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How Fast Should I Gain While Bulking?


#1

Hi guys, I'm currently on a bulk now and I am trying to gain as much size and strength as possible. I am 15 years old, 5ft 6 inches. I started this bulk at 136 pounds and I originally intended to reach 176 pounds in 10 months time. That means that I was supposed to gain about 4lbs per month.

However, 3 months have passed and I am 158lbs now. I've gained 22 pounds in 3 months. Is this too fast?? I'm not too concerned with the fat gain as I know that it is inevitable for me to put on fat while gaining. So can anyone offer me some advice? Really appreciate any help given


#2

I don’t think so. As long as your eating good food and not a ton of junk and fast food.


#3

There’s a few factors at work here. You’re young, which is good. You seem motivated, which is good. You’re training often, based on your last thread, which is good even though I’m not at all crazy about the routine you laid out.

But you’ve said in several places something like you want to gain as much size and strength as soon as possible. That’s not good. As a young dude, you’re in a great position to take your time, relatively, and lay a great foundation of muscle and strength to build on over the next few years.

[quote]markwongty369 wrote:
However, 3 months have passed and I am 158lbs now. I’ve gained 22 pounds in 3 months. Is this too fast??[/quote]
In the last three months, how has your strength changed on the basic lifts?

How has your body changed - are you looking more “filled out”, still see abs, getting a muffin top, what?

1-2 pounds a week is a common benchmark to keep things on pace for most guys (unless they’re already very skinny, just coming off an injury or period of not training/brand-spanking new to lifting/etc.). And a good rule of thumb is that if your bodyweight goes up and your strength goes up pretty comparably, you’re probably on the right track. Gaining bodyweight without improved strength is almost guaranteed to be added fat.

Even if it’s inevitable, wouldn’t it be a good idea to be “a little” concerned, or at least keep an eye out, to make sure you don’t crossover into gaining excessive fat that’ll just have to be burned later?


#4

What I would suggest is to get a hold of a fabric tape measure (made of fabric, and can pick one up in the sewing section of Walmart etc.), and measure your waist. Just keep track of how that changes over time.

That won’t give you the whole picture, but it will help you with making sure that the weight gain isn’t going to your stomach/low-back as fat.

Also, take pictures of yourself just so you have a visual reference of whether the weight gain is in the right places.


#5

How much has your waist gone up?


#6

[quote]bdocksaints75 wrote:
I don’t think so. As long as your eating good food and not a ton of junk and fast food.[/quote]

I am eating quite clean but I do have some fast food about twice a week. No fries and drinks though, just the burgers


#7

[quote]Chris Colucci wrote:
There’s a few factors at work here. You’re young, which is good. You seem motivated, which is good. You’re training often, based on your last thread, which is good even though I’m not at all crazy about the routine you laid out.

But you’ve said in several places something like you want to gain as much size and strength as soon as possible. That’s not good. As a young dude, you’re in a great position to take your time, relatively, and lay a great foundation of muscle and strength to build on over the next few years.

[quote]markwongty369 wrote:
However, 3 months have passed and I am 158lbs now. I’ve gained 22 pounds in 3 months. Is this too fast??[/quote]
In the last three months, how has your strength changed on the basic lifts?

How has your body changed - are you looking more “filled out”, still see abs, getting a muffin top, what?

1-2 pounds a week is a common benchmark to keep things on pace for most guys (unless they’re already very skinny, just coming off an injury or period of not training/brand-spanking new to lifting/etc.). And a good rule of thumb is that if your bodyweight goes up and your strength goes up pretty comparably, you’re probably on the right track. Gaining bodyweight without improved strength is almost guaranteed to be added fat.

Even if it’s inevitable, wouldn’t it be a good idea to be “a little” concerned, or at least keep an eye out, to make sure you don’t crossover into gaining excessive fat that’ll just have to be burned later?[/quote]

yeah i understand what you mean by taking my time as i am young but why not try to push this as far as i can while i am young as i can grow at a decent rate.

i am definitely looking more filled out. abs have also become more faded.

yeah my strength has gone up about for most of my lifts so i guess thats a good thing.

well, i am keeping an eye out for it, just that i dont really mind losing my abs. however my mom sure does mind…


#8

[quote]LoRez wrote:
What I would suggest is to get a hold of a fabric tape measure (made of fabric, and can pick one up in the sewing section of Walmart etc.), and measure your waist. Just keep track of how that changes over time.

That won’t give you the whole picture, but it will help you with making sure that the weight gain isn’t going to your stomach/low-back as fat.

