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At what % fat do you cut


I'd like to know at what fat% you choose to do a cut and for how long before you get back to muscle building in what I'll call the off season.

How significant is your strength reduction


For me personally I would say if I ever reach the point where I wouldn't feel confident taking my shirt off in public it's time to tap the brakes and do a minicut. However, by intelligently tracking/planning macros and slowly building your metabolism, this should rarely happen


It's all about what you see in the mirror.


Am currently in the midst of an 18 month approx. bulking phase and I definitely wouldn?t pass pwolves? shirt removal test at present .. my bodyfat isn?t at ridiculous levels (prob around 16-18%) but I just have to bite the bullet and keep pushing on because even with the amount of time I?ve given myself, I still feel like it?s a race against the clock to add just the few kilos of muscle I?m hoping to add by the time I compete again in sept next year.

My situation is probably different to most other guys though in that I just desperately need to fill out everywhere in order to look like a bodybuilder rather than a physique competitor ? which is what I resembled on my first time up on stage last year (as per my avatar). Doing that naturally takes time. I was 73.5kg (7%bf) on stage last time and my aim is to be around 80kg at the same bf% by the end of next year.

Although I don?t like the way I look at the moment in terms of my leanness, if I was to throw things into reverse now and do a cut I feel like I?d be wasting precious time.

Anyway, I'm checking in with my coach the weekend after next to do body measurements, so I'll see what the 'damage' is and make adjustments depending on his recommendations.


I hear ya man! My reason for gaining as leanly as possible as actually for the same reason as you choosing to gain a little quicker..I also was disappointed in my level of development my first time competing (although it was men's physique) and am looking to put on as much size as possible before competing again next fall.

However, I decided after my first contest prep that my best chance to bring as much size as possible to the stage is to stay as lean as I can in the offseason so as to have a nice smooth prep with minimal cardio, as my body doesn't seem to respond well when it comes to maintaing muscle/fullness when having to do much cardio. Everybody is different, I'm sure you know your body better than anybody; if you can retain a majority of the muscle you add this offseason while dieting off a relatively significant amount of fat gain, more power to you!


I like Shelby and JMs recommendations of once you lose your abs when flexed time to clean up a bit


This is what I mean when I say feeling comfortable without a shirt on..don't need to be ripped by any means, but abs should be visible when flexed


Perma bulk


I think this is a good rule to follow.

I think it was also Lee Haney who said if you don't have abs in the offseason, then you aren't a bodybuilder.

I tend to freak just before I reach that point. Went from 170 to mid 190's, starting losing the abs, cut to 182, now back at 191 and abs looking pretty tight for this weight, so I am going to keep pushing.

I never really had abs at a bodyweight of 200, time to see if I can pull it off.



Johnny Jackson.


Johnny Jackson was also a powerlifter, I'd bet he was prepping for a meet when this pic was taken


Doesn't really matter.

His approach led to him having one of the freakiest backs and shoulders...and he is a bodybuilder without his abs showing in the off season.

I am just making the note that it is all about the muscle you build.

No one cares if you stayed super lean but never got super big....at least not when it comes to optimal growth in muscle.

As far as this topic, you cut when you are no longer seeing enough progress in muscle growth to justify any additional fat gain and your fat gain is beyond your personal preference level.

Basing it on just abs will leave alot of people without big muscles after several years.


It does matter, if he was training for a powerlifting meet then he was a powerlifter not a bodybuilder. If he was training for a bodybuilding contest then maybe he would have stayed leaner. Johnny Jackson is not a good refutation of this original point "if you don't have abs in the offseason, then you aren't a bodybuilder". Because as I was pointing out, he wasn't a bodybuilder at that point.


He gained quite a bit of muscle by training that way...so yes, it is related...and yes, many huge guys went that route also to build that solid base of mass.

the muscle he built powerlifting helped him win bodybuilding contests.

He is always a bodybuilder. He is a bodybuilder who competes in powerlifting.

He wouldn't be doing it if it was setting back his bodybuilding progress.


George Farah also says this.


The goals of a powerlifter =/= the goals of a bodybuilder. All I'm saying is if he was prepping for a powerlifting meet, he would likely be willing to forgo the level of off-season leanness he would have otherwise maintained.


They actually compliment each other very well...especially when building that solid base of mass and strength.

It doesn't matter what you think MIGHT have happened. What matters is his powerlifting condition never held him back and helped him get fucking huge.

That is what counts.

If a guy built giant muscles but lost his abs for a few months, you are saying he did a WORSE job than someone who didn't build anywhere near that much size but stayed leaner the whole time?


I like the Lee Priest method... eat KFC everyday and then cut when you reach 30% bodyfat!


How did you possibly extrapolate that from what I said. My SOLE point was Johnny Jackson wasn't a good refutation to the claim that "if you don't have abs, you aren't a bodybuilder" because he wasn't competing as a bodybuilder in the picture you posted.


...and my sole point is I disagree because what happened in reality is it made him an even larger better bodybuilder.

One picture does not explain this man's LIFE.

Everything he did contributed to how he looks now...not just the things that make your point look better.

So, once again, do you think the guy who builds giant muscles but lost his abs for a few months did it wrong vs the guy who stayed lean the whole time and gained less muscle?

Please answer this. Don't the results matter most?