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Female Bulking Advice Needed

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First a little background. I’m a 46 year old mother of three. In mid-June, I started lifting weights with good results. I was able to take my body fat from 24% to about 18%. Now that I can see what I have to work with, I want to bulk (focus on adding muscle mass).

My plan is to gradually increase my calories from 200-300 below TDEE which is where I’ve been the last month, to TDEE, then eventually ~200 over TDEE. Increasing my daily calories by about 150-200 a week at a time. I’ve not been able to find much about bulking for women. I don’t think it’s much different than men, but I’m not sure. So any advice would be appreciated.

I plan to continue my strength routine which is a full body routine done four times a week based off of the Strong Curves and Starting Strength Programs. Basically it’s all the compound exercises of SS with some of the glute specific exercises of SC.

My macros are 40% protein, 30% carbs, 30% fat. I practice 14/10 intermittent fasting, and my diet is pretty clean by choice. I plan to start taking a casein protein powder at night, and also start taking creatine. Any other recommendations or advice will be greatly appreciated. I’m particularly curious about cardio and any tips for minimizing fat gain. Fat burners are something I’m curious about, but I don’t want to mess up my metabolism.

I’m attaching photos taken in the last few days to show where I am now. Thank you in advance.

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Replies

  • themommie
    themommie Posts: 5,029 Member
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    Bump...also curious, by the way you look awesome
  • nmtGurl
    nmtGurl Posts: 159 Member
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    Sarauk2sf from the group Eat, Train, Progess could help you. She has bulked and would be able to give you some advice. (I also believe she may be the same age as you too)

    http://www.myfitnesspal.com/groups/home/10118-eat-train-progress

    ETA: great work, you look fantastic!
  • BusyRaeNOTBusty
    BusyRaeNOTBusty Posts: 7,166 Member
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    Sounds good to me. I wouldn't worry about exact percentages of macros, just hit minimums instead. I'm not sure you'll be able to gain at 200 above TDEE. When I did it, I ate about 500 above, gaining a half pound a week.
  • Barbellgirl
    Barbellgirl Posts: 544 Member
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    Thank you ladies, and I'll repost it in that forum section. :)
  • Liftiteatit
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    You should check out Biolayne.com. He has excellent information on all of this stuff, and it's all backed by science. He is a Ph. D. snd a bodybuilder/coach. It's interesting, because in one of his videos he talks about how you can only use so much protein in one meal for muscle synthesis, so intermittent fasting is not always the best option. I do IF on the weekends, just because I workout in the mornings and am not hungry before. I would suggest watching his videos, though. They are very informational.
  • allaboutthecake
    allaboutthecake Posts: 1,535 Member
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    ETP has a ton of valuable information. SideSteel & Sarah both run it as mods. Read the guidelines, fill out the forms, and be patient. However, if you peruse the threads, you may find what you are looking for as there are other women bulking/cutting. Good luck to you, you have obviously done really well so far! :flowerforyou:
  • Barbellgirl
    Barbellgirl Posts: 544 Member
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    Thank you, I reported in ETP and SideSteel has given me a little feedback. I'll go check our Dr. Layne's information as well. :)
  • 3laine75
    3laine75 Posts: 3,070 Member
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    sorry, don't know anything about bulking but if you're adding casein at night - ON 100% casein chocolate supreme is amazing with milk, microwaved for hot chocolate :)

    you look amazing btw
  • wifeymou1112
    wifeymou1112 Posts: 129 Member
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    Good question... Bump!
  • kdiamond
    kdiamond Posts: 3,329 Member
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    I think you're doing everything right, macros sound good, calories sound good to start a bulk.

