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  1. #1
    Registered User hollen949b's Avatar
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    How much fat gain during a bulk?

    I look like I have gained too much fat and not enough muscle. During my 6 month bulk I have caked on 25 lbs. In the last month I have added 30lbs to my bench and about 30 to 50lbs to my other core lifts. Is this a reasonable amount of size and strength to add on in a 6 month span? I heard somewhere 3-5lbs is a pretty normal amount of weight to cake on in a months period while bulking, but they didn't specify how much of that is fat.
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  2. #2
    Registered User Plateauplower's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by hollen949b View Post
    I look like I have gained too much fat and not enough muscle. During my 6 month bulk I have caked on 25 lbs. In the last month I have added 30lbs to my bench and about 30 to 50lbs to my other core lifts. Is this a reasonable amount of size and strength to add on in a 6 month span? I heard somewhere 3-5lbs is a pretty normal amount of weight to cake on in a months period while bulking, but they didn't specify how much of that is fat.
    It all depends with where you are at and what your goals are and a variety of other factors like how much fat your willing to carry. I put too much fat on for sure my first surplus, it comes back off so it's not the end of the world. I would look at your training and determine if it's optimum, are you seeing the changes you want to see, making progress etc. I have about the same amount of time in as you, I started training again just before joining this site. At this point for me, picking up large amounts of body fat don't make a lot of sense for MY goals, because my rate of LBM gain is WAY slower than it was the first year or two. I still usually end up fatter than I want at the end of a surplus, but it's the cost of doing businesses IMO. I try to stay in a narrower range now 190-210 is pretty much where I will fluctuate for now deficit to surplus. For three years in though, if you have been consistent you might want to explore your programming more. Intensity, volume, and frequency are a juggling act, a lot of the basic programs focused on heavy compound movements work very well.
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    Hard to say how much muscle you gained.
    But IMO if you gained five pounds of pure muscle mass in six months you've done well.
    That means though you gained 20 pounds of useless bulk.
    Of course you got stronger but usually one rep max strength gains don't carry over to muscle mass gains.
    You should have rep maxes instead IMO any where from 6-12 reps would be better for muscle gain as well as several sets.
    So if your goal is one rep maxes then continue if it's muscle mass then up your strength reps.
    I personally would want to look good as well as be strong and that would require a slower weight gain over a long period.
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    Registered User hollen949b's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Garage Rat View Post
    Hard to say how much muscle you gained.
    But IMO if you gained five pounds of pure muscle mass in six months you've done well.
    That means though you gained 20 pounds of useless bulk.
    Of course you got stronger but usually one rep max strength gains don't carry over to muscle mass gains.
    You should have rep maxes instead IMO any where from 6-12 reps would be better for muscle gain as well as several sets.
    So if your goal is one rep maxes then continue if it's muscle mass then up your strength reps.
    I personally would want to look good as well as be strong and that would require a slower weight gain over a long period.
    I gained 30lbs on my bench doing 5-6 reps and trying to reach 12 reps with that weight. The fat doesn't bother me much because losing weight has never been a problem for me, also I live in rainy Oregon where I'm most likely always be covered up during the winter. I just want to make sure I am not overdoing it on the BF and am putting on a sufficient amount of muscle while bulking. I think this next Bulk I will pay more attention to my BF% and make sure I'm getting at least 5lbs of muscle in that 6 month period like you mentioned. Thanks for your input.
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  5. #5
    Registered User hollen949b's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Plateauplower View Post
    It all depends with where you are at and what your goals are and a variety of other factors like how much fat your willing to carry. I put too much fat on for sure my first surplus, it comes back off so it's not the end of the world. I would look at your training and determine if it's optimum, are you seeing the changes you want to see, making progress etc. I have about the same amount of time in as you, I started training again just before joining this site. At this point for me, picking up large amounts of body fat don't make a lot of sense for MY goals, because my rate of LBM gain is WAY slower than it was the first year or two. I still usually end up fatter than I want at the end of a surplus, but it's the cost of doing businesses IMO. I try to stay in a narrower range now 190-210 is pretty much where I will fluctuate for now deficit to surplus. For three years in though, if you have been consistent you might want to explore your programming more. Intensity, volume, and frequency are a juggling act, a lot of the basic programs focused on heavy compound movements work very well.
    How much weight in muscle gains did you put on since you started lifting?
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  6. #6
    Registered User Plateauplower's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by hollen949b View Post
    How much weight in muscle gains did you put on since you started lifting?
    No idea. I started back at a blubbery 250lbs, but I'm much stronger now at a lighter bodyweight. Ive been down to 186 and as high as 222 on diet and surplus. Each time being successively leaner at a lighter bodyweight. Now I just plan to bounce between low to mid 190s to 210ish. Went to 215 in Jan, wasn't thrilled with what that extra 5lbs looked like.
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  7. #7
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    Originally Posted by hollen949b View Post
    I look like I have gained too much fat and not enough muscle.
    Stop gaining so much weight in such a short period? Look to limit top end body fat?

