Question on Bulking up

I'm a 17 year old Male who's 5'5 ft, 131lbs and pretty new to weight lifting. I have been lifting for the past 6 months to learn the proper way to workout. Now I have decided that I've wanted to bulk up because I have a skinny fat body. I've never bulked before so I just need a recommendation on a good weight goal. Should I bulk till I hit 140? 150? Or should it be more?


  • Retroguy2000
    Retroguy2000 Posts: 731 Member
    Don't go by weight, go by body fat %. You can estimate that with the Navy method, or just go by how you look and feel. Around 12% or lower, add a few hundred calories. Around 15%, maintain your current calories. Around 18% or higher, you've probably lost sight of abs by then and are carrying noticeable fat around the stomach, you may want to drop a few pounds.
  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 28,178 Member
    Good advice from Retroguy. I'd add that you want to get really good overall nutrition, especially but not exclusively adequate protein, 0.7-1.0g per pound of bodyweight at minimum, and somewhat more wouldn't be injurious.

    As a male at 17, you're in prime time to add muscle, so kudos to you for working on this. As a male, you may find that you still have a little growing to do - maybe more height, maybe just filling out more in other ways (not fat, but overall body geometry). If you have any calorie deficit, keep it truly tiny. (If I were you, at your age/sex, I'd go with maintenance calories plus patience, rather than risk under-fueling potential gains.)

    I understand that your body may not be exactly where you like it to be, but speaking as a female almost exactly your height and weight, I have a hard time believing you're actually "skinny fat" (in the technical definition of metabolically obese normal weight (MONW)). I can believe that you have less muscle mass than you'd like, or that you're thinner overall than you'd like, or that sort of thing, sure.

    Best wishes!
  • nossmf
    nossmf Posts: 6,365 Member
    edited May 25
    Last year I stood next to a gym buddy in the locker room, saw him with his shirt off. I knew he was big, but wow, his muscles popped compared to mine. He looked at least thirty pounds heavier, yet he actually weighed less than I did. So as @Retroguy2000 mentioned, don't go by amount of body, but by quality of body.

    Also, as @AnnPT77 mentioned, you are young enough you may not have reached full adult size anyway. I gained twenty pounds of muscle from age 18-22 without hitting the weight room, simply because I was filling out from teenager to adult. My uncle graduated 5'6", enlisted in the Marines, and came home four years later towering at 6'4". You may still have some sizeable growth still ahead of you.