My point was simple: As a rule, for a person to look incredible when he diets diet, he must have first gained an appreciable amount of fat. Do you disagree?
[/quote]It isn’t that I disagree, I think that focusing on fat is an error. It isn’t the only, or even best way to train, but I think it is more productive to focus on gaining strength rather than on gaining weight. The strategy would be to design the program for what ever rep ranges you wish and to lift for strength increases at those rep ranges on those lifts. To do so, we need to increase calories. If we find in the first while that we increased calories over maintenance by x amount and got stronger by y amount, then that is our baseline of success. If we double our excess calories (calories x above maintenance) and find that our strength increased at the same rate as before, the extra calories then added nothing to our goals. All they did was make us unnecessarily fatter.[quote]
If so, show me all of these jacked guys who went from 6’ 150 pounds to 240 pounds without ever going above 10% (or even 14%) body-fat. I’m waiting…[/quote]
I freely admit that I don’t know how most jacked guys got there. I will also say that you are probably correct in assuming that most got there by going above 10%, maybe much higher. That doesn’t prove it is necessary or even more effective though.
Also, if I cannot show you one who did it without going past 10% doesn’t mean it didn’t happen, or even that it doesn’t happen frequently. All it means is that I didn’t measure many people’s body-fat % while they got jacked, but either did you. That is an irrelevant point that lacks reason.
In the end I believe we are asking the wrong question, instead of asking “Is it better to aggressively bulk to gain muscle, or go slow?” We should be asking “What produces the most muscle with the least fat gained?”
The study of economics can help us here. The point of diminishing returns is the point that the added effort gives us less results than the effort is worth. When talking about gaining muscle and looking jacked, I think we both agree that jacked means huge and ripped. So the optimum gain of muscle would be the one that ends up producing jacked the fastest.
Let’s assume that we can lose about two pounds of fat a week consistently (fill in your own number, it doesn’t affect the argument). If we gain 1 pound of fat for 1 pound of muscle, and we gained 40 pounds of muscle over two years, then it will take two years and 20 weeks to get jacked. If we gain 3 pounds of fat for 1 pound of muscle and we gain 40 pounds of muscle over two years, it will take two years plus 60 weeks to get jacked. Now if we can gain 1 pound of fat for 3 pounds of muscle, and we gain 40 pounds over two years, it will take us two years and 7 weeks to get jacked.
The only argument against the above is that the example is too simple, that at the higher fat to muscle ratios the muscle will go on faster than the low, thus the two years wouldn’t be the case for each example. First, there is not much evidence for this, but who cares, science doesn’t lead, results do. Second, I think you would be correct to argue this, which is why we should eat only enough to maximally gain in strength, by doing so we maximize our muscle gain and accept what ever fat gain that comes with it.
If we accept that strategy, which has worked for me and others by the way, we will focus on what works, not on a useless debate about bulking rates.
For me, I didn’t go up past around 12% while doing this. I’d go up for about a year, then cut for a month or two. I might have been able to go for say two or three years and would have gotten higher than 12%, but it would have simple taken two or three times as long to cut. The results are the same. An added benefit of cutting once a year or so, is the body gets a break and looks better for more time.