372 Comments

  1. So when bulkng for an intermediate or advanced lifter how would you go about tracking the changes in weight and making sure you’re gaining weight at the proper pace for whatever phase of your lifting career you’re in.

    1. Hi Bronson, thanks for the question.

      Two things to consider:

      1. The rate of weight gain when bulking is typically half the rate of weight loss (or less). This means that we need a longer run of data to accurately assess changes. But, is double the length of time appropriate? Probably not…

      2. The fluctuations in weight from day to day and week to are lower when bulking because glycogen stores are saturated, gut content more consistent, and we don’t have the ‘whoosh effect’ to consider.

      Therefore, I like to look at 6-week trends in data (rather than 4) when guiding clients through bulk phases.

  2. Hi Andy , just wanted to clarify with you about weekly tracking .
    “Weigh yourself daily, first thing in the morning after going to the toilet. Note the average at the end of the tracking week”
    So does this mean you take an average of weigh ins from Monday to Sunday . Or as I have been doing Monday to Monday , taking my Monday morning weight and calculating an average for last 8 days . Then using that average to start the week . Thanks

    1. Hi Chris,
      A 7 day period will be fine. So for example, I have clients log things on Saturday, taking the average of their Sunday to Saturday morning weigh-ins.

  3. Hello,

    i am new to this site and am from germany. i have a question regarding meassuring body circumfance with myotape. while you said it is obligation to meassure exactly to 0,1 cm , i am not able to hit a exact number because of my belly extend while i am inhaling, so can you precisly describe how to meassure?
    Thanks.

    David

  4. Hello Andrew! I am in the middle of a cut and i will be going through a surgery next week which won’t allow me train during recovery process(~2 weeks). What should i do in this scenario? I have already done a diet break 2 weeks ago, so i guess another break in diet wouldn’t be a good idea. Should i just eat my cut macros during the recovery weeks and just not workout?Am i risking muscle loss or something like that? Thanks 🙂

    1. A caloric deficit is a nutritional deficit and a nutritional deficit while your body is trying to recover will hamper that process. Consider coming to maintenance. Take your average rate of weight loss each week in pounds, multiply by 500 and add 150 kcal. Add that number of calories in each day.

  5. Hi Andy , my question is do you know how long it takes creatine to leave your body ? Im cutting and started creatine(HCL) to experiment . However I stopped after ten days as I appeared smoother and noticed my daily weigh ins climbing slightly , over all weight is trending down but at a lower rate than previous . Been off for 5 days but daily weight still climbing I realize probably water weight and have been having sleep issues latelely , Thanks

    1. I don’t, but if we assume it’s the same amount of time but in reverse, then that’ll be ~3 weeks.

      There is never any need to stop taking or cycle creatine. Take the monohydrate, it works better and is cheaper. The rest is hype and marketing BS. 20g/day for a week and then 5g/day, or just 5g/day. The former will cause that initial weight jump to happen all in one week and is useful when trying to track things. A ~2-3 lb bump is normal.

    2. Thanks Andy , yes the creatine has caused weight gain while I’m cutting which in turn has confused me while tracking . So your suggestion is to accept the weight gain as water weight and continue to track just as you would normally ? Thanks

  6. Hi Andy! Does the same formoula( weighing every morning & doing measurements every week) applies to someone who is not natural? Thanks

    1. Try measuring around your shoulders accurately and consistently so. Tough to do, right?

      Doesn’t matter. If your arms and chest are growing and training progressing, your shoulders will be growing. There’s no need to try to measure directly.

  7. Hi Andy,

    Question for you, if you don’t mind.
    I’m currently on a cut, looking to get as lean as possible (10%BF). The problem is I haven’t been losing any scale weight for the last 4-6 weeks. On the flip side all my measurements are coming down & my lifts have been increased.

    Question is should I reduce calories or stay as I am? I didn’t want to reduce calories too soon.

  8. Hey Andy,

    First I would like to say I love your program and thank you for sharing this knowledge with us. I’ve been following your program for 4 weeks now and I’ve lost 7 pounds and 3 inches off my waist, while being able to increase my lifts weekly! But for the last week, my weight has stayed the exact same as well my waist measurement. My diet has not changed, my sleep has not changed either so I’m confused as to what is going on right now. Can you Please help me?!

  9. Hi Andy, is almost 5 weeks now that I’m following your protocols, my weight is essentially the same, while my measures are better (belly is 4cm less) should I lower my calories? what do you think?
    Chers.

    1. Hi Simone, thank you for the comment and sorry for the delay in replying. (I had been unable to do so while the website went through a big update over August.)

      Sounds like you are leaning out while gaining muscle. If you drop calories, that will put the focus on faster fat loss, but the muscle growth will be compromised. I’d consider staying where you are for now.

  10. Hi Andy! I have a few questions regarding the progress photos:

    1) Are they done flexed or relaxed? I know you can take both, but I’m curious what is typically the most helpful.

    2) If relaxed, what would you suggest to do to keep stomach flexion consistent? For instance, would you suggest exhaling and relaxing your stomach (not sucking it in or sticking it out)? Would you suggest tensing your abs to any degree?

    3) For the side photos do you suggest arms at the side or sticking straight out?

    4) Does any of this change depending on your body fat %? E.g. if you’re more muscular / bulking, would it make sense to flex so you can see more definition? Or is it harder to take consistent photos that way?

    Thanks!

