T Nation

6' 6 - Bulk First or Cut?

Hi guys, I’ve been enjoying lurking on the forum a ton the last day or so. :slight_smile:

Recently I’ve decided to stop taking my body for granted and get into shape. I have started getting into resistance training, which feels fantastic! A few years ago I did a fair amount of weights/cardio in a kinda uncoordinated fashion but never made weight gains (or really wanted them) and eventually dropped out.

I’ve always been a pretty skinny person. 18 months ago after an extended period on an (involuntary) starvation diet I was down to 155lb. I’m now 189lb or so. The 30+lb that I’ve gained since hasn’t been too flattering.

So I’m skinny, flabby, and try not to annoy moderately sized kittens. My bodyfat is calculated using random calculators on teh interweb as about 23% so there’s a significant margin for error. FWIW I’m 26 years old.

My goal is to get down to 'prox 12% bodyfat and increase muscle mass so that I have some definition. Also, just as importantly, to build some core strength so that I can do stuff like, um, stand up while wearing a hat. Does this sound reasonable?

For weight training I am focusing on the major compound movements and starting with 2-3 sets of 8-12 reps to near-failure. Plan is for 3 workouts a week and hitting each major muscle group twice a week. I am currently using elastic resistance stuff but I’m looking into joining a gym and working with free weights.

I will probably use dumbbells where possible as I’ve used them before and I understand that they are good for core work. This bit will develop further obv. OK so far?

*** So, my main question *** - am I better off loosing some bodyfat first and then bulking or vica versa?

My diet for the past month has looked vaguely like;

#1 75g oatmeal, yogurt, fruit
#2 100g tinned salmon, diced veggies, mayonnaise, 50-60g brown rice
#3 200g lean meat, steamed veggies, rice/noodles/sweet potato
#4 see #2
#5 200g baked beans (English thing; tinned beans in a tomato sauce, low glycemic index, high protein/fiber) and fruit, maybe some cheese - this is eaten shortly before bed

Drink; lots of water/tea

but not religiously. I think I work out around 2500 cal and not a ton of protein. According to a counter linked from another thread I need to consume 'prox 4500 cal/day for weight gain. Like, holy crap. I’m not sure I’ve ever eaten 4500 cal in a day.

So, if I am going to try to gain first I am looking for any advice on rounding out this diet. I enjoy eating like this and would refer to keep it as the ‘bones’. You all say I need to eat protein with every meal, so I am thinking of adding some milk mixed with milk power, blended with fruit to breakfast for whey/casein and some poached eggs for meal #5.

I think I would struggle to eat more frequently but I can try. Just need to find an extra 2kcal/day without chugging half a jar of mayonnaise. Or, if I loose weight first then it’s easy enough for me to cut down my calorie intake.

If you got this far then thank you for reading at least! :slight_smile: Comments, suggestions, flames all welcome.

Jam

[quote]Jamougha wrote:
Hi guys, I’ve been enjoying lurking on the forum a ton the last day or so. :slight_smile:

Recently I’ve decided to stop taking my body for granted and get into shape. I have started getting into resistance training, which feels fantastic! A few years ago I did a fair amount of weights/cardio in a kinda uncoordinated fashion but never made weight gains (or really wanted them) and eventually dropped out.

I’ve always been a pretty skinny person. 18 months ago after an extended period on an (involuntary) starvation diet I was down to 155lb. I’m now 189lb or so. The 30+lb that I’ve gained since hasn’t been too flattering.

So I’m skinny, flabby, and try not to annoy moderately sized kittens. My bodyfat is calculated using random calculators on teh interweb as about 23% so there’s a significant margin for error. FWIW I’m 26 years old.

My goal is to get down to 'prox 12% bodyfat and increase muscle mass so that I have some definition. Also, just as importantly, to build some core strength so that I can do stuff like, um, stand up while wearing a hat. Does this sound reasonable?

For weight training I am focusing on the major compound movements and starting with 2-3 sets of 8-12 reps to near-failure. Plan is for 3 workouts a week and hitting each major muscle group twice a week. I am currently using elastic resistance stuff but I’m looking into joining a gym and working with free weights.

I will probably use dumbbells where possible as I’ve used them before and I understand that they are good for core work. This bit will develop further obv. OK so far?

