What is an acceptable amount of fat gain during a bulking routine?

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    Oct 16, 2007 5:24 PM GMT
    I am in week 7 of a 16 week bulk routine.
    I have gained 10pds @ 1.4 pds a week.
    I have greatly increased my strength each workout and am continuing in that direction.
    My diet is very clean, and consistent.
    I have gained a great deal of fat.
    My waist has gone from 31” to 35”.
    By the end of my bulk I estimate it to be 40”
    Is that too much fat to try and lose on a “cut”?
    I don’t want to lose all my muscle gain (which has been minimal) on a cut with such a high fat percentage.
    Has anyone else gone through a successful bulk with this kind of fat gain?
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    Oct 16, 2007 5:45 PM GMT
    Personally I wouldn't want to try it, but if you look closely at the "before & after" pics for products like "hydroxycut," it's clear that some people do.

    It's interesting that everyone in those photo ads has clearly just finished a bulking phase - there isn't anybody who's not muscular. But you say that your muscle gain has been minimal? Hmm... maybe time for an adjustment.
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    Oct 16, 2007 7:44 PM GMT
    Thanks for the reply Mindgarden

    I’m trying to stay as natural as possible using at most even whey protein sparingly and getting all my nutrition from food. I agree that a change seems to be necessary for the second phase of my bulk if that’s what I should continue to do. Maybe because the exercises will change for the later half of the bulk I might see more muscle mass development.
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    Oct 16, 2007 8:27 PM GMT
    Guys, let me weigh in on this one....

    First, Canadian...

    That fast a bulk is not a good thing. The old-fashioned "bulk up" / "cut down" with huge weight swings is nearly a zero-sum game. You will almost invariably lose a lot of muscle dumping the fat. Many authorities suggest that you shouldn't go above 12% body fat in the "off season" - you won't pack on muscle as fast, but you'll have less fat to lose, and will net more muscle at the end of the process.

    This doesn't even take into account the stress on your system of carrying the extra weight and processing the additional proteins & fats. Finally, a 40" waist at your height is just plain not good.

    A gain of perhaps 1/2 pound per week is still agressive - if it's good weight. Most experienced lifters would be very pleased with a gain of 1 pound/month of MUSCLE.


    The Old Hydroxycut ad showing a built guy who is fat at the left side of the page and gets leaner as he steps to the right was a notorious piece of misleading advertising.

    The model in question is almost always very lean - about as he appears in the next-to-last frame to the right. His body is accustomed to carrying that amount of fat - what's called the "fat set-point". For the ad, he intentionally fattened himself up - more or less force-feeding himself into obesity - just so he could bounce back to his original shape and make it look as though the product was responsible for the loss.

    This is not to say that fat can't be lost - it can, obviously, and some products can help a little. Most of the substances that are truly effective are not available at your local GNC, if you get my drift.

    There is also a commonly discussed threshhold for fat loss of 1% of bodyweight per week, beyond which significant muscle loss is virtually assured.

    There is a calculator on our website which helps estimate the time required to move from one weight to another through safe body fat loss. Just go to www.prime-fit.com and look at the list of health and fitness calculators.

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    Oct 16, 2007 8:55 PM GMT
    Wasn't claiming to know anything about it, but it's pretty obvious in all of those sorts of ads that they aren't showing "ordinary fat people." The muscles are the same before & after.
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    Oct 17, 2007 4:42 AM GMT
    I would say you have to determine how much of ur weight
    gain is muscle or fat. The best way to do this would be do test your bodyfat pre and post weight gain. The gold standard for this is the dunking test. I have had it done for $35 - my local university has a dunk tank. In general
    I don't think it is wise to just pork up and then diet down. This is for two reasons. First, what you eat on the way up may not be good for you. Second, what you ear or don't eat, on the way down, maybe equally bad for you. I would suggest eating clean and adding good weight gain/protein drinks to add the weight.