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View Full Version : Started bulk and my belly seems to have got huge



adamellis1987
07-22-2015, 03:43 PM
Hi guys, Been cutting for 3 months and lost over 24lbs. Got my body fat down to around 15 %. I am 6ft 170 - 172 lbs. My belly was not fully gone (i assume thats where most of the fat i have left is) but it didn't seem to pop out as much as it used too.

Anyway as soon as i started to up my food on my bulk last week (i went from 2400 to 2750 last week) i noticed that my belly has instantly started to pop out again. Its just like it was before. Even in the mornings. Im now on 2850 calories a day. Is this normal and can i expect it to go back down ? Im dividing my meals by Breakfast, Lunch, Oats / Whey shake before the gym, Dinner, Snack after dinner and I'm eating clean. No fizzy drinks or anything like that. No beer ect.

I cant be adding loads of fat on my current calories. Apparently i need 3300 to have a 500 + surplus and I'm a way off that. I know your not meant to just shoot right up after a cut though so I'm checking my weight every 4 days to see how I'm reacting.


This is pretty frustrating as the belly is the main thing i want gone haha.

Any advice would be appreciated.


Thank you

ShyGuyXS
07-22-2015, 04:03 PM
It's normal to expect water retention (which is why the stomach appears to be bloating slightly for you) after increasing intake, due to a variety of factors. You may or may not have also been less hydrated at the end of your cut. (Side note: Some of that fat is most likely vital fat that is protecting your organs, if you weren't aware.)

As your calorie intake stabilizes and your intake becomes more consistent, any water retention that you do have should diminish over time.

blue9steel
07-22-2015, 04:08 PM
Starting a bulk at 15% is really too high, that's where most experts recommend ending your bulk. Given your recent losses you'd be smart to do a refeed for a few weeks, then go back to cutting till you get down to 10% or so before bulking.

LarsBoyd
07-22-2015, 04:11 PM
^ don't listen to that guy, keep on bulking, lower your sodium intake to 1500mg and potassium to 5,000mg this is what id do or at least make sure my potassium is 3x my sodium i really helps lower bloating

mwm202
07-22-2015, 04:13 PM
Probably bloat, plus alot of people tend to store the vast majority of fat in thier gut.

adamellis1987
07-22-2015, 04:17 PM
Probably bloat, plus alot of people tend to store the vast majority of fat in thier gut.


Thanks guys. Reassuring words. Il take it slow upping 4 % every 4 or 5 days depending on my weight. Its just tricky as weight fluctuation of up to 4 or 5 lbs makes it hard to track progress on the scales. You never know if its accurate or not lol.

Blue Steel, i cant cut anymore as i got down to 169lbs and still had 15 % bf. At 6ft I'm pretty sure going any lighter would become too unhealthy. I believe i need to put on a good 10 - 15 lbs of muscle and then do a cut. Hoping i can get down to 10 - 12 % then.

adamellis1987
07-22-2015, 04:19 PM
^ don't listen to that guy, keep on bulking, lower your sodium intake to 1500mg and potassium to 5,000mg this is what id do or at least make sure my potassium is 3x my sodium i really helps lower bloating



According to my fitness pal my sodium was only 549 today / yesterday (its 00.19 here) and my potassium was 1495. That seems a way off your number advice lol

EjnarKolinkar
07-22-2015, 04:24 PM
According to my fitness pal my sodium was only 549 today / yesterday (its 00.19 here) and my potassium was 1495. That seems a way off your number advice lol

Mfp isnt always accurate with sodium, or potassium.

Dont over react to short term changes when you add cals. You seem to have a moderate approach and willing to move cals up if you need to, probably will do fine.

ShyGuyXS
07-22-2015, 04:28 PM
EDIT: ^ Good point above.


Blue Steel, i cant cut anymore as i got down to 169lbs and still had 15 % bf. At 6ft I'm pretty sure going any lighter would become too unhealthy. I believe i need to put on a good 10 - 15 lbs of muscle and then do a cut. Hoping i can get down to 10 - 12 % then.

Props for thinking realistically and big-picture here. A lot of people think they can cut right down until they see abs and then start bulking again (which isn't a very realistic goal the first time around).

@Sodium/potassium: Balancing those electrolytes can help (for general health reasons as well), but don't be too scared of sodium. It's an essential element for the body in moderate quantities.

