T Nation

LEAN Weight Gain Problem


So I finally decided that I'm still a beginner and this post is suited most for the beginner forum. I know the typical advice: Eat big, train big, get big. But I, for one, have one problem here.

Whenever I start to bulk, I gain fat. And I mean a lot of fat. In my last bulking period using 5/3//1, I went up from 176 to 187 lbs. A nice addition, you may think. But my fat levels increased from 12% to fucking 19%! I know now that I did not eat clean. White rice, pasta, bread were staples in my diet.

However, earlier when I was using Westside for Skinny Bastards, I did go up from 171 to 179, with very good nutrition. About 1.5 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight, only carbs coming from fruit save for breakfast and overall healthy fats, eating every 3 hours. Now, how the hell did I possibly get from 11% to 16% fat in that process? All the measurements are done by a personal trainer in my gym.

One addition: I don't to additional cardio, which did seem irrelevant for me because after all is it not calories in vs calories out? Get 3500 calories, then do cardio, lower it to 2900 and stay on a deficit. Does it not defeat the sense of BULKING?

Anyway, the question remains. How the heck do I gain weight with minimal fat gain?


You have also posted in every forum possible.

You have done probably 6-7 different program since February.

And probably the same amount of diets.

You get fat because of the above.

Stop asking questions. Pick a program. Pick a diet. Do it for a minimum of 1 year.

See you then.


you gained 11 lb of BW, did your lifts improve and by how much over what span of time?

how did that personal trainer measure your BF, via caliper or a handheld device? are you aware that there are significant margins of error for both methods?

with your attitude towards weight gain (and possible program-hopping and lack of training intensity), I'd be surprised if you made any real progress.


I second the "pick something and stick with it for a year" idea. Consistency is everything. There are many ways to successfully gain size, but any good training program requires you to go all in and be consistent.

If you are a beginner, you should not be worrying about bodyfat percentages. There's just no good reason for you to do so. If you must, keep weighing yourself, but don't freak out about gaining too much or not gaining enough. If you want to track your progress, take measurements, take progress pictures, and keep track of the weights you're moving. If you do all of those consistently and without any smoke and mirrors or bullshit, they will give you a very honest idea of where you're at.

Just keep it simple, and be consistent. Progress won't necessarily be linear, but it will come. Nobody goes to bed mediocre and wakes up awesome the next day.


waylanderx did


Ah balls that's right. My bad.




Ok, you gained 11 lbs of bodyweight... And somehow 14 lbs of fat, decreasing your lbm in the process.

Either you are a troll, someone completely unfamiliar with how to measure bf, and/or someone who really manages to... What, mess up completely in a way that's almost impossible to do on a sensible program and diet? Right... No gains.

Ok, again, you gained 8 lbs... And somehow 10 or so lbs of fat, decreasing your lbm again.
Despite a supposedly good diet and all. Making no gains whatsoever.

By not being a troll for starters.

I dunno. Things here just don't add up. Even if you made no progress in the gym, how on earth did you manage to lose muscle doing this stuff? Estrogen injections?


My guess is he's one of these types who thinks just being in a gym and touching a weight creates muscles.

Hard work makes progress. That's no word of a lie.


Ok I now see that this whole measurement thing is fucked up. After I finished a cycle of SL 5x5 My squat went from 80 to 220 and bench from practically the empty bar to 110 (all for 5x5, that is) and doing WS4SB helped my deadlift with about 40 lbs. Although I can say that I DID something wrong on the 5/3/1 since I didn't gain any noticeable strength after 3 cycles.

I selected Huge in a Hurry as my workout regimen, and I WILL do the Get Big, Get Stronger and Get Even Bigger phases before jumping into anything. That's 40 weeks of lifting. I will follow a Carb Cycling diet inspired by The Holy Grail by Tom Venuto alternating between about 3700 calorie days and 2500 calorie days, with more calories during workout days. Oh and I will weigh in by-weekly and check my body phat with photos, as Berardi suggests in Massive Eating.

See you then.


and when you don't get 16lbs in 16 weeks you will come back and whine about that?



Brah its all about Muay Thai and ovaltine, gets you jacked in no time....


I hope you actually did 3 cycles of 5/3/1 and not just 3 weeks otherwise it's no wonder.

You over think this so much, no offense but I've been there and it seems logical to do it at the time but all there is to lifting is just working hard as hell...

Forget about what program your doing, pick something and stop changing it. Each day go in to the gym with the express goal of improving on your last days effort. If you do that you'll have no problems.


Gain weight slowly. People think that you have to eat all day every day to get big. Yes, if you don't eat enough, you won't gain muscle. But if you eat too much, you just get fat. No matter what program you are on, no matter how clean you eat. A person can only gain between one and two pounds of muscle a month. So don't fall into the false sense of accomplishment that many fall into when they gain eight pounds in a month and feel that they are really doing something.

Concentrate on trying to gain a couple pounds of good weight a month. Eat steak and chicken. Drink milk, eat vegetables. Don't eat fast food. And be patient. That is the down fall of many on this site and in life in general. You won't gain twenty pounds of muscle in a couple months. You won't even gain ten.

People think they have to turn into a fatass, then cut to find the muscle under the fat. While there is truth to that to an extent, you can minimize your fat gain if you are healthy, patient and work hard. Good luck.


That would be because you often do. Please post pics of huge physique that did not take eating large amounts of food everyday.

Gain weight at the pace your own body gains muscle and strength gains. You would be a dumbass to gain weight slower if you have the genetics to do better than that just because someone said so on the internet with no pictures posted.

Yeah, most of the really big guys you see got that way from several years of making sure that food was going down through out the day.

Your focus should be on muscle gains anyway, not on fearing any and all fat gain.


I know people on here like to suck your dick all day every day.


Christian Thibaudeau > Professor X



Uh, yeah....read this:


Me and CT get along just fine.


I'm not saying don't eat. I'm just saying be smart about it. I'm just going off of what Christian's article said. That article I posted is one of the best I've read on this site.

Not sure what your problem is with what I said. I said to eat clean, healthy foods. To be patient and not eat so much that you're putting on unnecessary fat. With weight gain you will put on fat, no way around it. But there are ways to limit the amount of fat you gain. You don't have to eat 12,000 calories a day to get big.


That article was discussed in the thread I linked...along with the discussion how newbs will get the WRONG message.

I also asked for pics because I know most of the people who are apparently "experts" don't have anything to show for that title physically.

I posted that link for a reason. CT responded for a reason. That makes your previous post about how many people you think are giving blow jobs completely pointless and passive aggressive.


I'll read it. Doubt i'll start on it tonight, but I'll check it out.

I'm smaller and less experienced than you. But my post was basically a rip off of Christian's. So if I were to post a picture, I might as well post one of him. Because I was quoting and summing up that bulking article. Just because someone isn't at a certain level doesn't mean they can't possess knowledge of an experienced lifter.

I feel that Christian's view of bulking in that article is very insightful and helpful.

I think you feel like I'm attacking anyone who eats. You obviously have to eat a lot to keep up with an intense work out program. But you can have a game plan. Not just eat everything in your path.