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Opinions on my Bulk So Far

I’ve been bulking for the last 3 months and wanted some 2nd opinions if I was gaining to much fat during it. I started off with the following #'s at 6 ft tall: (bf measure by omron impedance based device)

11/15/08
190 lbs 14%bf
15" bicep
42" chest
35" waist
23" thigh
16" calve

3/10/09
210 lbs 18%bf
15.75" bicep
44" chest
36.5" waist
24" thigh
16.5" calve

I lost some definition and haven’t been eating as clean as I could’ve. I couldn’t get past 195lbs when I was eating super clean. So I made it my goal to get 4000 calories and 300 grams of protein. Some of the non-clean foods during this period were Wendy’s double stacks, chocolate milk, white bread, chicken or meatball parm sandwiches and pizza.

My goal is to get to 230lbs before cutting and hopefully be a solid 205-210 lbs when I’m done. I’ve gotten some comments from people I haven’t seen in a while that I’m bigger, but they only see me with the shirt on or tank top. They don’t see the extra flab I put on my belly. You can’t really tell the size difference from the pictures below, but the measurements above show this.

What I’d like to know is if I should clean up the diet based on the pictures below or continue gaining with the “dirty bulk”. Another important thing is to mention I didn’t do any cardio. This is because I had a hard enough time gaining weight without it.

at 6ft 190lbs
Front

Side

Back

after bulk 210 lbs

Front:

Front Bicep

Side:

Back:

Translating your arm measurement into general muscle proportion you have gained about 11.25~ pounds of muscle and 8.75~ pounds of fat. That’s a 1.25-1.3 pound of muscle per pound of fat ratio, it should be about 3/1 for a decent bulk. Try to clean up your diet.

There’s surely some error margin on those estimates, but the conclusion is OPTIMIZE YOUR DIET.

How much did your staple lifts increase?

Without knowing that I’d say not bad so far, but I would echo what MEYMZ is saying here about cleaning up your diet just a little bit.

[quote]MEYMZ wrote:
Translating your arm measurement into general muscle proportion you have gained about 11.25~ pounds of muscle and 8.75~ pounds of fat. That’s a 1.25-1.3 pound of muscle per pound of fat ratio, it should be about 3/1 for a decent bulk. Try to clean up your diet.

There’s surely some error margin on those estimates, but the conclusion is OPTIMIZE YOUR DIET.[/quote]

I wouldn’t change anything right now. His body may just need to stabilize a little. This guy has made good progress. You don’t make drastic changes when you are gaining like that. If anything, you put the breaks on and hold that weight a little if there is a feeling of too much of a gain in body fat.

OP - good progress. You look absoultely fine (i mean that in a no homo way; trying to say that there is nothing wrong with the way you look now as opposed to the way you started ie, don’t worry about any fat you gained).

You can clean up your diet a bit if you think it’s best but if you start stagnating again throw in some cheat foods here and there.

IMO I really would not put much thought into a “you need to gain 3lb of muscle per 1 lb of fat for a decent bulk” mentality. It will drive you nuts. Keep pushing the scales up appropriately and make sure your strength is going up and you should be fine.

It takes months to burn off 30lb of fat. How long will it take you to gain 30lb of muscle? A lot longer.

[quote]Professor X wrote:

I wouldn’t change anything right now. His body may just need to stabilize a little. This guy has made good progress. You don’t make drastic changes when you are gaining like that. If anything, you put the breaks on and hold that weight a little if there is a feeling of too much of a gain in body fat.
[/quote]

X2- Nice job!! If you feel you must slow down then do what is needed to hold the weight & work to get stronger. Otherwise; on to 230.

Are you uncomfortable with that level of BF? Personally I think that you look pretty lean, and wouldn’t worry about it at all. If you have a hard time gaining weight as you said, I imagine you’ll have no trouble when it comes time to cut down.

[quote]Mr.Purple wrote:
Are you uncomfortable with that level of BF? Personally I think that you look pretty lean, and wouldn’t worry about it at all. If you have a hard time gaining weight as you said, I imagine you’ll have no trouble when it comes time to cut down.[/quote]

Exactly.

Keep going.

The guys overly concerned with body fat seem to always be the weakest and smallest.

[quote]Professor X wrote:
MEYMZ wrote:
Translating your arm measurement into general muscle proportion you have gained about 11.25~ pounds of muscle and 8.75~ pounds of fat. That’s a 1.25-1.3 pound of muscle per pound of fat ratio, it should be about 3/1 for a decent bulk. Try to clean up your diet.

There’s surely some error margin on those estimates, but the conclusion is OPTIMIZE YOUR DIET.

