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A little bit about bulking.
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Steelex Offline
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A little bit about bulking.
So I'm going to talk a little bit about what a lot of people refer to as "Bulking" and some general opinions I have about it.

First, a lot of people here the term bulking and think it basically means eating like an idiot and packing on tons of fat along with muscle. While that may be the approach preferred by some, I don't agree with it.

The truth is that whether you're natural or on gear, your body has a limit to how much muscle it can put on (and that limit is different for everyone) in a given time frame. Eating more than whatever that amount is will just result in you packing on too much fat.

Whenever I hear somebody say "Man ive been lifting and eating a lot and I just got fat, I gained like 20 lbs in 4 months" the answer is pretty much just mathematical. You ate too much food and didn't gain enough muscle. Its as simple as that. For most people, they can gain a few pounds of muscle a month when they are just starting lifting and then past that it slows down to 0.5 to 1 lb a month if theyre doing things right. Even for a guy on the sauce its a slow roast, 2-3 lbs a month in ideal conditions. To be honest I rarely see anybody put on more than 20 lbs of quality tissue in 2 years, and itll usually be lopsided, with 10-14 lbs the first year than 6 the second.

So with that said, theres a lot of talk out there about different ways to put on muscle and reduce fat gain, such as intermittent fasting, nutrient timing, various diets, ect. At the end of the day it all sort of comes down to whether there is enough protein and enough calories in the diet to grow, but not enough to increase adipose tissue stores. When you look at the fastest growing humans (babies) the ideal eating schedule is every 3 hours and there is a caloric surplus. The caloric surplus is a NECCESITY as the body won't synthesize new lean tissue if it doesn't atleast have enough calories to maintain homeostasis.

If you can gain 12 lbs of muscle in a year in optimal conditions (eating in a moderate caloric surplus and gaining some muscle and a bit of fat as well) and diet off 9 lbs of fat in 2 months, that seems more efficient than doing intermittent-keto-potato-bulkfasting where you put on 4 lbs of muscle in a year just because you're afraid to lose sight of your perfectly chiseled cheek bones.

For the actual break down of what you eat we can actually figure out what to eat using a few guidelines.

A. The most important part is caloric surplus. Period. Your body can grow on less protein than optimal if you're in enough of a caloric surplus to where it doesn't have to scavenge dietary protein and turn it into glucose just to keep the train rolling.

B. The more protein is in the diet, the more muscle you'll gain relative to fat. This however has a limit, and the returns diminish the higher up your protein intake goes. 1g/lb of bodyweight is good.

C. Clean calories result in better results than dirty calories. But not by a whole lot. Brown rice might be better for you than biscuits but if you need to slam some biscuits, honeybuns, burgers, fried chicken or chocolate milk to hit your calorie number, its not a show stopper. The important part is that its part of a controlled eating plan and you don't go over what your magic calorie number is just because you're eating dirty foods. Im not advocating eating like crap, you'll get better results and feel better with healthy foods, but if eating a burger is going to get you that extra 500 cals you need to grow, then eat the burger.

There are a lot of formulas out there for calculating caloric needs and I honestly don't have a whole lot of faith in any of them except the scale method. Heres the premise.

Every morning and night, weigh yourself naked on the scale and record it, and calculate the average weight of each day and find the trend over a 2 week period. This is going to help you get away from the little changes such as water retention, you got a haircut, you took a gnarly shit, ect, and see the big picture. From there you adjust. In my opinion this is the best way to figure out what you need to actually eat to grow or lose weight. Now this isn't rocket science, but you are going to treat yourself like a science experiment and record what happens when you do certain things to your body. Without that you're just pissing in the wind and relying on guesswork. You wouldn't do that with your bank account so don't do it with your body.
07-05-2017 07:49 PM
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Post: #2
RE: A little bit about bulking.
This is relevant to me, I posted about going up a weight class in the lounge not too long ago.

Do you have any advice for an olympic lifter, I train heavily about 3 hours a day and currently weigh 68kg. The next weight class for me is 77kg which is about 18 pounds away from me right now. Eating is not a problem for me as I already eat a lot, however, I mainly consume carbs and protein with not a lot of fat. Can't pack on a lot of body fat in these weight classes

(11-15-2014 09:06 AM)Little Dark Wrote:  This thread is not going in the direction I was hoping for.
07-06-2017 10:53 AM
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Steelex Offline
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RE: A little bit about bulking.
Don't confuse dietary fat for bodyfat. You can have plenty of fat in your diet and not get fat yourself if you're not in a caloric surplus. I reccomend coconut milk.

