Calorie Surplus

[quote]bulkNcut wrote:
I can’t deadlift or squat due to a lower back injury, although I’m transitioning back slowly. I also can’t bench press due to a forearm injury, either tendinitis or splints, but I’m transitioning back from that too. I’ve been focusing on rehab stuff for the past 8 months and training what I can, as hard as I can but smart.

Also I’m in the gym training 4 days a week anyways and do dynamic work and rehab stuff on a fifth day as well. I guess I’m just asking if in my current state I can provide my body with enough of a training stimulus to gain lean muscle mass, not just purely fat (although I know fat comes with the lean mass).

I have bulked before so I’m familiar with the concept, but before that was based around progression of my compound movements. [/quote]

Were I in your situation, I would be training as heavy as I could in the range of motion where I am painfree to get my heavy work in, and train light in the full ROM to get my volume in. That has worked for me in the past when it comes to training with/around injuries.

So, for example, block/rack pulls instead of deads. High box squats instead of squats. Board/pin presses instead of benching, etc. Reverse bands also go a long way here.

[quote]bulkNcut wrote:
I can’t deadlift or squat due to a lower back injury, although I’m transitioning back slowly. I also can’t bench press due to a forearm injury, either tendinitis or splints, but I’m transitioning back from that too. I’ve been focusing on rehab stuff for the past 8 months and training what I can, as hard as I can but smart.

Also I’m in the gym training 4 days a week anyways and do dynamic work and rehab stuff on a fifth day as well. I guess I’m just asking if in my current state I can provide my body with enough of a training stimulus to gain lean muscle mass, not just purely fat (although I know fat comes with the lean mass).

I have bulked before so I’m familiar with the concept, but before that was based around progression of my compound movements. [/quote]

You can concentrate on progressing on lifts that don’t aggravate your injuries.

Work on your mobility/flexibility/form. That is the major cause for squat/DL related injuries IMO.

Virtually everyone who’s been lifting for any significant amount of time has incurred some injuries. You just have to figure out, within reason, how to train around them and find movements that don’t hurt.

@gregron, impressive physique man, really. And yeah the past 10 months have been focused on not only the rehab, but mobility( primarily in hips, and also more recently just drilling proper form into my head. Its been monotonous, but def beneficial.

And @the pwnisher, I really respect that form of working through injuries. Im gonna come right out and say it though I honestly don’t know if I am experienced enough to do that. I regressed my hip hinging and squatting movements, so I still got the repetitions in, but I feel I wouldve prolonged the injury even more if I had worked partial ranges of motion heavy.

Also I still feel tightness in the area, which is initially what I was trying to get rid of before I started training heavy again. But its been too long and I’ve made significant progress in mobility and the pt rehab so I think its a tightness I’m going to work through gradually. No pain, st tightness that has haunted me for awhile.

And yes I’m concentrating on things that don’t aggravate the injury, for example the weighted sips and chins and hip thrusts which are just a few among the movements I’ve turned to. Not ideal but progress is progress. I just didn’t know if this sort of training would provide enough of a stimulus to warrant a bulk.

I feel I need to take this bulk slow and keep it clean, the opposite of what I did for my first one. The first one ended well in my eyes I just am heavier now and don’t think that can be redone as drastically

[quote]bulkNcut wrote:
And @the pwnisher, I really respect that form of working through injuries. Im gonna come right out and say it though I honestly don’t know if I am experienced enough to do that. I regressed my hip hinging and squatting movements, so I still got the repetitions in, but I feel I wouldve prolonged the injury even more if I had worked partial ranges of motion heavy. Also I still feel tightness in the area, which is initially what I was trying to get rid of before I started training heavy again. But its been too long and I’ve made significant progress in mobility and the pt rehab so I think its a tightness I’m going to work through gradually. No pain, st tightness that has haunted me for awhile. [/quote]

You definitely don’t have to follow my experience on this, but you shouldn’t re-injure yourself if you are working outside of where you are feeling pain. I’ve tried both resting from injuries and this method, and I found that, when I avoided training an injured area, it just got worse, whereas when I trained, it healed. The full ROM training with light/reverse bands was also helpful for getting rid of the tight feeling.

