T Nation

Holding Weight to Reset Body?


#1

Do you have to hold a bodyweight for awhile to let your body get used to it? For example after a bulk phase hold the weight so your body will keep the mass? Or when cutting stay super lean for awhile so your body will get used to being that lean? I've heard people say its true and others say its not. Any Opinions??


#2

Yes.

For the billionth time, YES.

Good luck holding onto anything by dieting down the moment you lose an ab.


#3

You should hold it for quite some time to give the body time to get used to it.


#4

[quote]MuscleSculpting wrote:
Do you have to hold a bodyweight for awhile to let your body get used to it? For example after a bulk phase hold the weight so your body will keep the mass? Or when cutting stay super lean for awhile so your body will get used to being that lean? I’ve heard people say its true and others say its not. Any Opinions??[/quote]

Nobody that has built any significant size has told you it isn’t true. Any lifter that has worked for their mass knows that to make consistent progress you have to be willing to carry/train with extra bodyweight. IMO the minimum period is 18 months, and I like 24 even better.


#5

[quote]Professor X wrote:
Yes.

For the billionth time, YES.

Good luck holding onto anything by dieting down the moment you lose an ab.[/quote]

I’m having a bit of psychological trouble with this myself at the moment. Saw some pics of myself taken at the beach yesterday. Some of them are a long way from my ideal. Basically anytime I’m bending forward, my gut pokes out quite a bit. In some others, I can see a lot of progress and my gut doesn’t look that bad.

So now I’m having that argument with myself:
Damn, I need to cut. I look like shit.
No, don’t cut. I’m just bloated. I’m 14% by caliper
I don’t LOOK 14%. I look like a sack full of ass-cheeks. Maybe I’m doing the calipers wrong and I’m off by 8%
It’s food and water. My gut sticks out because there’s not enough room for the burgers. I’m fine
Just a little recomp, then?
Fuck a recomp. I’m going for 230. Stick to the plan
Dammit.

I’ve run this through about a dozen times today…


#6

[quote]JayPierce wrote:

[quote]Professor X wrote:
Yes.

For the billionth time, YES.

Good luck holding onto anything by dieting down the moment you lose an ab.[/quote]

I’m having a bit of psychological trouble with this myself at the moment. Saw some pics of myself taken at the beach yesterday. Some of them are a long way from my ideal. Basically anytime I’m bending forward, my gut pokes out quite a bit. In some others, I can see a lot of progress and my gut doesn’t look that bad.

So now I’m having that argument with myself:
Damn, I need to cut. I look like shit.
No, don’t cut. I’m just bloated. I’m 14% by caliper
I don’t LOOK 14%. I look like a sack full of ass-cheeks. Maybe I’m doing the calipers wrong and I’m off by 8%
It’s food and water. My gut sticks out because there’s not enough room for the burgers. I’m fine
Just a little recomp, then?
Fuck a recomp. I’m going for 230. Stick to the plan
Dammit.

I’ve run this through about a dozen times today…

[/quote]

If the plan was to carry the extra weight through the summer, you had to know it would get difficult (fuck w/your head) from time to time. It’s hard to say “you should do this…” I will say I know how you feel. I’ve done it through many summers across 20+ years of training. If my training is going well and I’m managing ‘heavy loads’ on a consistent basis, I think it’s worth it.


#7

[quote]JayPierce wrote:

[quote]Professor X wrote:
Yes.

For the billionth time, YES.

Good luck holding onto anything by dieting down the moment you lose an ab.[/quote]

I’m having a bit of psychological trouble with this myself at the moment. Saw some pics of myself taken at the beach yesterday. Some of them are a long way from my ideal. Basically anytime I’m bending forward, my gut pokes out quite a bit. In some others, I can see a lot of progress and my gut doesn’t look that bad.

So now I’m having that argument with myself:
Damn, I need to cut. I look like shit.
No, don’t cut. I’m just bloated. I’m 14% by caliper
I don’t LOOK 14%. I look like a sack full of ass-cheeks. Maybe I’m doing the calipers wrong and I’m off by 8%
It’s food and water. My gut sticks out because there’s not enough room for the burgers. I’m fine
Just a little recomp, then?
Fuck a recomp. I’m going for 230. Stick to the plan
Dammit.