If you want to move up a weight class you're just going to have to eat even more, and slowly pack on some more muscle as well as some fat, and then carefully diet off the fat by reducing your calories.

The thing is, 18 lbs of muscle (or even 10 or 15) is a lot of muscle. That's 1-2 years of hard ass work. You may need to include some hypertrophy work into your week.
07-06-2017 12:01 PM
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RE: A little bit about bulking.
Spinach, potatoes, whole milk, brown rice and a lot of ground beef/chicken. With 4 days a week at the gym. I'm not gonna lie I'm jacked at 180lbs.

I like this guy's YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o7VcIQNuoPs
(This post was last modified: 07-06-2017 12:15 PM by crdr.)
07-06-2017 12:14 PM
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Oz. Offline
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RE: A little bit about bulking.
(07-06-2017 12:01 PM)Steelex Wrote:  Don't confuse dietary fat for bodyfat. You can have plenty of fat in your diet and not get fat yourself if you're not in a caloric surplus. I reccomend coconut milk.

If you want to move up a weight class you're just going to have to eat even more, and slowly pack on some more muscle as well as some fat, and then carefully diet off the fat by reducing your calories.

The thing is, 18 lbs of muscle (or even 10 or 15) is a lot of muscle. That's 1-2 years of hard ass work. You may need to include some hypertrophy work into your week.

I'm pretty dumb when it comes to nutrition and although I try to read up on it a lot I'm still not that versed in it.

I also thought 18 lbs of muscle sounded impossible even more so since I've already gained almost 10kg since I started this sport 2 years ago. I include hypertrophy work at the end of my training in order to aid my lifts.

So eat even more, that shouldn't be a problem. I'll give coconut milk a try since I hate regular milk and that shit makes me bloated. Any other tips, I mainly eat rice, pasta, meat, eggs, beans and vegetables.

(11-15-2014 09:06 AM)Little Dark Wrote:  This thread is not going in the direction I was hoping for.
07-06-2017 12:24 PM
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Steelex Offline
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RE: A little bit about bulking.
That's a great diet man, any idea how many grams of protein you're getting?

Coconut milk is high calorie it's basically pure fat. You mix it in with your shakes. I wouldn't drink it straight.

And honestly if you've already gained a bunch of muscle, then it's going to be harder since you're closer to the ceiling so to speak.

Try increasing calories like so, add a tbsp on peanut butter to every meal, or mix half a cup of coconut milk with your oatmeal, ect. Then monitor the change. No change, add another 300-500 calories again, till the scale starts moving again at about a pound every two weeks.

Just keep in mind that there is a stopping point for everyone where they may not grow any more muscle despite increased food. You gotta be in tune with yourself enough to say "ok I'm ACTUALLY doing everything I can do and I'm just not growing anymore.".

A lot of people miss meals, drink, stay up too late, miss workouts, don't get enough protein, ect ect and then say "oh I'm at my genetic potential" when they don't grow, which is a load of crap. You're not at your potential till you've been covering all your bases 125% for a few years consistently.
07-06-2017 01:12 PM
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RE: A little bit about bulking.
(07-06-2017 01:12 PM)Steelex Wrote:  A lot of people miss meals, drink, stay up too late, miss workouts, don't get enough protein, ect ect and then say "oh I'm at my genetic potential" when they don't grow, which is a load of crap. You're not at your potential till you've been covering all your bases 125% for a few years consistently.

Yup, this is the problem with most people. Even worse are the people who sit back and speculate on what their genetic potential is before they've even done anything.

I know more people would be surprised at how far their genetics would get them if they just tried.
07-06-2017 06:47 PM
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Oz. Offline
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RE: A little bit about bulking.
(07-06-2017 01:12 PM)Steelex Wrote:  That's a great diet man, any idea how many grams of protein you're getting?

Coconut milk is high calorie it's basically pure fat. You mix it in with your shakes. I wouldn't drink it straight.

And honestly if you've already gained a bunch of muscle, then it's going to be harder since you're closer to the ceiling so to speak.