*** So, my main question *** - am I better off loosing some bodyfat first and then bulking or vica versa?

My diet for the past month has looked vaguely like;

#1 75g oatmeal, yogurt, fruit
#2 100g tinned salmon, diced veggies, mayonnaise, 50-60g brown rice
#3 200g lean meat, steamed veggies, rice/noodles/sweet potato
#4 see #2
#5 200g baked beans (English thing; tinned beans in a tomato sauce, low glycemic index, high protein/fiber) and fruit, maybe some cheese - this is eaten shortly before bed

Drink; lots of water/tea

but not religiously. I think I work out around 2500 cal and not a ton of protein. According to a counter linked from another thread I need to consume 'prox 4500 cal/day for weight gain. Like, holy crap. I’m not sure I’ve ever eaten 4500 cal in a day.

So, if I am going to try to gain first I am looking for any advice on rounding out this diet. I enjoy eating like this and would refer to keep it as the ‘bones’. You all say I need to eat protein with every meal, so I am thinking of adding some milk mixed with milk power, blended with fruit to breakfast for whey/casein and some poached eggs for meal #5.

I think I would struggle to eat more frequently but I can try. Just need to find an extra 2kcal/day without chugging half a jar of mayonnaise. Or, if I loose weight first then it’s easy enough for me to cut down my calorie intake.

If you got this far then thank you for reading at least! :slight_smile: Comments, suggestions, flames all welcome.

Jam[/quote]

BULK! at least to the strength and size of a average 13 year old Ethiopian girl.

bulk till whole chicken legs ooze out of your belly button. dont waste time cutting

Some random thoughts:

  • don’t cut, at your size, you will probably have to reach 240-250 lbs. in order to fill out somewhat

  • up the calories and especially protein (meat, fish, eggs, dairy)

  • hit the weights intensely, maybe add 1 or 2 sessions of HIIT

  • add some good fats, eg. nuts, olive oil, ground flax seeds, etc. (this will also help getting in enough calories)

  • more protein for breakfast, a protein shake as you stated would be a good idea, eggs also

  • baked beans contain lots of sugar, preservatives and salt, protein is negligible - if they help you meet your caloric needs, though, go for it

6’6" and you weight like 190?!!! Definitely bulk man, jeez! do people ask you if you are anorexic??!!! Are you?!?!

6’6" 190 lbs and you’re worried about body fat percentage? Man eat…work yourself up to like 4500 calories a day and don’t run … just sit when you’re not lifting.

Hehe, thanks guys, I was pretty sure that was the answer I would get but I wanted the validation given my technically high body fat and the fact that I’m currently heavier than I’ve ever been (lol).

[quote]michael2507 wrote:
Some random thoughts:

  • don’t cut, at your size, you will probably have to reach 240-250 lbs. in order to fill out somewhat

  • up the calories and especially protein (meat, fish, eggs, dairy)

  • hit the weights intensely, maybe add 1 or 2 sessions of HIIT

  • add some good fats, eg. nuts, olive oil, ground flax seeds, etc. (this will also help getting in enough calories)

  • more protein for breakfast, a protein shake as you stated would be a good idea, eggs also

  • baked beans contain lots of sugar, preservatives and salt, protein is negligible - if they help you meet your caloric needs, though, go for it[/quote]

Michael, thanks for the detailed thoughts. I’ve considered using HIIT but haven’t begun trying it yet, I will begin today. It’s best to do this after my weights, yes?

I will work on adding more protein and fat. Not too worried about salt since I think my diet is low sodium so I will keep scarfing beans as they’re easy.

240lb? As in, 110Kg? yikes. Now I know what the 4500 calories are for…

[quote]deapee wrote:
6’6" 190 lbs and you’re worried about body fat percentage?[/quote]

There are way too many of these people.

I think you cannot use body fat % alone as a diagnostic tool to determine the pth you should take. There are two ways to have a high body fat%, relative lack of muscle (for your height at least) with normal fat mass (for your frame and height) and normal muscle mass with relatively high body fat mass. I’d think you fit in the first category, so you probably should just add muscle without worrying.

Yeah, at 6’-6", there should be at a 2, a 4 and a 0 in your weight. 260 would be even better!

work on body compostition not bodyfat, you sound like you have little muscle mass, by gaining some muscle your bodfat PERCENTAGE will go down.

plus if you try to cut to twigish numbers your body will try its damnest to keep that fat for survival.

think about it for a second

ypu cant flex bone! lol sorry man I had to throw it in there
good luck

BULK!, with how much you weight now and what your body should be your going to put on some weight fast and you will get alot stronger. did you starve yourself or something?

[quote]Jamougha wrote:
<<< 240lb? As in, 110Kg? yikes. Now I know what the 4500 calories are for…

[/quote]

I’m 4 in. shorter than you and will probably hit 240 sometime this year. I gave up trying to guess my BF%, but I’m not fat by any reasonable standard.

At 6’6 you could eventually be healthy and still not actually fat at 280 unless you have the bone structure of a pencil.

