T Nation

Coach Wants Me to Continue Bulk. Should I Listen?


#1

I have been training since February of last year.
I had used machines and toyed with weights before (got up to 100kg squat before) that but it was me starting from scratch, 143 pounds at 5ft10.
I could not even bench the bar and I was very thin. I tried eating everything I could because I just wanted to gain very quickly and even though I was gaining very quickly at the beginning, my diet was not great and I ended up more fat than I would have gained if I planned my diet. It was a bad habit because I assumed that it would work forever.

When I got a coach (national level bodybuilder here in the UK), he told me to clean up my diet and this has drastically slowed down the fat gains. He basically handed me a list of foods to buy and said "Follow the damn list, don't deviate". Today, I am 187 pounds.

I asked my coach if I can start cutting yesterday and he told me that I am young and he thinks that I am obssessing about the standard/average holiday physique too much; and that this will lead to me wasting my time when I am still weak to him and not ready. He was blunt. He said that I need to sacrifice my ego (i.e. abs/ what i think is aesthetics) and if I am serious about 'real' training I should listen to him so that I can get bigger and stronger.

He told me that I should forget about the fat I have at the moment and just bulk slower until I reach the lifting goals. He said I should eventually (when the time comes) cut slowly and take about a year if necessary to do it. When I reach a point that he is happy with he will say I should cut and we will work hard to ensure we keep all the strength. I.e. Over 100-110kg bench, squatting around 150-155kg, deadlifting 4 plates (180kg) and above (All for 5 reps).
I was not very happy but he told me to ask him again in August.

My current best lifts are as follows:
Bench Press 82.5kg for five reps. (I think I can lift more as last week this felt quite easy)
Squat 130kg 1x5 reps (I have since deloaded and I am working my way back up)
Deadlift 155kg 1x5
Overhead Press 60kg 3x8

Some pics, I think if I cut I will get a good "fitness" type of physique. But my coach wants more from me and that cutting down for abs should be something I do later down the line when I am not "thinking and lifting like a pussy prettyboy youtube lifting cunt" anymore. He got quite angry so I just stopped talking about it. Should I just cut or listen to the guy?


#2

Is your goal to be a high level bodybuilder down the road or to look good this summer?

Neither one is the wrong answer; deciding what your destination is will help you map your route to get there.


#3

the bigger issue, to me, is why would you want to take coaching from such a massive douche?

But as to your dilemma: it depends what matters to you most. If you want to be hyooge, then just keep at it. If your desire to be ripped is more powerful than your desire to be hyooge, then cut. There’s no right or wrong answer; it’s entirely up to you.


#4

You’re bigger, stronger, and less fat following his diet!
Its working so well you are ready to stop?

Keep listening! In August you will be bigger stronger and leaner!

As a young brah your body is growing. Its different than bulking. You need food and heavy lifting to mature to your full size.


#5

You are doing well! Especially traps and teardrops. Dont stop now!


#6

[quote]Yogi wrote:
the bigger issue, to me, is why would you want to take coaching from such a massive douche?

But as to your dilemma: it depends what matters to you most. If you want to be hyooge, then just keep at it. If your desire to be ripped is more powerful than your desire to be hyooge, then cut. There’s no right or wrong answer; it’s entirely up to you.[/quote]

It’s his coaching style, he micro-manages and spots every set. He says one of his biggest regrets is not focusing anywhere near enough on leg development when he was younger because of other vanity pursuits. He thinks he could have scored higher in the national rankings at his best because of this (4th). His view is that if you are natural, then you better be pushing perfect sets and eating well to maximise. So when you train with him he makes sure you are squatting more and deadlifting more. I am not great at either so it has taken a lot of work and pushing.

There is a female coach too who is also national level and she is the good cop and takes it easier with the other guy they train.
Basically he says I can enter the BNBF if I work properly in the next years.


#7

It is possible to put on muscle without continually adding bodyfat. While it does sound like the guy got you into a much better place than you were, it will all depend on your goals.

Could you do a slow cut (or even just a little tightening) while also pushing for more lbm? Sure
Could you maintain your current scale weight while putting on lbm and losing fat? Yup
Could you eat an even further surplus in the efforts to “bulk”, and while possibly putting on lbm, unquestionably continue adding adipose tissue? Yeah,… but most people probably wouldn’t choose this option.

