T Nation

My Bulking Experience

I read Thib’s “The Truth About Bulking” article some months back and at the time it got me motivated. I spent 2 months dieting hard (used Berardi’s Get Shredded Diet) with good success and got down to the “under 10%” recommendation finishing at 8.5%. I then began to watch my diet religously using caliper readings every week to assess fat & lean body weight gain. I ate clean and trained hard. Unfortunately, after working fairly hard to lose the recommended fat instead of ‘bulking up’, I began to get nowhere muscle-wise.

My muscular gains were minimal and my BF level was simply maintained. I was so concerned with eating just above maintenance that I didn’t gain anything. As soon as I began to eat again…BANG-I began to gain muscle…and fat. Can anyone comment here on their experiences. What I learned for myself is that, unfortunately, I don’t think the article is practical. If you want to gain muscle, you have to be in a calorie surplus and the chances of mantaining a diet that is calorically perfect enough to add muscle and not fat, to me, is impractical.

I like the premise, but I think it fails in real world results. While one may have to suffer through some summers with a soft physique, the payoff of big eating and big lifting will be enough mass to net a bigger AND leaner physique after you trim the resulting fat gains away. IMO.

[quote]pikehunter wrote:
I read Thib’s “The Truth About Bulking” article some months back and at the time it got me motivated. I spent 2 months dieting hard (used Berardi’s Get Shredded Diet) with good success and got down to the “under 10%” recommendation finishing at 8.5%. I then began to watch my diet religously using caliper readings every week to assess fat & lean body weight gain. I ate clean and trained hard. Unfortunately, after working fairly hard to lose the recommended fat instead of ‘bulking up’, I began to get nowhere muscle-wise. My muscular gains were minimal and my BF level was simply maintained. I was so concerned with eating just above maintenance that I didn’t gain anything. As soon as I began to eat again…BANG-I began to gain muscle…and fat. Can anyone comment here on their experiences. What I learned for myself is that, unfortunately, I don’t think the article is practical. If you want to gain muscle, you have to be in a calorie surplus and the chances of mantaining a diet that is calorically perfect enough to add muscle and not fat, to me, is impractical. I like the premise, but I think it fails in real world results. While one may have to suffer through some summers with a soft physique, the payoff of big eating and big lifting will be enough mass to net a bigger AND leaner physique after you trim the resulting fat gains away. IMO.
[/quote]

Remember that there is a difference between the biology of weight loss and the science of fat loss. Being in a caloric restriction for too long is a tremendous stress on the body and messes with all sorts of hormones, including Leptin, which appears to be something akin to “the master hormone”. Its effects throughout the body (and mind) and other hormones, including androgens, are incredible.

Anyway, what I would’ve done if I were you would’ve been to have taken a massive calorie spike day and then resumed normal eating but by adding 250-500 calories/day to your previous daily calorie intake. Give it two weeks and see how you feel, look, perform, etc. If you lost even more weight (which I bet you would’ve), I would’ve taken another calorie spike day and then increase daily calories by an additional 250-500 calories. Keep monitoring your bio feedback, ad nauseum.

Let me know if this isn’t clear.

-Stu

Thanks Stu. Maybe i’ll give that a run. I did learn about the premise you mentioned in your post from that book from Joel Marion where he suggests to ‘reset’ your enzymes with a big eating day or two. Thanks for the input. I think that will make a big difference this time. I was low-cal the whole route last time.

-Pike