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  1. #1
    Registered User browngainz99's Avatar
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    Exclamation Is my bulk looking successful or like a failure

    First time posting but here we go.
    I staring bulking from 175 in April 2020 and am now 195 as of July 2020. I do and upper lower split twice a week (up/L/up). I’ve never been this heavy but I’ve also never been this strong, which isn’t too strong compared to most people on this board. (Incline bench press 200x5, squat 225X5, body weight pull ups 15) Anyway, my physique is what I’m more worried about than my numbers. I don’t know if I’m just insecure about being almost 200 pounds for the first time in my life or if I really am packing on a little too much fat while bulking? What should I do? Eat more? Eat less? Keep it the same and stop being a little baby about getting fat? Btw I’m eating at 3000 calories a day. Pretty clean mostly. Cheat a little bit on the weekend.

    PS
    My images failed to upload on my post. I uploaded pictures to my profile of what I currently look like. Can someone one please let me know how I’m doing?
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  2. #2
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    Originally Posted by browngainz99 View Post
    First time posting but here we go.
    I staring bulking from 175 in April 2020 and am now 195 as of July 2020. I do and upper lower split twice a week (up/L/up). I’ve never been this heavy but I’ve also never been this strong, which isn’t too strong compared to most people on this board. (Incline bench press 200x5, squat 225X5, body weight pull ups 15) Anyway, my physique is what I’m more worried about than my numbers. I don’t know if I’m just insecure about being almost 200 pounds for the first time in my life or if I really am packing on a little too much fat while bulking? What should I do? Eat more? Eat less? Keep it the same and stop being a little baby about getting fat? Btw I’m eating at 3000 calories a day. Pretty clean mostly. Cheat a little bit on the weekend.

    PS
    My images failed to upload on my post. I uploaded pictures to my profile of what I currently look like. Can someone one please let me know how I’m doing?
    Honestly bulk didn’t go so hot chief. Before you get upset with me I’ll tell you what you should do. Cut back down to that same weight, and keep lifting heavy to retain some muscle. You’re bf levels are probably making your hormones all out of whack. Once you cut down bulk up again and do so more slowly. When you’re bulking you also need to hit compounds and isolation very hard, and do more sets closer together to improve conditioning. Your delts and traps could especially benefit from more isolation. And lastly your strength levels could stand to improve, so all the more reason after your cut to bulk back up slowly and be absolutely ruthless about using good form for bench, incline bench, squat, etc

    Edit: if you’re a beginner lifter this is actually very good progress. Still do what I said either way
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  3. #3
    Registered User browngainz99's Avatar
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    Exclamation

    What would you estimate my BF% is?
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    Originally Posted by browngainz99 View Post
    What would you estimate my BF% is?
    Low 20’s, though we barely see your core in the beach pic the lighting is probably bringing it out more. Chest development is very opaque due to fat and love handles are present

    Not the end of the world. At least you went out there and made progress. Just keep going. Don’t be like 90% of gym goers who remain dyel forever for years on end because they don’t want to adjust their diet
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    Registered User Nicksosure1's Avatar
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    Well, what were your goals going into the bulk? To get stronger? Aesthetic enhancement? To gain weight/muscle? To gain at the leanest rate possible? Success is highly subjective based on what you're after.

    If you're starting to feel insecure about accelerated fat gain, one thing you could do is this:

    Just stop cheating on the weekends and work in those "unclean" foods to your day to day calorie allotment. You would be essentially eating less calories overall while still enjoying the foods of life and making gains.

    You could also just take a bulk break. Eat at maintenance, let some water weight go, and you may find that you're really not gaining as much fat as you thought. If you aren't absolutely going crazy on your "cheats" on the weekend, 3k calories for someone that weighs as much as you do now, isn't that much at all for most people (don't know your height or activity level, so it could indeed be enough for you).
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    Originally Posted by Nicksosure1 View Post
    Well, what were your goals going into the bulk? To get stronger? Aesthetic enhancement? To gain weight/muscle? To gain at the leanest rate possible? Success is highly subjective based on what you're after.

    If you're starting to feel insecure about accelerated fat gain, one thing you could do is this:

    Just stop cheating on the weekends and work in those "unclean" foods to your day to day calorie allotment. You would be essentially eating less calories overall while still enjoying the foods of life and making gains.

