Well I'm glad the head trainer at my gym told me this. I was talking to the head trainer today, and I mentioned that I had recently benched 300 lbs, and he asks what led to my progress, and I mention I'm bulking. The following is basically word for word what he said:
Him: "Well I'm not sure that's a good idea. It takes a long time to gain muscle, and fat isn't contractile"
Me: "You don't think bulking is a good idea for gaining muscle?"
Him: "Well there's no point really, it takes years to accumulate any muscle unless you have awesome genetics"
Me: "That's the point of a bulking cycle, you're taking in excess calories and even though you accumulate fat you also gain muscle"
Him: "It's almost impossible to build muscle though, how much weight did you say you were going to try and gain?"
Me: "20 more lbs. by March 1. So that's 3 months, about a pound and a half per week. Obviously it won't all be muscle, but I'd be happy with about 10-12 lbs. more"
Him: "You'll never do it, trust me, I'm a physiologist. If you gain 20 you'll be lucky to gain 2 lbs of muscle in that time. When people gain weight it's almost entirely fat. People just can't build muscle that fast unless they're on juice. It takes months to build a pound or two. Besides ,gaining strength isn't about muscle. It's about training your nervous system. You get stronger because your nervous system can handle the load"
Me: "ok...well..I gotta go workout now. Good talk"
WTF? This isn't some scrawny guy either, he's pretty built, squats all the time...I mean wtf? I feel like someone stuck their cock in my ear after that conversation. Can anyone figure out what in the bloody blue fuck he was talking about? I get that the nervous system contributes to strength gains as well...but to imply that's what most strength gains come from...and that you can't gain more than 1 lbs. of muscle per month....wtf?
[edit: since there seems to be confusion, he wasn't saying I would only gain 2 lbs. per month in 3 months, he was saying that realistically a person can only gain about 2lbs. of muscle TOTAL in 3 months