T Nation

Bulk or Cut?

For past 1.5 years of training, i have bulked up from 140 lbs to 177lbs @ 25% bf at 178cms. I have been following this site for about 6 months now and am greatly thankful to this site and authors for some very good articles and posts.

Overall, I am satisfied with the results (i no longer look skinny) except that my waist size has grown from 31 to 38.

I am wondering if it is healthy to continue bulking or its time to cut a bit? What are the options here?

My goal is ~210lbs @ sub 20ish.

Attaching some pics:

Congratulations on the weight gain, however you’ve gotten a bit chubby… what has your diet looked like? You definitely should have and should BE eating a shit load, but it looks like too much McDonald’s IMHO.

What did your training look like?

I would try cleaning up your diet while lifting heavy, doing a compound based program for awhile such as Mark Rippetoe’s Starting Strength, and that should hopefully lean you out some and add some muscle, especially since it looks like you’re a beginner.

I’m sure many will disagree, but just my two cents.

Good luck!

Don’t worry brother I get the same way when I bulk. I’d start cycling the carbs and wheening in some cardio. My two centavos

A 7 in waist increase for 37lbs seems a bit high. I am wondering how intense your training was, and/or how lax your diet was.

I’d post your routine and a typical day for your diet.

thanks, people.
I was eating something like 3000 calories per day on exercise days, and a little less on non exercise days. I found that if anything below and i was not gaining anything. At times i was doing carb cycling(around 2months), but was not very regular. Also, for 3 weeks or so i gave up exercising due to some personal reasons.
From what i understand, i think i may have very poor insulin sensitivity…

Before beginning ABBH, i just did some shit on my own. here;s my typical routine:
day1: inclined dumbell press, pull downs, shoulder press.
day2: off
day3: deadlift, crunches, leg raise, calf raise
day4: off
day5: straight dumbell press, dips, some bicep & tricep work.
day6: seated row, leg press, leg curls, cardio 10-15 min. on treadmill. (not very regular)
day7: off

i used to do 3x8 or 8x3 of the above. i tried squats but i think my body isnt designed for them. i coudnt move higher on weights and had severe joint pains.

My diet looked like:
morning: a banana, milk+whey+oats, 2 sandwitch buns with some vegetables
afternoon to evening: every 3-4 hrs, a 6inch sub.
night: milk+whey+peanuts.

Overall consumed roughly 150g proteins per day.
also, a whey protein shake before exercise and protein+dextrose shake after.

[quote]bugeishaAD wrote:
Congratulations on the weight gain, however you’ve gotten a bit chubby… what has your diet looked like? You definitely should have and should BE eating a shit load, but it looks like too much McDonald’s IMHO.

What did your training look like?

I would try cleaning up your diet while lifting heavy, doing a compound based program for awhile such as Mark Rippetoe’s Starting Strength, and that should hopefully lean you out some and add some muscle, especially since it looks like you’re a beginner.

I’m sure many will disagree, but just my two cents.

Good luck![/quote]

I’d say its time to cut a bit. A 7" increase is rather high for that amount of weight.

You need to up the protein to at least 1 gram/ pound of bodyweight. I’d start doing some cardio (intervals 2-3 times a week) and have fewer carbs by not eating a sub all the time (maybe a salad w/ meat). Try to separate your fat from your carbs, as well. When I say this, I mean have protein + fat meals or protein + carb meals. This seems to have success with many people.

You may also want to add a bit more to day 3 (unless you’re really pressed for time)

I’m glad that you weren’t afraid to gain weight, but I think that you went a little far. Others may disagree (I know prof. X, another member here will), but I think that you should either start to cut or slow down your bulk.

I agree with most of the above, you need to drop the subs and rols and breads and milk, use brown rice, brown pasta, oats (as you do) reduce calories, 3000 is obviously a lot more than you need - it seems that the amount you need to eat to SEE weight gain is too much, i would say i never see it in a short period. I have been a slow gainer, but i have gained 40lbs over the last year (muscle memory) and 50lbs total over the last 6 years and i have had a waist increase of 2 inches.

I think you need to drop calories, increase workload - add days, add cardio maybe but defo weights days, then continue for 2 months at least THEN assess your progress. Dont rely on the scale. rely on the mirror once a month and learn to do a rudimentary bodyfat test.

As tren mentioned prof X wont agree with much of this, but i am pretty sure he will agree that your physique isnt making the gains anyone would desire. To be blunt, it seems that all you have gained is fat…

Do you workout regular? Why do you say you have insulin problems? Weighttraining increases muscle insulin sensitivity, and so does a healthy, high fibre, low GI diet.
That is the key.

Some can bulk with Macdonalds or subway and grow lean and mean, some will grow big and round… you seem to be the latter.

I would cut, then start again.

thanks, everyone.
I reanalyzed what i was eating. 2% milk and too much bread might be the culprit. I was wondering if brown rice could be substituted by white rice+some fiber powder?
Also, would you recommend fat free milk?

I did workout regularly expect for a period of 2-3 weeks and when the gym was closed sometimes. I predominantly tend to gain weight/fat in the abdominal region…hence my guess was poor insulin sensitivity. I think i need to clean up my diet. BTW, all i gained was not fat…i can pinch and see, my arms/chest do seem to have gained some muscle(the pics might not show it). They have grown, my lifts have gone up, but certainly abdominal area is all fat:)

What would be a decent target to cut to before bulking again?
For cutting do you have any specific program in mind?

