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At 5'10, 184 lbs, Build Mass or Lose Fat?


I am trying to get input from people more knowledgeable than me on whether I should focus now on building more mass or losing bodyfat. My main training goals include participating in amateur strength and endurance sports. In the intermediate term (1-2 years) I would like to be around 185 lbs with 15-16% bodyfat.

body composition analysis done 7/12/14 using the pool method
Weight 176.4 lbs
Lean mass 134.9 lbs
Body fat 41.5 lbs / 23.5%

Weight measured 03/18/2015 184.0 lbs - above lean mass and body fat analysis should be similar to current.

Measurements (measured 2/17/15)
Waist 33.5"
Arms 13"
Chest 41"
Quads/hams 23.5"



Slowly recomp while doing both, working your ass off in the gym, eating in a slight surplus for recovery, and cutting out most of the junk food for a while.


Slowly recomp while doing both, working your ass off in the gym, eating in a slight surplus for recovery, and cutting out most of the junk food for a while.


Neither. You are skinny fat. Focus on getting your nutrients, cleaning up your diet, and working hard in the gym. And try to make all of that into permanent habits. Just doing that will get you a long way.

There is no good reason to complicate things at this point by trying to go through "cutting" and "bulking" cycles.


I wouldn't say he's "skinny fat," looks like he has a bit of a foundation of muscle there. But agree he should neither bulk nor cut, just lift hard and eat for performance.


Cut the fat first. It will give you some perspective on how much muscle you actually carry, and will better prepare your body (for example, by improving your muscles' sensitivity to carbs) for when the time comes to increase calories and "bulk".

Changes are much easier to track when your starting point is a lean physique. It's much easier to notice when increases in bodyweight are excessive relative to the amount of strength you are gaining. Negative effects of "bulking" (I hate that term) can be remedied before they get out of control.

My personal opinion is that it should be possible to gain plenty of strength and muscle, while keeping bodyfat under 12% (approx.).

Your current fat mass is too high, in my opinion, to consider a mass gaining phase. You'll probably end up uncomfortably fat, and any subsequent cut will be no fun at all.

As others have mentioned, a full-blown cut probably isn't necessary yet, but rather you should eat mostly whole foods, track calories (absolutely essential I believe), and work your ass off in the gym. Barbell complexes would probably be a good place to start, depending on how much bar control you have.

This advice comes from personal experience. Being fat is horrible, and unnecessary.


What specific amateur strength and endurance goals are you training for?


The advice given here is where I was leaning towards. At 184 lbs, I figure a good weight to cut to around 165 lbs. Iâ??ve been told by family mostly that I donâ??t need to lose so much weight, but they are neither athlete nor do they lift weights, so I will safely ignore their advice.

I will then focus on training consistency, nutrition, and performance (strength and endurance).


I'd like to do an amateur powerlifting competition towards the end of this year or beginning of next in the 181 lb weight class. Recent deadlift and squat 1rm were 240 lbs and 215 lbs, respectively, so I've got some strength to build.

Endurance goals I like trail racing and I'd like to run an obstacle race and a 50k end of this year/early next year. I have a half marathon next month.

I understand that if I want to be really good, I'll need to have a focus on one or the other. But firstly I need to develop training consistency.


Then I'd suggest you just stick to your weight and continue building strength.

You'd only have to lose 3-5lb to hit your weight class, and I'm sure you have plenty of space to grow without needing to eat a shit-ton of food atm.

In other words... Do exactly what Ecchastang wrote.

Oh, and how tall are you?


He is 5'10" ..... Lol it is literally the title of the thread.

OP personally you need some mass. I think spending time adding 10lbs of lean mass will do twice what for you what losing 10lbs would do for you physique wise and 10x better for your levels of strength. At 5'10" 185lbs with a very sub standard levels of strength and size you can easily gain lean mass, even lower bf% some, and increase all your lifts substantially in the next 6 months. But I am a fatty so what do I know.


I am illiterate.


This is a great call, everyone will always tell you you don't need to lose weight/add muscle/achieve anything, it's the way of the world. Action offends the inactive. My advice would be to look at the physiques they have, objectively, and decide if your standards are the same as theirs.