    You look awesome, I really think you'll benefit greatly from a bulk. Just make sure you keep progressive load on your workouts.
  • MercenaryNoetic26
    MercenaryNoetic26 Posts: 2,747 Member
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    Bumping 'cause you're a hot momma.
  • MonsterToBe
    MonsterToBe Posts: 244 Member
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    Sounds excellent, and you should definitely keep following up with Sara and SideSteel. The only thing I'd add to what's been said here is that for putting on muscle, you'd do well to incorporate into your program some sets of 8 at 70% of your 1RM on the core lifts. That's the lower end of the rep range for hypertrophic programming, and will help with adding muscle, which is harder for us female types to begin with. It's still heavy enough, though, to help you continue to get stronger. :o)
  • MercenaryNoetic26
    MercenaryNoetic26 Posts: 2,747 Member
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    sorry, don't know anything about bulking but if you're adding casein at night - ON 100% casein chocolate supreme is amazing with milk, microwaved for hot chocolate :)

    you look amazing btw

    I do this every night religiously, but not to bulk. Same flavor, too! Eta: only with water & no microwave, lol.
  • Barbellgirl
    Barbellgirl Posts: 544 Member
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    Thanks everyone. I had my first evening casein powder last night and it was definitely different than my normal whey protein. I'm going to try your hot chocolate idea tonight. :)

    I've switched my strength training from 3-5 reps (strength gain focused) to more hypertrophic based reps 8-15 -I should have mentioned that. Any other suggestions? I'm loving all the feedback so far. :)
  • Barbellgirl
    Barbellgirl Posts: 544 Member
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    I think you're doing everything right, macros sound good, calories sound good to start a bulk.

    You look awesome, I really think you'll benefit greatly from a bulk. Just make sure you keep progressive load on your workouts.

    Thank you, and yes I'm a firm believer in progressive overloads. I even bought fractional plates so that no matter how small I can increase my loads. :)
  • istoyanova
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    Hi there. If you really want to bulk, then you should not do the hypertrophy, i suggest you stick with 5 repetition max and Starting strength as written, it gave me very good results. Also a Whey protein could help you instead of Casein one. The only exercises i borrowed from Strong curves is a Hip thrust and reverse hyper. Just increase your protein intake and eat more fresh fruits and vegetables. You should also increase the load gradually but steadily, but it cannot be done doing 8 repetitions, it's to much for bulking. Good luck :-)
  • mantium999
    mantium999 Posts: 1,490 Member
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    Hi there. If you really want to bulk, then you should not do the hypertrophy, i suggest you stick with 5 repetition max and Starting strength as written, it gave me very good results. Also a Whey protein could help you instead of Casein one. The only exercises i borrowed from Strong curves is a Hip thrust and reverse hyper. Just increase your protein intake and eat more fresh fruits and vegetables. You should also increase the load gradually but steadily, but it cannot be done doing 8 repetitions, it's to much for bulking. Good luck :-)

    Ummm....Correct me if I am wrong here, but isn't hypertrophy, by definition, the addition of muscle mass, and therefore adding bulk???
  • XMan714
    XMan714 Posts: 19 Member
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    First off, you look amazing. Second, your attention to detail is excellent. Before you get yourself into analysis paralysis, consider keeping it simple. Eat more, lift more. The slow increase in calorie intake sounds good, but change your workout routine to muscle group exercises on different days rather than total body workouts on the same day. Also, don't overanalyze the low-rep vs high-rep exercising. It's just a number. In general low number with very heavy will give you volume, high number medium weight gives you density, but everybody's body reacts different.
  • tenajh
    tenajh Posts: 208 Member
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    Would like to follow a lot of this great advice, so marking this post. Good luck on your journey OP, you have had some amazing results in this last year, being 49, I do understand it takes a little more effort in your 40's to look great then it did in your 20's. My goal is 18% body fat to be obtained in next 6 months, I think I am at 24% now.
  • MonsterToBe
    MonsterToBe Posts: 244 Member
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    Hi there. If you really want to bulk, then you should not do the hypertrophy, i suggest you stick with 5 repetition max and Starting strength as written, it gave me very good results. Also a Whey protein could help you instead of Casein one. The only exercises i borrowed from Strong curves is a Hip thrust and reverse hyper. Just increase your protein intake and eat more fresh fruits and vegetables. You should also increase the load gradually but steadily, but it cannot be done doing 8 repetitions, it's to much for bulking. Good luck :-)

    Ummm....Correct me if I am wrong here, but isn't hypertrophy, by definition, the addition of muscle mass, and therefore adding bulk???

    You're not wrong. Someone who wants to bulk should be doing hypertrophic programs.