(When I use the term "bulk successfully" below I mean gain the least amount of fat and the most amount of muscle. Also, my workout consisted of working my ass off on exercises such as bench press, squats, weighted pull ups, SLDL, barbell rows, military press, etc.)
My main purpose of this post is to get the best answer to this question and the question at the bottom: let's pretend someone is maintaining weight consuming 3000 calories per day. Starting tomorrow, they want to start "bulking successfully." How many calories should they start eating per day to get the best results possible? And then, how many calories should they add each time their weight gain stops?
Here's why I'm asking...
During my last bulk, I really don't feel as though I put on as much muscle as I should have, and that my fat gain to muscle gain ratio was far off from what it should have been. I know exactly what would cause these types of unsuccessful results, but that's where this gets more interesting...
This wasn't a dirty bulk. Not even a little. This was the cleanest possible bulk there is. No junk, no cheat meals. Protein came from good sources only (chicken breast, tuna, egg whites, whey, turkey, lean meat), fat came from good sources only (fish, nuts, olive oil) and carbs came from good sources only (brown rice, 100% whole wheat bread, vegetables, beans). It was as clean and strict as can be.
And I didn't eat 1000 calories above maintenance either. I wasn't gaining too much weight per week by any means.
Knowing all of this, I've been trying to come up with what would have caused the results I got so that I can correct it for my next bulk... and I think I may have come up with something.
I bulked too slow.
Let me explain. Because of the results I was looking to get (lowest fat gain, highest muscle gain) I figured the best thing to do was bulk as slow as possible. So, I VERY slowly added calories to my diet.
To show just how slow and gradual my bulk went, here is my weight for each week during the bulk:
START - February 8th, 2006
158.2 (33 inch waist around belly button, 14.4 inch arms)
176 (36.9 inch waist around belly button, 15.3 inch arms)
END - September 20th, 2006
Just about 4 inches added to my waist.
A little under 1 inch added to my arms.
Is it possible I bulked too slow? Is it possible I supplied my body with enough calories to gain weight, but not enough to gain muscle? Is it possible that spending 33 weeks to gain 18lbs was in some way counterproductive to the whole lowest fat gain/highest muscle gain results I wanted to get?
So... thoughts? Opinions? Answers? Thanks in advance.