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  • Good rate of weight gain

    Hi all, I've been hesitant on what would be an appropiate weight gain rate, if either a 0.5lb/week or 1lb/week, here are my stats:

    Age: 16
    Weight: ~139.1lb (~63kg)
    Waist: ~74cm (~29inch)
    Height: 5'8" (172cm)

    Squat: 95kg (210lb) x5
    Deadlift:106.5kg (235lb) x5
    Bench: 66.5kg (146.5lb) x1
    Press: 46.5kg (102.5lb) x1

    If this helps, as of now I'm doing the Greg Nuckols novice program, since I switched from SSLP last week, I may do for The Bridge 1.0 later when I don't see myself progressing in this new program, however what I really want to know is how much weight should I gain weekly if my main goals are strenght and muscle gain?
    Thanks.

  • #2
    Given your age and composition I think you would be safe going for 1lb/week for this gaining cycle. As for how far you should take that, that would really depend on how well you partition the weight as you go. I don't usually go into a bulking phase with a hard target end weight, I just kind of go until I get uncomfortable with my waist size and then I cut. So you really just kind of have to take things as they go. I would like to see you commit to at least a good 6 month bulking phase though. So shoot for the 1lb/week from now until the end of April, then reassess at that point.

    Also, since I assume by your age that you're likely new to this thing I would give this video series by Dr. Eric Helms a watch. It's really in a nutshell everything you need to conceptually know about nutrition to manipulate your body weight properly. There's a lot of bad advice floating on the internet, this will tell you everything you need to know so you don't fall for all the internet bullshit: https://muscleandstrengthpyramids.com/nutrition-videos/
    Last edited by PWard; 10-18-2018, 01:01 AM.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by PWard View Post
      Given your age and composition I think you would be safe going for 1lb/week for this gaining cycle. As for how far you should take that, that would really depend on how well you partition the weight as you go. I don't usually go into a bulking phase with a hard target end weight, I just kind of go until I get uncomfortable with my waist size and then I cut. So you really just kind of have to take things as they go. I would like to see you commit to at least a good 6 month bulking phase though. So shoot for the 1lb/week from now until the end of April, then reassess at that point.
      Thanks for the response, I will aim to gain around 1lb/week, the last two weeks I've been averaging 0.8lb, since this is my first bulk I don't have anything so sure on when to stop, my goal it's to hit at least 160lb then I will reassess what should I do, however if I see that I'm getting more fatter than I'm expecting I'll slow down and reduce the surplus or maybe do a mini cut to continue bulking lol, I don't know I'll see how things go.

      Originally posted by PWard View Post
      Also, since I assume by your age that you're likely new to this thing I would give this video series by Dr. Eric Helms a watch. It's really in a nutshell everything you need to conceptually know about nutrition to manipulate your body weight properly. There's a lot of bad advice floating on the internet, this will tell you everything you need to know so you don't fall for all the internet bullshit: https://muscleandstrengthpyramids.com/nutrition-videos/
      I'll check that ou, I'm really interested in the topic of nutrition, thanks.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by sgarciac07 View Post
        however if I see that I'm getting more fatter than I'm expecting I'll slow down and reduce the surplus or maybe do a mini cut to continue bulking lol, I don't know I'll see how things go.
        Just do keep in mind that you can't help but gain some fat. It's ok to lose your 6 pack for a few months during a bulk for the greater good. Right now you have no muscle to cut down to. For the next couple years I would not worry about being shredded or having a 6 pack. I would worry about building muscle and that entails gaining weight at a reasonable rate and just avoid getting actually fat. I was the same size at you at your age, it's a long hard process, and it can feel shocking when you first lose your "abs" since you're accustomed to just naturally having them. But trust me it's perfectly fine, and just a part of the process. It only takes a couple short months of dieting to get your abs back. It takes years to build lots of muscle. You definitely need to spend 90% of your time and effort on slowly gaining weight. If you freak out and cut every time your abs start looking soft, then you're never going to get anywhere from a muscle gain perspective. A lot of people make this mistake, and that's why I mention it. Don't be one of them. You are under-muscled, and that's the more difficult battle of the two, so that's where you need to focus your time and attention.

