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  1. #1
    Registered User zacharygeczy's Avatar
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    How do I bulk and not put on fat?

    Hey guys,

    So apologies for the long paragraph but I just wanted to gove you some background info before I really get into my question.
    So I started lockdown a weight on 13 stone 12 which was a mix of muscle but the good majority of fat. My main goal was to lose some weight so i was in a for enough shape for when gyms re opened. Through healthy eating and excercise I managed to drop down to 11 stone 4 which I was extremely impressed with. I averaged a day around 1200-1500 calories.

    Now, ofcourse gyms are open are open and I'm looking to bulk up and have calculated adding an extra meal to my daily routine will give me around 1800-2000 calories a day, which seems enough but my main question is... HOW DO I BULK WITHOUT ADDING FAT?
    So obviously after losing the weight I dont particularly want to put all the weight back on in fat but understand you need it in order to feed the muscles with glucose.

    My average day would be set out like this;
    4:00 - Banana
    7:30 - 100g Porridge and Protein shake
    10:00 - handful of nuts, rice cake and a plum/nectarine/orange (REPLACED WITH MY MEWLY ADDED PORTION).
    12:30 - rice and bean lunch
    2:00 - apple
    4:00 - grapes/fruit
    8:00 - dinner which varies day to day but smallish portion

    Any input would be greatly appreciated because I am fairly new to this and still have an incredible amount to learn. Thankyou so much guys.
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    Moderator SuffolkPunch's Avatar
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    You won't be able to add zero fat - at least not without risking not making any gains and just spinning your wheels.

    If you have previously been counting calories, you should have an idea of your maintenance calorie level. Just add about 200 to that.

    The other thing which people often overlook is that it's your program that decides if you gain muscle or just fat - you need a well planned routine that forces continuous progressive overload without running you into a wall... We can advise on this but we will need to know your current level of advancement (e.g. max effort lifts in the main compounds).

    I am assuming of course that you have access to a full gym.
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  3. #3
    Registered User Nicksosure1's Avatar
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    To put it simply,

    -Small calorie surplus (300ish calories).
    -Choose a calorie range. 2000 calories may be (probably is) too low for you to effectively put on quality weight and allowing you to progress.
    -Train with the proper intensity on a proven training program
    -Follow the progression of program to ensure progressive overload
    -Monitor weight by weighing each day, taking an average for the week. Adjust calories after a 2-3 week period based on the rate of gain that you are comfortable with, training progression, how you feel, etc.

    EDIT: Suffolk is a quick one..
    Life is constant learning. Give advice about things you know. Ask questions about things you don't.

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  4. #4
    Registered User zacharygeczy's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by SuffolkPunch View Post
    You won't be able to add zero fat - at least not without risking not making any gains and just spinning your wheels.

    If you have previously been counting calories, you should have an idea of your maintenance calorie level. Just add about 200 to that.

    The other thing which people often overlook is that it's your program that decides if you gain muscle or just fat - you need a well planned routine that forces continuous progressive overload without running you into a wall... We can advise on this but we will need to know your current level of advancement (e.g. max effort lifts in the main compounds).

    I am assuming of course that you have access to a full gym.
    I do indeed have access to a full gym so apologies, I forgot to include this. However at the moment giving you the exact maximum is difficult as just starting back again I am struggling to lift anything at the moment.

    I am following muscle and strength 10 week muscle mass. I cant send a link as I havent posted enough on here yet....

    This is the guide which I am currently following however ignoring the sets/reps.
    I am currently doing 1 set 10 reps warm up, 1 set 4 reps of heavier weight, 1 set 8-10 working reps, and same weight 1 set 6-8 working reps.

    I read online this is quite an effective way to gain size and strength.
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  5. #5
    Registered User zacharygeczy's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Nicksosure1 View Post
    To put it simply,

    -Small calorie surplus (300ish calories).
    -Choose a calorie range. 2000 calories may be (probably is) too low for you to effectively put on quality weight and allowing you to progress.
    -Train with the proper intensity on a proven training program
    -Follow the progression of program to ensure progressive overload
    -Monitor weight by weighing each day, taking an average for the week. Adjust calories after a 2-3 week period based on the rate of gain that you are comfortable with, training progression, how you feel, etc.

    EDIT: Suffolk is a quick one..
    So possibly a stupid question but in order to achieve a higher calorie intake would you suggest eating more meals through the day or eating more "healthy snacks" throughout the day?

    Cheers dude
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    Originally Posted by zacharygeczy View Post
    So possibly a stupid question but in order to achieve a higher calorie intake would you suggest eating more meals through the day or eating more "healthy snacks" throughout the day?

    Cheers dude
    There's no correct answer here. It's trial and error for the individual unfortunately.

    Some like small meals more frequently, some like larger meals more frequently. Some like smaller meals around their workouts, some vice versa. At the end of the day, it's what makes you feel the best and perform the best while hitting your minimum intake of fat and protein and meeting your calories goals BY THE END OF THE DAY. You won't be effected by nutrition timing much as far as growing goes, but performance may be affected to an extent, which would indirectly affect growth.
    Life is constant learning. Give advice about things you know. Ask questions about things you don't.

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  7. #7
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    I agree with the answers here, but to be honest I also get the impression you're young. It then depends on your overall goals? But the best advice would be to monitor your weight over time and adjust based on that. I use an app called "Happy Scale" which averages out daily fluctuations which find very useful. If you are young you may find that you can get away wth a much higher caloric intake than you think without adding much fat.