Also, take pictures of yourself just so you have a visual reference of whether the weight gain is in the right places.[/quote]

i am taking pictures of myself weekly. and my waist has increased by 1-1.5 inches


#9

[quote]RampantBadger wrote:
How much has your waist gone up?[/quote]

1-1.5 inches


#10

[quote]markwongty369 wrote:
yeah i understand what you mean by taking my time as i am young but why not try to push this as far as i can while i am young as i can grow at a decent rate.[/quote]
I get what you’re saying, but in addition to getting the most out of what you’re doing right now, you’re also building habits and a foundation that will last you for years and years and years. It’s not worth adding a ton of fat for no reason, or messing something up and skipping out on a bunch of lifting, just for the sake of rushing progress.

For example, last year you talked about having a triceps injury. I’m guessing that’s old news and nothing else has been a problem, correct?

You’re still at the stage where your lifts should all be going up consistently. A well-designed training program will allow that.

Anyhow, can you give a little more detail? What are you currently doing on squats, deadlifts, barbell or dumbbell row, bench press, overhead press, and curl?

In another recent thread, you said:

So I’d bet she’s just concerned that you’re not really eating much food, which is correct. There’s no reason why you’re not eating three good solid meals everyday. Or am I not understanding what you wrote?


#11

[quote]markwongty369 wrote:

[quote]RampantBadger wrote:
How much has your waist gone up?[/quote]

1-1.5 inches[/quote]

ok, thats not too bad, shut it down if and when it gets to 3 inches


#12

[quote]Chris Colucci wrote:

[quote]markwongty369 wrote:
yeah i understand what you mean by taking my time as i am young but why not try to push this as far as i can while i am young as i can grow at a decent rate.[/quote]
I get what you’re saying, but in addition to getting the most out of what you’re doing right now, you’re also building habits and a foundation that will last you for years and years and years. It’s not worth adding a ton of fat for no reason, or messing something up and skipping out on a bunch of lifting, just for the sake of rushing progress.

For example, last year you talked about having a triceps injury. I’m guessing that’s old news and nothing else has been a problem, correct?

You’re still at the stage where your lifts should all be going up consistently. A well-designed training program will allow that.

Anyhow, can you give a little more detail? What are you currently doing on squats, deadlifts, barbell or dumbbell row, bench press, overhead press, and curl?

In another recent thread, you said:

So I’d bet she’s just concerned that you’re not really eating much food, which is correct. There’s no reason why you’re not eating three good solid meals everyday. Or am I not understanding what you wrote?[/quote]

yup i get you, i’ll probably control the weight gain to about 4lb per month. yeah i have no problems with my elbows as long as i warm up properly now.

im squatting 260lb for 3 reps, deadlifting 240lb for 5 reps, t-bar row 200lb for 10 reps, benching 175lb for 3 reps, overhead press 120lb for 5 reps, curling 50lb dumbell for 6

haha… no, shes worried that im eating too much. I eat slightly differently now, i have about 2-3 shakes and 4 solid meals a day.


#13

[quote]RampantBadger wrote:

[quote]markwongty369 wrote:

[quote]RampantBadger wrote:
How much has your waist gone up?[/quote]

1-1.5 inches[/quote]

ok, thats not too bad, shut it down if and when it gets to 3 inches[/quote]

hmm yeahh. once my size 32 gets too tight, then ill shut it down


#14

[quote]markwongty369 wrote:
im squatting 260lb for 3 reps, deadlifting 240lb for 5 reps, t-bar row 200lb for 10 reps, benching 175lb for 3 reps, overhead press 120lb for 5 reps, curling 50lb dumbell for 6[/quote]

For perspective, in August 2012 - a full year ago - you were at:
Squat 176 x 8
Deadlift 176 x 4
Bench press 132 x 5
Barbell row 99 x 8, dumbbell row 55 x 7
Barbell curl 66 x 8

It’s awesome that you’re motivated and actually training with focus and have a goal in mind, but I still think a “bodybuilder-style” program isn’t the best plan for now. I’d lean something towards more generalized like a routine focused on strength and not hitting failure every exercise. In any case, you’re headed in a pretty good direction. Stay healthy and keep your eye looking down the road, not looking for the fastest-bestest-greatest right now.

Cool beans. Good to hear.


#15

[quote]Chris Colucci wrote:

[quote]markwongty369 wrote:
im squatting 260lb for 3 reps, deadlifting 240lb for 5 reps, t-bar row 200lb for 10 reps, benching 175lb for 3 reps, overhead press 120lb for 5 reps, curling 50lb dumbell for 6[/quote]

For perspective, in August 2012 - a full year ago - you were at:
Squat 176 x 8
Deadlift 176 x 4
Bench press 132 x 5
Barbell row 99 x 8, dumbbell row 55 x 7
Barbell curl 66 x 8

It’s awesome that you’re motivated and actually training with focus and have a goal in mind, but I still think a “bodybuilder-style” program isn’t the best plan for now. I’d lean something towards more generalized like a routine focused on strength and not hitting failure every exercise. In any case, you’re headed in a pretty good direction. Stay healthy and keep your eye looking down the road, not looking for the fastest-bestest-greatest right now.

