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  • Bulking Strategies

    What is your personal philosophy when it comes to bulking strategies? There is so much conflicting information when it comes to body building that it can be tough to wrap your head around it.

    Some claim (Dante, for example) that eating like a horse and gaining massive strength over a long period of time (at a rate of around a pound per week I think), then slow diet down is the fastest way to hitting your genetic potential.

    Others claim that since the body can only grow half a pound of muscle a week in extremely ideal conditions, and even that is hard to hit, that a slow bulk while staying fairly lean is the best way to go about it. They claim the bulk/cut method just lives most spinning their wheels.

    And still others (for example Layne Norton) feel that a 6 week bulk followed by 2 week cut is the best method.

    I understand that getting wrapped up in minor details is dumb, but to me this actually seems important. I would like to reach my goal (190 @ 10% BF, 5'9, a very realistic goal I think) as quickly as possible (currently at 170 @ 12% BF).

    Let me know your experiences and which method you feel works best for you

  • #2
    How old are you? How long have you been training?
    If it's not fun, don't do it

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    • #3
      I don't think finding out what works best for me (us) is going to help you very much. I would suggest experimenting with different diets and figure out which is best for you. my advice is to eat very clean and the same thing, and then start to change one thing for a week, and see how it affects you. to give you an example, eat the same breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner, snack for a few weeks then change one thing in your diet that is usually allergenic or a major factor (dairy, carb amounts, etc.) i hope that made sense.

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      • #4
        I can give you what my experience has been. I was about your weight and BFP when I started (dieted down from the middle age spread). I ate everything in sight, drank protein shakes until I was blue, and basically packed in as much food as I could. Of course, training hard.
        Got up to about a high of 235 with 18% bfp. It took about 2 years total and I was somewhat fat. Still, gained about 30# of muscle. Since then, I've dropped back down to about 215-220 at about 14%.
        Now things have slowed down. Gains are coming very slowly and at this point I've decided to just gain as lean as possible. I don't think over eating is going to get me much further. I mean, natural what could I hope for? 230? maybe?
        Moral of the story: if you want to get big really fast, eat, eat, eat!
        Oh, for what it's worth, I learned this from reading everything Dante has ever written.
        If it's not fun, don't do it

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        • #5
          I've been training for about 2 years now, though you could barely call my first year progress, i didnt even train legs. Started training seriously about 8 months ago and I've put on about 15 pounds of muscle in that time (started at 155ish pounds) with lots and lots of eating, and around 8 weeks total of dieting to keep body fat down. I've got fairly average genetics in terms of adding mass to the frame, if that helps.

          @ Rob: that is probably the only sure fire way of knowing, however the wise man learns as much as he can from others as well as drawing from his own experience. If anyone has some insight I'd love to hear it.

          Forgot to add, turning 21 in a month.

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          • #6
            Building muscle isnt linear, so shooting for a 1lb a week or even a 1/2 lb a week is asking for fat gain. I subscribe to Dantes t heory getting stronger and eating ample amount of foods. I don't believe you have to gain fat though, I thnk that's just unhealthy. You see a lot of "see diets" that "permabulkers" use and they always say "im building muscle," and "im gonnna cut soon" but never do. Im not nearly the size of some of these guys on here but in my 10 years of lifting I put on 60 lbs and I was able to do while staying in the 10-12% range the entire time. Also consider the laws of diminishing returns. You can gain a lot as a newbie, but as you get more advanced you will gain less and at slower rates which further proves the "You should gain X amount of weight" each week a stupid claim. You also see lots of guys go on "bulking" diets end up a loIt heavier but a lot fatter thinking they put on a lot more muscle than they would have with a more solid eating plan.

            It takes time to gain strength and muscle, so don't get caught up in these supposed rates youre "supposed" to gain. I also buy into what Charles POliquin has to say about massing. Here's his top 10 donts

            http://www.charlespoliquin.com/Artic...s_Gaining.aspx
            Last edited by JoeFromIA; 04-19-2011, 06:54 PM.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by ZeroFries View Post

              I understand that getting wrapped up in minor details is dumb, but to me this actually seems important. I would like to reach my goal (190 @ 10% BF, 5'9, a very realistic goal I think) as quickly as possible (currently at 170 @ 12% BF).
              Here's the first flaw in your thought process.

              We are such an impatient society anymore. How about thinking, "I would like to reach my goal the best way possible." instead?
              Journal http://www.intensemuscle.com/showthread.php?t=51093

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              • #8
                For your goals, just eat lots of whole, clean foods at above your matienence level and do no cardio. Lift for progression. Start with ZERO cardio. If you are getting fat, throw in cardio. If you aren't gaining, say, 1-2lbs a month, up your protein. Still not gaining the next month? Up your other macros.

