T Nation

The Effect of Gaining on Waist Size

Hi all I’m natural, n I’d like to know (scientifically) if it is possible to gain muscle without gaining fat at same time?

I’m asking cos whenever I want to gain more muscle size and strength, I’ll eat cleanly while steadily (about 6-8 wks) upping my calories (about 10% more) and protein, I get more muscular and stronger (about 5 to 10lbs up in compound lifts) , but I will inevitably get softer (about 3-4lbs heavier).

I would feel my pants getting tighter and I guess I’m just large-waist-phobic, so I’d react by quickly dieting (either low carb or targeted ketogenic) and I lose whatever little gains I have made.

This way I end up remaining lean (which is what I want–about 10% bf,) but I don’t get to pack on lasting gains in muscle/strength (which I also want).

I read CT’s post on “The Truth About Bulking” and I agree with it because I won’t/don’t practice the bulking/cutting cycling, but I don’t know how to progress further.

Is there some trade-off I must make? Must waist size/bodyfat go up if I want to get more muscular and stronger in long run?

Let’s say even if I screw dieting and just progress for longer periods of time (which I’ve done), and after that I efficiently diet down bodyfat while maintaining muscle, wouldn’t my pants be still tighter–Because of larger legs, butt, hips, abs etc.? my thighs grow fast.

advice on training and/or diet anyone?

[quote]cokelight wrote:
Hi all I’m natural, n I’d like to know (scientifically) if it is possible to gain muscle without gaining fat at same time?

I’m asking cos whenever I want to gain more muscle size and strength, I’ll eat cleanly while steadily (about 6-8 wks) upping my calories (about 10% more) and protein, I get more muscular and stronger (about 5 to 10lbs up in compound lifts) , but I will inevitably get softer (about 3-4lbs heavier).

I would feel my pants getting tighter and I guess I’m just large-waist-phobic, so I’d react by quickly dieting (either low carb or targeted ketogenic) and I lose whatever little gains I have made.

This way I end up remaining lean (which is what I want–about 10% bf,) but I don’t get to pack on lasting gains in muscle/strength (which I also want).

I read CT’s post on “The Truth About Bulking” and I agree with it because I won’t/don’t practice the bulking/cutting cycling, but I don’t know how to progress further.

Is there some trade-off I must make? Must waist size/bodyfat go up if I want to get more muscular and stronger in long run?

Let’s say even if I screw dieting and just progress for longer periods of time (which I’ve done), and after that I efficiently diet down bodyfat while maintaining muscle, wouldn’t my pants be still tighter–Because of larger legs, butt, hips, abs etc.? my thighs grow fast.

advice on training and/or diet anyone? [/quote]

There are either tons of people who simply can’t understand what they read, or the writers here need to understand how literally what they write will be taken by a mass audience.

CT didn’t write any such thing and that article was not aimed at beginners. Why then are so many beginners running to it?

Bite the bullet and accept some temporary fat gain…

You may find that once you gain that additional fat that your body will allow you to put on muscle easier without as much additional fat gain.

Who knows, maybe some endocrine feedback system suggests whether or not you have the “storage capacity” to support more muscle before your body wants to add much more.

first off, without knowing any stats, any advice is useless because we dont know your situations.

second, apparently you havent made any gains at all (5-10 lbs on a max lift, and losing that after dieting…), and lose any you do ever make

third, the solution to your waist getting tighter is: buy new pants. yes, pants do get tighter if your legs get bigger, thats a given. but thats the entire point.

ALSO, keep in mind, you can gain FAT and MUSCLE without changing you body fat%. get calipers and track it if you must (and seriously, dont at first, it will just make you neurotic about it if your only a novice), but it’s no use thinking your body fat is going up just because your bigger.

try actually gaining for a while, instead of stalling out and stopping.

The principle in CT’s article are for people other than yourself. He wrote that for people who have been at this for a long time, know exactly what to eat and how to train to gain consistant, small amount, of weight.

Adding 3 to 4 pounds is NOTHING. Absolutely nothing. I’ve gained 50 pounds since I started this… Sure, some of it’s fat, and some of its muscle, but you can diet fat off MUCH faster than you can add muscle.

If you truly want to become more muscular, you need to commit to YEARS of consistant overfeeding and ball-bustint gym workouts. this isnt a month-to-month diet and bulk cycle game. You might even need to be a little fat for a while. But the ends justify the means.

Yeah, you can. It just takes discipline with the diet. That is the hardest part. A workout lasts 1-2 hours 3x a week, diet is 24/7. You may not be able to stay ultralean, but there is no need to gain “fat” in order to gain muscle. It is just an easier route to take.

You, me and everyone we know wishes there were a way. If someone could create a supplement allowing someone to gain only muscle weight, they’d be able to retire after a year.

Short answer: No.

well i’m not looking to not put on any bf at all while gaining muscle, but as the title of my post suggests, i think i’m just very against increasing my waist size whilst doing so–i already have very stubborn bf around my abs.

i know you can’t ‘spot increase’ other bodyparts while maintaining waist size. i can always do things like increase chest and rear/side delt size to make waist appear proportionately smaller. but i guess i don’t want to abandon a ‘sleeker’ look around midsection while gaining muscle througout

[quote]cokelight wrote:
i guess i don’t want to abandon a ‘sleeker’ look around midsection while gaining muscle througout[/quote]

then the simple truth is that you will not gain any muscle because your stomach is the first place for fat to start accumulating… . and if you cant deal with the extra inches on your waist youll never gain anywhere else either. …

[quote]CaliforniaLaw wrote:
Hi all I’m natural, n I’d like to know (scientifically) if it is possible to gain muscle without gaining fat at same time?

