T Nation

Thinking About Bulking, Help

okay so lets get the backround out of the way im 26% body fat as of today and 248 pounds, i was 350 pounds and 36% body fat febuary first of this year.

my strength has stagnated for at least a month now as ive fixed my form on my lifts its just stuck where its at. ive also lost about 10 pounds of lean muscle mass since i started in febuary.

so ive been thinking i should change something up to give my body a break for a while and today talking to a powerlifter/strongman in my gym he said ive lost alot of weight i should mabye go on a bulking phase for 4-6 months and then slowly come down and start dropping fat again. what do you all think? im sure prof.x will weigh in on this one :wink:

[quote]john-lennon wrote:
okay so lets get the backround out of the way im 26% body fat as of today and 248 pounds, i was 350 pounds and 36% body fat febuary first of this year.

my strength has stagnated for at least a month now as ive fixed my form on my lifts its just stuck where its at. ive also lost about 10 pounds of lean muscle mass since i started in febuary.

so ive been thinking i should change something up to give my body a break for a while and today talking to a powerlifter/strongman in my gym he said ive lost alot of weight i should mabye go on a bulking phase for 4-6 months and then slowly come down and start dropping fat again. what do you all think? im sure prof.x will weigh in on this one :wink: [/quote]

I can’t think of a good reason to ‘bulk’ at 20+% bodyfat.

I would say an overhaul of your traing and a renewed focus on diet is much more appropos.

well by bulking i meant eat more kcal so i can start gaining some strength and then keep it there. i dont intend to go all out eating everything in sight and gain 10 pounds of fat for 5 pounds of muscle… id strive for 10 pounds of muscle gained and 2-5 pounds of fat.

also wouldnt upping my kcal jump start my metabolism again? and keep my body guessing so i dont stagnate. also you gotta look at this from my minds standpoint ive been dropping weight and not gaining hardly any strength for 10 months its driving me nuts a person my size should be able to bench more than 175 pounds for 6 reps dont you think? and squat more than 225 or deadlift 260 its pitiful

[quote]john-lennon wrote:
okay so lets get the backround out of the way im 26% body fat as of today and 248 pounds, i was 350 pounds and 36% body fat febuary first of this year.

my strength has stagnated for at least a month now as ive fixed my form on my lifts its just stuck where its at. ive also lost about 10 pounds of lean muscle mass since i started in febuary.

so ive been thinking i should change something up to give my body a break for a while and today talking to a powerlifter/strongman in my gym he said ive lost alot of weight i should mabye go on a bulking phase for 4-6 months and then slowly come down and start dropping fat again. what do you all think? im sure prof.x will weigh in on this one :wink: [/quote]

Unless you have a good reason for being fat (you’re competiting in powerlifting, etc.) you need to lose weight.

Your weight loss has stalled and you’ve lost LBM because you’ve dieted for too long. Restore your metabolism.

There are tons of articles on this site explaining how to return your metabolism to normal.

Basically, up your calories by 200-300 calories each day for one week. Then 200-300 more the next week. Eat at this level for 2-4 weeks. Ideally, you will neither gain nor lose any weight over this period. Though if you gain a pound or so, no biggie.

Afterwards, your metabolism will be pretty close to back to normal.

Then start dieting again.

A long-term dieter (i.e., someone who will need to diet for more than 12 weeks) should have one week of “rest” every 4-6 weeks.

Again, you’re not cheating. You’re just gradually upping calories to up your metabolism.

[quote]john-lennon wrote:
well by bulking i meant eat more kcal so i can start gaining some strength and then keep it there. i dont intend to go all out eating everything in sight and gain 10 pounds of fat for 5 pounds of muscle… id strive for 10 pounds of muscle gained and 2-5 pounds of fat.[/quote]

Because of the ratio to fat-free and fat mass on your body you’ll likely gain 2-3 pounds of fat for every pount of muscle.

If your weights at that low, it’s likely your bodyfat percentage is higher than 26%. Which makes your need to lose fat that much greater.

[quote]john-lennon wrote:
well by bulking i meant eat more kcal so i can start gaining some strength and then keep it there. i dont intend to go all out eating everything in sight and gain 10 pounds of fat for 5 pounds of muscle… id strive for 10 pounds of muscle gained and 2-5 pounds of fat.

also wouldnt upping my kcal jump start my metabolism again? and keep my body guessing so i dont stagnate. also you gotta look at this from my minds standpoint ive been dropping weight and not gaining hardly any strength for 10 months its driving me nuts a person my size should be able to bench more than 175 pounds for 6 reps dont you think? and squat more than 225 or deadlift 260 its pitiful[/quote]

Thanks for the bulk lesson–one check of my profile and you’d probably realize I’ve seen a bulk stage or two.