Bananas and other fruits, many veggies, nuts, and dairy (milk) are just a few good sources of potassium and can easily add up with just a few servings a day. You'll probably get more than enough just by incorporating a variety of whole foods in your daily nutrition.

mwm202
07-22-2015, 04:33 PM
Thanks guys. Reassuring words. Il take it slow upping 4 % every 4 or 5 days depending on my weight. Its just tricky as weight fluctuation of up to 4 or 5 lbs makes it hard to track progress on the scales. You never know if its accurate or not lol.

Blue Steel, i cant cut anymore as i got down to 169lbs and still had 15 % bf. At 6ft I'm pretty sure going any lighter would become too unhealthy. I believe i need to put on a good 10 - 15 lbs of muscle and then do a cut. Hoping i can get down to 10 - 12 % then.

When bulking the scale will fluctuate more often than when cutting because most people will be a bit more flexible with thier diet and eat high sodium foods, eat alot more than they should one day because they don't care. This can lead to water retention and and glycogen from the increase in carbs.

Just look in the mirror, ask yourself. Do you want to get leaner or bigger? Then go with that, not what other people say you should do, definitely get suggestions and opinions, but its your choice, if you dont want the gut, lose it.

digistp
07-22-2015, 04:35 PM
^ don't listen to that guy
It's actually not bad advice

http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/muscle-gain/initial-body-fat-and-body-composition-changes.html/

blue9steel
07-23-2015, 09:17 AM
Blue Steel, i cant cut anymore as i got down to 169lbs and still had 15 % bf. At 6ft I'm pretty sure going any lighter would become too unhealthy. I believe i need to put on a good 10 - 15 lbs of muscle and then do a cut. Hoping i can get down to 10 - 12 % then.

Well, there is no perfect solution to be sure. If you are going to bulk at starting at 15% then I'd strongly advise you to make sure it's a "lean bulk" rather than one of the more aggressive versions. Additionally you'll want to incorporate some measures to improve insulin sensitivity since yours will be less favorable than is normally recommended for a bulk. Although I'm not normally a fan due to the reduced number of chances to stimulate muscle protein synthesis, perhaps you should consider doing intermittent fasting as part of your nutritional strategy. It has a fairly well known effect of increasing insulin sensitivity.

Mrpb
07-23-2015, 09:31 AM
So how much weight have you been gaining per week now?

adamellis1987
07-23-2015, 04:44 PM
Well i started my bulk process last Monday. I was 170.8 that day. I started at 2700 calories to try and find my maintenance calories but i found 2700 made me put on weight. I dropped down to 2600 the next day and my weight went up again. It was at this point i realised weighing myself daily is pointless. I stuck at 2700 calories and the next monday (20th July) i was 172.2 lbs. As my weight was stable i upped my calories to 2850 on monday. I then upped them to 2950 today. You can see all the weight ins below. Il stay at 2950 until Sunday / Monday and check my weight. Im just taking it slow but i want to find my maintenance so i can add 300 calories. Im hoping that will be enough for a clean solid bulk.





Monday 13th July - 170.8 lbs
Tuesday - 171
Wednesday - 172.6
Thursday - 172.6

Monday 20th July - 172.2
Wednesday 22nd July - 174
Thursday 23rd July 173.2 (waist 38.5)


Its hard not to take notice of the scales too much. Essentially as of today the scales are saying that i have put on almost 3 lbs. But i haven't been eating anywhere near enough to put on that, so it must be water retention / weight fluctuation.

For my age, heigh and activity level (gym 6 days a week) it says i need 2950 to maintain and 3450 to bulk. So i cant have put on 3 lbs in 12 days or whatever it was since switching from my cut to my bulk. Especially with taking it slow and building up my calories daily

Il be honest I'm not sure how your meant to accurately measure your progress (other than pics) with weight fluctuation being such a big factor. I guess il just have to track my muscle mass and body fat to get a better picture of how I'm doing.

Mrpb
07-24-2015, 12:01 AM
Ignore what the tdee calculator says. Go by the scale. You're raising calories too quickly, be more patient, make small steps and give it time.

adamellis1987
07-24-2015, 01:19 AM
Ignore what the tdee calculator says. Go by the scale. You're raising calories too quickly, be more patient, make small steps and give it time.


Ok buddy noted. Thanks. I thought 125 every 4 days or so was ok but i will take it slower.

OregonBBinc
07-24-2015, 01:49 AM
Starting a bulk at 15% is really too high, that's where most experts recommend ending your bulk. Given your recent losses you'd be smart to do a refeed for a few weeks, then go back to cutting till you get down to 10% or so before bulking.

true, this.

a lot of other totally opinionated none logical logical advice itt. "dont listen to this guy" smh.

