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Thread: Finally gaining

  1. #1
    Registered User meloncap78's Avatar
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    Finally gaining

    Ate at 3500 cals for well over a month to gauge maintenance. I wasn’t gaining nor was I losing. So I bumped up to 4000 a little over a month ago and have put on 5 pounds. Started at 183ish now sitting at 188-189. Lost some definition but there has to be some muscle gain involved. Current pics posted for bf estimate which will allow me to assess whether to co to ie bulking or if I’ll just get fat. For reference my avi is about 8 months old and I was around 182 in that pic. Lifts are going up slowly as well.
    Keep going....

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    Congrats on the gains brother
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    Registered User PhDPepper1111's Avatar
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    way to figure out what's up with your body!
    I wouldn't even know how to get to 4000 without eating crap
    Why NOT?

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  4. #4
    Registered User meloncap78's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by PhDPepper1111 View Post
    way to figure out what's up with your body!
    I wouldn't even know how to get to 4000 without eating crap
    Meal 1 - 70g oats, 1 muscle milk knockout chocolate 40g protein shake, 60g almond butter. Half onion bagel with reduced fat cream cheese.

    Meal 2 - 8oz boneless skinless chicken thighs, 300g basmati rice, 150g green beans.

    Meal 3 - 2 whole grain sandwich thins with flax seed, 64g natural peanut butter.

    Meal 4 (post workout) - 8oz beef or seafood, 300g basmati rice or 8oz sweet potato, 150g corn, 5oz fresh cut pineapple.

    Meal 5 - 70g oats, 60g natural peanut butter.

    It works out perfect for me and sometimes I’m actually still hungry here and there.
    Keep going....

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    Nice work dude
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    Melon looks good. I am bumping up today to calorie neutral to train for a PL meet in two months.... main change for me will be to add some mixed nut butter and natural peanut butter. Maybe add some basmati rice (had to look that one up). Love it.
    Why NOT?

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  7. #7
    Registered User meloncap78's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by PhDPepper1111 View Post
    Melon looks good. I am bumping up today to calorie neutral to train for a PL meet in two months.... main change for me will be to add some mixed nut butter and natural peanut butter. Maybe add some basmati rice (had to look that one up). Love it.
    I like basmati because it’s a lighter fluffier rice. I usually add 3 cups of college inn no sodium added chicken stock in place of water along with 600g dried basmati (3 cups) in the cooker. 45g dried rice cooks to 112g. Makes 13 servings. Usually last me a few days. Any kind of nut butter is definitely a solid go to. I keep my macros at 40/35/25 C/F/P. I came to this conclusion on my own because I bloat and tend to hold a lot of subq water with high carbs so I choose to fill the rest with fats as opposed to protein because excessive amounts of protein just isn’t necessary. Technically I am still getting more protein than I need at 189lbs but I can’t justify eating 200g of fat either and I’m already in the mid 400’s on carbs. The muscle milk is my only “supplement” for the day. I stay away from dairy and eggs as well. Used to eat it all the time, loved eggs and ate 8 whole every morning. But out of nowhere dairy and eggs stopped agreeing with my digestive system.
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    Originally Posted by meloncap78 View Post
    I like basmati because it’s a lighter fluffier rice. I usually add 3 cups of college inn no sodium added chicken stock in place of water along with 600g dried basmati (3 cups) in the cooker. 45g dried rice cooks to 112g. Makes 13 servings....
    NEGGED!!
    Do you have any idea how those of us who struggle not to eat too much feel when reading about delicious chicken stock and basmati?? Shame on you posting something sounding so Very tasty. Oh and there's a typo in the text anyway, that serves me for 3 portions not 13, you seem to have typed an extra 1 in there
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    In search of V-Taper ectoBgone's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by meloncap78 View Post
    Ate at 3500 cals for well over a month to gauge maintenance. I wasn’t gaining nor was I losing. So I bumped up to 4000 a little over a month ago and have put on 5 pounds. Started at 183ish now sitting at 188-189. Lost some definition but there has to be some muscle gain involved. Current pics posted for bf estimate which will allow me to assess whether to co to ie bulking or if I’ll just get fat. For reference my avi is about 8 months old and I was around 182 in that pic. Lifts are going up slowly as well.
    Alright, guess I will be the first to give a bit of a different take here but five pounds per month on a consistent basis seems like a very bad idea to me. At your training age, if you put on 60 pounds in a year, just how much of that do you think would be muscle? Hell, a novice trainee at age 40 would be doing well if 1/3 of it were muscle. If you were just coming out of a cut and had a huge shift in water weight, then a five pound bounce would not be unreasonable. But it sounds to me like you were at maintenance for a good while and suddenly jumped up by five. I doubt very little at all was true lean tissue increase.