    Another point would be that I don't see any appreciable amount of protein in that diet plan you wrote out. I may be wrong however and that is just an example of one day.
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    Your diet looks suspect for protein/fats. Veggies?

    Macros?
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    Registered User zacharygeczy's Avatar
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    Morning guys,

    So there is a considerable amount of protein in my diet but perhaps not as much as I needed. I have lentils, chickpeas and quinoa mixed in with the beans. I also have 2 protein shakes and also a variety of meat substitutes for my dinner which has a high level of protein.

    Hope this helps
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  10. #10
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    Originally Posted by zacharygeczy View Post
    Hope this helps
    The answer you gave regarding your level of training is insufficient and you apparently left a lot out in your original post regarding your diet. The quality of answers you get depend on the quality of information you provide.
    I can tell time. Time cannot tell me.

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  11. #11
    Moderator SuffolkPunch's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by zacharygeczy View Post
    Morning guys,

    So there is a considerable amount of protein in my diet but perhaps not as much as I needed. I have lentils, chickpeas and quinoa mixed in with the beans. I also have 2 protein shakes and also a variety of meat substitutes for my dinner which has a high level of protein.

    Hope this helps
    Not really, we can't tell just by reading that because obviously it depends on quantities. You need to put what you eat into something like cronometer.com to check total protein content. If this is north of about 150g then you are fine.
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    Plenty of studies have shown that it's possible to gain muscle without any fat. The key is that you have to gain weight slowly while training and eating right. The exact number depends on several factors but it's usually around 1-2 pounds per month.
    Recommended science based fitness & nutrition information:
    Alan Aragon https://alanaragon.com/
    Brad Schoenfeld http://www.lookgreatnaked.com/
    James Krieger https://weightology.net/
    Jorn Trommelen http://www.nutritiontactics.com/
    Eric Helms & Team3DMJ https://3dmusclejourney.com/
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    Originally Posted by SuffolkPunch View Post
    Not really, we can't tell just by reading that because obviously it depends on quantities. You need to put what you eat into something like cronometer.com to check total protein content. If this is north of about 150g then you are fine.
    Okay perfect thankyou mate. I will have a look at that website and see what it says. I dont weigh my food at the moment so is something I need to look into and in terms of carb intake am i reducing this or am i fainting or increasing? Thanks dude.
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    Originally Posted by Mrpb View Post
    Plenty of studies have shown that it's possible to gain muscle without any fat. The key is that you have to gain weight slowly while training and eating right. The exact number depends on several factors but it's usually around 1-2 pounds per month.
    Assuming that this weight I am gaining being muscle right? Or am I gaining "fat" aswell and muscle mass
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    No, it doesn't make sense to keep carbs down during a mass gain phase. You'll have to experiment with different levels and see how you feel during gym sessions. The aim is to keep glycogen levels high all the time and have enough energy to train. Some people feel sleepy on high doses of carb but as long as you stick to mostly wholefood sources it shouldn't be a problem.
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    Originally Posted by zacharygeczy View Post
    Assuming that this weight I am gaining being muscle right? Or am I gaining "fat" aswell and muscle mass
    No one knows in advance what you'll gain.

    If you're doing everything right and you got good genes you might not gain any fat. The opposite is also possible: gaining hardly any muscle and mostly fat.
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    Originally Posted by zacharygeczy View Post
    Assuming that this weight I am gaining being muscle right? Or am I gaining "fat" aswell and muscle mass
    My sense from your responses is that you are very worried about fat gain. If you are serious about gaining muscle you have to make peace with the fact that you most likely will gain at least some fat as part of the process. In fact, go in assuming for every 1lb of lean mass you add you will also add 1lb of fat. Go in with the knowledge that losing fat is vastly easier than adding muscle so you can tackle the fat later after you add some lean mass.

    If you focus too much on limiting fat you will most likely not eat enough and will spin your wheels for the next 6 months and be no further ahead than you are today.
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    it is not possible to 100% avoid fat gain, however you can keep it to a bare minimum by consuming a razor thin caloric surplus of 150-200 calories on the days you train, and eat maintaince calories on rest days. and gain almost 0 fat. Also, presuming you are plant-based/vegan like me, one protein source to consider is lupin beans, they are the highest protein of all legumes at 40-45% of calories from protein. it can be good to add BCAA since non-legume plant proteins are lower than animal proteins on a mg/g basis. there is however no reason to add arginine or glutamine since plant protein is significantly higher than animal protein on a mg/g basis. its not ideal to keep carbs down on a mass gain phase either, insulin inhibits Muscle protein breakdown which in turn leads to more muscle growth.
    Last edited by kenneyj889; 07-31-2020 at 01:32 PM.
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    Originally Posted by kenneyj889 View Post
    it is not possible to 100% avoid fat gain.
    False. It's generally not easy but it is possible.
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    I agree with the general consensus to employ a small caloric surplus. Gaining fat is easy and fast - gaining lean muscle mass is far more difficult and takes a much longer time to accomplish. At best, beginners can gain 4-6 lbs. of lean muscle over the course of a year. With each successive year thereafter, it becomes harder and harder. Highly advanced individuals struggle to add 1-3 lbs. of lean muscle mass in the span of a year. Hope that helps some... Feel free to pm me if you need further guidance. Let us know how you fare... Good luck!
    Without proper diets and effective meal plans dialed in, you might well be spitting in the wind.
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