[quote] JJ wrote:
I agree with most of the above, you need to drop the subs and rols and breads and milk, use brown rice, brown pasta, oats (as you do) reduce calories, 3000 is obviously a lot more than you need - it seems that the amount you need to eat to SEE weight gain is too much, i would say i never see it in a short period. I have been a slow gainer, but i have gained 40lbs over the last year (muscle memory) and 50lbs total over the last 6 years and i have had a waist increase of 2 inches.

I think you need to drop calories, increase workload - add days, add cardio maybe but defo weights days, then continue for 2 months at least THEN assess your progress. Dont rely on the scale. rely on the mirror once a month and learn to do a rudimentary bodyfat test.

As tren mentioned prof X wont agree with much of this, but i am pretty sure he will agree that your physique isnt making the gains anyone would desire. To be blunt, it seems that all you have gained is fat…

Do you workout regular? Why do you say you have insulin problems? Weighttraining increases muscle insulin sensitivity, and so does a healthy, high fibre, low GI diet.
That is the key.

Some can bulk with Macdonalds or subway and grow lean and mean, some will grow big and round… you seem to be the latter.

I would cut, then start again.[/quote]

Whats your fixation on white carbs?

In the morning, you shouldn’t have been eating sandwich buns, you should have added more oats and/or an extra banana.

You said you were takin in 150g protein a day, assuming 3-4 shakes made that… thats breakfast, prewo, postwo, and night. Too much. Eat more meat and eggs.

I would try EDT for 6 weeks. It will help you burn fat and increase your work capacity.

I would do:
week1: eat at maintenance
week2: maintenance on training days, sub 500 cals on non training days
week3-4: eat # of cals you were eating on non training days everyday
week5: weight yourself, check progress, decide if you need to lower cals for last 2 wks
week6: finish EDT, assess fat loss

Then find a solid routine plan your new diet.

When i check the nutritional contents, white n brown have same calories except more fiber. Also, brown rice, wheat bread etc. are harder to obtain…

so can’t i just eat white rice+extra fiber? maybe i am missing sth?
thanks

[quote]gabex wrote:
Whats your fixation on white carbs?

In the morning, you shouldn’t have been eating sandwich buns, you should have added more oats and/or an extra banana.

You said you were takin in 150g protein a day, assuming 3-4 shakes made that… thats breakfast, prewo, postwo, and night. Too much. Eat more meat and eggs.[/quote]

cunt i just eat too

[quote]saral wrote:
when i check the nutritional contents, white n brown have same calories except more fiber. Also, brown rice, wheat bread etc. are harder to obtain…
so cunt i just eat white rice+extra fiber. maybe i am missing sth?
thanks

[/quote]

all calories are not created equal in terms of metabolic effect

It’s a bit harder for your body to digest whole grains, thus in turn burning more calories in digestion. Not too mention you’re getting better/higher quality of your micros

I’d take a serious look at your training. For 1.5 years, you have very little mass.

Stop eating shit foods. Eat tons of protein, healthy fats, and veggies.

Do something different in the gym. The 3X8/8X3 stuff is not working for you.

Center your training around the money lifts: Squats, DL, and Incline Bench. Lift heavy.

It looks as though you do not know how to train hard. You should exhaust the limits of your ability every training session.

I’m not flaming you. Just telling you what I see.

KID, I see NO muscular development on you whatsoever. Without even looking at your previous pics, i;m going to go out on a limb and say you have just become fat.

You have NO idea how to train. Trim down to around 12-15% bodyfat and start up again. This is dismal progress for a year.

Good luck to you.

I know i am an arsehole sometimes - but for love nor money, i just couldnt tell him!!! Well done Mombooto!!

Hey Ankur, long time, man :slight_smile:

Ive known this guy since he was 140 pounds, and I can assure you than he has added at least 5-10 pounds of muscle. He does not train and eat properly though…

Simpy cut down to around 150 or so with one of Cosgrove’s programs. You should be able to retain the muscle you DID add this far.

your next attempt at mass building will be a lot better imo. Focus on balancing strength with form (to steal an idea from Prof X)…use proper form and ROM as long as you can. Flake a little on form to push the envelope and handle heavier weights and THEN work on improving your form with the heavier weights.

[quote]InTransit wrote:
(denied entry on the plane for a variety of reasons)…

[/quote]

Is there a story here?

Thanks for the advice rb.
no words…

[quote]InTransit wrote:
I had planned to leave the site for good. Sitting at the airport right now, planning my next move (denied entry on the plane for a variety of reasons)…

and decided to log back on for old time’s sake. Seeing this Indian kid post his pictures, I HAD to reply to this.

Anyway…looks like my plans were derailed, and I will be on the site for a while longer.

Sometimes it is better to be brutally honest rather than sugarcoat things. This kid does not know how to train or eat. He needs to get back down where he started and work his way back up with a mass building routine.

To the OP, drop all this ABBH, BBB whatever. YOu don;t look like you can bench bodyweight, squat 1.5x bodyweight and deadlift the same after a year of training. Its NOT working for you.

Use TBT to cut down to a respectable bodyfat percent, and then maintain yourself ffor a while.

Working back up, you need a proper bodypart split with PROPER nutrition. Having a sub every 3 hours is only making you fatter.

Please READ some of the articles on nutrition here.

JJ wrote:
I know i am an arsehole sometimes - but for love nor money, i just couldnt tell him!!! Well done!!

[/quote]

[quote]UkpairehMombooto wrote:
You have NO idea how to train. Trim down to around 12-15% bodyfat and start up again.
[/quote]

There is no need to do this. In fact, it’s counter productive.

Just start eating cleaner, training harder, and getting good rest.

Unless you are morbidly obese, there is no reason to go backwards, and lose the gains you have already made, just to get to some non-existent starting point.

You add 15 pounds of muscle, and you will not look so soft.