Cool beans. Good to hear.[/quote]

sorry if this comes of as rude or anything. but if i want to look like a bodybuilder, shouldnt i be using a “bodybuilder-style” program? what do you mean by a routine focused on strength?

i am going into the gym everyday with the mindset of beating last weeks weights/reps, so if i am getting stronger on those key lifts using a bodybuilder-style routine, arent i still getting stronger as a whole? i only hit failure on last set of each exercise. is that okay? btw, is it possible to tell how much protein is too much protein for a person my weight?

Thanks for the advice and sorry for the constant questions


#16

[quote]markwongty369 wrote:
sorry if this comes of as rude or anything. but if i want to look like a bodybuilder, shouldnt i be using a “bodybuilder-style” program? what do you mean by a routine focused on strength?

i am going into the gym everyday with the mindset of beating last weeks weights/reps, so if i am getting stronger on those key lifts using a bodybuilder-style routine, arent i still getting stronger as a whole?[/quote]

If you do that, yes, you will get stronger. You also might stall out quicker.

What does your bodybuilder-style routine look like?

If it’s based on heavy compound movements with free weights every session, and then followed by isolation work; as long as you’re working hard to increase poundage on the compound movements in the prescribed rep range, it should be good.

The bigger issue with bodybuilder-style routines is the frequency. When you’re newer to training, you can train more frequently and keep increasing the weight each session. As you advance, the poundage increases become less and less frequent, so the difference is made up with more volume but less frequent training.

A strength-based routine will get you in the gym doing the same movements 2-3 times a week, which at this point in your training, will help you grow even faster than just hitting them once a week as per a typical bodybuilder-style routine.

You can take a strength routine, and then add some extra isolation work to arms and calves at the end.

My 2 cents.


#17

[quote]markwongty369 wrote:
sorry if this comes of as rude or anything. but if i want to look like a bodybuilder, shouldnt i be using a “bodybuilder-style” program?[/quote]
You want to eventually look like a bodybuilder (do you have a specific goal in mind?), and I’m guessing you plan to compete at some point. Long term.

What you do in the short term or mid term doesn’t have to 100% reflect where you want to end up. Getting crazy-strong on the basic lifts and adding muscular bodyweight will go a long way to developing the foundation you can chisel down and fine tune as time goes on and you get closer to becoming a bodybuilder.

You could say I mean a routine closer to what a powerlifter would do, rather than a bodybuilder. Something that emphasizes squats, deadlifts, rows, pull-ups, bench presses, overhead pressing, curls, and just a handful of other exercises. Caring about strength and size, in a smart way (obviously never sacrificing technique for an extra rep or added weight). For example, training shoulders and arms twice a week is very unnecessary right now.

I hesitate to use pro bodybuilders as an example, but the majority of them did have a foundation in strength-based work before getting into “just” bodybuilding (often powerlifting or Olympic lifting) and the biggest, most dense-looking bodybuilders are almost always stronger than their peers.

Yes and no. It’s definitely the right idea to go into each session ready to do better than the week before, and like I said, you have built strength over the last year. Frankly, it’s just been slower overall progress than if you’d had a more generalized program. This past year’s strength gains could probably been done in half the time if food and training were different.

At this stage, you’re light years ahead of the average kid your age, and some guys a bit older too, so I’m not trying to be discouraging. It’s not like what you’re doing is “wrong”, because you’ve seen results, but it could use some tweaks to make sure you still see significant results by next August, and the one after that, and after that.

I’m extra cautious on this one, mostly with younger dudes, because training to muscular failure (or beyond failure with rest-pause, negatives, forced reps, etc.) is basically the one and only thing that the people who say “weight lifting stunts kids’ growth” have some ground to stand on. Training to fatigue or near-failure, always keeping 1 or 2 reps in the hole will still deliver just as much growth stimulus without “crossing over” into negative effects.

1 to 1.5 grams per pound of bodyweight is a pretty standard guideline. Much more than that isn’t extra-helpful, except in very specific cases like if you were to drop carbs very low or play around with the macros some other way.

No prob, and it isn’t rude at all. I certainly don’t mean to by hogging the answers or anything. Other guys might have different points of view, and that’s fine too, of course. I’m just giving my take on things.


#18

[quote]LoRez wrote:

[quote]markwongty369 wrote:
sorry if this comes of as rude or anything. but if i want to look like a bodybuilder, shouldnt i be using a “bodybuilder-style” program? what do you mean by a routine focused on strength?

i am going into the gym everyday with the mindset of beating last weeks weights/reps, so if i am getting stronger on those key lifts using a bodybuilder-style routine, arent i still getting stronger as a whole?[/quote]

If you do that, yes, you will get stronger. You also might stall out quicker.

