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View Full Version : Bulk or cut first?


peter
Thu, January 29th, 2004, 11:38 AM
I've done some fitness for half a year now, and it's pretty noticable. My fat% is 19%. Now I am wondering what to do first. Should I cut until I have a fat% of say 10%, or should I first gain some lean mass. I am 182 cm (5.9ft), and weigh 73kg (161lbs).

I feel the 19% is a bit much, so I really don't like to gain extra fat by bulking. But on the other hand I don't like to lose a lot of fat, and maybe look too skinny.

What should I do first?

vortex72
Thu, January 29th, 2004, 12:05 PM
I've done some fitness for half a year now, and it's pretty noticable. My fat% is 19%. Now I am wondering what to do first. Should I cut until I have a fat% of say 10%, or should I first gain some lean mass. I am 182 cm (5.9ft), and weigh 73kg (161lbs).

I feel the 19% is a bit much, so I really don't like to gain extra fat by bulking. But on the other hand I don't like to lose a lot of fat, and maybe look too skinny.

What should I do first?


Hardcore bodybuilders will tell you its impossible to build lean mass while cutting but I will vehemently contest this assertion. I have loss 85lbs in the last year and gained a considerable amount of lean mass and strength. I do believe if your MAIN concern is building muscle, then its best to go on a higher calorie/protein regimen to make sure you maximize muscle growth - just remember you will gain some adipose if you do this.

However, it is quite possible to lose bodyfat while simultaneously adding lean mass. It wont be as rapid as a "bulking" phase, but you are hitting 2 birds with one stone. For me, the way I've accomplished this is to eat right at or slightly below my maintenance calories while consuming at least 1g/lb bodyweight protein. I'm also on a cyclic keto diet and I take creatine with a small amount of dextrose and whey post workout. Do cardio on your non lifting days and perhaps up the cals slightly on lifting days and you can continue to cut bodyfat while gaining lean mass.

Its quite simple really :)

LaTouche
Thu, January 29th, 2004, 12:14 PM
Personnally, i rather bulk when my bodyfat is kinda low. Around 9's & 10's. Youl will most likely gain a little fat while bulking so if you don't mind going over 20 %, go for it. I usually stop bulking when i am over 12% just because i don't like the way i feel and look at a higher bodyfat than 12%. Do what feels best for you, and learn from you experiences...

CattleProd
Thu, January 29th, 2004, 01:24 PM
I have a gut right now (17% bf), and my first goal is to get rid of that. So while I'm exercising and eating to lose the fat, I'm also using this time to practice the exercises and learn how to get the most out of them. Once I've achieved 8% bf, I'll maintain for about one or two months, then start bulking.

:db:

-CP

Cologuy66
Thu, January 29th, 2004, 02:54 PM
As it has been said before it is possible to loose fat while gaining muscle. However that is not an easy road to navigate for most people.

You need to determine what your goals are. If you are new to working out and to eating right you need to set yourself up for success to keep yourself motivated. If you are overweight your emphasis should be on eating correctly (less calories) and on working out (lifting weights/cardio). What you want to see is the pounds disappearing and your body changing.

Once you loose the weight to get to your desired goal, then you will see the muscle underneath then you will be able to make a better determiniation of how or if you are going to "bulk up." You may notice that you like how you look and may not need to change a thing. Keep in mind that most fitness models (in Men's Health or Men's Fitness) are not these huge guys, but are trim and fit looking. Alternatively, those big boys who look like the incredible hulk in other magazines are either naturally gifted or more likely taking expensive and or illiegal substances to acheive that look.

Also always be wary of the term "bulk up" Typically when a person "bulks up" they have to increase their caloric intake which means they gain muscle and they gain fat at the same time. Doesn't this seem conflicting if you are trying to loose fat and weight? What do you have to do at the end of the bulk faze-- you have to cut calories to lose weight and lose fat.

Please notice how the author of this site (John Stone) made his transformation. His goal the first six months was to lose weight. Look at his clean diet, low calories, and his regimented workout program for both cardio and weight training. John's focus was to lose the weight, and get the body fat down to sub 10%.

peter
Fri, January 30th, 2004, 04:37 AM
Thanx you all!
So I guess it would be best to start cutting first then?!

NME
Fri, January 30th, 2004, 11:28 AM
Yes, I too would recommend cutting before you bulk. I call this the "clean slate" philosophy. Not only will your gains be more noticable (as you won't have much fat obscuring your lean muscle mass), but bulking when you're already at a relatively high bf% can snowball into more bf% than you'd care to add (despite the muscle mass you'll be adding).

And along the lines of what Vortex said, you can make some reasonable gains while cutting. That doesn't mean you should get upset if you notice your strength decrease (as long as it's not drastically) but it's certainly possible to increase strength while cutting (which indicates, at the very least, muscle mass retention).

Wizard12
Sun, February 22nd, 2004, 10:24 AM
And grew stronger in like 2 excersizes and became weaker at only one.
(over a 3.5 months period)
I think that bulking before cutting or cutting before bulking depends on the person itself.

I was on a relatively high bf % and with low muscle mass (due to melnutrition)
and I wasnt gaining any strength/mass

I decided to cut first, and now after I retained my strength I can start bulking again while trying to push myself to the limit not worrying about bf.


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