Posted by: MP
Our focus of this post will be bulking and cutting phases of your training.
I've attempted to try to put on considerable mass while staying lean (10% bf or less) at the same time. For me it just doesn't work. Sure I gained muscle in the process, but not to the degree that I did when I decided to go "old school", and put on some fat along with muscle.
The added weight is helpful in the way of extra leverage allowing the body to hoist up heavier weights. When bulking up, I shoot for about a 30-40 # weight gain. To do this I will up my protein intake to roughly 2-2.5g per lb. of bodyweight. Also I slowly increase my overall caloric intake by 500 cal. per day this translates roughly into a 1-2.5 lb. per week weight increase. Your definition and vascularity will become somewhat obscured under the layer of extra water the body is holding but this is a justifiable sacrifice to obtain the end result although it does take some mental toughness to deal with at first. Also when bulking, I keep cardio exercise to a minimum, (NONE). I generally like to bulk for about 16-24 weeks. Using heavy weights, low reps, lots of rest between sets and concentrating on the mass monsters (compound lifts).
After 16 - 24 weeks of bulking I'll generally have gained about 30lbs. or so and then I move into the cutting phase. I keep my protein around 1.5g per lb of bodyweight. I begin training with slightly lighter weights for higher rep range and include more isolation and cable and machine movements. I keep rest between sets very short at this stage so as to burn into adipose (fat) stores. I also begin cardio again, 30 min. 3 x per week at first and then 40 min. 4x per week after that. Monitor your weight loss, you want it to come off slowly, the same way you put it on. Shoot for about 1 - 2lb. per week this will insure that you are losing fat and water and not muscle. After about 12-16 wks. You should be close to reaching your goals.
AS far as supplements:I recommend Protein powder or a good meal replacement, fish oils, multivitamin, l-glutamine, and a good thermogenic when cutting. I've tried just about every supplement out there and a lot were a BIG waste of money, but these seem to work best for me but by all means experiment and find what works for you. Your body will tell what works and what doesn't.
Until next time, keep reaching for your goals and train hard.