Try increasing calories like so, add a tbsp on peanut butter to every meal, or mix half a cup of coconut milk with your oatmeal, ect. Then monitor the change. No change, add another 300-500 calories again, till the scale starts moving again at about a pound every two weeks.

Just keep in mind that there is a stopping point for everyone where they may not grow any more muscle despite increased food. You gotta be in tune with yourself enough to say "ok I'm ACTUALLY doing everything I can do and I'm just not growing anymore.".

A lot of people miss meals, drink, stay up too late, miss workouts, don't get enough protein, ect ect and then say "oh I'm at my genetic potential" when they don't grow, which is a load of crap. You're not at your potential till you've been covering all your bases 125% for a few years consistently.

I did some counting yesterday and today on the amount of protein I'm getting. One day I got 108, the next 120 and I weigh 152 lbs right now so I'm guessing this is below the recommended amount?

To be honest bro I don't think I've gained a bunch of muscle, when I first started training two years I go I was 130 lbs and now I'm 152. I would say my body fat is in the 12% range. Weightlifting has just made me pretty strong as opposed to how weak I was before. If you look at me in regular clothes, however, you can't tell I lift.

I think my biggest concern would be missing meals, over the past year I've tried to fine tune everything else and that is still more or less the main problem. I do make up the calories at later meals but I guess being in that catabolic state messes me up? I don't know much about this shit.

I started adding a tbsp of peanut butter to every meal. A pound every two weeks is a good goal?

(11-15-2014 09:06 AM)Little Dark Wrote:  This thread is not going in the direction I was hoping for.
07-07-2017 09:22 PM
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Steelex Offline
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RE: A little bit about bulking.
Man, 22 lbs is a huge gain. Go look at 22 lbs of steak it's a lot of muscle.

Training triggers growth, food enables it to happen. Your body literally hits the brakes on growth when your not eating enough.

I'll be honest dude at 6"2;I had to gain 70 lbs to make an XL shirt fit tight. People assume I lift now... After 70 freaking pounds of growth. Give it 5 more years of controlled eating and training and you'll look different I promise
07-07-2017 09:45 PM
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RE: A little bit about bulking.
Thanks for starting this thread. It was very timely for me and I was coming to the same conclusion that you reached. My weight gain plateaued and I think it had to do with being obsessed with eating clean. I had been at >95% clean, but I realize that I need to not be paranoid about it if I'm going to be serious about making gains.

I gained weight (mostly fat but some muscle too) pretty quickly going for 3,000-3,500 calories per day. On the advice of a trainer I dropped to 2,500-3,000 but started to level off. I'll have to bite the bullet and have some fat added to my gut and if that's the price I have to pay so be it. When I'm away from civilization next spring I'll have 2.5 months to cut and it will be easy because I burn a ton of calories when I'm doing my fieldwork.
07-09-2017 07:44 PM
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Oz. Offline
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RE: A little bit about bulking.
Another quick question, I am currently 152 lbs and my goal weight is 169 lbs. I am sure my body fat upon reaching 169 will be higher than what I want.

So my questions is, how much more weight should I gain in order to drop down to 169 and be around 10-12% body fat? Do I need to go up to like 175?

(11-15-2014 09:06 AM)Little Dark Wrote:  This thread is not going in the direction I was hoping for.
07-14-2017 09:11 PM
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Steelex Offline
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RE: A little bit about bulking.
I have no way of answering that in a precise way as I'm sure you'd like. I don't know your body.

Just gain the weight slowly and see where you look at 160 or 165. If it's acceptable, keep going. If it's too tubby, diet down. Get a set of calipers and keep an eye on your abdominal pinch and waistline measurements.
07-14-2017 11:04 PM
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Post: #13
RE: A little bit about bulking.
(07-07-2017 09:45 PM)Steelex Wrote:  Man, 22 lbs is a huge gain. Go look at 22 lbs of steak it's a lot of muscle.

Training triggers growth, food enables it to happen. Your body literally hits the brakes on growth when your not eating enough.

I'll be honest dude at 6"2;I had to gain 70 lbs to make an XL shirt fit tight. People assume I lift now... After 70 freaking pounds of growth. Give it 5 more years of controlled eating and training and you'll look different I promise

Most won't admit this.

