T Nation

Advice On Bulking/Cutting

Hey everybody,
I’ve been reading the boards for a while now and am seeking advice on bulking or cutting. I am:

-5’7" - 174 lbs.
-19 years old
-Approximately 24% body fat - based on hand held tester from November
-Deadlift - 286 lbs.
-Squat - 225 lbs.
-Bench - 175 lbs.
-Pullup - 5 reps with 22.5 lbs (still working on seeing max)
-Indian descent (probably doesn’t have to do with much)
-lifting since 4 years…rebirth since 1 year ago
-taking martial arts course currently (includes some jogging as conditioning)

Now my lifts are clearly not that great and I am lacking in leg strength. My goals are kind of general, but I would like to be much more athletically proficient than I am now. Most people would be say bulk just because of my crappy strength. But on one hand, more muscle should increase metabolism and help get rid of the fat later on.

However, I’ve read that fat is correlated with higher estrogen levels (by the way, I have most of my fat in my abdominal area). I am wondering if the estrogen could be slowing down my gains, and by cutting, it would help speed up building muscle.

I’m sorry for the long-winded post but I’ve wanted to get this out here for some time. If anything is unclear or if anyone has any questions, please ask. I am open to any criticism or comments, and I am fully committed to getting stronger.


IMO your strength level needs work everywhere. That and hows the diet. i would keep lifting hard, work on nmot lowering intake but nail a solid diet and see what a year or two of hard training will bring.

In short if your diet is shit clean it up some but keep eating that alone can swing the fat thing as well as just training hard and adding muscle. Add in a bit of carido as needed.


I agree, Just eat as clean as you can BUT eat alot of clean food, and when i mean clean i dont mean like a salad and thats it. Im talking dont eat sugary stuff or pizza or other Crap food.

Keep your lifting Heavy and gain some strength for now. Eat Big, Sleep Big, Lift Big = Get big. And then do cardio a lil, maybe a few times a week. And for your leg issues. Sqaut. Squat And um Squat some more :slight_smile:

Thanks guys (and to the T-Nation in general)
Right now it’s:

2 glasses 2% milk
2 egg omelet
plenty of fruit
bowl of Total
some type of pancakes or French toast (probably should be taken out)

Protein and fruit

Turkey sandwich, whole grain bread
Broccoli and some veggies
Vegetarian Bean Chili

Protein and fruit

Grilled chicken breast (1 or 2)
Pasta (try to keep it whole grain)
Mo’ veggies

Before sleeping:
String cheese

I need something before bed time. I do have oatmeal, and am putting it in somewhere. I am in college right now and need a little bit of help getting clean food. I’m low on money, so I don’t know if Metabolic Drive is an option. If there are any suggestions, please let me know. Thanks.

Sorry for double post, but will cardio (running) interfere with squat gains? I know there’s a few threads on it, but they seems inconclusive (which I realize will probably give me inconclusive answers on this as well).

[quote]nike1800 wrote:
Sorry for double post, but will cardio (running) interfere with squat gains? I know there’s a few threads on it, but they seems inconclusive (which I realize will probably give me inconclusive answers on this as well).[/quote]

I wouldn’t think so. Some short, fast sprints or running bleachers may even help improve your squat.

Estrogen can have some effect on fat – nowhere near what many think though – but doesn’t impede muscle gains, so not to worry there. Actually it can improve muscle gains.

Overall, you’re in a “place” that’s not unusual and principles of diet and training that apply generally, you don’t have to be concerned that some modification is needed in your case.

Bulking/cutting is best done sequentially: for example IMO it’s a lot preferable to lose X lb of fat (not any great amount, 5 or 10 lb) then the same or a little more amount of muscle, and repeat process, thus staying at similar bodyweight rather than fluctuating all over the place. There’s really no reason why, for example, you should aim to achieve 190 until bodyfat is at least near to as low as you want it.

You are right that having more muscle first burns more calories, so if one is starting from ground zero the above doesn’t apply unless really overfat, they would do better to gain say 20 lb first. However, you’ve already sped your metabolism considerably, I would think, and the tendency of the body to like a homeostasis around the accustomed weight – whether fat or muscle it doesn’t seem to care – is a more powerful factor I think. That is to say, if you lose 10 lb fat your body will more easily gain 10 lb of muscle and get back to its usual weight than if it “feels” heavy already.

Also you can be much more sure of where you are with lower bodyfat, as it will be much easier to tell whether a weight chance is muscle or fat – losing 5 lb of fat when having had only 15 grand total is a dramatic difference, while losing 5 lb when having had 40 lb total fat may be imperceptible. This will also help towards your goal of being more athletic.