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  1. #1
    Registered User astrocoyote's Avatar
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    (When) Should I start bulking?

    Age:28
    Weight: ~63 Kg/139 lbs
    Height: 175 cm

    So this is another one of those threads you guys probably get quite often

    I've been skinny-fat for a long time, carrying a lot of fat in my midsection (abdomen, love handles) that I've always wanted to get rid of. Started lifting weights on and off two-ish years ago on a newbie program and gained some muscle, together with more fat due to sloppy diet. So was still not satisfied.

    Lately I've been cutting and being more serious than ever (counting calories etc), losing a steady 0.5 Kg/week, which brings me to the current state. Tucane in the BF% thread estimated a ~13% BF (thanks again!); pictures attached.

    I've been following Athlean Ax-1 (which will probably change on a bulk), 3xweights + 2xcardio per week.

    So the question is, should I start a lean bulk now, or wait and lose more weight? On the one hand, I've gotten too thin and feel it's time to add some muscle, but on the other I still haven't gotten rid of all the fat as you can see. As I put on fat easily in that section, I am very nervous of ruining all the hard work I've put into losing fat the past few months. I just don't wanna spin my wheels.

    I feel like this question depends on the individual case, so wanted to hear experienced opinions. Also any suggestions on a good muscle building program will be appreciated!
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    Last edited by astrocoyote; 08-30-2019 at 06:54 AM.
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  2. #2
    Harsh Truth Distributor xsquid99's Avatar
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    You have nothing left to lose, start bulking now. Nice job on the cut.

    Follow a good program like Stronglifts 5x5, Fierce 5, etc (visit the Workout Program forum stickies) and focus on slow gains for the bulk (less than 2 lbs a month).
    All it takes is consistency, effort, proper nutrition, good programming, and TIME.
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  3. #3
    Registered User clwhoops44's Avatar
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    Definitely bulk. Don't look back for a long time.
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    Registered User hardyboysare's Avatar
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    Should you start bulking? Yes
    When should you start bulking? Now

    Nice a simple the questions I like.
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  5. #5
    Registered User astrocoyote's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone for the responses, I will check out these workouts!

    A follow-up question: is there a particular combination of macros that I should aim for to get optimal muscle gains while on a surplus (and minimize fat gains)?
    While on a deficit, I've made sure to consume the minimum amounts of protein and fat suggested here, while counting calories overall, but how about on a surplus? I've heard some time ago that consuming too many fats (or was it carbs?) on a surplus can lead to suboptimal results, but that may have just been bro science.
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    There is no upper limit for fats, just get a reasonable balance of carbs fats and protein as your extra calories and it will all be fine.
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    Registered User hardyboysare's Avatar
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    On a bulk there is no limit on any macro beyond your caloric limit. Hit your minimums as stated after that it's just your small calorie surplus.

    A balance is best of all macros and personal preference.
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  8. #8
    Registered User astrocoyote's Avatar
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    Great, thanks a lot! I agree about balance.

    After picking a workout program, I will aim for a daily surplus of about 200 calories, to shoot for 0.2kg/week of weight gain.
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  9. #9
    Registered User astrocoyote's Avatar
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    Hi again,

    I've been gaining weight on Fierce 5 ever since my initial post and wanted to get some feedback on how I am progressing. Pics attached.
    Down from ~63 kg that was my initial weight when I posted in early September, I am now at about 67.5 kg

    Definitely feel I am getting stronger and have broken through some plateus. I should remark that even though I have tried to keep the pace of gaining weight steady to 0.2kg/week, it has fluctuated between 0 and 0.3 kg/week just because life happens and could not always track food intake accurately.

    Any feedback appreciated and you can be honest! My biggest worry as people might guess is whether I gained too much fat or not. Due to my skinny fat physique, it tends to become apparent quite easily in the sensitive areas of belly and love handles...

    In these pics I am flexing and have a pump, just like in the initial ones I posted in September.

    Thanks!
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  10. #10
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    Originally Posted by astrocoyote View Post
    Hi again,

    I've been gaining weight on Fierce 5 ever since my initial post and wanted to get some feedback on how I am progressing. Pics attached.
    Down from ~63 kg that was my initial weight when I posted in early September, I am now at about 67.5 kg

    Definitely feel I am getting stronger and have broken through some plateus. I should remark that even though I have tried to keep the pace of gaining weight steady to 0.2kg/week, it has fluctuated between 0 and 0.3 kg/week just because life happens and could not always track food intake accurately.

