T Nation

I Want to Bulk


I've got it in my head that I want to bulk, and to be honest I don't think anyone would disagree, but I'm just trying to figure out to what extent.

I eat pretty clean, but I'm not on any kind of targeted regime at the moment, and my calories probably yo-yo a lot. My intention is to eat my requirement, but do you think it would be a good idea to go well over what I require? I've found I lose/gain weight pretty quickly, and I do not want to gain any great amount of fat I already have, just for size.

I'm 5'8 and was about 165 on the day these pictures where taken.

Do you think it would be worth trying to gain lean muscle, with my protein requirements met, and perhaps a small calorie deficit? Or is that a serious risk to just losing weight. Or should I bulk up, take the risk of putting on more fat, and deal with it?

I'll be doing one of the training routines off here; I've tried Stripped Down Hypertrophy, and to be honest, I like how much I have to do it, and I find it pretty challenging.

Hmm images won't upload to the site. Here are links:

You can have a picture of my tattoo since it's the only one that worked lol


Yeah you definitely need to bulk up and not even think about being in a calorie deficit for a long time, if you're serious about building muscle. lol you just pretty much asked if you could gain weight while being in a calorie deficit which is nearly impossible unless you have freak genetics and/or using steroids and still you'd limit true muscle building potential.

Lately what I've been doing is just counting my protein (shooting for double bw) and adjusting my carb intake to how my day will be physically demanding and to how full my muscles are looking.

If they look glycogen depleted I'll up my carbs especially around my workout and in the morning. I eat between 100-120 carbs when I wake up. My body can handle carbs pretty good. I know I've been eating above maintenance cause I have added a tiny bit of fat but it's not bothering me cause my body burns the shit off so quick when I adjust and drop carbs when necessary.

Looks like you've been neglecting your back alot. I can see you adding alot of weight just by focusing more on that.

No shots of the wheels? I'm assuming since you didn't include a picture they're are lagging bad also. Bring up your back and legs while you bulk and you'll add a huge amount of mass.

50 gram whey protein shakes with 3 tbsp of light tasting olive oil have been a savior for me inbetween meals. I like eating white rice vs brown rice nowadays cause to much fiber kills my appetite so I'd rather keep my fiber intake to just in the morning from oats or my pancakes and other times via benefiber powder and at dinner time stuff like beans.


I'll try and get some up later. To be honest, my thighs aren't big, but they're not as lacking as everything else, nor are my calves, which I think are disproportionately large compared to the rest of my legs.

The protein thing sounds a good idea. I was thinking 1.5 for each lb, but maybe I could increase that to 2, to make up more calories, or is that a bad idea?


Yeah try double your bw. Some authors suggest 2 others 1.5. I'd go at the higher end especially if you're on the skinnier side cause it makes sense to me. I'm at 2 times bodyweight but still gaining slower than I'd like. It's just the nature of my work (in a warehouse lifting shit all day and going to the gym=huge calorie demands)


shit... your stats are close to mine!

I'm a hard gainer, and loose fat hella fast, even without trying...

I eat and eat until I cannot eat anymore.

And squats and milk!! Keep it up.

Tribal band = automatic 20lbs :stuck_out_tongue: lolz


Definitely Bulk!! I recommend the following:

  1. Squats
  2. Milk
  3. Red Meat
  4. Carbs (depending on your genetics/tolerance)
  5. Squats


oooh you said the infamous "hard gainer" line even though some people gain muscle faster then some I think everyone can gain muscle at a steady pace, it's just all about hammering that food and using a few tricks here and there.

I don't think there is such a thing as a "hard gainer" I had to get this fuckin' notion out of my head and just worry about eating a large amount of food and staying consistent in the gym. Doesn't matter who you are your body wants to stay at a certain weight and everyday it's doing all it can to go back to a lower weight.

I ate clean all day and had some tacobell I'm sure I ate close to 4000 cals and this is an off day for me lol.


Some wheels. Pain in the arse trying to get a proper picture, I'll have to get someone to take some decent proper lit pictures for me.

Anyway, the protein part is easy for me, but it's filling the rest of my diet. I know I want to stay away from normal day to day sources of carbs, like bread and stuff, but what else is there? A boring diet doesn't phase me, but broccoli, chicken, and fish would be drag. What other vegetables do you eat to get fibre and to fill out the rest of your diet?


Don't be afraid of carbs. If you want to add size, they are your friend.


Most skinny guys like to "think" they eat alot.

Remember what I said about the fiber, most skinny guys have a shitty appetite and to much fiber kills their appetite.

Shit I still think I'm undereating some days when I'm floating over 4000 calories.

Like I said keep fiber to morning and dinner. Stuff like that benefiber powder is good to add also. I have like spinach or broccoli for dinner, beans sometimes to for some slow digesting carbs during the night.

These are staples in my diet protein: ground round beef (fat rinsed off after cooking), chicken breast or ground turkey Sometimes I buy cans of salmon (rarely), 50 gram whey protein shakes , omega eggs (6 egg omellettes, 1-2 with breakfast sometimes) also.

