View Full Version : My unsuccessful bulk :(

02-24-2007, 03:15 PM
Well here are some pics of me at almost 184 (5'10-11). My strength has gone through the roof since I just started Bill starr 5x5. My bench went from 135x5 to 160x5 (with a little bit of help on the last one). I STILL have zero chest and am very pissed off about that. Ive been eating like a mad man, doing everything right, proper form and such and have seen little to no difference. Im incredibly pissed off.

Heres my before pics taken mid December


I was hoping the bill star routine would help with size on my chest but I dont know why its not working. I gained almost 20 pounds (a little bit of fat, nothing much) and I still look like ****. Overall since the summer ive gained about 40-45 pounds.

Legs arent anything special, I can only squat atf 160x5.
I see people my height and 30 pounds lighter than look like they have more muscle than I do. Could the fat be covering some that im not seeing?

My numbers are as follows (since the summer)
Bench- 95x8 - 160x5
Row- 145 x 5
Deadlift- N/A - 210
Squat (ATF)- N/A - 160

Now I feel that when I go on a cut ill look skinny with no muscle. I guess my genetics just suck balls. My goal is to be 9-10% bf by the summer. I think im about 16-17%bf now... Is that about right?
Ill try harder next bulk but I dont know what else I can do...

02-24-2007, 03:20 PM
you have definitley gotten bigger mate, but to be honest you dont lok like youve added that much muscle. your erectors are nice though

edit: do you work traps at all?

02-24-2007, 03:24 PM
Nope, never work traps directly. They get a big hit during my deadlift session though.

02-24-2007, 03:28 PM
they seem to be lagging a lot

02-24-2007, 03:37 PM
I didnt really flex them. Heres one with them flexed.

And everything is lagging alot, I know that.

02-24-2007, 03:41 PM
i wouldnt say everything, arms and back look good, lats could improve, but you look to have a strong back, thats the deadlifts for you

02-24-2007, 03:44 PM
Dude, keep with it. You look a lot better IMO than in your first set of pics. You're getting bigger, not gaining to much fat, what more do you want? Be in for the long haul.

02-24-2007, 03:52 PM
I want better gains :whiner:
I think my expectations were too high... I see people on this forum gain 15 pounds and look different and was hoping for the same thing really. I dont think my frame allows such a drastic change from 15 pounds.

02-24-2007, 08:05 PM
keep it up man; time and patience.

02-24-2007, 08:13 PM
You have clearly put on size. But I see what you mean about the pecs - and it's a common lament.

You MIGHT find a different rep range more beneficial for pecs. My small experience with lagging parts (I had no lats and no delts. Okay, and no back at all and no quads) has taught me that for some muscles on my body, lower rep range stuff works great (on me: hams, tris, bis), where the lagging parts seemed to need higher rep work; more volume.

In my little mind, this makes me think that perhaps on my body, I have a slightly-higher-than-normal distribution of slow-twitch muscle in these areas, so the higher rep range stuff was destined to work better. Dunno if this helps, buy my quads, lats and delts seem to have responded in this way. Perhaps this will be the case with your pecs?

02-24-2007, 08:30 PM
dude for your chest i'd like to suggest that you swap to dumbells. My chest exploded when i made this swap.

I also enjoyed: Puting a light dumbell in one hand and a heavt one in the other and using control to to complete each rep of dumbell benchpress.

02-24-2007, 08:35 PM
How can I do dumbells if im doing bill starr? Should I ditch the routine than?
Perhaps more reps would be better...

02-24-2007, 08:38 PM
No need to ditch it entirely - but perhaps you need a little modification to it to suit your particular physiology - or even just a break from it for a while. How long have you been doing it?

Rock Steady
02-24-2007, 08:38 PM
I'm just surprised at your weight you're not lifting a bit more, to be honest. Do you ever go to failure? I'm not suggesting you always do - just curious.

02-24-2007, 08:42 PM
Sorry if I cant help that im weak but I kind of ****ed up my body by doing 0 excersise from age 1-17. My muscles are probably in terrible shape still.

Yes I go to failure.

02-24-2007, 08:43 PM
No need to ditch it entirely - but perhaps you need a little modification to it to suit your particular physiology - or even just a break from it for a while. How long have you been doing it?

I just did 9 weeks of it.

02-24-2007, 08:43 PM
You ALWAYS go to failure?

02-24-2007, 08:46 PM
You ALWAYS go to failure?

No not always.

02-24-2007, 08:47 PM
Built i think im just going to **** this routine and try something else it clearly hasnt been working well for me.
Is BGB a good transition?

02-24-2007, 08:49 PM
Oh good! Because you start getting into the realm that for me, beyond this point there be dragons, but I understand that CNS fatigue starts to limit your lifts before true muscle fatigue kicks in.

How long have you been doing the bill star programme?

