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  1. #1
    Registered User justaguy641's Avatar
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    Advice, Bad bulk?

    Pics on mybodyspace.

    Hey everyone, I started at 185 with not much muscle bulking to 200 over 6ish months and starting to feel soft, especially the hip/lower abdomen area so I’m worried I messed up my bulk. I've always had wide hips so it might be causing an illusion. I have gained strength and size adding 1-3 inches on all major body parts, but having issues with progressing in push movements so my upper body is really lacking, my lats are definitely bigger.

    Since I still need to add muscle, would it be wise to continue a bulk to 210-220 , but really slow it down till I hit strength numbers? Or smarter to cut back to 185/190 then reset?

    I'm kind of frustrated with my upper body and it seems to have stayed the same. The original goal was to build a solid base before cutting, but I don't want to go overboard with the bulk then spend months cutting.

    Stats:
    height- 6’2
    Weight- 200lb
    Squat- 245x5
    Deads- 325x5
    Bench- 170x1
    OHP- 120x5
    Chest/back-44
    Naval-35
    Biceps-15.5
    quads-24
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  2. #2
    Registered User EiFit91's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by justaguy641 View Post
    Pics on mybodyspace.

    Hey everyone, I started at 185 with not much muscle bulking to 200 over 6ish months and starting to feel soft, especially the hip/lower abdomen area so I’m worried I messed up my bulk. I've always had wide hips so it might be causing an illusion. I have gained strength and size adding 1-3 inches on all major body parts, but having issues with progressing in push movements so my upper body is really lacking, my lats are definitely bigger.

    Since I still need to add muscle, would it be wise to continue a bulk to 210-220 , but really slow it down till I hit strength numbers? Or smarter to cut back to 185/190 then reset?

    I'm kind of frustrated with my upper body and it seems to have stayed the same. The original goal was to build a solid base before cutting, but I don't want to go overboard with the bulk then spend months cutting.

    Stats:
    height- 6’2
    Weight- 200lb
    Squat- 245x5
    Deads- 325x5
    Bench- 170x1
    OHP- 120x5
    Chest/back-44
    Naval-35
    Biceps-15.5
    quads-24
    How much did your waist size increase during the bulk, from start to finish?

    That much fat gain for a 15 pound gain is probably mostly fat in any case so I'd look into your training program if that's the case. You may also have better progress bulking a little slower next time. Or try progressing at maintenance.
    The first principle is that you must not fool yourself—and you are the easiest person to fool.

    - Richard Feynman
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  3. #3
    Registered User sunsean's Avatar
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    Good gauge of how much fat you gained ^^^

    15 lbs over 6 months is actually a good rate of gain (about 2.5lb/month), and if you got stronger then you most likely built some lean mass so good job. Looking at your photos I would say to switch to a cut while continuing to lift hard to keep what you have. Personal preference but I would cut down to a lower body fat than you started at, get fairly lean before going back to straight bulking. It will give you a better physique aesthetically and also a better idea of what kind of mass you really have under the fat. If your goal is to "look good" then cutting now would be more beneficial than continuing to add fat and muscle.

    And yes - the fatter you are when you start a cut, the longer you'll have to cut to get lean.
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  4. #4
    NASM-CPT xsquid99's Avatar
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    At 6'2" 200 lbs in your current state you don't really need to keep bulking, you have enough stored bodyfat to fuel gains. People seem to think that they can't continue to build muscle unless they're in a surplus, which is generally true if you're pretty lean, but if your bodyfat is in the high teens or higher (which yours is) there's no reason to keep packing on pounds. Building muscle takes time, LOTS OF TIME, so you just have to be consistent with good programming. Someone with your level of bodyfat can/will get stronger without eating more.

    As an example, my bulks always start at around 195 lbs and I go up to about 210-215. When I weighed 205 lbs in 2016 I could barely hit 185 for 3 reps on bench, and now 6 years later (today) I can bench 245 for 3 reps at the same bodyweight and my body looks a lot different now than it did back then at the exact same weight.

    Bottom line is find your 15-20 lb range where you look/feel the best, and that will generally be your bulking/cutting "window" going forward, over time your body composition will change, just keep on lifting and keep your protein intake up. When you start getting fluffy then cut, then SLOWLY build back up again over the next 6-10 months, then cut again. Just repeat the process and the changes will come.
    All it takes is consistency, effort, proper nutrition, good programming, and TIME.

    Don't be upset with the results you didn't get from the work you did not do.
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  5. #5
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    I think you're taking the wrong approach by focusing on increased body size as a measure of muscle and not even mentioning your workout program as a potential issue.
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    Registered User justaguy641's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by EiFit91 View Post
    How much did your waist size increase during the bulk, from start to finish?