    Nobody adds 30 pounds of muscle year 2.5 of training in 6 months. Set realistic expectations. 1-2 pounds a month is adequate gainz after 2 years training for just about every natty.
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    Originally Posted by Plateauplower View Post
    It all depends ..what your goals are
    This really OP. I mean, is your primary goal to look good or to lift more weight? If it's to lift more weight you are obviously on the right track (most strength lifters carry around a lot of extra bulk)...if it's to look "good" (as in more muscular and aesthetic), I would reevaluate your training AND diet, as you looked better at 144. MHO
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    Honesty? I think you have added too much body fat. Adding 30lbs on the bench and 50 on the squat/deads is easily doable if your starting numbers were low to begin with. You can usually add a good amount of weight to the bar from neurological adaptations and better form alone. You could also do that with a very small surplus and a much slower rate of gain. There are plenty of elite level strength athletes who don't carry around a ton of extra weight.
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    Originally Posted by Jtbny View Post
    Adding 30lbs on the bench and 50 on the squat/deads is easily doable if your starting numbers were low to begin with.
    Would be interested to know the numbers. The struggle to get your bench from 185 to 205 is different than the struggle from 275 to 305 in my experience.

    If we had OP's BW and height that would also be helpful, but apparently those statistics have been deemed as irrelevant by the forum tech developers.
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    snailsrus kimm4's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by hollen949b View Post
    I look like I have gained too much fat and not enough muscle. During my 6 month bulk I have caked on 25 lbs. In the last month I have added 30lbs to my bench and about 30 to 50lbs to my other core lifts. Is this a reasonable amount of size and strength to add on in a 6 month span? I heard somewhere 3-5lbs is a pretty normal amount of weight to cake on in a months period while bulking, but they didn't specify how much of that is fat.
    You need to slow it down. At your height a more realistic gain during a building cycle would be around 2 lbs a month. Anything over that is just too much fat being added.
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    Registered User hollen949b's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by grubman View Post
    This really OP. I mean, is your primary goal to look good or to lift more weight? If it's to lift more weight you are obviously on the right track (most strength lifters carry around a lot of extra bulk)...if it's to look "good" (as in more muscular and aesthetic), I would reevaluate your training AND diet, as you looked better at 144. MHO
    I would like lift more weight and put on more size(not fat). I tacked on somewhat of a dirty bulk and my strength went up, with the obvious price of extra fat.
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    Registered User hollen949b's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by kimm4 View Post
    You need to slow it down. At your height a more realistic gain during a building cycle would be around 2 lbs a month. Anything over that is just too much fat being added.
    So about .5 in muscle and 1.5 of fat a month I should expect to see?
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    Originally Posted by hollen949b View Post
    So about .5 in muscle and 1.5 of fat a month I should expect to see?
    Here's a basic estimate when it comes to muscle gain from Alan Aragon's AARR article (Sept 2008)

    Novice (less than 2 years consistent training) 1.0-1.5lb per month
    Intermediate (2-4 years of consistent training) .5-1.0lb per month
    Advanced (more than 4 years of consistent training) .25-.5lb per month
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    Registered User hollen949b's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Jtbny View Post
    Honesty? I think you have added too much body fat. Adding 30lbs on the bench and 50 on the squat/deads is easily doable if your starting numbers were low to begin with. You can usually add a good amount of weight to the bar from neurological adaptations and better form alone. You could also do that with a very small surplus and a much slower rate of gain. There are plenty of elite level strength athletes who don't carry around a ton of extra weight.
    I started off with an embarrassing 65lbs bench and plateaued at 155lbs (6 rep). In the last six months I worked my way up to 185lbs (6 reps). I'll try a lower surplus after I shave off this weight.
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    Originally Posted by Bando View Post
    Would be interested to know the numbers. The struggle to get your bench from 185 to 205 is different than the struggle from 275 to 305 in my experience.