15%+ bf is not lean period. if ops goal is not having a fat stomach then theres no reason to bulk at 15%+ period, unless he has a very controlled diet, but if diet was on point, op wouldnt be 15%+ in the first place.






Props for thinking realistically and big-picture here. A lot of people think they can cut right down until they see abs and then start bulking again (which isn't a very realistic goal the first time around).
.

would love to hear why people shouldnt do exactly what you implied they shouldnt? you dont think people should learn how to manipulate (decrease) fat mass effectively before spending months bulking building muscle and then losing it cause they havent done a proper cut before? not saying one way makes complete sense over the other but not following your assertion, as theres 2 sides of the coin.

people think they can cut right down until they have a flat stomach/abs w/e because theres thousands and thousands of people on this planet who have done so. theres thousands and thousands of people on this planet who have never touched a weight and yet you can see their abs. essentially they think that because its very simple.

Mrpb
07-24-2015, 02:18 AM
Ok buddy noted. Thanks. I thought 125 every 4 days or so was ok

Not if you were already gaining weight.

adamellis1987
07-24-2015, 04:26 AM
true, this.

a lot of other totally opinionated none logical logical advice itt. "dont listen to this guy" smh.

15%+ bf is not lean period. if ops goal is not having a fat stomach then theres no reason to bulk at 15%+ period, unless he has a very controlled diet, but if diet was on point, op wouldnt be 15%+ in the first place.



would love to hear why people shouldnt do exactly what you implied they shouldnt? you dont think people should learn how to manipulate (decrease) fat mass effectively before spending months bulking building muscle and then losing it cause they havent done a proper cut before? not saying one way makes complete sense over the other but not following your assertion, as theres 2 sides of the coin.

people think they can cut right down until they have a flat stomach/abs w/e because theres thousands and thousands of people on this planet who have done so. theres thousands and thousands of people on this planet who have never touched a weight and yet you can see their abs. essentially they think that because its very simple.



My point was that i was 169 lbs and with 15% body fat. If i carried on cutting i would just look like a skinny mess and my belly would still be there. I got down to 11 stone in 2012 and looked absolutely anorexic and STILL had my belly.

adamellis1987
07-24-2015, 04:28 AM
Not if you were already gaining weight.

Is that not the idea though. Maybe its too fast i guess.

How do i get to the point where im at the right calories to out on 0.5lbs of muscle a week lol

Mrpb
07-24-2015, 04:34 AM
If i carried on cutting i would just look like a skinny mess and my belly would still be there.

Correct. Well by the time the belly is gone you'd be too skinny, your calories would be at 1800 and your testosterone would be as low as a girl.

Now if you jump straight on the bulking you'll probably gain fat quickly, do here's my advice. Try to slower raise calories to a level that supports your progress on the compound lifts.

Instead of trying to make the scale move make your PRs move.

adamellis1987
07-24-2015, 04:49 AM
Correct. Well by the time the belly is gone you'd be too skinny, your calories would be at 1800 and your testosterone would be as low as a girl.

Now if you jump straight on the bulking you'll probably gain fat quickly, do here's my advice. Try to slower raise calories to a level that supports your progress on the compound lifts.

Instead of trying to make the scale move make your PRs move.



Check this out. This is me in 2012. I had my belly and i was desperate to loose it. So i lost a stone over 6 weeks and weighed 11 stone. This is me at 11 stone and i STILL didnt have the flat belly i wanted. It maybe look like it in this pic, but believe me. I still had that pouch of fat aroud my belly button that i could grab easily and that just looks like a little tire when i sit down. This is what i really want to get rid of. I just know that even if i go down another stone id still have it. I must just need muscle before i can get that fat to vanish.


http://i59.tinypic.com/1zcpy8i.jpg


Cool. Well i'm hitting the gym hard and eating well and clean. I will just track my weight and see how i get on. Im on 2950 atm so will track that until monday and see what my weight is. Im 173.3 today. Hopefully i'm the same or less on Monday so i can up it a bit more. Its just hard to figure out what i'm meant to be eating to do a nice clean bulk. Stressing me out haha

Mrpb
07-24-2015, 05:13 AM
OK cool. Seems like you've already made some good progress.



Well i'm hitting the gym hard and eating well and clean.

Training smart is much more important than training hard. What is your workout plan?