In general, I’ve noticed that avoiding an injured part makes it worse. Steve Pulcinella touched on this as “paleo rehab”.

[quote]T3hPwnisher wrote:

[quote]bulkNcut wrote:
And @the pwnisher, I really respect that form of working through injuries. Im gonna come right out and say it though I honestly don’t know if I am experienced enough to do that. I regressed my hip hinging and squatting movements, so I still got the repetitions in, but I feel I wouldve prolonged the injury even more if I had worked partial ranges of motion heavy. Also I still feel tightness in the area, which is initially what I was trying to get rid of before I started training heavy again. But its been too long and I’ve made significant progress in mobility and the pt rehab so I think its a tightness I’m going to work through gradually. No pain, st tightness that has haunted me for awhile. [/quote]

You definitely don’t have to follow my experience on this, but you shouldn’t re-injure yourself if you are working outside of where you are feeling pain. I’ve tried both resting from injuries and this method, and I found that, when I avoided training an injured area, it just got worse, whereas when I trained, it healed. The full ROM training with light/reverse bands was also helpful for getting rid of the tight feeling.

In general, I’ve noticed that avoiding an injured part makes it worse. Steve Pulcinella touched on this as “paleo rehab”.[/quote]

Yeah man I agree with you. Like I said I feel like I personally would have further aggravated the injury by this though. Like I said mostly lack of experience, and partly personality. Also for me the major thing was that my right was externally rotated, so a period of time was taken to correct this, before strengthening in the new position.

I’m having a hard time explaining to you how I both agree with you but chose not to follow this method. Haha hopefully you understand where I’m coming from and that its my own personal opinion, rather than thinking I’m right or wrong.

The thing about re hab/pre hab/mobility work is that it’s slow going. That’s the frustrating part (for me at least) is that it takes a long time and a lot of consistency. You have to stick with it for a long time but when you start feeling the benifits it is definitely worth it.

Do you need to squat and Deadlift? Are you planning on competing in powerlifting? Do you just want to be strong and look good in a t shirt or at the beach?

These are questions that you need to answer: what are your goals?

This may go against the grain but guess what? You don’t have to squat and Deadlift.

[quote]gregron wrote:
The thing about re hab/pre hab/mobility work is that it’s slow going. That’s the frustrating part (for me at least) is that it takes a long time and a lot of consistency. You have to stick with it for a long time but when you start feeling the benifits it is definitely worth it.

Do you need to squat and Deadlift? Are you planning on competing in powerlifting? Do you just want to be strong and look good in a t shirt or at the beach?

These are questions that you need to answer: what are your goals?

This may go against the grain but guess what? You don’t have to squat and Deadlift. [/quote]

On this topic, I think picking new movements is great for the rehab process, just because you can avoid the ego blow that comes with “losing strength”.

It can be something simple, like going from low bar to high bar squats, or using a safety squat bar or a cambered bar, but just something where you are still building strength/recovery, just with a movement you don’t have anything to compare against.

[quote]T3hPwnisher wrote:

[quote]gregron wrote:
The thing about re hab/pre hab/mobility work is that it’s slow going. That’s the frustrating part (for me at least) is that it takes a long time and a lot of consistency. You have to stick with it for a long time but when you start feeling the benifits it is definitely worth it.

Do you need to squat and Deadlift? Are you planning on competing in powerlifting? Do you just want to be strong and look good in a t shirt or at the beach?

These are questions that you need to answer: what are your goals?

This may go against the grain but guess what? You don’t have to squat and Deadlift. [/quote]

On this topic, I think picking new movements is great for the rehab process, just because you can avoid the ego blow that comes with “losing strength”.