        Also, I would be hesitant to recommend someone your age cut, as it's possible that it could permanently effect your growth. I would try to avoid going through a cutting phase if at all possible before 18-19ish. I would at the very least ask Jordan up above in the moderated nutrition forums prior to doing any form of a weight loss phase at your age.
        Last edited by PWard; 10-18-2018, 01:56 PM.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by PWard View Post

          Just do keep in mind that you can't help but gain some fat. It's ok to lose your 6 pack for a few months during a bulk for the greater good. Right now you have no muscle to cut down to. For the next couple years I would not worry about being shredded or having a 6 pack. I would worry about building muscle and that entails gaining weight at a reasonable rate and just avoid getting actually fat. I was the same size at you at your age, it's a long hard process, and it can feel shocking when you first lose your "abs" since you're accustomed to just naturally having them. But trust me it's perfectly fine, and just a part of the process. It only takes a couple short months of dieting to get your abs back. It takes years to build lots of muscle. You definitely need to spend 90% of your time and effort on slowly gaining weight. If you freak out and cut every time your abs start looking soft, then you're never going to get anywhere from a muscle gain perspective. A lot of people make this mistake, and that's why I mention it. Don't be one of them. You are under-muscled, and that's the more difficult battle of the two, so that's where you need to focus your time and attention.

          Also, I would be hesitant to recommend someone your age cut, as it's possible that it could permanently effect your growth. I would try to avoid going through a cutting phase if at all possible before 18-19ish. I would at the very least ask Jordan up above in the moderated nutrition forums prior to doing any form of a weight loss phase at your age.
          Thanks man really appreciate your comments. I understand that I'm under muscled and that cutting for me it's no worth it, I will bulk the longest I can before getting super fat, at a reasonable rate of weight gain, and you're right building muscle it's a pretty slow process, I don't want to start spinning my wheels between bulking and cutting, I will stick to my plan and see how it goes.
          yeah cutting as a teen it's no recommended so I won't try anything of that in a near future, maybe a mini cut or something like that to refresh my body.
          Thank you!

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          • #6
            I probably wouldn't even do a mini-cut to be honest. I think your plan of getting to 160 and reassessing is probably a solid plan. At that point if you are still comfortable with your body fat levels, maybe slow the weight gain down to 2lb/month. If at that point you are uncomfortable with your body fat levels, I would probably look to maintain weight and increase conditioning as opposed to cutting. Doing a recomp is a slow process, but at your age and training level (especially since you'll probably still grow a bit taller) I think it would be feasible that you could build some muscle and get stronger simply by maintaining weight and doing some extra conditioning work.
            Last edited by PWard; 10-18-2018, 04:33 PM.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by PWard View Post
              I probably wouldn't even do a mini-cut to be honest. I think your plan of getting to 160 and reassessing is probably a solid plan. At that point if you are still comfortable with your body fat levels, maybe slow the weight gain down to 2lb/month. If at that point you are uncomfortable with your body fat levels, I would probably look to maintain weight and increase conditioning as opposed to cutting. Doing a recomp is a slow process, but at your age and training level (especially since you'll probably still grow a bit taller) I think it would be feasible that you could build some muscle and get stronger simply by maintaining weight and doing some extra conditioning work.
              Thanks that's a wise advice, I will take it into consideration.

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              • #8
                I'm your height, and I was at close to your weight for most of my post pubescent life. I'm 39 now and the most impressively physiqued of my life after 5ish years of lifting. I wish I had thenutrition and BB training advice I have now, at your age.

                The only things I'd add to PWard's advice is to also read Jordan's To be a Beast and 7 Rules to Optimize Protein Intake, and you may wish to get a tape measure. If you do, I wouldn't go by the scale on when to adjust your rate of weight gain, but rather the tape, and what that tape should be is personal, but being your height, I'd say that for me 36" @195# was a bit too much.
                Forum topics and other links I've found useful

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Serack View Post
                  I'm your height, and I was at close to your weight for most of my post pubescent life. I'm 39 now and the most impressively physiqued of my life after 5ish years of lifting. I wish I had thenutrition and BB training advice I have now, at your age.