I sometimes have a cheatmeal on days I workout if I feel a need for a big cal boost(e.g. supreme pizza, taco bell). Why cause it doesn't phase ME!

fats:raw almonds (Almonds are my raw nut of choice cause of its higher carb count. I'll much on some while posting on here or on the way to the gym at work where ever.
), olive oil when cooking, light tasting olive oil for shakes.

carbs:oatmeal, wheat pancakes, white rice, juice (real easy carbs usually only have 1-2 glasses of grape juice or oj) waxymaize pw and pwo. Kids cereal mixed with whey protein after my pwo shake sometimes also(e.g. cocoa pebbles with whey and water) for extra quick carbs.

If you can't afford most of this shit just worry about eating protein and calorie dense food to get you gaining. Yeah fat is expected but work hard and most of it will be muscle guaranteed.


Yeah you neeeeed some much needed mass on quads/hammies. heavy ass front squats followed by 20 rep widowmakers should help. Stiff legged deadlifts barbell/dbs, romanian deadlifts and standing, seating, lying leg curls for hammies. Rotate these around. You shouldn't be walking right after a good leg workout. Last night I collapsed after my workout and my leg stretch I literally layed on the ground for a good minute or two and pondered wtf I put my body through. Still my legs are mediocre.


Bodyweight x 20 in calories daily.

No need to be meticulous with that, it's just a guideline... let the scale dictate the amount of food you take in - ideally gaining 3-5lbs of bodyweight per month.

Bodyweight x 1.5 in protein daily

Get to the gym often. Be consistent. Train 2-3 bodyparts a day, basic bodybuilding exercises, always trying to do more reps or more weight than last workout.

Incremental gains in bodyweight + progressively heavier weights repped to failure + lots of protein = progress


everybody is saying eat more, milk and squats blah blah blah, but... yeah theyre right, depending on what ur goals are. u do have a really good frame considering ur height, not saying ur huge but u aint skinny, how long u been working out and whats ur training, diet like??

u look pretty lean, and eating clean high diet would make u look even better, good luck :slightly_smiling:

note: BULK, its fun


weight-gainer at GNC


You'll find lots of great articles here on bulking. Good luck with that!


My training has been highly erratic, but basically I'm 21 now, and I've been training of sorts since I was 15. At points, I've been bigger and heavier and leaner than I was now, but that wasn't really planned.

My last "enthusiastic" weight training regime consisted of a 5 day split, with maybe 2-3 body parts a day, and doing 10-15 for 3 sets each body part. That was after a 1.5 mile run (8 mins 30 and below), although two of the runs would be slower very steep hill runs.

After that, I switched to the Stripped Down Hypertrophy because I like high volume workouts. My diet at the time was basically high protein, fairly low carbs (although when I did get carbs it was from whitebread buns on burgers, and pasta).

During that time, I used various supplements for the sake of trying them out. I had a fun go with NO-Xplode, and that was pretty good on the workouts, but I'm not sure I trust it.

The one thing that has always slowed me down is alcohol. In the past my consumption has been extremely high, even if it's only Friday and Saturday I would probably be consuming 3 or 4 times the "extremely bad" point. I've managed to cut my drinking down to once a week, and I'm trying to cut it out completely, but I find it hard, and it will be by far my biggest hurdle.


You've been training since 15? On and off 6 years and you still haven't learned how to bulk properly? Shit if I would've started at 15 I probably would've been atleast 30-40 lbs heavier right now. I call horseshit on you "used" to being leaner and heavier they you are now. You got something called "muscle memory" and you'd be back at your heavier weight after eating enough in no time.

If you're naturally skinny why the fuck would you do a hypertrophy specific program while going low on carbs? I don't understand this. Let me guess you wanted to keep your abs?

Drop the drinking or only do it around holiday times which I do. So I'm really only drinking a couple times a year at the most(not really plastered either). Yet usually I avoid drinking fairly easy, cause it puts all the hardwork of eating/training down the drain fairly quick.

So you have to decide if you want to be a weekend warrior, more or less look the same for the next couple years. Or buckle down and actually put some effort and pack some mass.


I joined the Royal Marines when I was 17, and during that time I gained a lot of weight, and was very lean. I didn't plan any part of that, and I just did what I was told. The calorie count per day was at least 6000 on a normal day, and that included a lot of carbs and all kinds. But then there were times when we'd be on rations for a week, and the calories where cut massively, and even then, there was no guarantee of eating.

The training basically consisted of body weight exercise/cardio only. Then it changed to weights, running with.. well running with people on top of you, and everything we did was full combat gear from then on.

I don't question the muscle memory part, and I put my lack of size now, down to my diet, 100%. My training has always been hard, and working to failure is basically a way of life to me. I just find the diet part here, because even when reading through all the articles on here, even though they're great, some of them contradict/disagree with each other.


I highly, highly doubt it. The armed forces aren't known for turning people into hulking beasts, and that is what 6,000 a day would do to someone of your height. People toss around these high calorie counts but I'm pretty sure that 80% of them have never actually counted. 4-5,000 kcal a day is a shitload of food, nevermind 6,000. Go on to Fitday.com and you might be surprised at the real figures.

Go ahead and bulk but try not to get fat. You have good muscularity already and aren't exactly in dire need of size. If I were you I'd get on gear. That way, you could add size and get leaner at the same time. Anavar is an ultra mild anabolic agent that would be perfect for your first run.


Heh, that "only" takes him to 3.3k

Isn't the standard T-Nation bulking recommendation something like 40 x BW a day? :wink:

That they do but skinny, this man is not.