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1 Week Cut/2 Week Bulk Cycle



I'd like to hear different opinions on this subject.

Cut week:
10 calories per pound of bodyweight daily
50% protein
25% carbohydrates
25% fat

For the Primer Phase you should avoid all simple and starchy carbohydrates.
That means NO bread, cereal, pasta, rice, potatoes, fruit, sugar, etc. During this low
calorie phase any carbohydrates you eat will come mainly from green vegetables
and the trace amounts of carbs that are found in your protein supplements and
any seasoning or condiments that you use on your food.

bulk weeks:
20 calories per pound of bodyweight daily
30% protein
50% carbohydrates
20% fat

For the Overload Phase you have a lot more freedom with your food choices and
you can include all the typical high starchy carbohydrate foods. But strive to time your
carbohydrates so that you consume the majority of them with your breakfast, pre and
post workout meals

I'm seeing this as a method to gain solid mass.

Thanks in advance,


i think the issue with this plan is it's one step forward, one step back. however if your strength in reps is getting better then id keep with it.

try it, it may work. I don't know your genetics, how you respond to carbs or different stimulus.


This is a great method for achieving a so-called skinny-fat physique.

If your screen name is correct, you should look into bulking for about 2 years (no need for junk food though) and then cut to see if you've got pretty muscles.

Oh, and fat should be about 40% of your diet. It's that important.


This is like the Torbjorn Akerfeldt ABCDE diet. MM2K had a big series on it in the late 90's. Didn't seem to work very well - kind of a 1 step forward 2 steps back kind of outcome....


I know this idea has been talked about a lot by newer, sometimes intermediate, trainers hoping to stumble upong the holy grail that has eluded them in their nutrtiion approaches, but I just can't see this working. The body will always try to adapt (which is why carb cycling is so intelligent an approach to cutting), but the week to week thing,.. I have yet to see anyone truly make progress with it. I don't think you'll have enough of a duration each time for the body to honestly synthesize enough new proteins in order for the Net outcome to be a positive one.



i tried it(the ABCDE diet)for a good while after reading it in bill phillips " sports supplements review " (remember that little gem). all i did was spin my wheels for about 7 or 8 months and if i remember right the year i tried it i only gained about 5lb lbm if that .


Joel Marion is re-pimping this (abcde) in one of the 769 blast email those guys send out daily.


Thanks for the quick answers all!

Will start a clean bulk with about 20% above maintaince kcal requirement and see which results I'll get.
I think this is the best way to put on solid mass in the long term.

Just need to transition from cut to bulk, going to add 300 kcals each week.

Thanks a lot and further input on clean bulking is welcome!


So like 40% fat, 30% protein, 30% carbs?

Add in a significant caloric excess and it sounds like a great way to get really fat, really quick. Actually, that's about how your macronutrients would break down if you ate every meal at Chilis. Superb.

Or maybe 40% fat, 50% protein, 10% carbs?

Now we're back to trying to gain muscle on a VLCD. Dumb.


If you're really concerned with minimizing fat gains while putting on considerable muscle, my recommendation would be to eat 18-10 kcal/lb for 8-10 weeks and train balls out heavy 4-5 times per week during that time. Then, run a VERY brief bout of PSMF (two weeks, TOPS) while scaling weight training back to twice per week (simply to preserve muscle). Keep protein just high enough, do just enough training to preserve muscle mass, and set calories at just high enough to accommodate protein intake and some other trace macros, and you shouldn't lose much, if any, of the muscle you built while quickly losing some of the bodyfat acquired during the 8-10 week bulking period IF you only take those drastic measures for a short period (1-2 weeks).

To recap:

Weeks 1-10
Calories: 18-20 kcal/lb
Macros: 1.5g protein/lb, 2.5g carbohydrate/lb, rest of calories coming from fat
Training: Heavy, progressive increase in training weights, 4-5x per week, aim to hit each body part about twice a week

Week 11 (possibly 12)
Calories: Not many at all
Macros: 1g protein/lb, 20g carbohydrate, 10g fat
Training: Full body workouts twice per week. Low volume, 1-2 work sets per body part.
Refeed: 5 hour refeed window at the end of week 1 IF you are going to do this for two weeks.



That was my first thought too. Basically sounds like ABCDE.

There was actually an article about an "improved" version of that type of plan written many, many, many moons ago that coordinates different Poliquin training routines with the low calorie/high calorie phases.


It might be something worth test driving just for your own personal experience, but as everyone else has pretty much said, it's generally better to focus on one goal at a time (fat loss or size building) and attack it with a single targeted strategy.


Read what I wrote:

And read the bolded parts of what you wrote:

The GSD is a FAT LOSS DIET. We're talking about trying to gain muscle here. The GSD is totally irrelevant. It is a low carb, low calorie diet. If you were to add in enough carbohydrate to bump calories to just over maintenance levels, the fat would be a much smaller percentage of total intake.

