T Nation

Strength Gains While Gaining Weight


#1

Long story short, I've bulked up by about 20lbs in 4 months. I started at 164 and I'm at 182 now. I was definitely underweight when I started, my body fat percentage was probably around 7-8%. Lots of endurance exercise and not enough calories. It's difficult to gauge from the mirror, but I would guess I'm around 12% body fat now. I want to know if my strength gains correlate with the amount of weight I have gained. Initial maxes are from 17Dec2014-16Jan2015, and current numbers are from this last week.

Front Squat:
1RM, 16Jan2015 - 210
1RM, 7Apr2015 - 245

Bench Press:
1RM, 17Dec2014 - 195
5RM, 10Apr2015 - 195

Deadlift:
1RM, 17Dec2014 - 290
5RM, 6Apr2015 - 300

Max Reps Pull-ups:
21Dec2014 - 14
8Apr2015 - 14

Does it seem like I am making acceptable strength gains considering the amount of weight I have put on? Thanks!


#2

[quote]erik_carlson wrote:
Does it seem like I am making acceptable strength gains considering the amount of weight I have put on?[/quote]
I’d say you’re on track, yep. Total body strength has increased, more reps and/or more weight on big upper and lower body lifts, and you’re hitting the same number of pull-ups while hauling up more bodyweight, so ballpark relative strength has increase too.

I’d stay stick whatever you’re doing.


#3

Your front squats went up, your bench stagnated, your deadlift went up 10lbs and your relative pulling strength stayed the same. I would have expected better strength gains based on the weight gain.


#4

[quote]nighthawkz wrote:
your bench stagnated, your deadlift went up 10lbs[/quote]
That’s what I thought at first too, but I didn’t see the “1RM and 5RM” on first read. So he’s repping his former 1RM.

One more thing I would say, though, is to keep an eye on monitoring fat gain from here on out.

Not sure exactly what you think 12% looks like, but it sounds like the abs should be just about disappearing by now, depending on the time of day. You started off really lean, so you had some wiggle room. And it sounds like you’re definitely not fat now, but just make sure you’re not going overboard.

You’re tall and still have a ways to go, so you should be able to put on more size without gaining a ton more fat. Plenty of quality protein everyday is key to that, not just getting calories from carbs or fat.


#5

[quote]Chris Colucci wrote:

[quote]nighthawkz wrote:
your bench stagnated, your deadlift went up 10lbs[/quote]
That’s what I thought at first too, but I didn’t see the “1RM and 5RM” on first read. So he’s repping his former 1RM.

One more thing I would say, though, is to keep an eye on monitoring fat gain from here on out.

Not sure exactly what you think 12% looks like, but it sounds like the abs should be just about disappearing by now, depending on the time of day. You started off really lean, so you had some wiggle room. And it sounds like you’re definitely not fat now, but just make sure you’re not going overboard.

You’re tall and still have a ways to go, so you should be able to put on more size without gaining a ton more fat. Plenty of quality protein everyday is key to that, not just getting calories from carbs or fat.[/quote]

Ok, cool. I’m happy with the gains so far but I also know there is a limit to beginner gains and I can’t just force feed growth forever.

You’re correct on the ab visibility. They are visible in the morning, usually too bloated at night to be noticeable. So I think 12% is pretty accurate. I don’t care to go much higher than 12%.

I’ll be honest, I’m not the type of person that feels sick after eating 3,000 calories in a day. I can absolutely crush food, especially after lifting. I eat healthy, nutrient dense foods, just a lot of them. Dropping my calories a little bit could be challenging, especially because I feel like my metabolism has really sped up since I’ve been gaining, but I think I’ll be lowering my intake a bit just to mitigate any sloppiness.

One tactic I’ve employed to gain weight is to eat a large meal before bed. In your experience, do you think that either eliminating or shrinking this meal would help in keeping fat gain at bay? I’m definitely not looking to cut or drop weight, but I think trying to hold this weight for a while might be beneficial. Thanks a lot for your reply.


#6

[quote]Chris Colucci wrote:

[quote]nighthawkz wrote:
your bench stagnated, your deadlift went up 10lbs[/quote]
That’s what I thought at first too, but I didn’t see the “1RM and 5RM” on first read. So he’s repping his former 1RM.
[/quote]

Oops. I take it back then.


#7

[quote]erik_carlson wrote:

[quote]Chris Colucci wrote:

[quote]nighthawkz wrote:
your bench stagnated, your deadlift went up 10lbs[/quote]
That’s what I thought at first too, but I didn’t see the “1RM and 5RM” on first read. So he’s repping his former 1RM.

