T Nation

Should I Bulk Up?


Well its reaching the summer because school has just ended and there is going to be plenty of time to concentrate hard on my training. I figure this would be the best time to bulk as i can pretty much stay home and eat all day long with no problem and sleep all day

I am not skinny though as many of the people who seem to ask this question. im 17 years old 6 foot 219 pounds.
some of my max lifts
Bench - 245 paused
Deadlift - 465
Squat - 385
Ez-bar curls - 155ish
Barbell Rows - 245-265ish

I figure im a little below 20 percent body fat right now. my body fat scale thing( i have no clue how accurate these thigns are but i go by it) usually says between 17-20 percent for me.

So i was thinking its summer it probly wouldnt hurt to put on 20 pounds or so and improve my lifts. So any oppinions would help with my desision




At 20% bodyfat, you are already "overbulked":wink:


Do it!




If you are going to gain 20 pounds, do it controlled and slowly. You could hurt your heart if you go up to fast. Plus make sure you gain a HEALTHY 20 pounds, and that you keep that BF% below 20.


Gaining 20lbs hurts your heart if done quickly? What do you base this off of?

To the original poster, those body fat scales suck. They don't work. I would never use those as a true reading.


He'll be ignored by all the girls because he's fat and his heart will be broken. (Cue sad music)


I think I gained close to that in two months when I first started lifting. I have trained people who added that much in muscle upon returning to lifting weights. Many bodybuilders who compete put on 20lbs or more in the few days or weeks following a contest. According to that poster, we should all be having heart problems.


And the option would be to do what?

If you are really around 20%, you probably can drop a couple of percentage points in the process, but don't cut back on calories. Maybe just find 1-2 things you can reduce like soda or chips.

Its really simple. Do you see yourself with more muscle in your future? If so, there is no reason to think about trying to ripped right now, but again at 15-17% you might just feel a little more vigorous.


eh i dont think im that fat lol


well i have nothing else really to base it off of. i mean i figure if im fat goes up the scale will tell me my body fat goes up and if i drop a little fat it will tell me my body fat is lower, even if it is not perfectly accurate its atleast something to go by


i dont eat things like chips and soda, i like to keep it healthy. of coarse i see myself with more muscle in the future. im more into how much weight i can lift rather than looking ripped. of coarse i dont want to get fat and i will lose some fat at some point but would like to put on more strength right now.


honestly i cant really say what body fat percentage i am. but this is how i figure it. lets say im 19 percent body fat. and i put on 20 pounds. then maybe my body fat may go up 2-4 percent? so then ill be a little over 20 percent. but then i figure it will be easyer at that point to drop a few pounds without sacrificing my strength.


If you don't think you're fat I would bulk if I were you. Really the only time to cut when you are below you target weight is when you start to get to fat (17%+ in my opinion).


I see what you mean, using it as a relative reference, but you may also want to make sure that you're equally as hydrated, and have eaten approx. the same amount of food when comparing.

There have been people who have eaten a lot of a certain food, and drank a bunch of water just a few minutes after using the scale, and it told them they lost a fairly large percentage of fat, when it was obviouse that it wasn't the case.

It may be more accurate going by pictures in the same setting.

Even looking in the mirror, I noticed that I try to find the perfect light, and I'm looking for better looking poses when trying to compare my progress.

Pictures let you compare how you looked side by side.


yes i always check it at the same time of day. i always check it like an hour before bed or so everyday. so i assume ive eating and drank about the same about of things so it should be pretty easy to compare.

i never seem to take pictures. yah i know it would work. maybe i should do that at some point. thanks for advice


dude, you can't flex fat and your CNS can't recruit it to lift heavy weight. Forget about "bulking up" (another phrase for "get fat to try to look big with clothes on") just train.


Hurt your heart?


I doubt you are 20%. I had my bodyfat professionally tested by DEXA Scan (the gold standard) and I was around 10% but the Tanita said I was 17% set on athlete mode. They are crap. If you are really 20% you'd be quite smooth and probably a little soft. Are you?


That actually isn't what bulking up means at all. I suppose the only people who would even think that way would be those who no one can tell lifts when they wear clothes. Maybe it makes you feel better to think the shoulders, chest and biceps filling out their shirts isn't muscle.