I've been lurking for years, and you've all been a great inspiration and a fantastic source of information.
I'm looking for a little advice.
Here some background info... please let me know if more information would be helpful at all---
I'm 27, male, and have been training about 3 years. I'm 5'11", and weigh 188 pounds as of this morning. I lift 4 days a week. My wife and I also keep up a fairly heavy running schedule, as we just did a half-marathon last month. Balancing my need to be a supportive spouse with my desire to get bigger has been VERY difficult. I know a lot of you would say "give up the running" as your first piece of advice. Please pretend for right this second that's not an option.
My lifts were all on a plateau for like a year. So I started on creatine 3 weeks ago. Maybe it's placebo, maybe not, but ALL of my lifts starting going up like crazy. I gained about 5 pounds practically overnight.
Now... here's where the "please help me" comes in. We are going to Australia in December. I have 16 weeks. Whatever I have done to my body seems to have put it in the "mood" to grow (despite all the running we're doing). I know that 16 weeks isn't a long time. I would LIKE to bulk up for part of it, and cut for part of it, so my beach bod is ready for Australia.
How many weeks should I bulk, and how many weeks should I cut, to maximize results in this short 16 weeks?
I'm having my bodyfat tested tomorrow morning, which should help make a decision. My guess, and it's hard to be objective, is that I'm in the lower 'teens.
Figure you can do 1lb a week. So if you bulk for 8 weeks then cut for 8, you should land up at the same weight you are now, just with more LBM and less fat. As for bulking up while keeping the running, that just means you need to eat more.
So... are you advocating splitting it up evenly? 8 weeks of bulk, 8 weeks of cut?
The "bulk up" from the creatine is probably water weight gain, and the residual effect of the extra mass/weight adding stability to your lifts.
Make sure you're eating more if you want weight. Creatine won't do **** for you if you aren't eating.
And I agree with mix. Cut back on the running, and talk the wife into some HIIT stuff. I bet she'll like it, and you'll see better progress on the muscle gain side of things.
I'm fairly certain if they are running half-marathons, that they are heavily invested in the running lifestyle. I doubt she's prepared to toss it so easily. Its pretty much an all-or-nothing thing, just like lifting.
I believe there have been studies done where high endurance activites (like jogging, bicycling, soccer) have reduced testosterone levels in men. Gaining muscle mass will make these activities more difficult. Muscle doesn't just sit there like fat, it costs the body a lot just to maintain. You will really have to increase the caloric intake dramatically to preserve and continue your gains.
Depends on where you are and what your goals are. If your already think you have too much BF then you may just want to cut. Too skinny you may want to bulk. Only you can determine this. You maybe land up bulking for all 16 weeks if you are already lean and can keep fat gain to a minimum.Originally Posted by mikej
You're right about the lifestyle and running. She's not going to go for just "doing something else". Believe me, I know it is incompatible with my goals-- I'm trying to make the best of it.Originally Posted by Teufelhund
When you say "dramatically", how many calories are we talking? Figure my BMR, add to that a ballpark guess on how many calories I'm burning running and lifting, and add ??? to that for a daily feed fest goal?
I'm going to wait to pass judgment on this until tomorrow. If I post my BF% tomorrow after I get it tested maybe we can come up with a better picture?Originally Posted by Unreal
I know I'm ~190, and I feel pretty good about where I'm at given how totally uneducated I am. I'm bigger than all of my friends just not "ripped". I feel like I've made a lot of improvements, especially lately, without trying very hard... which made me think "hey, if I get SUPER focused over the next few months with a goal in mind for December, maybe I can really capitalize".
For the first time in my life I'm getting compliments (like from people I haven't seen in a while), and I'd like to keep moving in the right direction!
Thanks for your help so far, everyone!
Your going to have to figure this stuff out on your own. Does a BF number really change the way you feel? Look in a mirror and see what you want. If your too scrawny/skinny then bulk up. Once you get to the point where you think you are too fat, start to cut. As for food and caloric intake, that again is all you. You need to track your diet, and weight and see if your gaining. Keep adding cals till you gain the amount you want in a week. www.fitday.com
If your goals are changing, you might want to discuss that with the wife.
Fitness is an ever-evolving lifestyle and the heavier you get, the less fun running will be.
Yeah... deep down I know you're right. Sometimes it's just nice to get a little validation bouncing things off other folks!Originally Posted by Unreal
A BF number doesn't change the way I feel, that's for darned sure. To me, though, looking in the mirror seems far too subjective... I don't really trust my eyes. Weight, BF%, etc., I trust, since they're facts and not perception.
Fitday is awesome!
Thanks again for your help, I'll keep everyone posted as to progress, etc.
Last bump, I promise.
Since my last post I've added my pics, a journal, and opened up my FitDay for viewing.
If after looking at that stuff you have any advice for the next 16 weeks, I'm all ears. Otherwise, thanks again for all of your help!! You're keeping me motivated and I appreciate it.