    1. Rocky, sorry I missed this. Charlie, thank you.

      1. Flexed on the stomach. This allows for more definition, when it is there, to be seen more easily. Do this in the style you see on the client results page (just the stomach, hands by the sides).
      2. Yes, tense the abs. No need to do anything special with the breathing, just whatever you can find a comfortable pose with.
      3. Arms at side.
      4. Same pose, all the time. You need this to be able to compare.

  11. Hi Andy – female here that has been practicing IF 16:8 for 7 months now. Just started my cut.

    I eat from 11:30a-7:30p. I train at 4-5am each day and consume 10g of BCAA’s at 7am and then have coffee with a touch of creamer around 9am.

    Am I getting the full benefits of fasting? Is training in the morning and not eating right away hindering my weight loss?

    Thank you!

    1. So if I decide to have coffee no creamer? But certain BCAA’s have calories. In the timing guide it says no calories but to consume 10g of BCAA’s. Please advise. Thank you!

    2. That’ll be from ingredients other than the BCAAs. If you wish to follow the Leangains protocol, aim to keep your calorie intake during the “fasting” period to around 50kcal or under.

  12. Andy , I love your content . Always informative. Infact I have all 3 of your books .

    I began my 2 weeks of eating at matinence using the calculations from the nutrition pyramid program . I have been within 95% adherence . I have lost 10 lbs in the first week and a half! Should I be concerned ? I should note that before I was eating fast food and junk food every meal before I started cooking and eating at the calculated maintenance calories .

    With this big of a swing , should I continue experimenting with my main amount for another week so I can get more reliable data ?

    Thanks .

    1. Hi Deonte, thank you!

      This is just the initial whoosh. You know this. Let’s calculate it out: 1lb of fat loss requires a 3500 kcal deficit. You have lost 10lbs in 10 days, so you’d need to have a daily deficit of 3500 kcal for that to be fat, which isn’t remotely likely.

  13. Andy,

    I have purchased both your books and have found them to be very helpful. Do you have any articles or podcasts detailing how you found your way into the fitness industry? I’d love to know more of your background.

    Thanks!

    1. Hi Grant, thank you for getting the books. Glad to hear you found them helpful. Here’s a podcast interview I did on Danny Lennon’s show where I talk about that at the start. Alternatively, in the sidebar you’ll see a category option. Just choose “News and Site Introductions” to read me posting about things as they happened over the years.

      Have an awesome Christmas!

      Andy

  14. Hey Andy,

    2 years after landing on your page I still find myself coming back from time to time. Quick question in regards to your site design. When I clicked into this page there was a “modal” that came up asking for my email address, once I clicked that I already had this information it slid away bringing me to the site. If you know, could you point me to that plugin? I’m looking for something like that on my own site and love the functionality and look of that.

    Thanks for all you do and all the content that you put out. There’s not a site that I have found that compares.

    1. Hi Kyle, sure thing.

      The popups and sharing buttons are doing with a plugin called SumoMe. It’s the best one I have found, highly customizable and 90% of the features are free. The email software I use is Convertkit, which is easy to use, has the ability to go very deep, allowing tagging of people in your email list so that you only send people the kind of information they want.

      Hope this helps and good luck with the site!

      Andy

  15. Hi Andy. Cant thank you guys and 3dmj enough.
    My question is with regards to the amount of weight you should expect to gain in the bulking phase. I have cut and bulked several times and am always disappointed with the cut. I am 6ft 2 and only look like i lift when im 15.5 – 16.5 st lol
    my last cut was 6 months long and managed exactly 1 lb p/w literally every week. Im now at 14 st and have reversed back to gaining again. (took nearly 2 months to go from 2400 kcal to currently 3450 kcals a day, Managed to get leaner than ever but due to the length of the cut i lost a lot of strength. Diet was at 100% adherence. Same with 6 training days a week – no mistakes- absolutely nothing missed. I know i must have overshot the bulking phase as to make the cut so long. So if i am lean at 14 stone what weight would you imagine i should look to bulk to?
    Again thanks so much for the info!!
    Ant

    1. Hi Ant, thanks for the question.
      Depends on your training experience and how close you are to your genetic potential. Unfortunately, these are things that can’t be exactly measured. At 6ft2, 196lbs, if you were sub 10% body fat at the end of your cut, you’re likely of an advanced training age. You’re probably best shooting for 0.5-1lbs of muscle growth a month, so something like a 1-1.5lb weight gain target per month.

      However, this is making a few assumptions, like body fat percentage, your being average, etc. If you have data from your previous bulk-cut telling you how much muscle you gained over that period, then the answer to what you can likely gain this time around is, a little less.

      Have you seen this guide of mine? It’ll likely be helpful.
      How To Adjust Your Diet To Successfully Bulk

  16. Hi Andy,
    I have read both the The Muscle and Strength Nutrition Pyramid and The Complete Guite to Setting Up Your Diet, and I noticed that there was a different approach about gaining muscle in both ebooks. In the ebook that you wrote with Eric you used the 3500 Kcal rule per pound of muscle per month, but in your ebook you said that it is important to aim gaining muscle and fat at same time to get the best progression. What is the approach that you use today?

    1. Hi Igor, thanks for the question.

      The former is the hypothetical situation where you’re gaining muscle only. As that isn’t likely, you need to add in extra calories on top to account for the fat gain that is likely to come with it. I’d suggest you 0.5-1x it.


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