T Nation

A Decision To Make: Cut or Mass Gain

I have a decision to make and I was looking for some of you guys expert opinions the decision is for me to begin a cutting cycle or mass gain cycle. Im looking to do what is best for my bodybuilding journey in the LONG RUN. My interest in bodybuilding began when I quit playing college football. I was a lineman and weighed about 290-310 with a BF of 24%. It been a long journey but Im 22 and down to 210 with BF of 13%. I have built some muscle along the way through failed mass gaining programs (gained to much fat to quickly).

From that weightloss i have loose skin which makes the littlest fat gain loook worse than it actually is. I am certain that I am mostly a endomorph based on my own experience. That being said I can gain weight fairly quickly but it is not as lean as id like it to be. I want to begin a Test cycle and start a prolonged mass gaining period but one of my friends who has taken Test before says bloating will come with it.

As with my previous massgain trys I found its hard to keep up motivation in the gym if I looked like a fat ass. The loose skin makes the fat gain look worse than it is. On the other hand i could cut some more and risk losing muscle.I could stand to lose another 20 lbs of fat to achieve that V taper. My main delima is time the more time I spend cutting the less time I have to build muscle but I fear gaining to much fat with my mass gain. I am 22 now and need to decide something soon.

My question was should I start a cutting cycle or mass gain. I have both meal and training plans for either written out to follow. For my cutting plan I have acess to Clenbuterol which I have used before, For my mass cycle I also have access to Test. I am just looking for experienced advice on where to preceed next. Srry For the Long post but I felt it imperative to explain my situation.

Sorry to burst your bubble, but you’ve lost a significant amount of muscle in the process (about 40lbs) And you probably lost about 40-50lbs of fat.

You have to decisions, cut down to <10% BF, which will probably take your weight down to about 185.

OR

Build muscle with a bulk and try to get up to 250 or so, but you’ll have to gain some fat in the process.

Its up to you. If you are a former fat boy, you may want to be careful with an all out bulk, but if you are truly down to 13% then you probably dont need to worry too much initially.

My big question would be how have you been training in the past month or two, and what are your current lifts?

The answer may not be bulk or cut.

Post a picture of this 210 13% BF.

And I would like to see more of this loose skin you speak of…

…hope that did not sound ghey at all. -.-

[quote]B.L.U. Ninja wrote:

…hope that did not sound ghey at all. -.-[/quote]

You should have said no homo!

[quote]dankid wrote:
Sorry to burst your bubble, but you’ve lost a significant amount of muscle in the process (about 40lbs) And you probably lost about 40-50lbs of fat.

You have to decisions, cut down to <10% BF, which will probably take your weight down to about 185.[/quote]

If he’s 210 at 13%, then his lean mass is about 182lbs, and if he went down to 185 he’d be carring about 3lbs of fat in his entire body. Are you on crack?

[quote]Rational Gaze wrote:

[quote]dankid wrote:
Sorry to burst your bubble, but you’ve lost a significant amount of muscle in the process (about 40lbs) And you probably lost about 40-50lbs of fat.

You have to decisions, cut down to <10% BF, which will probably take your weight down to about 185.[/quote]

If he’s 210 at 13%, then his lean mass is about 182lbs, and if he went down to 185 he’d be carring about 3lbs of fat in his entire body. Are you on crack?[/quote]

Are YOU on crack, do you think it is possible to JUST lose FAT while losing ~25lb?

In answer to your question dankid, My lifts are pretty strong I believe; even when I cut is still focuse on gaining strength and taking in enough protien to do so. I dont regularly max out but it is safe to say that my bench would be a little over 400 and my squat in the high 400s, My deadlift would probably be around the mid to low 500s.

[quote]ghdtpdna wrote:

[quote]Rational Gaze wrote:

[quote]dankid wrote:
Sorry to burst your bubble, but you’ve lost a significant amount of muscle in the process (about 40lbs) And you probably lost about 40-50lbs of fat.

You have to decisions, cut down to <10% BF, which will probably take your weight down to about 185.[/quote]

If he’s 210 at 13%, then his lean mass is about 182lbs, and if he went down to 185 he’d be carring about 3lbs of fat in his entire body. Are you on crack?[/quote]

Are YOU on crack, do you think it is possible to JUST lose FAT while losing ~25lb?[/quote]

You should work on your reading comprehension or just continue lurking.

This is turning into a very creepy place as of late.

[quote]Bricknyce wrote:
This is turning into a very creepy place as of late. [/quote]

Someone must have made a script that directs youtube commenters here :slight_smile:

[quote]Chaos6060 wrote:
I have a decision to make and I was looking for some of you guys expert opinions the decision is for me to begin a cutting cycle or mass gain cycle. Im looking to do what is best for my bodybuilding journey in the LONG RUN. My interest in bodybuilding began when I quit playing college football. I was a lineman and weighed about 290-310 with a BF of 24%. It been a long journey but Im 22 and down to 210 with BF of 13%. I have built some muscle along the way through failed mass gaining programs (gained to much fat to quickly).

From that weightloss i have loose skin which makes the littlest fat gain loook worse than it actually is. I am certain that I am mostly a endomorph based on my own experience. That being said I can gain weight fairly quickly but it is not as lean as id like it to be. I want to begin a Test cycle and start a prolonged mass gaining period but one of my friends who has taken Test before says bloating will come with it.

As with my previous massgain trys I found its hard to keep up motivation in the gym if I looked like a fat ass. The loose skin makes the fat gain look worse than it is. On the other hand i could cut some more and risk losing muscle.I could stand to lose another 20 lbs of fat to achieve that V taper. My main delima is time the more time I spend cutting the less time I have to build muscle but I fear gaining to much fat with my mass gain. I am 22 now and need to decide something soon.

