Originally Posted by glwanabe
Can you detail how you advocate a person to bulk? Specifically in regards to calorie cycling through the process. You have made comments that most people don't bulk properly in how the consume their calories.
First I will mention that I recently had an article published in Natural Muscle Mag on this issue. I receive quite a few questions about milk, and am in some discussion right now trying to help some younger trainees. I wanted to state this, because my advocacy of milk is something I am nearly always discussing.
With regards to cycling
, recent research (at least 3 studies, to be exact) point to the reality that the body is very anabolic during 2 week spurts of bulking. During this time, the body is transitioning over to "fat storing" mode and is highly anabolic.
Before I go any further I must state this reality...the body is NOT a light switch. One extra calorie eaten is not automatically stored as fat. During periods of heavy overeating, it physiologically takes time for the body to transition to full blown fat storage mode. And during times of cuts, if you begin overeating, it takes time for the body to transition over to fat burning, muscle building mode.
This transition period is about 2 weeks.
These recent studies reveal this truth. In fact, 3 separate studies seem to have found that 2 weeks is 'about" the transition period.
So, if you start a bulk today, for the next 2 weeks you will be highly anabolic and your body will try to save the excess calories as muscle. You will also gain some fat.
After 2 weeks, your body has successfully transitioned over to fat storing mode. You have shocked it with extra calories, and it responded. This reaction is common sense survivalism.
At the 2 week point, if you continue to bulk, you will gain mostly fat. The effects from a bulk diminish.
A couple of notes
--A very experience natural who is within shouting distance of their natural potential will, of course, not get as much muscle returns from heavy bulking. Heavy bulking is a process that is much better suited for beginners and intermediates.
For guys who have muscle, but are halfway to their max natural potential, I really believe cyclical bulking makes sense. An extended bulk will just be a fat-a-thon.
--Underweight beginners can bulk for extended periods of time. I do NOT know of any studies on anabolism and underweight weight trainees. But I am applying common sense here. I believe the body will try to hit "average water level" and that an underweight trainee won't add as much fat as they return to normalcy.
--Beginners who are training right might be better served running at a 500 to 1000 calorie surplus for a month or 2 at a time. Resetting with a mini-cut from time to time is always good.
Many trainees do not correctly. This primarily has to do with standard bodybuilding OCD mentality.
--I often see "bulkers" who aren't counting calories. They believe they are bulking, but in reality, they aren't eating enough. Many of these guys are eating 100% clean. It's hard to eat enough eating 100% clean...so if you eat clean, you MUST count calories.
--Fat. Many young bulks don't get enough healthy fats. In fact, they add little fat at all on a clean bulk. Fat is a great source of calories. But I run into many clean bulkers who avoid whole milk because of the fat.
--Chubby bubs. I see many chubby guys, or trainees who tend to put on fat too easily, doing extended bulks. Very bad idea.
--Skinny ab guy. I see many skinny guys weighing 145 with abs avoid taking advantage of their metabolism by not doing dirty bulks. Skinny hardgainers are the perfect candidates to eat 24/7.
--Intermediates. Intermediate naturals often go on long bulks. This really doesn't help much. They have less muscle to gain, and long term bulking is generally mostly fat.
Here is my take on bulking. (example is for a trainee that trainees in the late afternoon)
1) Eat a good sized breakfast, along with 2 glasses of whole milk. Don't avoid butter or syrup.
2) Eat a moderate lunch. You don't want to be weighed down going into your workout.
3) Drink chocolate milk or a whey protein shake post-workout.
4) Eat a MONSTER post-workout meal. This is about one hour after working out. Eat everything not tied down, and then some.
5) In between major meals, drink 2 glasses of whole milk, snack on almonds, and keep some bananas handy.
6) Eat before bed. Doritos, ice cream, whatever. The pre-bedtime snack is for pleasure. You don't have to eat a lot of these foods.
--Drink at least 6 glasses of whole milk each day.
--Snack on almonds.
--Eat a big breakfast and a HUGE dinner.
--Snack before bed.
Take Home Reality
A couple of ending points.
1) The sumo wrestler study
. It was found that sumo wrestlers have as much natural muscle mass as competitive natural bodybuilders. Eating - and bulking - is THE anabolic for naturals. Bulking is a fast road to the most possible mass.
2) Exceptions exist
. No 2 people are the same. Learn your body and GET A SKIN FOLD CALIPER
Nothing pisses me off more then to have some guy on a forum debate bulking/cutting strategies when they've never accurate gotten scientific with their own body. I've spent years taking weekly skinfold readings. I am scientific with my body. You SHOULD BE TOO.
Another issue that gets under my skin is the "skinny ripped guy" philosophy. The skinny ripped guy debates heavy bulking or dirty bulking, yet weighs 155 ripped. If you are skinny ripped guy...please take note. You have very little muscle. We are trying to gain muscle and strength. You are barely a sneeze over over natural weight. Please learn to gain muscle before you spread your gospel.