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17 Yrs Old. 12 Week Transformation. Advice? Bulk or Keep Cutting?

These pictures are of my 12 week transformation. The bottom row is where I started: 195 lbs, 5’11"
The top row is my current physique: 177 lbs, 5’11"
I was wondering if anyone could give me some feedback and an estimate of my BF% I have been training seriously for about half a year. Also, I’m not sure if I should start my lean bulk now, or try to get some more fat off for a few weeks and then start my lean bulk?

your bf % is ‘pretty lean’. There is no number I could tell you that would actually be remotely helpful.

As far as getting leaner or not right now, it really just depends on your personal goals. If you’re pretty much as big as you want to be and just want better abs, lean out. If it’s a long term goal to carry substantially more muscle, work towards that. Your goals are your own, we can’t tell you what to do. I personally think you’re at a bodyfat level that can be essentially maintained while gaining muscle. If you were to get leaner, that would become harder to maintain. Right now, you could probably add muscle for quite a few years without gaining appreciable fat. You’re pretty close to the leanness that I keep year-round.

Thanks for the feedback! I have never really dedicated myself to a bulk and I wasn’t sure if fat gain would be out of control if I were to start lean bulking now because I have always heard that it is best to start bulking when you are lean. However, I never knew how lean that was.

it’s an old school thought that you have to add fat while putting on muscle. I’ve gone from 125 lbs when I was 18 to a current 200 lbs, and I have never been much fatter than you are now, if ever. It can be done, it just requires patience, but I think lean gains are absolutely the way to go. Some people think process is faster if you let yourself get fat while bulking, but I am of the opinion that those people generally overestimate how much muscle they are gaining. They just like seeing the weight on the scale going up and becoming physically larger. People used to think that if you’re less than 200 lbs, you’re small. That’s absurd.

You should pay consistent attention to what you see in the mirror, and less what the scale says. If you see yourself getting fatter, you need to adjust your calorie intake AT THAT TIME. Don’t accept major fat gains as just part of the process. Don’t ‘bulk’ just because you want to see a particular number on the scale. The few times I’ve done that, I’ve ended up over eating, feeling like shit, and putting on fat that I didn’t need to. The first time I saw 200 on the scale, I felt tired, sluggish, slow, and unathletic. The version of me at 200 lbs now is a much better version. I should have been satisfied with 185-190 when I was there, and slowly worked my way to 200, but I was so dead set on seeing that number that I sacrificed athleticism and quality of life to get there quicker. Don’t be me :wink:

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Thank you for all of the great feedback! A lot of very useful information! I think I am going to work down to 170 then do as you just said