"Every saint has a past, every sinner a future."
07-14-2017 11:22 PM
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RE: A little bit about bulking.
Delete.
(This post was last modified: 07-15-2017 12:07 AM by SamuelBRoberts.)
07-15-2017 12:06 AM
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Steelex Offline
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RE: A little bit about bulking.
(07-14-2017 11:22 PM)redbeard Wrote:  
(07-07-2017 09:45 PM)Steelex Wrote:  Man, 22 lbs is a huge gain. Go look at 22 lbs of steak it's a lot of muscle.

Training triggers growth, food enables it to happen. Your body literally hits the brakes on growth when your not eating enough.

I'll be honest dude at 6"2;I had to gain 70 lbs to make an XL shirt fit tight. People assume I lift now... After 70 freaking pounds of growth. Give it 5 more years of controlled eating and training and you'll look different I promise

Most won't admit this.

Because most have never done it. They can't admit what they don't know.
07-15-2017 01:19 AM
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RE: A little bit about bulking.
What do you guys think about thermogenics? Purely for cutting? Totally whack?
07-15-2017 10:35 AM
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RE: A little bit about bulking.
Regarding thermogenics, they're purely for cutting and generally not worth the cost or discomfort they cause. Redline used to make a really good pill that didn't make you feel like shit, but it was discontinued
07-15-2017 10:58 AM
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Steelex Offline
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RE: A little bit about bulking.
Depends entirely on your tolerance to the side effects.

The main thing is to use them during a cut after your metabolism has already decreased significantly and you've reduced calories a few times.

Fat loss is a game where you play your cards one at a time. Clean up the diet, then reduce calories slowly, then introduce cardio, then a thermogenic, then start getting weird with it. Don't blow your load all at once and crash your metabolism.

Most decent thermogenics will effect sleep quality to an extent and can be catabolic if you're not on androgens. Adrenal fatigue is a concern as well.

Also, over the counter GNC type stuff is a mixed bag. A good ECA stack or Clen/T3 will actually get you ripped. Or it might fucking kill you. This stuff is far more dangerous than steroids by far.
07-15-2017 11:03 AM
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RE: A little bit about bulking.
(07-14-2017 11:04 PM)Steelex Wrote:  Just gain the weight slowly and see where you look at 160 or 165. If it's acceptable, keep going. If it's too tubby, diet down. Get a set of calipers and keep an eye on your abdominal pinch and waistline measurements.

I bulked up pretty well and now have a manageable 10-15lbs of fat to cut in order to get to my ideal physique. I'd like to do it ASAP. I had a few questions:

-What are reasonable training goals while cutting a non-extreme amount of fat? Is losing strength unavoidable? Is a slow and gentle fat loss process worth the time it takes? I'd love to reach my goal by Labor Day if it is 1. possible and 2. not catastrophic to my metabolism/physique/T levels.
-How aggressive are you with your caloric restriction during a light cut? Is losing 15lbs of fat at 5'8 190 16-17% BF considered a light amount of cutting?
07-18-2017 11:08 AM
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RE: A little bit about bulking.
(07-18-2017 11:08 AM)Eddie Winslow Wrote:  
(07-14-2017 11:04 PM)Steelex Wrote:  Just gain the weight slowly and see where you look at 160 or 165. If it's acceptable, keep going. If it's too tubby, diet down. Get a set of calipers and keep an eye on your abdominal pinch and waistline measurements.

I bulked up pretty well and now have a manageable 10-15lbs of fat to cut in order to get to my ideal physique. I'd like to do it ASAP. I had a few questions:

-What are reasonable training goals while cutting a non-extreme amount of fat? Is losing strength unavoidable? Is a slow and gentle fat loss process worth the time it takes? I'd love to reach my goal by Labor Day if it is 1. possible and 2. not catastrophic to my metabolism/physique/T levels.
-How aggressive are you with your caloric restriction during a light cut? Is losing 15lbs of fat at 5'8 190 16-17% BF considered a light amount of cutting?

Ok I'll try and answer this as succinctly as possible.

The slower you cut, the more muscle you keep. The opposite is true as well.

Keep training hard and up the protein as much as you can stand. Cut time is where you really see the benefits of steroid use, it makes the whole process easier.

I do reccomend starting slow, drop calories to 300 below maintenance. Milk that then drop another 300, add a little walking every other day, ect. Get the most out of the least.

15 lbs of fat should take 10 weeks if you do it right.
07-18-2017 02:13 PM
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