T Nation

Bulking with High Bodyfat?

I need people’s opinions on high BF bulking, does it matter if you have a high BF or not?

Well, does what matter when bulking at a high BF%?

Yes, you can and will still put on muscle and size if you’re eating a caloric surplus and lifting intensely.

No, this won’t be optimal for your health and overall well-being, but ultimately this whole thing comes down to what you are comfortable with.

How high? If gaining more body fat is going to put you in a position where it takes longer than 4 months or so to rip back off, you are moving in the wrong direction.

Anything else is largely preference. If someone has great genetics and can drop fat like a stone, then they can get away with being more loose in condition.

If you have a slow metabolism, it would be dumb to gain more extra weight that could take forever to get off.

[quote]johnny123 wrote:
I need people’s opinions on high BF bulking, does it matter if you have a high BF or not?[/quote]
I know you can’t possibly be referring to yourself, since you’re 6 feet tall and under 160 pounds. So we’re just talking in general, right?

Generally speaking, having a very high bodyfat can make it “easier” to add more fat than muscle when gaining. Long-term, this could make it even more difficult to get lean again. There’s also the idea of “rebound”, when it’s “easier” to make big muscular gains when you start bulking from a very lean condition (like when a bodybuilder gets back to training immediately after a contest).

In any case, I usually recommend forgetting you ever heard about “bodyfat percentage” and base progress on how you’re doing in the gym and how you’re looking in the mirror and/or in clothes. If all of those boxes are checked and you feel you’re going in the right direction (headed towards your long-term goal), keep doing what you’re doing. If not, make the necessary adjustments.

Yeah I was just interested because I’d heard people talk about body fat like it matters

[quote]Chris Colucci wrote:

[quote]johnny123 wrote:
I need people’s opinions on high BF bulking, does it matter if you have a high BF or not?[/quote]
I know you can’t possibly be referring to yourself, since you’re 6 feet tall and under 160 pounds. So we’re just talking in general, right?

Generally speaking, having a very high bodyfat can make it “easier” to add more fat than muscle when gaining. Long-term, this could make it even more difficult to get lean again. There’s also the idea of “rebound”, when it’s “easier” to make big muscular gains when you start bulking from a very lean condition (like when a bodybuilder gets back to training immediately after a contest).

In any case, I usually recommend forgetting you ever heard about “bodyfat percentage” and base progress on how you’re doing in the gym and how you’re looking in the mirror and/or in clothes. If all of those boxes are checked and you feel you’re going in the right direction (headed towards your long-term goal), keep doing what you’re doing. If not, make the necessary adjustments.[/quote]

For the record, none of that makes much biological sense. If a person starts gaining at 15% or 21%, why would the rate of muscle gained change? That is a genetic issue. I mean, MAYBE you could argue a fatter person would have less conditioning and function in less capacity…but even that ignores the possible benefits that powerlifters seek as far as leverages.

Other than that, I agree that if he is 160lbs this should be no concern…but nothing irks me more lately than seeing people repeat “being minimally fatter means you gain less muscle”…when it makes no sense.

[quote]Professor X wrote:

[quote]Chris Colucci wrote:

[quote]johnny123 wrote:
I need people’s opinions on high BF bulking, does it matter if you have a high BF or not?[/quote]
I know you can’t possibly be referring to yourself, since you’re 6 feet tall and under 160 pounds. So we’re just talking in general, right?

Generally speaking, having a very high bodyfat can make it “easier” to add more fat than muscle when gaining. Long-term, this could make it even more difficult to get lean again. There’s also the idea of “rebound”, when it’s “easier” to make big muscular gains when you start bulking from a very lean condition (like when a bodybuilder gets back to training immediately after a contest).

In any case, I usually recommend forgetting you ever heard about “bodyfat percentage” and base progress on how you’re doing in the gym and how you’re looking in the mirror and/or in clothes. If all of those boxes are checked and you feel you’re going in the right direction (headed towards your long-term goal), keep doing what you’re doing. If not, make the necessary adjustments.[/quote]

For the record, none of that makes much biological sense. If a person starts gaining at 15% or 21%, why would the rate of muscle gained change? That is a genetic issue. I mean, MAYBE you could argue a fatter person would have less conditioning and function in less capacity…but even that ignores the possible benefits that powerlifters seek as far as leverages.

Other than that, I agree that if he is 160lbs this should be no concern…but nothing irks me more lately than seeing people repeat “being minimally fatter means you gain less muscle”…when it makes no sense.
[/quote]

Maybe you would gain the same amount of muscle but be more prone to fat gain.

[quote]Marzouk wrote:

Maybe you would gain the same amount of muscle but be more prone to fat gain.
[/quote]

That is a hormonal issue and something we might be able to say about someone of normal body weight compared to that same person OBESE.

The problem is people applying this to ALL LIFTERS WHO EVER GAIN A POUND…which is bullshit.

If I am “17%” body fat now but was “13%” a few weeks ago, why would my body somehow start gaining more fat when I should also be carrying more muscle on me as well?

So does that mean if you start of on a high bf it wouldn’t really hinder the amount of muscle you put on meaning you would still put on the same amount of muscle as a person with a low bf but just not as defined?