Eating clean is not necessary nor beneficial. What matters is eating a variety of foods that you enjoy while hitting your macros and micros.

adamellis1987
07-24-2015, 06:12 AM
I do a split.

Monday - back and abs
Tuesday - chest
Wednesday - legs and abs
Thursday - Biceps
Friday - shoulders
Sat - triceps and cardio


I do 5 exercises on each day. 3 x 3 and 2 x 4.

I make sure I include compound exercises where I can and am currently doing 8 - 10 reps. Plan on making that 10 - 12 in week 4.

We do triceps on the Sat as I have time to and I find I don't get a good workout on the triceps when I combine with chest or biceps. Also I don't like going to the gym just for 30 mins cardio. Seems a waste haha


My diets in check i think. I'm eating 2950 clean enjoyable food. Just had a nice Turkey chilli and wholemeal Tortilla wraps.

Protein - 260
Carbs - 300
Fat - 68


I take a multi daily as well as bcaa"s and creatine.

Felipon
07-24-2015, 06:36 AM
I think its a wise idea to bulk, im pretty much on the same boat as you OP. Im pretty high body fat but my weight is way to low to even think about cutting (160pounds at 5"10)

Mrpb
07-24-2015, 06:39 AM
I do a split.

Monday - back and abs
Tuesday - chest
Wednesday - legs and abs
Thursday - Biceps
Friday - shoulders
Sat - triceps and cardio


Training a body part only once per week is suboptimal. You need to train chest, back and legs at least twice per week. Here's an example of a good schedule: http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=168193463

Your diet seems ok except your fat is on the low side. During bulking I'd go with at least 0.5 gram per lb for hormonal benefits.

You're consuming 260 gram protein per day. BCAAs on top of that is a waste of money.

adamellis1987
07-24-2015, 07:00 AM
Training a body part only once per week is suboptimal. You need to train chest, back and legs at least twice per week. Here's an example of a good schedule: http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=168193463

Your diet seems ok except your fat is on the low side. During bulking I'd go with at least 0.5 gram per lb for hormonal benefits.

You're consuming 260 gram protein per day. BCAAs on top of that is a waste of money.


I got my workout from this one and just beefed it up. Would you say its a waste of time ? - http://www.bodybuilding.com/teen/nathan15.htm


I tired the Upper Body, Lower Body, Upper Body, Lower Body and i felt that it wasn't enough. I did Derrek Chisoras 12 week bulk. Day 1 was good but the rest i felt like there wasn't enough going on. You only do 2 biceps exercises all week for instance.

Mrpb
07-24-2015, 07:07 AM
Look, if you only train chest once a week your chest is not going to grow optimally. So forget training a bodypart once per week.

Your options, basically: 3x per week full body, 4x per week upper/lower split, 6x push pull legs split.



I tired the Upper Body, Lower Body, Upper Body, Lower Body and i felt that it wasn't enough.

Then you weren't doing enough.

An upper lower split can be exhausting if you do enough exercises.

alexw526
07-24-2015, 07:30 AM
Doing 4 sets of 2-3 exercises 2 times a week on a body part as opposed to 4 sets of 6-7 exercises in a 1 body part per day split?

I personally like to do 1 body part per week. Chest / Arms / legs / shoulders / back, 2 rest optional cardio. Abs is useless, only really need deadlifts/squats.

I don't think I can really exhaust my chest with just 2 exercises...and its not going to grow.




Training a body part only once per week is suboptimal. You need to train chest, back and legs at least twice per week. Here's an example of a good schedule: http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=168193463

Your diet seems ok except your fat is on the low side. During bulking I'd go with at least 0.5 gram per lb for hormonal benefits.

You're consuming 260 gram protein per day. BCAAs on top of that is a waste of money.

alexw526
07-24-2015, 07:32 AM
Eat more frequent. 5 meals a day. prep it. Up your calories. You won't feel as bloated as fitting all your calories in 2-3 meals.


Hi guys, Been cutting for 3 months and lost over 24lbs. Got my body fat down to around 15 %. I am 6ft 170 - 172 lbs. My belly was not fully gone (i assume thats where most of the fat i have left is) but it didn't seem to pop out as much as it used too.

Anyway as soon as i started to up my food on my bulk last week (i went from 2400 to 2750 last week) i noticed that my belly has instantly started to pop out again. Its just like it was before. Even in the mornings. Im now on 2850 calories a day. Is this normal and can i expect it to go back down ? Im dividing my meals by Breakfast, Lunch, Oats / Whey shake before the gym, Dinner, Snack after dinner and I'm eating clean. No fizzy drinks or anything like that. No beer ect.