Your lack of strength is due to something besides your caloric intake. This will be harsh, but my honest opinion, with very little to go on besides your posting history and gut feelings, is you lack workout intensity, consistancy, and effort.

You can ‘jump start’ your metabolism by cycling your diet as opposed to a 4-6 month bulk. But I don’t think that is your issue. I’d like to see a daily breakdown of your diet. A true one. I’ll bet it is too high in processed refined carbs and trans fats and too low in quality protein and good fats.

You’ll tell me you’re busting your ass in the gym, but show me your log. What–no log. Show me your progressive overloads. Show me your volume adjustments over the past year.

You won’t be able too. Because if you could, you wouldn’t be benching 175.

I commend you for your progress, but that weight–in relative terms–was the easy weight to drop. Now you have to turn it up a notch. Now you have to think and plan. Get to it. You’ve come this far, nowtake the next step.

alright ill try just bumping up my protein intake as its incredibly low right now and increase over all kcal by a bit for a week or two, as for intensity there is no way to show you it over the internet, as i do keep a log of my numbers but as i said they arent going up.

when i started in febuary i had a 40 pound bench, but all that gain is from being a sedentary fat ass and never lifting to lifting 3-4 days a week. ive changed my workouts every couple months either by changing order or reps or selecting new exersizes, when i do i make a small gain and then im stuck there forever.

honestly at this point im expecting to not get stronger again until i start to eat more.

as for my diet my worst meal of the day is breakfast i have a bowl of muslix cereal and a cup of whole milk and a peice or two of hard cheese, then my other meals are usually 4 ounces of meat either chicken turkey pork or other red meat, with fruits and veggies and once a day ill have a boiled potatoe usually pre or post workout.

the meal i just had now was a 4 oz beef steak with a cup of brocolie a cup of canteloupe and 2 oz of fresh fish.

as far as i can see it i think my sticking point in my diet is lack of protein, and of course breakfast isnt the greatest, other than that i dont think its bad at all.

as for training i do a total body with mostly compound lifts. squat row bench deadlift pullup dip chinup i throw in calves and single leg stuff once and a while to keep them balanced. one day a week i do HIIT cardio for 15 mins.

well there it is, i appreciate the input

First, grats on the weight loss.

Next, grats on straitening your form and being willing to lift light weight to master form. Working out at the gym and not getting stronger is tough to keep doing, but it seems you have done that.

Seriously, how hard are your training sessions? What is your diet? I cannot imagine everything being on point and not gaining in strength or losing weight.

We really need to know more to give better advice, but whatever you do dont quit. You have come a long way, you just need a little help to get over this hump for you.

[quote]john-lennon wrote:

as for my diet my worst meal of the day is breakfast i have a bowl of muslix cereal and a cup of whole milk and a peice or two of hard cheese, then my other meals are usually 4 ounces of meat either chicken turkey pork or other red meat, with fruits and veggies and once a day ill have a boiled potatoe usually pre or post workout.

the meal i just had now was a 4 oz beef steak with a cup of brocolie a cup of canteloupe and 2 oz of fresh fish.

as far as i can see it i think my sticking point in my diet is lack of protein, and of course breakfast isnt the greatest, other than that i dont think its bad at all.
[/quote]

Why are you drinking whole milk, at all? Switch it for Skim. throw that shit out. your trying to lose weight.

Dump the cheese, replace with egg whites.

Dump the cereal, replace with 1 serving Whey upon awakening.

Dump the potato

Red meats once in a while

dump the pork…pork why?

potato pre or post work out? replace with a real PWO…surge? chocolate milk? anything other than a god dam potato.

How many times a day are you eating? Whats macro nutrient break down?

I know shit and I think what you laid out for diet sucks.

I haven’t touched what you laid out for training.