You, me and everyone we know wishes there were a way. If someone could create a supplement allowing someone to gain only muscle weight, they’d be able to retire after a year.

Short answer: No.[/quote]

What about Carbolin 19?

[quote]enrac wrote:
What about Carbolin 19? [/quote]

No. Carbolin 19 will not have any effect on beating the op’s phobia of a couple extra inches on his waist. The problems for him are all mental and in his head. He will never improve, while this continues.

You are placing a bunch of conditions on your goals.

Try doing a slow but steady bulk. Creep up the calories, and the intensity/volume/weight of your lifting.

Also, in maybe 5lb. increments, hit a weight, stay there for a month while increasing strength, then do it again when you have increased your strength in proportion to your weight. Sort of a “set point” strategy.

It doesn’t have to be a quest for the 10lbs. in 2 weekss Holy Grail Of Muscle Building.

I’ve been doing this for the past few months and have gained 15 lbs, no noticeable gain in fat.

The fat gain really isnt that bad, unless you eat like shit.

Hell I don’t even eat all that great, but after putting on 40lb’s I’ve only added 2inches to my waste, which is a 34, so thats still not a huge waste per say. and my new width from the mass makes it looks smaller.

[quote]CaliforniaLaw wrote:
Hi all I’m natural, n I’d like to know (scientifically) if it is possible to gain muscle without gaining fat at same time?

You, me and everyone we know wishes there were a way. If someone could create a supplement allowing someone to gain only muscle weight, they’d be able to retire after a year.

[/quote]

These supplements absolutely do exist but it all depends on how far you’re willing to go.

It’s funny that people continually try and try week after week to increase their weights in the gym but stick with the same nutrition plan or no plan year round. Just as you constantly add weight to the bar you have to constantly add calories to your diet.

The trick is to do it very slowly and consistantly. Nobody walked into the gym their first workout and squated 650. You had to work up to that weight on a weekly basis. You can’t start downing 6,000 calories and expect to gain nothing but lean mass. You have to work up to it. Every week add another couple hundred calories to your diet which doesn’t sound like much but over the course of a year it adds up just as fast as those 2.5 lb plates.

[quote]cokelight wrote:
but i guess i don’t want to abandon a ‘sleeker’ look around midsection while gaining muscle througout[/quote]

So you’d like to… “Have your cake and eat it, too” … So, you want it all? You’re living in a dream world. IMO you will never gain real mass with your attitude. Eat big to get big.

Everyone posting is trying to tell you the same thing. But will you listen? I highly doubt it. If your goal is mass, you are wasting your time in the gym.

[quote]vroom wrote:
Bite the bullet and accept some temporary fat gain…

You may find that once you gain that additional fat that your body will allow you to put on muscle easier without as much additional fat gain.

Who knows, maybe some endocrine feedback system suggests whether or not you have the “storage capacity” to support more muscle before your body wants to add much more.

[/quote]

In my experience I have found this advice to be, pretty much, spot on.

It is only once I get to above 12%bf (an arbitrary figure, it might be slightly more or less) that I make serious gains in lean mass.

You may have abs now and worry because you see them disappearing, whilst equally your gains in muscle size seem small.

YOU HAVE TO SUCK IT UP AND CARRY ON.

If your abs are visible now, your metabolism will likely need a few weeks to adjust in order to put you into ‘lean mass gain mode’. This is because right now you’ve screwed it over and slowed it down via a process of ‘yo yo’ dieting.

The fat gain will honestly slow down after a couple of weeks (provided you’re not bulking on donuts and canned cheese), whilst gains in lean mass will accelerate.

Listen to this advice and follow it consistently. Then in 8 weeks you’ll be benching a hell of a lot more than an extra 10lbs.

Good luck man.

[quote]cokelight wrote:
Hi all I’m natural, n I’d like to know (scientifically) if it is possible to gain muscle without gaining fat at same time?

I’m asking cos whenever I want to gain more muscle size and strength, I’ll eat cleanly while steadily (about 6-8 wks) upping my calories (about 10% more) and protein, I get more muscular and stronger (about 5 to 10lbs up in compound lifts) , but I will inevitably get softer (about 3-4lbs heavier).

I would feel my pants getting tighter and I guess I’m just large-waist-phobic, so I’d react by quickly dieting (either low carb or targeted ketogenic) and I lose whatever little gains I have made.

This way I end up remaining lean (which is what I want–about 10% bf,) but I don’t get to pack on lasting gains in muscle/strength (which I also want).

I read CT’s post on “The Truth About Bulking” and I agree with it because I won’t/don’t practice the bulking/cutting cycling, but I don’t know how to progress further.

Is there some trade-off I must make? Must waist size/bodyfat go up if I want to get more muscular and stronger in long run?

Let’s say even if I screw dieting and just progress for longer periods of time (which I’ve done), and after that I efficiently diet down bodyfat while maintaining muscle, wouldn’t my pants be still tighter–Because of larger legs, butt, hips, abs etc.? my thighs grow fast.

advice on training and/or diet anyone? [/quote]

You know, if you didn’t spend so much time dicking around cutting to get rid of that ‘softness’ you gained, you’d probably have a physique that you would be proud of by now.

Losing BF is easy.
Gaining LBM is difficult
Do whatever you need to do to gain LBM; if it ever becomes necessary to lose 3-4 pounds of BF, then use the Velocity Diet, find your abs, take a picture, and then start gaining LBM again.

I’m on the same boat as the OP, only it is pissing me off that my 34" pants are tight on the waists now and I know that 36" pants will keep falling down. I guess I’ll compromise and keep my pants’ waist unbuttoned. That is where belts still come in useful, right?