T Nation

Self-Regulating a Bulk

[quote]LoRez wrote:

[quote]gregron wrote:
The pictures you’re speaking about didn’t show up when I clicked so I can’t really say… But 20-25% BF is fat to very fat.[/quote]

I just attached the picture.

I would say that 20% by most photos I’ve seen is fat. Per this picture, guy’s still got (barely) visible abs at 20%.

So, I don’t necessarily mean 20-22% by any measurement other than what this photo claims.[/quote]

Thanks for the picture reference, makes things a lot more clear. IMO, the look of the guy at “20%” would be tops. That’s a little too soft for my liking but nothing unreasonable.

So would you say that 20%… per that picture… is still too high?

My goal is still to add as little fat as possible; that hasn’t changed. But if I AM adding fat, is 20% per that picture a good point to stop, or should I stop before I hit that point?

EDIT: your answer came through before I finished. Thanks.

I would say that picture is just fine. I would also say that picture isn’t showing a true 20% unless he is holding a large amount of fat on his legs.

trust me…

do not get fat

[quote]Mr. Walkway wrote:
trust me…

do not get fat[/quote]

x 1,000

I mean… don’t. Just don’t.

Don’t get to the “20%” or whatever (bodyfat looks differently on different people.) You will walk around with a complex thinking that you are bigger than you actually are, because your fat will make shirts fit tighter and you’ll feel more “POWERHOUSE.” People will not be impressed because you are sloppy and you will feel like shit and also not be happy. Plus you’re setting a set-point and standard for your body. Then, you’ll lose the weight and realize oh hell, the same gains could’ve been made in the same time but no, I was too lazy to suck it up and deal with it.

But, don’t take the advice from numerous people who have experienced this. Surely they have no idea what they’re talking about.

/natty problems

[quote]LoRez wrote:
So would you say that 20%… per that picture… is still too high?

My goal is still to add as little fat as possible; that hasn’t changed. But if I AM adding fat, is 20% per that picture a good point to stop, or should I stop before I hit that point?

EDIT: your answer came through before I finished. Thanks.[/quote]

Cool no problem.

[quote]gregron wrote:

[quote]LoRez wrote:

[quote]gregron wrote:
The pictures you’re speaking about didn’t show up when I clicked so I can’t really say… But 20-25% BF is fat to very fat.[/quote]

I just attached the picture.

I would say that 20% by most photos I’ve seen is fat. Per this picture, guy’s still got (barely) visible abs at 20%.

So, I don’t necessarily mean 20-22% by any measurement other than what this photo claims.[/quote]

Thanks for the picture reference, makes things a lot more clear. IMO, the look of the guy at “20%” would be tops. That’s a little too soft for my liking but nothing unreasonable.[/quote]

Gregron, I hate to ask should I bulk or cut. BUT, I respect your opinions, and I never have gotten the impression that you say anything to lead someone in the wrong direction. If a guy is underweight for his height (his goal weight) but is around the 20%-25% bf look would you think it would be better to maybe get down to the 15% through a moderate cut, then start over on a better designed ‘bulk’, or increase his work load at around the same calories.

What would you recomend to someone who was at 200#s and his end goal is 220#s 15% per picture, but is around the 20%-25% range per picture? I just would like your opinion, I wont take it anyway other way than it’s your opinion.

[quote]SSC wrote:
Then, you’ll lose the weight and realize oh hell, the same gains could’ve been made in the same time but no, I was too lazy to suck it up and deal with it.[/quote]

That’s the premise I’m mainly questioning. Can the gains really be made in the same time if you’re not pushing that “about to get a little fat” envelope?

What I currently think: If you’re not getting fat at all, you may not be maximizing muscle growth. If you are starting to gain a little fat, then you’re maximizing muscle growth and should probably back off a bit.

I.e., I’m using the “fat” as the feedback mechanism to know if there’s maximal muscle growth.

Is there a better way to know that?

[quote]mbdix wrote:

[quote]gregron wrote:

[quote]LoRez wrote:

[quote]gregron wrote:
The pictures you’re speaking about didn’t show up when I clicked so I can’t really say… But 20-25% BF is fat to very fat.[/quote]

I just attached the picture.

I would say that 20% by most photos I’ve seen is fat. Per this picture, guy’s still got (barely) visible abs at 20%.

So, I don’t necessarily mean 20-22% by any measurement other than what this photo claims.[/quote]

Thanks for the picture reference, makes things a lot more clear. IMO, the look of the guy at “20%” would be tops. That’s a little too soft for my liking but nothing unreasonable.[/quote]

Gregron, I hate to ask should I bulk or cut. BUT, I respect your opinions, and I never have gotten the impression that you say anything to lead someone in the wrong direction. If a guy is underweight for his height (his goal weight) but is around the 20%-25% bf look would you think it would be better to maybe get down to the 15% through a moderate cut, then start over on a better designed ‘bulk’, or increase his work load at around the same calories.

What would you recomend to someone who was at 200#s and his end goal is 220#s 15% per picture, but is around the 20%-25% range per picture? I just would like your opinion, I wont take it anyway other way than it’s your opinion.[/quote]

Well the human body functions better and is healthier at lower BF% (not talking contest lean here) so, IMO, your body is in a better state and primed for muscle gains. You always here about the great “rebound” effect that guys get after competing right? Well I think that is partially attributed to their lower than normal BF%

If someone is 20-25% and was planning on adding size I would think that dropping a bit of BF first would be a good idea for more than one reason. First of all your body would be more “primed” to gain muscle as well as the lower BF% will make it easier to accurately asses how much muscle vs fat you are gaining while on your bulk.

