I think this is worth sharing. It's an old article from T-Nation, but one that's still worth reading. Granted, there are some points throughout it that I don't entirely agree with, but for the most part I think more people in the lifting community should be paying attention to this advice.
T-NATION: The Truth About Bulking
- Too often, people on the internet dole out the recommendation to new lifters that they should be eating to excess, trying to push the scale weight up as high as possible (as a personal anecdote, earlier today I saw someone on the bb.com forums telling a new lifter that he isn't eating enough, because the new lifter had "only" gone from 128lb to 135lb in 8 weeks; that's 7lb in 8 weeks, and in reality you really don't want to be gaining much more weight than that, if you'd even benefit from gaining weight that rapidly in the first place).
- The above point is proof that said internet people shouldn't be giving advice.
- You can only gain so much muscle mass per week, and the amount you can gain in that time frame really isn't very high. Once you start eating beyond that amount, you aren't gaining more muscle, just more fat.
- The more fat you gain while bulking, the longer you'll have to cut for. If you spend 6 months bulking and then 6 months cutting (and you will probably need to cut for at least 6 months if you follow a lot of the dietary advice given to people who want to bulk), you'll have only spent half of the year building muscle. The remainder of the year will be spent trying to maintain the muscle mass you've gained -- and you may not even succeed to do that. If, however, you bulk at a slower rate so as to minimise the amount of fat gained, you may only need to cut for 1-2 months after 6 months of bulking. You'll have gained the same amount of muscle in that time, you'll spend less time cutting, and you'll be able to get back into building more muscle sooner. That might give you 10ish months of solid building in a year, as oppose to just 6 months, and less time risking muscle loss.
- There are other seriously good reasons mentioned not to "fulk" (fat-bulk) as some call it, you can find them in the link.