Reasonable To Expect 5lbs Muscle In 20lbs Bulk?

Discussion in 'Hypertrophy-Specific Training (HST)' started by wungun, Feb 1, 2016.

  1. wungun

    wungun Member

    Actually, closer to 25lbs than 20...over a period of approximately 5 months, a fairly dirty bulk (500 to 700 kcal over maintenance, daily)...
    I'm hoping for 5lbs of muscle (my cut therefore will be closer to 15 or 20lbs)
     
  2. Old and Grey

    Old and Grey Super Moderator Staff Member

    The problem with dirty bulks is that you cannot just cut fat.
     
  3. wungun

    wungun Member

    And a clean bulk you're able to cut just fat?? Not sure I'm following you O&G
     
  4. Old and Grey

    Old and Grey Super Moderator Staff Member

    With a clean type bulk, you do not need to cut much at all. You will typically be adding more muscle than fat. The downside, of course, is that you need to be patient because you will be eating only 100 to a maximum of 200 calories over maintenance daily. And you need to prioritize your calories by protein, good fats, complex carbs and minimal bad fats and simple carbs.
     
  5. wungun

    wungun Member

    Ahhh... Of course. Thanks for clarifying.
     
  6. adpowah

    adpowah Active Member

    Honestly 20lbs over 5months (or 1lb a week over 20 weeks) is a pretty good pace (assuming that it was fairly evenly distributed). I would say 5lbs is likely on the minimum side assuming your training has been on point.
     
  7. Old and Grey

    Old and Grey Super Moderator Staff Member

    20 pounds in 5 months is at a rate of 50 pounds per year. Tough on the internal organs, esp the kidneys. Then shedding a good part of that is even tougher on the body. Not good for long term health. Similar to yoyo dieting.

    That being said, I have also seen a lot of people heavy bulk and cut successfully too.
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2016
    wungun likes this.
  8. Mojo77

    Mojo77 Member

    I do not think heavy bulks are the way to go. You say it yourself, you expect 4/5th of your weight gain to be fat. Most likely when you cut, you will strip away all the muscle you gained with the fat. The ratio is off. Do a slow bulk, no more then 2 pounds gain a month, maybe even less if you are an advanced lifter. Else you will just spin your wheels and strip your gains each and every time looking just more or less fat over time with no change in muscle mass
     
  9. Totentanz

    Totentanz Super Moderator Staff Member

    What do you mean by "dirty bulk?" There isn't really an actual thing as a dirty or a clean bulk. If you are talking about what types of food you are eating, well the actual types of food isn't going to make much difference with regards to muscle vs fat gain. By types of food, I mean eating a "dirty" meat like beef versus a "clean" meat like chicken. That doesn't matter. Training with weights will skew that ratio way more than food can. Obviously getting enough protein in the first place is going to be important. Just set your macros and total calories, hit that and you should be fine.
    Before we get too carried away, let me just say: YES - clearly some foods are better for overall health than others, but that isn't going to impact how much muscle you gain versus fat. Eat healthy because you don't want to die early, but don't sit there fretting over your boiled chicken breasts thinking that eating bland food is going to make you huge.

    Now... Is it reasonable to expect 5 lbs of muscle gain out of 20 lbs of overall weight gain? No, that's not reasonable at all. You should be making much better gains than that. At the very least, you should be getting 50/50. What can cause problems with this? Gaining weight too fast is the biggest culprit. Your body simply cannot create muscle that quickly. So if you pack on 20 lbs in four weeks, then yeah, you'll be lucky if 5 lbs of that is muscle. But if you gain that 20 lbs over 10-12 weeks, then you should expect a much better ratio of muscle gains compared to overall weight gain.

    Of course, without access to clinical level tech, there isn't a good way to measure exactly how much of the weight you gained is muscle, so some of this is just theoretical wanking. But you can take measurements of your arms, legs and waist in order to get a good general idea of what sort of gains you are making. If you store a lot of fat in your arms and legs, this might not be as helpful but generally, watching how fast the waist measurement increases can help you to see how much fat you are actually gaining.
     
    Jester likes this.
  10. HST_Rihad

    HST_Rihad Active Member

    I beg to disagree. Regardless of whether we train or not, our bodies are just fine packing on muscle & fat when overfed, the fatter you already are the fatter you will get and the less food will then go into muscles. Lifting weights tends to further drive more of the food into the muscle (as an adaptive response to the training stimulus), and not into the fat stores. That's why you typically get a bit leaner the more you progress in your training, provided that you don't overeat by too much.
     
  11. Totentanz

    Totentanz Super Moderator Staff Member

    Right. So you basically just agreed with me with your last line there when you said "provided that you don't overeat by too much."
     