I cant be adding loads of fat on my current calories. Apparently i need 3300 to have a 500 + surplus and I'm a way off that. I know your not meant to just shoot right up after a cut though so I'm checking my weight every 4 days to see how I'm reacting.


This is pretty frustrating as the belly is the main thing i want gone haha.

Any advice would be appreciated.


Thank you

Mrpb
07-24-2015, 07:54 AM
I personally like to do 1 body part per week.

That's cool but the science is pretty clear, you'll grow harder by training your chest more often.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25932981

No one says you can only do 2 exercises.

And by the way 'exhausting' your chest isn't essential to make it grow.

OregonBBinc
07-24-2015, 10:19 PM
My point was that i was 169 lbs and with 15% body fat. If i carried on cutting i would just look like a skinny mess and my belly would still be there. I got down to 11 stone in 2012 and looked absolutely anorexic and STILL had my belly.

i realize what your point is. getting fatter is not your answer despite people persistent advice, IF your diet/training was/is as good as you claimed, yet you still had body fat issues...what is bulking going to fix? you ever consider maybe youre just possibly more insulin resistant? if that IS the case (it may not be), than increasing carb/calorie intake isnt going to help anything and just make the issue worse quite frankly. id suggest at least trying out lower carb, or carbs less often or both and getting your cals elsewhere and see what a different macro ratio does for your body composition.

adamellis1987
07-25-2015, 05:57 AM
i realize what your point is. getting fatter is not your answer despite people persistent advice, IF your diet/training was/is as good as you claimed, yet you still had body fat issues...what is bulking going to fix? you ever consider maybe youre just possibly more insulin resistant? if that IS the case (it may not be), than increasing carb/calorie intake isnt going to help anything and just make the issue worse quite frankly. id suggest at least trying out lower carb, or carbs less often or both and getting your cals elsewhere and see what a different macro ratio does for your body composition.



I dont think you really get the point mate. Im 6ft and if i went any lighter it would be massively unhealthy. I dont see whats so hard to understand about that. My plan is to clean bulk to try and put on as much muscle as i can and as little fat. Then i can do another cut and get my body fat reduced without been unhealthy underweight.

rosschef91
07-25-2015, 09:11 AM
I bloat out as well, especially if I consume lots of water throughout the day or in a short space of time. I bulked too quickly on my first ever bulk and looked horrific with the skinny arms and tubby belly so I cut down to about 11-12% and am on my way back up. I don't have a timeframe for my bulk, I'll just keep going until what I see in the mirror makes me happy. iifym is a good way to go with filling your macros as long as you're strict on yourself :) and I was advised to look up the fierce 5 workout and I came across a fierce 5 upper/lower/push/pull/legs workout where I'm hitting body parts twice a week. It's great, would be worth trying to find it and try it out. Trial and error is what this journey is all about dude, best of luck

JacobJakma
08-05-2015, 12:33 AM
from eating to large of meals per sitting.. Your stomach can actually stretch, this may be one of the problems..

BGoodman88
08-05-2015, 01:09 AM
That's cool but the science is pretty clear, you'll grow harder by training your chest more often.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25932981

No one says you can only do 2 exercises.

And by the way 'exhausting' your chest isn't essential to make it grow.

Every beginning lifter should read this post 3 times.

I don't understand why for most beginning or intermediate lifters, a simple full body routine isn't even considered as an option. It immediately has to be some sort of a split that concentrates on volume. This while most beginner programs, designed by experienced lifters, are full body routines (strong lifts, ice cream fitness, starting strength,...).

I'm not saying splits are not effective, they certainly are, but as a beginning or intermediate lifter (or any lifter not using any 'medication') a full body routing is certainly a viable option.

Also agree with not needing to train to exhaustion. Progressive overload is what you're aiming for.

NotThereYet25
08-05-2015, 01:36 AM
Il be honest I'm not sure how your meant to accurately measure your progress (other than pics) with weight fluctuation being such a big factor. I guess il just have to track my muscle mass and body fat to get a better picture of how I'm doing.

Best thing you can do is weigh yourself everyday and compare the 7-day averages.

nyabc
08-05-2015, 08:39 PM
You might have insulin or cortisol issues causing you to store fat in your stomach. Have you tried a lower carb diet? Very likely you could take in more calories that would not be going to your stomach...