                  The only things I'd add to PWard's advice is to also read Jordan's To be a Beast and 7 Rules to Optimize Protein Intake, and you may wish to get a tape measure. If you do, I wouldn't go by the scale on when to adjust your rate of weight gain, but rather the tape, and what that tape should be is personal, but being your height, I'd say that for me 36" @195# was a bit too much.
                  Thank you!, Appreciate your recommendation, I already read "To Be a Beast", and it helped me to understand many things regarding nutrition, I also measure my waist (right in the belly and 2" above and below) weekly, I find that doing it daily would take me a lot of time, my waist measurement is ~74cm (~29").

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by sgarciac07 View Post

                    Thank you!, Appreciate your recommendation, I already read "To Be a Beast", and it helped me to understand many things regarding nutrition, I also measure my waist (right in the belly and 2" above and below) weekly, I find that doing it daily would take me a lot of time, my waist measurement is ~74cm (~29").
                    Yah, weekly is probably most appropriate for tape, but daily for the scale because the day to day fluctuations mean you could introduce sampling error if you don't have data points to do a trend from a running average (I'm an engineer, I may take my maths a bit too seriously).

                    The "Navy Bodyfat Calculator" is a tool to get a general idea of how much of the weight you are putting on is going towards muscle hypertrophy vs fat. Please note, this is a very, very rough tool, and could easily have an error of as much as 4% body fat. Use it for trending purposes and vanity.

                    Back to your base line question, how much should you be gaining. I'll emphasize what PWard says in different terms. 1lb/week-.5kilos/week is a really good baseline goal, especially if done in a controlled maner using the afore-mentioned nutritional blog posts for how to eat to achieve it. So if it's April, and you've already given up on gaining weight before hitting 165lb/75kilos, you are probably doing yourself a diservice.

                    Yes, you will have seen that 29" waistline go bye bye, but in exchange for being a truely powerful human being who can move some heavy stuff, and who has the foundations for the powerful physique that goes along with being such a powerful human being. Once you reach that point, the tape should help you determine if you maintain 1lb/week, going forward, or if you adjust your weight gain goals.
                    Forum topics and other links I've found useful

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by sgarciac07 View Post

                      Thank you!, Appreciate your recommendation, I already read "To Be a Beast", and it helped me to understand many things regarding nutrition, I also measure my waist (right in the belly and 2" above and below) weekly, I find that doing it daily would take me a lot of time, my waist measurement is ~74cm (~29").
                      Dude. The 300 pages of responses to your 4 threads on Exodus weren't enough?

                      Stop asking random people on the internet to convince you to gain more than water weight and GO DO IT.

                      Based off your form check videos over there and your waist measurement, you're HILARIOUSLY skinny and underweight. You have about 20 lbs and 4 inches on your waist to gain before you should even be asking yourself these questions.

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                      • PWard
                        PWard commented
                        Editing a comment
                        I thought that might have been the same person, but wasn't sure. Either way, ease up on the kid. I'm not sure that flaming him out is going to increase his motivation to do what needs to be done, ya know? I mean, he took quite the beating on the Exodus forums and judging by the fact that he is now here it's obvious that the tactic didn't resonate with him...
                        Last edited by PWard; 10-31-2018, 02:02 PM.

                      • Leah Lutz
                        Leah Lutz commented
                        Editing a comment
                        Agree with Pward. Remember what it was like to be 16? No need to mock someone for their size either and I'd consider that getting close to internet bullying. Something we don't need here. We can give people the hard truth without the "extras" added on.

                      • FredM
                        FredM commented
                        Editing a comment
                        I'm not mocking him. I'm trying to make it clear there is no doubt he is underweight. And the Exodus threads didn't "beat him up." They gave him 400 contradictory answers because half the people there gained too much weight following Rip's advice and instead of listening to Sergio's actual situation, gave him advice as if he was them.

