T Nation

How Long Does It Really Take?

I know bulking isn't easy and I agree it can take some time and dedication and also good nutrition. I just want to hear some experiences of how long it took some of you to gain good muscle mass and definition from a beginner state.

I have been bulking for a while and following The Beast because I love his work and his training methods. I did his Beast Evolves OVT for 3 months and gained mass but nothing close to a good body, I know it will take time. I am eating...a lot..200-250 gs of protein daily..5-6 times a day.

That is just a blurb on me...how long should I expect for it to take..if I bulk from a very poor conditioned body...

Hey man, it can be as slow or fast as you want it to be. A poor conditioned body shows much more improvement than a extremely well conditioned body, so no matter what you are doing, you’ll see improvements all over the place.

To bulk well, you need to put in as much time and effort (sometimes more) at the dinner table as you do in the gym. The only way to bulk is to eat BIG amounts of food.

I forget who wrote the article, but they said “Buy the largest dinner plate you can find, buy a large bowl to eat out of, buy a large spoon to eat with, and don’t use any of your regular dishes.”

Or something thereabouts. Don’t discount that, it makes a big difference when 3 servings of oatmeal is overflowing out of your sister’s Little Mermaid fun bowl.

Check out my “Bulking Tips for Newbies” thread here:

There is a lot of good info on that thread. Feel free to post your own questions.

RIT Jared

P.S. I went from about 130lbs to 194lbs @ same or better bodyfat %age in about 3 years.[/quote]

It took me close 8 1/2 years to gain about 100lbs.

I know that it sounds trite, but genetics play a good role, but I think diet and rest come before training and supplements. It only takes me 7 weeks to put on 15 lbs., but I have genetics on my side. I am really strict on my diet too since I gain weight easily some of it comes as fat.
First off how much do you weigh? You said that you come from a poor conditioned body, and that makes me think of someone weighing around 160 lbs. or a very not so lean 200 lbs. or so. Remember, protein isn’t the whole ball game in a diet, but a part of it.
I would think that after 3 months of training, given that you are eating plenty of food, 12 lbs. sounds like a ball park figure. I think it was Lonnie Lowery that wrote a sort of blueprint or troubleshooting guide to gaining muscle mass, and I suggest you look it up. Hope this helps.

[quote]dynosar13 wrote:
I know that it sounds trite, but genetics play a good role, [/quote]

They play more than just a good role. I trained one guy, a friend of mine who was about to play football the next season, who gained about 20lbs in two months without increasing his body fat any amount worth considering. His diet was sketchy before that and he rarely ate more than twice a day before we started training. Just getting him to eat at least 4-5 times a day helped out greatly. I gained about the same amount over the first 3 months of training. Since then, like most people, there have been ups and down in body weight over the course of years. Next to genetics, however, is your food intake. No one gets big from being much smaller without putting as much thought into how much gets on their plate as they do how much effort they put in at the gym.

When I started Christian’s The Beast Evolves OVT cycle I was at 172-174 pounds and had gotten off a low carb diet a month before it. I am about 5’8" and I do have a belly and BF that I am still trying to get rid of. On the program I ate 5-6 times a day, 200g protein intake and a 200g carb (good carb …oatmeal, brown rice, flax bread, a few fruits) I used protein shakes for sure, and kept a 2-3 hour distance between eating. I did take in a capsule or 2 of cod liver oil…

After 3 months I was at 186 pnds, I don;t feel I decreased or gained much body fat but I can feel and see some muscle but not anywhere close to a lean body. I am not sure how much actual muscle I’ve gained, I am assuming some of the gain is water weight…

I have just started the 1st week of Christian’s Mutation series program and I have reduced my carb intake to 150gs a day and am increasing my protein intake to 250gs a day…I did not use any supplements last time however this time I am using CLA, HOT-ROX, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and glutamin.

Hopefully that will give you a better idea of what physical state I am at now…:slight_smile: BTW Christian, if you are out there…any tips would be helpful :slight_smile:

RIT Jared, thanks for the link…I am going to try eating earlier in the morning and goto sleep now…

Btw, I am only 19…:slight_smile:

Asim, I think you need to realize that it isn’t even realistic to believe you will jump into this, bulk up and walk away with a huge, lean physique in 3 months. Most of the guys you even see competing have been training from 10-20 years. If I ever compete, it won’t be for another 2 years or so because I would want to bring up certain areas first. Good genetics or not, it takes time to make solid consistent changes to your body. Think more in terms of years when it comes to your long term goal instead of months. The only way around that is if you started drug use and those who do go that route early on rarely keep the gains they make or learn to hold on to them when off. I have been on this site since it started over 5 years ago and I have yet to see those who are afraid of any fat gain make more progress than those with decent genetics who go ahead and bulk up and simply concentrate on size and strength for a while. It just isn’t logical to pull your body in two directions and expect for it to make the most progress possible. Give it time.

Give it a year or two. I’m talking consistent dedication to proper nutrition, hardcore training, and adequate rest.

The great news is that at 19 you can expect AWESOME gains in the next two years.

There are a lot of good hypertrophy-focus training protocols in the t-mag archives. Experiment with them and find a few that work for you…then cycle through them over the next few years and see what happens!

Best wishes.

Asim, My personal experience: 10 years to put on about 37 lbs. Don’t worry I first hit a gym at 33 (1992). For the first 4 years I simply went to the gym and perform exercises without any valid criteria. My weight didn’t change. In 1996 I began reading some good bb authors and I began bulking. In the following 6 years I put on 37 lbs. We are lucky because we have T-Nation since 1998. In my opinion you may now put on 37 lbs in a couple of years.

Like Profesor X said… i think u should try focusing on stregth and mass instead of Bf% for a while first, it will help a lot later off to have more strenght and mass while cutting.

I started going to a gym roughly two months ago. I was struggling to bench the bare bar – 45 pounds, and I was having trouble getting three reps. My body fat was 28%, and I weighed 206 pounds.

Yesterday, I benched 135. I weighed 201 pounds. My body fat was 20%. It doesn’t take a genius to see I’ve added almost a hundred pounds to my bench in two months, but let’s look at lean body mass.

At 206 pounds, 28% body fat is 57.68 pounds of fat. At 201 pounds, 20% body fat is 40.2 pounds of fat. So I’ve lost 17.48 pounds of fat, but only five pounds of overall body weight – which is twelve and a half pounds of LBM in two months.

I’m not supplementing a whole lot. I use protein and creatine; that’s about it. (I was using an ephedra-based fat burner and a boatload of vitamins, but I’ve chucked most of that for various reasons.) The major dietary change has been that I’ve made lean beef, chicken, and oatmeal my primary food sources.

So I’m making a lot of progress really fast. It can happen. I don’t credit my workout and dietary habits with all of it – genetics is a huge factor, as everyone keeps saying – but they certainly don’t hurt.

Dude - - You’re only 19 …give it some time. I started training at age 16 @ 150 lbs. When I was 24 I weighed 180. Now at 29 I weigh 200 lbs and have respectable numbers on the big 3 (squat and dead 425, and bench of 325). I am at about 16% bf so not too shabby but the teenage and college years were crap (as far as strength goes and lets not even talk about how bad my diet was). The last few years I have been alot more solid on diet and training (thanks in Large part to how good vanilla Low-Carb Grow! tastes). Most old timers I talk to / work out with all say somewhere between 25 - 30 there metabolism slowed down and they also got jobs where they could afford supplements and diet. They all say that the 28 - 34 timeframe is the best and strongest years for em. Keep up the good work and stay strong.