    That much fat gain for a 15 pound gain is probably mostly fat in any case so I'd look into your training program if that's the case. You may also have better progress bulking a little slower next time. Or try progressing at maintenance.
    No more than inch, maybe even less? Only thing I didn't measure before. My pants still slide on easily, a bit more snug, but not popping out of them or anything.

    My understanding of maintenance has always been its slower than cut/bulk cycles and measuring success its more difficult.
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  7. #7
    Registered User justaguy641's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by sunsean View Post
    Good gauge of how much fat you gained ^^^

    15 lbs over 6 months is actually a good rate of gain (about 2.5lb/month), and if you got stronger then you most likely built some lean mass so good job. Looking at your photos I would say to switch to a cut while continuing to lift hard to keep what you have. Personal preference but I would cut down to a lower body fat than you started at, get fairly lean before going back to straight bulking. It will give you a better physique aesthetically and also a better idea of what kind of mass you really have under the fat. If your goal is to "look good" then cutting now would be more beneficial than continuing to add fat and muscle.

    And yes - the fatter you are when you start a cut, the longer you'll have to cut to get lean.
    Thanks for the advice, I guess I will try to cut down to 180/185 aiming for 1-1.5lb loss a week and hope I don't look to much of a skeleton at that weight haha. Personally I was hoping to hit 405 on deads at least by this August (turning 30), but I'll take my time getting there.
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  8. #8
    Registered User justaguy641's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by xsquid99 View Post
    At 6'2" 200 lbs in your current state you don't really need to keep bulking, you have enough stored bodyfat to fuel gains. People seem to think that they can't continue to build muscle unless they're in a surplus, which is generally true if you're pretty lean, but if your bodyfat is in the high teens or higher (which yours is) there's no reason to keep packing on pounds. Building muscle takes time, LOTS OF TIME, so you just have to be consistent with good programming. Someone with your level of bodyfat can/will get stronger without eating more.

    As an example, my bulks always start at around 195 lbs and I go up to about 210-215. When I weighed 205 lbs in 2016 I could barely hit 185 for 3 reps on bench, and now 6 years later (today) I can bench 245 for 3 reps at the same bodyweight and my body looks a lot different now than it did back then at the exact same weight.

    Bottom line is find your 15-20 lb range where you look/feel the best, and that will generally be your bulking/cutting "window" going forward, over time your body composition will change, just keep on lifting and keep your protein intake up. When you start getting fluffy then cut, then SLOWLY build back up again over the next 6-10 months, then cut again. Just repeat the process and the changes will come.
    Thanks for the advice, I liked myself a lot better at 185 so I'll start cutting, for the future I'll try to always stay within that range. Question tho, cutting and building muscle at same time is incredibly difficult is it not? The general rule for this is keep proteins high and deficit around 1% bodyweight loss, while pushing yourself the hardest while working out, correct?
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  9. #9
    Train hard play harder Tommy W.'s Avatar
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    Originally Posted by justaguy641 View Post
    Thanks for the advice, I liked myself a lot better at 185 so I'll start cutting, for the future I'll try to always stay within that range. Question tho, cutting and building muscle at same time is incredibly difficult is it not? The general rule for this is keep proteins high and deficit around 1% bodyweight loss, while pushing yourself the hardest while working out, correct?
    looking at your pix yes you need to drop fat. Next time you attempt to add mass use fewer calories. Keep an eye on waist measurements. That number starts growing and you’re adding fat.
    If you don't get what you want you didn't want it bad enough
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  10. #10
    NASM-CPT xsquid99's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by justaguy641 View Post
    Thanks for the advice, I liked myself a lot better at 185 so I'll start cutting, for the future I'll try to always stay within that range. Question tho, cutting and building muscle at same time is incredibly difficult is it not? The general rule for this is keep proteins high and deficit around 1% bodyweight loss, while pushing yourself the hardest while working out, correct?
    I would actually suggest that you go down to 175 and start from there. If you're fairly new to lifting you should be able to continue strength gains even while in a deficit (keep it to around 1% of your bodyweight weekly, keep protein up as well). I lost 55 lbs when I was fairly new to training and my lifts never went down in the 6 1/2 months I was in a deficit. Even if you do have some strength dropoff while you're cutting dont sweat it, it will come back quickly when you bump the calories back up.
    All it takes is consistency, effort, proper nutrition, good programming, and TIME.

    Don't be upset with the results you didn't get from the work you did not do.
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