My question was should I start a cutting cycle or mass gain. I have both meal and training plans for either written out to follow. For my cutting plan I have acess to Clenbuterol which I have used before, For my mass cycle I also have access to Test. I am just looking for experienced advice on where to preceed next. Srry For the Long post but I felt it imperative to explain my situation. [/quote]

I’d suggest a little 2 month experiment: eat at maintenance level (use a formulae to guestimate), do a good workout program (the lifts should still go up slightly on a maintenance level calorie intake or just above), do cardio a few times per week. Monitor your body composition each week.

At the end of two months:

  • If you seem to be adding a little muscle/maintaining…and loosing quite a bit of fat, then you could probably benefit from a cutting cycle (but not for long…just until the fast fat gains stop).

  • If you’re body composition seems to stay the same (little difference, especially hardly any fat loss), then provided your training is good, you would probably be best going for the bulk (but don’t overestimate required calories! lol).

Personally, IF I actually had 13%, I wouldn’t be worried about cutting…13% is leaner than you probably think.

If you truly are that strong, and are really 13% at 210’ish you are kinda at a crossroads. You probably wont be able to add much strength or muscle while getting much below 13% maybe 10% if you are lucky.

A cyclical approach may let you continue to progress, but your best bet in the long run may be alternating bulking and cutting phases and taking a “stair step” approach back up to your desired weight. Some of the bigger guys on the forum might feel a bit differently, and that you should just continue a long bulk for many years. Im not really sure which method is better, but im taking the stair step approach and it makes sense to me.

It probably doesn’t matter too much which one you do first. Your cutting phases the goal might be to get to 10-12%, while maintaining as much strength as POSSIBLE, while your bulking phases you’ll want to gain as much strenght muscle and weight as possible while having a point where you decide its time to stop (this may be 15-20% or something like that)

Personally if I were in your position, i’d do a rapid fat loss phase first. It would last a month, and would probably be a protein sparing modified fast like the velocity diet. My training would be either how you are currently doing it, or a push/pull/leg or upper/lower split with about 3-4 days for weights and 1-2 for some form of cardio if needed. And as for the weight training, I would cut back on the volume big time, but keep the intensity as high as possible. So if you typically got 15 total reps in a week on bench @ greater than or equal to 90% 1rm, then try to get maybe 8-9 And if you typically got 30-50 reps @ around 80-85% then cut that down to 20-30.

Good luck!

[quote]dankid wrote:
A cyclical approach may let you continue to progress, but your best bet in the long run may be alternating bulking and cutting phases and taking a “stair step” approach back up to your desired weight. Some of the bigger guys on the forum might feel a bit differently, and that you should just continue a long bulk for many years. Im not really sure which method is better, but im taking the stair step approach and it makes sense to me.
[/quote]

What time frame is each phase?

…If not set times, then what’s the difference between that and what the “bigger guys” say in bulking long term until a the “upper” bf level is reached (so long as the muscle:fat ratio isn’t stupid)?

haha I just found out this is my workout partner, so be nice :slight_smile:

I think it will help for him to hear other opinions than my own on what he should do. I’m also trying to get him to post some pics since that will make this much easier.

[quote]waylanderxx wrote:
haha I just found out this is my workout partner, so be nice :slight_smile:

I think it will help for him to hear other opinions than my own on what he should do. I’m also trying to get him to post some pics since that will make this much easier.[/quote]

Well, have no fear. Dankid is here to sort things out :wink:

This is retarded (not the OP but the discussion that rose from it). If you were over 300lbs at ONLY 24% body fat, you had better proportions for PRO BODYBUILDING than 99.9% of the people here. 24% on someone over 300lbs does NOT look fat at all.

That would be nearly 230lbs LEAN BODY MASS which is more lean body mass than half of the people competing in the NPC…so tell me why the hell someone like that would drop to only 210lbs at 13%? That is only 182lbs of lean body mass.

That means you dropped about 50lbs of lean muscle from your frame…yet think you have loose skin? Maybe you should gain some of that muscle back and fill your frame back out??? You dropped about 90lbs total at least when most of that was muscle. Of course you don’t look good after that because muscle is what gives you your shape.

I weigh under 290lbs right now. If I dropped muscle and landed at 210lbs at 13% body fat, that would be HORRIBLE.

I am guessing you were NOT only 24% body fat at 300lbs because enough people would be riding your nuts about how muscular you were that you never would have intentionally dropped 50lbs of muscle for no reason.

Further, someone who actually built themselves up to 230lbs of lean body mass would likely have a better understanding of weight lifting to not lose 50lbs of muscle trying to lose body fat (because the errors made in a diet to lose mostly muscle like that must have included starvation, no weight lifting and tons of Slim Fast).

Yes, pictures would clear this up because none of this makes sense right now.

[quote]its_just_me wrote:
What time frame is each phase?

…If not set times, then what’s the difference between that and what the “bigger guys” say in bulking long term until a the “upper” bf level is reached (so long as the muscle:fat ratio isn’t stupid)?[/quote]

Its probably not that different than what they advocate, and it also probably depends on the individual.

For me, I have a hard time gaining weight, so my gaining phases are usually going to be all out bulks lasting 4-8 weeks. Then there will be a maintanence/slow bulk phase lasting 1-8 weeks, and if a cut is needed it will probably be 2-4 weeks and be fairly rapid. I want to spend most of my time being able to train hard and get stronger, so for most of the year I should be in some form of bulk.

But someone that puts weight on easily these phases would probably be completely different.

The OP claims to have been 300’ish lbs, so he is very different from me.

Here are some pics that I took ealrier today hopefully they will help

Heres another


Pic