T Nation

Plateau w/ Bulk, Gained Too Much Fat


Over the past 14 weeks, I've gained a considerable amount of size, and strength along with it (145lbs - 190lbs at 5'8")

Now as you can imagine, since I gained 50lbs in such a short time frame, quite a bit of it was fat.

I haven't been aiming to put on more bodyweight, because I've got a bit more 'pudge' than i'd like, so as a result my lifts haven't been increasing. And I am not losing weight, so my fat levels aren't decreasing either.

I've been at this sticking point for about 3 weeks now, and could use some advice on how to break through it.

If you need a visual, I can say that I look pretty much the same as CT did before his transformation (admittedly with a lot less muscle/strength underneath)

Strength levels -
Bench press: 100kg x 5 (going to swich to DB's now, I feel uncomfortable doing this without a spotter)
Seated DB press: 35kg DBs x 8 (again without a spotter, getting these into position takes a couple reps out of me)
Back squat: 160kg x 5 (as long as I keep eating, this keeps going up)
Deadlift: 160kg x 5 (grip issues)

I wouldn't feel right 'dieting' to lose some fat because I just don't feel I have enough of a base to diet down to. I would like to be reasonably lean though when I go to florida in 6 months! I hope to be a lot bigger by then too.


You've been on this site for 3 years and 14 weeks ago you were 145 pounds? How does that even happen?

I also want to point out that you're not going to be "a lot" bigger in 6 months. Right now you gotta prioritize. You either want to be lean in 6 months for Florida or you want to keep gaining muscle.


Then don't call it "dieting down". Without pictures, no one knows what you are talking about. Comparing yourself to a "smoother" CT is a pretty big comparison. That's like someone weighing 195lbs saying he looks like a slightly smaller Ronnie Coleman.

If you want more specific help, post pics. If not, then at least understand that you put on a SHIT LOAD of body weight very quickly and, unless you really have the genetics for it or were severely underweight to start with, I wouldn't exactly recommend most people try putting on 50lbs in only 4 months.

You train according to how your body responds...so if you are putting on that much body fat, you make small adjustments so that you don't need to stop every 4 months to repair the damage you did.

But hey, hopefully you learned from this and learning from mistakes is the goal in the first damn place.

Basically, add more cardio and clean up your diet for a couple of months. I would not attempt some drastic drop in body weight but I would definitely work on your aerobic capacity for the next two months. You base how much overall weight you need to lose on what you see in the mirror.


When was the last time you took some time off? Or went below "lifting heavy" into sort of a maintenance/recovery period?

Perhaps try that for a week, then go back to it?

I'm curious to know what's up as well, cuz I feel like I have been there before.


This too. There is nothing more irritating than the "I am about to go on vacation soon and want Insta-Buffness!" crowd.


Why do some of you have such a love affair with time off?


14 wks and 50 lbs? damn dude


Seriously, somewhere along the line didn't you stop and think, "Hey, maybe I'm going a little too fast, here"?

I try not to limit how much weight I should be gaining over specific periods of time because muscle growth isn't linear, but taking pictures and trying to look at yourself objectively is the best way to judge whether or not you're gaining too much fat.

If you had done this (hell, maybe you had), you should have been able to look at yourself and see that the weight you were gaining was not justified.


Lol, I don't prefer "time off", but I think cruise/maintenance periods are necessary for a lot of lifters. I don't plan them but I can tell when my body needs them. My form gets sloppy, my joints hurt more and the weights stop increasing.

But the OP is talking about too much bodyfat after an extra dirty bulk, so yeah, I'm not sure why time off was even suggested.


I did a similar thing to this a while back...then I panic-dieted and ended up with more fat and roughly the same amount of muscle as when I started. DON'T DIET (yet).

If I were you, I would listen to ProfX and throw in some cardio and clean up the diet. I would also make sure I'm hitting the weights with enough intensity.



That was a ridiculous amount of cheeseburgers. I am very curious just how much of that was muscle.


I dunno...I know sometimes I need sometime off every now and again, and believe me it's not a love affair...just a thought.


If he drops weight quickly now (like he seems to be leaning towards based on his comment about vacation) he will lose quite a bit of any muscle he gained simply because it was a shock to his body to gain that much that fast to start with. In a drastic caloric deficit, the first thing to go will be newly gained lean body mass especially since it has only been 4 months.


What are your stats? I am doubting most of the people on this forum train so hard that they need regular time off like this. If most of you were, the results would be there to match it.


I didn't eat any junk food

I started at 145lbs with 60kg x 3 on my bench, and now im at 100kg x 5-6, so i think I put on quite a bit of muscle.

I'm just not very lean...


Fucking Kilograms....


What were you doing the past 3 years on this site with a 150 (pound) x 3 BP? I'm not trying to make fun, just genuinely curious as to how you fucked up so bad.


I think the main point you need to take with you is that this is a LONG term activity. The goal is to avoid going so far overboard that you have to stop every few months for damage control. None of us would be big if we had to diet down every 3-4 months because muscle isn't going to stick around if you are constantly throwing your body into a caloric deficit the moment it makes any gains.


Damned good question.


I still don't get what taking time off has go to do with "I gained too much fat too quickly".

And X is right, undertraining is probably the biggest concern with a lot of people around here. That would explain 3 years and no gains.