T Nation

When To Start Bulking?


Hey Everyone!,

Well this'll be my first thread and i'll prolly sound like a complete n00b but i'd rather sound like a complete n00b then not know.

So i've been training hard, about 5 or 6 times a week, and dieting for about 3 months now. i started at 170lbs and now im down to 150lbs. i'm 5'7'' and i'm 19 years old. i love just heading into the gym and being an animal grunting, sweating and getting stares.

Now that you know some background about me comes the question: Does anyone know what bf would be good for me to start bulking at? Any suggestions would be appreciated.



You have to be at exactly 19% body fat!!! You're just wasting your time if you're not!!!

Look man.... There is no secret to bulking. For once I'm going to agree with Prof X.... God save me.... You got to "EAT"!!! It doesn't matter if you're at 12%BF or 22%BF. If you want to bulk you have to bump up your caloric intake!!! My java script is not enabled on this machine or I would send you a link to how much you should be eating according to your current BW.

My guess at 150lbs would be to start eating at least 3000 calories a day!!! At this point I would not bother balancing protein, carb, and fat intake. Just eat around 40% carbs, 35% protein, and 25% "healthy" fats for starters. You'll find your nitch later. For now you need to eat!!!

And start lifting heavy-ass weights at lower reps!!! Try a 5x5 set/rep routine!!! Play with this until you get failure on the last rep of the last two sets. Invest in compound movements like; dead-lift, squats, rows, and bench-press... Drink lots of water!!!

Oh, and have fun!!!! :slight_smile:



First we really don't know your back ground besides that you have lost about 50lbs....

But I guess that really isnt important... start bulking when you arent satisfied with the amount of muscle mass you have


Thanks for the input demon..
i know all about dieting and what not, such as, "if you see a hamburger, eat it!". right now i wanna stay on the lean side since its summer.. but i just wanted to know if its easier to get leaner if you start at a lower bf? i was thinking of maybe throwing in a weight gainer too.. perhaps ABB XXL? it seems awful intense so id prolly have 2 of those a day.. which would give me 2080 cals right there.. whaddaya think?


if you want some more info just ask and ill answer..i dont know what other kinda info you'd want? i might be able to post a pic..


Today's nutrition tip comes from Dr. John Berardi:

Skip the Cheat Meal, Fatty

Cheat meal frequency should be minimized when you're over 15-20% body fat. Basically, the fatter you are, the more likely that any excess food will be shuttled toward body-fat storage rather than muscle mass.


Trust me i stay strict with my diet.



dude...you should have been bulking from the get go. Start ASAP. There's no way your muscles are near full at your size/weight to look even close to good 'shredded' -- go pack on the mass now and then you can look good for next summer...this one's a wash.

Eat big and you might be overtraining if you're going 6 times a week. Go read some of the articles and focus on compound movements. I personally like the split that is push/pull/lower body

which is basically summed up as:

pushing upper body movements
legs / abs
pulling upper body movements

don't do cardio and remember to EAT~!~!


If people are staring at you at 150lbs, you may want to consider whether you are actually training correctly. That isn't a put down, it's just the truth. I think you received some pretty good answers as far as any personal reference to when to gain weight. You should have been doing that from the start. You may also want to consider having someone show you how to lift correctly. Again, no one at the gym stares at a guy weighing 150lbs unless he is either too loud or looks like he is about to kill himself.


This doesn't make sense. Are you trying to gain or get leaner? At your weight, I don't understand the concept of not working on all out size and strength right now. Who are you impressing this summer? I could see if you said you were still in high school, but 19 years old and 150lbs? How about working your ass off so maybe next year you truly have something to show off? What is your current body fat percentage?



Thanks, thats actually why i was asking i was thinkin of just bulking now and throwing away the summer.. we dont get much of a summer in atlantic canada anyways.

As for overtraining, i dont have any injuries and i work a different bodypart everytime i go. i find goin 5 to 6 times a week works great with me.

And any comments on weight gainers?



Prof X,

Thanks for the advice you made some sense about who am i trying to impress and just working hard for next summer.

But as for the stares its because i am really strong for my size. not so much in bench but in just about everything else i work in near crushing weight for my size and i work with an insane intensity. and i know my form is just fine. i've taken courses and ive asked when i wasn't sure.

and same question to you.. should i maybe use a weight gainer? And anyway to not get uber fat when bulking?


The only supplement you really need is a protein powder. Personally, I'd stay away from anything that said "weight gainer" or anything like that. Just take the protein 2-3 times a day including after you work out and first thing when you wake up. Like has been pointed out, there are tons of articles on this site, just read, and use the search feature.

The main thing though, is eating...you have to eat and you have to eat a lot. You have to eat anything in your site at 150 pounds. You should aim to eat every 2-3 hours and should be throwing down about 35 grams of protein (at a minimum) at each of those meals. Don't worry about carbs either...just make sure you're eating enough...you can't eat too much when packing on muscle (at least I, personally can't as I'm active all day long).

So, use the search feature, even search for books. One that comes to mind is called "scrawny to brawny" it's a good book and worth a look even if you don't follow it...it will teach you something anyway.

good luck.



Thanks Boss!, i'll remember to stay the hell away from weight gainer.. and i do already take protein, tribulus, Mega Man and a ECA stack since i was trying to lose weight.

I'm thinkin' of added creatine and possibly glutamine to my list of supps to help recovery.

quick nutrition question: twice as many carbs as protein post workout right?

Strength & Honour


You have been lifting for 3 months. The chances of you being some gym prodigy that everyone is just flat out impressed to see lifting are slim. While it may be possible, are you saying no one in your gym is stronger than you? Are those who are stronger and bigger than you staring as well?

As far as using a weight gainer and trying to get over 2,000cals from that alone everyday...NO, that is not a good idea. Learn how to eat more. I used one when I first started, however, unless you have a lightening fast metabolism (which isn't likely considering your past obsession with losing so much weight) you shouldn't put your focus on that.

No one has the goal of gaining large amounts of fat while gaining. That is what your mirror is for. It is why you should be gaining strength and muscle size along with your increased food intake. That means NOT trying to gain 10-15lbs in a month. It mean setting your goal for about 3-5lbs each month with the majority of that weight being muscle mass. At your age and size, that is not impossible to do.