It can be something simple, like going from low bar to high bar squats, or using a safety squat bar or a cambered bar, but just something where you are still building strength/recovery, just with a movement you don’t have anything to compare against.
[/quote]
Good advice. I really wish my gym had a safty squat bar or cambered bar

I do want to squat/ deadlift, mostly because I love doing them and really believe in programming around them. Also before I got injured I had entertained the idea of a powerlifting meet at some point. And yeah the rehab stuff has been downright frustrating. Its especially annoying when I’m practicing my squat form with a body bar and watching guys who have no idea what they’re doing quarter squat 315… But I digress.

And honestly I’m so what past the ego blow, at least I would like to think so. I mean I’ve been deadlifting a 25lb dumbbell to practice my hip hinge and pressing with just the bar on a regular basis. So for me just being able to low bar squat with the regular bar a couple days ago was both exciting and fun . I’m sure my attitude will change though haha

[quote]gregron wrote:

Good advice. I really wish my gym had a safty squat bar or cambered bar [/quote]

Gotta pay to play, haha. The SSB has to be the single greatest investment I ever made for my training. If I was held at gunpoint and was told I could only do 1 movement for the rest of my life, it would be safety squat bar squats.

Also I want to someday be a strength and conditioning coach. Trust me I am very aware I have a long ways to go (this thread as living proof), and Im going off to school in about a year to start studying for it. I wanted to have my lifts at certain numbers before that, but now I’m just feeling pressure to just get my lifts back to where they were before. I want to show I practice what I preach, and having a somewhat impressive background in the compound lifts is a big part of that for me.

First, PX was right. Can’t trick your body. Either eat above maint and gain muscle, or eat below maint and desperately try to hold on to the muscle you have. There is no gaining in a deficit. Recomping is just a very frequent cycling of cut and bulk. Assuming it even works for you, it will obviously take much longer.

As to your injuries, I find it humerous that Bulkncut & T3hPwnisher had nearly this exact same exchange in April:

It seems like you’ve made no progress toward healing that injury for nearly a year now, since the injury was 4 months old at the time of that thread. While I do sympathize, you’ve already posted several threads in this subforum about your injuries and ways to get around it and people have offered their ideas already.

I would say you need to talk to a medical doctor ASAP why a year of rehab has not fixed a lower back strain. Also, time to get on a machine-based split, as it seems painfully obvious you are not ready to handle basic compound movements yet.

I have made progress, not ideal but I have. The tightness has lessened and it’s not there constantly like it was before. Sometimes I’ll go a week symptom free and it will return. I’ve been to a doctor multiple times, got xrays, went to two pts, and a chiropractor. I cannot afford much else and I think I can work my way though this. Also with all due respect I think a machine based split would not be a good idea

And although this thread may have turned into my injuries, I was not asking advice on rehab. I was simply asking about gaining mass In my current sate. Also like you’ve said it’s been a year. I’ve been focusing on mobility, rehab stuff, and core stability that entire time and I need to progress. Its not neurological and my x rays were negstive. The doctors have not been much help and neither was the first pt. I don’t have the money to keep playing hit or miss, and I’m sick of not training the way I enjoy

Well, you told T3hPwnisher you can’t do the main lifts and you can’t do partials of the main lift and you can’t do variations of the main lifts. So…if not a machine based split, then what? DB/unilateral training I suppose is another option, but I feel like those will only get you so far.

Look, like I said, I do sympathize. But, I feel like you have your priorities all twisted in knots. You want to “bulk” but you can’t do the main lifts and you refuse to do machines. Maybe this is not the ideal time to bulk. Focus on eating a nutrient dense, reasonable diet while you sort out your lifting issues, and revisit the idea of a bulk when you can train at full capacity.

Also, lots of bodybuilders have gotten big, muscular, and pretty strong using machines. I really don’t feel like you are in a position to look down on it, although, obviously no one can force you.