    If we had OP's BW and height that would also be helpful, but apparently those statistics have been deemed as irrelevant by the forum tech developers.
    275-315= lifelong pursuit
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    Originally Posted by kimm4 View Post
    Advanced (more than 4 years of consistent training) .25-.5lb per month
    The struggle is real
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    snailsrus kimm4's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Bando View Post
    The struggle is real
    No kidding. I'm about ready to throw in the towel and walk away for good...srs.
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    Originally Posted by kimm4 View Post
    No kidding. I'm about ready to throw in the towel and walk away for good...srs.
    Maybe you just need a pep talk

    ALL I ASK IS ALL YOU GOT FOR AS LONG AS IT TAKES
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    Originally Posted by kimm4 View Post
    No kidding. I'm about ready to throw in the towel and walk away for good...srs.
    Just got back from the Arnold and reading this.

    I know you'll never "just walk away." Something about the Iron for 30 years of your life will keep you coming back. At some point you'll just get out of the spotlight, out of talking about it, out of coaching, out of advising and just retire.

    But the iron will still be there.

    And somebody gotta lift it.
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    Originally Posted by kimm4 View Post
    No kidding. I'm about ready to throw in the towel and walk away for good...srs.
    Dropping in. Hey Kimm.... I can only share my experience (which is not nearly as consistent or as accomplished as you). It has only been a few years that I have been stuck in the little to no improvement zone. It has taken a lot of adjustment. (some I had to make consciously, others I had no choice)

    I have found a way forward for me (at least for now). I just decided to allow consistency and time take over and generally eyeball my direction and drift. Yep.....I gave up. That is what the hardcorez version of myself would have said about my goals 5 years ago. In all seriousness, my goals shifted from shorter term ones, to a larger methodology.

    I made my goal to just enjoy life and be 'fit'. I stopped all the programs and periodization. I stopped planning and tracking. I just took all the parts of my life that I already knew how to do and just do them. (without a goal other than that general drift).

    Where am I drifting?.... I decided to get in the best shape I have ever been and STAY there. This has actually been nice and rewarding in it's own way. Most people think I am prepping for a show...but they see me long enough and realize I am staying this way. I am still not 'arrived', but I am still drifting that direction.

    But I detour for some good food and enjoy life. I do this with dieting cyclically. Basically an informal carb cycling.

    I am not the strongest I have ever been and I am about a year into the point of where my level of leanness affects my strength in a negative fashion. I just had to accept at some point I had to pick which goal I wanted more.

    I would say I enjoy the gym less....but I like the spillover and my life in this mode better. (It is hard to not want to rip weights and attack them with intensity). I have become even more dedicated to the overall 'lifestyle'. I am never in a 'phase' of my nutrition or training. It is now just a part of my routine.


    NOTE: I would NEVER suggest this is a way to make any progress. But at this point in my development, there is almost no difference in the most regimented program and diet eating a calculated surplus and then cutting vs just 'winging' it. Over a years time, it is almost unnoticeable either way. So I have loosened up...but in other ways people's perception is I am am the most dedicated ever. (funny...because I am actually the least intense I have ever been)

    Just some thoughts....
    RAW lifts
    635 Dead http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mATRBZ0gwdg
    585x7 Dead reps http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6yf2ZkdNNNQ
    420 Bench (paused) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MJ2_Q-TLIB8
    535 Squat https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kdgVaiTi4-8&feature=youtu.be
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  22. #22
    Registered User livindagym's Avatar
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    livindagym is offline
    [QUOTE=EjnarKolinkar;1485555631]Stop gaining so much weight in such a short period? Look to limit top end body fat?

    Nobody adds 30 pounds of muscle year 2.5 of training in 6 months. Set .
    Last edited by livindagym; 01-26-2023 at 04:43 AM. Reason: ;;;
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