T Nation

Gaining Mass vs. Staying Lean


I'm trying to gain size, especially in my chest, back, shoulders and arms. I've always been somewhat skinny, 175-180lbs @ 6'2". For about two months I've stayed dedicated to my workout(i plan to stick to it), and trying to eat right. I have been getting more and more cut each week but i'm not really growing. I finally got the proper calorie intake i need this thanksgiving week and i gained around 10lbs overall and grew around my chest,shoulders,arms and legs. However I'm losing my cut.

I want to get bigger but i want to stay cut. I know i have to eat a lot. Is it better to get big first and not care about staying cut? Or can i get big as i stay cut?, if so, what kind of meal plan is high calorie enough to grow, without putting fat between my muscles?


Pick one goal, and only one. Then go. You cannot chase two rabbits; you will lose both. You cannot stay cut while you gain, and anybody telling you different is selling something or on steroids…or both.

This is not to imply that you have to get fat to gain muscle. Prof X and others, myself included, have bulked considerably (like, 90 lbs) without getting “fat”. You just don’t have your six pack. If you get fat you’re doing it wrong.

You are already very lean, so you are not in danger of severely screwing up your metabolism unless you just fucking fall off the cliff eating twinkies and ho-hos. Get big first. Eat as many calories as it takes to get bigger, don’t get fixated on a specific number. Eat as clean as possible, but don’t get anal. Getting anal is for people cutting and TRULY former fat boys who have to really watch their carb intake.


Forget being cut for now. I can just about guarantee that you can’t eat enough good, wholesome food to get fat. As Aragorn said, pigging out on little debbies is quite different than ‘bulking’.

If you gained 10lbs over Thanksgiving and noticed a muscular change, you are definitely under-eating. Fix it.