C.D. Hussey's bulking log

husseycd Posts: 814 Member
Okay, I have officially started my mini bulk. It was actually November 1st. I went to NOLA for Halloween, but essentially came home the same weight. I was cutting (though not very well) prior to my trip at 1600/day M-Th. My cutting calories are actually higher, but I generally like to bank calories for the weekend. Unfortunately, cutting that low during the week led to some larger than normal weekend indulgences. My weight never really changed, but my measurements did get smaller.

At any rate, I've been slowly upping my calories. I went up to 1700 then 1800. Now trying for 1900. I'm a little scared to jump to bulking calories during the week because I do like to leave room in my diet for the weekend. It may be a bad habit, and I'm sure I'm doing it wrong, but that's what I'm going with for now. My maintenance calories are 2150-2250/day, depending on my activity.

Starting Stats:
Weight - 129.3 lbs
Body Fat - 16% (per BodPod on 10/07/2014)

Current Stats:
Weight - 130.2 lbs


@0.25 lb/week, that means I should be at 134.2 lbs by March 1st. Leaving me two months to cut.

I'm going conservative with this one. As a 38 year-old woman, I'm assuming I can truly only gain 0.5 lbs of muscle/month (from what I've read on-line). So my aim is 1 lb/month. Before this bulk, I'd actually been recomping for the last year with really great results. But I figure my newbie gains are coming to an end. Time to suck it up and bulk!

I suppose last year I did technically do a mini bulk as well. This year I'm just trying to be more conscious about it.

Starting picture:



  • funfang
    funfang Posts: 200 Member
    Hi C.D. Hussey,

    Wow! you look GREAT! I am also 38 years old, just started my 1st bulk this Sept and gained 4 lbs already.

    I have not been really good to stay on my calories, I constantly eating over, I balm the weather :p also, when I tried to do Strong Lift I was hungry all the time. I had to stop the program due the lack of equipments in my gym. I am now following Strong Curves and on my 3rd week to it.

    glad to see you here and looking forward to see your progress!
  • husseycd
    husseycd Posts: 814 Member
    Thanks! I started with the stronglifts program too. I think it's a great program. I had to modify because I was having problems with my hips, but I really started seeing progress in my body after I started lifting heavy and consistently. I'm pretty much the same weight I was a year ago but lifting has changed my body tremendously!

    I haven't actually done the strong curves routine but I have heard good things about it!
  • husseycd
    husseycd Posts: 814 Member
    Well, my weigh in today has me at 127.9 lbs. Guess I need to up the calories. Eating more during the week means I eat less on the weekend.

    I have it all in a spreadsheet, so I know I was a little short on calories last week. Not enough to drop weight though. Unless my maintenance is higher, which is quite possible. I have more energy so I tend to do more. When I established my baseline with my BodyMedia, it was warmer, so I was walking more, etc. I went with the low end of my average calories assuming winter would mean I exercised less. I guess that's not really the case.

    More food is always good! Especially if that means I can meet my macros and have a drink or two on school nights.
  • sardelsa
    sardelsa Posts: 9,812 Member
    Hey! Wow you do look fantastic! Good luck finding your maintenance, it can be a bit of trial and error but once you have it figured out it definitely helps with bulking :)
  • husseycd
    husseycd Posts: 814 Member
    Thanks, sardelsa!

    Well, my weight jumped about 5 lbs the last two weeks. Between Thanksgiving and a weekend in Texas for an author signing, it could be true weight. Measurements are up slightly as well, though I do have that problem when carrying extra water. I'm sure some of that is water.

    Because my bulking goal is so small, it does kinda freak me out, which is ridiculous. I need to think more of a measurement goal and not a weight goal. Of course now I'm thinking about going to Mexico in a month, so I don't really want to gain anything between now and then and am even considering a tiny cut.

    I suppose I could try to maintain through December and then resume bulking for a few months until March. If I can get a handle on my weekend indulgences, my weekday calories can be higher.

    TBH, the only area I'd really like to gain is a little bit of ab and glutes. Other than that, I'm fine with the muscle base I have. Maybe I should stick with recomping.

    Argh, being a weight obsessed woman is hard! Eating 1900 calories during the week sure has improved my strength and I do like that. That's even below my maintenance. If I could just get my Friday/Saturday calories to clock in under 3000... :eyeroll: What a problem to have.
  • 3laine75
    3laine75 Posts: 3,070 Member
    edited December 2014
    Have a lie in on the weekend =D

    Looking amazing btw - wish my starting pic looked that good, frightened to post it incase you lot talk me out of bulking :/
  • husseycd
    husseycd Posts: 814 Member
    I am seriously sucking at this bulking thing. I weighed myself yesterday and was 129.5 lbs. I guess that's good because it's up from Nov. 26th, but still. I think the worse part was I was considering a mini-cut because I was feeling "fluffy". Maybe I'm not mentally ready for this. My goal was to bulk until March 1st. If I plan on gaining 0.25 lbs/week, that's only a couple lbs. I don't even know if it's worth it.

    I suppose it'll be good for me to continue working toward purposefully eating more. Right now, if I have a day where I go over calories (or eat closer to where I should), I tend to restrict the next day or work out more to make up for it. Obviously, that isn't helping. I'm a little worried I'm developing some sort of disordered eating. I'm definitely no where near starving myself, but I do have weird feelings of guilt if I indulge too much. My diary is open, so people are welcome to take a look.

    Anyway, just updating for others who might be struggling. I'll continue to post my journey and results, etc., regardless of the outcome. :smile:
  • sardelsa
    sardelsa Posts: 9,812 Member
    0.25lb per week is slow but doable, but keep in mind with such a small surplus you are fairly close to maintenance and to see results you have to be eating spot on.

    Oh you will feel fluffy, but it is mostly bloat from eating. If you eat then restrict you will spin your wheels and not get anywhere. If you really want to bulk, you have to eat to gain. You can't be scared of eating more food or the scale moving up or it will work against you. The mental aspect is no joke!
    Good luck, keep at it !
  • husseycd
    husseycd Posts: 814 Member
    Yeah, I'm sure there is a bit of a wheel spinning involved here. I chose 0.25/week because everything I've read indicates women can only gain 0.5 to 1.0 lbs of muscle/month. I'm erring on the low side since I'm nearly 39.

    OTOH, I have made really good progress maintaining my weight and simply lifting heavy. I naturally tend to calorie cycle just based on my lifestyle. Knowing it will be slow isn't much of a deterrent since I'm fairly happy where I'm at. And TBH, I'm not sure how much mass I really want to add. I'm not, nor have I ever been very frail. Bulking may just not be for me. I just felt like it was the "right" way to progress. I still do.

    Thanks for the input! Like I said, I'll continue to update regardless.

  • sardelsa
    sardelsa Posts: 9,812 Member
    It sounds like since you are very happy where you are, maybe recomp might be a better fit for you. If you are seeing positive results with what you are doing right now, keep doing it! Although bulking is a great way to put on some solid muscle, especially with your physique, it isn't the only way, you do have options.