[quote]Professor X wrote:

[quote]Marzouk wrote:

Maybe you would gain the same amount of muscle but be more prone to fat gain.
[/quote]

That is a hormonal issue and something we might be able to say about someone of normal body weight compared to that same person OBESE.

The problem is people applying this to ALL LIFTERS WHO EVER GAIN A POUND…which is bullshit.

If I am “17%” body fat now but was “13%” a few weeks ago, why would my body somehow start gaining more fat when I should also be carrying more muscle on me as well?

[/quote]

No in touch with the exact science of it, but doesn’t more adipose tissue = less testosterone?

less testosterone = less muscle building and more fat gain.

Also increased adipose = more leptin

More leptin = more hunger and increased chances of overeating above and beyond your goals?

Not to mention how increased body fat alters insulin sensitivity.

[quote]johnny123 wrote:
So does that mean if you start of on a high bf it wouldn’t really hinder the amount of muscle you put on meaning you would still put on the same amount of muscle as a person with a low bf but just not as defined?
[/quote]

Well you’ll be fatter so that muscle won’t be easy to see.

[quote]Marzouk wrote:

[quote]Professor X wrote:

[quote]Marzouk wrote:

Maybe you would gain the same amount of muscle but be more prone to fat gain.
[/quote]

That is a hormonal issue and something we might be able to say about someone of normal body weight compared to that same person OBESE.

The problem is people applying this to ALL LIFTERS WHO EVER GAIN A POUND…which is bullshit.

If I am “17%” body fat now but was “13%” a few weeks ago, why would my body somehow start gaining more fat when I should also be carrying more muscle on me as well?

[/quote]

No in touch with the exact science of it, but doesn’t more adipose tissue = less testosterone?

less testosterone = less muscle building and more fat gain.

Also increased adipose = more leptin

More leptin = more hunger and increased chances of overeating above and beyond your goals?

Not to mention how increased body fat alters insulin sensitivity.

[/quote]

All the reason the fact that these terms are now “pop bro science” is a negative. Most of the people repeating this are not biologists, doctors or otherwise. They are personal trainers or guys on websites.

Are you telling me being 5% body fat fatter means you now create less testosterone?

Any studies backing that up?

I’m not throwing that at you personally.

But that wouldn’t be a concern because you would lose it once you cut

[quote]Marzouk wrote:

[quote]johnny123 wrote:
So does that mean if you start of on a high bf it wouldn’t really hinder the amount of muscle you put on meaning you would still put on the same amount of muscle as a person with a low bf but just not as defined?
[/quote]

Well you’ll be fatter so that muscle won’t be easy to see. [/quote]

Again, the question would be HOW HIGH? The problem is people using info about OBESE PEOPLE and trying to act like this applies to some guys who bulks up but trains 5 days a week and eats with the purpose of more muscle gain and not just because he likes cake.

ah I see so as long as you train hard and eat right its not really a concern?

It’s a concern for all the reasons discussed.

Are you a lifter with a fast metabolism?

Do you have a easy time losing body fat?

Do you train harder and see more physical progress than many around you?

Are you under the age of 40?

Well, gee, if so, you could possibly get away with gaining and being a little less restrictive as far as either “conditioning” or food intake.

But other than that…I’ll wait for the evidence that being slightly fatter somehow causes a terminal cascade of hormonal events that somehow override genetics and start causing huge mutherfuckers who lift BIG weights to suddenly stop gaining muscle so fast and start gaining more fat.

[quote]Professor X wrote:

[quote]Marzouk wrote:

[quote]Professor X wrote:

[quote]Marzouk wrote:

Maybe you would gain the same amount of muscle but be more prone to fat gain.
[/quote]

That is a hormonal issue and something we might be able to say about someone of normal body weight compared to that same person OBESE.

The problem is people applying this to ALL LIFTERS WHO EVER GAIN A POUND…which is bullshit.

If I am “17%” body fat now but was “13%” a few weeks ago, why would my body somehow start gaining more fat when I should also be carrying more muscle on me as well?

[/quote]

No in touch with the exact science of it, but doesn’t more adipose tissue = less testosterone?

less testosterone = less muscle building and more fat gain.

Also increased adipose = more leptin

More leptin = more hunger and increased chances of overeating above and beyond your goals?

Not to mention how increased body fat alters insulin sensitivity.

[/quote]

All the reason the fact that these terms are now “pop bro science” is a negative. Most of the people repeating this are not biologists, doctors or otherwise. They are personal trainers or guys on websites.

Are you telling me being 5% body fat fatter means you now create less testosterone?

Any studies backing that up?

I’m not throwing that at you personally.[/quote]

Maybe you’re right, reading too much shit on fitness sites can lead to more harm than good.

As losing fat is about 10 times faster than building muscle,why not get lean first and get to building muscle later?

I dont know if this is weird or not , but …

I find it a hell of alot more difficult to gain muscle and strength as opposed to losing fat. To me , getting lean is easier because all you have to do is do a bunch of stuff to get “tired and sweaty.”

Strength gain is more difficult because you actually need to choose your poundages more precisely and move things around in your program in order to not stagnate.