You have the desire to get further, but honestly looking at your diet it looks like you have not researched much. you are going to need to study on your own.

oh im still dropping weight at 1-2 pounds a week if i do everything, this week i was sick for a couple days and didnt drop anything two weeks ago i was 252, then 250 then i hit 248 and today after coming off the sickness im at 250 but thats understandable.

i have no problem dropping weight, its just its going so damned slow in my mind some times and the fact im not getting stronger is pissing me off to no end. but like i said im going to try eating more protein than the measly 130-150 im getting now and ill switch up my rep/sets yet again to see if i can inch out some strength gains.

i guess the reason i wanted to bulk so badly was so i could shoot up strength wise, but i realize now im wayyyy to fat to even think about bulking. my incline bench max for 6 reps was 135 a few months ago, now im doing 140, my flat a few months ago was 170 now im doing 175, so i guess everything is going as normal with slowly loosing weight and VERY slowly gaining some strength…

unless im an idiot and i should still be gaining alot of strength after cutting for 10 months?

Hey John.

I have to say I agree with all the posts above but I think I understand your question in that I was in the same position earlier in the year (August/September time)

I’m also in the process of shedding some excess blubber but I too had a lot of blubber to shed! The problem with this is that it does get annoying in the gym if your weights aren’t going up like you see/read other folks are. I believe this is because you’re in a calorie deficit and it’s not that easy for the body to do both shed fat and build muscle.

I took 6 weeks out of my cutting down diet at the end of August and did some 4-6 rep strength training whilst eating some more clean foods than I had been.

Did I gain tonnes of muscle? No. Did I put on tonnes of fat? No. Did my lifts go up? You bet they did! Did it re-invigorate my mental focus and get me back on track with focussing on my fatloss? Yup. It sure did!

I know lots of people say you can shed fat and gain muslce at the same time and maybe when your sub 10% you can with intense workouts AND excellent diet but, in my experience your over 10% then just focus fatloss and stick with it.

In summary, losing fat is boring. It takes a while to lose that which has taken a long time to lay down in the first place! Try some strenth for a short period just to mix it up but I don’t think it’s a good idea for the long run!

Good luck!

[quote]craigspud101 wrote:
Hey John.

I have to say I agree with all the posts above but I think I understand your question in that I was in the same position earlier in the year (August/September time)

I’m also in the process of shedding some excess blubber but I too had a lot of blubber to shed! The problem with this is that it does get annoying in the gym if your weights aren’t going up like you see/read other folks are. I believe this is because you’re in a calorie deficit and it’s not that easy for the body to do both shed fat and build muscle.

I took 6 weeks out of my cutting down diet at the end of August and did some 4-6 rep strength training whilst eating some more clean foods than I had been.

Did I gain tonnes of muscle? No. Did I put on tonnes of fat? No. Did my lifts go up? You bet they did! Did it re-invigorate my mental focus and get me back on track with focussing on my fatloss? Yup. It sure did!

I know lots of people say you can shed fat and gain muslce at the same time and maybe when your sub 10% you can with intense workouts AND excellent diet but, in my experience your over 10% then just focus fatloss and stick with it.

In summary, losing fat is boring. It takes a while to lose that which has taken a long time to lay down in the first place! Try some strenth for a short period just to mix it up but I don’t think it’s a good idea for the long run!

Good luck![/quote]

HOt dam, good advice here. Too tired to elaborate. Good shit here though.

yes it does get incredibly frustrating, and im hoping upping my protein and my kcals for a couple weeks will stimulate some strength gains and get me going again. im still going to the gym weekly and still sticking to what im currently eating.

pete as we both work in the food industry im shocked to hear what your saying :wink: i know whole milk and cheese and whole egs arent "the best"choice but they arent bad choices in my book, i wouldnt eat them at every meal but i wouldnt black list them from my diet. the cereal im zoning out once i get my protein for my morning meal and ill try cutting out the daily potaote ration and see how i respond to that. for fats in my meal if i eat red meat or pork or something that ive added olive oil to i dont eat any extra fat, but if its something like chicken breast ill eat some unsalted nuts usually peanuts or sometimes i come across walnuts.

but honestly i wont ever cut out red meat or pork out of my diet thats insane i need that to survive :wink:

craig im always lifting in the 5-6 rep range these past few months. ive just been changing the weights, exersize selection, exersize order and set numbers, i think its time to switch everything up again.

so yeah thanks to everyone for the slap in the face. it was a slap in the face that got me started in febuary from a friend that belongs to this website so its fitting the second one comes from here at my half way point.

@ 26% bodyfat, you have already bulked. Irrespective of where you came from, you are already bulked up.
What are your goals? Where do you want to end up?

my end goals well i want to be big and strong as hell, but also lean, 250-260 at 10-12% body fat