    To be blunt, taking into account your posts over the past year, I think you're struggling with the transition into a late-intermediate stage of a lifting career as well as unrealistic expectations and body dysmorphia. After one month of gaining you're already questioning whether to continue bulking. I think you need to come up with a realistic 4-6 month goal, stick to it, and trust in the process. I'm sure you'll get a variety of opinions on this, but at your training age I would think a 1-1.25% weight gain per month would be a more realistic and healthy range if you want to bulk. Stick with it for a solid 4-6 months, maybe hold it for a month or two at the end with a maintenance phase, and then do a proper cut and see where you are at. You're going to need to shift your mind set of measuring progress at 4-6 month intervals or longer, or pursue special supplements if you want to see more noticeable changes in the short term.

    My $.02
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  10. #10
    Fatter than last time ezra76's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by ectoBgone View Post
    Alright, guess I will be the first to give a bit of a different take here but five pounds per month on a consistent basis seems like a very bad idea to me. At your training age, if you put on 60 pounds in a year, just how much of that do you think would be muscle? Hell, a novice trainee at age 40 would be doing well if 1/3 of it were muscle. If you were just coming out of a cut and had a huge shift in water weight, then a five pound bounce would not be unreasonable. But it sounds to me like you were at maintenance for a good while and suddenly jumped up by five. I doubt very little at all was true lean tissue increase.

    To be blunt, taking into account your posts over the past year, I think you're struggling with the transition into a late-intermediate stage of a lifting career as well as unrealistic expectations and body dysmorphia. After one month of gaining you're already questioning whether to continue bulking. I think you need to come up with a realistic 4-6 month goal, stick to it, and trust in the process. I'm sure you'll get a variety of opinions on this, but at your training age I would think a 1-1.25% weight gain per month would be a more realistic and healthy range if you want to bulk. Stick with it for a solid 4-6 months, maybe hold it for a month or two at the end with a maintenance phase, and then do a proper cut and see where you are at. You're going to need to shift your mind set of measuring progress at 4-6 month intervals or longer, or pursue special supplements if you want to see more noticeable changes in the short term.

    My $.02
    I'm going to totally agree. I'm at about 2600 for maint. and have been between 187-189 for almost 2 months on 2400-2500. 5lbs. in a month is a ton and judging by your photos you are far from a beginner. You can do what you want but that's going to be a lot of fat if you keep doing it for 3-4months straight. Personally I'd just eat the maint. for 190 and see where you are after 2-3 workout cycles with strength gains. Years ago I read to just eat the maint. for what you want to weigh and you'll get to it. Worked for me well in the past. So what's the weight that 4k is the maint for is the question.

    Edit- so you are eating the maintenance for 388lbs.
    Last edited by ezra76; 12-26-2020 at 08:31 AM.
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  11. #11
    Fatter than last time ezra76's Avatar
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    Also why don't you do what got you to this point in the past https://bodyspace.bodybuilding.com/p...ap78/104702106

    Assuming that was natty, unless you are chasing your not natty goals as natty now or just looking for a different gameplan. Which is entirely your business of course.
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    Originally Posted by ezra76 View Post
    Also why don't you do what got you to this point in the past https://bodyspace.bodybuilding.com/p...ap78/104702106

    Assuming that was natty, unless you are chasing your not natty goals as natty now or just looking for a different gameplan. Which is entirely your business of course.
    I ate at 3500 for a couple of months and stayed the same weight. 500 above maintenance is the rule of thumb I thought. I’m sure some of the weight is glycogen from eating higher carbs than before. Also I think I would be considered not natty anyway as I was put on TRT 3 years ago.
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    Found a photo from when I first cut from 220 a couple years back. Left is 182lbs beginning of 2018. Right is from today at 192. Can’t really tell much of a difference of where the weight has gone.
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    I think your abs look more defined in the most recent photo, although it could be the way you're flexing them.

