I’m trying very hard not to open a can of worms here.
Here’s my understanding of the basic principles when bulking:
- you want to have enough calories + protein to be fully utilized for muscle building, based on whatever stimulus you provide your body
- additional calories beyond that will [probably] be turned into fat
- too much fat can have effects on insulin sensitivity (causing calories to be turned to fat rather than muscle)
- muscle growth is generally non-linear; you can be at a caloric excess for awhile with no results, and then there will be a period of rapid muscle gain, then minimal muscle gain, etc.
So my hypothesis is this:
- assuming sufficient stimulus, if I eat enough where I start getting fat, AND I’m getting enough protein, then I’m maximizing muscle growth
And my question is: when you start noticing some fat gain, what do you do?
- Do you continue at current levels, knowing that you’re maximizing muscle growth?
- Do you drop it slightly until you see no fat gain (but risk dropping it too much and cutting into muscle growth)?
- Do you just just observe for a couple weeks, and then make a decision?
Additional question… if you’re gaining fat intentionally (but trying to minimize it), at what point do you take a break from bulking to drop your bf% before resuming the bulk? Let’s say I’m 14% right now, and I’m adding 1% every few weeks. Should I take a break to “lean down” when I hit ~20% before resuming the bulk?