S


#8

[quote]renatus wrote:

[quote]Yogi wrote:
the bigger issue, to me, is why would you want to take coaching from such a massive douche?

But as to your dilemma: it depends what matters to you most. If you want to be hyooge, then just keep at it. If your desire to be ripped is more powerful than your desire to be hyooge, then cut. There’s no right or wrong answer; it’s entirely up to you.[/quote]

It’s his coaching style, he micro-manages and spots every set. He says one of his biggest regrets is not focusing anywhere near enough on leg development when he was younger because of other vanity pursuits. He thinks he could have scored higher in the national rankings at his best because of this (4th). His view is that if you are natural, then you better be pushing perfect sets and eating well to maximise. So when you train with him he makes sure you are squatting more and deadlifting more. I am not great at either so it has taken a lot of work and pushing.
There is a female coach too who is also national level and she is the good cop and takes it easier with the other guy they train.
Basically he says I can enter the BNBF if I work properly in the next years. [/quote]

well yeah, that’s all well and good provided you actually want to be in the BNBF…

Your coach is right that this is the best age for you to add mass, and pushing the envelope in terms of calories is the best way to do that. The concept of an all out bulk is pretty old school, but it certainly works for packing on muscle.

However, if you’d rather have sexy abs, then it’s not the best way to go about it.

One goal is not necessarily any better or worse than the other, you just have to choose which is more important to you.

Also, your coach sounds a bit like the uncle from Napoleon Dynamite, or Marlon Brando in that movie I can’t remember the name of…


#9

[quote]The Mighty Stu wrote:

Could you do a slow cut (or even just a little tightening) while also pushing for more lbm? Sure
Could you maintain your current scale weight while putting on lbm and losing fat? Yup

S[/quote]

Hi Stu, I would personally prefer these two options and it seems like he is pushing for the same type of direction.

How would you go about achieving these two methods? I guess it is all about the amount of surplus/deficit?


#10

[quote]Yogi wrote:

[quote]renatus wrote:

[quote]Yogi wrote:
the bigger issue, to me, is why would you want to take coaching from such a massive douche?

But as to your dilemma: it depends what matters to you most. If you want to be hyooge, then just keep at it. If your desire to be ripped is more powerful than your desire to be hyooge, then cut. There’s no right or wrong answer; it’s entirely up to you.[/quote]

It’s his coaching style, he micro-manages and spots every set. He says one of his biggest regrets is not focusing anywhere near enough on leg development when he was younger because of other vanity pursuits. He thinks he could have scored higher in the national rankings at his best because of this (4th). His view is that if you are natural, then you better be pushing perfect sets and eating well to maximise. So when you train with him he makes sure you are squatting more and deadlifting more. I am not great at either so it has taken a lot of work and pushing.
There is a female coach too who is also national level and she is the good cop and takes it easier with the other guy they train.
Basically he says I can enter the BNBF if I work properly in the next years. [/quote]

well yeah, that’s all well and good provided you actually want to be in the BNBF…

Your coach is right that this is the best age for you to add mass, and pushing the envelope in terms of calories is the best way to do that. The concept of an all out bulk is pretty old school, but it certainly works for packing on muscle.

However, if you’d rather have sexy abs, then it’s not the best way to go about it.

One goal is not necessarily any better or worse than the other, you just have to choose which is more important to you.

Also, your coach sounds a bit like the uncle from Napoleon Dynamite, or Marlon Brando in that movie I can’t remember the name of…[/quote]

Long term, I want to eventually compete and achieve a golden age of bodybuilding type of physique (within realistic expectations). I think the physiques from that era of bodybuilders were just real beauty.

Yeah, he can be an old man. But, he believes in me and he is just old school about his beliefs and experiences/perspective.


#11

Unrelated to the original question, but your shoulders and traps are far more developed than every other aspect of your training. If you try to bring up the rest to match those, they you will already have a pretty decent base to work with.