I wouldn’t change anything right now. His body may just need to stabilize a little. This guy has made good progress. You don’t make drastic changes when you are gaining like that. If anything, you put the breaks on and hold that weight a little if there is a feeling of too much of a gain in body fat.
[/quote]

Having a better look to the OP’s message, he’s 20 pounds away. Looking at the pics, yes, he’s not fat. Assuming he keep the same gaining rate, he’ll end up at 230 and 21% bodyfat. 3% bodyfat gain won’t look any fatter than 18% on the last pics so X wins, naturally.

I suggest that you don’t starvate that much to loose the maximum of 20 pounds you wanna loose after the bulk. Again, assuming you kept all or most of the muscle, you’ll end up at 13%bf at 210 or 15% at 215.

My last advice would be to cut until you see your ribcage, 'coz there’s no point on cutting and stop above -3%bodyfat right? [sarcasm].

Hmmm.
I’d be more interesting in how much your strength has increased on key exercises for every major muscle-group (not your 1RM, but what you’re doing on your work set[s]).

You need to add quite a bit of weight to your work-set(s) of an exercise to see a very visible size-increase normally, and your overall strength-gains (over a longer period of time, we don’t gain at a fixed rate after all) can tell you if you may need to change something.

That’s one reason why I usually laugh at people who’ve just gone through some 4 week program and added maybe 5-15 lbs to their lifts (if even) and then somehow expect to look radically different…

Also, your posing-skills are a little lacking ;D

Other than that, I agree with the advice given thus far in this thread…

Thanks for the feedback.

I can’t do alot of the core lifts because of a herniated and a bulging disc. But my dumbbell bench went for 80lbs 5x5 to 95 5x5. (full ROM dumbbell touches the side of my chest.Bench 1RM max went from 265 to 290. Standing press when from barely doing 135 to being able to do 135 for a few reps. Pullups and chinups are still 5x5 each.

I’m gonna try and stabilize my weight for the rest of March but it’ll be tough since I start playing b-ball 2 days a week for 2 hours a session. It’ll take some tinkering to find my maintenance calories.

I started lifting in July at 210 lbs 22%bf and with 1 RM bench of 205. Cutting down to 190 wasn’t so hard so I’m not worried about that stage. It’s nice being back at the weight but being a lot stronger with a bit more muscle. If I believe the omron I put on 9 lbs of muscle since the last time I was 210.

[quote]sam_sneed wrote:

I’m gonna try and stabilize my weight for the rest of March but it’ll be tough since I start playing b-ball 2 days a week for 2 hours a session. It’ll take some tinkering to find my maintenance calories.
.[/quote]

All the more reason to NOT diet and to continue gaining.

It will only get harder and your weight will drop if you try to keep cals exactly the same.

Take those impedance-based body fat measurements with a grain of salt, by the way.

[quote]Professor X wrote:
I wouldn’t change anything right now. His body may just need to stabilize a little. This guy has made good progress. You don’t make drastic changes when you are gaining like that. If anything, you put the breaks on and hold that weight a little if there is a feeling of too much of a gain in body fat.
[/quote]

This is where I am right now.

I made pretty good gains since May with the weight going mostly into the right places. However, I’ve come to realize that I either have a bloating issue or I’ve put on a little too much belly fat. I’m not ‘ab conscious’, but I know an overfat belly when I see it, and I think I’m there.

I’m at odds at how to handle it, I’ve cleaned up the diet in the past week or so and trying an ‘anti-bloat’ course of action to see if that helps. I don’t want to diet down because the gains don’t come easy. I think next is just ramping up with a morning bike/treadmill session and trying to increase work in the PM workouts…

OP-- good progress!!

[quote]Cephalic_Carnage wrote:
Hmmm.
I’d be more interesting in how much your strength has increased on key exercises for every major muscle-group (not your 1RM, but what you’re doing on your work set[s]).

You need to add quite a bit of weight to your work-set(s) of an exercise to see a very visible size-increase normally, and your overall strength-gains (over a longer period of time, we don’t gain at a fixed rate after all) can tell you if you may need to change something.

That’s one reason why I usually laugh at people who’ve just gone through some 4 week program and added maybe 5-15 lbs to their lifts (if even) and then somehow expect to look radically different…

Also, your posing-skills are a little lacking ;D

Other than that, I agree with the advice given thus far in this thread…
[/quote]

lol, I was just thinking that “C_C would have asked how his lifts are coming along.”

[quote]Mr.Purple wrote:
Are you uncomfortable with that level of BF? Personally I think that you look pretty lean, and wouldn’t worry about it at all. If you have a hard time gaining weight as you said, I imagine you’ll have no trouble when it comes time to cut down.[/quote]

No I’m OK with the way I look. But I just wanted to make sure I didn’t gain too much fat too soon.Having unbiased opinions helps though. Although I liked looking more muscular, I’m closing in on 33 and my priority is just adding muscle.

