Originally Posted by Grim83
well, during my first three months, i trained with the shittiest program imaginable and packed on 15ibs probably 60-80% muscle, and once i switched to a proper bulking diet and somewhat proper lifting routine for the first two years gains of ten pounds weren't uncommon. now i have to admit also, that i used a few special techniques for those phases, i would go on diets and lots of cardio for about two weeks and lose about 2-5ibs, and then would ramp my calories back up to well over 6k a day, also i would eat a shit ton of fats during these periods and it did allow for some impressive gains.
I think the major problem with this issue is that few people bulk all out. When I wrote the article on "Bulldozer Bulking" it was based off the results of 3 studies. All three studies indicated that an untrained (not lifting) individual could gain 3-4.3 pounds of muscle in 2 weeks when over-eating. The point being that for 2 weeks, during bulking, the body is very anabolic.
I do not recommend this protocol as an ongoing experiment, because - obviously - gains do slow down and you start to add more fat them muscle with each 2 week bulk. But I do believe that if you are going to bulk, and are in your first 2 years of lifting, that 2 week cycles are viable options when you want to minimize fat.
And I do believe that if I took a beginner, had him eat 5000+ calories for 2 weeks, had him lift correctly, that he would add 3-4 pounds of muscle in 2 weeks. And some would gain 5+.
This is a rate of 1.5 to 2.0 pounds per week. Casey Butt lists the average mass potential for first year lifters around 0.3 pounds per week. I personally would love to train some beginners and see just how fast we could maximize muscle gains with 2 week heavy bulking periods.
I don't want this to downgrade into a debate over clean versus dirty bulking. But I do firmly believe that, based on research, the fastest way to maximize natural gains is via heavy eating for 2 week spurts while training.
In the "12 day study"...
BiomedExperts: Changes in macronutrient balance during over- and underfeeding assessed by 12-d continuous whole-body calorimetry.
...researchers found that a 12 day bulk resulted in a 4.38 lean muscle mass gain
and a 2 pound fat mass gain. The amazing aspect of the study…participants did not perform any form of resistance training.
In the "Rochester study"...
Hormonal response to overfeeding -- Forbes et al. 49 (4): 608 -- American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
...Results revealed a significant boost in anabolic drive. Participants experienced rocketing levels of insulin, testosterone, and IGF-1, and experienced a significant increase in muscle mass
. As in the “12 Day Study”, resistance training was not involved.
In the "Short Term study"...
Short-term, mixed-diet overfeeding in man: no evid... [Am J Physiol. 1985] - PubMed result
...following a 13 day caloric maintenance period, 5 male subjects ate bulking diets for a 9 days period. During this time, subjects gained an average of 7.04 pounds. 3.1 pounds of this gain was muscle mass
. (Please note that this bulk followed a maintenance period, and not a cut)