#12

So to sum up, you went from barely benching bar to benching bodyweight x5reps roughly, probably deadlift 2x bw, nearly 2x bw squat, super solid OHpress… What is your routine ? Your coach might be old school with his methods but great results nonetheless

About food, you might try to identify your “worst” sources of calories and replace them with “cleaner” stuff like buckwheat powder, Brown rice, sweet potatoes…maybe simply more dextrin. As long as you have as many calories in your daily diet


#13

[quote]tontongg wrote:
So to sum up, you went from barely benching bar to benching bodyweight x5reps roughly, probably deadlift 2x bw, nearly 2x bw squat, super solid OHpress… What is your routine ? Your coach might be old school with his methods but great results nonetheless

About food, you might try to identify your “worst” sources of calories and replace them with “cleaner” stuff like buckwheat powder, Brown rice, sweet potatoes…maybe simply more dextrin. As long as you have as many calories in your daily diet[/quote]

My routines have changed as time went on. I started off with a basic Rippetoes programme. Then I went on to 5x5 on big compounds with the same weight across the sets, (excluding DL of course) and added some more exercises such as row. This was the ICF 5x5 routine. That was 3 times a week on both of these routines.

Now, I am doing a 4 day split which is a hybrid routine between strength/bodybuilding. Recently I have been doing ramp up sets on the compounds (I think this is known as periodization) with 5x5. Sort of like Madcows. After the ramped up sets, I do different exercises (I like variation personally so I change exercises sometimes) such as (for chest day) Incline DB Bench drop sets (my favourite), db flyes, Cable, machines, dips. It just really depends really on what exercises I want to do on the day (not that I change it around much) and what accessories I think can improve my big compounds. I really enjoy the training and have been seeing progress. I also like the split more these days because I go into the gym on sessions looking forward to training that body area. I try to keep the training exciting and I watch a lot of training videos online because I just love watching the golden age documentaries.


#14

I don’t understand why you would spend money on a coach and then second guess him?


#15

A young up and comer, with a lot of potential and a cantankerous old trainer. I want the movie rights!

I love the way your coach is handling your progression, and i love your respect for the golden age. You’re making gains and really learning the process. Stick with this coach. Learn his diet, and see how it goes.

Was it Vince Giruda who said all kinds of mean stuff to Arnold?


#16

How old are you also btw? I think you have a good frame and your training seems to be going really well and you seem committed to your diet. I think everyone has knee-jerk motivations sometimes to cut, bulk, try a new sport etc etc but if you have clearly defined goals. Which it seems you do, and a good trainer albeit cantankerous I would just stick to the program a little longer. No one was ever upset about having too much muscle mass prior to cutting.


#17

[quote]cparker wrote:
How old are you also btw? I think you have a good frame and your training seems to be going really well and you seem committed to your diet. I think everyone has knee-jerk motivations sometimes to cut, bulk, try a new sport etc etc but if you have clearly defined goals. Which it seems you do, and a good trainer albeit cantankerous I would just stick to the program a little longer. No one was ever upset about having too much muscle mass prior to cutting.[/quote]

I am 23, and I am in this for the long haul. Yeah, funnily enough, the thing the guy emphasises is that the good sports pros are the guys that don’t get injured and keep consistent.

I was the smallest in the yeargroup at 14-18 and that is the ‘real’ me in my mind. I was really damn small, like 98 pounds at 17.

I always remember where I came from, I had bad health problems requiring two lung operations at 17 and 17. The gym was somewhere where I used to just go for the cardio and improving my lung capacity, using the weights machines sometimes. A few years were spent just trying to stop feeling breathless and frail. I did not have a normal life because I was in and out of hospital, so I missed a lot of things. I naturally filled out as I got healthier and started exercising more, then last year I decided to commit to a proper lifting routine (starting strength) from 143 pounds. To get to 143 was an achievement in itself. It was like my base’s base, just being healthy and not fat. The gym has given me so much in my life that I am just very happy to be healthy and doing what I love.


#18

Awesome to hear, you will excel at whatever end goal you put forth with having the right attitude. Usually when people pose questions like you did they want to complain about how they cant do this or this is too hard or whatever so its refreshing seeing someone committed with a good outlook.


#19

Agreed!


#20

Considering what you said your goal is, I would continue bulking and drop your calories A LITTLE if you’re gaining too much fat.