    You could also just take a bulk break. Eat at maintenance, let some water weight go, and you may find that you're really not gaining as much fat as you thought. If you aren't absolutely going crazy on your "cheats" on the weekend, 3k calories for someone that weighs as much as you do now, isn't that much at all for most people (don't know your height or activity level, so it could indeed be enough for you).
    For now he should just cut before tweaking things like this. I question his form for incline bench so he’s better off shedding fat off and gaining the muscle back slowly. He went quite fast over 4 mo tbh
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    Registered User browngainz99's Avatar
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    Exclamation

    Thanks for the quick and honest feedback. What is your opinion on going against what you said and continuing to bulk at 3000k until the end of this year and start cutting in 2021? My strength went from incline bench 180 to 200x5, 185 to 225x5 on squats and 10 body weight pull ups to 15. My goal was to get strong at the risk of getting fat, but not too fat. I wanted to be able to incline bench 225 x5 and 315 x5 squat and 20 body weight pull ups since I started bulking in April (goals met by December 2020). Couldn’t one say it’s important to build strength and then cut?
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    Registered User browngainz99's Avatar
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    My strength went from incline bench 180 to 200x5, 185 to 225x5 on squats and 10 body weight pull ups to 15. My goal was to get strong at the risk of getting fat, but not too fat. I wanted to be able to incline bench 225 x5 and 315 x5 squat and 20 body weight pull ups since I started bulking in April (goals met by December 2020). Couldn’t one say it’s important to build strength and then cut?
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    Registered User browngainz99's Avatar
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    Exclamation

    I’m 26 years old and 5 11

    Also here’s my routine I’ve been running since April

    Day 1 upper body
    - [x] 4X4/6/8/10 incline barbell bench press 200/180/170/160
    - [x] 3X10 pull up/chin up/ neutral chin ups
    - [x] 3x12 decline dumbbell bench press 55 lb
    - [x] 4X10 pendlay row 135
    - [x] 3X10 Military press 95lb
    - [x] 3x10 hammer curls dumb bell 30lb
    - [x] 3x12-15 lat raise dumbbells 15 lb


    Day 2 lower body
    - [ ] 5X5 squats barbell 225lb
    - [ ] 1X10 squats barbel 150lb
    - [ ] 3x10 front squats barbell 135lb
    - [ ] 4x10 stiff leg deadlifts dumbbells 55lb
    - [ ] 4x25 body weight calf raises
    - [ ] 4x10 hanging leg raises


    Day 3 upper body
    - [ ] 4X4/6/8/10 incline barbell bench press 200/180/170/160
    - [ ] 3X10 pull up/chin up/ neutral chin ups
    - [ ] 3x12 decline dumbbell bench press 55 lb
    - [ ] 4X10 pendlay row 135lb
    - [ ] 3X10 Military press 95lb
    - [ ] 3x10 hammer curls dumb bell 30lb
    - [ ] 3x12-15 lat raise dumbbells 15 lb
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  10. #10
    Registered User Nicksosure1's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by browngainz99 View Post
    Thanks for the quick and honest feedback. What is your opinion on going against what you said and continuing to bulk at 3000k until the end of this year and start cutting in 2021? My strength went from incline bench 180 to 200x5, 185 to 225x5 on squats and 10 body weight pull ups to 15. My goal was to get strong at the risk of getting fat, but not too fat. I wanted to be able to incline bench 225 x5 and 315 x5 squat and 20 body weight pull ups since I started bulking in April (goals met by December 2020). Couldn’t one say it’s important to build strength and then cut?
    Again, it's what you're comfortable with. If you're still progressing, love the way you feel, and want to continue to get stronger, then sure.

    You don't have to stop bulking to cut down your rate of gain though. If your surplus is too big, then you're likely to experience the same gains at a lower calorie level. A surplus too large only adds more fat during the bulk, not more progress.

    Honestly, I never really like these questions, although I've asked them myself in the past lol usually people already know what they want to do and just want confirmation by asking. Not saying this is you.

    Unless you're in poor health, there's no one thing you SHOULD do at this point. If you want to keep getting stronger, do it. Whether that be at x amount of calories or xx amount of calories. Want to lose some fat? Do it. Cut back down slowly while retaining everything you've built in the past few months.
    Life is constant learning. Give advice about things you know. Ask questions about things you don't.

