T Nation

Why Bulk?


you cant eat your muscles bigger. if all you had to do was eat, there wouldnt be an obesity epidemic. no, all the world would be gradually gaining muscle at an alarming rate.

muscular stimulation is needed, and this is true for those tryin to gain weight and those trying to lose weight. the essential counterpoint to stimulation is recovery.

both those are readily accepted truths. but how food and muscles relate has intrigued me for some time. specifically, why is bulking overwhelmingly encouraged (at least on this board)? why can't a trainee stay lean for every pound gained?

now, i do not discount food as an essential ingredient in gaining muscle, which is the goal of most trainees. note i didnt say gain weight. they dont neccessarily go together. red meat seems to be a food that encourages muscular growth, a notion i first came to believe through my research of history. the german "barbarians" who fought the roman legionaires were reputed to be far larger and more muscular than the average roman soldier, and roman historians claimed this was due to there judicious meat eating. whether or not that is true, it seems reasonable that eating meat will put meat on your bones. im not talkin chicken, but real meaty meat. like kangaroo.

so again, why bulk? if your eating anabolic food, working out intelligently, recovering, all that fun stuff, you shuold gain muscle. in fact, you couldnt not gain muscle. and eventually, after enough muscle gained, a trainee should weigh more that before. or less if the trainee was burning fat.

it just seems that if you do bulk, your just eatin because you like eatin. sure you are eatin the right foods, just more than you need. your workin out right, doin everythin right, but you are eatin more than you need. sure the extra pounds may help incraese leg size, especially you calves, but its not a neccessary piece of the pie. go ahead and try bulk. because after a bulk comes a cut. which means cutting calories, losing strength, etc. not ideal for muscular growth.

so, why bulk?


Sitting back with popcorn and a smile...


I think the fact you are from Canada might save you on this one.


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why do people come to a BODYBUILDING forum and ask such stupid fucking questions?


couldn't agree more.


LOL. Yes, this is THE dumbest thread all day. Please, show me the people who have gained more than 80lbs of lean body mass (after they have stopped growing in height) without ever bulking up to any degree...EVER.

When you do that, then we can have a discussion.


When hell is full the dead will walk the earth...and post in bodybuilding forums.

These are obviously zombies.


I was thinking about asking a similar question a few days ago.

Lately, I've been eating so much that I am very uncomfortable, as in my body fights the amount of food. My weight gain is slow, my progress in the gym is quite good, my bodyfat rise is slow, but I think at this point I think it could be even slower.

Here's what I'm thinking. My recent years of training and not 'bulk' eating, I've made a net gain of 10lbs a year; not too great, but nothing negative either! This past year, I've been tuning into my physiological responses to everything much more. I tried the Anabolic Diet and saw what it was all about. Excess calories from fat gave me fat and little strength in the gym. When I dialed back and added carbs, my feeling in the gym was amazingly better.

I was having this discussion with my friend who also frequents this forum. He's following a program I wrote and is telling me how he's constantly hungry whereas I'm constantly full and have a bit of a sick feeling. I know the feeling of ravenous pwo hunger after REALLY expending your efforts on the iron. I feel like THAT'S what we're after. Your body knows when it needs food and will cue you accordingly.

I've been eating high calories on my off days and it feels off, wrong, etc. I feel like we shouldn't be talking about calories for their energy but rather the macronutrients for their individual functions and hormonal applications. This is even what Christian Thibaudeau has said within the last year, so I feel like I'm getting closer to 'figuring it all out'.

Said friend mentioned that the athlete squatting 500lbs at 2000cal/day will not be growing. I agreed and qualified that those athletes are exerting themselves in single all-out efforts. If you're squatting 500lb for a 'hypertrophy range' around 10 reps, then I can't imagine a little guy being able to accomplish such a feat. If you're making your way to actually DOING that, you have to first do 300, then 400, then 500, right? Eventually 2000cal won't be enough, and you will be STARVING. Your body will tell you to eat more!

It's this force-feeding thing that I initially disagreed with, am currently trying, and still am not agreeing.

Thoughts on any of this? I think it's a very worthy discussion you've begun, and people like Thibaudeau seem to have very strong thoughts that not only go against the grain but are backed with a very good physique and others (clients) experimented upon.



Well it's all in teh math see.

It's simple really.

You = SHUT THE FUCK UP and think less. Just do what works for ya.



First off, CT bulked up. Period. To look like CT would involve doing EVERYTHING CT has done up to this point. I like CT as a person, but even he is misleading if he acts like he looks like he does without going that route in the past.

Second, there is no way in hell someone could go from skinny to huge without ever feeling uncomfortable when eating more. Do you think it was easy for me to go from 150lbs to where I am now? I just didn't whine about it like you are.


All this thread has done is made me want a big red juicy steak dripping with blood


Fuck zombies.


You seem to be under the impression that bulking means eating tons of food, including everything we see.

Well you sir are wrong and need to do some more browsing and see what REAL bulking is. Not the stereotypical "Eat a lot of everything".

Good day.


(1) Please explain to me how one can grow new muscle but not gain weight, excluding loss of fat. I am all ears.

(2) It's about the rate of growth. Eat maintenance and slow gain for years to add 10 lbs of LBM, or eat a surplus and add 3-4x that (or more) in the same time frame.

(3) Yes, that's the whole GD point.

(4) WTF?

I think I just wasted 5 minutes of my life I will never get back...


The OP is 5'8", 165 lbs.

Why are all the guys asking this so tiny?





Better question...why are they arguing with guys 3 times as big as they are as if we got big by accident?


Based on successes versus failures I've seen in making themselves grow, I generally agree with you, but where do you draw the line? Eating 8000cals a day isn't going to be more productive than 6000, which is probably excessive to begin with, assuming you're under 180-200lbs right? How are you to know when enough is enough?