First I just want to say thanks to everyone I've leached info from over the past 17 months. I've gone from a fat 300lbs to a lean 190. I've reached a stage where being 6'5 has its drawbacks though, reached my goal weight and I have lost alot of fat only sacrificing 35 pounds off my deadlift and my bench press, I just figured I would be more 'ripped' than I am now. (I started this cut originally to enlist, things have changed now so I have reaped the health benefits of the weight change, I may as well reap the aesthetic benefits as well). I'm in the position that to lose more I think would make me look like a victim of a famine, and yet my goal over the past 3-4 months has been to maximize fat loss before a bulk. So I just have a few questions that I haven't seen answered on other threads in recent memory so I apologize if these have already been asked and answered.
1. Health wise, how much time should I let elapse before I start it? At present it's been 17 months in a continous caloric deficit (Some months I may have been near maintence, but in general even my slowest month was 2-3 pound loss). This was mainly a below 60g carb diet with large amounts of protein and cheats on the weekends if that helps? I've read a few threads that suggest waiting 2-3 weeks with just maintence before changing the diet up again, I was just unsure of if it would be different with me since I was on an extended cut.
2. Is there a particular method of bulking I can utilize that will allow me to do it slowly but surely so that way when I do take up my next cut to drop down to the 12-14% range I won't need to burn a lot of excess fat up? I've read up on clean bulks but those all are arguing about macro splits, and whether or not to do cardio during it. (It sounds like what I'll end up doing unless someone can offer up a good alternative).
I say stay with the low carb with cheats on weekends and just up your calories from protein around 500 calories. It should put you right where you need to be to gain quality muscle without putting on fat. And uh... we need some pictures. Congrats on all the good work, i wanna see before and after. I went from 240lbs to my present 162lbs so i know how tough it is.
1) not really sure, but I think 2-3 weeks is right. Ask built.
2) The trick to gaining fat is to not gain weight too fast. Keep a steady pace of 1-2 lbs / week and you should be ok. Don't worry about the macro split, just hit minimum 0.5 g fat / lb of bw and 1 g protein / lb bw. Cardio is always a good thing, even on a bulk. Just make sure you eat enough to make up for it.
1) 2-3 weeks of maintenance when switching from cut to bulk is what I've heard smart people recommend.
2) I'd actually say to go even slower, as in 1lb per week maximum. I'm about to start bulking within the next few days, and I'll be aiming for 0.5lbs per week. I've heard a bunch of smart people say that the average natural male lifter can gain at best 0.25-0.5lbs of LBM per week, so, if you're gaining 2lbs per week, it's almost guaranteed that 1.5lbs or so of it is, ya know, nothing good.
Cardio, as mentioned, is always a good thing, but probably won't make any difference in how much fat you gain while bulking.
From everything I've read, limiting fat gain will mostly be about genetics, gaining slowly (as in not going too high above maintenance) and working your ass off in the gym to signal the body to hopefully use most of that caloric surplus to build muscle.
Calculate all you want, if that's your thing. Just eat clean, work you butt off, and choose exercises that will promote good growth. Squat, DL, Bench, Military Press, Pull-ups. Save the gay machines and fancy crap for when it's time to cut all that beautiful muscle and size that you've gained.
That's another rant for me, but I'll never understand why anyone would gain all the weight and muscle, to just go and lose it, so they can see their abs. The things guys will do for ass.
Train smart and eat well. Keep your goal at hand in mind. Gain weight. Worry about the cut later. It even hurts to write, "cut".
i agree with rhodes, you are going to be quite baffled with your first bulk if you do it right, my first bulk i went from 195-220 and gained about 20 lbs of muscle, in 3 months, i was eating a crap load and taking a 1000+ calorie PWO shake.
2000 or bust