I'm trying very hard not to open a can of worms here.
Here's my understanding of the basic principles when bulking:
1) you want to have enough calories + protein to be fully utilized for muscle building, based on whatever stimulus you provide your body
2) additional calories beyond that will [probably] be turned into fat
3) too much fat can have effects on insulin sensitivity (causing calories to be turned to fat rather than muscle)
4) 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?
1) Do you continue at current levels, knowing that you're maximizing muscle growth?
2) Do you drop it slightly until you see no fat gain (but risk dropping it too much and cutting into muscle growth)?
3) 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?