How fast to bulk?

Discussion in 'Diet & Nutrition' started by Sci, Mar 18, 2013.

  1. Sci

    Sci Well-Known Member

    I know part of this answer will be.. "it depends." A rank newbie, underweight, 20 year old male can probably put on a ton of muscle fast, so there are really no holds barred for such an individual. But say a 35 year old intermediate? I would think no more than 2 pounds/month of lean mass gain, which would make 1 pound/week a good guideline to bulk on...2 pounds of fat gained for every 2 pounds of muscle, in 4 weeks lets say.

    Any thoughts on this?
  2. Jester

    Jester Well-Known Member

    I think you're capable of putting on ~500-1000g p/week of muscle. I would want to see plenty of protein in the diet; yeh, it's more expensive, but it's also an incredibly inefficient energy source and you really have to piss your body off to make it turn to protein for fat storage.

    For genuine bulking, I'd say 880gm's in a month is quite low. And 1:1 ratio would be unfortunate too. Heavy weights, infi protein, I think you'll do a lot better than that.

    Also, you're in good shape and quite lean atm, but definitely not 'big' according to your photos. There's a crapload of mass to be put on yet, frankly.
  3. Totentanz

    Totentanz Super Moderator Staff Member

    What are your wrist and ankle measurements? I know that you and I are roughly similar in height, I would assume roughly similar genetic maxes for lean mass, not withstanding minor differences in physiology. How far you are from your genetic max seems to have an effect on the ratio of muscle to fat gained.
  4. Sci

    Sci Well-Known Member

    The program I will be doing calls for an average of 2 pounds/week of bulk on average. That sounds doable to me, I am just questioning the speed of that bulk without drugs. Is it truly beneficial to gain that fast, or is it just going to lead to excessive fat gain?
  5. Sci

    Sci Well-Known Member

    8" wrist. 9.5" ankle
    I measured the smallest place.

    Height: 73"

    Chest 42.5"
    Thigh 24"
    Arm 15.75"

    Seems like I have a lot to gain in chest on my lats and pecs.
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2013
  6. Sci

    Sci Well-Known Member

    Calculator says I could have 18.5 arms, 51 chest, 26 thighs.
    I have a ton to gain on my torso still ... Good.
  7. Totentanz

    Totentanz Super Moderator Staff Member

    Yeah roughly similar. I'm 7.5 for wrist and 9.7 for ankle, so you've got better growth potential in your upper body than I do and slightly less in legs according to the calculator. You should be able to get to a semi-lean 220 lbs. That means roughly 200 lbs of lean mass. Right now, assuming you hit 180 @ 10%, that means you have around 162 lbs of lean mass, so you can add on another 38 lbs of lean mass still. Roughly. So nearly 40 lbs of lean mass.
  8. Jester

    Jester Well-Known Member

    So you're 82kgs now. 1kg a week is ballpark 1.2% increase. That's not really a lot and if it's done with a large chunk of calories from protein (and to add to this, for me personally meat-sourced proteins tend to work best with low fat milk, whey and eggs making up the other 40-50%).

    Lats are difficult to measure. Chest is a nice guide but I tend to go with the mirror more than anything for lats. There's too much input from traps, chest,

    Bear in mind that your bones will also grow. Not by measurements that compare with muscle, but density and volume increases are going to happen. You might find your wrist and ankle are a little bigger in 6mths (or whenever you next take stock).
  9. Sci

    Sci Well-Known Member

    I find carbs to be anabolic in a bulk. High carbs and protein seems to fuel the hypertrophy process well. Moderate fat.
  10. Sci

    Sci Well-Known Member

    This article pretty much answered all my questions:

    Lyle recommends starting the bulk at around 10% BF and gaining on average one pound/week for the bulk, which is more or less exactly what I thought would be ideal for a natural male. 2 pounds/week is probably excessive, given that I am not on steroids and I am not a underweight rank beginner.

    He also recommends the 10-15% rule for males, cut down to 10%, bulk to 15%, cut...bulk...etc. much more efficient and healthy than what I have done in the past which is to start a bulk too fat at the start of it, then get really fat, and then cut forever... anyway, great article.
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2013
  11. Sci

    Sci Well-Known Member

    Totentanz made a good point, that being too thrifty with weight gain can actually slow progress down. So maybe going for a rough average of 2 pounds/ week is the better bet, as this insures adequate nutrients, as trying to aim for less is a bit too precise and may end up under shooting.

    So I'll stick with the original plan of 2/ week bulk and go for the gold.
  12. Tryingtologin

    Tryingtologin Member

    What cals would that put you on on top of BMR? BMR plus 500 cals is the old recommendation I think.
  13. Sci

    Sci Well-Known Member

    Well, BMR and calories are both estimates anyway, it's almost impossible to get them exact. But 2/ week average would be about + 1000.
  14. Totentanz

    Totentanz Super Moderator Staff Member

    I would probably recommend sticking closer to about 700-800 over maintenance and not worry too much about over unders. There is no way you are going to get the exact amount of calories in that you want, so just try to keep it within reason of your goal and don't stray too far over or too far under.
  15. Sci

    Sci Well-Known Member

    10-4, makes sense
  16. citizenkris

    citizenkris New Member

    Assuming 700 to 800 over maintenance, what would you set your macros at on training and rest days?

    Im bulking with about 500 over now and progress feels slow, macros are 1.5g of protein per pound of body weight on all days, 40 grams of fat and the rest of my calories from carbs on training days. On rest days I'm at about 25% of calories from fat and the rest from carbs.

    Any suggestions of macro changes, or just bump my calorie intake slightly?
  17. Totentanz

    Totentanz Super Moderator Staff Member

    The recommendation of seven to eight hundred over maintenance was due to sci and his job which involves heavy labor. If you aren't working as heavy of a job, then 500 should be fine.

    I prefer to increase carbs on off days. You can drop fat as low as 20% and you should still be ok. Obviously keep protein at a decent level on off days as well.

    I don't actually alter macros on training and rest days, personally. Protein and carbs are important both days and fats are always important for various reasons.

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