T Nation

A question

This is just a theoretical question. If someone were to start out at a relatively high bf% and get down to about 15 or so. Could they go on a bulking phase for a couple of weeks, than lean back down ot that same weight, with keeping the muscle they gained. If that were to work one could bulk up to get leaner in a sense. In case I’m not clear I’ll make up an example.

person= 200lbs at 15% bf
than bulk to let’s say 220lbs
assuming they gained 7 pounds of muscle
they now have about 20% body fat
they than cut too 200 pounds again giving them about 11% bf so essentially by keeping the same end weight and bulking they actually cut 4% bf. Even if one was to only gain 6 pounds the next bulk, the percentages would keep going down, so in the end, they would not only end up bigger, but leaner too? Or am I just way of spectrem here

Zarro, Yes thid could be an approach to take as the more LBM one has the more k/cals they burn.

I see a few holes in this theory though. The first being that the higher you are in BF% when you start to bulk the easier it is to gain more fat as opposed to LBM when bulking.

The other being your idea that adding 7 or even 6 lbs of LBM is east during a bulk. Fact is 6 or 7 lbs of gains for wnyone who has been training for any period of time is pretty damn good and takes a lot of work.

I would say a more solid approach that our sample 200lb @ 15% trainee could take would be to, once they hit this point and were simply burnt out on dieting, switch their dietto more of an emphasis of preserving all LBM/making moderate gains while still dropping BF%.
In other words give them a break from the calorie restricted diet and have then eat @ maint. or a very slight deficite of 250k/cals or so. Concentrate more on letting training and the adding of LBM to reach their goals. Essentially slowly swapping BF% for LBM, or at least maintaining LBM while still slowly dropping more BF%.

This would not only give the trainee a break mentally from the hypocaloric diet but also physically. Letting their metabolism straighten back out to a higher rate (this can take some time).

Just a few thoughts


such a good theory…
dosnet alway work that way my firend. if you are switching from a bulking to a cutting phase i SERIOUSLY recommend you do a hardening phase in between. going from Hypo->hypercalorie will strip you muscle quick, defeating the purpose of the the preceeding bulking phase.
In the hardening phase you go back to just above maintanace (your new estimated isocaloric intake) and hold this for 2-3weeks. you will drop a little of the fat and water you gained from the preceeding bulking but mainly just let your body “get used” to the new mass.
(not exactly scientific but since when was bodybuilding)
It wont be such a big shock to the system when you drop the cals with the extra phase thrown in.
BTW: Methoxy is great for this phase
…so in a round about way the answer to your question is YES but you just cant go on a bulking phase then cut. You’ll be going around in circles (ask anyone who did ABCDE)

I get your plan, although i don’t think you can get that much of benefit from a bulking cycle of just 2 weeks, i think you should be bulking at least 3 weeks on a program like quattro dynamo or a 4 week OVT (u find them using search engine.

IF it is you who is 20% at the mo, i would recommend that you cut for about 6-10 weeks in that time your bodyfat could be cut down by as much as 12-20lbs, on a good diet that is(e.g. t.dawg 2)

With a lower bodyfat you can guarantee, to an extent that most of the weight gained while bulking is lean mass, again assuming ur diet is clean

By your example, when cutting, the person is only burning pure fat, no muscle. Wake up, this will never happen! Many studies, scientific and in the real world, show that when drastically cutting the fast loss to muscle wasting is 1:1. Now throw in some anabolic aids and things do change. So I must ask you, or rather ask yourself, are you going to be taking any AASs to help you out along the way? If not, then your scenario is pure fiction. In the real world, you would go from 200 to 220 with a realistic gain of up to 10lbs muscle if done correctly. However, when dieting you would lose the weight at the same ratio, leaving you at exactly the same starting point except you’ve wasted your time and energy. This is a more non-fictional reality. Your thinking is what most people believe, and it is why most people fail to get results year after year once they’ve been training for awhile. And by the way, 15%BF is HIGH. Don’t think this is low enough to warrant a bulking cycle.

Thanks everyone, I know a lot of people think this way. I’m on a massive cutting phase now, and I’m seeing the weight loss taper a little. But I’m getting leaner, but I’m staying the same weight. I was just wondering what people thought, so thanks.

the whole BF% thing… we really need to see a photo. I have looked into this whole thing recently. The difference between DEXA, callipers, underwater weighing, and bio-impedence… you may as well be measuring 4 different people. reading of between 8% and 22%. ridiculous.