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    Registered User browngainz99's Avatar
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    Exclamation

    Such good advise from everyone on this post. Regardless of whether to cut or continue to bulk, it’s all very good advice. I don’t think I’m disgustingly fat. Like on a scale from 1(being ripped) and 10(being obese) what do I look like? It’s hard to judge ourselves accurately. I’m just used to being a lot leaner and smaller naturally. I knew I’d loose my abs but I wanted to and still do want to get as strong as genetically possible, even at the cost of losing definition. I love that My strength has actually gone up in compound moments such as incline bench and squat. Even though it’s not impressive numbers compared to most people of this forum, it’s progress. I want to achieve my strength goals. Even if I don’t have great definition. But I definitely wanted some feedback.
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  12. #12
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    Originally Posted by browngainz99 View Post
    Such good advise from everyone on this post. Regardless of whether to cut or continue to bulk, it’s all very good advice. I don’t think I’m disgustingly fat. Like on a scale from 1(being ripped) and 10(being obese) what do I look like? It’s hard to judge ourselves accurately. I’m just used to being a lot leaner and smaller naturally. I knew I’d loose my abs but I wanted to and still do want to get as strong as genetically possible, even at the cost of losing definition. I love that My strength has actually gone up in compound moments such as incline bench and squat. Even though it’s not impressive numbers compared to most people of this forum, it’s progress. I want to achieve my strength goals. Even if I don’t have great definition. But I definitely wanted some feedback.
    If your goal is to gain strength, even with a lack of definition then don't even worry about the 1-10 question man. If you get an answer you don't like, you might, even unknowingly, be hesitant towards things that could help you reach your goal (calories). This game is often harder on the mental than the physical side of things.

    With that being said, I don't think you're fat either. At the same time I'm not answering your 1-10 question. You know why? You don't have the look that I would want but you probably have the strength that I want. All subjective. The answers would mean nothing. Especially in context to your goal.
    Last edited by Nicksosure1; 07-08-2020 at 12:45 PM. Reason: Just awful, awful spelling..
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  13. #13
    I love my power hour MrCarrot's Avatar
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    That's a fast gain, people normally aim for 1-2 pounds per month. You will have gained a lot of fat but at least you've gained strength and you will have gained some muscle too.

    I'd suggest lowering calories slightly and slowing the weight gain whilst still attempting to increase your lifts. Or you could go on a cut and lose some of the fat. The idea of eating at maintenance for a while might not be a bad idea either - you'll probably lose water weight and can figure out better which direction to take.
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    Originally Posted by MrCarrot View Post
    That's a fast gain, people normally aim for 1-2 pounds per month. You will have gained a lot of fat but at least you've gained strength and you will have gained some muscle too.

    I'd suggest lowering calories slightly and slowing the weight gain whilst still attempting to increase your lifts. Or you could go on a cut and lose some of the fat. The idea of eating at maintenance for a while might not be a bad idea either - you'll probably lose water weight and can figure out better which direction to take.

    This OP. 20 pounds in 4 months is way too fast, you probably put on 10-15 pounds of fat. Cut then try again.
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    Would it be wrong to try and maintain where I am right now, try to get as strong as possible, until winter arrives and start cutting come January 1st 2021? If I cut now I’ll lose strength, where as if I try to at least keep my weight relatively the same, I have the chance of gaining more strength and building a little more muscle before I start a cut.
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    How long have you been working out? The reason I ask is because back when I first started lifting I was in a caloric deficit and managed to increase strength even while cutting weight for 7 continuous months. You're over 20% bodyfat right now, you're probably in the 22-23%-ish area. If it were me I would just scale back on calories until I was in a small deficit and continue lifting and lean down a bit. Keep in mind at 5'11" as a natural lifter you'll never be lean at 200 lbs, you wont see that unless you're down around 170 or so.
    All it takes is consistency, effort, proper nutrition, good programming, and TIME.
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    Originally Posted by xsquid99 View Post
    How long have you been working out? The reason I ask is because back when I first started lifting I was in a caloric deficit and managed to increase strength even while cutting weight for 7 continuous months. You're over 20% bodyfat right now, you're probably in the 22-23%-ish area. If it were me I would just scale back on calories until I was in a small deficit and continue lifting and lean down a bit. Keep in mind at 5'11" as a natural lifter you'll never be lean at 200 lbs, you wont see that unless you're down around 170 or so.