I’ve run this through about a dozen times today…

[/quote]

DOOUDE…

I went through the same shit last year. Same fucking shit.

It’s tough man, tough.

I haven’t been under 240 in like 18 months, and have hit as much as 260. I’ve been eating a shit ton less for the last 6-8 weeks, and still weigh 240, lol.

Holding weight works.


#8

[quote]JayPierce wrote:

[quote]Professor X wrote:
Yes.

For the billionth time, YES.

Good luck holding onto anything by dieting down the moment you lose an ab.[/quote]

I’m having a bit of psychological trouble with this myself at the moment. Saw some pics of myself taken at the beach yesterday. Some of them are a long way from my ideal. Basically anytime I’m bending forward, my gut pokes out quite a bit. In some others, I can see a lot of progress and my gut doesn’t look that bad.

So now I’m having that argument with myself:
Damn, I need to cut. I look like shit.
No, don’t cut. I’m just bloated. I’m 14% by caliper
I don’t LOOK 14%. I look like a sack full of ass-cheeks. Maybe I’m doing the calipers wrong and I’m off by 8%
It’s food and water. My gut sticks out because there’s not enough room for the burgers. I’m fine
Just a little recomp, then?
Fuck a recomp. I’m going for 230. Stick to the plan
Dammit.

I’ve run this through about a dozen times today…

[/quote]

Yeah I know how you feel, sometimes I’m like “wow my arms are looking so much bigger” than I’m like “holy shit where’d my hawt abz go?”

Best part is my holding weight right now is 170lbs.


#9

Thanks a lot for the support. Makes it much easier to know others have been there and come out better for it. When everybody else is looking at me like I’m “crazy for putting my body through this”, it helps to have someone in my corner.

Last time I got to 220, I was 17% fat. This time, I’m 14%. So I know I’m making mass gains. I’d really like to get to 240, hold it for a while, and diet down to 220 @ 10%. Got a couple more years to go; at least 15lbs more lean mass and a bit more fat.

What kind of body fat levels do you guys have when you’re making your best gains? Have you noticed?

BTW, sorry for the threadjacking. It was such a simple question to answer, I figured I’d piggyback instead of making my own thread.


#10

Nahh its all good Haha. I got to 190 around 15%. I struggle with continuing bulking too. I’m fine with losing abs just dont really want a belly Haha. I usually just do a short cut and then continue trying to gain.

Random: Saw a pretty built guy doing this on the dip staion the otherday, i decided to google it and see what came up. Anyone ever tried these before??


#11

My first stall was right around 195. That’s when I started having to get ‘dirty’ with the diet to keep gaining.


#12

Yeah my first bulk i went from 130 and stalled at 175. Now i stalled at 190. Each bulk i get up a little higher


#13

All I can say about bulking is that you need to hold the calorie intake for some time before impatiently increasing it (this is like holding your weight). You only increase calories when needed (like lifts aren’t going up by much). This means that although you are “bulking”, you are not gaining weight EVERY single week. In effect, you kind of mix in holding your weight with gaining weight.

If lifts aren’t going up close to 1-2% weekly (when pushing 100%), then that’s the sign you need to increase intake and keep it the same for some time to give it a chance (provided other things like recovery and protein are fine…and you aren’t really advanced). Too many people make weight jumps on the scale just for the sake of it (i.e. gain just as much or more fat than muscle). If you kept the same bodyweight for 1 or 2 weeks, no need to get impatient and quickly eat more - give your body the chance to build up its anabolic momentum

Progressing in the gym is what makes the growth happen, diet is just the “enabler”.

The exact same thing happens when cutting but in reverse. You don’t just drop a drastic amount of calories, you do it gradually and keep with a calorie level for some time. You squeeze every last drop out of a calorie intake (so to speak), before moving onto a lower one.

