Originally Posted by wevie
I guess it's hard if not impossible to get the muscle without a little fat sneaking in there too?
It can be done, but it requires either excellent guidance or a lot of luck and quality beginner gains. Generally once you get past the beginner gains stage it's not something that is easy to do at all.
While I am not saying you should aim to gain a lot of fat, if someone has the goal of maximum muscle in the fastest amount of time they are far better off eating more calories than a normal bulking type diet than trying to be too fine and trying to keep their razor abs.
The natural gains curve (for a natural
) generally looks like this:
(See this post for more info
Year 1 - 16 pounds
Year 2 - 8 pounds
Year 3 - 4 pounds
Year 4 - 2 pounds
Year 5 - 1 pound
(These numbers are aimed at guys who are NOT underweight. If you are underweight you could gain more as your body seeks to normalize, add bone density, etc.)
Simply stated, the more you gain, and the faster you gain, the less you have to gain in the future, and the slower gains will come in the future.
Beginners can gain a lot of weight rapidly, so aggressive bulks are great choices the first 18 months to 2 years of training. After that point aggressive bulking becomes pointless. Most of the gains will be fat.
If you do bulk aggressively during year one and two and gain the average of 24 pounds of muscle, you could easily gain 12-20 pounds of fat.
If you start at 5'10" 160 pounds, you would end up around 200 pounds and have a lot of muscle mass. From there it is about a 8-12 week cut to drop 12 to 18 pounds of fat and whammo, you have dramatically changed your physique.
But if someone considers 200 pounds to be "way to fat", and chooses to slow bulk, well, odds are they will never experience quality beginner gains and might never gain more than 5 pounds of muscle. Look at all the gym rats in the gym never making gains. They don't train with progression nor eat correctly.
As an end note
...I have seen some pretty darn amazing and FAST gains from guys in a short period of time who were willing to get aggressive with progression of weight and with eating. On the other hand, 98% of the guys on the other side of the fence don't look like they lift at all, even after years of training. They are not training with heavy weight and eating aggressively.
I am confident that I could take any one of these so called "hardgainers" from any forum anywhere, and in 6 months add quite a bit of muscle. It's not rocket science.
Eat like a twig, train like a twig...look like a twig.
Eat like a bear, train like a bear...look like a bear.
Some guys don't have to eat like a bear and train like a bear to make great gains, but most (99%) do. Don't believe me, go surf any forum and see how many sub-par physiques there are.
May of these guys also comment that "they don't want to look like a bodybuilder, they just want to be 180 ripped." Well 180 ripped is bigger than most natural bodybuilders. There is no middle ground, or easy way out.
Also, if someone is 18-20 and NOT eating like a bear and taking advantage of your metabolism...they are wasting an amazing opportunity.