                        I'm trying to help the kid. People keep telling him to track his waist line and his weight to closely monitor everything in case things go sideways on a bulk. I think that's terrible advice. Full stop. Like almost as bad as Rip's advice to overweight dudes to gain weight, which is ironically why so many people on these forums are triggered into an unhelpful response. He doesn't need to be scared into thinking he might get fat. He already thinks that, clearly.

                        Sergio -- again -- you're really underweight and you're really young. You can gain 20 lbs in like 2 months and most likely still won't be "fat" unless you forget to train with barbells in those 2 months. Whether you gain 1 lb this week or 5 lbs, you shouldn't be too concerned. Weight gain is non-linear. Just have fun training, eating, and getting a lot stronger.

                    • #12
                      Although FredM 's #11.3 response ends slightly hyperbolisticly, his meaning is spot on. Speaking as someone that spent most of his life at your weight and height, who is now exactly his perscribed 4" larger in waist, and 35# more in weight, I wish I had his input 20 years ago.

                      I wouldn't throw out the scale, but gaining SIGNIFICANT weight while training is more relevant to where you are now in life, than gaining weight in my aforementioned carefuly controlled manner.

                      Oh, and although with a 33" waist I don't have a "6 pack," the Mrs. is VERY happy with how my abs look, and is even more fond* of the guns and buns that I didn't have when she married me.
                      Forum topics and other links I've found useful

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                      • #13
                        Last he left off, he said he was going to gain to 160 and reassess. That would definitely be a good first step. That's gaining 20lb. At that point I think he will have a better idea how his unique body partitions weight. Until we have that data, it's really all just conjecture. I hope he sticks to that plan and comes back and updates us on how it goes in the future.

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                        • #14
                          Thanks all I think, as I said in the other forums I really want to gain weight, I want to stop being skinny, but as Fred said, many people tell me to gain a lot of weight in a short period of time, other people tell me the opposite, I'm still completely lost, I know I have to stop asking question to random people on the internet but it's just that I feel insecure modifyng things on my own, I think that I'll mess up everything or I won't do the most optimal thing. I don't want to convert training, something that I really like, into something that's stressing me out.
                          But anyway thanks to all, it helps me to clear somethings, but all end with my decision and commitment.

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                          • #15
                            sgarciac07 gain weight at the rate that is comfortable for you. What's important is simply that you gain weight over time while training. Just don't get paralysis by analysis and not do anything because you're not sure of the right speed. Guess what? None of us know exactly how your body will react either. The only way to find out is to gain weight for a few months and then see how it goes. These things are only clear in retrospect. At your age, you should get some really good results. Regardless of what happens though, you're going to learn a lot about your body in this gaining weight phase, and that's what is most important. Even if things don't go perfectly this time (they rarely do), you'll still learn some things to improve upon next time you do this. But you're right, there's no reason to stress about it. And you don't have to go to extremes. Generally I've found that in life the extreme way of doing things rarely is the right way. Just gain at a rate that is comfortable and acceptable to you (I personally would recommend a minimum of at least 2lb per month) and do that until you reach 160lb. Track your weight and waist measurement at least once a week through the process. Then we will have a lot of good data to work with and optimize in the future. At 16 especially, I would like to see training be something that adds to your life, not something that takes away from it. Don't be afraid to try some new things. Don't be afraid to make some mistakes. Things don't have to be perfect. Don't compare yourself against anyone other than the you of yesterday (especially avoid comparing yourself against people on the internet). Getting jacked and strong is not something that happens overnight. It comes from a long series of baby steps done consistently over a long period of time. Just keep putting one foot in front of the other, that's really 90% of the battle right there, especially for someone that is new to training. We have decades ahead to worry about optimizing things if you want to go down that route. For now, just have fun with it, form some good life long habits, and gain at whatever rate is comfortable for you.
                            Last edited by PWard; 11-01-2018, 12:55 AM.

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