    Sometimes I think increases in size can be difficult to gauge in a photo too, due to small differences in distance from the camera, and lighting.

    I think you also have to accept that your physique is pretty damn good. Probably in the top 1% of people your age. And judging by what I see in the gym, probably the top 10% overall. On that basis, changes year on year are going to be small.

    I was looking at some of my past photos. A couple of years ago I cut from 210 pounds to 160. My 6 month progress photo was really impressive. Beyond that I just got skinny. Now I've bulked for a year or more, up to 185 pounds, and feel I've mainly gained fat. I suspect that when I cut to around 170, I'll just look like I did in my 6 month progress picture! It's depressing! But you still have the better physique by a mile, so you can be grateful for that! :-)
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    I guess being obsessed and fixated on these little details is a lot better than the stuff I was fixated on in my past. It’s a much healthier obsession to say the least.
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    Great work. Looking in great shape there, man.
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    Not sure if this bulk is going wrong and I’m getting some fat gain overload. I’ve gone up about 9 pounds in the past couple months (started around 183 now 191-192 in the am). My issue is before bed I’m around 205. Odd part is my arms and chest are the same size they were 2 months ago which makes no sense if I’m putting on size. My lifts are increasing slowly. I don’t believe it’s possible to eat at a surplus and lift weights but only gain fat unless I’m missing something. I feel like i should stop now and cut back down to low teens again and start over. I’m probably 18-20% now. This shouldn’t be that hard, eat, lift with intensity and rest. I’m eating at 4000 calories a day currently and have been for about a month and a half or so.
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    A thread that's actually about training
    Someone who's good at what they do
    Making progress
    Posts sensible content others can learn from

    OP. You are a rare beast indeed, almost a "unicorn" on this site. Please keep posting. Rep+ and good luck on the bulk/cut strategy, I'm reading with interest.
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    In search of V-Taper ectoBgone's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by meloncap78 View Post
    Not sure if this bulk is going wrong and I’m getting some fat gain overload. I’ve gone up about 9 pounds in the past couple months (started around 183 now 191-192 in the am). My issue is before bed I’m around 205. Odd part is my arms and chest are the same size they were 2 months ago which makes no sense if I’m putting on size.
    Why does it make no sense? If the majority of your gains are from fat, it doesn't necessarily get deposited evenly. Everyone has places where it goes first and comes off last.

    My lifts are increasing slowly. I don’t believe it’s possible to eat at a surplus and lift weights but only gain fat unless I’m missing something.
    It's entirely possible. Did that happen to you? No idea. What I would say is it's fairly likely that the amount of muscle you added in two months is likely imperceptible compared to the amount of fat given your training age.

    I feel like i should stop now and cut back down to low teens again and start over. I’m probably 18-20% now. This shouldn’t be that hard, eat, lift with intensity and rest. I’m eating at 4000 calories a day currently and have been for about a month and a half or so.
    Don't really have much to add that I didn't say before. You look like you are all over the place and making snappy, erratic decisions. I think you need to come to terms with delayed gratification, pick a smart goal, trust in the process, and stick with it. No hate at all man, you have a great physique, but I think you're struggling to come to terms with where you are in your lifting journey and what would be reasonable expectations now.
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  20. #20
    Fatter than last time ezra76's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by meloncap78 View Post
    Not sure if this bulk is going wrong and I’m getting some fat gain overload. I’ve gone up about 9 pounds in the past couple months (started around 183 now 191-192 in the am). My issue is before bed I’m around 205. Odd part is my arms and chest are the same size they were 2 months ago which makes no sense if I’m putting on size. My lifts are increasing slowly. I don’t believe it’s possible to eat at a surplus and lift weights but only gain fat unless I’m missing something. I feel like i should stop now and cut back down to low teens again and start over. I’m probably 18-20% now. This shouldn’t be that hard, eat, lift with intensity and rest. I’m eating at 4000 calories a day currently and have been for about a month and a half or so.
    You are going into strongman mode

    Why not roll with it and go for a 500 dead and a 315 bench?
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    Registered User meloncap78's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by ezra76 View Post
    You are going into strongman mode

    Why not roll with it and go for a 500 dead and a 315 bench?
    Hahaha. 315 bench seems so far away. I went for 275 last night and while it went up it was a very slow hard struggle. Think man trying to remove dead horse from on top of him. To answer others, I just get nervous when the 6 pack goes away and i start looking soft and jiggly. Do I accept it, dial back the cals a couple hundred and just keep pushing on for a few months. Perhaps accept that it’s not possible to stay ripped and add lean tissue. The best I’ve ever looked was cut down to low 180’s but I’m not happy size wise.
    Keep going....