What does your bodybuilder-style routine look like?

If it’s based on heavy compound movements with free weights every session, and then followed by isolation work; as long as you’re working hard to increase poundage on the compound movements in the prescribed rep range, it should be good.

The bigger issue with bodybuilder-style routines is the frequency. When you’re newer to training, you can train more frequently and keep increasing the weight each session. As you advance, the poundage increases become less and less frequent, so the difference is made up with more volume but less frequent training.

A strength-based routine will get you in the gym doing the same movements 2-3 times a week, which at this point in your training, will help you grow even faster than just hitting them once a week as per a typical bodybuilder-style routine.

You can take a strength routine, and then add some extra isolation work to arms and calves at the end.

My 2 cents.[/quote]

okay i will see if i stall quickly on this, cuz so far i have been progressing at a decent rate so ill wait till i stall.

yes it is based on heavy compounds then followed by isolation work. yeah i am focusing improving the lifts every week.

i see. thanks for your advice. ill take it to heart and when i stall, i may look into that type of training to see if i can progress at a quicker rate!


#19

[quote]Chris Colucci wrote:

[quote]markwongty369 wrote:
sorry if this comes of as rude or anything. but if i want to look like a bodybuilder, shouldnt i be using a “bodybuilder-style” program?[/quote]
You want to eventually look like a bodybuilder (do you have a specific goal in mind?), and I’m guessing you plan to compete at some point. Long term.

What you do in the short term or mid term doesn’t have to 100% reflect where you want to end up. Getting crazy-strong on the basic lifts and adding muscular bodyweight will go a long way to developing the foundation you can chisel down and fine tune as time goes on and you get closer to becoming a bodybuilder.

You could say I mean a routine closer to what a powerlifter would do, rather than a bodybuilder. Something that emphasizes squats, deadlifts, rows, pull-ups, bench presses, overhead pressing, curls, and just a handful of other exercises. Caring about strength and size, in a smart way (obviously never sacrificing technique for an extra rep or added weight). For example, training shoulders and arms twice a week is very unnecessary right now.

I hesitate to use pro bodybuilders as an example, but the majority of them did have a foundation in strength-based work before getting into “just” bodybuilding (often powerlifting or Olympic lifting) and the biggest, most dense-looking bodybuilders are almost always stronger than their peers.

Yes and no. It’s definitely the right idea to go into each session ready to do better than the week before, and like I said, you have built strength over the last year. Frankly, it’s just been slower overall progress than if you’d had a more generalized program. This past year’s strength gains could probably been done in half the time if food and training were different.

At this stage, you’re light years ahead of the average kid your age, and some guys a bit older too, so I’m not trying to be discouraging. It’s not like what you’re doing is “wrong”, because you’ve seen results, but it could use some tweaks to make sure you still see significant results by next August, and the one after that, and after that.

I’m extra cautious on this one, mostly with younger dudes, because training to muscular failure (or beyond failure with rest-pause, negatives, forced reps, etc.) is basically the one and only thing that the people who say “weight lifting stunts kids’ growth” have some ground to stand on. Training to fatigue or near-failure, always keeping 1 or 2 reps in the hole will still deliver just as much growth stimulus without “crossing over” into negative effects.

1 to 1.5 grams per pound of bodyweight is a pretty standard guideline. Much more than that isn’t extra-helpful, except in very specific cases like if you were to drop carbs very low or play around with the macros some other way.

No prob, and it isn’t rude at all. I certainly don’t mean to by hogging the answers or anything. Other guys might have different points of view, and that’s fine too, of course. I’m just giving my take on things.[/quote]

well my goal is just to get as big as i possibly can naturally and then see how i look at that stage to make my decisions. yeah i am heading in the direction of getting as strong as possible.

okay i get what you mean. basically doing more compound stuff to get stronger overall. hmm yeah i think i have noticed that some what too about the bodybuilders.

yeah maybe i need to be careful with that. but i always get carried away and always push myself to failure on those last sets though. i doubt i will be able to stop short of it now all of a sudden. and if i wanna progress faster shouldnt i be pushing as hard as possible? instead of leaving a rep or two in the tank.

okay then ill probably try to decrease it abit as ive been getting about 1.5-2g per pound of bodyweight.

yeah i welcome and want more people to give their opinions on this if possible, so i can learn more and get big! :slight_smile:


#20

Quick update on whats happening currently and i hope i can get some good advice from the experienced guys out there.
so… my original plan was to go from 136 lbs from start of May to 176 lbs by the last week of the year and then go on a cut. however, september has just begun and i am already173-175 lbs. My strength has gone up quite abit since the start by about 10-25 lbs on almost all exercises. So now i dont really know if i should continue gaining even more weight or if i should stop gaining and start cutting? would love to get some good feedback from you guys