The anabolic diet is a cyclical ketogenic diet. It requires fairly massive carb ups 2 out of every 7 days. Drop the carb ups and I guarantee you that it's going to take just about everyone a lot more time and effort to put on quality mass. It also relies on the premise that you can eat in a surplus all of the time and gain muscle while losing fat. Not happening without some very powerful drugs, sorry. Recomposition without drugs is a little more complicated than not eating carbs 5/7 of the time. Go ahead and eat 2000 calories over maintenance with zero carbs for 3-4 months and get back to me.

Building muscle is largely reliant upon carbohydrate and protein intake. Fat is essential for bodily function, but there is a point of diminishing returns WRT fat intake. 40% of your daily calories from fat is more than necessary and most likely detrimental when it comes to eating to gain muscle. For a 200 lb man AT MAINTENANCE, that would mean about 135g of fat per day. Eating to gain, it would be about 160g of fat per day. Those are fairly colossal intakes for a person that size, and no matter how much smoke someone blows up your ass about fats being important (which, don't get me wrong, they are), that's too much.

If you want to build muscle as efficiently as possible, you're going to have to eat carbs and you're going to have to be in a caloric surplus. Bottom line. If you want to stay lean while gaining, then your best bet is to start out fairly lean and know when to put the brakes on and lean out some before getting back to bulking.


The part that confused me was when you said, this is a great way to get fat. It probably isn't optimal for gaining muscle, but how will it make you fat if you are only eating, say, 500 cal over maintenance? It was precisely when I switched to higher fat diet that I DROPPED fat the quickest.


The subject line of this thread just screams, "Hey! I haven't read anything that's ever been posted on this site!"


It's a great way to get fat if you are eating like that with above maintenance calories. Surplus of calories + surplus of readily stored free fatty acids = getting fat easily.

A diet like the one you described is more likely to shift calories away from storage as newly synthesized muscle tissue and towards adipose tissue. Carbohydrates are far more likely to be burned for energy or stored as glycogen within muscles and the liver than they are to be converted to fat. De novo lipogenesis requires a specific set of conditions in order to occur. Fats can be metabolized for energy or stored as fat. Now which one is preferable if we are talking about building muscle?

You got leaner with a higher percentage of intake from fat because you were dieting. I don't see how the distinction between eating below maintenance (DIETING) and eating above maintenance is a difficult one to make. You are missing the forest for the trees right here by focusing so much on JUST carb vs. fat intake.


This sounds like Mike Roussell's article "Build and Burn".


I use this approach at the beginning stages of fat-loss plans. I'll have 'blitz' cutting for two weeks at a very low-carb intake, and then have a week 'break' eating maintenance kcals (moderate-carb intake). I've had a lot of success with this approach and feel that it's a great way for me to start things off. I later transition into a more strategic targeted carb-cycling approach. I could understand using this idea for bulking and have probably done something similar to this in the off-season. I would prolong a consistently higher intake (500-1000kcal above maintenance) for at least 4-6 weeks, or if I got too soft, before spending 1-2 weeks with a lower kcal intake. There may be some benefit of trying to take advantage of fluctuating hormones between each phase. After being depleted for a couple weeks, the muscle rebound effect is fairly pronounced; and after spending some time with higher kcal, it's very easy to drop fat (obviously). This is fun to experiment with but I know that I am better off spending a decent amount of time slowly upping kcals to build lean mass and then backing off a bit if I start getting too soft.


There have been more than 1 person before that said to focus on one goal at a time for optimal results (someone said it before I just did).

You have no info listed in your profile, nor here in this thread. Please don't tell me you have pics in RMP. We need to know your stats B4 we can give credible advice.

With that said, your goal is to gain solid mass, then go with a bulk, a plain and simple bulk. Forget the cutting nonsense.

Like I asked before, "What are your stats exactly?" Cut weeks are not necessary on a bulk, if you do the bulk properly which means different things for different ppl, so again we need to know your stats.

For example, you might choose 300 calories above maint. and get good gains. Stick with that as long as it works -- but the definition of "works" is subjective and very individual, so like I said...

If you bulk up a little too much, cut back evenly on carbs and fats for 1-2 weeks. You can do some/more fasted cardio and cut back to maintenance calories to lean out a little. This is what they call a tune-up, or something like that -- point being, this is not a 2 week cut, set apart on either end by a half-assed bulk-fail. It is very different from a cut. It is easiest to gain while lean, so the more you get into the mid-high teens in BF% and above, then the more fasted cardio you should do, and like I said, diet wise. If you're a beginner though, just start eating a diet of fresh foods, nothing packaged besides very basic workout supplements, like Surge, Grow, creatine.


Thanks for the insight.


Thanks a lot for all the responses, I appreciate them!

I have to learn what works for my body and I'm experimenting. I'm going to give IF (Intermittent Fasting) a try.


  • 17 y/o, lifting for about 18 months now, the first year I did not train how it should be.
  • 75kg = 165lbs
  • BF is around 13-15%
  • 1.74cm = about 5 feet 8 inches
  • Lift 4 days a week (now only 3 days, can't place any stress on my right foot = no legs for a while)

SQ: 3 x 120kg - DL: 4 x 140kg - Bench: 3 x 70kg - Overhead press: 4 x 50kg

Can't do the main lifts and big compounds because of my injury since last friday.

Again, thanks a lot!