One more thing I would say, though, is to keep an eye on monitoring fat gain from here on out.

Not sure exactly what you think 12% looks like, but it sounds like the abs should be just about disappearing by now, depending on the time of day. You started off really lean, so you had some wiggle room. And it sounds like you’re definitely not fat now, but just make sure you’re not going overboard.

You’re tall and still have a ways to go, so you should be able to put on more size without gaining a ton more fat. Plenty of quality protein everyday is key to that, not just getting calories from carbs or fat.[/quote]

Ok, cool. I’m happy with the gains so far but I also know there is a limit to beginner gains and I can’t just force feed growth forever.

You’re correct on the ab visibility. They are visible in the morning, usually too bloated at night to be noticeable. So I think 12% is pretty accurate. I don’t care to go much higher than 12%.

I’ll be honest, I’m not the type of person that feels sick after eating 3,000 calories in a day. I can absolutely crush food, especially after lifting. I eat healthy, nutrient dense foods, just a lot of them. Dropping my calories a little bit could be challenging, especially because I feel like my metabolism has really sped up since I’ve been gaining, but I think I’ll be lowering my intake a bit just to mitigate any sloppiness.

One tactic I’ve employed to gain weight is to eat a large meal before bed. In your experience, do you think that either eliminating or shrinking this meal would help in keeping fat gain at bay? I’m definitely not looking to cut or drop weight, but I think trying to hold this weight for a while might be beneficial. Thanks a lot for your reply.
[/quote]

How active are you now outside of lifting?

If you wanna try to slow the weight/fat gain but still keep progress I would add in A LITTLE more activity before I would curb calories. That’s just my preference though. I’m about the same size of you and have noticed 3,000 to be a real good number for size gains. If going for size, I think you’d be much better off hitting 3,000 a day and getting in two HIIT/walking sessions a week versus 2,500 calories a day and just lifting.


#8

[quote]Sutebun wrote:

[quote]erik_carlson wrote:

[quote]Chris Colucci wrote:

[quote]nighthawkz wrote:
your bench stagnated, your deadlift went up 10lbs[/quote]
That’s what I thought at first too, but I didn’t see the “1RM and 5RM” on first read. So he’s repping his former 1RM.

One more thing I would say, though, is to keep an eye on monitoring fat gain from here on out.

Not sure exactly what you think 12% looks like, but it sounds like the abs should be just about disappearing by now, depending on the time of day. You started off really lean, so you had some wiggle room. And it sounds like you’re definitely not fat now, but just make sure you’re not going overboard.

You’re tall and still have a ways to go, so you should be able to put on more size without gaining a ton more fat. Plenty of quality protein everyday is key to that, not just getting calories from carbs or fat.[/quote]

Ok, cool. I’m happy with the gains so far but I also know there is a limit to beginner gains and I can’t just force feed growth forever.

You’re correct on the ab visibility. They are visible in the morning, usually too bloated at night to be noticeable. So I think 12% is pretty accurate. I don’t care to go much higher than 12%.

I’ll be honest, I’m not the type of person that feels sick after eating 3,000 calories in a day. I can absolutely crush food, especially after lifting. I eat healthy, nutrient dense foods, just a lot of them. Dropping my calories a little bit could be challenging, especially because I feel like my metabolism has really sped up since I’ve been gaining, but I think I’ll be lowering my intake a bit just to mitigate any sloppiness.

One tactic I’ve employed to gain weight is to eat a large meal before bed. In your experience, do you think that either eliminating or shrinking this meal would help in keeping fat gain at bay? I’m definitely not looking to cut or drop weight, but I think trying to hold this weight for a while might be beneficial. Thanks a lot for your reply.
[/quote]

How active are you now outside of lifting?

If you wanna try to slow the weight/fat gain but still keep progress I would add in A LITTLE more activity before I would curb calories. That’s just my preference though. I’m about the same size of you and have noticed 3,000 to be a real good number for size gains. If going for size, I think you’d be much better off hitting 3,000 a day and getting in two HIIT/walking sessions a week versus 2,500 calories a day and just lifting. [/quote]

I’m pretty active outside of lifting. I am using Westside for Skinny Bastards part III, so I lift 4x/week. I run interval sprints on the track twice a week, and push the prowler once a week.

I’ve actually been eating about 4,000cal/day during my bulk. I have a pretty fast metabolism, and combined with the conditioning and lifting, I need a pretty substantial amount of calories to grow. I agree with you 100% though, the added conditioning work certainly helps with minimizing the fat gain.