You do not believe this, I can tell by how stunned you are by the notion of ever weighing 240.

Nobody wants to be big anymore or nobody believes they can be.

I think if I were to stage a pic of all the food I eat in an average day most new guys coming to this site would purge at the mere sight and there are those who outdo me by quite a bit.

[quote]Professor X wrote:
deapee wrote:
6’6" 190 lbs and you’re worried about body fat percentage?

There are way too many of these people.[/quote]

Statistically speaking I don’t think there are all that many 6’6" people.

[quote]jedidiah wrote:
Professor X wrote:
deapee wrote:
6’6" 190 lbs and you’re worried about body fat percentage?

There are way too many of these people.

Statistically speaking I don’t think there are all that many 6’6" people. [/quote]

Oh, that was rich. Creative writing professors must put you in the front row.

While there may not be a large number of 6’6" people running around, there are more than enough who may be shorter and are also extremely skinny yet seem confused as to whether they should actually gain weight. They focus in on body fat percentage even though their arms could be used to pick locks.

I personally have never seen anything like it. It must be en vogue to look near-feminine. That is the only explanation for why some extremely skinny guy would even THINK of dieting down instead of working on building some muscle mass.

If you need help picking out a cute black dress, I am sure several ladies from the Muscle Sorority will be glad to help. Then again, they may be much more muscular.

6’5" guy chiming in. I started off at 195, currently at about 230 and still working. It’ll take a while until you start to fill out, I’m not big by any standards at this point and I’m 40 lbs heavier than you at about 12-13% bf.

Just eat a lot, but eat quality food and be sensible about it. Work your way up to a proper calorie level, Berardi recommends 250 kcal intervals for two weeks, assessing weight changes, than adjusting as necessary. That is to say, increase your cals by 250, weigh yourself after two weeks.

If you gained 1-2 lbs, good, stick to that level until the scale changes stop. If you didn’t move up accordingly.

No need to rush things and get fat, you need to eat big but you need to find out what eating big is for you.

[quote]Jamougha wrote:

Michael, thanks for the detailed thoughts. I’ve considered using HIIT but haven’t begun trying it yet, I will begin today. It’s best to do this after my weights, yes?[/quote]

I do it on days when I don’t lift.

As long as you still have enough energy after lifting, that’s fine as well.

[quote]Professor X wrote:
jedidiah wrote:
Professor X wrote:
deapee wrote:
6’6" 190 lbs and you’re worried about body fat percentage?

There are way too many of these people.

Statistically speaking I don’t think there are all that many 6’6" people.

Oh, that was rich. Creative writing professors must put you in the front row.

While there may not be a large number of 6’6" people running around, there are more than enough who may be shorter and are also extremely skinny yet seem confused as to whether they should actually gain weight. They focus in on body fat percentage even though their arms could be used to pick locks.

I personally have never seen anything like it. It must be en vogue to look near-feminine. That is the only explanation for why some extremely skinny guy would even THINK of dieting down instead of working on building some muscle mass.

If you need help picking out a cute black dress, I am sure several ladies from the Muscle Sorority will be glad to help. Then again, they may be much more muscular.[/quote]

Right, I understand, it was a feeble attempt at humor. I humbly apologize for not being hilarious.

My creative writing class was at a round table :-.

Ok. Lets look at your workout plan. You’re using elastic bands right now but you’re going to switch to dumbbells soon. Well that’s good but don’t toss out your resistance rubber bands. You’ll want them around for strengthening the external rotator muscles and other little fellas that hold your shoulder together.

Using dumbbells in the gym is great and all but since you’re going to be bulking you’ll want to give the barbell squat, bench press, barbell row, barbell shoulder press, and barbell deadlift a lot of love. These moves will allow you to use more weight than you could use with dumbbells and will ultimately cause you to gain more muscle. Using Dumbbells is great but don’t let anyone catch you doing dumbbell curl-squats. Do dumbbell exercises after you do barbell exercises .

Diet wise I wouldn’t count calories if I were you. Think of your diet this way:

  1. You need to eat as much food as you can.
  2. You can’t afford to fill up your stomach with junk food. You need that space for wholesome foods.
  3. You need protein, carbohydrates, and fats to add muscle and give you energy. Don’t neglect any of them.
  4. Eat at least 6 fist-sized portions of fruits and vegetables every day. They can’t be deep fried.

[quote]Professor X wrote:
deapee wrote:
6’6" 190 lbs and you’re worried about body fat percentage?

There are way too many of these people.[/quote]

and there are way too many media sources(magazines, movies, etc)that brainwashes the males of our generation that a six pack is hotter and healthier than big bulging muscles and strength. that’s why.