[quote]All Too Humean wrote:
Take those impedance-based body fat measurements with a grain of salt, by the way.[/quote]

Yeah I’ve heard that they’re not 100% but I still find them a bit useful for relaitve ball park #'s. The one thing about mine is that you have to tell it 1 of 2 body types. Normal or Athletic. I chose normal when I first started measuring and stuck with it. When I changed it to athlete it gave me #'s that were 2% less. So if I were to go by athlete I’d be 16% instead of 18%.

[quote]sam_sneed wrote:
Mr.Purple wrote:
Are you uncomfortable with that level of BF? Personally I think that you look pretty lean, and wouldn’t worry about it at all. If you have a hard time gaining weight as you said, I imagine you’ll have no trouble when it comes time to cut down.

No I’m OK with the way I look. But I just wanted to make sure I didn’t gain too much fat too soon.Having unbiased opinions helps though. Although I liked looking more muscular, I’m closing in on 33 and my priority is just adding muscle.

All Too Humean wrote:
Take those impedance-based body fat measurements with a grain of salt, by the way.

Yeah I’ve heard that they’re not 100% but I still find them a bit useful for relaitve ball park #'s. The one thing about mine is that you have to tell it 1 of 2 body types. Normal or Athletic. I chose normal when I first started measuring and stuck with it. When I changed it to athlete it gave me #'s that were 2% less. So if I were to go by athlete I’d be 16% instead of 18%.[/quote]

I had to get my body fat tested with one of those things for my nutrition class. This was when I was around 255 and had a pretty visible 6 pack. I stepped on that thing and it told me I was 24.8% bodyfat. I lol’d. I wouldn’t trust those things at all.

Progress looks good. Waist still looks pretty tight and you said you are getting stronger so keep doing what you are doing.

[quote]waylanderxx wrote:
I had to get my body fat tested with one of those things for my nutrition class. This was when I was around 255 and had a pretty visible 6 pack. I stepped on that thing and it told me I was 24.8% bodyfat. I lol’d. I wouldn’t trust those things at all.
[/quote]

I agree 100%. The result of bioimpedence analysis is heavily influenced by your hydration level. If you are dehydrated, you will test MUCH higher than if you are well hydrated.

One of my college hockey player was tested after a practice (which is very dumb and shows how the college strength coach is an idiot). Now, the guy has a full 6 pack and veins over his abs… he tested at…18.7%!!! In reality he was 6.5% (when I tested him with 12-site calipers).

[quote]Christian Thibaudeau wrote:
waylanderxx wrote:
I had to get my body fat tested with one of those things for my nutrition class. This was when I was around 255 and had a pretty visible 6 pack. I stepped on that thing and it told me I was 24.8% bodyfat. I lol’d. I wouldn’t trust those things at all.

I agree 100%. The result of bioimpedence analysis is heavily influenced by your hydration level. If you are dehydrated, you will test MUCH higher than if you are well hydrated.

One of my college hockey player was tested after a practice (which is very dumb and shows how the college strength coach is an idiot). Now, the guy has a full 6 pack and veins over his abs… he tested at…18.7%!!! In reality he was 6.5% (when I tested him with 12-site calipers).[/quote]

In that pic in my profile of me at 210lbs, I was read at that weight as being 26% body fat. I returned the machine and got a different one thinking it was broken. I soon found out they all suck. I will never trust one of those again.

I am sure they give readings more and more incorrect the more muscle you carry.

[quote]Professor X wrote:
Christian Thibaudeau wrote:
waylanderxx wrote:
I had to get my body fat tested with one of those things for my nutrition class. This was when I was around 255 and had a pretty visible 6 pack. I stepped on that thing and it told me I was 24.8% bodyfat. I lol’d. I wouldn’t trust those things at all.

I agree 100%. The result of bioimpedence analysis is heavily influenced by your hydration level. If you are dehydrated, you will test MUCH higher than if you are well hydrated.

One of my college hockey player was tested after a practice (which is very dumb and shows how the college strength coach is an idiot). Now, the guy has a full 6 pack and veins over his abs… he tested at…18.7%!!! In reality he was 6.5% (when I tested him with 12-site calipers).

In that pic in my profile of me at 210lbs, I was read at that weight as being 26% body fat. I returned the machine and got a different one thinking it was broken. I soon found out they all suck. I will never trust one of those again.

I am sure they give readings more and more incorrect the more muscle you carry.[/quote] <- Indeed they do… My parents have one, which I’ve used for shits and giggles on occasion. According to that thing, every single pound of muscle I’ve added to my frame over the years is actually fat.

Amusing devices for sure… They are about as useful as BMI.