This is just my opinion but I’m happy to help.

[quote]mbdix wrote:

[quote]gregron wrote:

[quote]LoRez wrote:

[quote]gregron wrote:
The pictures you’re speaking about didn’t show up when I clicked so I can’t really say… But 20-25% BF is fat to very fat.[/quote]

I just attached the picture.

I would say that 20% by most photos I’ve seen is fat. Per this picture, guy’s still got (barely) visible abs at 20%.

So, I don’t necessarily mean 20-22% by any measurement other than what this photo claims.[/quote]

Thanks for the picture reference, makes things a lot more clear. IMO, the look of the guy at “20%” would be tops. That’s a little too soft for my liking but nothing unreasonable.[/quote]

Gregron, I hate to ask should I bulk or cut. BUT, I respect your opinions, and I never have gotten the impression that you say anything to lead someone in the wrong direction. If a guy is underweight for his height (his goal weight) but is around the 20%-25% bf look would you think it would be better to maybe get down to the 15% through a moderate cut, then start over on a better designed ‘bulk’, or increase his work load at around the same calories.

What would you recomend to someone who was at 200#s and his end goal is 220#s 15% per picture, but is around the 20%-25% range per picture? I just would like your opinion, I wont take it anyway other way than it’s your opinion.[/quote]

I can only say that in my personal experience with decreased calorie intake (and the same workload), I’ve seen improved body composition without really losing weight. Not a “cut”, just a “recomp”.

But that’s been my experience, as a beginning lifter. I also was a middle-distance runner for several years in my past; I mention that because it’s probably relevant in terms of my metabolic response.

[quote]SSC wrote:

[quote]Mr. Walkway wrote:
trust me…

do not get fat[/quote]

x 1,000

I mean… don’t. Just don’t.

Don’t get to the “20%” or whatever (bodyfat looks differently on different people.) You will walk around with a complex thinking that you are bigger than you actually are, because your fat will make shirts fit tighter and you’ll feel more “POWERHOUSE.” People will not be impressed because you are sloppy and you will feel like shit and also not be happy. Plus you’re setting a set-point and standard for your body. Then, you’ll lose the weight and realize oh hell, the same gains could’ve been made in the same time but no, I was too lazy to suck it up and deal with it.

But, don’t take the advice from numerous people who have experienced this. Surely they have no idea what they’re talking about.

/natty problems[/quote]

SSC, I love your avi.

You might be reading too much.
Some people are paid to write to sell books/magazines.
The topics like bulking-cutting are great page fillers and supplement selling points.
Anyone bulking who starts that process over single digit is dreaming(get big fast).
We should allways be between 5-15 % in my opinion. My nephew added 40 pounds of muscles never bulking on his 5 9 frame between 18-28 and he laughs at guys training hard. He trains smart never gets injured.
Bulking while juicing is a different subject i guess not for this thread.
It is possible to go from 170 to 170 while gaining 10 pounds of muscles.
When at 5-7 % the energy might be low after a show, not your present concern.
All the best !

[quote]BHappy wrote:
My nephew added 40 pounds of muscles never bulking on his 5 9 frame between 18-28 and he laughs at guys training hard. He trains smart never gets injured.[/quote]

So he added 4 pounds of muscle a year.

Obviously he did all right, so congrats to him.

But even conservative approaches seem to add 1lb of muscle a month, which means your nephew could have added 40lbs in a little over 3 years; not 10.

Certainly I can do things slowly… but I’m interested in doing it as fast as possible while natural, ideally without much need for a ‘cut’ at the end of it.

EDIT: glad to hear that the shoulder pressing is helping.

He is a regular human, 2 first years looks change than it slows down. He is not competing so i have no clue but with a kid i guess training is part of his life, not his life.

[quote]BHappy wrote:
He is a regular human, 2 first years looks change than it slows down. He is not competing so i have no clue but with a kid i guess training is part of his life, not his life.[/quote]

I guess what I’m saying is that while your nephew has done exactly what I’m trying to do, his approach is probably not relevant for me. It doesn’t sound like his goal was to put on as much aesthetic mass as quickly as possible.

Thanks Gregron and LoRez. One more question about that picture. To me it is obvious that the lower bf% pictures they are flexing their abs. In the other pictures though, are we to assume they are flexing their abs as well? I’m not worried about this just curious.

[quote]mbdix wrote:
Thanks Gregron and LoRez. One more question about that picture. To me it is obvious that the lower bf% pictures they are flexing their abs. In the other pictures though, are we to assume they are flexing their abs as well? I’m not worried about this just curious. [/quote]

Ummm probably not. If you’re actually trying to portray a higher BF% you’re probably not going to display great posture or flex… But that’s just my speculation.

That’s what I was thinking too. I know in before and after pics for like sups and stuff they use that trick having the guy being untanned and sticking his belly out in the before, and flexing and tanned up in the after. Just don’t know why they went through the trouble to give a fairly accurate picture of bodyfat% and didn’t have each picture flexed. Anyways, no biggie just ranting a little. Thanks for letting me de-rail this for a sec.

[quote]mbdix wrote:
Thanks for letting me de-rail this for a sec.[/quote]

Oh, you’re perfectly fine. I have no problem with reasonable discussion about anything related.

It’s the permabulk vs lean bulk arguments I’m trying to avoid.

rock on