while gaining. Being overly restrictive with your food intake when gaining will slow progress if not stop it all together. I am so sorry that this doesn’t sound like a magazine ad to the tune of, “Lose tons of fat while gaining pounds and pounds of muscle with MoneyTech”.

X, please provide more info on “growth in spurts”. This is the first I’ve heard mention of it.

michaelv, this is the first you’ve heard mention of it? C’mon buddy, use your brain here. There is no way to pinpoint an exact # of calories your body needs to gain muscle without getting fat. The body is too complex for this and things constantly change.

So, if you want to gain muscle you should make sure to eat plenty of food. Better to overdo it a little, put on some fat, and grow. If one is constantly worried about getting fat, they aren’t going to gain muscle as well. As far as the growth spurts Professor X mentions, this is simple. Your body doesn’t grow in a linear way. If it did, you could figure out your caloric needs, then eat 500 calories over this everyday and gain 1lb./week. Eat clean foods, repeat the next week, gain muscle, don’t gain fat, everyone’s happy. It’s not this simple and it just doesn’t work like this. If you’re going to try and put on some muscle, it is extremely useful to forget about the abs and eat some damn food.

There is nothing for me to add to what vandalay15 wrote.

[quote]Jersey5150 wrote:
Why would you gain muscle slower if you try to stay relatively lean at the same time?[/quote]

Because you’re not getting enough of a calorie surplus to optimize muscle growth.

What you wrote isn’t exactly the same thing as “spurts”. Spurts implies that it grows in fits and starts without any obvious consistency. Even though you can’t exactly pinpoint the growth cycles, I would expect them to be consistent with consistent stimulus, at least over a reasonable period of time.

For that definition of spurts, I would expect there to be more solid data for chaotic growth than “use your brain”. I am. That’s why I’m asking questions.

So, it sounds like what you’re telling me is “you can’t predict exactly when or how much your body will respond to training and eating, but if you feed it enough of both, it will respond”. Over time, it will average out. OK, never mind.

[quote]michaelv wrote:
What you wrote isn’t exactly the same thing as “spurts”. Spurts implies that it grows in fits and starts without any obvious consistency. Even though you can’t exactly pinpoint the growth cycles, I would expect them to be consistent with consistent stimulus, at least over a reasonable period of time.

For that definition of spurts, I would expect there to be more solid data for chaotic growth than “use your brain”. I am. That’s why I’m asking questions.

So, it sounds like what you’re telling me is “you can’t predict exactly when or how much your body will respond to training and eating, but if you feed it enough of both, it will respond”. Over time, it will average out. OK, never mind.[/quote]

Chaotic growth? I am not sure why you have made this complicated to that degree. There have been many times over years of training that I might gain very slowly and then suddenly add 2lbs over the course of a weekend. I have also noticed increases in strength that border on the same. This has nothing to do with chaotic growth and everything to do with the simple fact that your body has several tasks OTHER THAN adding muscle. Adding more body weight in terms of muscle mass is something extra that your body technically doesn’t even “want” to occur.

Everything has to be available for there to be a surplus of nutrients to add to lean body tissue. This added mass is actually energy draining on the body as it needs even more calories to fuel. That means that your body is not going to gain muscle simply because you ate a certain amount of calories that day or simply because you lifted weights. All variables are synergistic and necessary for growth. There are so many variables involved that restricting intake while gaining is like putting up a 10 foot hurdle on a track field and then sitting there wondering why it won’t jump it.

X, you said you had nothing more to add, but what you just wrote very lucidly spells out something that might seem obvious, but has benefit by being explicitly stated anyway. See, you had something to add after all, and I appreciate it.

[quote]Jersey5150 wrote:
I would like to hear some thoughts on bulking without getting fat. Seems to me there is no physiological reason one can not gain muscle without also gaining a lot of fat. If you are meticulous about diet.
[/quote]

Jersey,

Some people choose to gain without bulking or excessive bulking. In life there is usually more than one way to do something.

Fred Hatfield talks about zig zag dieting, which is a way to gain muscle and minimize fat gain.

On the thread Grateful, Caveman says that he doesn’t believe in old school bulking and he has an incredible physique.

The body can only gain so much muscle naturally, so if you bulk and put on tons of weight, only a small amount is actually muscle.

Some people choose to gain this small amount of muscle without gaining tons of fat.

You probably won’t gain as fast this way though unless you have the genetics for it.