                It is just all about consistency and time. Stay with it, day in and day out, and you will be able to reach your goals in no time.

                Every day you are putting a brick into your house...one man can't build a mansion in a day.

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                • #9
                  Like the others says, it's about the journey. Be consistent with food intake.

                  It's not as complex as people make it. If you are lifting correctly and aren't gaining, eat some more protein, if you're gaining too much fat, add some cardio in and green tea, etc.

                  A lot of food, consistently, is the key. Not just two or three days a week. Every day, focus on hitting that protein goal, and over time it'll get easier and the size will come.
                  TRUE PROTEIN Discount Code- CSH730

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                  • #10
                    @ Adam: Believe me, I'm being quite patient about the process. If it taks me 2 years at the minimum, then I'll put in those 2 years. However, the fastest way generally IS the best way (provided you don't resort to super supplements before you're near your genetic potential). If one training program added 10 pounds of muscle in 5 months, and the other in 10 months, with adding the same amount of fat, one would say the first one was the better program.

                    @ Lock and Guitars: Thanks for the advice.

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                    • #11
                      I was roughly your age when I got " serious " about my training. The biggest thing that helped me was being consistent and finding a program that my body responded to. After I got that down the gains were coming rapidly.

                      Make sure your diet is in check
                      Train hard and consistently, dont overtrain though recovery is key
                      Find a routine/split that works for you
                      Back in the Game

                      2006 OCB Richmond 4th
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                      2007 OCB Richmond 6th
                      2007 OCB Pittsburgh 4th

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by ZeroFries View Post
                        What is your personal philosophy when it comes to bulking strategies? There is so much conflicting information when it comes to body building that it can be tough to wrap your head around it.

                        Some claim (Dante, for example) that eating like a horse and gaining massive strength over a long period of time (at a rate of around a pound per week I think), then slow diet down is the fastest way to hitting your genetic potential.

                        Others claim that since the body can only grow half a pound of muscle a week in extremely ideal conditions, and even that is hard to hit, that a slow bulk while staying fairly lean is the best way to go about it. They claim the bulk/cut method just lives most spinning their wheels.

                        And still others (for example Layne Norton) feel that a 6 week bulk followed by 2 week cut is the best method.

                        I understand that getting wrapped up in minor details is dumb, but to me this actually seems important. I would like to reach my goal (190 @ 10% BF, 5'9, a very realistic goal I think) as quickly as possible (currently at 170 @ 12% BF).

                        Let me know your experiences and which method you feel works best for you
                        I think you're idea of the best way possible will likely evolve over the years. For now, you're just getting your feet wet & have very little experience. I would simply focus on setting short term goals like consistency with your training and nutrition for now. And, continue to read books, blogs, articles etc. So, instead of trying to get to end now, just try to learn and evolve. Once you've put in enough time you will figure it out. No one can really give the correct answer to your question in terms of what's the best way for you & in addition you'll be far better served trying different things and figuring it out on your own. Good luck!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by ZeroFries View Post
                          @ Adam: Believe me, I'm being quite patient about the process. If it taks me 2 years at the minimum, then I'll put in those 2 years. However, the fastest way generally IS the best way (provided you don't resort to super supplements before you're near your genetic potential). If one training program added 10 pounds of muscle in 5 months, and the other in 10 months, with adding the same amount of fat, one would say the first one was the better program.
                          what training program are you using? i think the best program is the one you will do consistantly, saying 5/3/1 is better/worse than 5x5 is like comparing miller lite to bud lite they both will get your date just as drunk, but if she hates the taste of bud and only drinks2-3 your better off to buy the miller . same with programs pick one you like and hammer it into the ground
                          Overtraining should be one of the lowest concerns. You should focus on optimal training.
                          -John Ceasar

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                          • #14
                            Food is anabolic, but I also believe there's also a threshold that if you exceed, you're just going to gain fat.

                            The trick is to be right on that edge of gaining fat the whole time you're bulking. When you're on that edge, you're getting the max amount of calories your body can process without just converting it to adipose tissue.

                            The problem is, if you're not getting fat, you don't know how many more calories you can handle for optimum growth, so I think you need to gain a little fat as that indicator of that caloric consumption limit.
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                            • #15
                              Jason, typically how long do you bulk before doing a cut? What's your year typically look like?
                              If it's not fun, don't do it

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