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    Looking solid bro, keep at it!
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    As ecto says, it does come across as you're looking for quick results/answers. You have a good history and certainly know much more about the nutrition side than I do.... but I'd suggest one of two options: stay the course for another month or so, or, cut back a few hundred calories a day and keep up the hard work. Your intake is pretty high imo (very limited expertise here), not sure how much of that will go on as gains rather than fat.
    Why NOT?

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    Originally Posted by PhDPepper1111 View Post
    As ecto says, it does come across as you're looking for quick results/answers. You have a good history and certainly know much more about the nutrition side than I do.... but I'd suggest one of two options: stay the course for another month or so, or, cut back a few hundred calories a day and keep up the hard work. Your intake is pretty high imo (very limited expertise here), not sure how much of that will go on as gains rather than fat.
    This will most likely be the route I take. I’ll hit around 3600 daily and see where that gets me. I think some of the bloat and jiggle is water from higher carbs.
    Keep going....

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    Fatter than last time ezra76's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by meloncap78 View Post
    This will most likely be the route I take. I’ll hit around 3600 daily and see where that gets me. I think some of the bloat and jiggle is water from higher carbs.

    I'm like half joking but half serious with the powerlifting. Consider it. If you are relatively injury free why not go for lifetime PR's then cut down later.
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  26. #26
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    Just a quick observation..... if you were 183 I wouldn't think your TDEE (total daily energy expenditure) would be 3500, that would be more for a 230 pound guy (almost 50 pounds heavier than you were). Are you sure you're tracking your calories accurately? (Disclaimer: it's totally possible you're accurate, just seems unlikely to me)
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    Talk to me about recovery on trt/hrt? That's what's killing me now. I cannot even get same weight, nevermind go up, without like 7-9 days between workouts it seems.
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    Registered User meloncap78's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by tkdnj View Post
    Just a quick observation..... if you were 183 I wouldn't think your TDEE (total daily energy expenditure) would be 3500, that would be more for a 230 pound guy (almost 50 pounds heavier than you were). Are you sure you're tracking your calories accurately? (Disclaimer: it's totally possible you're accurate, just seems unlikely to me)
    Yes, everything that goes in my mouth goes on the digital scale first..... including sauces, butter etc. even the whole grain bread I eat. Can’t trust the package when it says serving size 1 slice (56g) and you weight the slice and it’s 54g. I weigh everything and enter it into MFP using the barcode scanner. Al my meats I weigh cooked which may be putting me over cals as I have read that you should weigh raw and enter then cook it. I was maintaining on 3500 though.
    Keep going....

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  29. #29
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    Originally Posted by ezra76 View Post
    Talk to me about recovery on trt/hrt? That's what's killing me now. I cannot even get same weight, nevermind go up, without like 7-9 days between workouts it seems.
    It takes me forever to add weight on certain lifts, mainly bench. My legs have grown substantially in the past few months though (added 2” to my quads) just from heavy leg presses and high rep extensions, RDL’s and leg curls. I finish off quad day with short stride lunges and on ham day I finish off with long stride lunges. I hit calves on both leg days. I have never had any other muscle group on my body grow this fast. I put just as much effort into every lift same as with legs but nothing else responds this way. Pic on left is the before.
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    Keep going....

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  30. #30
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    Originally Posted by meloncap78 View Post
    Yes, everything that goes in my mouth goes on the digital scale first..... including sauces, butter etc. even the whole grain bread I eat. Can’t trust the package when it says serving size 1 slice (56g) and you weight the slice and it’s 54g. I weigh everything and enter it into MFP using the barcode scanner. Al my meats I weigh cooked which may be putting me over cals as I have read that you should weigh raw and enter then cook it. I was maintaining on 3500 though.
    Got it... you have a fast metabolism. Regarding weighing your food cooked, it doesn't matter as long as the nutrition information you're using is for cooked and not uncooked
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