    I’ve been on and off with lifting weights for a couple years now(probably 4 years). I got really lean (155 pounds) last year (January-June 2019) while lifting with pretty much the same routine . I looked really cut but I was weak as **** on my compound lifts. The second half of 2019, I didn’t really lift at all and gained weight up until I weighed about 175. Then I started lifting again at the beginning of 2020 again, but I was eating at maintenance but wasn’t seeing any progress So I decided to start bulking on 3000 cals at the begging of April. Along with bulking, I also began to take lifting seriously, making sure I lift at least 3 times a week (upper/lower/upper) and really focused of getting stronger with compound movements such as incline bench press, squats, and pull ups. I definitely gained strength on all three movements( added about 30 pounds to incline and squats and went up in reps with pull ups) but I also gained 20 pounds really quickly while doing it. And the physique on my profile is where I stand today after everything I just explained. I like the strength gains I made, I want to get even stronger though. But I clearly added a lot of fat. I’ve never been strong before, and I’m stoked that I’ve actually made strength gains. But my god the extra fat I added is so discouraging
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    5lb per month is far too much, you should be aiming for max 0.5lb per week. Anything beyond that will be fat.

    Ignore gym rats that tell you they gained 5lb of muscle in 4 weeks (they didnt), that you need to eat as much as possible (you don't) and that you can become massive in a matter of months (you can't). Your body can only synthesize muscle protein at a certain rate and eating beyond about 2-300cals over maintenance will not change that rate unless you are using PEDs (which I hope you arent).

    You clearly have some mass, if it were me I'd just drop 10-15lb in 2-3 strict cutting months and then re-start a much more careful mass gain phase. You aren't going to gain muscle any more slowly on a lower surplus, it is only your weight (fat) gain that will be restricted
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  19. #19
    Harsh Truth Distributor xsquid99's Avatar
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    Here's another way to look at it. Strength is all well and good, and god knows I used to push myself to see just how much I could lift and be proud of myself when I hit new PR's. However, my whole entire goal for getting into the gym in the first place was really just to be healthier and to achieve a physique that I could be proud of. After all, you don't walk around with your "big 3" numbers posted on your shirt like a name tag, and nobody really gives a damn what you lift in the gym, but they do see what you look like everyday. So I guess the thing I had to realize is that my gym numbers and strength really didn't matter as long as I was living a healthy lifestyle and was able to achieve the physique I was after.
    All it takes is consistency, effort, proper nutrition, good programming, and TIME.
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    Registered User browngainz99's Avatar
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    Thanks for all of the advice guys! I think I’m just going to cut back On The calories by 200-300. I’ll still be in a surplus but I won’t be aggressively be gaining fat. I’m okay with a little chub...for now...the damage is already done. As long as I’m gaining strength, I’m okay with continuing to bulk in a smaller surplus. But I think y’all were right. 20 pounds in 4 months is a lot. I plan to keep on bulking until the end of this year, so I can try as get as strong as possibly before I enter a calorie deficit. Then come January first, I’ll try to get a decently defined body by summer 2021.
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  21. #21
    THE OG 1MANU's Avatar
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    Your total weight gain (unnecessary) is not in line with your strength gains. Cut your calories 10-15% and strength gains will still continue.
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    Originally Posted by 1MANU View Post
    Your total weight gain (unnecessary) is not in line with your strength gains. Cut your calories 10-15% and strength gains will still continue.
    If I cut my calories by 10-15% and am still technically in a calorie surplus, is there a possibility I can fill out some of this fat with muscle, thus creating a better physique at my current body fat % or is cutting the only way to enhance my physique.
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    Originally Posted by browngainz99 View Post
    If I cut my calories by 10-15% and am still technically in a calorie surplus, is there a possibility I can fill out some of this fat with muscle, thus creating a better physique at my current body fat % or is cutting the only way to enhance my physique.
    No. Reduce calories so your rate of gain is around 1-2lbs a month. Also, don't just go by strength in the gym to gauge progress (unless prepping for powerlifting). Take pics every couple weeks, waist measurements every week, etc..Takes 5min.
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