No need to make a big deal out of it, or calling it special names etc (as if it’s something you carefully plan week by week)


#14

Holding weight works, i plan on holding 195 until the end of summer then bumping up to 205-210 then holding that until next summer ends. Kinda slow but 10-15lbs a year isn’t bad progress.

Of course if i hit 200 during summer and i stay the same leanness im not going to complain lol, i don’t let set numbers control me.

I always roll with the variances.


#15

[quote]K-Man32 wrote:
Kinda slow but 10-15lbs a year isn’t bad progress.
[/quote]

After the first year or so; 10-15lbs is great progress.


#16

[quote]JayPierce wrote:
What kind of body fat levels do you guys have when you’re making your best gains? Have you noticed?
[/quote]

Best gains vary from lifter to lifter, I was taught a maximum weight per bulk rule.

Calculated lean-mass x 25%

220 x 14% = 190lb lean-mass
190 x .25% = 47.5 lbs
190 + 47.5 = 237.5 lbs (max. bulk weight to be held [18-24 months] prior to next cut)

It should take about six months to get the extra weight on, carried for 24 months, and about six months to diet off the fat. 36 months start to finish.


#17

[quote]BlueCollarTr8n wrote:

[quote]JayPierce wrote:
What kind of body fat levels do you guys have when you’re making your best gains? Have you noticed?
[/quote]

Best gains vary from lifter to lifter, I was taught a maximum weight per bulk rule.

Calculated lean-mass x 25%

220 x 14% = 190lb lean-mass
190 x .25% = 47.5 lbs
190 + 47.5 = 237.5 lbs (max. bulk weight to be held [18-24 months] prior to next cut)

It should take about six months to get the extra weight on, carried for 24 months, and about six months to diet off the fat. 36 months start to finish. [/quote]

Excellent formula ^

Mind you, it’s only a good formula if the individual has a realistic idea of what his actual bodyfat is though. I remember back in the days where I took calliper measurements wrongly, it was measuring just 12% (was pinching too hard etc), when in reality I must have been closer to 20% haha. According to my screwed up measurements, that formula would have told me to continue to add on another 20lbs (when a diet was in order lol)

The only thing the formula doesn’t take into account is the speed of weight gains. Someone gaining 6lbs+ every month (on average) likely isn’t going to be making gains as lean as someone gaining 2-3lbs a month.


#18

[quote]BlueCollarTr8n wrote:
max. bulk weight to be held [18-24 months] prior to next cut[/quote]

Out of interest, where did you get this from ^? Why so long?


#19

This is interesting. Let’s take the case of an imaginary bodybuilder, natural bodybuilder to narrow it down, who competes yearly and moves up in weight each competition.

If he’s dieting to competition lean every year, but his weight is moving up, there seems to be a very small margin for holding a ‘bulked’ weight.

Naturally, there’s going to be a difference between a guy who’s moving up in weight to the tune of maybe 3-5lbs of muscle per year then the guy who goes straight through bulking to put on the mass, due to the time spent dieting and not gaining.

I’d like to see some data on this, but reason would dictate if a ‘hobbyist’ bodybuilder, I mean no offense with the term just somebody who does it to do it and isn’t interested in stepping on stage, who does a fairly reasonable cut where just getting visible abs is the goal and not glute striations, therefore the muscle loss dieting would be minimal if done correctly, wouldn’t have to worry about holding a bulked weight for any amount of time.

As of now, this holding the weight thing is in the category of ‘bro-science’ to me and I would attribute its prevalence due to the loss of potential lean mass gains by dieting instead of bulking for ~3-4 months out of the year.

Taking the case of Shelby for example, who’s been competing for awhile, from start to finish he got huge, but if you look at his pics from year to year there are only small differences.


#20

From personal experience, I’ve been holding onto my bulking weight now for more than a year. It fluctuates around 210lbs, the last 6 to 8 months I’ve also been recomping. In retrospective it was a slow process, but albeit I’ve been able to make some good gains and shred some bodyfat.

The last month I’ve switched more to a cut phase, where I’m systemically cutting back on my carb intake. I’ve add in more fasted cardio. This approach seems to be working good, I’m shredding more fat… only my bodyweight still fluctuates around 210lbs.