    Any feedback appreciated and you can be honest! My biggest worry as people might guess is whether I gained too much fat or not. Due to my skinny fat physique, it tends to become apparent quite easily in the sensitive areas of belly and love handles...

    In these pics I am flexing and have a pump, just like in the initial ones I posted in September.

    Thanks!
    You’ve been following Fierce 5 novice routine exactly as written including all progression and deloading (when necessary) protocols? What were your starting weights when beginning F5 and what are you lifting now?
    Fierce 5 novice routine: https://igoodies.000webhostapp.com/?viagra=showthread.php?t=159678631

    All Pros beginner routine: https://igoodies.000webhostapp.com/?viagra=showthread.php?t=169172473

    Calculating calories and macros: https://igoodies.000webhostapp.com/?viagra=showthread.php?t=173439001

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  11. #11
    Registered User astrocoyote's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Grizvok View Post
    You’ve been following Fierce 5 novice routine exactly as written including all progression and deloading (when necessary) protocols? What were your starting weights when beginning F5 and what are you lifting now?
    I've tried my best, but no, there have been weeks when I struggled to keep up with the suggested weekly progression (despite maximal effort). Also at some instances I found that the effort needed to increase one of the major lifts would tire me out and not allow me to proceed with the proper overload in the rest of the session.

    Unfortunately it seems that I lost the record of my exact starting weight numbers on F5, but based on my estimate/memory:
    Squats: Initial lift (estimate) ~115 lbs, current 215 lbs
    Deadlift: Initial lift (estimate) ~100 lbs, current 200 lbs
    Bench: Initial lift (estimate) ~105 lbs, current 145 lbs
    Overhead press: Initial lift (estimate) ~75 lbs, current 105 lbs
    Pendlay row: Initial lift (estimate) ~75 lbs, current 115 lbs

    Squats and deadlifts I found I could progress more easily.
    Bench and overhead gave me a hard time (maybe started too high there..) and have deloaded twice in each. I recently managed to achieve these numbers above for the first time, but feel I am having good momentum lately.
    In pendlays I realized I had very ****ty form, because I had never perfomed the lift before, and choose to increase more slowly at periods, because I was afraid of injuries. I realize that maybe deloading more there might have been the right course of action but anyway..

    Let me finally add that over the past 5 months I travelled (for a total of about 6 weeks), during which times there was no progression due to restricted or even not at all access to a gym.

    Let me know if you need any other information.
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  12. #12
    Registered User sunsean's Avatar
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    Your lifts are increasing and you're gaining weight so chances are you're adding muscle. Just keep in mind that building muscle is a very slow process, one that people spend years on. You're not going to see a dramatic difference in 5 months, but if you're getting stronger and slowly gaining weight without putting on too much fat, then you're doing well. Keep going as long as you can remain comfortable with your fat level. If you gain slowly, you can keep bulking for a long time.
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  13. #13
    Registered User astrocoyote's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by sunsean View Post
    Your lifts are increasing and you're gaining weight so chances are you're adding muscle. Just keep in mind that building muscle is a very slow process, one that people spend years on. You're not going to see a dramatic difference in 5 months, but if you're getting stronger and slowly gaining weight without putting on too much fat, then you're doing well. Keep going as long as you can remain comfortable with your fat level. If you gain slowly, you can keep bulking for a long time.
    Thanks!
    I was thinking of continuing until spring and then consider a cutting phase if I feel uncomfortable with my fat levels before summer comes.
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  14. #14
    Registered User sunsean's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by astrocoyote View Post
    Thanks!
    I was thinking of continuing until spring and then consider a cutting phase if I feel uncomfortable with my fat levels before summer comes.
    Sure like I said keep going as long as you feel comfortable with your level of fat...depending on what your goals are, you are most likely looking at years of training and many bulk/cut cycles...that's the path that we all have to take to look "buff."
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  15. #15
    Registered User astrocoyote's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by sunsean View Post
    Sure like I said keep going as long as you feel comfortable with your level of fat...depending on what your goals are, you are most likely looking at years of training and many bulk/cut cycles...that's the path that we all have to take to look "buff."
    Sure,
    luckily I have found lifting quite enjoyable so am on board with this!
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