I had been doing slrdl, and lunges, and progressed to other forms of hip hinging and squatting. I’ve been doing Bulgarian split squats for like 6 months now, and now imcgonna start squatting. Trust me I’m not exactly thrilled with my progress and it hasn’t been the fastest thing. And yes I will agree that the unilateral training will only get me so far. I do want to bulk, but personally I don’t think I’m being unrealistic about it. Hence asking whether or not its even possible. When I got injured I was 225, I’ve leaned out and held 200 since then.

Also my diet is pretty decent, and I’m pretty happy with it. But you do have a point, and this may not be the best time to bulk which is why I ask for input. And Im strongly against machine training, even when injured as it develops imbalances that could further aggravate an injury. In certain situations yeah it may be helpful, but for me I believe it isn’t. And I disagree about the bodybuilders and machines. They may use them, but it was this basics that they built their base upon. Also im sorry if I came off as a dick. I’ve been rubbed the wrong way a couple times on here and I can be defensive. Also this is a touchy subject for me as I’m not at peace with how things have gone with this injury myself. Especially how hard (impossible) it is to find a good doctor.

Sure. I understand. It’s not easy to open yourself up to advice and criticism from strangers. You’re being a good sport about it, and I’m sorry your injuries won’t heal faster.

You have to do what you believe in. If you don’t think a certain training will work, you’re right no matter what.

I stick by my advice, though, that until you feel like you can really kill it in the gym, “bulking” in the traditional sense will get you nowhere. Also, don’t expect to pack on muscle while simulatenously eating under maintenance and lifting sub-optimally. It only seems logical that you should just cruise on a healthy diet until you can get your lifting issues resolved.

I understand and I completely agree with your statement on bulking in the traditional sense. This seems weird but a huge part of the transition I’m making is going to be psychological. Im trying to make myself believe that I am good to start progressing, and that as long as I use good form and a sense of cautionary judgement I will push past this. I need to get in the mindset that the tightness is just a ming from my body that I need to take things slow, not a sign of complete inability to perform basic movements. Lastly I should make clear that there is no pain, and my major issue has been internal rotation of my right hip, and Ive been making every effort to correct that

[quote]bulkNcut wrote:
This may be moved to beginner section, it’s a basic concept but I wanted the audience from here. Anyways I get that in order to gain weight you have to be in a calorie surplus, and obvious the opposite is true for losing weight. However, do you have to be in a calorie surplus to gain muscle mass? For example I’m 200lbs, but prlly around 15% bf (just a guesstimate).

If I maintain my current calorie intake but continue progressing in my lifts will I gain muscle mass cause I have enough of a surplus to have some excess bf? Or do I need to increase my calories in order to see improvements in muscle mass? I’m currently not doing the big compound lifts cause of an injury, but I’m slowly transitioning back into heavy training. Very slowly.

Ive been maintaining 200 lbs for about 2 months now, and I’m gonna very slowly bring up my squat and posterior chain strength, while simultaneously increasing upper body movements I can do such as weighted dips and chins. Basically I’ve been in a rut for about 6 months, and I’m looking to start making some more serious gains again but I don’t think my current training allows for enough stimulus to really do a bulk.

Should I maintain for the next few months once I can start lifting a bit heavier or should I start slowly increasing calorie intake as I progress with movements that may not be as ideal as squats and deads and presses, but are heavy chins and dips. I know this is all over the place so if further clarification is needed let me know. [/quote]

As long as you’re getting enough protein in and you’re not getting hungry that should be enough to gain muscle. You don’t need too much of a surplus to gain muscle, it’s a very slow process and a lb a month would be considered GREAT progress. Keep rehabbing your injuries but also make sure to stimulate the muscle properly. So do your rehab work and then go do leg extensions, leg curls, leg presses, db presses, flyes etc… anything that doesn’t bother your connective tissue but that can stimulate the muscle you’re trying to target. Also, if your strength is going up in an adequate rep range then you’re gaining muscle.