    Jester likes this.
  12. mickc1965

    mickc1965 Well-Known Member

    Based on the above quotes I am not sure what you are actually disagreeing with, yes even without training the body will add muscle as well as fat but there will be a maximum amount of muscle someone 'naturally' can add to their frame per month which is very much based on training age and actual age / testosterone levels. For anyone starting out it is reasonable to expect a gain of muscle of up to 2 lbs per month and therefore even in a slow bulk of 4 lbs per month you are likely to gain something north of 2 lbs of fat along with that new muscle, with a training age of 2 years then the likely increase in muscle will reduce down to 1 lb per month and therefore bulking would need to be reduced to 0.5 lbs or less per week, at 3 years gains in muscle will slow further to a max of 0.5 lbs per month so again bulking would need to be reduced further still to prevent fat gain.
     
  13. mickc1965

    mickc1965 Well-Known Member

    Based on the above quotes I am not sure what you are actually disagreeing with, yes even without training the body will add muscle as well as fat but there will be a maximum amount of muscle someone 'naturally' can add to their frame per month which is very much based on training age and actual age / testosterone levels. For anyone starting out it is reasonable to expect a gain of muscle of up to 2 lbs per month and therefore even in a slow bulk of 4 lbs per month you are likely to gain something north of 2 lbs of fat along with that new muscle, with a training age of 2 years then the likely increase in muscle will reduce down to 1 lb per month and therefore bulking would need to be reduced to 0.5 lbs or less per week, at 3 years gains in muscle will slow further to a max of 0.5 lbs per month so again bulking would need to be reduced further still to prevent fat gain.
     
  14. Old and Grey

    Old and Grey Super Moderator Staff Member

    If you have reasonable levels of testosterone and gained 20 lbs, at least 5 lbs should be muscle even without weight lifting unless you just layed in bed in a semi-comatose state.

    Edit: Sorry but I did not see Mick's post above which makes the same point.
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2016
  15. wungun

    wungun Member

    As I get closer to the fat % (based only on ab appearance), it looks like I'm closer to having put on 10lbs of LBM, not 5. Realistically, maybe 7 or 8Lbs. I'm good with that. Maybe not outstanding numbers, but appearance wise, looks good! I wouldn't expect more being 46 years old.
    When I said 'dirty bulk', I was referring more to calories. I always try to eat healthy. 500 to 700 daily calories over maintenance is too high for me.

    Sent from my SM-G935W8 using Tapatalk
     
  16. HST_Rihad

    HST_Rihad Active Member

    Do we really need to consider the mysterious "rate of growth" when we simply keep shoving in food to gain weight? What else can the body do but being forced to drive everything we eat into muscle & fat? Of course such "free lunch" doesn't last forever: the fatter you get - the more "anabolic resistance" the accumulated fat develops for the surrounding muscles (aromatase, insulin resistance, etc) and the less muscle you add (and the fatter you get).

    All training does is drive more of the food into the muscle so you get less to no fatter as you overeat (if the rate of BW growth is very very small) compared to simply overeating with no training, or even lose fat if the weight stays the same.
     
  17. wungun

    wungun Member

    I needed to consider it because for years I tried to accomplish muscle gain and fat loss at the same time, never doing a typical "bulk" before.... Last winter was the first time, so it was nice to know that I actually put on decent muscle. Even if it was just 5lbs LBM (but I did better than that), that has me stoked.
    Don't like cutting down for months to strip away the fat so much though! So I'll try a different approach this winter.

    Sent from my SM-G935W8 using Tapatalk
     
  18. Renky

    Renky Member

    To be honest... I have always really disliked the word "Bulk". For me, it just never was a part of my regimen, ever. I have seen guys go on these diets where they jack the calories way up, add a heap of weight and then drop back the calories in an effort to drop the fat off. I always feel that this is yo-yo dieting and not good for the body. Believe me, it can do some crazy stuff to your body (cholesterol levels, triglyceride levels, iron levels and so on). The body can react in bad ways to what sort of stress or stimulus is placed on it.
    Better to take things slower and use the term "time to add some muscle" (stealing the line from Arnold in Pumping Iron). In my experience, the calorie surplus does not need to be that great either. I have added muscle with low testosterone and even at times when I was probably in a caloric deficit.
    With body fat levels... How low are people wanting to go anyway? Going too low puts stress on the body. We stress the body with lifting weights and the recovery process, to then add more stress by keeping the body at super low body fat levels? This just worries me...

    Wungun - If you were after my personal opinion... I thought you looked to be in good shape. I would just stay the course and "add muscle" slowly. I do not feel you need to be worrying about this "bulking and cutting" stuff. Clean diet man, consistency in the gym, follow HST principles = Results
     
    wungun and Old and Grey like this.
  19. Renky

    Renky Member

    It is also probably worth adding that our bodies can only add a certain amount of muscle in a year. The amount definitely decreases as we advance in years with training and you increase in lean size. Unless you are on "gear" (and even then there is a wall) no amount of food ingested will change this.
     
  20. adpowah

    adpowah Active Member

Share This Page