Oh and don't be too pissed. For one, the guys who are lighter and look bigger never have any wheels. For another, yes, the fat does cover up much of what you've gained. A small cut ought to uncover some nice gains.

02-24-2007, 08:50 PM
I like BGB - I wrote it up because it's what I use.

There's a get built with some mods for extra chest work if you want to check that out. I think it's issue four.

02-24-2007, 08:52 PM
9 weeks of bill starr.

Yeh but I was hoping to look half decent for the summer instead ill have large arms with 0 chest.
Im thinking of starting my cut soon... I want 10% bf by the summer. I was hoping to put on enough muscle in that time so I can look good after the cut bnut now im not sure.

Is it too early for a cut if I want to look good for the summer?

02-24-2007, 08:57 PM
You figure you're at 16% bodyfat, and you want to hit 10%.

This means you have about 15 lbs to drop, right?

Pound a week for a cut is pretty standard for a fella your size. Plan accordingly.

02-24-2007, 09:04 PM
But in that case it seems ive already screwed myself over for the summer. Theres no chance I can get a bigger chest and get to 10% bf in that time.

Is there no other way?

02-24-2007, 09:14 PM
Pec implants?

Oh - you mean to cut faster? UD2.0 maybe.

Or drugs...

02-24-2007, 09:19 PM
How about losing fat+gaining muscle thing at the same time? I know its very hard but possible... Im very willing to try it!

Rock Steady
02-24-2007, 09:32 PM
I'm willing to try it too! Let me know how!!

Just giving you a hard time. Some have said UD2.0 can do this, but it's pretty hardcore and I don't know enough about it to recommend it.

02-24-2007, 09:39 PM
Your 5'10-5'11 which is roughly equal or slightly taller then I am (maybe an inch).

At 190 (which I don't think I could ever get to without losing all my fat and some LBM, but 0% BF isn't attainable anyhow) I'd look like a brick **** house and would be jacked to the teeth.

Your simply not carrying that much muscle, you need to work hard and keep at it. I'm going through the same battle just in the other department, I've lost 50 pounds so far and am 270 trying to cut to 220-230.

Gaining muscle/size won't happen over night. Infact if your doing it right you shouldn't be putting on much more then 3-4 pounds per month (if that much) after your through noobie gains (which you should be by now). You don't need to cut, look at the big picture and not this summer. Work from now until this time next year on getting bigger and then worry about cutting.

It sucks and its hard as hell, but damn it its worth it. Every time I think about quitting or giving up I just ask/remind myself how bad I want it.

02-24-2007, 09:46 PM
I would rather lose the fat I have now and begin bulking properly again, even through the summer. I would consider it a fresh start...

02-24-2007, 09:50 PM
Honestly BF, your stomach seems pretty flat, if you do a really clean bulk from now till summer, you'll look pretty jacked.

02-24-2007, 09:53 PM
I think maybe the Bill Starr system prevented you from reaching your absolute potential during that time. I use it as a guide of what I should do as a minimum. I usually go beyond the lift numbers in the charts just because I feel I can push my body further and faster. For example I pushed myself from not being able to lift 225 lbs once in January to doing that 9-10 times now in February. If I had followed the Bill Starr program during that time, I would still be behind. Just my opinion. I would use Bill Starr when you are absolutely stuck in your major lifts.


02-24-2007, 09:58 PM
Bill Starrs 5x5 may not be the best bulking program, but bulking is more about the diet part then the lifting part (so long as the lifting is moderately right IE not doing a million sets of bicep curls and calling it a day).

02-24-2007, 10:01 PM
Thanks for the help guys.
I guess if I do a clean bulk I wont be too far off... But I wont be ripped either.

And Superman ill beat that and lift my current DL max of 225 as well and do that 12 times in a month :D.
Gotta keep motivated!

02-24-2007, 10:08 PM
Good attitude to go with BF! And honestly, would you rather be ripped or be lean-ish (around your 15-16%) and a lot bigger by the time summer comes around.

02-26-2007, 02:09 AM
Your simply not carrying that much muscle, you need to work hard and keep at it.

I very much agree with this. and I think its further confirmed by the fact that youre only benching 160x 5. for comparison, I weigh 160 lbs and I'm an in or two taller than you and I bench 150x 5 times.

But no worries man, just make sure you're lifting just as hard as you're eating and we're here for support!

02-27-2007, 06:37 AM
Don't worry about it man. Just keep at it and try to find the sweet spot for you. You can't really expect a routine to work for everybody. I'm actually the opposite of you. I started off with higher reps/volume for my chest and had great gains. but other muscle groups didn't quite react to it well. so i switched to 5x5. Now my chest just decided not to grow anymore while the other muslces started growing like there's no tomorrow. I guess what i'm trying to say is switch things around and find out what works for you and stick with it.