I started my bulk cycle 6 weeks ago. Started at 9 % body’s fat. Have made good gains but body fat is now 15%. I’ve lowered my calories already to not make it anyway worse. My question is should I do a “mini cut” within bulk cycle to shed some excess fat or keep going on the bulk?
How much bodyweight have you added in the six weeks? What has the strength increase been on your primary lifts?
You went from 9% to 15% in 6 weeks? Are you “internet” 9% or are you really 9%?
I’m about just under 10% (based on a recent pro caliper test and weekly Skulpt readings) and most people think I’m much lower. Were you able to see veins in your abs? I guess what I’m saying is that if you knew how to get to 9% in the first place then you probably would know how NOT to gain 6% body fat in as many weeks. That would mean you started eating pizza and ice cream instead of reverse dieting with a modest calorie boost. Is that what happened? Or did you properly reverse diet by first going to maintenance calories for a little while, then introducing a modest calorie bump?
So what did you eat for these 6 weeks? Do you track calories? Are you sure you didn’t just go from 13% to 15%? Or from 15% to 20%? Lets see a pic.
I would ditch the cut/bulk mentality anyway. Once you get super lean (if I’m wrong and you actually did) then I would stay that way and use a modest calorie surplus to gain muscle over a LONG period of time.
By the way, it took me an entire winter to put on 2% body fat. How anyone could do 1% a week blows my mind. I just don’t think you gained as much as you think.
I’m here to help you if you’d like, but first give more details and be straight about it to the best of your knowledge.
I ate 100% clean with no cheat days. I think what happened is that I just got out of an extreme fat loss and straight into bulking and didn’t ramp up my calories. I also put my surplus to high. My macros were steady but I know it was from my surplus. Like I said I’ve cut my surplus back a lot to not make the issue worse.
Forgot to mention I started at 128lbs and am now at 147 lbs of which I know at least a decent portion is water retention.
That was the total transformation picture. Here is a better one. The first picture was after I lost all my weight. I then just ate at maintance or just shy of and put a little muscle to the second photo. Then 6 weeks ago I started to actually bulk and go into a surplus. Weight prior to actual bulk was 134 now 147. I think I’ve added to much fat.
You should be happy to stay at that level of leanness while in a muscle building phase. You didn’t go up to 15%.
Use a tape measure to gauge calorie adjustments. The measurement of your waist area at your navel pretty much tells the story of where you are fat gain wise. Do it once a week in the morning after peeing and before eating or drinking anything.
But I feel like you should be giving me advice with those pics. How long did your first transformation take? That’s pretty impressive.
Thank you I appreciate that, it’s been a journey since the day I started. Had no idea what I was doing when I started this journey just knew my end goal and it’s been trial and error since. Still have a long way to go and a lot to learn.
What do you mean by measuring my middle area? Like should that remain the same?
I keep my measurement within an inch of my leanest number, which is around 31 inches. If you’re not pigging out and retaining lots of water, you’ll see a true measurement early in the morning – and when you’re lean, the incremental changes will be small. So if you want to panic about getting fatter, do it when the amount of inches has gone up too much for your own tastes.
When it comes to leaning/bulking, I kind of do both at the same time. While officially “cutting” – which I’ve been doing since early in June — I have little cycles where I hit the weights harder and eat a little more. I feel like when noticeable progress has been made with dropping fat, and I’m seeing more definition and vascularity, that’s when I take a step back and go into maintenance phase for couple of weeks, to reset hormones and mental state. While I do like eating for leanness, I would be lying if I said I didn’t like eating more. The goal is to not gain or lose at this stage, although I have become leaner during maintenance phases which is probably carry-over from my metabolism firing on all cylinders.
So after that mini-maintenance phase, I go back into eating cleaner (and less) to drop some more fat. And I take my time. This summer I retained almost all the muscle I gained because I didn’t do ridiculous amounts of cardio, nor did I starve myself, and I was also in no rush.
When I go into a muscle building phase (I don’t call it bulking) at the end of summer, I’ll do the reverse of what I just described. Calories will be added, I’ll go for more volume(especially deadlifting) and take a break occasionally to trim some fat.
This two steps forward, one step back approach has been working so well for me – as opposed to spending long amounts of time “cutting” or “bulking”. Overall, the goal is to never get fat and stay more ripped than the average dude all year round. No more of this getting fat during the winter bullshit.
You’re still in very good shape so have a lot of options, what program are you on/what’s your training like?
Do you do cardio?
How big do you want to get/look you’re after?
What do you mean by options?
I’m doing a push pull leg split
I do cardio 3x per week
I want to get to 165-170lbs with 8-10% BF
My advice would be to not look for training specifics when it comes to getting the look you’re after. Diet is twice as important.
Just train with intensity and it’ll take a while to figure out what works for you. Experiment and don’t put a timetable on it.
options -you’ve got a large margin of error and several different strategies available to you that will work
Either keep the surplus high and get on a high volume plan off this site. If eating clean you will pack on muscle as well as lean out…
Or keep doing what you’re doing but lower the surplus right down and tack on a heavy conditioning finisher like loaded carries to your workouts…
Every where I read says not possible to build muscle and lean out. What’s everyone’s thoughts on that?
No joke my diet is completely clean and one thing I’ve mastered is consistency as well as discipline with what I eat.
Its rare, and requires a lot of hard work but entirely possible if young and eating totally clean. Can ask Thib in his forum, has had many clients do it