“Whenever I drive to my Aunt Betsy’s house, I lose control of the car and crash.”

  1. The road conditions are bad
  2. Your car is a piece of junk
  3. You’re a terrible driver
  4. Aunt Betsy is a witch and is trying to kill you. Lose her number. She’s bad news.


“Whenever I bulk, I just get fat. And then I spend all this time dieting off the fat only to look the same as when I started, or worse.”

1. You’re unwilling to temporarily “lose” abs for a few months

…even in exchange for significant new growth.

There’s nothing wrong with that (you do you), though you are hereby forbidden from complaining about:

  • bad genetics
  • slow growth
  • being undersized
  • that you’ve “tried everything but just can’t get big.”
  • the insufferable slings & arrows of being “natty.”


2. You’re starting a bulk at too high a bodyfat

…or have a long history of chronic dieting, or are too old (though being active & fit is more important than age), or are happy with your current level of muscle size, or are just focusing on other things in life.

In these cases, you’re better off with extended periods of lean gaining or “recomping” or “chasing maintenance.”


3. Your plan or execution sucks.

  • you’re eating way too much, too fast
  • you’re eating with no tracking or plan
  • you’re eating too much junk food
  • your accountability measures suck. Of course you’re smoothing out. Focus on the process, the training, not just the mirror.
  • you pull the plug on the bulk WAY too soon (because you screwed up all of the above).
  • you jump into a damage control diet before solidifying whatever gains you made.

So what you did was:

  1. Eat Too Much Phase x 1-2 months
  2. Strict Diet x 2-3 months
  3. Eat Too Much Phase x 1-2 months
  4. Strict Diet x 2-3 months
  5. Decide bulking doesn’t work.

When it should’ve been this:

1. Reasonable Surplus x 3-4 months
…with some gradual increase as per biofeedback

2. Lean gaining/recomping/chasing maintenance.
Calorie reduction closer to maintenance x 2-3 months, or until you just seem to stay relatively weight stable without trying. Vague perhaps, but there is an individual “art” to this.

3. Calorie Deficit x 2 months
…though the shorter the better if your big picture goal is to get bigger. I’d avoid getting very lean more than once a year (every other year is better)

4. Lean gaining/recomping/chasing maintenance.
Calories above maintenance x 2-3 months, or until you just seem to stay relatively weight stable without trying.


There. I fixed bulking for you.

And stay away from Aunt Betsy.
She really is bad news.